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DSWD chief cites role of social protection in fighting poverty, achieving peace

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian underscored the significant role of social protection in addressing the root causes of poverty, which ultimately results in the achievement of sustainable and lasting peace during his visit to the 7th Infantry Division (7ID) headquarters in Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City, Nueva Ecija on Monday (April 29).

“Kami sa DSWD, naniniwala kami na para makalikha tayo ng patuloy na tahimik, mapayapa at maunlad na mga komunidad at mga barangay, napakaimportante po na labanan natin ang common na kalaban nating lahat, iyong kahirapan,” Secretary Gatchalian said.

(We at the DSWD believe that in order to create peaceful, prosperous communities and barangays, it is crucial for us to fight our common enemy, poverty.)

“Naniniwala kami na this is the age where kaya nating tuluyan nang wakasan ang instability or insecurity na nararanasan ng ating mga kababayan sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng livelihood grants, pagbigay ng assistance, social welfare,” the DSWD chief added.

(We believe that this is the age where we can finally put an end to the instability or insecurity experienced by our fellow citizens by providing livelihood grants, assistance, and social welfare.)

During his visit to the 7th Infantry Kaugnay Division headquarters, Secretary Gatchalian also led the distribution of Livelihood Settlement Grants (LSG) under the agency’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) to a people’s organization and 31 former rebels.

The organization which formed an SLP Association (SLPA) received a Php100,00 grant while each of the former rebels was given Php20,000 in cash aid.

The provision of the livelihood grants is among the initiatives of the DSWD in implementing the whole-of-nation approach in addressing local armed conflict.

“Importante na maabot natin ang pinakamalalayong komunidad, pinakamalayong barangay para maramdaman nila ang kalinga at pagmamahal ng pamahalaan,” Secretary Gatchalian pointed out as he reieterated the DSWD’s commitment to fulfilling its mandate in community development.

(It’s important that we reach the farthest communities, the remotest barangays, so they can feel the care and love of the government.)

The DSWD chief also cited the role of people’s organizations in encouraging more community members to return to the fold of the law and contribute to the maintenance of peace and security in their respective communities.

“Makakaasa kayo na simula lamang ang araw na ito nang mas marami pang makabuluhan na programa para iyong mga kasamahan pa natin na magbabalik sa pamahalaan at iyong mga nangangailangan ng tulong ay patuloy na matulungan ng gobyerno,” Secretary Gatchalian said.

(You can rest assured that starting today, there will be more meaningful programs for our colleagues returning to the government and for those in need of assistance, who will continue to be supported by the government.)

As the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for Central Luzon, Secretary Gatchalian also expressed gratitude to the personnel of the 7th ID Kaugnay troops for their unwavering efforts in sustaining the peace and security in Central Luzon.

“Nais kong samantalahin ang pagkakataon na pasalamatan ang ating uniformed service personnel sa inyong patuloy na paglikha ng isang komunidad na tahimik, mapaya, at secure para sa ating lahat,” the DSWD chief said.

(I want to take this opportunity to thank our uniformed service personnel for continuously creating a community that is peaceful, joyful, and secure for all of us.)

During the conference, Secretary Gatchalian was given a military briefing on the issues and concerns on development and security in Central Luzon.

Joining Secretary Gatchalian were Undersecretary for Inclusive-Sustainable Peace and Special Concerns Alan Tanjusay and DSWD Field Office-3 (Central Luzon) Regional Director Venus Rebuldela.

The 7th ID Kaugnay Commander MGen. Andrew Costelo was joined by Assistant Division Commander BGen Dennis Pacis, Division Chaplain LTC Arturo Llaso (CHS), Chief of Staff Col. Ronald Bautista, MNSA, and Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations (G3) LTC Isidro Vicente, GSC, during the visit of the DSWD chief.

The event was also attended by 702nd Brigade Commander BGen Gulliver Señires, 703rd Brigade Commander BGen Joseph Norwin Pasamonte, Assistant Division Commander for Reservist and Retirees Affair Col. George Bergonia MNSA (INF), and Division Inspector General Col. Rodrigo A Mariñas, MNSA.

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