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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

DSWD rescues homeless in Metro Manila under Pag-Abot Program

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A total of 2,078 individuals who were once living and staying in the streets in Metro Manila have been rescued as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) kicked into action the agency’s “Pag-Abot Program.”

“From April 24, 2023, to March 15, the Pag-Abot Program has reached out to 1,276 family members, and 802 unattached individuals, including children and senior citizens,” Social Welfare Assistant Secretary Irene Dumlao, who is in charge of the department’s Disaster Response Management Group.

“The program has indeed expanded after President Marcos institutionalized it, gaining a significant impact on its overall implementation and operations,” Dumlao said.

On January 18, Malacañang issued Executive Order 52, which institutionalized and expanded the agency’s Oplan Pag-Abot, which is aimed at reaching out to families, children, and individuals in street situations and provide them with interventions that will uplift their condition. 

Under EO 52, an inter-agency committee, headed by Social Welfare Secretary Rex Gatchalian, with Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. as vice chairman, was formed to expand the provision of services and assistance to the Pag-abot Program’s target beneficiaries.

Dumlao noted the move to institutionalize the program has ensured the effective delivery of services to disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals living in the streets.

“Current efforts of DSWD’s Pag-Abot team are complemented by concerned agencies, so we were able to profile and encourage more individuals to be reached out,” she said.

Through the Pag-Abot Program, the reached-out individuals who used to live in the streets are provided with various interventions, including medical help, food aid, transportation assistance, livelihood opportunities, transitory family support packages, and emergency financial and transitory shelter assistance.

The DSWD provides the reached-out individuals with cash aid through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) program, reintegrates them into their respective provinces, and refers them to agency-run Centers and Residential Care Facilities for temporary shelter depending on their case.

Beneficiaries are also endorsed to their respective local government for added assistance.


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