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Gov’t maps out action plan as more Pinoys return from Sabah

Gov’t maps out action plan as more Pinoys return from Sabah
Monday, 08 April 2013 00:00
In an effort to track and ensure that services are provided to families returning from Sabah, 50
representatives of government agencies in Region IX and the Autonomous Region in Muslim
Mindanao (ARMM) met recently in Lantaka Hotel, Zamboanga City to draft an action plan which
will include all contributions and possible programs from the different line agencies that could be
implemented and provided to the returnees.
Based on the April 5 report of the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Disaster Risk
Reduction and Response Operations Office (DSWD-DRRRO), some 5,349 persons have
returned from Sabah.
“The need to converge and pool our resources as well as synchronize our activities is a demand
that we need to address,” DSWD Undersecretary Parisya Hashim-Taradji, who presided over
the meeting, stated.
One action plan is to issue a Family Access Card to displaced persons from Sabah upon
disembarkation to any point in Mindanao. The Provincial Social Welfare Officers (PSWOs) of
the three provinces of ARMM – Tawi-Tawi, Sulu and Basilan, will provide color-coded cards to
displaced families to entitle them to services being provided by the national and local
governments and to prevent duplication in the availment of the services.
Undersecretary Taradji explained that the access cards will systematize provision of relief,
transportation, and shelter assistance, and cash-for-work to the displaced families.
She added that the DSWD will also deploy twelve social workers to Sabah today, April 8, to
reinforce the efforts of staff currently assisting the affected Filipinos.
Undersecretary Taradji also disclosed that the DSWD will deploy a four-man team to Tawi-Tawi
and Sulu on April 9-13to undertake needs assessment  and contingency planning for the
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Gov’t maps out action plan as more Pinoys return from Sabah
Monday, 08 April 2013 00:00
continued arrival of displaced Filipin
os from Sabah.
To date, a total of P10.4 million worth of humanitarian aid was provided to the affected families
through the combined resources of DSWD (P10.4 million) and NGOs (P4,100). The aid includes
relief packs, hygiene kits and transportation assistance.
One-Stop Processing Center continues
The One-Stop Processing Center (OSPC) in Taganak, Tawi-Tawi  is another mechanism set-up
by the government to facilitate long-term interventions. The process flow involves two phases -Phase I which DSWD is tasked to handle and Phase II where the Department of Labor and
Employment (DOLE) comes in.
Phase I includes the arrival of displaced families to the Philippines, where they are immediately
attended to as well as interviewed and assessed for appropriate intervention. Phase II highlights
the provision of needed assistance to the displaced families which covers three options such as
the processing of papers for return to employers in Malaysia, the reintegration process for wage
employment, and the provision of livelihood assistance (self-employment).
The OSPC mechanism was implemented in 1997 when the Federal Government of Malaysia
strictly enforced its Immigration Act.  Thousands of Filipinos were deported due to expired work
papers, lack of documents and illegal residency status. ### (DSWD-Social Marketing Service)
April 8, 2013
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