Beneficiaries of cash-for-work under DSWD’s Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation– Disaster Risk Reduction are seen Wednesday, October 16, 2019 after their payout at the gymnasium of M’lang, North Cotabato. (Photo by Norhata Benito / DSWD)

M’LANG, NORTH COTABATO —  It’s a sunny Wednesday in the southern town of M’lang in North Cotabato province and Ben  Senellio is sitting at the corner inside the auditorium  along with other residents waiting for their turn to get their money from the state’s short term employment. 

Mr. Senellio, 62, was among the 3,254 residents in the region given a ten-day community work under Risk Resiliency Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation– Disaster Risk Reduction, a program implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and development (DSWD) through Cash-for-Work that aims to encourage people to strengthen their efforts to combat possible disaster risks within their communities. 

During their short term work, Senellio and his 49 other vulnerable and food-insecure households were hired by the government for community service through cash-for-work activities—including gardening, rehabilitation of roads, day care centers, and schools to mitigate the economic effects of climate change crisis.

 In other towns, residents, mostly beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, and those classified as poor under National Household Targeting System, were tasked on cleaning rivers, canals, three planting and reforestations.

“I will buy a sack of rice at the market” he said after receiving his P2,210 compensation from a social worker officer facilitating the payment. 

Virginia Celeste, in her 40s, a beneficiary of 4Ps, shared the same view with Senellio, saying she will allot some of her money to pay for the school supplies and fees of her two elementary children.

“The rest will be for our food allowance,” she said.  

Anchored on 2008 Administrative Order 15, the agency have started providing CFW to residents selected by the local government unit to work on series of projects in hazard and risk villages vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

According to Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 regional director, apart from M’lang town, releasing of payments in nearby towns of Matalam, Kabacan and Magpet, all in North Cotaabto province. Other municipalities, including Pikit, Arakan, President Querino, President Roxas, and Kidapawan City, will have their payout schedule tomorrow and Friday.

“The program directly benefiting the people in the community to meet their basic needs,” Dir. Espejo said,  adding through CWF, it will reduce community’s vulnerability to future crisis. (Jeoffrey Maitem / DSWD)