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DSWD hosts ASEAN dialogue to reinforce delivery of social services for disaster, climate resilience

The Philippines, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), will host the forum dubbed “The ASEAN Dialogue to Strengthen the Delivery of Social Services for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Resilience: Expert Review to ASEAN Regional Guidance on the Role of Social Workers and the Wider Social Service Workforce in Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Resilience” on May 16 and 17 at the Holiday Inn and Suites in Makati City.

“The activity aims to assist policymakers, decision-makers, and practitioners involved in government planning and disaster management by providing support to understand the crucial role of social workers and the wider social service workforce (SSW) in disaster risk reduction (DRR), climate resilience, and climate change adaptation (CCA),” said DSWD Undersecretary Vilma B. Cabrera, who is also the Philippine Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD) Leader.

Undersecretary Cabrera said the initiative is a collaborative effort of the SOMSWD, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat, and the UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office.

According to Usec. Cabrera, the event will bolster disaster management effectiveness and enhance community resilience against climate-related challenges through the sharing of expertise, experience, and valuable insights of participants that are reflective of the ground realities during emergencies and disasters caused by climate change.

“Through this gathering, steps will be identified to integrate CCA, climate resilience, and DRR into the planning, development, and support for the social service workforce, ensuring their inclusion in national and local DRR-CCA strategies and plans,” Usec. Cabrera pointed out.

The DSWD official said the activity will help enhance the Draft Regional Guidance, which is a priority commitment in the 2020 Hanoi Declaration on Strengthening Social Work Towards Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community that was adopted by the ASEAN Leaders in Vietnam during the 37th ASEAN Summit.

Among the participants are the relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies such as the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management, ASEAN Senior Officials on Environment, the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Children, the Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development, and the National Disaster Management Authority and Ministry of Social Welfare of the ten ASEAN member-states.

The SOMSWD leader said the DSWD remains committed to supporting ASEAN Regional Activities, affirming its hope that the conference will serve as a catalyst for strengthening regional solidarity towards the mainstreaming and advancement of social work practice.

“This support from the agency underscores a collective aspiration to elevate the status and effectiveness of social work within the region, fostering greater collaboration and progress in addressing societal challenges and promoting social well-being,” the DSWD executive said.

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