The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VII and its employees received recognition during the Programs on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE) held at the Landbank Plaza Auditorium in Malate, Manila on February 6, 2024.

DSWD-7 delegation headed by Regional Director Shalaine Marie S. Lucero during the PRAISE 2023 PRAISE awards rites.

The activity is in line with the Department’s 73rd founding anniversary celebration that carries the theme: Angels in Red Vests: Empathy in Action, Integrity in Service, Unity in Community.

Held annually, the DSWD’s search for PRAISE awardees has become a tradition for the Department in recognizing exemplary public service by its employees. This year, the PRAISE Awards had four major categories: special citations, individual, group, and innovation.

Under the special citations, the awardees from DSWD-7 are the Municipal Action Team of the Municipality of Pamplona composed of Jeh Beh Katipunan, Leah Valencia, Junesa Espleguerra, and Arlene Almosura as Pusong Magiting; Cebu Warehousing Unit headed by Valdemar Paloma as Pusong Maagap at Mapagkalinga; and Social Marketing Unit (SMU) headed by Leah Quintana as Pusong May Malasakit sa Larangan ng Pampublikong Impormasyon.

Under the group award, the Cebu City Action Team was adjudged third place as Best Convergence Action Team.

DSWD-7 Regional Director Shalaine Marie Lucero leads the DSWD-7 delegation and was also hailed as the first Angel in Red Vest (Gawad Kalihim) awardee.

In her acceptance message on behalf of all the awardees, Regional Director Shalaine Lucero dedicated the award to her DSWD Field Office VII family.

“I thank the Lord for giving me the opportunity to do what I love to do and that is to serve His people, and for giving me the blessings of knowledge, skills, strength, and wisdom in carrying out his will,” said Director Lucero during her acceptance message.

DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian, who led the awarding rites, expressed his gratitude to the hardworking men and women of the Department, who are called ‘Angels in Red Vests.’

“Over the course of its 73 years, the DSWD remains one of the top agencies providing excellent public service to the Filipino people. We owe this to our staff – our Angels in Red Vests – who have dedicated their lives to ensure that the DSWD’s legacy of providing a ‘Maagap at Mapagkalingang Serbisyo’ lives on,” the Secretary said in his message.

The DSWD Secretary also mentioned that the red vest being worn by DSWD personnel is a symbol of “love for the Filipino people” which is in line with the Bagong Pilipinas brand of the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

Sa Bagong Pilipinas dapat tayo lahat nakasuot ng red vest kasi yun ang simbolo ng Bagong Pilipinas (In the New Philippines, we should all wear red vests because it symbolizes the New Philippines),” the DSWD chief said.

Gracing the occasion as a distinguished guest is Senator Imee Marcos who is also the Senate Committee Chairperson on Social Justice, Welfare, and Rural Development. ###

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