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DSWD under the Duterte Administration: Improving lives, communities

4Ps beneficiaries
4Ps beneficiaries pose for a photo with President Rodrigo R. Duterte (center), Senator Christopher Lawrence Go (from left to right), House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista, and National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during the culminating activity of the DSWD’s 69th Founding Anniversary on January 29, 2019.
Lea Rebuta
“Kung kaya kong makatawid sa kahirapan, kaya rin nila.”

This was uttered by Lea Rebuta, from Caraga Region, during the graduation ceremony for the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in June 2021. She was then a Parent Leader in her community in Taguibo, Butuan City and was hailed as the National Best Volunteer in the DSWD-PANATA Awards in 2019. At present, Lea is into a freelance cake business as her sustainable livelihood to meet her family’s daily needs. After her tenure in the 4Ps, she continues helping other beneficiaries achieve their desired well-being.

The graduation this year of Lea and that of 29,590 other household-beneficiaries nationwide from the program after gaining self-sufficient status proves that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), as the country’s lead agency in social protection, is on the right track of improving lives and communities.

The DSWD is optimistic that more beneficiaries will attain self-sufficiency status with the institutionalization of the 4Ps through Republic Act No. 11310 or the 4Ps Act enacted during the term of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Considered a Duterte legacy on social protection, the law mandated the increase in the cash grants and ensured sustainability of the program with continued yearly budget allocation to serve more beneficiaries in need.

Currently, the 4Ps continues to serve over 4.2 million family-beneficiaries who are provided with cash grants to help them improve their well-being, focusing on the health and education of their children.

4Ps beneficiaries pose for a photo with President Rodrigo R. Duterte (center), Senator Christopher Lawrence Go (from left to right), House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista, and National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during the culminating activity of the DSWD’s 69th Founding Anniversary on January 29, 2019.

4Ps beneficiaries pose for a photo with President Rodrigo R. Duterte (center), Senator Christopher Lawrence Go (from left to right), House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista, and National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during the culminating activity of the DSWD’s 69th Founding Anniversary on January 29, 2019.

Significant milestones

Apart from the institutionalization of 4Ps, other significant milestones were also achieved by the Department under the Duterte Administration.

Notable of which is the increase in the funding for the Assistance to Individual in Crisis Situation (AICS) in order to serve more needy families and individuals. With this program, beneficiaries are granted with medical, burial, transportation, food and non-food assistance in the form of outright cash for the provision of support services to our kababayans in their most trying times. From March 2020 to April 2021, more than 1.12 million clients have received assistance under AICS.

Pandemic landmarks

DSWD Pandemic landmarks
DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista talks to a recipient of the Social Amelioration Program

Despite the challenges brought about by the global pandemic, the government, under the administration of President Duterte, has been continuously addressing not just the health but also the socio-economic impacts of the crisis in the lives of the Filipinos through the enactment of Bayanihan laws.

Under Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act (Bayanihan1), the DSWD was mandated to implement the Social Amelioration Program (SAP), which is considered as the biggest social amelioration package that the Philippine government has implemented. Through SAP, the DSWD has provided financial assistance amounting to P5,000-P8,000 to over 18 million low-income households who were assessed to be most affected by the COVID-19 health crisis.

Makati City Pabakuna

On the other hand, under Republic Act No. 11519 or the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act (Bayanihan 2), the Department extended emergency subsidy to families affected by the extended and granular lockdowns.

These laws provided the social safety nets and economic measures needed to support the most vulnerable during the pandemic.

Another initiative to mitigate the effects of the pandemic is the implementation of the Balik-Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program. This effort has greatly helped our stranded fellowmen and displaced workers to go back to their home towns and start anew through the provision of different interventions or packages such as transportation and relocation assistance, food and non-food essentials during the transition period, livelihood settlement grants, transitory shelter assistance, and psychosocial support for the family-beneficiaries, among others.

Inclusive programs

DSWD 4Ps field workers
4Ps field workers assist in the inspection of perishable and non-perishable goods for Supplementary Feeding Program

The DSWD also continues to implement programs and services that aim to alleviate poverty.

Through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), more than P3.85 billion were disbursed for the provision of basic business and livelihood support to some 198,249 families this year. From 2016 to 2021, more than 820,000 beneficiaries were supported by SLP through various modalities that include micro-enterprise development track and employment facilitation track.

Meanwhile, the Kapit-bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) integrates the community-driven development strategy. It allows residents to actively participate, design, and implement projects that will address the concerns of their communities. In a span of five years, more than 5.9 million households have benefitted from over 20,000 community subprojects of KALAHI-CIDSS. Last year, the program has helped more than 216,000 families through the implementation of 749 sub-projects around the country.

For the elderly sector, DSWD implements the social pension program. From 1.4 million beneficiaries in 2011, the Department was able to serve more than 3.6 million indigent senior citizens last year. The Department also grants P100,000 each to elderlies who have reach 100 years old under the Centenarians Act.

Lastly, under the Supplementary Feeding Program, about 1.9 million Filipino children were given healthy, nutritious, and locally-sourced food as of May 2021.

All these programs and services serve as the Department’s leverage to ensure that more beneficiaries will become like Lea who, with her continued determination, is on her way to achieving a matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay for her family, as envisioned by the Duterte Administration.