DSWD continues preps for Boracay closure

MANILA The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Monday said that it continues with its preparations to assist the families that will be affected by the impending closure of Boracay.

We continue our efforts to determine the needs of informal settler families in need of relocation and initial assistance. Our social workers are closely monitoring the situation in the affected barangays and our officials are in constant coordination with the LGUs which are the primary responders to see if they need any augmentation assistance, DSWD Officer-in-Charge Emmanuel Leyco in a press release.

Leyco assured the families that will be affected that the Department's Field Office VI, headed by Regional Director Rebecca Geamala, has already prepositioned relief items in strategic locations in Aklan which can be augmented to affected local government units.

Based on the initial report from the region, 28 households were given notices. Of the given number, 15 families are under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

We want to get a firm understanding of the situation on the ground so that the preparations to help those who will be affected by Boracay's six-month closure and the impending demolition will be adequate and sufficient," Leyco said.

Meanwhile, Leyco said that a One-Stop-Shop Operation Center will be established in Boracay as an improvement on the existing DSWD operation center, which opened last April 7.

He said that since DSWD programs and services are not enough to accommodate all the needs of the affected people, the One-Stop-Shop will be a venue for convergence of all the efforts of different government agencies, especially when it comes to health, employment, education, and other needs of the communities.

The agencies of the national government are working together to pool resources and programs to help the families and communities that will be affected, he said.

Aside from the One-Stop-Shop, the regional office reported that there will be 150 staff members who will validate the list of affected households and that its Quick Response Team has already been reactivated for the upcoming closure of the island.

Leyco also assured that non-Malay, Aklan residents who will be affected can immediately avail of the Assistance to Individuals and Families in Crisis Situation (AICS) program of the department.

Last week, the regional office convened a meeting with representatives of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippine Information Agency, Office of Civil Defense, Philippine Coast Guard, and the Philippine Army to discuss measures on how to effectively assist families that were given notices to vacate their houses.

Under the AICS program, qualified indigent, marginalized, poor, or disadvantaged individuals or families may avail of any medical, educational, burial, or transportation assistance as immediate assistance or safety net to help them recover from any crisis situation.(DSWD PR)

Source: Philippine News Agency