By Minerva BC Newman
CEBU CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VII has set up a 24/7 operation center at its office solely dedicated for the implementation of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) in Central Visayas and to facilitate, monitor, and review the timely distribution of the assistance to eligible poor families through the 132 local government units (LGUs) in the region.
DSWD-7 assistant regional director for operations Shalaine Marie Lucero said the OpCen is an avenue for small and focused group discussion, for consultation on how to approach specific concerns in the area and improve the operations, and for brainstorming on the strategies for a smoother and better SAP distribution.
“When we started, we meet every day. We institutionalized the 9 a.m. Monday meeting because we see that while the operations were ongoing there were sprouting concerns such as issuance of memos, guidelines, and presentation of materials,” Lucero said.
Lucero explained that this is part of the ongoing efforts of the DSWD to facilitate, monitor, and review SAP implementation since it opened on March 24 in response to the call of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases in Central Visayas (IATF-MEID) to establish an operation hub exclusively for SAP concerns.
The OpCen also dedicated a grievance team tasked to answer inquiries, concerns, and complaints from the people through different platforms. From April 10 to May 22, the OpCen has received 37,875 Facebook inquiries, 1,498 emails, 2,703 calls, and 3,454 text messages, Lucero said.
“Top inquiries and/or concerns received included inquiries on qualifications, alleged inclusion and exclusion errors. If there are concerns in relation to the program implementation, there are Technical Assistance and Resource Augmentation focal persons to oversee LGUs and connect to the Local Social Welfare Officers and Local Chief Executives,” Lucero said.
She added that the grievance officer coordinates with the focal person of the specific LGU to take immediate clarification and action on the matter.