MANILA – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) ordered the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to ensure swift response and relief operations for all victims of natural disasters in the country.
“Utos ko sa DSWD ang mabilis na pagtugon sa pangangailangan ng mga biktima ng kalamidad at iba’t ibang krisis (I am ordering the DSWD to quickly response to the needs of victims of calamities and other crises),” Marcos said in a speech delivered before attendees at the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City.
He directed the DSWD to preposition relief goods such as family food packs as well as non-food essentials in its field offices and local government units to guarantee that they would be distributed immediately especially in far-flung areas.
Marcos said it is important to ensure proper coordination between the DSWD and the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development for the implementation of the Emergency Shelter Assistance program for victims of typhoons and calamities.
He also emphasized the need to put in place the comprehensive program Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations or AICS to ensure that all disaster victims will be reached by DSWD.
“Hindi natin papahirapan ang mga biktima ng krisis na dudulog sa ahensiya — gagawin nating simple ang proseso ng paghingi at pagpaparating ng tulong. Dahil hindi dapat dinadagdagan ang hirap na nararanasan ng ating mga mamamayan (We will not make it difficult for disaster victims to approach agencies — we will make the process of asking for help and giving help simple. We should not give our countrymen additional problems),” he added.
Delisting 4Ps beneficiaries
Meanwhile, Marcos also renewed his call to the DSWD to review the list of beneficiaries under the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program or (4Ps) so that other qualified persons could replace them.
“Upang matiyak na napupunta sa kwalipikadong mga pamilya ang tulong ng pamahalaan sa pamamagitan ng 4Ps, titiyakin natin na malilinis ang listahan ng benipisyaryo (To ensure that government assistance goes to qualified families through the 4Ps, we will ensure that the list of beneficiaries is cleaned),” he said.
He noted that over a million beneficiaries have “graduated” from the 4Ps.
“..Nagagalak akong mabatid na sila’y nakakatayo na sa kanilang sariling mga paa. Kaugnay nito ay inutusan ko ang DSWD na pag-ibayuhin pa ang pag-repaso ng listahan upang maitutok ang pamimigay ng sapat na ayuda sa mga lubos na nangangailangang pamilya (I am happy to know that they are now able to stand on their own feet. In this regard, I have ordered the DSWD to extend the review of the list to focus on giving adequate aid to the most needy families),” he added.
Marcos also vowed to continue and further expand the supplemental feeding program for children enrolled under the Child Development Centers at Supervised Neighborhood Play.
He said Violence Against Women and Their Children programs, including counseling for the victims, in collaboration with local government units (LGUs) will also be strengthened.
“Hindi rin natin nakakalimutan ang mga solo parent at mga nanay na nahiwalay sa kanilang mga mister dahil sa karahasan. Pagtitibayin natin ang programa sa Violence Against Women and Their Children, kabilang na ang counseling para sa mga biktima, katuwang ang mga LGU (We haven’t forgotten single parents and mothers who were separated from their husbands due to violence. We will strengthen the program on Violence Against Women and Their Children, including counseling for the victims, in collaboration with the LGUs),” he said.
Marcos also promised to provide funds for the continued operation of some 70 residential care centers and seven non-residential care centers intended for vulnerable sectors and persons with disabilities are in dire need of shelter.
The 4Ps is a human development measure of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to the poorest of the poor, to improve the health, nutrition, and the education of children aged 0-18.
The 4Ps operates in all the 17 regions in the Philippines, covering 79 provinces, 143 cities, and 1,484 municipalities. (PNA)