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DSWD Bicol shares program updates to media partners

Naga City -The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bicol held the fourth provincial media forum last June 7, 2019 at Naga Pilgrims Hotel to give updates about its accomplishments and respond to issues.

The DSWD also conducted the same activity in Legazpi City, Masbate City and Daet last April 29, May 23 and June 6, respectively.

Dir. Arnel Garcia who has been attending the fora to personally meet the press emphasized the media’s important duty as bearers of information to the people. “Magtulungan tayo dahil nakakarating ang boses ninyo sa mga malalayong lugar para ipaabot ang tamang impormasyon. Sana ay ipagpatuloy natin ang magandang samahan (Let us work together because your voice reaches distant places to send right information. I hope we will continue our good working relationship),” Dir. Garcia said.

On the other hand, one of the highlights in the latest media forum in Naga City was about the Listahanan household assessment to be conducted this second semester. Listahanan is the agency’s information management system that identifies who and where the poor are. It makes a comprehensive database of poor families which serves as a basis for identifying beneficiaries of social protection programs.

Mr. Joy Belen, Project Development Officer IV said that the agency targets to assess 1,143,846 households regionwide. Belen also encourage the media to participate in the household assessment as watchdogs of the department.

Also, DSWD 4Ps staff Arlene Fabellare explained the process how abused cases are referred or reported.

“Abused cases must be first referred to the local government units (LGUs) for proper intervention. The DSWD will intervene when LGUs need technical assistance or augmentation support”, Fabellare said.

Ms. Cathy Andes from Social Pension Program shared the salient features of the DSWD Memorandum Circular No. 04, Series of 2019 or the Omnibus Guidelines in the Implementation of the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens. Andes said that the payout for the indigent senior citizens will now be released by the DSWD Special Disbursing Officer (SDO) every semester.

The Social Pension Program is the government’s assistance to poor senior citizens aging 60 years old and above who are frail, sick or with a disability, with no regular income or support from families and relatives, and without a pension from private or government institutions. Under the program, poor senior citizens are entitled to a monthly cash grant in the amount of Php 500 to supplement their daily subsistence, including their medical needs.

Furthermore, DSWD 4Ps staff Harry Jay Daet discussed the Grievance Redress System (GRS) of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), the Department’s flagship program that invests in human capital. The GRS is a mechanism of the program aims to capture and resolve grievances effectively and in a transparent manner.

Meanwhile, Dhonabel Cultivo, 4Ps beneficiary shared her testimony being part of the program.

“Being part of the 4Ps brought significant change to our family. This drew closer in achieving our dreams”.

The media forum has been an annual event of the agency bridging DSWD officials closer to the media. The said activity will be conducted in the remaining provinces of Sorsogon and Catanduanes on June 18 and June 26, respectively.###

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