Wednesday, July 17, 2024

DSWD ‘Prepared’ For La Niña Phenomenon

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DSWD ‘Prepared’ For La Niña Phenomenon

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The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is prepared for the upcoming La Niña phenomenon, Special Assistant to the Secretary (SAS) for Disaster Response Leo Quintilla said on Thursday.

During the weekly DSWD Media Forum at the Central Office’s New Press Center in Quezon City, Quintilla said the DSWD already had a meeting with the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) to prepare for the possible scenarios during the La Niña season.

“(Month of) May pa lang ay nagpatawag na si Secretary (Rex Gatchalian) ng preparedness meeting, kasama namin ang PAGASA (In May, the Secretary already called for a preparedness meeting with PAGASA) to give us a picture of what it will look like with the anticipation of the forecast of La Niña. So dito po pinag-aralan na natin kung ano ang dapat gawin ng DSWD (So here we have studied what the DSWD should do),” Quintilla told reporters.

Quintilla, who is concurrent Officer-in-Charge of the National Resource and Logistics Management Bureau (NRLMB), said the DSWD will be implementing its Buong Bansa Handa (BBH) disaster preparedness program to ensure the sufficiency of supplies during the La Niña season.

He said the BBH is a program and, at the same time, is a strategy to ensure that the agency’s supplies are ready.

“And right now, we are studying our eastern seaboard, which is frequently hit by storms,” he added.

He also said the BBH will tap two supply chains to deliver the basic food and non-food requirements of disaster victims.

The first supply chain, he said, will feature an expanded network of warehouse facilities of local government units (LGUs) provincial governments, other national government agencies, while the other one will be through partnerships with the private sector through framework agreements or supply agreements.

At present, the DSWD maintains some 1.5 million boxes of family food packs (FFPs) ready to be augmented to selected LGUs where the Department has ongoing relief prepositioning agreement, especially those located in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA).

Aside from prepositioning, Quintilla assured the public that the agency is also consistently producing FFPs in its major production hubs.

“We are doing our best to maximize our resources for stockpiling. What is important is we have available resources. We have rice, we have raw materials, we have supplies to ensure that production is continuous because we do not know what would happen. If we need to double, we are going to do that to ensure that we are ready for any disaster event in the second quarter of 2024,” he said.

 

Updates on disaster response

DSWD Undersecretary for Disaster Response Management Group (DRMG) Diana Rose S. Cajipe said the Department has already provided humanitarian assistance to families affected by Typhoon Aghon and Mt. Kanlaon eruption in Negros Occidental.

She said humanitarian assistance worth PHP28.8 million has been extended to families hit by Aghon in the Ilocos Region, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, and Eastern Visayas.

The Department also provided over PHP26 million worth of assistance to displaced families in Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental affected by the Mt. Kanlaon eruption.

“Rest assured that the Disaster Response Management Group of the DSWD, under the leadership of Secretary Rex Gatchalian, ay patuloy po ang pag-paplano at paghahanda para po sa mga kalamidad na maaaring harapin ng ating bansa (continues to prepare for any calamties that our country may face),” she said.

The Thursday Media Forum is organized by the DSWD Strategic Communications Group and hosted by Special Assistant to the Secretary (SAS) for Communications Raymond Robert Burgos and Agency Operations Service (AOS) Director Clarissa Lara Duran, who is also the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Office of the Asst. Secretary for Strategic Communications. (PNA)