PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Friday urged the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to serve the public with care and compassion.
“You are the country’s social welfare forces, always on red alert, in a country where distress calls from disaster victims and disadvantaged sectors never end,” President Marcos said during DSWD’s 73rd anniversary celeneation held at its head office in Quezon City.
“As you put our people out of harm’s way, and on to the road to recovery and a better life, always serve your clientele with care and compassion as you have been doing,” the chief executive added.
The President also called on the DSWD to treat the poor and the vulnerable with kindness, understanding, and compassion “because that care is a hallmark of public service as well, empathy goes a long way.”
President Marcos noted that DSWD has clearly demonstrated empathy in the past year.
And with the DSWD being at the forefront of the government welfare services, Marcos said Congress increased its 2024 budget to P245 billion, from last year’s P196.5 billion.
As a result, in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and Senior Pension alone, the agency will be running a payroll operation bigger than that of the government.
The 4Ps has received an allocation of P106 billion for the benefit of more than four million Filipinos families.
The money is in addition to P49.8 billion for the social pension of 4.085 million seniors including the incentives for super-seniors, and centenarians.
DSWD’s food catering operations, which will serve tens of millions of hot meals to 2.027 million preschool children in different communities has PhP4.1 billion allocation.
And to address hunger, the agency is carrying out food stamps program providing P3,000 each month to 50,000 families.
The increasing needs of poor families and the vulnerable sector also mean expanded mandate of the DSWD, which prompted Congress to give more resources to the agency.
“Ngayong taon, dinagdagan pang muli ng Kongreso ang AKAP ng dalawampu’t pitong bilyong piso upang lalong makinabang ang mga mang-ga-gawang maliliit na ang kini-kita at higit na apektado ng mataas na presyo ng bilihin,” Marcos said in referring to the Abot Kamay Ang Pagtulong program.
“Suma-tutal, malaking bahagi ng populasyon ng mga na- nga-ngailangan sa ating bansa ay nada-daupan ng tulong ng DSWD, which helps them tide over, to help them get back on their feet, and not consigning them to a life of dependency, because aid that emancipates a human being is the kind of dignified giving that government should practice, and that this government is practicing,” he added.
DSWD programs, however, have never been regarded as a hand-out but a hand up, designed to help people pull themselves up from helpless situations, Marcos said. PND