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DSWD ready to provide food packs if alert level system expanded nationwide —exec

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is prepared to provide food packs should the government expand the implementation of the new alert level system nationwide.

“In case po na ang ating granular lockdown ay maging widespread, nationwide, na-allocate na po namin, na-estimate na po namin ang pangangailangan natin,” DSWD Assistant Secretary Glenda Relova said in an interview on Dobol B TV.

(In case the granular lockdowns will be implemented nationwide, we already allocated and estimated the required food packs.)

She said the DSWD has already coordinated with the Department of Budget and Management to ensure that the government can prepare for the distribution of relief packages across the country.

“Ito po ay na-coordinate sa DBM para talagang tuloy-tuloy ang ating pagtulong. Alam po natin na kailangan natin mag-respond timely sa pangangailangan natin,” Relova added.

(We already coordinated with the DBM to make sure that the distribution will continue.  We all know that we need to respond timely to the needs of the public.)

Earlier on Saturday, Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III said that the government is already planning to expand the implementation of the new alert level system to provinces and cities outside Metro Manila which are highly urbanized.

Previously, Relova said that the DSWD has already prepositioned thousands of food packs that will be distributed to Metro Manila residents affected by granular lockdowns amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the guidelines of the new alert level system being pilot-tested in Metro Manila, the DSWD will provide assistance on the second week of the two-week granular lockdown, with the first week covered by the local government unit.

Metro Manila was placed under Alert Level 4 last September 16 and its pilot implementation will run until September 30. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the alert level system guidelines will further help mitigate the spread of coronavirus variants.

Based on the government's new guidelines, areas under Alert Level 4 — the second highest alert level in the new scheme — are those with COVID-19 case counts that are high or increasing while total beds and ICU beds are at high utilization rate.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairperson Benhur Abalos last Wednesday said the pilot implementation of the new system has been “a successful experiment” so far—KG, GMA News