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DSWD explores partnership with New Zealand gov’t on program digitalization, streamlining

DSWD and New Zealand digitalization partnership
(From left to right) Resource Generation and Management Office Head Catherine Grace M. Lagunday, Social Welfare Institutional Development Bureau Assistant Director Edna Sacedor, Operations Group Undersecretary Jerico Francis L. Javier; Special Projects Undersecretary Eduardo M. Punay, Secretary Rex Gatchalian; New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines Peter Kell; and Ms. Fiat Bisda of the Embassy of New Zealand in the Philippines.

True to its commitment to provide innovative ways to implement social welfare services and developmental interventions to the public, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian met with New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines Peter Kell on Monday, March 20, to explore possible partnership opportunities.

During the courtesy visit of the New Zealand official to the DSWD Central Office, Secretary Gatchalian and Ambassador Kell exchanged ideas on how to utilize the GovTech Accelerator Programme, a program being run globally by the Creative HQ, New Zealand. The GovTech Accelerator helps government agencies and public servants to identify challenges and create a positive impact in their communities by introducing them to proven innovation principles and processes.

Through the GovTech Accelerator Programme of the Creative HQ, the Secretary plans to develop artificial intelligence (AI) messaging platform to answer frequently asked questions of DSWD clients in order to avoid long queues and to minimize waiting time; create an online portal for the social welfare programs and services such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations; and to digitalize the provision of financial assistance to its beneficiaries.

Other areas for potential collaboration include increasing the capabilities of the DSWD personnel and ensuring continuous professional development through a variety of training programs and other learning exchange platforms.

Joining the Secretary during the meeting were Special Projects Undersecretary Eduardo M. Punay; Operations Group Undersecretary Jerico Francis L. Javier; Social Welfare Institutional Development Assistant Bureau Director Edna Sacedor; and Resource Generation and Management Office (RGMO) Head Catherine Grace M. Lagunday.

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