500 Boracay workers, residents get transpo aid

BORACAY Some 500 workers and residents affected by the shutdown of the country's central tourist destination, Boracay Island, already received transportation assistance, a Department of Social Work and Development official said Thursday.

Three days after the DSWD kicked off its Operations Center which caters to residents affected by the shutdown of the world-renown island, Joey Urquiola, head of operations of DSWD in Aklan, said about 500 residents already claimed their transportation allowance.

We started giving out cash aid since Monday, and as of today, about 500 people already received it. Everyone who went to our center here already received assistance, Urquiola said in Filipino.

Our operations centers are open. There's an order from the secretary that all workers who will be needing support, whether from the 17,000 workers from the formal sector or those from the informal sector, he added.

The agency has since deployed its personnel on ground to assess issues faced by communities during the island's closure.

Social workers have been tapped to report on the status of residents in terms of food, shelter, and livelihood needs.

As long as there are those who will be needing our assistance, our operations will remain open. Like those involved in construction of hotels, he added.

It varies based on the distance, where they will go. For instance, yesterday, we just reimbursed the plane ticket of a resident since he already booked a promo flight, and that's what is practical, he added.

For his part, DSWD Officer-In-Charge Emmanuel Leyco on Wednesday said the agency is poised to expand the operations of its team deployed in Boracay, with the opening of at least one or two more Operation Center satellite offices.

The DSWD continues to release transportation assistance to people who want to leave the island at the soonest possible time because they have been displaced. We also continue to reach out to workers from the informal sector who will be remaining on the island post April 26, Leyco said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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