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DSWD bares thrusts, priorities for 2016

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The year 2015 saw the increasing efforts of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to achieve its strategic goals aimed at uplifting the lives of poor Filipinos, and empowering the sectors that it serves, as well as its stakeholders.
These strategic goals are: to raise 2.3 million Pantawid Pamilya families with a capacity for improving their level of well-being by 2016; increase the number of National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTSPR)-identified poor families covered by at least two social welfare and development programs/services from 3.9 to 5.2 million by 2016; and, increase the number of provinces with majority of their cities/municipalities having fully-functioning Local Social Welfare and Development Offices (LSWDO) to 40 provinces by 2016.
To achieve these goals, the Department will continue to implement the convergence approach of its core poverty programs such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino; Sustainable Livelihood; and, Kapit-bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), and the harmonization of its promotive and rehabilitative programs and services to more effectively reach its intended beneficiaries.
According to DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, the Department’s thrusts and priorities for 2016 contribute to the achievement of the agency’s strategic goals and organizational outcomes which are to improve capacity of targeted poor families to access opportunities to improve their level of well-being, and to promote the rights of vulnerable sectors, such as poor families and victims of disasters, indigent senior citizens, women and children, solo parents, and persons with disabilities (PWDs).
To ensure that these outcomes are met, Sec. Soliman stated that all the clusters in the DSWD Central Office – namely, the Policy and Plans Group (PPG), Operations and Programs Group (OPG), Institutional Development Group (IDG), Office of the Secretary Group (OSG), and the General Administration and Support Services Group (GASSG), together with its 16 Field Offices, will work closely to render “Matapat, mabilis, mahusay, at magiliw na paglilingkod sa iba’t ibang sector na nangangailangan ng ating tulong (Honest, fast, efficient, and passionate service to the different sectors that need our assistance).”
Moreover, the DSWD’s strengthened partnership with international organizations such as the United Nations-World Food Programme (WFP) will result to an improved and more efficient system of disaster operations.
Aligned with this is the establishment of the Department-wide Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) protocols/system/capacity building guidelines as part of scenario planning to prepare for disasters with the scale and magnitude of Typhoon Yolanda.
The DSWD will also focus on the full implementation of the recovery and rehabilitation efforts in disaster stricken areas of the Visayas Earthquake, Zamboanga Conflict, and Typhoons Sendong, Pablo, Glenda, and Yolanda.
Included in the Department’s priorities for 2016 is to reach out to more vulnerable sectors through the expanded coverage of the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens which will cover poor older persons 60 years old and above by 2016.
Another priority is the streamlining of processes for immediate placement of eligible children for adoption, foster care, and other alternative care strategies.
“We believe that every child needs a loving and stable family, and institutionalization should be the last resort,” the Secretary expounded.
The DSWD will also continue to assist distressed overseas Filipinos avail of social services by deploying Social Welfare Attaches in countries where there are large numbers of overseas Filipino workers and migrants.
“The DSWD will likewise continue to ensure the continuing compliance of social welfare and development agencies (SWDAs) to standards in the delivery of social welfare services, as well as render technical assistance to local government units (LGUs) to improve their delivery of social welfare programs,” Sec. Soliman added.
The Department will also intensify its advocacy, social marketing, and networking activities to effectively communicate its plans and policies with its publics and stakeholders.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.