Braving the odds of a devastating Pandemic: A Frontliners’ Story
“Isa sa aking natutunan ngayong panahon ng crisis ay ang naipapakita natin ang malasakit sa bawat isa sa pamamagitan ng pagtutulong-tulong ng bawat miyembro ng komunidad o bayanihan para maiwasan ang pagkalat ng sakit na Covid-19. (One of the lessons I’ve learned in this time of crisis is that people showed compassion to each other by helping one another through collective action to prevent the spread of Covid-19),” Reynan Tapia said.
Reynan, 26 is one of the Community Empowerment Facilitators (CEFs) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS) who is also a frontliner braving the odds of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in Panganiban, Catanduanes.
Last March 16, 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte put the entire Luzon area under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) restricting the movement of the population in response to the growing pandemic affecting so many countries worldwide.
Pursuant to Republic Act (R.A) 10121, also known as the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, DSWD is mandated to act as the Vice-chair for the National Disaster Response.
The Department also provides relief assistance and Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) as augmentation support for the Local Government Units (LGUs) who are the first responders in providing rescue operations, relief assistance and management of evacuation centers.
It is because of this mandate that each DSWD employee is committed to serve during disaster operations.
In this time of Covid-19 response, Reynan said that one of their duties is to continuously coordinate with LGUs on the relief assistance to be provided to affected families of the ECQ.
He also shared that they also assist LGUs in the repacking and distribution of relief goods to communities.
“Tumutulong kami sa LGU sa pamamagitan ng pagrerepack ng mga relief goods na ipapamahagi sa komunidad. Isa itong mga hakbang para mapaabot ang tulong sa mga naapektuhan ng pandemic na ito. (We are helping the LGU in the repacking of relief goods to be distributed to communities. This is one of the measures to ensure that assistance is provided to affected families due to the pandemic),” he explained.
For Romwel Macinas, 27, a CEF of DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS who is also a frontliner in the same municipality, they are also conducting validations of the actual situation of affected households which is being reported to the regional office.
Far from their Family
“Sa panahon ngayon, mahalaga na kasama ang iyong pamilya ngunit dahil sa aming trabaho kahit malayo kami sa aming pamilya, maraming paraan para mapalapit ang bawat isa katulad ng social media kung saan nakakausap ko ang aking pamilya sa pamamagitan ng video call para kamustahin ang kanilang kalagayan (In this trying times, it is important to stay with your family but with the nature of our work, we just have to find ways to connect with them through social media via video call to check on their situation),” Reynan shared.
According to Reynan, he focuses his attention to his work because there are a lot of people who need his service at this time.
“Iniisip ko na mas kailangan ngayon ng tulong ng mga mahihirap na pamilya lalo na yung mga nawalan ng trabaho (I just think that people need more assistance now, especially the poor families who had lost their jobs),” he said.
On the other hand, Romwel shared that to keep his family’s mind at ease, he assures them that he takes precautions and adheres to the protocols of social
distancing and proper hygiene to stay safe and Covid-free. He likewise said that he does regular exercise to stay fit and healthy.
Despite the situation, these frontliners offer their selfless service to the people who are in most need of help.
“Para sa ating kapwa frontliners, dasal ang tanging sandata natin para mailayo tayo sa kapamahakan, sana hindi tayo magsawa na tulungan ang ating kababayan. (To my fellow frontliners, prayer is our main weapon against the dangers of Covid-19 and I hope that we continue to help our fellow citizens),” Reynan advised. /ramsertan/