Los Baños-based DOST agencies extend assistance to Batangas evacuees

The dreary road leading to the evacuation area in Mendez, Cavite was almost empty aside from the ash fall and the random barking of dogs left in their owners’ houses. Despite the dismal atmosphere, the journey of volunteers of two Department of Science and Technology (DOST) agencies ended brightly as smiles of evacuees filled the covered court plaza of Mendez, Cavite.

This was the development as volunteers from the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) and Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI), both located in Los Baños, Laguna, traveled to Cavite to donate relief bags to evacuees from Talisay, San Nicolas, and Agoncillo, Batangas on January 24, 2020.

With assistance from Mayor Gerry D. Natanauan of Talisay, the donated relief bags, containing hygiene kits, slippers, blankets, and towels were distributed to more than 300 families in the evacuation center. Thirty pieces of banig or native mats were also distributed to the families.

Moreover, four boxes of used clothes from DOST-FPRDI were distributed through the local government unit of Talisay to other evacuation centers in Tagaytay City.

“Our delivery was timely as a day later, the alert level was lowered to 3 so the evacuees beyond the 7km radius were allowed to go home,” said Engr. Eduardo V. Manalili, Officer-in-Charge of the Inland Aquatic Resources Research Division (IARRD)-PCAARRD and lead of the initiative.

Mayor Natanauan expressed his gratitude for the activity. “Truly the Bayanihan spirit is alive and well as your donation of relief items was a big help to our consituents,” he said.