DSWD-12 regional director Cezario Joel Espejo (center) speaks with mayors Wednesday at South Cotabato Sangguniang Panlalawigan in Koronadal City. (DSWD Photo)

KORONADAL CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) ramped up measures to help the state combat the new coronavirus, assuring local officials of the agency’s augmentation support.

Speaking at the emergency meeting with South Cotabato provincial government late Wednesday afternoon, DSWD-12 regional director Cezario Joel Espejo said the agency, amid the backdrop of outbreak, is prepared to extend all necessary support once the municipality runs out of their quick response funds. 

Dir. Espejo discussed the DSWD relief augmentation guidelines and processes before the the local chief executives. These are: 

  1. Letter of Request for augmentation;
  2.         Certificate of Non-availability of quick response fund from the concerned LGU;
  3. The DSWD regional office will confirm receiving such request and will refer to the agency’s disaster operation unit; 
  4. Once approved, the DSWD will set a schedule for the pickup of goods in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police; 
  5. Lastly, the LGUs will set the dates for the distribution of relief assistance to its people.

At the same time, Dir. Espejo cited each local government unit requesting for relief assistance should submit their own distribution plan and list of recipients.

Municipal mayors are seen during their emergency meeting held Wednesday at South Cotabato Sangguniang Panlalawigan in Koronadal City. (DSWD Photo)

“The DSWD is mandated to provide augmentation support to the LGUs and assist in capacitating them to handle emergencies or calamities,” Dir. Espejo explained. 

Dir. Espejo also reiterated clients in need of medical and burial assistance can proceed at the Crisis Intervention Unit in Surallah, South Cotabato; and the cities of Koronadal, General Santos, Tacurong and Kidapawan for financial assistance.  (Reports by JBM, HTE and AAA / DSWD)