MANILA – Some 11 Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) front-liners tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), an official reported Sunday.

DSWD Undersecretary Rene Glen Paje said during a live-streamed episode of the agency’s “uSAP Tayo conference” that as of June 14, 964 employees were forced to self-quarantine upon exposure to people who got the virus.

As posted on their website, the personnel who were infected were from the National Capital Region (NCR), Calabarzon and Central Visayas field offices.

The DSWD has close to 30,000 personnel nationwide.

DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao said in a statement that the agency has already provided assistance by referring the affected staff to their respective local health offices.

“DSWD is also currently monitoring their condition and will provide necessary assistance depending on their needs as well as in the form of psychosocial interventions and financial support, if necessary. Those in self-quarantine will also be given family food packs,” she added.

DSWD said ensuring the health and safety of its personnel, especially front-liners, is part of its preparations for a smoother and more efficient implementation of the second tranche of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

On June 11, the agency started with the distribution of the second wave of SAP assistance to 13 million low-income Filipino families.

Paje, in the conference, also strongly urged the beneficiaries to register to the ReliefAgad app, which enables SAP beneficiaries to encode their card form information digitally.

“It is an alternative to handing out physical cash. Ingatan po natin ang ating mga sarili, kung may paraan na mas makakaiwas po tayo, gamitin po natin. (Let’s take care of ourselves. If we have a better option to process/transact, let’s use it),” he added.

DSWD front-liners also implement regular programs such as the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens, Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Supplementary Feeding for Children, and other rehabilitative and protective services for the vulnerable sectors, as well as disaster relief operations. (PNA)