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DSWD’s peace and development efforts stronger in 2024 – DSWD exec

The Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) peace and development efforts will be further strengthened this year as the agency established the ‘Buong Bansa Mapayapa’ (BBM) program in support of the Philippine government’s overall peace agenda ,an agency official said on Thursday (January 4).

DSWD Undersecretary for Inclusive-Sustainable Peace and Special Concerns Alan Tanjusay said the establishment of the ‘Buong Bansa Mapaya’ or BBM peace and development program aims to formalize the convergence of various efforts within the agency to attain inclusive and sustainable peace and development both in conflict-affected and -vulnerable areas.

“The BBM peace and development program will ensure the effective implementation of the different peace and development programs of the Department that address social welfare and development concerns to complement the President’ s peace, reconciliation, and unity agenda in a more harmonized manner,” Usec. Tanjusay said in his report to DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian.

Undersecretary Tanjusay noted that the previous setup of the DSWD, wherein there was an absence of an overall program on peace and development, resulted in a segregated view in program implementation given the distinct and separate offices within the DSWD Central Office and the DSWD Field Offices handling peace and development concerns.

“With the ‘Buong Bansa Mapaya’ program as the agency’s official peace and development framework, the DSWD now has a unified structure dedicated to this crucial undertaking, resolving some program implementation challenges such as overlapping functions among offices, and program reporting and monitoring dilemmas, among others,” Usec. Tanjusay said.

Signed by Secretary Gatchalian on December 22, 2023, the BBM peace and development framework is in support of the government’s peace efforts and in line with the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, particularly its Chapter 13 that ensures peace and security and enhances the administration of justice.

“The establishment of the framework is part of our commitment to actively support the programs and activities that cater to the different peace tables and armed groups or their members who choose to lay down their arms,” Usec. Tanjusay emphasized.

The DSWD official also pointed out that the Department, as the lead agency in social welfare and development, provides psychosocial services to vulnerable groups, which include former members of various armed groups and their families, children in situations of armed conflict (CSAC), individuals, families, and communities in conflict-affected and -vulnerable areas (CVAs); and internally displaced persons (IDPs) due to armed conflict, and victims of terrorism.

“The ‘Buong Bansa Mapayapa’ was established to cultivate inclusive and sustainable peace by leading social welfare and development interventions for peace and development and harmonizing existing efforts within the Department,” Usec. Tanjusay said.

Usec. Tanjusay explained that the new peace and development framework of the DSWD covers transformation and rehabilitation, and healing and reintegration of rebels and extremist groups, as well as the prevention of conflict by strengthening collaboration with other agencies and stakeholders; understanding, monitoring, and addressing root causes of conflicts and systemic inequalities; and building the resilience of the communities.

As part of this initiative, Usec. Tanjusay also said the DSWD will create a Peace and Development Program Management Unit at the Central Office and Regional Program Management Offices in the pilot areas such as Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, and SOCCSKSARGEN regions that will lead and oversee the implementation of peace-related programs and services under the ‘Buong Bansa Mapayapa’ framework.

Usec. Tanjusay said the DSWD is committed to leading and improving social protection interventions for the peace and development agenda through the ‘Buong Bansa Mapayapa’ framework.

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