The Philippine government has lined up a number of social amelioration programs designed to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) health crisis during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), pursuant to the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Republic Act No. 11469) and its Implementing Directives. One the social amelioration programs (see List of Social Amelioration Programs) is the Food and Non-Food Items (FNI) distribution. The guidelines provided in the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1 are as follows:
FNIs consist of food and essential personal hygiene and family items regularly provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) during disaster operations; however, taking into consideration the declaration of the Enhanced Community Quarantine to lessen exposure to other individuals, DSWD shall provide food packs during the quarantine period as an augmentation to the Local Government Units (LGUs), as agreed by the members of the Inter-Agency Task Force Technical Working Group (IATF-TWG) on social amelioration.
The sustained distribution of FNI to the most affected families shall be done in coordination with the concerned LGU based on the implementation plan submitted by the Regional Offices of the DSWD.
The DSWD shall provide and coordinate with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the hauling of FNI. The AFP and/or PNP shall bring the FNI to the delivery or distribution points designated by the LGUs, and the latter shall be responsible for the distribution to the target beneficiaries. Observance of strict home quarantine and prohibition of mass gatherings during distribution of FNI are enjoined by the LGUs.
Air-dropping of FNI to LGUs identified delivery points may also be employed to ensure delivery in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs) and areas with high incidence of contagion.
The DSWD shall coordinate with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to procure the necessary volume of items to be manufactured or produced for the foodpacks. The DTI shall liaison with non-government organizations and private corporations to source FNI as well as possible warehousing and packaging centers.
The DTI shall establish the Quadrant System for manufacturing and production of the items in the food packs; and, as may be deemed practicable, adopt the Quadrant System for repacking.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) shall ensure, through the necessary guidelines, the supply of rice buffer stock for 30-day period, food and non-food materials coming from provinces, metro centers, and urban farms; as well as, provide support to DTI in managing supply line production and overall food security (i.e. rolling food stores).
The DA and its attached agencies shall, as may be practicable under the circumstances, provide direct-to-consumer mobile stores (KADIWA in Ani at Kita), cold storage, and warehousing facilities for FNI particularly in COVID-19 affected areas and strategic drop off points identified by LGUs.
[See also: Social Amelioration Programs for the Community Quarantine by Reason of COVID-19; Emergency Subsidy Program (ESP) during the Community Quarantine); Target Beneficiaries of the Government Social Amelioration Program for COVID-19; Documentary Requirements to Avail of Government Social Amelioration Programs for COVID-19]
Operationalization of Food Distribution
LGU identification. The concerned National Government Agency (NGA), in close coordination with the DILG, shall inform the Local Chief Executives (LCEs) of the scheduled dropoff of social amelioration programs, before 24 hours or as early as practicable, of field operations and delivery. They shall then request their Punong Barangays to prepare a list of beneficiaries.
Parameters for Priority in NCR and Greater Metro Manila. For the distribution of food packs in NCR and Greater Metro Manila, the DSWD adopts a barangay saturation approach, subject to the following priority tier:
- a) Barangays under Extreme Enhanced Community Quarantine
- b) Rural Barangays under Enhanced Community Quarantine
- c) BarangaysunderEnhancedCommunityQuarantine
- d) Rural Barangays under Community Quarantine
Between tiers, the poorer barangay as identified by the Local Chief Executive shall be given priority. Provided further that, within Barangays the LGU shall give priority to those below the poverty threshold level.
The DSWD shall:
- a) Take lead in FNI packing, warehousing and delivery to LGUs;
- b) Deliver food packs until the lifting of the Community Quarantine;
- c) Upon identification of the Barangay where it shall proceed to deliver FNI, the DSWD shall coordinate with the DILG and inform the AFP and PNP as well as the LGU concerned;
- d) Exercise general supervision as to the conduct of distribution of the goods during the delivery; and
- e) Airdropping of foodpacks, if necessary, to ensure delivery in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs) and areas with high incidence of contagion.
Upon notification, the LGU shall:
- a) Provide a suitable drop-off point for FNI;
- b) Lead in the actual door-to-door distribution of FNI. Should the personnel of the Barangay be insufficient to make door-to-door deliveries the AFP or PNP may augment. Should the same be inadequate to make timely deliveries, the LGU shall issue quarantine passes to at most one able bodied member of the family to go out of their house and get their allotted FNI; and
- c) Submit a checklist of FNI deliveries.
The DTI shall act as liaison in identifying private entities willing to provide logistical augmentation in packing, warehousing and transporting FNI.
The DTI shall also ensure the unhampered movement of cargo and transit of personnel of business establishments allowed to operate during the Enhanced Community Quarantine as enumerated in the DTI Memorandum Circular No. 20-08-2020 issued on March 20, 2020.
The DSWD shall provide the needed workforce complement to ensure the timely provision of FNI. The Central Office may augment workforce to the Field and SWAD Satellite Offices upon request and for this purpose, all DSWD personnel may be required to report to work in the exigency of service.
DTI, DA, DOLE, DILG, and other concerned NGAs shall provide secondary workforce and logistics augmentation.
DBM and DOF shall provide the necessary technical assistance to ensure the immediate availability of funds.
In accordance with Administrative Order (AO) No. 26 dated March 23, 2020, government employees and workers engaged through contract of service or job order basis who physically report for work during the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in their respective work stations shall be granted with COVID-19 Hazard Pay, in an amount not exceeding Five Hundred Pesos (PhP 500.00)/day per person. The pertinent guidelines and conditions on the grant of the COVID-19 Hazard Pay pursuant to AO No. 26 are provided under DBM Budget Circular No. 2020-1 dated March 24, 2020.
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