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Gov’t’s shining star

The Department of Social Welfare and Development is truly the heart of the government.

And it beats unceasingly for the people it is mandated to serve with compassion.

The past year, quite decidedly, was the DSWD’s finest hour s it served up generous servings of life-supporting economic assistance to marginalized sectors and millions of others displaced by the 2019 coronavirus disease pandemic.

Is it any wonder then that the agency not only made the grade in the terms of performance among Cabinet agencies?

It topped the scores yet again.

The DSWD received anew the highest approval rating based on a study by survey firm Pulse Asia.

Pulse Asia said DSWD, along with the Department of Education, were recognized as “top performers among government agencies included in the survey”.

“The sustained favorable survey result, once again, ascertains that the sectors being served by the Department are satisfied by the kind of service provided to them. The high approval rating also affirms that the programs and services of the DSWD continue to trickle down to the target beneficiaries,” it said in its statement.

Pulse Asia’s Ulat ng Bayan Nationwide Survey showed that the DSWD garnered a 78 percent approval rating.

It is the highest approval rating among the different government offices in the executive branch.

The survey fieldwork, which was conducted from Nov. 23 to Dec. 2, 2020, also indicated that DSWD obtained an 87-percent approval rating in Mindanao and an 81 percent approval rating in the Visayas.

In the January 2020 Ulat ng Bayan that was conducted on Dec. 3 to 8, 2019, DSWD received an 85-percent approval rating for its performance.

Last year, the value DSWD services provided to the public to address the disasters this year reached more than P1.2 billion.

From January to October, DSWD reported more than P1.2 billion disaster response utilization fund.

The department said it has also delivered as augmentation for disaster operations of local government units a total of 861,490 family food packs and more than 2.1 million various non-food items amounting to over P841.9 million.

When Typhoon Quinta battered the country, the agency provided P6.4 million to Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Western Visayas, and Central Visayas, which were hit hard by the series of typhoons during the last quarter of the year.

For Rolly, which was classified as a super typhoon, the DSWD shelled out some P74.1 million.

When Typhoon Ulysses unleashed its wrath on the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Bicol, National Capital Region, and Cordillera, DSWD has provided assistance worth PHP159.8 million.

DSWD said it has also created programs that will motivate affected families to work and earn after being devastated.

The cash-for-work and emergency shelter assistance were implemented in regional offices.

DSWD-Central Office allocated some P123 million to kick off the programs.

DSWD-Bicol has employed 10,032 families affected by Rolly with totally damaged houses in the provinces of Albay and Catanduanes.

“Each family received P12,330 composed of P10,000 for ESA and P2,330 for CFW at P233.00 per day for 10 days,” DSWD said.

Additionally, the climate change adaptation and mitigation effort initiated by the DSWD has employed 276, 575 households nationwide under the CFW program.

Though hopeful for the new year, DSWD said it is anticipating challenges with the continued threat of the pandemic.

“The year 2021 will undoubtedly bring new challenges, but the DSWD assures Filipinos of its consistent dedicated and compassionate public service,” Bautista said.

For 2021, DSWD will receive an annual budget of P176.9 billion.

Bautista said it would enable the agency to strengthen its social welfare and development programs, such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Supplementary Feeding Program, Sustainable Livelihood Program, Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services, protective services for individuals and families in difficult circumstances, and disaster response and rehabilitation programs.

“DSWD will leverage these programs and services to help poor Filipinos pull through especially during these difficult times. Further, the Department, together with its personnel, will continue to work towards the realization of its ultimate goal of helping alleviate the lives of the poor from poverty,” he said.