DSWD Secretary Gatchalian, British envoy to PH renew ties on social welfare concerns

(Photo 1) DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian, together with DSWD officials, welcomes British Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufils (third from right), Consul Neil James (second from right), and Political Officer Ronn Bautista (right) during a courtesy visit at the DSWD Central Office on Monday, April 24.

(Photo 2) Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian presents a token to British Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufils during her courtesy visit.

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian met with British Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufils, on Monday, April 24, to further strengthen existing ties and discuss possible partnership opportunities on capacitating the social welfare workforce and fighting hunger in the Philippines.

During the British envoy’s courtesy visit, Secretary Gatchalian laid out to Ambassador Beaufils and her delegation the Department’s initiatives to upskill the DSWD workforce and to mitigate hunger in the country.

As part of its plans to further equip and train the social welfare workforce and other service providers offering and implementing social protection packages, the DSWD will revitalize its Social Welfare and Development Center for Asia and the Pacific (SWADCAP) as an academy for social workers and those involved in social welfare programs.

Through the academy, the DSWD will provide certificate programs and short courses on various fields like social protection and disaster preparedness, among others to further improve the provision of social welfare programs to the poor and the vulnerable sectors.

In addressing hunger in the country, Secretary Gatchalian shared the DSWD’s plans to implement and provide digital food stamps that may be used by its recipients to buy goods in grocery stores and supermarkets.

In response to the Secretary, Ambassador Beaufils, vowed to share the British government’s curriculum and other materials that may be used by the DSWD for its academy.

The British envoy also expressed her government’s commitment to provide technical assistance in the provision of digital food stamps for poor Filipinos.

In line with the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to provide immediate assistance to indigent Filipinos, Secretary Gatchalian continues to strengthen the DSWD’s relationship with international governments that will contribute to the Department’s fight against hunger and improvement in the delivery of quality services to the public. #


DSWD gives food packs to ex-members of CPP-NPA-NDF allied groups from NCR, nearby provinces

Photo caption: DSWD Inclusive – Sustainable Peace and Special Concerns Undersecretary Alan A. Tanjusay leads the distribution of food packs to some 300 former members of groups affiliated with CPP-NPA-NDF, Zone One Tondo Organization (ZOTO) and Koalisyon ng Maralita (KnM), on Saturday, April 22, in Caloocan City.

As part of its efforts to contribute to the country’s peace agenda, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) provided food assistance to the former members of groups affiliated with the Communist Party of the Philippines-National People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) from different urban poor communities in Metro Manila and nearby provinces on Saturday, April 22.

DSWD Inclusive – Sustainable Peace and Special Concerns Undersecretary Alan A. Tanjusay spearheaded the distribution of family food packs to some 300 former members of the Zone One Tondo Organization (ZOTO) and Koalisyon ng Maralita (KnM) during the returnee’s oath-taking ceremony and general assembly held at Munting Nayon Covered Court in Bagong Silang, Caloocan City.

The former members of the said groups were based in different relocation sites and areas for demolition in the cities of Caloocan, Manila, and Pasig, as well as in the provinces of Bulacan and Rizal, and were formed to call for the government’s support for their livelihood and settlement.

In his message, Usec. Tanjusay extended his gratitude to the returnees for folding back to the government and for cooperating with their group leaders as they reintegrate into society.

“Nawa’y magtuloy-tuloy at mas marami pa kayong mahikayat na kababayan natin na sumapi sa ating samahan (We hope that you continue to encourage more of our fellow-Filipinos to join our cause),” Usec Tanjusay said as he witnessed former ZOTO and KnM members take their oath of support to the government.

Organized by the Peace and Development Task Force (PDTF), in partnership with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Philippine National Police (PNP), the participation of the DSWD in the general assembly of the former members of CPP-NPA-NDF-affiliated groups is a milestone partnership between the concerned parties.

According to Ms. Rose Marie Algodon, wife of the founder of the PDTF and a former member of KnM herself, it was the first time the DSWD reached out to their group and given assistance.

“Talagang ramdam namin ang pag-abot ninyo para sa aming urban poor… Ramdam namin na direkta na kaming makahihingi ng assistance para sa mga pangangailangan ng mga maralitang taga-lungsod (We really feel that the government is ready to help the urban poor… We feel that we can directly seek assistance from DSWD to address the needs of the urban poor), Ms. Algodon said.

PDTF is a non-government organization established by Pastor Joel Algodon, a former member of KnM to promote peace and encourage those affiliated with and involved in the activities of CCP-NPA-NDF groups to return to the government.

The DSWD undersecretary said the provision of food packs to the former members of groups affiliated with CPP-NPA-NDF was not just a simple turnover of boxes but it also symbolizes hope among them.

One of the recipients of food packs named ‘Ate Rosaly,’ 58 years old, and a former ZOTO member, shared her view: “Malaking bagay po iyan [food packs] dahil marami kaming nakatira sa aming bahay. para may pangsuporta sa mga apo ko (These food packs are indeed helpful for us as we are a big family, it can support my grandchildren).”

The DSWD vows to continue to support those affiliated with communist terrorist groups, such as the members of ZOTO and KnM, as part of its implementation of Executive Order No. 70, series of 2018, the national law that institutionalizes the whole-of-nation approach to attaining inclusive and sustainable peace. #


DSWD nakipagpulong sa samahan ng mga 4Ps

Nakipagpulong si Kalihim Rex Gatchalian ng Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) sa Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Pamilya ng Pantawid (SNPP), sa pangunguna ng kanilang pangulo na si Angela Tubello, nitong Huwebes, Abril 20 sa DSWD Central Office.

Layunin ng pagpupulong na ito na pag-usapan at tugunan ang mga suliranin na inihain sa kanila ng kanilang mga ka-grupo at kapwa benepisyaryo ng Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)
Sinabi ng Kalihim na lahat ng kanilang mga inilahad na problema ay natanggap ng Kagawaran at gagawan ng kaukulang aksyon batay sa mga alituntunin ng 4Ps.

Binigyang diin ng Kalihim ang kahalagahan ng pakikipagtulungan ng mga grupo ng mga benepisyaryo ng mga programa ng DSWD upang maging matagumpay ang programa.

Hinimok ng Kalihim ang SNPP na tulungan ang Ahensya para maiparating ang tamang proseso ng paghahatid ng reklamo ng mga benepisyaryo gamit ang iba’t-ibang paraan na itinakda ng Grievance Redress System ng programa.

Nangako ang Kalihim na bukas ang kanyang tanggapan para sa regular na pakikipag-usap sa SNPP.

Kasama din sa pagpupulong ang ilang matataas na opisyal ng DSWD kabilang sina Undersecretary Vilma Cabrera; Assistant Secretary Evelyn Macapobre; Assistant Secretary Marites Maristela at si Director Gemma Gabuya, ang National Program Manager ng 4Ps.

Ang pakikipagpulong na ito ay naaayon sa direktiba ni Pangulong Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr na linisin ang mga listahan ng mga benepisaryo ng mga programa ng gobyerno upang masiguro na tanging mga kwalipikado lamang ang mapapabilang dito.

Patuloy na paiigtingin ng DSWD ang ugnayan nito sa iba’t ibang sektor upang lalo pang mapalakas ang mga programa nito laban sa kahirapan. #