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DSWD, DOLE team up to mitigate impacts of climate change

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen the implementation of the Project LAWA (Local Adaptation to Water Access) and BINHI (Breaking Insufficiency through Nutritious Harvest for the Impoverished) through cash-for-work.

The MOU was signed by DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian and DOLE Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma on Friday (May 31) at the DSWD Central Office in Quezon City.

DSWD Undersecretary for Disaster Response Management Group (DRMG) Diana Rose Cajipe and DOLE Undersecretary Atty Benjo Santos Benavidez witnessed the signing of the MOU.

“We all know that every Filipino is a victim of climate change and this phenomenon, no single department can say that they will take care of the solutions. It’s a huge endeavor that will require an equally, even bigger government response. That’s why this afternoon we are happy that we are partnering up with Department of Labor and Employment in working towards water security, food security and at the same time capacitating our constituents, again, our people in understanding how to deal with climate change,” Secretary Gatchalian said in his message.

Project LAWA and BINHI are among the innovations in the DSWD that focus on mitigating the impacts of food insecurity and water scarcity caused by El Niño while preparing for the potential effects of La Niña.

By implementing these projects, communities will adopt strategies and technologies to enhance their resilience against the climatic events.

Projects LAWA and BINHI are designed to maintain agricultural productivity during dry periods and to manage excess water during periods of heavy rainfall associated with La Niña.

The DSWD partnered with DOLE to include the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) Program in the implementation of Projects LAWA and BINHI to provide additional income support through cash-for-work for climate vulnerable communities and families by participating in building water access infrastructure and implementing sustainable farming practices.

Secretary Laguesma welcomed the DOLE-DSWD partnership as this will benefit more communities in the countryside.

“Sa pamamagitan po ng TUPAD program ng DOLE at project LAWA -BINHI ng DSWD, ang atin pong manggagawa na apektado ng El Niño at ngayon po ay naghahanda na tayo sa La Niña, at iba pang kalamidad ay mabibigyan ng pansamantalang trabaho at pagkakataon na lumahok sa mga programa’t proyekto na makakatulong upang masiguro ang sapat na suplay ng tubig at pagkain lalo na sa panahon ng kalamidad” Sec. Laguesma said.

(Through the TUPAD program of DOLE and Project LAWA -BINHI of the DSWD, our workers who are being affected by El Nino and as our preparation for La Nina and other disasters, we can provide them with temporary work and the opportunity to participate in projects that aim to ensure that we have enough water and food supply in times of emergencies.)

According to Sec. Laguesma, the DOLE has allocated Php144 million for the more than 14,000 initial beneficiaries of this tie-up project with DSWD.

The two Cabinet secretaries affirmed that this convergence of the DSWD and DOLE is anchored on the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028.

The DSWD-DOLE MOU is also in response to the call of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr for a whole-of-nation and whole-of-government approach in dealing with the adverse impacts of climate change.

DSWD officials who attended the signing ceremony include Asst. Secretary for DRMG Irene Dumlao, Special Assistant to the Secretary (SAS) for Special Projects Maria Isabel Lanada, and SAS for DRMG Leo Quintilla, who is concurrent Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the National Resource and Logistics Management Bureau (NRLMB).

DOLE Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns Director Ahmma Charisma Lobrin-Satumba also graced the event.

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