As one of the highlights of its 66th Anniversary, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recognized its various partners and stakeholders through the “Pagkilala sa Natatanging Kontribusyon sa Bayan (PaNata Ko sa Bayan) Awards” in a simple ceremony held yesterday, February 21 at the DSWD Auditorium, Batasan Hills, Quezon City.
In her welcome message, DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo said that the awards “are the Department’s way of thanking the various groups and individuals who have helpep the DSWD implement its mandate to serve the Filipino people not only during calamities and emergencies, but also during the course of their daily lives as they seek to improve the lives of their children and their families.”
“As the government’s lead welfare agency, the DSWD faces the massive challenge of responding to the needs of thousands of Filipinos who do not have the immediate means to address sudden emergencies, such as financial assistance for medical and hospital needs; educational needs of children, funeral and burial arrangements of loved ones and livelihood assistance for vulnerable sectors. These are among the most basic services that the DSWD provides. Aside from these, the Department also manages centers for abused women, for abandoned children and neglected senior citizens providing counseling and psycho-social interventions to people experiencing or recovering from trauma. During calamities, we try to respond as fast as we can to assist as many Filipinos as possible,” she expounded.
She said that given its mandate and the herculean challenge to assist all those in need, the DSWD needs all the help that it can get so that it can perform all its tasks.
“We will never be able to accomplish all that we need to do for our beneficiaries without the help and support of our various partners. We hold the annual PaNata awards to thank them and to give tribute to their own efforts to help Filipinos improve their lives,” Sec. Taguiwalo added.
The PANATA Awards is divided into sub-categories namely:
Salamat Po Award – a commendation of development partners and volunteers who helped the DSWD deliver its social protection services. The award is also in recognition of achieved goals and the established best practices of various NGO partners.
Gawad sa Makabagong Teknolohiyang Panlipunan – An award given to either a Local Government Unit (LGU), or an NGO which has introduced a new and effective social technology, the use of which has led to the creation of a best practice.
GAPAS Awards – a commendation given to (i) Local Government Unit (LGU) implementing DSWD programs and services such as Day Care Services, Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) and Sustainable Livelihood Program enterprise and employment facilitation models and to LGUs effectively implementing a convergence initiative, and the Best People’s Organization that has significant contribution in their respective communities.
Gawad Serbisyo- a recognition to partners in government service who provide significant assistance and unwavering commitment during emergencies.
For the Salamat Po Individual Volunteer Category, the DSWD awarded Julie Taniongon from Brgy. Igsoro, Bugasong, Antique who despite his physical disability worked hard as a community volunteer of KALAHI-CIDSS.
Meanwhile, Cabanatuan City Day Care Workers Federation which have shown commendable efforts to go beyond their roles as day care workers ensuring that children’s safety and needs are prioritized during disaster operations, bagged the Salamat Po Award Volunteer Group Category.
The Department also recognized the contribution of its partner-local and international donors which have provided resources in cash or in-kind for the year 2016 to provide establishment of basic facilities and social services of the DSWD.
The local partner-donors are:
- Ronald McDonald House Charities Inc.
- PhilSeven Foundation
- Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation
- Kabisig ng Kalahi
- International Justice Mission
- A Child’s Trust is Ours to Nurture (ACTION)
- Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade-Australian Embassy (DFAT)
- Asian Development Bank
- World Bank
- United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
- United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
- United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP)
In his message, UNFPA’s Country Representative Klaus Beck who gave the response on behalf of the awardees in this category cited the commitment and dedication of the DSWD work force in providing assistance to those in need, whether in disaster situations or to help them uplift their quality of life.
“It is you, the DSWD personnel who should be commended because you are the frontliners, and I have witnessed the work that you do in helping victims of disasters and the vulnerable sectors of society,” Beck stated.
On the other hand, the Salamat Po Award to Non-Government Organization category went to Signpost Philippines, Inc. based in the Province of Iloilo. The organization was recognized for working with the community to bring sustainable change that impact not only for the short period of time but goes beyond the project life.
For the GAPAS Awards, another sub-category, the LGU of Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro bagged two awards as Model LGU Implementing Day Care Service and Kalahi-CIDSS. Mayor Eduardo Gadiano, together with the head of the Municipal Social Welfare Development Office and other LGU staff received the awards.
The LGU of Mabalacat, Pampanga also received the GAPAS Award as Model LGU Implementing Day Care Service with Mayor Marino P. Morales receiving the award, while the LGU of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, represented by Mayor Romulo Festin was awarded as Model LGU Implementing Protective Programs and Services.
Two model LGUs were awarded for their excellent performance in implementing the two tracks of Sustainable Livelihood Program. These were the Municipality of Calinog, Iloilo, represented by Mayor Alex A. Centena, as Outstanding Sustainable Livelihood Program Enterprise and Employment Facilitation Model and the LGU of Taytay, Palawan for implementing SLP Microenterprise Development Model.
The municipality of Calinog acquired P26 million worth of livelihood and employment projects through the SLP-Yolanda Response and Reconstruction Program, while Taytay is currently implementing the Department’s SLP which aims to uplift the socio-economic conditions of the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program partner-beneficiaries.
In the LGU People’s Organization sub-category, Kalipunan ng Liping Filipina Baguio City Women’s Federation, Inc. represented by their president, Lolita P. Castro received the Model People’s Organization GAPAS Award.
Another sub-category, the Gawad sa Makabagong Teknolohiyang Panlipunan was awarded to the Municipality of Bacuag, Surigao del Norte for their innovative project, Integrated Community Action towards Recovery and Empowerment for Children and Youth Victims of Illegal Drugs (I CARE).
For the last category under PANATA Awards, the Gawad Serbisyo was bestowed on uniformed personnel and groups that assisted DSWD during disaster relief operations. These were Coast Guardman Course, National Police Training Institute, National Fire Training Institute, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine National Police, Philippine Air Force, Philippine Navy and the National Jail Management and Penology Training Institute.
In his closing message, Asst. Secretary for Special Concerns Jose Antonio Hernandez, PANATA Awards 2016 Chairperson, reiterated his thanks to all of the awardees. He said that the awards will inspire more LGUs, NGOs and other partners to “give their best in the implementation of social welfare development programs and services.”
He also commended the PANATA Committee, composed of rank and file employees from the different offices, bureaus, services and units of the DSWD Central Office for their efforts in ensuring that this year’s awarding ceremony is successful. ###