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DSWD pre-positions relief supplies in 10 SOCCSKSARGEN towns

KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato (PIA) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development in the SOCCSKSARGEN Region (DSWD-12) has started prepositioning food and non-food items (FNI) and other relief supplies in local government warehouses as part of efforts to prepare for disasters.

"DSWD commits to initially preposition 10,000 family food packs to each LGU, depending on the capacity of the LGU warehouses," said DSWD-12 Regional Director Loreto Cabaya.

Cabaya and 10 local chief executives recently signed a relief pre-positioning agreement for the project that would ensure that LGUs can immediately provide much-needed aid to victims of natural and man-made calamities.

DSWD-12 Director Loreto Cabaya (left) and 10 local chief executives of local government units (LGU) in Region 12 signed an agreement on December 27, 2023, to ensure that LGUs have a ready stock of food and non-food items for emergency relief operations in their respective localities. (Photo by Danilo Doguiles/PIA Region 12)

The initiative intends to expedite relief operations for families and communities affected by disasters, officials of the social welfare agency told the Philippine Information Agency. 

 "DSWD will replenish supplies whenever portions of the stock are used for relief operations," Cabaya added.

The recipients of the relief resources pre-distribution activity are the municipalities of Isulan, Kalamansig, Columbio, and Palimbang in Sultan Kudarat Province; Glan and Kiamba in Sarangani; Aleosan, Tulunan, and Antipas in Cotabato Province; and Polomolok in South Cotabato.

These LGUs are also DSWD-12's partners in the implementation of KALAHI-CIDSS (Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan—Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Services) projects.

Meanwhile, Naira Aratuc, chief of the Disaster Response Management Division of DSWD-12, explained that the food and non-food resources prepositioning is part of the initiatives under the Marcos administration's Buong Bansa Handa Project (BBHP), "a whole-of-nation approach to disaster preparedness for response."

Aratuc noted that the agreement between the DSWD-12 and the LGUs has been patterned after the DSWD Administrative Order No. 02 series of 2021, or the Omnibus Guidelines for the FNI and Logistics Management for Disaster Response Operation.

DSWD-12 is set to preposition 10,000 family food packs to local government units as part of its disaster relief augmentation to LGUs. (File photo by Danilo Doguiles/PIA 12)

Per guidelines, the DSWD shall preposition emergency food and non-food items to LGU-designated warehouse facilities as an emergency response preparedness measure.

The quantity of food and non-food items shall be based on the absorptive capacity of the LGU warehouse, consistent with the results and recommendations on logistics and capacity assessment conducted by the DSWD. Replenishment shall be undertaken upon 50% utilization of the total number of prepositioned resources.

"During disaster operations, the LGU may utilize the prepositioned food and non-food items to augment its resources for the affected families. Prior approval by the DSWD director is a requirement with the submission of the official request, disaster report, and distribution plan," Aratuc emphasized.

Prior to the signing of the agreement, DSWD 12 began training LGU-assigned warehouse focal persons on proper warehousing and inventory, handling, and reporting.

The local chief executives who signed the relief resource prepositioning agreement with Director Cabaya on December 27 were Joaquin Concha of Kalamansig, Tondatu Mangudadatu of Columbio, Eduardo Cabaya of Aleosan, Joenime Kapina of Palimbang, Victor James Yap of Glan, Marites Pallasigue of Isulan, Reuel Limbungan of Tulunan, Cris Cadungon of Antipas, and Bernie Palencia of Polomolok. Mayor George Falgui of Kiamba signed the document at his office.  

Cabaya added that LGUs may use near-expiry prepositioned food items for food-for-work or training activities, provided that the LGU submits a proposal and list of beneficiaries to the DSWD. (DED - PIA SOCCSKSARGEN)

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