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DSWD to launch Oplan Pag-Abot to assist families, children in street situations

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will launch its Oplan Pag-Abot on Friday, June 30, through a simulation activity of the project’s reach-out operation at the DSWD Central Office in Batasan, Quezon City.

As one of the newest projects of the DSWD, Oplan Pag-Abot aims to reduce the risks and vulnerabilities of children, individuals, and families in street situations through reach-out operations and provision of various interventions.

During the project’s launch, DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian, together with the Oplan Pag-Abot team headed by Undersecretary for Innovations Eduardo Punay, will lead the demonstration of the step-by-step reach-out process, particularly the initial interview or counseling which includes biometrics administration, photo capturing, and issuance of identification cards, and assessment of the clients.

Under the project, clients will be provided with various interventions, depending on their assessed needs, such as medical assistance, food support, transportation and relocation aid, livelihood opportunities, transitory family support packages, emergency financial assistance, and transitory shelter assistance.

The simulation activity will be held in preparation for the full implementation of the Oplan Pag-Abot in Metro Manila, targeting abandoned, neglected, and orphaned children below 18 years old; unattached adults who are found to be vagrants, mendicants, and with mental incapacity/disability; and homeless street families who are displaced due to fire, demolition, or family crisis.

Reach-out operations will be conducted in different cities in the National Capital Region on a 24-hour shifting basis by a team composed of social workers.

“The Pag-Abot project aims to provide a holistic approach in the reintegration of individuals and families in street situations to the community that introduces digital and developmental features. Through this, the DSWD hopes to effectively and sustainably address the needs of the sector to prevent them from returning to the streets,” Undersecretary Punay said.

Atty. Richard Paat Palpal-latoc, Chair of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), will attend the launch, as the main partner of the DSWD in ensuring that the rights of the children and families in street situations are protected during the reach-out operations.

With the partnership with CHR, the DSWD assures that it applies a child rights approach in addressing the needs of children and families in street situations and that the operation is in accordance with the protocol to reach out to street children.

Metro Manila Council Chair and San Juan City Mayor Francisco Javier M. Zamora, and Metro Manila Development Authority Chair Romando S. Artes are also expected to attend the launch and witness the simulation activity.

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