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Friday, September 10, 2021

Secretary Andanar: President Duterte’s AHON program highlights proactive gov't response in crisis situations

MANILA - The government has long moved past being reactive and is focusing its time in creating more proactive efforts to respond to crisis situations, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said on Friday.

In an interview, Secretary Andanar cited the Aid and Humanitarian Operations Nationwide (AHON) Convergence Program as one of the recent proactive initiatives of the government to reach out to Filipino families who are greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises.

The convergence effort is an inter-agency initiative, spearheaded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), that harmonizes the delivery of necessary aid to the most affected communities in times of calamities and emergencies, including the pandemic.

This is pursuant to Executive Order No. 137 signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on May 24, 2021.

“It is really sad that this is happening to us. But at the same time, I am very proud that we have a government that’s very responsive and proactive. We are no longer joining the bandwagon of reactive people,” he said in an interview.

It can be recalled that the program was officially launched in Siargao Islands last June 2021, where residents of several towns received cash grants and entrepreneurial assistance as part of the recovery package in light of the ongoing pandemic.

The series of turnover of assistance was joined by various government agencies including representatives from the DSWD, the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Department of Health (DOH).

“We are focused on our job to reach Filipinos all over the country however they may be, whatever crisis that they are going through right now. This is the job of the government, to look after the welfare of the people,” Secretary Andanar said.

The PCOO chief went on to mention accomplishments of the administration in social services, including the establishment of the Malasakit Centers in public hospitals, which has already served more than two million indigent Filipinos seeking medical and financial assistance.

More college students are now also enjoying the provisions under the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act. Significant efforts have also been made to reach out to communities that are geographically isolated areas through the anti-insurgency campaign of the government.