Disaster preparations a year-round effort – DSWD

QUEZON CITY-- With natural and man-made disasters threatening the country at any time of the year, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is continuously enhancing its disaster response operations through systems improvement, and partnerships.

Disaster Response and Management Bureau (DREAMB) Assistant Director Carlos Padolina said that DSWD never stops in preparing for the occurrence of a disaster.

No less than DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo has acknowledged that disasters may occur anytime, like the Batangas earthquake on April 4 and yesterday's 5.4 tremor in Samar, including sporadic armed conflicts in various areas.

Asst. Dir. Padolina mentioned that DSWD continues to ensure the readiness of the family food packs in the different regions, as well as in the regional warehouses of the Department for prompt delivery in disaster affected areas.

Production of family food packs through the Mechanized Production System and Manual Production is a year-round effort to maintain the 100,000 stockpile of family food packs at the National Resource Operations Center (NROC) in Pasay City, at any given time.

He bared that DSWD is currently coordinating with the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) regarding the possible changes in the contents of the DSWD Family Food Packs. At present, each food pack contains six kilos of rice, four cans of corned beef, four cans of sardines, and six sachets of coffee.

The Department is carefully studying the nutritional value of the food packs, especially as to calorie, protein, and fats requirement content. It also plans to add water purifying tablets in each food pack to ensure clean and potable water for disaster-affected families.

Meanwhile, Asst. Dir. Padolina reiterated that concerned citizens who are able and willing are welcome to help DSWD in its disaster response through volunteer work and/or donations.

He shared that DSWD welcomes both local and foreign donations, cash or in-kind. For cash donations, deposits may be made to the following Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) accounts:

DOLLAR SAVING ACCOUNT FOR FOREIGN DONATION

Account Name : DSWD FOREIGN DONATION

Account Number : 3124-0055-81

Swift Code : TLBPPHMMXXX

Bank Address : Landbank of the Philippines

Batasan Branch, Constitution Hills, Quezon City

PESO CURRENT ACCOUNT

Account Name : DSWD DONATION

Account Number : 3122-101184

Bank Address : Landbank of the Philippines

Batasan Branch Constitution Hills, Quezon City

On the other hand, in-kind donations are also welcome and may be sent to the different DSWD Central and Regional Offices.

Cash donations are used for the purchase of food and non-food items during disaster relief operations and for rehabilitation efforts, while in-kind donations may be used to augment relief supplies for disaster victims.

Asst. Dir. Padolina stressed, "We assure the public that DSWD is transparent , and utilization of cash donations will be fully accounted for and regularly reported. He said that DSWD puts premium in delivering service with integrity embodied in the core message of "may malasakit at maagap na serbisyo na walang puwang sa katiwalian (compassionate and efficient public service without any room for corruption)."

Asst. Dir. Padolina said that DSWD has funds for its programs, but also knows that donating is a way of showing kindness and compassion to the public.

If the donors would like to help without donating to the Department, DSWD can still extend assistance by facilitating meetings or meet-ups between the donors and indigent, needy families and communities.

Either way, the DSWD Asst. Dir. reiterated that the primary concern of the Department is that the donations reach the intended beneficiaries in a timely manner.

Source: Philippines Information Agency

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