DSWD to expand anti-poverty programs

Posted on January 06, 2014

THE DEPARTMENT of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has vowed to expand and strengthen its core poverty-reduction programs this year, its top official said.

DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman said the department will continue to implement its Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) aimed at providing cash subsidies to poor families nationwide.

“Pantawid Pamilya will cover all eligible poor households... and sustain the gains of the program to other social protection services particularly sustainable livelihood opportunities,” Ms. Soliman said in a statement.

She said the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS), a government project targeted at communities, will cover an additional 323,325 households in 10,714 barangays nationwide this year.

She said the Micro-Enterprise Development and Guaranteed Employment Tracks will cover an additional 23,660 beneficiaries in 2014.

In an effort to help more senior citizens, the DSWD said it will expand its Social Pension program to cover an additional 46,954 beneficiaries.

Ms. Soliman said the department also hopes to provide shelter assistance this year to 472 informal settler families living in danger areas and waterways of Metro Manila.

“For disaster response, DSWD will evaluate and enhance disaster risk reduction strategies, programs, services and partnerships to ensure readiness and achieve zero casualty in future calamities,” the statement read.

In its 2013 yearend report, the department said it has provided more than a billion pesos worth of assistance to disaster victims, including the survivors of the monsoon rains which plagued Metro Manila.

The department said it also provided relief assistance to the survivors of typhoon Santi (international name: Nari) which lashed Central Luzon in September, the Zamboanga armed conflict, the earthquake in Central Visayas, and typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan), which devastated the Visayas region on Nov. 8.

The DSWD said the 4Ps is already on its fifth year of implementation.

“As of Nov. 27, the program is being implemented in all 1,627 cities and municipalities in 79 provinces in 17 Regions,” the statement said.

The 4Ps provides education and health cash grants of as much as P1,400 each to a family with three qualified children provided they comply with the conditions of sending them to public schools to study, and in health centers for checkups.

A total of 3.8 million households are covered by the regular Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program, while 94,247 are covered by Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT). The department said the MCCT targets families in need of special protection, homeless street families, and poor children aged 15 to 17 years old.

Ms. Soliman said the total cash grants paid to eligible and compliant beneficiaries from January to November last year was P33.8 billion. Out of this total, P16.3 billion was for education, while the balance was used for health-related projects.

For the project Kalahi-CIDSS -- which uses the community-driven development (CDD) approach to reduce poverty by funding community projects -- the DSWD said it has expanded its coverage to reach up to 50% of poorest municipalities in targeted provinces, utilizing the additional financing from the World Bank (WB), and a grant from the United States’ Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC).

As of September, the DSWD said the WB and MCC funded a total of 4,042 community sub-projects amounting to P4.7 billion that will benefit approximately 928,377 households.

Meanwhile, Ms. Soliman said the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) continues to provide entrepreneurial and employment opportunities to the poor, mostly beneficiaries of 4Ps, the statement said.

The statement added that from January to November, some 144,115 4Ps households were served through the Micro-enterprise Development Track and a total of P562.15 million was disbursed from the Capital Seed Fund as non-interest and non-collateral loans for the enterprises of these families. Likewise, some 17,772 households which are not beneficiaries of the 4Ps program were served through the Micro-enterprise Development Track. They have received P96.7 million from the Capital Seed Fund as non-interest and non-collateral loans for their enterprises.

“A total of 12,329 households were provided employment,” the statement read.

The DSWD likewise continues the implementation of its Social Pension program for indigent senior citizens in all the regions of the country.

The program covers those 77 years old and above who are not receiving pension, and have no permanent source of income. -- Imee Charlee C. Delavin