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The DSWD’s fight against poverty continues – Sec. Gatchalian

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian said on Monday (May 20) the agency will continue to establish and implement programs and services to fight poverty in the country.

“Sa DSWD, naniniwala kami na patuloy ang laban natin sa kahirapan kaya patuloy kaming humuhubog ng iba’t-ibang programa para maibsan ang kahirapan ng ating taong bayan at tuluyan ng mawakasan. Kung matatandaan ninyo ang marching order ng Pangulo sa aming lahat at sa ibang ahensya,” the DSWD chief pointed out during a press conference at the Central Office in Quezon City.

(At the DSWD, we believe that our fight against poverty continues, which is why we continuously shape various programs to alleviate the poverty of our fellow countrymen and ultimately put an end to it. If you recall, the President has given us and other agencies marching orders in this regard.)

Secretary Gatchalian emphasized that the DSWD’s programs, such as the Walang Gutom 2027: Food Stamp Program, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), and Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), among others are in support to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr’s goal of reducing the poverty incidence to a single digit before his term ends in 2028.

“So itong mga programang ito under poverty programs at patuloy na huhubog ang DSWD pati narin ang iba’t-ibang ahensya ng pamahalaan na mawakasan ang kahirapan,” Secretary Gatchalian said.

(So, these programs fall under poverty alleviation initiatives, and the DSWD, along with various other government agencies, will continue to shape efforts to put an end to poverty.)

The DSWD Secretary said the recently launched Ayuda sa Kapos ang Kita Program (AKAP) will provide social assistance to individuals who may not have access to the regular forms of assistance since they do not belong to the poorest population.

These programs, according to the DSWD chief, targets the ‘poorest of the poor’ and individuals in crisis situations.

“Iba’t ibang programa mayroon din siyang iba’t ibang catchment and 4Ps may 4.4 million na mahihirap na miyembro pero sa huling Listahanan natin 6 million and naitala na households na classified as poor. This was as of 2019 na Listahanan, that’s 6 million of which 4.4 million are part of the 4Ps program, Tapos mayroon tayong target na isang million pa na food poor yan yung pinakamahirap sa mahirap, and yung Assistance to Individual in Crisis Situation natin, it assists all including yung near poor pati yung AKAP natin. So tuloy-tuloy yung programa na yan,” Secretary Gatchalian explained.

(Various programs have different catchment areas. For instance, the 4Ps has 4.4 million registered poor household members. However, according to our latest 2019 Listahanan, there are 6 million households classified as poor. Out of these, 4.4 million are beneficiaries of the 4Ps program. Additionally, we have a target of reaching another one million who are considered food poor, the poorest of the poor. Our Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation program aids all, including the near poor, as well as our AKAP program. So, these programs continue uninterrupted.)

Secretary Gatchalian also took the opportunity to issue a reply to Presidential Adviser on Poverty Alleviation Larry Gadon statement that poverty in the country is “haka-haka” or imagined.

“Ayaw kong tumalon sa conclusion kung ano yung ibig niyang sabihin, yung konteksto niya, hindi ko kasi napanuod, nakita ko lang social media over the weekend. Kaya nga sinamantala ko na yung pagkakataon to issue our statement right here. In fact, when he was appointed nag-usap kami and patuloy kaming nag uusap. I have his number and I will make sure to get in touch with him today to schedule a meeting and sit down. Pero palagay ko familiar naman siya sa mga anti-poverty programs ng gobyerno,” the DSWD chief said.

(I don’t want to jump to conclusions about what he meant, as I didn’t watch or see the context of his statement. I just came across it on social media over the weekend. That’s why I took the opportunity to issue our statement right here. In fact, when he was appointed, we talked, and we continued to communicate. I have his number, and I will make sure to get in touch with him today to schedule a meeting and sit down. But I believe he’s familiar with the government’s anti-poverty programs.)

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