Photo 1: Social workers from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) interview homeless families for the provision of appropriate social welfare assistance during the information and service caravan conducted by the Department at Luneta Park.
Photo 2: Representatives from the Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost) process identification cards for homeless individuals. Identification documents are important to avail of different government assistance.
Photo 3: Doctors and nurses from the Department of Health (DoH) provide free medical services during the caravan.
BATASAN COMPLEX, Quezon City (DWDD) – In its continuing effort to make social welfare programs and services more accessible to poor Filipinos, including homeless families, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) yesterday led the conduct of an inter-agency information and service caravan for the homeless who have been staying in Rizal Park in Manila.
The activity is part of the DSWD’s #HelptheHomelessPH advocacy campaign, which was launched in December last year to raise public awareness on the plight of homeless families and to encourage various sectors to respond to the prevalent social problem of homelessness in the right and responsible way.
The event was conducted in coordination with the National Parks Development Committee, which provided the Senior Citizens Garden in Luneta as the venue for the activity; and in partnership with the Department of Health (DoH), which offered free medical and dental services and medicines to the beneficiaries.
To help homeless families secure identification documents, which are a requirement when accessing different types of assistance from the DSWD and those offered by other agencies, the Department invited representatives from the Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost), who brought their mobile identification system for easy application and processing of postal IDs.
The agency also partnered with the Manila City Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) and City Civil Registry Office for the application and processing of senior citizens ID and birth certificate, respectively.
A team of information officers from the DSWD Social Marketing Service also conducted an info drive during the activity, distributing information, education, and communication (IEC) materials about the Department’s programs and services to the participants.
Meanwhile, social workers from the Crisis Intervention Unit of the Department’s Field Office National Capital Region (NCR) interviewed homeless individuals and provided appropriate assistance under the DSWD’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations.
The DSWD also distributed clothing for children and adults and provided psychosocial counseling through its volunteer doctors and psychologists. It also prepared a simple meal for the homeless families.
The Department was able to serve about 300 individuals during the conduct of the activity.DSWD Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Emmanuel A. Leyco expressed his gratitude to all government agencies, both at the national and local level, and volunteers who made the caravan a success.
“I would like to thank our volunteers and partners who have helped us extend aid to our homeless fellow citizens through this very important initiative,” OIC Leyco said.
“It is heartbreaking to see so many families and their young children living on the streets and struggling so very hard to survive from one day to the next. We need to consolidate all the various efforts of various agencies and institutions to come up with a more comprehensive plan to assist these homeless families so they can recover from their ordeal and find more permanent shelter.
Shelter and housing are human rights, and these families suffer violations against their human rights every hour they spend on the streets as part of the homeless. We appeal to various organizations in the private sector to also help us in assisting homeless families, especially their children. We also ask the public to support the hashtag #HelptheHomelessPH as a way to call attention to the plight of the homeless and to encourage those with means to help them in meaningful and responsible ways even as we push our government agencies to respond more,” he said.
“This Serbisyo Caravan is part of the DSWD’s series of efforts to deliver assistance and bring its social welfare services closer to homeless families, who need all the help that they can get. We continue to remind everyone that what this vulnerable sector needs is right and responsible help, and we can provide this by sharing them our time, effort, and resources,” the welfare executive added.
“We continue to encourage the public and different private organizations to take part in caring for and extending aid to homeless families by organizing their own reach-out activities, gift-giving, feeding programs, or medical missions,” he said. DSWD SMS / MCAG