THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DWSD) yesterday said they spent P75 million for infrastructure projects in 2009 under the “Makamasang Tugon” program to uplift the lives of the poor.

Interviewed during the 59th anniversary celebration of the agency, DSWD 7 Acting Director Evelyn Macapobre said these projects include schools, health centers, roads, birthing centers and electrification.

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Macapobre said that DSWD 7 also spent P155 million for indigent families of the seven municipalities in Negros Oriental and 10 barangays in Cebu City under the “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program” benefiting 22,000 families.

This is a five-year program, provided that the beneficiaries will observe the conditions.

Requirement

The beneficiaries must see to it that their school-age children must be in school at least 85 percent of their time.

A pregnant housewife must undergo pre-natal checkup and parents must attend parenting sessions.

The program began last year and will end in 2013.

Macapobre said that even in progressive areas like Banilad, one can still find the poorest among the poor, a situation described by the agency as “pockets of poverty.”

But because DSWD 7 has limited funds, they focused on 10 Cebu City barangays where there are more poor families.

This program will be expanded this year, Macapobre said.

Also for 2009, DSWD 7 also helped about 30,000 children under the “Food for School Program” to save the children from hunger and malnutrition.

Subsidy

The families of these children are given P1,400 a month as subsidy for their food and school needs, so they will have no reason to stop schooling.

Macapobre said these children who are studying in the elementary schools and day care centers are given food.

DSWD 7 has also released a P7-million financial assistance to the victims of typhoon Frank in Northern Cebu.

“We will be disbursing next week another P4.5 million, also for calamity victims, which also came from the 2009 budget,” she said.

Reports

Macapobre said DSWD 7 disbursed a total of P36.8 million for the 73,000 senior citizens who received P500 each as a one-time subsidy from the government.

“For two years already, we have maintained the recognition from the Association of Government Accountants of the Philippines as one of the five government agencies with consistent and most accurate of financial reports. We are trying to maintain that for this year,” Macapobre said.

“DSWD is number one in the list of less corrupt government agencies, number one in public acceptance and credibility,” she added.