Archive | September, 2020

DSWD, NCFF enjoin Filipinos to celebrate National Family Week amid quarantine

As part of its continued advocacy to strengthen the Filipino family, the National Committee on the Filipino Family (NCFF), chaired by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), is enjoining the public to celebrate the 28th National Family Week on September 21-27, 2020 with the theme “Tungo sa Maginhawa, Matatag at Panatag na Pamilyang Pilipino.”

The National Family Week is a yearly celebration held every fourth week of September pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 60 issued on September 28, 1992.

For this year’s celebration, the NCFF adopted the sub-theme, “Mapagkalingang Pagtugon at Proteksyon sa Bawat Pamilyang Pilipino Mula sa Mga Suliranin sa Gitna ng Pandemyang COVID-19,” which emphasizes the importance of providing Filipino families with compassionate response on economic shocks and protection from violence in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sub-theme is also an appeal to all concerned agencies and organizations to be relentless in the work of strengthening and promoting the unity, solidarity, and stability of the Filipino family, especially that the family sector faces many social problems amid this crisis, including unplanned pregnancies, loss of jobs and livelihood, mental-health problems, and gender-based violence, and others.

The National Family Week celebration will officially start on September 21 with a nationwide ringing of bells dubbed as “Ring a Family Bell” to be simultaneously done at 9:00 AM in all government agencies as a symbol of nationwide awareness and commitment to commemorate the solidarity and unity of the Filipino Family. A virtual kick-off will also be aired via DSWD’s Facebook page on the same day.

In support of the Family Week, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), an active member of the NCFF, will hold an online Interfaith Family Forum on September 23 which will tackle different topics concerning the family.

Meanwhile, the City of Manila, the host LGU for the 28th National Family Week, will conduct a webinar in partnership with Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) on September 24 focusing on strengthening family relationships through responsible parenting and positive discipline.

On September 26, the Commission on Population, another active member of the NCFF, will host a talk show which will tackle the myths and misconceptions on family planning to help address the issue of unplanned pregnancies during the quarantine period.

Apart from these activities, the NCFF will also utilize various online platforms to promote the celebration and to advocate for stronger and protected Filipino families through the #ProtekadongPamilyaSaCOVID-19 social media campaign.

Using the hashtag, NCFF members will be posting ways on how families can keep their families safe, protected, and intact amid the pandemic; and how they are helping families nationwide cope with the impacts of the crisis.

Kainang Pamilya Mahalaga Day

The NCFF is also encouraging Filipino families to observe the Kainang Pamilya Mahalaga Day, a yearly celebration held every fourth Monday of September pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 326, series of 2012.

Held in conjunction with the annual celebration of the Family Week, the Kainang Pamilya Mahalaga Day emphasizes the importance of having a common family meal to encourage parents to stay connected with their children and understand the challenges they face.

A common family meal also provides an opportunity to enhance family communication and serves a venue where members can express affirmation of each other and share a positive experience of joy and love.

As the lead agency in social protection and as chair of the NCFF, DSWD recognizes the importance of strengthening and promoting family unity and stability to build a solid and united Filipino society.

The Department, together with all the members of the NCFF, will continue to work together to uphold the values of Filipino families and to support and empower them to withstand the many issues and challenges they face, especially in the midst of the pandemic, so that they can come out of the crisis as a stronger unit. ###

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DSWD to host 16th ASEAN SOMSWD Meeting and Related Meetings

MANILA, 18 September 2020 – The Philippines, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), will host the 16th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD) and Related Meetings on September 21 to 24, 2020.

Three important virtual meetings will be conducted as part of this main gathering of ASEAN officials. These are the 15th ASEAN GO-NGO Forum on Social Welfare and Development, the 16th SOMSWD Meeting, and the 15th SOMSWD Plus Three Meeting wherein the SOMSWD meets the Plus Three countries namely Japan, China, and Republic of Korea.

The annual gathering of the SOMSWD provides a venue for focused discussions on matters under the purview of social welfare and development, including status of implementation of the SOMSWD Strategic Framework 2016-2020. The meeting also provides a platform to foster partnerships and cooperation among the ASEAN Member States, civil society organizations and development partners contributing to the advancement and realization of ASEAN Community particularly in areas along social welfare and development.

With the theme, “Strengthening Family Resilience and Solidarity: Braving the Adversity and Adapting to the New Normal,” the activities will focus on promoting family resilience and strengthening of relationships among ASEAN communities as the world adapts to the new normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through these activities, the Department hopes that the deep cultural link shared by ASEAN member states will continue to grow and nurture family resiliency and solidarity in order to build a cohesive and stronger ASEAN community. ###

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SAP digital payment distribution in Davao nears completion

Davao City – About 77% or 292,106 second tranche and waitlisted beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) in Davao Region have already received their emergency subsidy as of September 11 through our partner payment centers.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has earlier forged a memorandum with financial service providers (FSP) to facilitate the distribution of the subsidy through electronic disbursement.

“This figure was reported to us by Starpay who is our sole financial service provider in Davao Region. Through the help of our payment centers, we expect to finish the distribution before the end of September,” Regional Director Raquel E. Nuñez said. 

To date, 407,607 family beneficiaries in Davao Region were endorsed to Starpay as qualified beneficiaries for SAP. Of this number, 99.63% or 406,082 have already been informed of their beneficiary reference numbers (BRN).

“We continue to receive grievances especially those that were now excluded in the certified list or have not received any message from Starpay. These beneficiaries are encouraged to approach the assigned DSWD staff in their respective barangays for clarification on their concerns,” Director Nuñez added.

The SAP beneficiaries include the second tranche beneficiaries in Davao City, waitlisted beneficiaries in Davao Region, and Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Drivers endorsed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). ###

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DSWD’s CDD program empowers women to become community leaders, volunteers

Women take their oath as volunteers of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS).

Josephine Naliza of Madua Norte, Duero, and Isidra Caybot of Libjo Sikatuna in Bohol were   happy and contented taking care of their respective families.

But Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), a community-driven development program implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), gave them another reason to be happier and feel more fulfilled. The program has given them a bigger responsibility of taking care not just their own families but their communities as well.  It was a responsibility they gladly accepted, which brought out the best in them.

One of the core principles of Kalahi-CIDSS is empowerment of the sectors which normally do not participate in community activities.  This adheres to the concept of capacitating every sector to achieve sustainable community development.

Thus, Kalahi-CIDSS provides training and other activities to educate these sectors, especially women who were mostly in their homes taking care of their children.

When Kalahi-CIDSS was introduced in their communities in 2014, Josephine, Isidra and their fellow women also started to get involved and actively participated in the activities in the barangay. The program has given them a different perspective in life. Before their involvement in Kalahi-CIDSS, some of them were shy and did not even want to open up and speak in public. When they joined and started attending Kalahi-CIDSS seminars, they slowly became more vocal and assertive.

Through the Kalahi-CIDSS education and training activities, Josephine, Isidra and the other women were given a voice in their communities,  subsequently bolstering their self confidence and self-esteem.

Maayo gyud nga ni boluntir ko kay aron madungagan ang akong kahibalo. Mapasalamaton ko sa DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS tungod kay gihatagan kami ug kahigayonan nga masuta ang panginahanglanon sa among barangay. Ug tungod sa among pag boluntir, napunduhan ug napaayo namo ang among karsada” (It is good that I joined as a community volunteer because I learned a lot. I am thankful to Kalahi-CIDSS because it has given me the opportunity to contribute to my community. Through the volunteers’ efforts, our project was funded and we were able to repair our road), narrated Josephine Naliza, Madua Norte’s procurement chairperson.

Meanwhile, for Isidra Caybot, former community volunteer and now a Barangay Kagawad,  Kalahi CIDSS paved the way for her being a community leader.

“Dako kayo kinig na itampo sa akong kinabuhi, nadugangan ang akong kahibalo, nagamit usab nako ang experience nako sa pagka volunteer sa Kalahi-CIDSS sa akong pagka barangay kagawad. Tungod ana, nakita sa mga taw ang akong ka aktibo sa kalihukan sa barangay” (My experience with Kalahi-CIDSS has a great impact in my life. It helped me become a Kagawad. I ran for barangay councilor because people have seen my active participation in barangay affairs and my potential as a leader), she related.

Isidra is just one of the many community volunteers of Kalahi-CIDSS who became barangay officials in their respective localities, a tangible proof that the program can empower women and go beyond their traditional roles.

Currently, Kalahi-CIDSS has a total of 1,048,407 volunteers nationwide, 64% of whom are women.

Region VII alone has 54,857 women community volunteers with some becoming employees of their respective local government units. Others are joining local politics.

To date, Kalahi-CIDSS is being implemented in 847 municipalities benefitting a total of 7.8M households from completed community projects such as farm to market roads, footbridges, solar dryers, electricity, day care centers, and classrooms, among others. These projects were identified by the beneficiaries themselves as their most pressing needs and subsequently helped, as volunteers, in their completion. ###

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The Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC) calls for the lawful and humane treatment of minors violating quarantine protocols when disciplined by local officials and law enforcement officers.

With the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country, most of our cities and municipalities remain under General Community Quarantine and precautionary measures continue to be in full implementation. However, parallel to this are the frequent reports on abuses to minors involving local officials.

This matter greatly concerns the JJWC as the policy-making, coordinating, and monitoring body that is tasked with the implementation of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act.

Local officials are at the forefront in protecting the rights of the children in their respective communities. Hence, they are the authority that should set an example in abiding the law.

Children who violated the protocols should be accountable but this should be done in compliance with the law and child-sensitive approaches.

The local officials and law enforcement can take guidance from the following policies issued by the national government. It has declared that these shall be strictly implemented:

  1. Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2020-001 of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Council for the Welfare of Children or The Reiteration Of Protocols On Reaching Out To Children, Including Those In Street Situations, In Need Of Special Protection, Children At Risk (CAR), And Children In Conflict With The Law (CICL) During The Enhanced Community Quarantine; and
  2. The DILG Advisory on the Additional Guide in Handling Children Who Violate Curfew and Quarantine Rules. The additional guide states that there are steps on the first contact with the CAR who were found outside their homes or domiciles during the community quarantine.

Barangay officials and law enforcement officers shall adhere to the following guidance:

  • Explain to the child in simple language why he/she is being brought to the barangay;
  • Refrain from using vulgar or profane words and from sexually harassing or abusing or making sexual advances on the child found during curfew;
  • Avoid displaying or using any firearm, weapon, handcuffs, or other instruments of force or restraint, unless absolutely necessary and only after all other methods of control have been exhausted but to no avail; and
  • Avoid violence or unnecessary force.

Violence against children is unacceptable especially in the context of discipline and accountability. Intervention programs should be implemented by the local government units as stated in the guidance. Interventions can take the form of asking children to write or declare an apology; continuous monitoring on the child of responsible barangay officials; online counselling for CICL and the child’s family; attendance in webinars or online lectures; and volunteering in community service.

The JJWC urges everyone to work together in ensuring the rights and welfare of the children are protected. ###

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DSWD shifts to cash cards for seniors’ social pension, unconditional cash transfer grants

To ensure the health and safety of senior citizens, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is shifting to the use of cash cards for the beneficiaries of the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens and the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) Program.

DSWD is working together with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) for the implementation of this new mode of delivering the social pension and UCT grants to the senior-beneficiaries. At present, the social pension subsidies and the UCT grants are given through direct payout or house-to-house distribution.

DSWD explained that the use of cash card is a safer and faster way of delivering the stipends.

The cash cards will be distributed by the LBP servicing branches, in partnership with the DSWD Field Offices, within this year. Beneficiaries may, then, be able to withdraw their social pension and UCT grants.

As of August 2020, LBP has processed some 208,965 cash cards of social pensioners in NCR and Region II and has already forwarded these to the LBP servicing branches for distribution. Of this number, 104,694 cards are for pensioners in NCR, and 104,271 are for those in Region II.

Distribution of the cash cards will be done in Land Bank premises and offsite areas from 9:00am  to 2:00pm. It shall be made on a per batch or per barangay basis for crowd control and in compliance with the social distancing protocol.

For the safety and security of the beneficiaries as well as LBP and DSWD employees,  health protocols, such as  temperature check, wearing of face mask and face shield,  provision of hand disinfectants and sanitizers, and social distancing will be implemented.

In addition, help desk officers and medical staff, in coordination with the local government units and Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA), shall be present during the offsite distribution.

For beneficiaries who are sick or bedridden, they can send their authorized representatives to claim their cards provided they are certified by the concerned OSCA or Local Social Welfare and Development Office.

DSWD assured senior citizens that the Department will continue to explore ways and means to facilitate the speedy distribution of their benefits. ###

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DSWD assures hotline numbers are operational, active

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) assured the public that all its hotline numbers for the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) are operational and active to receive and respond to queries, complaints, and grievances on the program.

The assurance came after the incident during the congressional hearing on August 26 where the number 0918-912-2813, one of the hotline numbers of the Department, was dialed and turned out to be unattended.

DSWD explained that the number is active but it is limited to TEXT ONLY messages. It is part of the Department’s Wireless Service (WiServ) which is an application to manage its Short Messaging Service (SMS) Gateway. Wiserv facilitates the reception of DSWD related concerns via text keywords and cascades the same to helpdesk moderators for faster response and coordination.

The active hotline numbers that the public can contact, 24/7, are: For TEXT ONLY – 0918-912-2813; For CALL ONLY – 0947-482-2864, 0916-247-1194, 0932-933-3251. It also has a landline number, 8931-81-01 to 07 local 555.
Aside from the mobile and landline numbers, the public may also try the email address,, and the newly-launched DSWD portal,

Active response to grievances, inquiries

Meanwhile, the Department, through its Agency Operations Center (AOC), has been active in responding to grievances and inquiries received through its various platforms.

From July 27 to August 16 alone,  a total of 12,770 grievances via call, 94,643 via email, and 110,313 via WiServe were addressed.

Additionally, the DSWD’s social media accounts continue to respond to messages and comments. For this month,  some 2,956 public comments and 3,213 private messages coursed through its Facebook page,, were responded to. Likewise, 359 comments and 29 direct messages received via its Twitter,, were also addressed.

Meanwhile, due to the high volume of incoming inquiries and grievances that led to long queue lines, which in return, withheld callers to contact the designated hotline numbers, the DSWD came up with the uSAP Tayo website. The website, which provides an online platform to address SAP concerns on a timely manner,  has received and processed 566 grievances and inquiries since its launch on August 13.

The Department is also studying the hiring of the services of a call center company for one month to assist in answering grievances received through its various platforms.

DSWD vowed to continue to open its communication lines to the public, especially to the beneficiaries of its programs and services,  as part of bringing the government closer to the people. ###

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New survey shows DSWD, other gov’t agencies assisted households amid pandemic

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said that the result of a recent survey conducted by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) finds that the government assistance has widely reached Filipino families coping with the effects of the COVID-19 health crisis.

According to the IPA Research for Effective COVID-19 Response (RECOVR) survey, 89% of surveyed Filipino households have received support from the government in response to COVID-19. The survey was conducted from June 18 to July 1 and covered Filipino households with TNT prepaid mobile phones. Of those that are receiving support, 97% received food while 45% received cash.

DSWD emphasized that the survey result affirmed that the Department and other national government agencies have been very responsive to the basic needs of the Filipino people in the midst of the pandemic by delivering much-needed aid in the form of food and cash.

The government, through DSWD, has been implementing the emergency cash subsidy under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) to support almost 18 million low-income families in the informal sector who have been assessed to be most affected by the pandemic. The survey showed that 79% of cash aid recipients reported benefitting from the SAP program. Aside from DSWD, other government agencies have implemented their own SAP to assist formal sector workers and small businesses hit by the pandemic.

In addition to SAP, DSWD delivers family food packs (FFPs) and other food and non-food items to augment the resources of local government units and to help them respond to the food needs of their constituents.

The DSWD emphasized that this new survey further strengthens its commitment to continue to implement its social protection programs and services and deliver aid, amid the threat of the COVID-19, to the poor and vulnerable who are most-affected by the pandemic.

The IPA RECOVR survey, which was rolled out in nine countries including the Philippines, tracked how people’s lives have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to enable policymakers to better understand the situation in their countries and make data-driven policy decisions. In the Philippines, the survey is providing information about health and COVID-19 mitigation behavior, preparedness for distance learning, social safety net support, and the impact of the pandemic on employment. The survey randomly sampled users of TNT prepaid mobile numbers throughout the country.

In an earlier survey conducted by the Social Weather Station from July 3-6, 2020, it was found out that an overall 72% of surveyed adult Filipinos said their families received money-help from government since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, with the DSWD being the most mentioned source of help getting 41 and 28 percent ratings for DSWD in general, and for DSWD’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP), respectively.  ###

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