The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) leads the Filipino nation in joining the global community in the celebration of the 24thyear of the International Day of Families today,  May 15.

Based on the declaration of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly held on September 20, 1993, the International Day of Families is being celebrated on May 15 every year.

As member of the UN, the Philippines yearly supports this notable event through the National Committee on the Filipino Family (NCFF) chaired by the DSWD.

For this year, the global theme is, “Families, Education and Well-Being”, which highlights the importance of education, as well as the overall welfare of the families in the development of the nation.

In support of the celebration, the DSWD is gathering NCFF member agencies, and family advocates to discuss the theme as well as the current issues and trends affecting Filipino families through a forum this afternoon at the Skydome, SM North, Quezon City.

This will be attended by family advocates and families from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), National Youth Commission (NYC), Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), Kaisahang Buhay Foundation (KBF), Alliance on Mental Health, Institute of Family Life and Women Studies, among others.

Richard Tamayo, an internationally-known family advocate and speaker, will join the event to discuss the importance of the well-being of Filipino families.

The Department will also showcase new programs responsive to the many issues being faced by the Filipino families such as the “Lipunang Lumalaban sa Kaharasan” (LILUK) or an anti-family violence program; and, a program on Strengthening and Empowering Families of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo said, “DSWD recognizes the importance of every Filipino family and its crucial role in helping build a progressive society.  Strong families are the foundation of a developed, peaceful nation where there is social justice.  Today, many issues affect the Filipino families, and we need to work together to address them.”

She added that efforts must be made to assist OFW families and solo parent-headed families. She also said that the proliferation of illegal drugs is a social issue that affects many Filipino families.

“Government agencies and all family advocates need to consolidate efforts and conduct in-depth studies on the family situation in the Philippines so that appropriate measures and  programs can be identified to address  the socio-economic issues that affect the well-being of families,” she said. ###