DSWD braces for La Niña; Buong Bansa Handa project in place

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is now preparing for the onset of the La Niña phenomenon, which is expected to happen this June, by ensuring that its disaster preparedness and response strategies are in place to mitigate the possible effects of the wet season, an agency official said on Thursday (May 2) during the Media Forum at the Central Office’s New Press Center in Quezon City.

“Na-approve na rin yung ating Buong Bansa Handa project… yung ating framework agreement. Ongoing din yung procurement for that dahil nga ang gusto nating mangyari ay mabilis yung pagpapahatid ng tulong kapag dumating na yung tag-ulan,” Asst. Secretary for Disaster Response Management Group (DRMG) Irene Dumlao told reporters at the media forum.

(The Buong Bansa Handa Project has been approved… the framework agreement. The procurement process is also ongoing because what we want to happen is for the assistance to be immediately delivered when the rainy season arrives.)

According to Asst. Secretary Dumlao, who is also the DSWD spokesperson, the Buong Bansa Handa project will establish two parallel supply chain mechanisms for disaster preparedness and response which will enhance the capacity of the Department in meeting the needs of families in various disaster-stricken areas.

The first mechanism features a national and local government-driven supply chain that will improve the production capacities and processes of the DSWD’s National Resource Operations Center (NROC) in Pasay City, the Visayas Disaster Resource Center (VDRC) in Cebu, and warehouse and storage facilities across the 16 DSWD Field Offices. For the second mechanism, the DSWD will forge partnerships with established large and small groceries, supermarkets, manufacturers, and distributors to leverage on their technical expertise and resources to create a private sector-driven supply chain.

Enough relief supplies in warehouses

Asst. Sec. Dumlao said the agency is monitoring the relief supplies and ensuring that there are enough family food packs (FFPs) and non-food items (NFIs) prepositioned in the different warehouses in the country.

“We have an inventory, of course, of all our warehouses—yung ating mga last miles, yung ating mga spokes para makita natin na lahat ng mga facilities na iyan ay sapat yung mga FFPs and NFIs natin. Likewise, yung sa ating mga hubs, binabantayan din po natin na maayos yung procurement, ine-ensure natin yung availability of supplies para hindi po ma-hamper yun production ng ating mga FFPs and NFIs,” the DSWD spokesperson explained.

(We have an inventory, of course, of all our warehouses—our last-mile facilities, our spokes, so we can ensure that all those facilities have sufficient FFPs and NFIs. Likewise, in our hubs, we are monitoring the procurement to ensure the availability of supplies so as not to hamper the production of our FFPs and NFIs.)

As of April 29, a total of 387,124 FFPs have been prepositioned in the 10 DSWD hubs while 602,113 boxes of food packs were sent to the 66 spokes and 545,526 FFPs in the 849 last mile facilities across the country. “Doon sa ating mga last mile, binabantayan natin ang delivery, gayundin ang mga withdrawal ng ating FFPs and NFIs para hindi po tayo nauubusan and, of course, pag dumating ang tag-ulan ay sapat ang ating mga supply and are ready to be sent to LGUs that are affected,” Asst. Sec. Dumlao emphasized.

(In our last-mile facilities, we monitor the delivery, as well as the withdrawal of our FFPs and NFIs, so that we don’t run out, and of course, when the rainy season comes, our supplies are sufficient and ready to be sent to affected LGUs.)

Safe evacuation centers

Asst. Sec. Dumlao pointed out that the DSWD is also monitoring the evacuation centers to ensure that evacuees will be provided with necessary interventions.

“Tiningnan po natin yung mga evacuation centers nang sa gayon ay makita natin kung ito ba ay safe para sa mga affected natin na mga kababayan at makapag-coordinate rin tayo doon sa LGUs and, of course, with the Department of Education dahil ang isa rin sa tinitignan ng DSWD ay ang mapangalagaan din at ma-protektahan din, lalong lalo na yung mga kababaihan at mga bata na apektado ng iba’t ibang mga disaster,” the DSWD official said.

(We inspected the evacuation centers to ensure that they are safe for our affected fellow citizens and to coordinate with LGUs and, of course, with the Department of Education. One of the concerns of the DSWD is also to ensure that women and children affected by various disasters are safe.)

To date, there are 18,069 evacuation centers around the country that can be used to provide temporary shelter to internally displaced individuals. #

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