RD Gopalan pushes for DSWD frontliners’ protection while assisting individuals, families

Newly installed DSWD Regional Director (RD) Marie Angela S. Gopalan displayed an aura of strength and focus when asking the staff to identify responses to assist those affected by COVID-19 in her first Monday Program at DSWD Field Office 1.

The increase of COVID-19 cases induced anxiety and fear among frontline workers, and DSWD FO1 staff are no exemption.  They are expected to deliver prompt services to their publics in line with the Agency’s thrusts and priorities.

When asked by the RD, the staff said that the current situation is something that is unfamiliar forcing them to face inconveniences, uncertainties, fear of getting infected, and its impact on resources. They are also concerned with work deliverables because of limited mobility and the no mass gatherings protocol. “We will work with oversight agencies to be able to manage our deliverables. This is the face of the new decade, we need to adjust and live by it,” said RD Gopalan.

“During this pandemic, we must find ways and consider alternate options because current strategies may no longer be appropriate,” she added. 

She encouraged heads of the sections/units/divisions to exude strength and find a balance to support the staff’s well-being as these contribute to the overall performance of the Agency. “I need people in this Agency to be calm and focused, we are frontliners,” says Director Gopalan.

She reiterated that among the line of defense of staff are practice of the BIDA protocol of the Department of Health and other protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force. “We must learn and apply these consistently,” the RD said.  RD Gopalan committed to look into logistics support, creation of mental health support groups, intensified information drive, provision of hygiene kits, identification of isolation facilities, and mass testing for the employees. “Exercise compassion, empathy, and desire to help, doing such will create stronger communities,” she added.  (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, IO II/ Focal Person on Child and Youth).