The regionís first jetty port-based social welfare desk was recently launched here in Caticlan, Malay, Aklan.
Being the first of its kind in Region 6, its launching was made more memorable with the presence of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Undersecretary Celia Yangco, guest of honor in the launching, who challenged Aklanons to make the project community-owned for the welfare and protection of disadvantaged women and children not only from Aklan but those who are entering the province by way of the Caticlan Airport and the Jetty Port.
The establishment of the Social Welfare Desk, strategically located at the lobby of the Caticlan Jetty Port where Boracay Island and Manila-bound visitors pass before taking ferry and pumpboats aims to deter traffickers and abusers of children and women enroute to Boracay Island and other provinces using the RORO at the jetty port.
The putting up of the desk also responds to the provisions of the Aklan Childrenís Code passed and enacted last year by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the province last year.
Prior to the putting up of the social welfare desk, the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) conducted a 2-day training for Frontline Service Providers in the establishment of the desk at the Corazon L. Cabagnot Tourism and Training Center.
Participants in the training included officers and staff of Coastguard Boracay and Caticlan, security officers of jetty port together with Jetty Port Administrator Niven Maquirang, PNP-WCCD Malay and Boracay, representatives of Malay Municipal and Boracay Hospitals, MSWDO-Malay and other stakeholders.
Governor Marquez and the PSWDO headed by Elma S. Malbas view the establishment of the desk as a pro-active solution to social problems seen to plague the jetty port and the island of Boracay and the province in general in the future due to the provinceí bustling tourism industry.
The recent launching was also graced by DSWD Regional Director Dr. Minda B. Brigoli, Aklan Vice Governor Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo, SP Member Selwyn Ibarreta who represented Governor Marquez, Malay Mayor John Yap, provincial department heads, DSWD 6 staff, LGU Malay employees and other stakeholders.
The desks will be manned by two social workers fielded by the provincial government. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)