“Buong Bansa Handa” for La Niña – DSWD

Even as the entire country is still bearing the heat brought about by El Niño, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is already preparing for La Niña, which is expected this June.

In stark contrast to El Niño, La Niña is characterized by heavy rains and strong winds. Fortunately, the Philippine government — through the DSWD and other agencies — is here to ensure that disaster preparedness and response strategies are in place.

Buong Bansa Handa for La Niña

After El Niño, Country Braces for La Niña

During the Media Forum at DSWD Central Office’s New Press Center last Thursday (2nd May 2024), Asst. Secretary for Disaster Response Management Group (DRMG) Irene Dumlao discussed how the DSWD is preparing for La Niña, a DSWD press release stated.

Na-approve na rin yung ating Buong Bansa Handa project… yung ating framework agreement (The Buong Bansa Project has been approved… the framework agreement),” Dumlao said.

She added: “Ongoing din yung procurement for that dahil nga ang gusto nating mangyari ay mabilis yung pagpapahatid ng tulong kapag dumating na yung tag-ulan (The procurement process is also ongoing because what we want to happen is for the assistance to be delivered immediately when the rainy season comes).”

Buong Bansa Handa Project

The Asst. Secretary explained that the Buong Bansa Handa Project will establish two parallel supply chain mechanisms for disaster preparedness and response.

The first mechanism features a national and local government-driven supply chain that will enhance the capacities and processes of the National Resource Operations Center (NROC) in Pasay City, Visayas Disaster Resource Center (VDRC) in Cebu, and warehouse and storage facilities across the DSWD’s 16 Field Offices.

Meanwhile, the second mechanism focuses on establishing partnerships with big and small groceries, supermarkets, manufacturers, and distributors who will leverage their expertise and resources to form a private sector-driven supply chain.

Adequate Supplies in Warehouses

According to Asst. Secretary Dumlao, DSWD is monitoring relief supplies, making sure that there are enough family food packs (FFPs) as well a non-food items (NFIs) stores in the different warehouses across the country.

We have an inventory, of course, of all our warehouses — yung ating mga last miles, yung ating mga spokes para makita natin na lahat ng mga facilities na iyan ay sapat yung mga FFPs and NFIs natin (We have an inventory, of course, of all out warehouses — our last mile facilities, our spokes, so we can make sure that all those facilities have enough FFPs and NFIs),” she stated.

Likewise, yung sa ating mga hubs, binabantayan din po natin na maayos yung procurement, ine-ensure natin yung availability of supplies para hindi po ma-hamper yun production ng ating mga FFPs and NFIs (Likewise, in our hubs, we are monitoring the procurement to ensure the availability of supplies, so that the production of our FFPs and NFIs are not hampered),” she added.

Notably, as of 29th April, a total of 387,124 FFPs have been pre-positioned in the 10 DSWD hubs. Meanwhile, 602,113 boxes of food packs have been sent to the 66 spokes and 545,526 FFPs in the 849 last mile facilities across the country.

Asst. Sec Dumlao explained: “Doon sa ating mga last mile, binabantayan natin ang delivery, gayundin ang mga withdrawal ng ating FFPs and NFIs para hindi po tayo nauubusan and, of course, pag dumating ang tag-ulan ay sapat ang ating mga supply and are ready to be sent to LGUs that are affected (In our last-mile facilities, we are monitoring the delivery and withdrawal of FFPs and NFIs, so that we don’t run out, and of course, when the rainy season comes, our supplies are enough and ready to be sent to affected LGUs).”

Safety of Evacuation Centers

In addition, the Secretary Dumlao shared that the DSWD is monitoring evacuation centers, making sure that these can provide the necessary interventions for evacuees.

Tiningnan po natin yung mga evacuation centers nang sa gayon ay makita natin kung ito ba ay safe para sa mga affected natin na mga kababayan at makapag-coordinate rin tayo doon sa LGUs (We are inspecting evacuation centers to make sure that they are safe for our affected fellow citizens and to coordinate with LGUs),” she said.

She added: “And, of course, with the Department of Education dahil ang isa rin sa tinitingnan ng DSWD ay ang mapangalagaan din at ma-protektahan din, lalong lalo na yung mga kababaihan at mga bata na apektado ng iba’t ibang mga disaster (And, of course, we are coordinating with the Department of Education because the DSWD is also concerned with protecting women and children who are affected by different kinds of disasters).”

As of this writing, there are 18,069 evacuation centers located all over the country that can be used as temporary shelters for internally displaced persons.

Final Thoughts

Thanks to the DSWD and other agencies, we can rest assured that the Philippines is ready for La Niña. With evacuation centers, food packs, and other interventions ready… we can definitely say, “Buong Bansa Handa” (the whole country is ready), indeed!

In the meantime, as we prepare for the rainy season, take time to check out these DSWD Tips for floods, earthquakes, fires, and other emergencies!