The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Starboard Foundation, Inc. for the provision of employment opportunities to Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries on February 26 in Intramuros, Manila.
DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista and Starboard Foundation, Inc. President Manuel M. Gorobat Jr. signed the MOU with Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III as witness.
Starboard Foundation, Inc. provides scholarships, trainings and development, and community service to uplift the quality of life of its beneficiaries. It is the corporate social responsibility arm of Starboard Manpower Services, Inc., an independent job contractor engaged in the business of supplying local manpower to businesses in the country.
Under the MOU, DSWD will certify 4Ps beneficiaries who are qualified for training and employment. Starboard, on the other hand, will conduct free training programs to the qualified 4Ps beneficiaries to equip them with employable skills. It will also assist and endorse qualified trainees to their partner-employers for possible employment here and abroad.
Possible jobs that can be availed of include clerical, secretarial, and support services in restaurants.
Meanwhile, DOLE will provide technical assistance to DSWD and Starboard regarding employment facilitation through the convergence of programs and services that focus on the enhancement of operational efficiency and strengthening of inter-agency partnership.
DSWD Secretary Bautista said the partnership is in support of 4P’s ultimate goal—to facilitate the progressive improvement of beneficiaries’ level of wellbeing towards self-sufficiency and becoming financially independent.
“As one of the ways to promote the economic capacities of 4Ps households, it is indeed imperative that our allies and partners in development invest in our fellow countrymen. Hence, DSWD looks forward to this partnership, which will provide interventions to 4Ps beneficiaries through trainings, teaching on family values and financial literacy, local and international employment, and scholarships,” he said.
The Secretary went on to commend the Starboard for “answering the call to partner with the government in providing job opportunities both here and abroad.”
He also recognized the importance of DOLE in promoting gainful employment and protecting workers and their welfare while maintaining industrial peace.
For his part, DOLE Secretary Bello pledged full support to the undertaking of DSWD of uplifting the lives of 4Ps beneficiaries. He also reminded of the responsibilities that come with the MOU.
“As DOLE is mandated to promote decent employment for all Filipinos, we are also mandated to protect the rights and ensure that we afford them social protection. So while we bear witness to this signing ceremony, I hope that the signatories are well aware of the responsibilities and that they will abide by all existing labor laws and guidelines,” Secretary Bello said.
Part of the MOA signing was the awarding of the Certificates of Eligibility for Training and Employment to 11 4Ps beneficiaries from Taguig and Quezon City who comprised the first batch of beneficiaries who are eligible and ready for possible employment. DSWD and its partners hope to provide the same training and job opportunities to all 4Ps beneficiaries who will be graduating from the program.
Also present during the event were DSWD Undersecretary for Operations and 4Ps National Project Director Aimee Torrefrance-Neri, 4Ps National Program Manager Director Gemma B. Gabuya, Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) Director Restituto B. Macuto, DSWD Field Office-National Capital Region (NCR) Regional Director Vicente Gregorio B. Tomas, and DOLE Assistant Secretary Dominique R. Tutay.
“This partnership is a step in the right direction in realizing a tunay na malasakit sa mahihirap at maaagap at mapagkailngang serbisyo sa mamamayan. This MOU will certainly provide concrete opportunities for beneficiaries seeking employment and will surely enable to complement the goals of the administration on poverty reduction and sustained inclusive growth. The DSWD is looking forward to collaborating with DOLE and Starboard Manpower Services, Inc. for the welfare of the Filipino people,” Secretary Bautista ended.
In line with Republic Act 11310 or the Institutionalization of 4Ps Act, which stipulates the convergence of programs and services to ensure that beneficiaries are alleviated from poverty and remain non-poor even after they have graduated from the program, DSWD partners with various organizations and national government agencies like DOLE and Starboard Foundation, Inc. to achieve this goal.
4Ps, implemented by DSWD, is an investment in human capital which seeks to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty by focusing on education and health of the beneficiaries. It uses the conditional cash transfer scheme to provide cash grants to the beneficiaries who comply with the program conditionalities which are: children 3 to 18 years old must be enrolled in kindergarten, elementary, and high school, and attend classes at least 85% of the time each month; children 0-5 years old must receive regular preventive health check-ups, growth monitoring, and vaccines; pregnant women get pre and post-natal care (must be attended by skilled/professional health workers); children in elementary must receive de-worming pills twice a year; and attendance of the grantee/parent/guardian to the monthly Family Development Session. -30-