As part of its mandate to augment the resources of local government units (LGUs), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has provided assistance, through its regular programs, to address the needs of citizens affected by the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in the NCR+ areas, DSWD worked closely with LGUs to ensure a well-coordinated response for the provision of food assistance to residents in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.

The Department, as part of its augmentation support mandate during disaster and crisis situations, was able to provide 48,964 family food packs (FFPs) amounting to more than P28.3 million to the LGUs in the NCR+ bubble.

Aside from the provision of FFPs, DSWD also continues the implementation of other regular social welfare services such as the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS). The program provides medical, educational, burial, and transportation assistance to support the recovery of individuals and families suffering from unexpected life event or crisis.

From March 29 to April 18, more than P191.5 million has been disbursed to 19,168 clients of the AICS program. Of which, more than P146 million was provided to the National Capital Region (NCR), more than P26.6 million was disbursed to clients in Region IV-A, and more than P18.6 million was given to AICS beneficiaries in Region III.

Meanwhile, pursuant to the implementation of the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act” or the Bayanihan 2, the Department’s Sustainable Livelihood Program implemented the Livelihood Assistance Grant (LAG) to support eligible families whose livelihoods were affected by the pandemic and the implementation of community quarantines.

As of April 17, more than P327.7 million worth of LAG aid was provided to 29,304 beneficiaries in the NCR+ bubble.

Likewise, DSWD has also been strong in advocating the need to capacitate poor Filipino families, through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), by incorporating knowledge and skills enhancement training in family development sessions (FDS).

Among the topics discussed in the FDS is the creation of communal gardens to promote good health and ensure sufficient food provision among 4Ps beneficiaries. It aims to help address the nutrition concerns of beneficiaries by encouraging families to use indigenous seeds and organic fertilizer to grow vegetables within their own communities or households.

The Department is also continuously coordinating with concerned LGUs to guarantee the sufficiency of social protection assistance to residents in the NCR+ areas. ###