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Yearender: “Serbisyong May Malasakit” hallmarks DSWD’s public service in 2020

As the nation faced various challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and the series of calamities that hit the country, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in 2020 remained true to its mandate of compassionately and promptly delivering programs, projects, and services that assist the poor, vulnerable, and disadvantaged individuals and families; and to its commitment of protecting and promoting the social welfare rights of the Filipinos.

Here are the highlights of the Department’s accomplishments in 2020 reported by DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista during the Agency’s Yearend Virtual Press Briefing on December 28.

SAP & Bayanihan 2

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, DSWD, as the lead agency in social protection, has been tasked to implement the Emergency Cash Subsidy under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) provided for under Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Law. Under the law, the government shall provide emergency subsidy amounting to P5,000 to P8,000 to around 18 million low-income households  for two months.

For the first tranche of SAP, DSWD disbursed P99.9 billion to over 17.6 million family beneficiaries. For the second tranche, the Department has already provided more than P86.5 billion through manual and digital payouts to over 14.4 million family-beneficiaries of SAP for the 2nd tranche, as of December 28, 2020.

Under Bayanihan 2 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Republic Act No. 11494), DSWD has also been tasked to implement various interventions to aid in the recovery of poor families and households through the implementation of its regular programs. Aside from regular programs, the Department also implemented in the last quarter of the year the Bayanihan 2 Emergency Subsidy Program for low-income, non-formal sector family beneficiaries affected by the declaration of community quarantine measures.

-Specialized Programs-

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)

In terms of  its specialized programs, the Department continued to implement the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), which currently serves more than 4.3 million active households, utilizing more than P49 billion program funds from January to October 2020.  4Ps is an investment in human capital which aims to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty by focusing on the education and health of the beneficiaries.

Sustainable Livelihood Program

DSWD also provided livelihood support to 7,778 families through the various modalities of the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), utilizing more than P1.4 billion funds. SLP is the Department’s capacity-building program that provides access to opportunities that increase the productivity of the livelihood assets of the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized communities, helping them improve their socio-economic well-being. Through SLP, beneficiaries are given the option to take either the micro-enterprise development track, which supports microenterprises to become organizationally and economically viable, or the employment facilitation track, which assists Filipinos to access appropriate employment opportunities.

Among those who were provided with the assistance were more than 800 former rebels as part of the implementation of Executive Order 70 with the aim of providing basic services to former rebels.

Kalahi-CIDSS

Meanwhile under the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), 749 sub-projects have been implemented nationwide from January to October with a budget of more than P1.9 billion, benefitting over 216,000 families in different parts of the country. Kalahi-CIDSS uses the community-driven development (CDD) strategy which allows communities to gain control over decisions and resources. Through the program, community members actively participate to identify and prioritize their community’s concerns and allow them to design, implement, and manage solutions to their priority problems.

Meanwhile, to become more responsive to the needs of poor communities around the country during the pandemic, the program has modified its operations to include the Disaster Response Operations Procedure (DROP) approach. DROP enables Kalahi-CIDSS covered areas to shift its operations from regular developmental activities into a disaster response modality to hasten the approval of community projects that will enable the restoration of the community to a pre-disaster level of functioning.

– Protective Programs –

Aside from SAP, Emergency Subsidy under Bayanihan 2, and the Specialized Programs, DSWD also ensured that clients are assisted through the protective programs. Despite the pandemic, these programs continued to be implemented taking into consideration the minimum health protocol imposed by the government.

Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations

The DSWD continues to support the recovery of individuals and families from unexpected crisis through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS). The assistance, which is delivered through the various Crisis Intervention Units (CIU) at the DSWD Central Office, Field Offices (FOs), and satellite offices in provinces, provides educational, medical, transportation, burial, and food and non-food assistance. From January to October, the Department has served 808,515  clients nationwide under the AICS.

Supplementary Feeding Program

As part of the DSWD’s contribution to the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) program of the government, the Department continues to implement its Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP), which is the provision of food in addition to the regular meals to children currently enrolled in child development centers and supervised neighborhood play. From January to December, more than P1.7 million children have been provided with SFP, amounting to P2.8 billion.

Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens and Implementation of the Centenarians Act

To help augment the daily subsistence and medical needs of indigent senior citizens, the DSWD continues to implement the Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens. As of December, more than 3 million indigent senior citizens have received their social pension amounting to more than P9 billion. Social Pension is the provision of a P500 monthly cash subsidy to eligible indigent seniors. The subsidy is given on a semestral basis.

Meanwhile, the Department has recognized and awarded a total of 886 centenarians for 2020. Under Republic Act 10868 or the Centenarians Act of 2016, all Filipinos who have reached 100 years old and above, whether residing in the Philippines or abroad, will be given with Centenarian gift amounting to P100,000  and a Letter of Felicitation signed by the President of the Philippines. The Department released P88.6 million for the cash gift of the centenarians for this year.

Alternative Family Care Program

DSWD also continues to implement the Alternative Family Care Program in compliance with Republic Act (RA) No. 8552 or the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998, RA No. 9523 or the Act Requiring Certification to Declare a Child Legally Available for Adoption (CDCLAA), and RA No. 10165 or the Foster Care Act of 2012.

From January to November 2020, a total of 234 children were placed for domestic adoption, while 135 were placed for foster care. Meanwhile, some 167 children have been endorsed for inter-country adoption.

Residential and Non-Residential Care Program

DSWD continues to implement The Residential and Non-Residential Care Program for vulnerable and disadvantaged sectors through the operation of residential and non-residential care facilities.

As of October 2020, a total of 6,119 clients were served in DSWD’s residential care facilities, while a total of 748 clients were served in the Department’s non-residential care facilities.

Registration, Licensing, and Accreditation of SWDAs

Embodying its regulatory functions, DSWD ensures that social welfare and development agencies (SWDAs) and service providers are implementing effective programs and services through the registration and licensing of SWD agencies and accreditation of SWD programs, services, and service providers.

As of October 2020, 101 social welfare agencies were registered and issued with license to operate, while some 145 auxiliary SWDAs were registered. Meanwhile,  51 social welfare agencies and 396 civil society organizations were accredited by DSWD.  Additionally, for social welfare service providers, the Department accredited 43 social workers managing court cases, 264 pre-marriage counsellors, and 3,212 child development workers.

Policy Formulation

Among the mandates of DSWD is to formulate policies and plans which provide direction to intermediaries and other implementers in the development and delivery of SWD services.

As part of the Department’s ongoing efforts to improve the delivery of services by local government units (LGUs) in assisting recovering persons who use drugs or RPWUD, DSWD has issued guidelines on the implementation of the Yakap Bayan Program under DSWD Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 33, series of 2020. The Yakap Bayan Program is a holistic intervention to assist RPWUDs in their recovery journey from surrendering, to treatment or rehabilitation, to aftercare, and to social reintegration to their families and communities. The guidelines aim to provide a concrete course of action that will guide the LGU Anti-Drug Abuse Councils in implementing the program.

Policies issued by the DSWD this year also include MC 16 or the “Guidelines on the Simulated Birth Rectification Act” which provides clear guidance to program implementers on the implementation of Republic Act No. 11222 o “An Act Allowing the Rectification of Simulated Birth Records and Prescribing Administrative Adoption Proceedings for the Purpose.”

In addition to the guidelines issued by the Agency in 2020 is MC 29 or the “Guidelines in the Implementation of Milk Feeding Program along with the Supplementary Feeding Program” which aims to protect children, particularly those children enrolled in Child Development Centers and Supervised Neighborhood Plays from malnutrition through milk supplementation.

Further, the Department, as the lead agency for the Camp Coordination and Camp Management Cluster, has issued Camp Coordination and Camp Management and Protection from COVID-19 Operational Guidance to serve as a guide to disaster responders on how to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in camps and camp-like settings during disasters and calamities. The policy is part of the Department’s efforts to ensure that minimum health and safety protocols are followed in evacuation centers.

Disaster Response

The Department continues its provision of assistance to localities affected by the typhoons that hit the country, particularly during the last quarter of the year when a series of typhoons occurred.

From January to October, the Department reported a total of more than P1.2 Billion disaster response utilization fund. The Department 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.

For the series of typhoons that occurred in the last quarter of the year, the Department provided more than P6.4 million to Regions CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, VI, and VII which were hit by Typhoon Quinta, and  more than P74.1 million worth of assistance to areas affected by Typhoon Rolly.

In addition, more than P159.8 million worth of assistance was distributed by the Department to meet the needs of the families affected by Typhoon Ulysses in Regions I, II, III, CALABARZON, V, National Capital Region, and Cordillera Administrative Region.

As part of the early recovery interventions of DSWD to families whose houses have been damaged by the recent typhoons, the Department implements Cash-for-Work (CFW) and Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA). An initial amount of more than P123 million has been released to DSWD-Field Office (FO) V to cover the ESA and CFW of 10,032 families with totally damaged houses in the Provinces of Albay and Catanduanes caused by typhoon “Rolly”. Each family receives P12,330 composed of P10,000 for ESA and P2,330 for CFW at P233.00 per day for ten (10) days.

Meanwhile, as part of the Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation effort of the Department, some 276, 575 households nationwide were given CFW.

Ushering the new year with renewed commitment to dedicated public serve

With the continued threat of COVID-19, the year 2021 will undoubtedly bring new challenges, but the DSWD assures Filipinos of its consistent dedicated and compassionate public service.

The approval of the 2021 budget including that of the P176.9 billion fund for DSWD will  enable the Department to strengthen its social welfare and development programs including the 4Ps, SFP, SLP, Kalahi CIDSS, protective services for individuals and families in difficult circumstances, and disaster response and rehabilitation programs.

DSWD will leverage on 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.

During the briefing, the Secretary said that the year 2020 was indeed challenging but expressed optimism that DSWD will not falter despite the challenges including the criticisms from various sectors.

He stressed that the positive and negative comments will become the Department’s inspiration to improve its performance and to continue to live up to its main brand of service which is “serbisyong maagap, mapagkalinga, may malasakit, at walang puwang sa katiwalian.” ###

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