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DSWD Chief highlights efforts on poverty alleviation, peace and order during Talk to the People

Rolando Joselito Bautista
DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista shares the accomplishments of the Department during the Talk to the People of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on November 15.

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista reported the status of the implementation of various social welfare programs and services in President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Talk to the People on November 15.

Focusing on the contributions of DSWD in poverty alleviation and attainment of peace and order, Secretary Bautista detailed the milestones and accomplishments of the Department towards the zero to ten-point socio-economic agenda laid out by President Duterte for his six-year term.

“Ang lahat ng ito ay bunga ng ating pagsisikap na magampanan ang mandatong protektahan at iangat ang antas ng kabuhayan ng mamamayang Filipino, alinsunod sa sama-samang ambisyon nating makamit ang matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay,” Secretary Bautista said.

As the key-player in social protection, the DSWD championed the institutionalization of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). Through the initiative of the President in uplifting the well-being of Filipino communities, Republic Act 11310 or the 4Ps Act of 2019 was passed during his term. This paved the way for the expansion of the country’s lead poverty reduction strategy in terms of grants, number of beneficiaries, and budget allocation, ensuring the sustainability of the program.

“Nabigyan ng dagdag na rice subsidy at grants ang mahigit na apat na milyong household-beneficiary ng 4Ps para maitawid ang kanilang pang-araw-araw na pangangailangang pagkain, edukasyon, at kalusugan,” Secretary Bautista said.

With the increase in the budget of 4Ps from Php62 billion in 2016 to Php106.8 billion in the current year, DSWD has achieved the self-reliance status of some 838,438 households while more than 51,000 beneficiaries have already graduated from the program.

Achieving improved quality of life

DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program
DSWD continues to provide livelihoods to individuals and communities through the Sustainable Livelihood Program.

Contributing to the country’s efforts to alleviate poverty are the social protection packages that are being provided by DSWD to all segments of the population.

Part of the Department’s initiative is to provide livelihood opportunities to Filipinos. Secretary Bautista stated that more than 1.2 million household-beneficiaries have successfully started livelihood and acquired work through Sustainable Livelihood Program’s Microenterprise Development and Employment Facilitation tracks.

Moreover, in a span of five years, more than 9.2 million households have been deriving benefits from 31,052 community sub-projects of the Kapit-bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehesive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) across the country. This community-driven strategy allows residents to actively participate, design, and implement projects that will address the concerns of their communities.

Meanwhile, from less than 1 million recipients of social pension in 2015, the Department was able to serve more than 3.2 million beneficiaries for the year 2021 through the expanded Social Pension program.

“Sa ilalim ng pamunuan ni Pangulong Duterte, lumawak ang pagpapatupad ng Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens,” Secretary Bautista shared.

From the eligibility requirements of 75 years old and above in 2011 to 2014, and 65 years old and above in 2015, President Duterte amended the qualifications of the Program to cover indigent senior citizens who already reached 60 years old in the provision of monthly stipend worth 500 pesos.

The DSWD Chief also reported that some 9,205 centenarians have already received their 100,000-peso cash gift from the government since 2016 up to 2021, through DSWD’s implementation of the Centenarian Act.

Furthermore, more than 7 million individuals were provided with educational, transportation, and medical assistance through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (ACIS) from 2016 to present.

Based on DSWD’s statement during the Talk to the People, the Department continues the provision of Supplementary Feeding Program for children aged 2 to 5 in some 1,429 local government units (LGUs) in the country; the operation of 71 centers and residential care facilities, which are currently taking care of more than 80,000 children, women, elderly and persons with disabilities; and the provision of relief assistance to disaster-hit communities.

Attaining sustainable and inclusive peace

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte joins DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte joins DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista during the distribution of benefits to former rebels in Leyte on January 23, 2020.

The Department also implements programs that greatly contribute to the peace agenda set by President Duterte.

With Executive Order No. 70 in place, the DSWD was able to assist and support former rebels (FRs) and their families through its two tracks. “Binigyang pansin ang reintegrasyon ng FRs at pinagtuunan ng pansin ang community resiliency,” the DSWD Chief emphasized.

From 2019 to 2021, the Department has provided assistance to some 10,895 FRs and their families while 165 SLP Associations in Conflict-affected and Vulnerable Areas (CVAs) were given livelihood assistance. Likewise, more than 267,00 households in CVAs have received assistance from the Department through AICS, and provision of food and non-food items.

Furthermore, pursuant to EO 70, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples launched the 12 Regional Implementation Plans as its support to the 12 Lines of Efforts to recognize the rights of the indigenous peoples (IPs). Through this, 80 IPs were freed from syndicated groups and given appropriate assistance while 305 were rescued from Human Trafficking Incident in June.

Secretary Bautista also mentioned that under the Duterte administration, the Yakap Bayan Program, which focuses on the rehabilitation and reintegration of persons who used drugs (RPWUD), was formally recognized. Through the Dangerous Drugs Board Resolution No. 18, some 151 LGUs have supported and assisted drug-victims by adopting the program as community-based aftercare and reintegration model.

DSWD responsive amid pandemic

DSWD isolation facilities
Through the Kalahi-CIDSS, DSWD was able to construct isolation facilities for poor communities.

Despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the DSWD continues to support and assist the Filipinos. Notable of which is the implementation of Bayanihan Laws, which were signed by the President to mitigate and ease the socio-economic shock of the pandemic.

“Sa ilalim ng pagpapatupad ng magkasunod na batas na ‘Bayanihan to Heal as One Act’ at ‘Bayanihan to Recover as One Act,’ inilunsad ang pinakamalaking social protection program sa kasaysayan ng bansa sa pamamagitan ng Social Amelioration Program o SAP,” Secretary Bautista said.

Over 23 million Filipinos hit by the pandemic have been provided with emergency subsidies under the said program, 83,500 of whom, also benefited from Livelihood Assistance Grants.

As part of its pandemic response, the DSWD also assisted the returning Overseas Filipino Workers through the one-stop-shop that was setup in the airport. The Department provided mental health and psychosocial services and financial assistance to more than 1.1 million OFWs. Likewise, some 3,289 returning OFWs from Sabah received medical assistance, hygiene kits and food from DSWD.

Meanwhile, the Department was able to construct additional 1,070 isolation facilities for more than 500,000 households in poor communities through the Kalahi-CIDSS.

The DSWD is hopeful that through these goal-oriented, responsive, and inclusive initiatives, the Department can contribute to achieving the matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay for Filipinos, as envisioned by President Duterte.

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