Strengthening family ties vital to defeat Covid-19

By Christine Cudis

September 22, 2020, 4:04 pm

<p><em>(Photo courtesy of the Commission on Population and Developmet (PopCom)</em></p>

(Photo courtesy of the Commission on Population and Developmet (PopCom)

MANILA – As families suffer drastic changes due to the impact of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Tuesday cited the importance of strengthening family relationships and accessing psychosocial and mental health support.

DSWD, as chair of the National Committee on the Filipino Family (NCFF), cited ways to support their family amid the pandemic.

Ipaalala sa lahat ng miyembro ng pamilya na laging sundin ang mga health at safety protocols (Remind family members to always follow the health and safety protocols),” DSWD said.

On their social media sites, the agency frequently posts information materials on proper washing of hands, wearing of face masks and shields, and keeping physical distancing when going outside.

If symptoms of Covid-19 show, immediately seek a medical professional’s help, the agency said.

The DSWD also cited the importance of checking on each other.

Ang lahat--kabilang ang mga bata at nakakatanda--ay maaaring makaranas ng stress, takot, pangamba, at pagkabalisa dulot ng pandemya. Hikayatin sila na magkuwento ng kanilang mga nararamdaman at makinig sa kanilang mga hinaing. Ipaliwanag sa mga bata ang nangyayari sa paraan na maiintindihan nila. Ibahagi na ang nararamdamang takot at pagkabalisa sa panahon ng pandemya ay normal na pakiramdam lamang (Everyone, the young and old members of the family can experience stress, fear, and anxiety from the pandemic. Encourage them to share their feelings and listen to their concerns. Explain to children what is happening through ways they can understand. Make them realize that the fear and anxiety they feel is normal at this time of pandemic),” it added.

In a virtual conference, DSWD secretary Rolando Bautista underscored the vital role of a “resilient” Filipino family in helping the government address social problems such as unplanned pregnancies, mental health problems, job loss, and sexual harassment.

28th Nat’l Family Week

Meanwhile, the agency is leading the celebration of the 28th National Family Week on Sept. 21-27.

DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao said the National Committee on the Filipino Family (NCFF) adopted the sub-theme, "Mapagkalingang Pagtugon at Proteksyon sa Bawat Pamilyang Pilipino Mula sa Mga Suliranin sa Gitna ng Pandemyang Covid-19”.

“The sub-theme is also an appeal to all concerned agencies and organizations to be relentless in the work of strengthening and promoting the unity, solidarity, and stability of the Filipino family, especially that the family sector faces many social problems amid this crisis, including unplanned pregnancies, loss of jobs and livelihood, mental-health problems, and gender-based violence, and others,” she said.

As the host local government unit (LGU) for the 28th National Family Week, the city of Manila announced it will hold a webinar in partnership with Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA).

The webinar will tackle strengthening family relationships through responsible parenting and positive discipline.

On September 26, the Commission on Population (POPCOM) will host “Usap Tayo sa FP (Family Planning) with Doc Jeepy” via Facebook to discuss the myths and misconceptions about family planning to help address the issue of unplanned pregnancies during the quarantine.

Psychosocial support during pandemic

The agency has also announced the availability of social workers who are trained on psycho-social first aid and critical incident stress debriefing through the DSWD-Human Resource Management and Development Service (HRMDS) and their partners.

HRMDS also extends psychosocial interventions to locally stranded individuals as part of its services for the vulnerable sector during this public health emergency.

The Local Government Code of 1991 mandates the LGUs to provide psychosocial services to their constituents, especially those affected by disasters or are experiencing a crisis, HRMDS said. (PNA)