The Department of Social Welfare and Development, as the country’s executive department responsible for social welfare and protection of Filipinos through the promotion of social development, has programs that focus on the needs of vulnerable communities needing assistance.
One of these programs of DSWD is the Assistance to Families and Communities in Need (AFCN), implemented under the Protective Services Program Memorandum Circular no.4 series of 2015, together with the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS).
AICS is a financial assistance for those who need additional money for medical, burial, educational, travel and food. AFCN on the other hand is the provision of food packs, cash-for-work, food-for-work, and repair or construction of Child Development Centers and Senior Citizen Centers.
DSWD FO Caraga, through the Crisis Intervention Unit under Protective Services Division, made sure to provide the needs of its five provinces: Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, and Province of Dinagat Islands in terms of construction or repair of Child Development Centers and Senior Citizens Centers.
Child Development Centers (CDCs) are facilities that provides the basic learnings for the early stage of socialization of children ages three to five years old that promotes and supports the rights of children in terms of survival, development, protection, participation to the activities of the community, and with nutrition intervention to improve the psychosocial development and physical growth of young children.
Senior Citizen Centers (SCC) are facilities designed primarily for recreation, wherein the elderlies can have indoor physical activities such as mind games that will help them exercise their brains, improve their health, and have social programs designed for the full enjoyment of the Filipinos in their golden age.
Through the Assistance to Communities in Need, clients/beneficiaries can avail of funds for the construction/repair/improvement of CDCs and SCCs. The project has an allotted amount of Php 800,000.00 for construction of CDCs and Php 1,000,000.00 pesos for SCCs, and a minimum amount of Php 200,000.00 and maximum of Php 500,000.00 for repair/improvement of CDCs and SCCs.
For 2019, several communities were able to enjoy the ACN project of DSWD. For the province of Surigao del Norte, The Municipality of Sta. Monica was provided funds for repair of their CDC at Barangay Garcia. A total amount of 500,000.00 pesos was given for the repair of their CDC, while Barangay Poblacion was provided Php 1,000,000.00 for the construction of a Senior Citizen Center.
For Surigao del Sur, Barangay Gamut, a far-flung coastal community in the municipality of Barobo, was able to enjoy Php 800,000.00 for the construction of a CDC. wherein it takes hours to travel by land to be in the municipality proper. This has served as a blessing for them since there are a number of 3-5 year-olds in their community who have no access to early childhood care/education.
Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte was fortunate enough to be a recipient of the ACN. Barangay Poblacion, Kitcharao was provided Php 800,000.00 allocated to for the construction of new CDC.
For the landlocked province of Agusan del Sur, one of the geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas in the municipality of San Francisco was recipient to the CAN project. Sitio Managbay in Barangay 1 was able to receive Php 800,000.00 to fund their CDC.
Through the ACN projects, more children are now enjoying free education, which has helped in nurturing their growth and development. More elderlies are also enjoying the benefits of recreational activities that are good for their mental and physical health.
DSWD FO Caraga aims to radiate the mapagkalinga, mapagmahal and may malasakit mantra of public service to every corners of the region. Whether it is located on the top of the mountains, coastal areas, riverbanks, or far-flung barangays, DSWD will always be there to help every community in need.