The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) today said that its Operations Center in Boracay continues its work assisting displaced workers and local residents whose means of income and livelihood were severely affected because of the closure of the island.  The OpCen is in the Faith Village Gardens located in Sitio Ambolong Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Malay, Aklan, and it continues to expand its work to now include 7 sitios of Brgy. Balabag.

DSWD Officer-in-Charge Emmanuel A. Leyco today sought to quash fears generated by erroneous reports that the DSWD has run out of funds to release for the displaced workers who wait for their turn to get transportation assistance.

“We ask members of the public and the media to dismiss or ignore these reports about DSWD stopping the release of assistance. We reiterate what we said before the closure of Boracay: we have enough funds to use for the emergency transportation needs of workers leaving Boracay. We are operating on our existing budget for 2018, and we are utilizing the resources we have to help people affected by the island closure to tourists,” he said.

As of May 2, the total workforce of the DSWD OpCen is pegged at 129.  Staff from different DSWD programs such as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Sustainable Livelihood Program, and Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services have augmented the Boracay OpCen.

On the 10th day of operations, the number of clients served is 544, with most of them being displaced workers. A total amount of P1,333,000 was released on May 2.

In the meantime, the cumulative amount disbursed from April 23, 2018 to date is P8,450,000.  As of May 2, a total of 3,659 displaced workers have been assisted.

To ensure that swift and efficient release of funds to those needing assistance, and facilitate the liquidation of the first P5 million cash advance, a team of financial staff has been assigned to review the documents of those clients who were already provided with financial assistance.

OIC Leyco also shared that there are now on-ground enhancements to improve the service process of the OpCen.

“We have improved the queuing system in our OpCen by installing lanes wherein people will line up depending on when they intend to leave the island.  The usual special lanes for pregnant women, persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and those with small children are maintained,” he said.

The DSWD, through its Field Office VI, has also established Community Assembly Teams whose work consists of informing the public of DSWD’s assistance process and validating requests for assistance.

“Our Kalibo SWAD will manage requests for financial assistance from Malay as well as implement other DSWD  programs. We will also coordinate with the local government unit of Malay and its municipal social welfare and development office to ensure that they will attend and provide assistance to residents of Malay.  The LGU and the MSWD can also help refer residents to the DSWD. Finally, we assure the public that the main goal of the DSWD in Boracay is to ensure that residents and non-residents alike will be given the emergency assistance they need,” OIC Leyco said.#