When the government declared a state of national emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) was given a critical task: to implement the emergency cash subsidy under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP), in coordination with Local Government Units (LGUs) and other national government agencies, to assist low-income families who have been assessed to be most affected by the imposition of the community quarantine given their existing life situations or circumstances.
Carrying out this enormous task, however, is not without challenges, with some DSWD field personnel, along with barangay workers, reportedly facing intimidation and harassment after earning the ire of those who have not been included in the list of SAP beneficiaries in their localities. The Department’s field workers have also been called names, ranging from “unfair” to “liar.”
For Libeth Paracuelles, however, DSWD personnel are far from these. As a sister of an employee of the Department’s Field Office in Central Visayas, she said she knows how hard DSWD staff are working and believes that they only have noble intentions—to ensure the welfare of the people.
A young artist from Moalboal, Cebu, Libeth showed her appreciation to the hard work that the Department’s workers exhibit by making paper quilling dolls of the personnel in action, donning the Department’s iconic red vest.
Paper quilling is an art that uses strips of paper that are rolled, shaped and glued together to create different decorative designs.
“I decided to create paper quilling dolls of DSWD personnel as a tribute to them because, as a sister of one of the DSWD Region VII staff, I have witnessed how tirelessly they work despite the persecutions they have encountered,” Libeth said.
Libeth shared that she loves handicrafts; she usually watches paper quilling tutorials on Youtube and makes use of her time at home during the community quarantine by making paper quilling dolls. In two days, she was able to finishe the paper quilling dolls she made as a tribute to DSWD personnel.
She recalled that at numerous times, she witnessed her sister coming home from work at dawn, tired, but still have to report for duty the same day.
“DSWD, padayon mo sa pagserbisyo (DSWD, continue serving),” she encouraged the Department’s personnel.
Apart from medical frontliners and law enforcement officers, DSWD workers have been ubiquitous since the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine in the country, tirelessly working, amid the threat of the virus, to provide technical assistance to LGUs in the implementation of the SAP emergency cash subsidy and to extend augmentation support to help them address the food needs of their constituents.
“DSWD is a department which is tasked to serve the people. It has a lot of programs for the poor; it also has programs that protect women and children from abuse. With or without the pandemic, DSWD workers are frontliners,” Libeth ended. ###