‘Ayuda Nation’ label addressed

‘Ayuda Nation’ label addressed
SunStar file photo

OFFICIALS from the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Davao Region (DSWD-Davao) addressed concerns regarding citizens' reliance on "ayuda" and the characterization of the country as an "ayuda nation," responding to similar discussions circulating online.

During the Kapihan sa Bagong Pilipinas press conference held on June 11, 2024, at the DSWD-Davao Region Office, Merlinda Paragamac, assistant regional director for Administration, emphasized their commitment to providing not just short-term assistance but also long-term support for those in need.

“DSWD is tasked with implementing various poverty alleviation programs, not limited to immediate aid. We also undertake initiatives like Kalahi-Cidss, a community-driven development program,” Paragamac said in Filipino.

The Community Driven Development Program falls under the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-Cidss). It aims to empower communities with the knowledge and resources to drive their development initiatives.

Paragamac also emphasized sustainable livelihoods, conducting capacity-building activities to help individuals sustain their livelihoods.

Responding to inquiries about the impact of short-term solutions on beneficiaries, Atty. Vanessa B. Goc-ong, regional director of DSWD-Davao, clarified that while ayuda serves as an immediate relief, it is a temporary measure.

“Kakalabas lang po kasi natin sa pandemic and, even if you ask anybody else, hindi pa talaga tayo stable. And considering the high inflation, mahal po yung bigas, mahal po yung bilihin. This is just a stopgap measure (We've recently emerged from a pandemic, and stability remains elusive, particularly with the prevailing high inflation rates and the soaring cost of essentials like rice. Ayuda serves as a temporary stopgap measure),” she said.

However, Goc-ong underscored the importance of conducting an official study to assess the effects of short-term assistance on beneficiaries, determining whether it has positive or negative implications.

In 2023, DSWD-Davao achieved significant milestones, including the successful implementation of three core programs: the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), the Sustainable Livelihood Program, and the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-Cidss).

In addition to highlighting their accomplishments, the department expressed their aspirations, including plans to extend ongoing initiatives. They also introduced the upcoming project "Panahong ng Pagkilos," set to be formally launched in 2025 pending the finalization of details. DEF

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