The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) continues to collaborate with private organizations in efforts to help more poor and marginalized Filipinos.
DSWD Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Emmanuel A. Leyco signed today a new Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with one of the long-time partners of the Department in providing relief assistance and steadfast service to the Filipino people, the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, Inc.
Based on the three-year agreement, the non-profit organization will provide a maximum of 15,000 metric tons of rice for distribution to poor and disadvantaged Filipinos through the DSWD’s programs which include the Supplementary Feeding, Food-for-Work, and food distribution during calamities and disasters.
“We are very happy to receive and sign the Memorandum of Agreement with Tzu Chi Foundation of Taiwan. This is a very significant partnership and definitely, this will be very useful and helpful to our people. We thank you for this donation,” said DSWD OIC Leyco.
Based on the MoA, the DSWD will handle the tax and duty exemption of the importation, including the securing of appropriate clearances from the National Food Authority (NFA) and other government agencies as may be required by the Bureau of Customs (BoC). The DSWD will also provide appropriate warehouse/storage facilities for the whole duration of the project while ensuring the safety of the rice from switching, pilferage, and spoilage. The DSWD will also help Tzu Chi to identify the beneficiaries pursuant to existing DSWD guidelines.
He also pointed out the importance of partnering with private organizations to alleviate hunger in the country.
“There are still many people who are suffering from hunger and we welcome partnerships from different organizations. The government is doing its best provide for Filipinos and to eradicate hunger. We still have a very long way to go to end hunger among the poor and and inter-agency efforts, as well as, cooperation between the private and public sectors to address the issue are very much needed. We very much welcome all support from the private sector, and we are particularly grateful to the Tzu Chi Foundation for its continuing assistance to our programs and for our mutual beneficiaries,” he added.
OIC Leyco also said that even as the DSWD continues to accept donations, it is also focusing on improving its efforts to maximize its own existing resources and to improve its programs to make them more responsive to the needs of Filipinos. He said that it is very important that the DSWD will become more efficient in its use of funds and all other resources and ensure that there is very minimal waste.
“We want the DSWD to deliver is programs and services more efficiently and in ways that are completely free and untainted by corruption — ensuring these will also guarantee that we are able to serve Filipinos who need help the most.”
DSWD Undersecretary for Promotive Programs Group Malou Turalde-Jarabe and DSWD Undersecretary for Protective Programs Group Hope Hervilla also witnessed the signing. On the part of Tzu Chi, foundation chief excutive officer Henry Yunez signed the MoA with foundation deputy CEO Manuel Siao and Gary Song-Huann Lin representing the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines.