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DSWD ready to aid poor communities from impact of El Niño

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The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is committed to assisting and protecting the poor and vulnerable communities from the impacts of the slow onset of the El Niño phenomenon, Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Irene Dumlao said on Thursday (December 14).

“On the part of the DSWD, mayroon naman po tayong mga commitment upang makatulong na tugunan ang impact ng El Niño phenomenon lalong lalo na sa mga mahihirap nating kababayan at mga vulnerable sa climate phenomenon,” Asst. Sec. Dumlao said in an interview with DZME’s Kongreso Ngayon @ Your Service.

(On the part of the DSWD, we are committed to help in responding to the impacts of the El Niño, especially to the poor and vulnerable sectors.)

Asst. Sec. Dumlao, who is the agency’s data privacy officer and co-spokesperson, reiterated that the DSWD is one with all government agencies in mitigating the effects of a strong El Niño phenomenon that is expected to persist in the middle of next year.

“The DSWD is part of the food security cluster under the El Niño national action plan issued by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., “ Asst. Sec. Dumlao pointed out.

The food security cluster, which is being led by the Department of Agriculture (DA), ensures that there is a stable supply of key food commodities amid the dry spell.

“Nagbigay ng kautusan ang ating Pangulo [The president issued an order] to all national government agencies to prepare for the impending effects of the El Niño phenomenon,” Asst. Sec. Dumlao stated.

According to the DSWD official, the Department is implementing various projects and programs in response to this directive, including Project LAWA or the Local Adaptation to Water Access which aims to improve the resiliency of communities affected by the El Niño phenomenon.

“Ang layunin ng Project Lawa ay magbigay ng additional income support para sa mga mahihirap nating kababayan, mga farmers, fisherfolk, as well as field community physical assets, particularly nga iyong water ponds that are vital for community economic activities,” Asst. Sec. Dumlao further said.

(The Project LAWA aims to provide additional income support to poor communities, particularly farmers and fisherfolk’, as well as provide field community physical assets, such as water ponds that are vital for community economic activities).

Under the LAWA project, the DSWD, through its cash-for-training and -work, will provide financial support as an alternative income in exchange for the work rendered by the beneficiaries while constructing the alternative water resources.

Asst. Sec. Dumlao said Project LAWA, which is currently in the pilot implementation phase, targets to construct 90 small farm reservoirs (SFRs) in nine local government units (LGUs) in Davao de Oro, Ifugao, and Antique.

Project LAWA is being implemented in partnership with the DA and the World Food Programme (WFP).

Asec. Dumlao said the DSWD is also providing family food packs and cash-for-work programs to communities that are affected by the slow onset of the El Niño phenomenon.

The co-spokesperson reiterated that the DSWD is committed to protecting the poor and vulnerable sectors against the adverse effects of the climate phenomenon.

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