DAVAO CITY -Some 48 companies from the business sector and the academe in Davao Region attended the recent Partners’ Forum hosted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), signifying their genuine interest to support government pro-poor programs.

“Poverty ends when partnership begins” was the tagline of the event held at the Marco Polo Hotel.

“This activity aims to win the support of private companies with corporate social responsibility, as well as strengthen the support of key stakeholders on the Convergence Strategy.  The activity discussed the highlights, gains and successes of program implementation for CY 2013, as well as the thrusts and directions for CY 2014,” said Mila Segovia, DSWD Assistant Regional Director for Administration.

“The DSWD identified seven areas of engagements with the business sector and the academe and the result is overwhelming! We, at the department, did not expect such overwhelming outpour of commitments to support DSWD programs and services,” ARD Segovia added.

Under education assistance SAMULCO, DORECO, DASURECO, NCCC Cares, University of the Immaculate Conception (UIC), San Miguel Consolidated Power Corp. (Malita), St. Joseph Technical Academy of Davao, and Samson Polytechnic College of Davao (SPCD) committed to provide college scholarship grants.

DASURECO also committed to build new classrooms and repair lighting facilities in government schools. UIC, on the other hand, offered to provide school supplies and computer literacy courses. UIC representatives also expressed interest to be included in the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) for IPs.

Under provision of safe lighting facility, DORECO committed to deliver their Sitio Electrification Program to DSWD recipient areas in Davao Oriental. DASURECO has likewise committed to provide street lighting materials to identified areas in Davao del Sur.

Under nutrition, health and sanitation, SPCD committed to provide healthcare services, medical and dental supplies, vitamins and food supplements as well as conduct medical missions and feeding programs. Moreover, Brokenshire College and DASURECO committed to augment the need on medical/dental supplies. DASURECO, SPMC Malita and FedCom offered to conduct feeding programs while San Miguel Consolidated Power Corp Malita vowed to provide help on vegetables and cash crops distribution and conduct medical and dental missions.

Under employment facilitation, DPRDI committed to provide trainings and seminars on organic rice production for six months. SPCD, Phil. Fruits International Corp., Bachelor Express Inc. and Endonela Institute Of Technology Foundation,Inc. offered to provide skills training.

Phil. Fruits International Corp. (PFIC), KFL Manpower Agency, DASURECO, Endonela Institute Of Technology Foundation, Inc. committed to allot slots for job placements to qualified individuals. PFIC, DORECO, KFL Manpower Agency, DASURECO, Bachelor Express Inc. will accept on-the-job trainings.

Under environmental conservation/protection/disaster management, NCCC Cares committed to help out on environmental conservation and protection. DORECO offered to conduct coastal clean-up drives and tree planting activities. Also, FedCom and Bachelor Express offered to provide assistance during disasters.

And on micro-enterprise development, SAMULCO and DORECO committed to provide loan assistance to beneficiaries. DORECO offered to give out livelihood assistance for fisher folks. SPCD will also provide livelihood assistance trainings.

The Convergence Strategy converge all three programs of the DSWD – the Kalahi-CIDSS, a program which empowers communities through active participation in community development projects;  the Sustainable Livelihood Program equips the poor with opportunities and skills to sustain them in the long term; and the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program which provides conditional cash assistance to identified poor families. The three targets all aspects of development thus, a comprehensive and effective way to combat all phases of vulnerability. (DSWD)