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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pantawid beneficiaries need to be prepared for climate change – DSWD

By Dominic I. Sanchez

ZAMBOANGA CITY  –  Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, considered one of the most vulnerable groups in society, are especially in high risk of being affected by the effects of climate change, thus the need for them to be prepared.

After a forum on climate change adaptation and mitigation held by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) during the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Vitali District Inter-Agency Committee (DIAC) meeting on Friday, Oct. 3, involving school teachers, social workers and barangay officials, DSWD City Link Joel Capo emphasized the urgency to inform the beneficiaries on ways and means to be prepared in case calamities would strike.

“Our beneficiaries especially those living here within the Sibulao-Vitali areas are very prone to natural hazards like flooding,” shared Capo. “The information that we have learned from the forum would be very useful to them.”

Capo furthered that with more information they could easily integrated the knowledge in open forums with the beneficiaries.

“We will very much like to include climate change adaptation in our regular family development sessions with the beneficiaries,” he added.

Barangay Sibulao is located about 78 kilometers from the city proper. According to barangay captain Pablo Ramos, the community would occasionally experience flooding.

“We would have difficulty especially during the rainy seasons,” Ramos said. “The effects of the flooding would cause crops and farm products to be wasted.”

If not physically harmed by the floods, residents explained that their livelihood would be compromised, considering most of them are highly dependent on farming.

“Afectao lang siempre kame (we are still affected),” said a Sibulao resident. “Mas qui miembro kame de Pantawid, necesita pa siempre man kayod. Paquilaya ya lang si man baha ay perde de amon la vida (Even though we are members of Pantawid, we still need to earn. It would be very difficult to earn a living if our crops would be wasted by the floods.)”

“The need to be prepared for the effects of climate change does not entail only being prepared physically, but also socially and economically,” said Dave Malcapo, PIA information center manager. “It is best, especially for the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries to be prepared since they, being poor are very vulnerable.”