On July 3, 2024, the Department of Social Welfare and Development kicked off the Cebu leg of the information caravan at the Cebu Provincial Capitol, which aims to provide an orientation of innovation projects to the local chief executives and other stakeholders across the country.

Secretary Rex Gatchalian presents the innovation projects of DSWD to the local chief executives and other stakeholders in the Province of Cebu.

Secretary Rex Gatchalian introduces three (3) flagship programs under the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., which includes the Walang Gutom 2027: Food Stamp Program, Tara, Basa! Tutoring Program, and the Pag-abot Program. All of these are DSWD’s contributions to the goal of the President that there be no hunger and poverty by the time he steps out of office.

The caravan aims to inform the public about the agency’s new programs and serves as a consultation dialogue between the DSWD and local government units covered by its implementation.

“We are road showing these three projects to encourage our partner LGUs here in Cebu Province to support the implementation of these programs. We believe that Cebu is ahead of its time, and we are confident that our projects can be done successfully here in the province,” the Secretary said.

The Food Stamp Program uses electronic benefit transfers loaded with food credits worth Php 3,000 to purchase a select list of food items from accredited retail partners.

For Region 7, the program covers Cebu and Negros Oriental as the first two provinces to implement it, with 10,174 and 21,574 target beneficiaries, respectively.

The Tara, Basa! Tutoring Program is a reformatted educational assistance program in the form of cash for work that DSWD currently implemented in 57 barangays in Cebu City.

Through this program, college students will be capacitated and deployed as tutors and Youth Development Workers (YWD) to help improve the reading proficiencies of grade school students struggling to read or non-readers.

Meanwhile, the Pag-abot Program aims to protect individuals and families in street situations by providing them with the necessary interventions to return to their home provinces, which include livelihood, transitory shelter, and transitory assistance.

At the end of the information caravan, DSWD received a favorable endorsement from the provincial government in the implementation of the national government’s innovation projects.

DSWD Field Office 7 Regional Director Shalaine Marie S. Lucero and Undersecretary for Innovations Eduardo M. Punay joins the Secretary in responding to the questions during the open forum.

A manifestation of the Capitol’s support to DSWD’s innovative projects, Governor Gwendolyn F. Garcia announced that LGUs in the island province of Cebu will receive Php 3 million to fund an infrastructure project that will serve as the social welfare hub for the promotion of DSWD programs in every town and cities.

A total of 47 LCEs expressed their interest to support the implementation of the Food Stamp program in their locality—47 for Tara, Basa! Tutoring Program, and 43 for the Pag-abot Program. ###

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