(Left Photo) DSWD Field Office VI staff deployed at the Department's Operations Center located at Faith Village, Station 3, Boracay assess residents and displaced workers for the provision of transportation assistance. (Right photo) Khalid Facullo, a worker in Boracay, receives P3,500 transportation assistance from the DSWD.

(Left Photo) DSWD Field Office VI staff deployed at the Department’s Operations Center located at Faith Village, Station 3, Boracay assess residents and displaced workers for the provision of transportation assistance. (Right photo) Khalid Facullo, a worker in Boracay, receives P3,500 transportation assistance from the DSWD.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has so far provided a total of P7.1 million in transportation assistance to displaced workers and residents of Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan who decided to exit the island due to its 6-month closure.

Boracay has been placed in a state of calamity on April 26 and is temporarily closed to tourist for six months to give way to its rehabilitation.

As of May 1, a total of 3,115 individuals have availed of transportation assistance from the DSWD.

“I appreciate the hard work of our staff from Field Office (FO) in Region VI who are deployed in our Operations Center in Boracay. It was supposed to be a non-working day yesterday, but they rendered duty to extend much-needed aid to our kababayans in need,” DSWD Officer-in­-Charge (OIC) Emmanuel A. Leyco said.

Enough funds

OIC Leyco assured that the DSWD has enough funds to further assist residents and workers affected by the closure of Boracay.

“Mayroon pong sapat na pondo ang DSWD para tulungan ang mga kababayan nating apektado ng pagsasara ng Boracay. Patuloy po ang operasyon natin sa ating Operations Center sa isla para maabutan ng tulong ang mga nangangailangan (The DSWD has enough funds to assist our fellow citizens who have been affected by the closure of Boracay. We are continuously providing assistance through our Operations Center in the island to extend aid to those in need),” OIC Leyco said.

The welfare chief said that the DSWD Central Office continues to coordinate closely with its Field Office VI, which heads the management of the Department’s Operations Center in Boracay through its Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) Team in Aklan.

Yesterday, DSWD FO VI Regional Director Rebecca P. Geamala spoke in front of the displaced Boracay workers who were lining up to get transportation assistance from the Department to explain to them the process of availing the aid and to assure them that they will all be given assistance.

“Mayroon po kaming pondo para tulungan kayo. Kaya po nandito kami. Tuloy po ang payout ng ating transportation assistance (We have funds to help you, that is why we are here. Our payout for the transportation assistance is continuous),” Dir. Geamala said.

The Director explained that the non-payment of assistance last Saturday and Monday was caused by the delay in the encashment of the checks.

“We had to wait for the banking hours to have the check encashment done. But now that we already have available cash, the payment for the transportation assistance continues,” Dir. Geamala added.

Transfer of OpCen

To extend aid to more workers and residents, the DSWD has transferred its Operations Center from Boracay Tropics Resort at Station 2 to Faith Village at Station 3.

“We are continuously improving our systems. At this point, we are personally going to different barangays to conduct assembly in preparation for the implementation of our livelihood projects, including Cash-For-Work (CFW) and Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP),” Dir. Geamala said.

CFW is an intervention implemented by the DSWD during calamities to provide cash to affected people in exchange of work rendered.

SLP, on the other hand, is a community-based capacity building program that facilitates opportunities for development and management of resources viable for micro-enterprises and employment facilitation.

DSWD FO VI has submitted a request to the Central Office for a P524-million funding for the implementation of Cash-for-Work, Sustainable Livelihood Program, and other DSWD services to further assist the affected residents and workers in Boracay. ###