By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) expressed on Sunday, March 8 its all-out support to the government's intensified efforts to help contain the spread of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19).
Department of Social Welfare and Development
DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao maintained that all the agency's Field Offices around the country have been directed to identify centers and residential care facilities (CRCF) under their jurisdictions that can be temporarily transformed into quarantine areas, after President Duterte declared a State of Public Health Emergency following the local transmission of the disease in the country.
She said DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista already issued the directive "to help in the government's response in containing the spread of COVID-19."
"Further, the Department continues to support all government efforts in heightening information dissemination on COVID-19. It ensures that precise information is advocated to all its personnel and beneficiaries through all platforms possible," Dumlao told the Manila Bulletin in a text message.
She noted that the DSWD already implemented precautionary measures against the disease that has affected over 91 countries.
"Employees and clients of the DSWD pass through thermal scanning before entering the premises of the Department. This is being done as a preventive measure against the spread of the disease," she said.
"Health advisories are likewise posted in strategic areas within the Agency compound reminding employees and clients to practice protective measures such as frequent and proper hand washing and to seek immediate medical advice when flu like symptoms are experienced," she added.
On Feb. 22, 2020, the DSWD has provided some P220,000 cash assistance to 22 Filipinos who were repatriated from Wuhan, China following the COVID-19 outbreak.
READ MORE: DSWD provides cash assistance to Wuhan repatriates
It extended P10,000 each to 22 repatriates from Wuhan 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.
The DSWD said the repatriates will be further referred to concerned DSWD-Field Offices for the provision of additional appropriate assistance, if necessary.
The agency said it is also "ready and is looking into the possible assistance that can be extended to the Filipinos aboard the Japanese cruise ship who were repatriated."
"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.
READ MORE: PH reports 1st local COVID-19 case