Bigger DSWD warehouse now open to store relief goods
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) now has a bigger facility where relief goods for disaster victims can be stored.
Warehouse H, a new buiding inside the DSWD National Resource Operations Center (NROC) in Pasay City, was inaugurated on Tuesday, November 29.
The building has a floor area of 720 square meters and a dimension of 36 meters by 20 meters and 10.50 meters. It can store 41,400 family packs, increasing the warehousing capacity of the NROC by one-third.
"With the construction of the additional warehouse, the department is able to increase its family food pack production and maintain the quality of the relief supplies,” Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said.
The project is part of the DSWD's efforts to enhance its humanitarian and disaster management capacity with the support of the Australian government, the Philippines' first bilateral donor to preposition emergency relief supplies.
The assistance from the Australian government also included refurbishments in the NROC, such as the installation of canopies and dock bumper in other warehouses, extension of the perimeter fence and installation of a sliding gate, and improvement of drainage and parking areas.
“Our government cannot do the important work of responding to the needs of disaster victims alone. We need the help of all sectors to ensure that we can deliver prompt response every time a disaster occurs," Taguiwalo said.
Taguiwalo also stressed the orientation of disaster response under the Duterte administration – free from politics, compassionate, and prompt.
Milestone in PH-Australia relations
In her speech at the inauguration, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely noted that the project marks a milestone in the partnership between her country and the Philippines.
"The relationship between the Philippines and Australia is long-standing and strong, and this year we celebrate 70 years of bilateral relations. That includes our continuing partnership in the area of humanitarian response and disaster risk reduction," Gorely said.
The Australian government provided a grant of A$3 million (P104.2 million) to the DSWD for the building of the warehouse, prepositioning of non-food relief supplies, and technical assistance to the DSWD on institutionalizing policies and systems on disaster response.
An Australian Civilian Corps specialist is also working with the DSWD in reviewing and improving its strategy and operations plans as the lead agency for disaster response.
Warehouse H is part of a larger program to build capacity for quick response and relief in emergency situations, according to Gorely.
As part of its aid program in the Philippines, the Australian government has contributed A$81.56 million (P3.26 billion) since 2006 to support the humanitarian efforts of the Philippines in response to several disasters, building disaster preparedness and community resilience.
The Philippines is considered one of the most disaster-prone countries. It is vulnerable to almost all types of hazards, especially typhoons. – Rappler.com