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DSWD supports DOT’s project to help disaster-hit tourism workers in Davao Region

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is fully supportive of the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) Bayanihan sa Bukas na may Pag-asa para sa Turismo (BBMT) project aimed at providing the much-needed assistance to tourism workers in the Davao region affected by recent disasters.

“This whole-of-government approach is in direct response to the instruction of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr to help Davao region get back on its feet,” DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian said on Monday (May 27).

The DSWD chief said the collaboration between the DOT and DSWD ensures that tourism workers identified by the DOT and local government units are provided with both emergency assistance and the means to rebuild their livelihood.

During the ceremonial distribution of aid in Mati, Davao Oriental, Secretary Gatchalian, together with DOT Secretary Ma. Esperanza Christina Garcia Frasco, personally handed over the agency’s emergency cash transfers (ECT) to some 1,283 workers in the tourism industry who suffered damages due to severe flooding in February this year.

Some 725 beneficiaries from Davao Oriental and 41 from Davao del Sur each received Php 9,960 worth of ECT while 517 recipients from Davao de Oro got Php4,980 each.

The DSWD allocated more than Php10.2 million for the ECT of these tourism workers.

Secretary Gatchalian pointed out that while the DSWD has provided cash grants, the DOT, for its part, facilitated alternative skills training for the tourism industry workers.

“This project is a testament to our commitment to social welfare and development, providing both cash assistance and capacity building to the sectors that we serve,” Secretary Gatchalian said.

The social welfare secretary also highlighted the importance of this initiative as a template for future disaster response efforts.

“This collaborative effort between the DOT and DSWD will serve as a model for future calamities. By combining our resources and expertise, we can provide a more comprehensive and effective response to aid affected tourism workers, ensuring that the tourism sector of our economy remains resilient,” the DSWD secretary noted.

Spearheaded by the DOT, the BBMT project was supported by Secretary Gatchalian by mobilizing the agency’s resources to provide aid and livelihood opportunities to the affected population as they recover from the effects of disasters.

Secretary Gatchalian was joined by DSWD Field Office-11 (Davao Region) Regional Director Vanessa Goc-ong during the ceremonial distribution of assistance.

DOT officials present in the event includebOfficer-In-Charge (OIC) Chief of Staff and Concurrent Undersecretary for Tourism and Regulation Coordination and Resource Generation and Director for Regional Office VII Shahlimar Hofer Tamano and Asst. Secretary for Tourism Regulation Coordination & Resource Generation Maria Rica Bueno.

Local government officials were also present in the aid distribution including Davao Oriental 1st District Rep. Nelson Dayanghirang Sr., Davao Oriental 2nd District Rep. Cheeno D Almario, Mati City Mayor Michelle Rabat, Agusan del Sur Governor Santiago Cane Jr, Davao de Oro Governor Dorothy Gonzaga, and Davao Oriental Governor Ñino Sotero Uy Jr.

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