“The previous year 2020 was filled with challenges and various calamities including the COVID-19 pandemic. It has brought havoc to individuals, families and communities not only in region 7 but worldwide. The DSWD has stood true to its mandate, serving with love, and commitment to less fortunate people needing us,” said Regional Director Rebecca Geamala.
Despite the situation, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VII has continued to implement its various social protection programs and services.
Programs and Services
The DSWD has been tasked to implement the Emergency Cash Subsidy under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) provided for under Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Law which targeted low-income families or workers in the informal economy assessed to be the most affected by the declaration of the community quarantine.
For the first tranche of SAP, DSWD-7 disbursed to the Local Government Units (LGUs) a total of Php 7.7 billion to over 1.3 million family beneficiaries. For the second tranche, the regional office has already provided more than Php 4.6 billion through manual and digital payouts to over 644,138 family-beneficiaries of SAP’s 2nd tranche.
“Ipalit nako kini og bugas ug tambal para sa akong maintenance mao pasalamat ko nga nadunggan akong pag-ampo (I will use the money to purchase rice and medicine for my maintenance and that is why I am thankful that my prayer was answered),” said Rosana Aleodion, 59 years old, of Brgy. Catarman, Cordova, Cebu.
The Department also implemented the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or the Bayanihan 2 in the last quarter of 2020 as the agency’s response and recovery intervention to the COVID-19 pandemic and has continued the conduct of payouts this 2021.
The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) currently serves 277,378 active households, utilizing more than Php 5.6 billion cash grants while it also provided livelihood support to 29,077 families through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), disbursing more than Php 236 million funds.
“Tungod sa 4Ps, daghang mga kabataan ang nakapadayon sa ilang pag-eskwela apil na ana ang among mga anak. Ang unang tulong anak namo kay nakahuman na sa college ug ang kinamanghuran kay bag-o lang nakahuman sa senior highschool mao nga wala gayud na-usik ang ayuda nga gihatag sa gobyerno (Because of 4Ps, many children were able to continue their studies including our children. Our first three children were able to finished their college education and the youngest had just graduated in senior highschool and that is why the assistance provided by the government did not put into waste),” said Felix Dusaran, 4Ps partner-beneficiary from Brgy. Cayacay, Alicia, Bohol.
Meanwhile, under the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), 731 sub-projects have been completed in 633 barangays in the region with a budget of more than Php 1.5 billion. Some of these sub-projects are isolation centers, telecommunication equipment, and cash for work scheme.
Clarita Cajudo, a Brgy. Councilor of Brgy. Jolomaynon, Dalaguete, Cebu cited solidarity among the community volunteers, barangay officials and the local government unit was the key for their successful sub-project implementation.
The DSWD also ensured that clients are assisted through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) and served 325,651 clients in the region for their educational, medical, transportation, burial, and food and non-food assistance amounting to Php 984 million in 2020.
“Nagpasalamat ko sa ayuda sa DSWD kay nakatabang kini sa pagbayad sa mga nagastos sa pagpalubong sa akong igsoon (I am thankful for the financial aid of DSWD because it augmented in the expenses for the burial of my brother),” said Romil Angcon from Cordova, Cebu.
To help augment the daily subsistence and medical needs of indigent senior citizens, the DSWD did not falter in delivering the cash stipend under the Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens. It benefited 277,712 indigent senior citizens in the region with a total disbursed funds of 1.6 billion.
Rodrega Larido from Loon, Bohol expressed how grateful she is as part of the Social Pension Program. She added that the cash stipend should be increased for them to buy their basic needs like food and medicine.
The Department also monitored disasters, prepositioned family food packs (FFPs) in the provinces to ensure ample resources for disaster-affected families, mobilized quick response teams (QRTs), and provided augmentation support to the local government units (LGUs). The DSWD Field Office VII distributed last year family food packs and non-food items with a total cost of assistance of more than Php 210 million.
Aside from SAP, promotive programs, AICS, social pension and disaster response, the agency also continued to implement various interventions through the implementation of supplementary feeding program, alternative family care program, residential and non-residential care program among others.
DSWD at 70
“The year 2020 has brought us to learn more in serving. I believe that DSWD is a second to none agency in helping the poor, socially and economically. I pray that this 2021, DSWD-7 staff will feel the sacred responsibility of loving and caring for our less fortunate brethren. I also pray that DSWD will continue to become a haven of rest for those who are bombarded with issues in life, and that they will feel that there is an agency that they can run to and trust,” underscored Director Geamala.
This 2021, the Department marks its 70th anniversary and will continue to live up to its main brand of service which is prompt and compassionate service. ###