Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista received wing vans and communication equipment from the Government of Japan through its non-Project Grant Aid to boost the Department’s response efforts, during a simple turnover ceremony held recently at the National Resource Operations Center in Pasay City. 

“It is with gratitude that I receive, on behalf of the Filipino people, the grant graciously provided by Japan in the form of vehicles and communication equipment which are intended to help the Department of Social Welfare and Development effectively and immediately dispense the needed assistance to disaster-stricken communities and families,” Secretary Bautista said.

The assistance, the first of two batches, consisted of seven units of wing vans, 20 units of Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) land-based emergency radio system, a set of UHF repeater, and a set of High Frequency (HF) transceiver.

The second batch, consisting of six units of wing vans, will be delivered to DSWD in May, 2019.

“Rest assured that the vehicles and the equipment will be immediately distributed to our regional offices which need them the most, so that the delivery of relief services will no longer be hampered by the lack of transportation. Furthermore, the communication equipment we now have in our possession will contribute to widening our reach in terms of sending messages for help and assistance, especially in hard-to-reach communities,” the Secretary added.

The project is part of the Five Hundred Million Japanese Yen grant extended by Japan to the Philippines in 2015 for the purchase of equipment for disaster risk management, disaster response, and disaster restoration.

The Department identified the purchase of wing vans and communication equipment to be funded by the grant due to the logistical limitation of DSWD Field Offices to deliver relief goods to disaster-affected population in times of calamities. DSWD submitted its proposal for the purchase of the vehicles and equipment to the Japan’s International Cooperation System (JICS), the entity commissioned by the Government of Japan to conduct the procurement of the vehicles and equipment.

The wing vans and communication equipment will be released to DSWD Field Offices and Disaster Response Centers nationwide to aid them in their disaster response and relief operations.

For his part, Minister and Consul General Atsushi Kuwabara of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines who represented the Japan government during the turnover, expressed hope that the assistance will help the Philippines respond quickly during disasters.

“In times of disasters, it is very important to respond very quickly. That is what we know from our experience because Japan is also a disaster-prone country. So, I hope this assistance will help in providing quick response all around the Philippines,” he said. 

Also present during the ceremony were DSWD Undersecretary for Disaster Response Management Group Felicisimo Budiongan, Disaster Response Management Bureau Director Rodolfo Encabo, and National Response and Logistics Management Bureau Director Fernando R. De Villa, Jr.###