Duterte orders harmonized aid, humanitarian ops during disasters
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered accelerated and harmonized aid and humanitarian operations of the national government during disasters and emergencies in a bid for a “faster and more reliable delivery” of social protection programs and services.
Duterte signed Executive Order No. 137 on May 24 institutionalizing the Aid and Humanitarian Operations Nationwide (AHON) convergence program as the platform for an “enhanced and unified delivery of social amelioration services.”
The President formed an AHON committee to be chaired by the Office of the Special Assistant to the President.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will be vice-chair while member-agencies are the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Department of Labor Employment (DOLE) and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Among AHON’s component programs are the DSWD’s Assistance to Individuals/Families in Crisis Situation, livelihood assistance, educational assistance, burial assistance, transportation assistance under the Balik-Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program, and more.
The AHON committee must ensure the coordinated provision of aid to the “most affected and vulnerable sectors in times of emergencies or in the aftermath of disasters,” craft guidelines for the implementation of the program, and perform other functions the President may direct.
The committee, through the DICT, the National Economic and Development Authority, and the Philippine Statistics Authority, must also establish a convergence information system (CIS) containing a database of verified individuals, families, communities, cities, municipalities, and provinces benefitting from the AHON convergence program.
“The CIS shall be kept up-to-date by the agency members of the Committee and shall be available to all national government agencies and the public,” the EO stated.
An annual report on the implementation of the program must be submitted by the committee to the President through the Office of the Executive Secretary.
Meanwhile, all government agencies and local governments were encouraged to support the AHON committee in carrying out its mandate.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police were also directed to assist the committee in delivering aid and humanitarian support to be provided to the public.
Funds for the implementation of the EO will be sourced from existing appropriations of implementing agencies and from other sources to be identified by the Department of Budget and Management.
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