DSWD provides cash assistance to Wuhan repatriates

By Charissa Luci-Atienza

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has provided some P220,000 cash assistance to 22 Filipinos who were repatriated from Wuhan, China following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The DSWD said it extended P10,000 each to 22 repatriates from Wuhan during the payout held in Clark City on Feb. 22.

The assistance was made through the Department’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS).

AICS is a social safety net or stop-gap measure to support the recovery of individuals and families suffering from an unexpected life event or crisis such as loss of job due to disruption, disaster, illness, and death, among others, the DSWD said.

"They will be further referred to concerned DSWD-Field Offices for the provision of additional appropriate assistance, if necessary," the Department said.

The agency said the families of the distressed workers were interviewed "to assess and identify other appropriate services that can be extended to them as they return to their respective hometowns."

The DSWD also assured the Filipinos aboard the Japanese cruise ship who were repatriated that assistance will be extended to them.

"Likewise, the Department is ready and is looking into the possible assistance that can be extended to the Filipinos aboard the Japanese cruise ship who were repatriated," it said.

DSWD Assistant Secretary Glenda Relova has been in touch with the concerned government agencies on the possible provision of assistance to the repatriates from Japan.

She has been regularly attending inter-agency coordination meetings with concerned agencies on the matter, the DSWD said.

The DSWD also noted that DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista has directed all DSWD Field Offices around the country to identify centers and residential care facilities (CRCF) under their jurisdictions that can be temporarily transformed into quarantine areas.

"DSWD, as part of the whole-of-nation approach, continues to work hand in hand with other government agencies in ensuring that repatriates whose jobs have been disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as those in need of medical help, will receive prompt assistance to help them cope with their present situation," it said.