Social Amelioration Update

Look: DSWD staff now conducting simultaneous, region-wide orientation regarding the implementation of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

DSWD staff, headed by the Social Welfare And Development Team (SWADT) Leaders and the Project Development Officers (PDOs) of the Disaster Response Management Division (DRMD) are now in the different provinces of Region VIII to orient Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers (MSWDOs) on the implementation of the SAP. Once the LGUs have been fully oriented, the barangay officials can begin the house-to-house distribution of the Social Amelioration Cards.

The SAP is part of Republic Act 11469 (the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act), which was enacted as a response for COVID 19. This program aims to provide assistance to the indigent families who are affected by the community quarantine. Its beneficiaries include 4Ps beneficiaries, senior citizens, persons with disability, pregnant and lactating women, solo parents, overseas Filipinos in distress, indigent Indigenous Peoples, underprivileged and homeless individuals, and other members of the vulnerable sectors.

#DSWDMayMalasakit

photo credits: DRMD PDOs

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DSWD Now Conducting Orientation on Bayanihan to Heal Act

In response to the ongoing COVID threat, the Duterte administration has signed into law the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.  This act has a provision for  social amelioration programs, which aims to provide assistance to qualified individuals who are affected by the quarantine. These qualified individuals include:

1. Senior Citizens
2. Persons with Disability (PWDs)
3. Pregnant and Lactating women
4. Solo parents
5. OFWs in distress
6. Indigent Indigenous Peoples
7. Underprivileged Sector and Homeless Citizens
8. Informal Economy Workers (including:
directly hired or occasional workers,
subcontracted workers,
homeworkers,
house helpers,
drivers,
micro-entrepreneurs and producers,
family enterprise owners,
subminimum wage earners,
farmers, fisherfolk and farm workers,
employees affected by no work, no pay policy,
and stranded workers.

Currently, DSWD is conducting an orientation on this Act and is now planning orientations for the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers (MSWDOs), who will then orient the citizens affected by enhanced community quarantine.

The beneficiaries must fill out the Social Amelioration Cards (SAC), which will be distributed by the LGUs. These will then be submitted to DSWD for validation. 

#DSWDMayMalasakit

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Working Together to Fight Coronavirus

As the danger of coronavirus continues, DSWD and its partner agencies are working with the Department of Health (DOH) to fight this disease. As vice chair of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), and as head of the Food and Non-food Cluster (FNFI), DSWD knows that cooperation between the partner agencies is truly critical in the fight against the Coronavirus.

Recently, the FNFI cluster met to discuss the food situation given that the communities are in quarantine. This cluster includes DSWD, the Department of Agriculture (DA), the National Food Authority (NFA), the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).  As a part of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC), the FNFI cluster’s objective is to provide food and non-food relief items to affected families during emergencies.

It was established that food is stable in Eastern Visayas at present. NFA reported that they have 200,000 sacks of rice in stock. DA confirmed that it is the harvest time; hence we have a sufficient supply of vegetables and rice in the coming months.  

To help in food security, DSWD is preparing its family food pack stockpiles in case the LGUs request augmentation. Following the Local Government code, basic social services are devolved to the LGUs. As the first responders, the LGUs are working to provide initial relief assistance to the affected. As of March 25, 22 LGUs have already provided relief goods to the affected families.

DSWD and the FNFI cluster are now monitoring the situation and are doing their part to make sure that they are prepared to augment the LGUs when the need arises.

#DSWDMayMalasakit

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DSWD Preparedness

DSWD Preparedness updated as of March 23, 2020

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DSWD Now in Alert Mode

DSWD’s Disaster Response Management Division in a meeting for the COVID19 response

DSWD is now in a heightened alert status in light of the recent Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) threat.

Following the recent outbreaks of COVID-19 in the Philippines, DSWD’s Disaster Response Management Division (DRMD) has now activated its Emergency Operations Center and is now coordinating with the Local Government Units (LGUs) to monitor the situation. Recently, DRMD Project Development Officers (PDOs) have already gathered information on the number of Persons Under Investigation/Monitoring here in Region VIII.

Aside from monitoring the situation, DSWD is also preparing its Food and Non-food items, in case the LGUs request for augmentation. Similar to any disasters, the first responders are the LGUs. DSWD will only augment based on the request and recommendation of the LGUs.

Although COVID-19 is a health concern, with the initial response headed by the Department of Health (DOH), DSWD is preparing to help as head of the Food and Non-food Items Cluster of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

#DSWDMayMalasakit

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DSWD Service Continues

Despite the threat of COVID 19 (Corona Virus Disease 19), the Department of Social Welfare and Development continues to stand by its commitment in providing services to the marginalized sector.  

To stop the virus from spreading, DSWD also exercises caution with compassion, and is now implementing several safety precautions for the protection of its employees and its clients.

As of today, DSWD has several alcohol stations located just beside the entrance and at the Public Assistance and Complaint Desk (PACD), where the clients can use free alcohol to clean their hands. At the waiting area, seats have been spaced at least one meter apart to promote social distancing. Furthermore, DSWD is using free space to serve as waiting areas, to accommodate clients while keeping social distancing.

All transactions are now conducted through transaction windows. Meanwhile, social workers who conduct client interviews will now be wearing protective equipment and will now refrain from conducting interviews at the office to control the number of people at the office. DSWD will soon have temperature sensors to check the temperature of everyone who enters the building.

With these precautions in place, DSWD is urging the public to practice the safety tips encouraged by the Department of Health. These include:

1.       Make it a habit to wash your hands using soap and water.

2.       When sneezing or coughing, cover your mouth and nose.

3.       Maintain social distancing – stay at least one meter away from other people

4.       If possible, refrain from handshaking, hugging and or touching others

5.       Strengthen your immune system by eating healthy and drinking adequate water.

6.       See a doctor if you have cough/colds, sore throat, headaches and difficulty breathing.

Together, let us all do our part to prevent the spread of COVID 19. 

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DSWD joins Fire Prevention Month Kick Off

This year, as the hot and dry season approaches, DSWD stands with BFP in its campaign to raise awareness for Fire Prevention. To this end, DSWD staff participated in the kick-off ceremony of the Fire Prevention Month. The ceremony started with a mass, followed by an interagency parade around Tacloban City.

With the theme: “Matuto Ka, Sunog Iwasan Natin,” DSWD encourages everyone to practice these safety tips:
1. Unplug electrical equipment when not in use.
2. Do not overload electrical circuits
3. Keep flammable materials out of reach of children
4. Ensure that there are no gas leaks if using LPG tanks.

Fires are one of the most common man-made disasters experienced here in the Philippines. Just last year, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) recorded a total of 37 fires here in Region VIII, the biggest being a mall fire.

During fires, the first responders are the Local Government Units (LGUs). However, when augmentation is needed, the LGUs request from DSWD. In turn, DSWD responds according to the LGUs request. Last year, DSWD provided relief to families from five fire incidents as requested by the affected LGUs – Catbalogan City and Calbayog City in Samar, Catarman in northern Samar, Biliran in Biliran and Tacloban City.

#DSWDMayMalasakit

photo credits Kersey Badocdoc

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DSWD Commits to a Greener Future

As part of DSWD’s celebration of its 69th Anniversary, the department commits to a greener, sustainable future by planting 6,900 trees nationwide. Here in Region VIII, the Field Office planted 400 seedlings.

Armed with bolos and trashbags, almost 200 DSWD staff from various programs arrived during the early hours of January 25 at Brgy. Sta. Cruz, Tanauan, Leyte. After a brief orientation from the foresters of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and from the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), DSWD and several volunteers from the same barangay, including several 4Ps beneficiaries, set out to plant the seedlings – 150 mangroves for the wetland area and 250 talisay seeds for the beach forest area. Immediately after planting these seeds, the group conducted a cleanup drive by picking up trash in the area.

According to DENR-CENRO forester Razel Repalda, “Nature is our refuge. It protects us from disasters, gives us food and shelter.” Emphasizing on the benefits of planting trees, he pointed out that during disasters, trees act as a natural barrier, protecting against storm surges and tsunamis in coastal areas and against landslides in mountainous areas.

According to Assistant Regional Director for Administration Marlene Kahano, “It was indeed tiring, but enjoyable and self-fulfilling. We have done this, not only because it is our 69th founding anniversary, but most importantly because it is our way of doing our share in the preservation and protection of our environment and natural resources. We are well aware of what is happening in our environment and we need to act and do something to mitigate the adverse effects and negative impacts of climate change. We hope that 5-10 years from now, these trees we planted today will be taller than us, and will protect us from storms and calamities.”

DSWD would also like to thank its partners in the activity- including the Philippine Army, the Philippine Airforce, DENR, CENRO, the Local Government Unit of Tanauan under the leadership of Mayor Pelagio Tecson, and Tingog Sinirangan Party List.

#DSWDMayMalasakit

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