December 6, 2022

The Filipino spirit of helping one another has brought in around P2 million in savings to the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera.
DSWD realized the savings because of individuals who donated supplies and volunteers who helped pack food and non-food items that the agency gives to people in need, especially during calamities.
“We accounted P2M worth of volunteer work,” said DSWD-Cordillera Leo Quintilla.
He said the savings came amid the Covid-19 pandemic when many lost jobs and livelihood and the government has to spend more to aid people in need.
Quintilla said most of the volunteer manpower was provided by the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, line agencies in the region from the low ranking employees up to their superiors, private individuals, organizations, and artists and performers who shared their time while in the region to help re-pack food packs at the DSWD warehouse in La Trinidad, Benguet.
“We accept volunteers, we just need to schedule them so that we can observe social distancing at the warehouse,” he said.
Quintilla said the region maintains at least 30,000 food packs ready for distribution anytime.
Last week, the DSWD-Cordillera transported 10,000 family food packs to Kalinga to augment the supplies needed to keep families in their homes while on granular lockdown.
Jennifer Manansala-Bautista, chief executive officer of Waltrix Productions that brings local and international performers to Baguio and chairperson of socio-civic organization Kappa Rho Upsilon Sigma, said she personally engages herself in volunteer activities as a way of giving back the blessings she and her family received.
She said she tags along her children, friends, employees, and organization members to volunteer activities to make them feel the value of sharing their time and resources.
In December 2020, Manansala-Bautista tagged along video jockey Alex Diaz and Brazilian international model Bruno Olimpio at the warehouse in La Trinidad to help re-pack food items with her organization members.
“I just want them to be aware that they can also help even though they are not from Baguio. Because they are young, I want others of their ages to see them as models who help others so that the spirit of volunteerism will be propelled,” she said.
She and Presidential Communications Operations Office Asec. Marie Rafael, who hails from the region, have been returning to the DSWD warehouse regularly to volunteer, not part of their work but as a way to relax and break the monotonous routine during the pandemic.
Bautista and Rafael are preparing several volunteer activities for Women’s Month, which include a visit to the warehouse to flex arm and leg muscles for hours while packing and carrying food and relief items.
Quintilla said re-packing of relief goods is an art coupled with love.
“We do not just place the items in a bag. We maintain quality assurance in packing food packs because it will mean making them last longer than just three to six months and they start to accumulate molds,” he said.
He said from the usual plastic bags they use in packaging rice, the DSWD has purchased materials for compact packing and vacuum sealing of food items for longer shelf life. – PNA