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DSWD to strengthen interventions to mitigate effects of El Niño

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is set to seal its partnership national government agencies and other private institutions for the launching of Project LAWA at BINHI or Local Adaptation to Water Access and Breaking Insufficiency through Nutritious Harvest for the Impoverished through cash-for-training and cash-for-work.

“The Project LAWA and BINHI aims to strengthen the adaptive capabilities of poor and vulnerable families during periods of severe drought, ultimately mitigating the impact of food insecurity and water scarcity brought about by the El Niño,” DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian said.

Projects LAWA and BINHI will be implemented under the DSWD’s Risk Resiliency Program through cash-for-training and work (RRP-CFTW).

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will determine the proactive interventions to lessen the economic vulnerability of communities from the effects of the El Niño phenomenon will be signed on Thursday (February 22) in Doña Remedios Trinidad town in Bulacan province.

Aside from the DSWD, the MOU signatories include the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Agriculture (DA), University of the Philippines – Los Baños (UPLB), and the United Nations World Food Programme (UN-WFP).

According to the DSWD Secretary, the launching of Project LAWA at BINHI will help elevate climate change to the forefront of political discourse and ensure its continual prioritization in policy.

“The DSWD is firm in its commitment to strengthen the RRP. Our Memorandum of Understanding is symbolic of our collaboration with national agencies and LGUs in aiming for enhanced program convergence, focusing on core social protection services such as food security, water sufficiency, sustainable livelihood, and family and community disaster preparedness and mitigation on the effects of El Niño,” Secretary Gatchalian said.

The project will provide Learning and Development Sessions (LDS) on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation and Disaster Risk Reduction (CCAM-DRR), and cash-for-work (CFW) and cash-for-training (CFT) to beneficiaries in priority areas exposed to the effects of El Niño based on the Climate Outlook of Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (DOST-PAGASA) with the most number of poor families based on Listahanan 3.

The target beneficiaries include families of farmers, fisher folks, indigenous peoples (IPs), and other climate and disaster-vulnerable families identified as poor by Listahanan 3 or upon assessment and validation of the Local Social Welfare and Development Office (LSWDO).

Each beneficiary will be given the opportunity to participate in CFTW activities for 10 to 25 days with the corresponding daily wage based on the prevailing Regional Daily Minimum Wage Rate (RDMWR) range of the project area.

Among the projects that the beneficiaries will partake in are related to water efficiency such as construction of small farm reservoir (SFRs); repairs and rehabilitation of water harvesting facilities; repairs of multipurpose water infrastructures; diversification of water supplies; aqua or hydroponics; and aquaculture, among others.

For food security, the beneficiaries will be participating in activities such as communal vegetable gardening; urban gardening; school-based and community-based vegetable gardening; community-based diversified integrated farming; planting of disaster resilient crops, fruit-bearing trees, and mangroves; and vermicomposting.

The February 22 ceremonial launching will also be attended by participants and representatives from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UNFAO), legislators, provincial and municipal local chief executives, DSWD executive and management committee members, partner-beneficiaries, and other concerned stakeholders.

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