DAR Helps Calamity Victims

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dar web news 2 pix jan. 24 2014 400The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) organized relief efforts to affected DAR employees devastated by recent calamities that visited Visayas and Mindanao.

DAR’s initial effort was to raise funds. For donations, the DAR Central Office opened an account in the Land Bank of the Philippines (under the account name of Head Executive Assistant Justine Vincent Lachica, with account number 0706-1185-43).

“We opened this account solely for the purpose of raising funds for the affected DAR employees. For transparency and better accounting of all donations, we ask that those who will deposit to please email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. the details of your donation (such as, amount, date, time and bank branch) for better accounting of all donations,” said De los Reyes.

The Department of Agrarian Reform Employees Association (DAREA) also collected donations from DAR central office employees and was able to raise P58,000.

The collected funds will be used to buy basic goods like food, water and other basic necessities.

“Our Regional Office in Cebu will be the hub of our relief operations for Region 8. Relief supplies will be procured there and will be shipped from there. Motorcycles that can be spared from Region 7 will be shipped to Tacloban so that Region 8 personnel will have the mobility to check on our personnel and conduct damage assessment,” added De los Reyes.

Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes sent a five-man team to Tacloban, Leyte to ascertain the condition of DAR employees in the affected areas.

The team, headed by Undersecretary Jose Grageda, reported that three DAR personnel perished during the height of super typhoon Yolanda. These are PARAD Edith Casillar, DARPO-Leyte Chief Legal Officer, Atty. Segundino Bantiles, Jr., and DARPO- Leyte Personnel Officer Elvie Delgado.

“The DAR Regional Office sustained heavy damage and the road leading to the regional office is not yet completely passable for vehicles. The DARRO building, along with the office furniture and equipment were also heavily damaged and the vehicles are unserviceable,” said Grageda.

“Nobody has reached the DARPO-Leyte office yet so there is still no first-hand report. However, given that its location is just a few meters from the sea, and the state of the building (which is an old Ministry Human Setllement Building), most likely, the office would be totally damaged,” added Grageda.

DAR-8 Regional Director Eliasem Castillo said that “some of our regional personnel has reported for work. The staff at the regional office has been reinforced by the team from Region 5 and a group of employees from Northern Samar led by Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) II Nida Abelido. They are tasked to assess the damage and will try to account for all DAR personnel. They will also devise a system for the distribution of assistance to our personnel.”

De los Reyes also got in touch with the PARPOs and Regional Directors of regions 4B, 6, and 7 to report on the devastation made by the strong earthquake last October 15, 2013.

These are the reports from the affected regions:

1. Reports from the different field offices of Region 4B to RD Tobias show that there are no reported casualties among DAR personnel in the said Region.

2. To date, there are no reported casualties among DAR personnel in Region 6. The PARPOs were making the rounds of the DARMOs to check on the condition of the offices and the personnel. There are no major damages to property in our provincial offices.

3. There are no reported casualties among DAR personnel in Region 7 though the provincial office is currently verifying the condition of the DARMO offices and personnel in Northern Cebu.

“Given the current state of devastation and disarray in places like Tacloban, sending relief to our personnel in Region 8 needs to be planned meticulously. We have to ensure that assistance will indeed reach our personnel. Thus, we need a realistic assessment of the situation and how assistance will be distributed is being done by DARRO 8 and the team from Region 5,” said De los Reyes

De los Reyes also instructed the department’s Administrative Service to assist DAR Region 8 and the Provincial Offices to reconstitute the payroll and prepare the release of the salaries of DAR personnel.

“The Land Bank will be deploying mobile ATM machines in Tacloban so that our personnel will be able to withdraw their salaries. Lost or damaged ATM cards will be replaced speedily,” said De los Reyes.

“Our very own people need us. Let us not fail them. Pagtulungan po natin ang pagdamay sa ating mga kapatid sa DAR,” De los Reyes said.