DSWD: Food aid fund sufficient for nationwide implementation of alert level system

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 14) — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has sufficient fund for food packs in case the national government implements the COVID-19 alert level system nationwide, an official said on Thursday.

Under the alert level system being implemented in Metro Manila, local governments provide food packs for the first week of localized lockdown, while the DSWD gives food aid for the second week.

"Sapat ang pondo ng ahensiya upang magbigay ng augmentation assistance sa mga lungsod na magpapatupad ng granular lockdowns in case po na iro-roll out po ito natin sa iba’t ibang areas at i-adopt ito nationwide," Social Welfare Assistant Secretary Glenda Relova said in a media briefing.

[Translation: The agency has enough budget to provide augmentation assistance to cities implementing granular lockdowns in case we roll out the alert level system in other areas, and adopt it nationwide.]

As of Oct. 13, the DSWD still has P1.05 billion in standby funds, Relova said, adding 387,000 food packs have been prepositioned in the satellite offices of the agency.

The DSWD has so far distributed 45,775 food packs worth P27.6 million since the alert level system took effect in the capital region in mid-September, Relova noted.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque earlier announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force approved the recommendation to downgrade the capital region's classification from Alert Level 4 to 3 from Oct. 16 to 31. This means more leisure activities, like going to the cinemas, will be allowed.

READ: Cinemas, theme parks at limited capacity: What to expect under Alert Level 3