The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in 2017 remained true to its mandate of effectively implementing programs, projects, and services that alleviate poverty and empower disadvantaged individuals; and to its commitment of protecting and promoting the social welfare rights of the Filipinos. This is despite facing an administrative challenge this year when the Commission on Appointments rejected the ad interim appointment of former DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo in August.

As Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Emmanuel A. Leyco took over, he vowed that the provision of Maagap at Mapagkalingang Serbisyo (prompt and compassionate service) started by former Sec. Taguiwalo would continue, as well as the provision of Serbisyong Walang Puwang sa Katiwalian (service devoid of corruption), and Patas na Pagtrato sa Komunidad (fair and just treatment to communities).

An educator with expertise in public finance and public policy, OIC Leyco led the Department in continuously implementing its programs and services to help Filipinos in need, especially those who have been affected by the Marawi crisis.

The Officer-in-Charge also led in defending the ‘pro-poor, pro-people’ 2018 budget of the DSWD, standing against the issue of pork barrel.

Here are the highlights of the Department’s accomplishments in 2017:

Sustainable Livelihood Program

Since 2011, the DSWD has been continuously implementing the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), a community-based capacity building program that aims to improve the socio-economic condition of poor Filipinos by facilitating opportunities for development and management of resources viable for micro-enterprises and employment facilitation.

Under SLP, beneficiaries are given the option to take either the micro-enterprise development track or the employment facilitation track after participating in social preparation and capacity-building activities.

As of November 30, SLP has served a total of 134,923 households nationwide. Of this number, 98,643 households were assisted under the micro-enterprise development track, consisting of 90,842 Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) households and 7,801 non-4Ps households.

Meanwhile, 36,280 households underwent the employment facilitation track, consisting of 32,655 4Ps households and 3,625 non-Pantawid households.

Modified livelihood assistance for Marawi IDPs

In order to assist the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Mindanao who were affected by the five-month-long Marawi siege, the DSWD has provided cash-for-work (CFW) opportunities to the affected families.

CFW is a short-term intervention implemented by the Department to provide temporary employment to distressed or displaced individuals by participating in preparedness, mitigation, relief, rehabilitation or risk reduction projects and activities in their communities or in evacuation centers.

As of November 16, a total of P102,266,000 CFW assistance was released to some 51, 133 beneficiaries in Regions VII, X, CARAGA and ARMM to provide a temporary source of livelihood for the IDPs.

Protective Services for vulnerable sectors

Around 6,204,090 vulnerable, disadvantaged, and distressed individuals were served by the DSWD in 2017 through its various protective services such as Social Pension Program; Assistance for Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS); Lingap at Gabay sa May Sakit (LinGAP); Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP); and through the implementation of its centers and institutions.

“DSWD is one of the government agencies at the forefront of public service, usually referred to as the heart of the government.  Our programs and services cater to the varied needs of the poor, victims of abuses, disadvantaged, and marginalized.  We fondly say within the Department that DSWD serves from “womb to tomb” as we provide assistance from the nutrition of unborn babies through the 4Ps to burial assistance for the needy,” OIC Leyco stated.

a.      Social Pension for seniors

One of the core programs of the Department is geared towards the protection of the vulnerable older persons aged 60 years and above.  As of November 30, around 2,538,723 senior citizens received their social pension amounting to P500 a month from DSWD totaling to P14,978,250,135.13

b.     Individuals in crisis situation

DSWD also implements the AICS program which aims to help individuals in distress through limited but immediate assistance such as medical, transportation, burial, and educational, among others.

For 2017, the Department served 671,596 clients nationwide with assistance amounting to P2,493,320,460.52.  Of the total assistance provided through the AICS program, more than 65 percent or P1,631,218,805.98 were utilized for the medical assistance to 354,459 clients.

c.       Supplementary feeding

As hunger issues and malnutrition continue to plague the country, DSWD regularly implements its Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) for day care center children. For 2017, DSWD served 2,932,570 day care children with hot meals for a duration of 30 days.

d.     Lingap at Gabay sa MaySakit

In 2016, President Rodrigo R. Duterte gave a P1 Billion fund to DSWD for the implementation of the free medicines program which the Department called the Lingap at Gabay sa MaySakit Program. This year, Lingap was fully implemented in Regions III, VI, VII, XI and the National Capital Region (NCR) wherein indigent patients and/or relatives may avail of the free medicines program.

In the latter part of the year, the Department amended the program guidelines to include the expansion of the partnership with other hospitals as well as the addition of the assistance for prosthetics assistive devices, laboratory procedures, and other medical supplies instead of just medicines.

As of November, the Department has served 38,407 indigent patients who availed of the Lingap program utilizing P381,113,963.67 of the P1B fund.

e.      Better facilities for the disadvantaged

One of the core responsibilities of the Department is to care for the disadvantaged sectors, which include the abused, neglected, and those children in conflict with the law (CICL) through the management of non-residential and residential centers and facilities nationwide.

Presently, DSWD manages 64 residential care services catering for the children, youth, women, older persons, and persons with disabilities (PWDs).  In addition, the Department manages seven non-residential care services for grieving mothers and for PWDs.

The latest report shows that 16,574 clients were served, with 15,867 inside residential care facilities, and 707 in non-residential care facilities.  Around P836,224,689 of the Department’s funds was utilized for the centers and facilities.

Disaster response and preparedness

The DSWD, as the lead disaster response agency, continues to strengthen its monitoring and emergency response operations to immediately address the needs of localities affected by weather disturbances, armed conflicts, and hazards through the prepositioning of relief supplies which includes Family Food Packs (FFPs) in strategic locations around the country, mobilization of quick response teams (QRTs), and provision of augmentation support to concerned local government units (LGUs).

Starting with Tropical Depression ‘Auring’ last January, the Department was able to provide a total of P1,168,167 worth of relief assistance to the families affected in Regions VII and CARAGA; P2,233,283.98 worth of assistance when the tail end of a cold front affected 131 barangays in Regions XI and CARAGA in February; and P366,250 worth of assistance to the families affected by Tropical Depression ‘Crising’ which became a low pressure area (LPA) after its landfall in Region VII in April.

Likewise, the Department also distributed P444,600.00 worth of assistance for Tropical Storm ‘Maring’-affected areas while P298,485.76 worth of assistance was provided to families affected by Severe Tropical Storm ‘Odette’ that devastated Regions CAR, II, and III.

At present, the DSWD is continuing its relief operations in the areas damaged by Tropical Depression ‘Urduja’ and Tropical Storm ‘Vinta.’

As of this writing, the DSWD gave assistance worth P72,541,895.88 in areas affected by Urduja and P9,114,110 worth of assistance in areas devastated by ‘Vinta’.

Several earthquakes also hit different regions starting with a magnitude 6.7 earthquake in Surigao City which damaged more than 10,000 houses in Surigao del Norte. The Department was able to provide a total of P22,488,257.37 to help the families affected by the disaster and assist them to rebuild their homes.

Meanwhile, P5,636,714.00 worth of assistance was provided to the families affected by the magnitude 6.0 quake in Mabini, Batangas last April 8; P252,394.40 worth of assistance to barangays affected by another magnitude 6.0 earthquake that struck Wao, Lanao del Sur on April 12, and in July, a total of P18,785,757.44 worth of food and non-food items were provided to families affected by a 6.5 magnitude earthquake in Ormoc City and Kananga, Leyte.

The Department also monitored and provided assistance to 40 individuals affected by the fire Incident in the Housing Technology Industries (HTI) Pte. Ltd. in EPZA, General Trias City, Cavite through the provision of financial-medical assistance worth P5,000 to those in critical condition; P4,000.00 to those who sustained 60-80% burns, and P3,000.00 to those with minor injuries.

Apart from providing assistance to victims of natural calamities and hazards, the DSWD also extended aid to communities affected by armed conflicts.

On April 11, an armed operation against alleged members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) transpired in Inabanga, Bohol and affected 34 barangays in Region VII. The DSWD was able to send a total of P1,710,000 worth of assistance to the affected families.

For the ongoing armed conflict in Marawi City, P432,236,604 worth of food and non-food items were provided by the DSWD to its responding Field Offices and ₱883,482,536.40 was augmented by the Department to its responding Field Offices and Response Centers.

As of the latest report from the DSWD Disaster Response Assistance and Management Bureau (DReAMB), the affected families of the Marawi siege have received P650,521,531.56 worth of relief assistance. Of the said amount, P486,525,642.80 has been provided by DSWD; P51,480,815.00 has been provided by DSWD-ARMM; P62,558,155.00 has been provided by ARMM-HEART; P21,801,836.95 has been provided by LGUs; and, P28,165,041.86 has been provided by non-government organizations (NGOs).

Meanwhile, one of the notable accomplishments of the DSWD in terms of disaster preparedness was the successful conduct of simulation exercises for its Rapid Emergency Telecommunications Team (RETT) which utilized the different state-of-the-art satellite telecommunications equipment provided by the British mobile satellite company, Inmarsat, under the International Partnership Programme (IPP) of the United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA).

The emergency telecommunications system include the Global Xpress® terminal, the latest technology in mobile satellite broadband telecommunications; Automatic-Pointing Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) terminals, Manual-Pointing BGANs terminals and the latest ISat2 mobile satellite telephones which can all be used anywhere in the Philippines.

Ushering the new year with renewed commitment to serve

The year 2018 will undoubtedly bring new challenges as well as opportunities,  but the DSWD assures the public of its consistent dedicated public service.

Kasabay ng bagong taon ay ang paniniguro namin ng mas maagap at patuloy na may malasakit na pagseserbisyo. Makaka-asa ang publiko na ang programa at serbisyo ng DSWD ay bukas para sa mga nangangailangan (As we usher in the new year, we also assure the public of  our renewed commitment to serve.  Rest assured that the programs and services of DSWD are open to all those in need),” OIC-Secretary Leyco said.  ###