Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian led on Tuesday (December 5) the official launch of ‘Pag-Abot sa Pasko’, the agency’s special reach-out operations for families and individuals in street situations (FISS) this December, as part of its ongoing Oplan Pag-Abot program.
Secretary Gatchalian emphasized that ‘Pag-Abot sa Pasko’ aims to reach out more families and individuals in street situations this yuletide season by setting up a mega processing center at EDSA corner White Plains Avenue in Quezon City.
“Alam natin na kapag kapaskuhan sa hindi inaasahang pagkakataon, may mga areas na mas marami kaming na-no-notice na families in street situation kaya nagtayo kami ng offsite na parang satellite center ng Oplan Pag-Abot para dito na natin ipo-process ang mga families o individuals in street situation na ating nari-reach out sa area,” Secretary Gatchalian said.
The said processing center covers the simultaneous roll out of reach out operations in Cities of Pasig, Mandaluyong, San Juan, and Quezon City for the whole month of December.
“Itong setup na ito ay tatakbo sa buong kapaskuhan pero ang programa naman natin will go beyond Christmas,” the DSWD Secretary pointed out.
The DSWD chief also reminded the public to extend help to families and individuals in street situations in a proper platform and venue, such as the processing centers of the Oplan Pag-Abot, which are more organized and safer both for the donors and the recipients.
“Ang amin sana kung gusto natin tumulong sa families and individuals in street situations huwag natin gawin sa lansangan kasi delikado sa kanila,” Secretary Gatchalian emphasized.
“Ang request namin dalhin ninyo sa aming processing centers. Dito pwede nyong iabot ang tulong sa mga pamilyang nangangailangan,” the DSWD chief said.
At the center, the reached-out individuals and families will undergo initial assessment, including biometrics registration and PhilSys registration.
As part of the special reachout operations, Secretary Gatchalian also launched the Oplan Pag-Abot’s official hotline, 8-931-9141, and social media accounts, @oplanpagabot (Facebook and Twitter).
“Ang ating mga mamamayan ay pwede tumawag anytime para mag-report sila ng mga cases ng individuals and families in street situations para mapuntahan ng aming Pag-Abot Team,” Secretary Gatchalian explained.
According to the Secretary, the DSWD has 13 teams which are roving around Metro Manila to reach out to FISS, including children, and protect them from risks and dangers of the streets.
Secretary Gatchalian also expressed gratitude to the different partners, from both local and national government agencies, for assisting the DSWD in the roll out of its reach out operations.
Among the partners of the DSWD in implementing the program are the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
Secretary Gatchalian was joined in the launch by Undersecretary for Innovations Edu Punay, Quezon City Councilor Chuckie Antonio, and DSWD Field Office National Capital Region (NCR) Asst. Regional Director for Operations Mirriam Navarro.
Representatives of barangays near the processing center were also present during the launch.
The ‘Pag-Abot sa Pasko’ special reach out will operate until December 31 to provide and extend help to the vulnerable and at-risk FISS during the Christmas season.