by Leilani S. Junio, Philippine News Agency | Monday, 20 June 2016
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) cited on Monday the agency’s milestones in providing social protection for the past six years since July 2010 under the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III.
Outgoing DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman said in a press briefing that her Department made significant gains in prioritizing social protection agenda which include the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), and the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS).
According to Secretary Soliman, these core poverty reduction programs are complementing each other to uplift the lives of the vulnerable in the society, which is part of the DSWD’s vision and mission.
“The Department was able to harmonize the implementation of the core poverty reduction programs to more effectively reach and assist intended beneficiaries,” she said.
She added that through the convergence strategy, the DSWD has been involved in empowering and developing the capacities of program beneficiaries toward resilience.
She noted that from only 800,000 household beneficiaries previously, there are now 4,409,819 million Pantawid Pamilya households benefiting from the 4Ps.
She said that from these beneficiaries, about 144,895 have been able to develop their capacities as parent-leaders from just being shy and not so participative in their communities.
In addition, some 491,992 household beneficiaries have emerged as community volunteers in their communities in the creation of sub-projects that can help them uplift their lives and address their most immediate concerns.
Secretary Soliman also talked about SLP and shared how the marginalized beneficiaries’ lives have been transformed through it by availing themselves of employment opportunities and getting interest-free loans.
She also looked back at how the 4Ps was enhanced to fit it with the modernized K-12 Program wherein the ages of children beneficiaries have been increased from the previous 0 to 14 years up to 18 years.
She also mentioned how the DSWD implemented the program in cooperation with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Health (DOH).
She also said that poor family-beneficiaries of 4Ps now have children in college or have actually finished their courses, some with honors, through DSWD’s partnership with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
According to the DSWD Chief, one of the recent accomplishments of the Department was its signing of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the law ensuring that the government and private entities are incentivize to hire persons with disabilities (PWDs).
She said that the age of indigent senior citizens qualified to receive social pension amounting to P500 a month has been lowered from 77 to 60 years.
She also said that aside from the old vulnerable sectors, they also initiated various programs for Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL) through the Juvenile Justice Welfare council.
The National Youth Commission (NYC) under the DSWD has also been empowered into delivering Youth Development Sessions (YDS) as counterpart of the Family Development Sessions (FDS) among 4Ps parents to ensure that the youth will know the consequences of early pregnancy and drug addiction that can harm their future.
Soliman also discussed how the DSWD is protecting the vulnerable sectors against hazards and sudden loss of income, and improving people’s capacity to manage risks by delivering services under its Crisis Intervention Unit. (PNA)