DSWD bares to solons its own COVID-19 response

Published September 16, 2020, 7:10 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) assured the House Committee on Appropriations on Wednesday that it is closely monitoring and providing assistance to its 247 personnel who tested positive for COVID-19.

DSWD Assistant Secretary Rod Santos said that the agency recorded 247 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease.

“Mayroon po tayong kabuuang 247 na confirmed cases, 185 po nyan ay nakarecover (we have a total 247 confirmed cases, 185 of whom have recovered). While the rest , around 60 are recovering from COVID-19,” he told the panel during its deliberations on the DSWD’s proposed budget for 2021.

According to him, the DSWD also recorded around 3, 572 probable  cases, 3,222 are about to finish their quarantine, while 351 personnel “are still under quarantine period.”

The department has created a task force that would closely monitor the increasing cases of COVID-19 among its frontliners, and to ensure that the necessary assistance will be given to their infected personnel. 

Santos said the department has a  COVID-19 response and recovery plan, which include strategies to ensure the safety of its personnel.

He said the DSWD has provided personal protective equipment to around 24, 449 personnel, amounting to more than P15.524 million.

He also cited that the agency granted P342 million in hazard pay to its personnel engaged in the implementation of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

“For the testing of our personnel who are infected or suspected to be infected we facilitate such testing by referring them to appropriate facilities,” Santos said. 

He said they also provided medical, financial, and burial assistance to their frontline workers amounting to more than  P434,500. 

The DSWD official also noted that around 3, 737 agency personnel were provided with mental and psychosocial support services by internal and external mental health  service providers.

He said to ensure the safety of their personnel, they also conduct regular disinfection and sanitation activity within the Central Offices and Field Offices. The DSWD has  around 35, 443 employees nationwide.