DSWD steps up delivery of social protection programs in NegOr

DUMAGUETE CITY, May 20 (PIA) — As residents of Negros Oriental continue to face the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic this year, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) here has intensified the delivery of its social protection programs benefiting thousands of marginalized families since January.

Officials from the DSWD Negros Oriental Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) Office disclosed in a recent Kapihan sa PIA forum some of their achievements in the implementation of flagship social protection programs, namely: Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), and the Social Pension (SocPen) Program for indigent senior citizens and centenarians.

Reggie Locsin, 4Ps provincial link, said DSWD remains committed in its mandate to bring social services to the disadvantaged and uphold the welfare of the people.

“Despite sa pandemic, wala nag-stop ang DSWD sa panghatag ug serbisyo ug mga programa (Despite the pandemic, DSWD did not stop providing its services and programs),” Locsin said.

As of March 2021, the province has 81,747 household beneficiaries for 4Ps which are divided into two clusters.

There are 42,328 households in the northern cluster covering the Mabinay to Canlaon City and 39,419 in the southern cluster which covers the areas of Bais City up to Basay.

Since mass gatherings have been limited amid the pandemic, Locsin said DSWD has adopted measures so that household beneficiaries can still continue with their Family Development Sessions (FDS).

One strategy was to use radio and television for the “on-air” FDS.

Locsin cited the DSWD regional office in Cebu which has already started their televised FDS, while in Negros Oriental, their office already piloted its on-air FDS through a local radio station in Zamboaguita town.

DSWD also adopted a FDS “text brigade” strategy where FDS modules are disseminated using mobile text blast services to reach the households in remote areas with limited internet access.

Another way is through home-based FDS or modular FDS where 4Ps city and municipal links print the modules and distribute it to household beneficiaries.

DSWD has made attendance to FDS as one of the conditions that 4Ps beneficiaries must comply with in to continue receiving their monthly cash grants.

Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens Provincial Coordinator Cirel Amores (with mic) clarify some issues on the delivery of the cash grant. Photo also shows DSWD Negros Oriental SWAD Team Leader and Crisis Incident Unit Head Jenny Sarte-Egagamao. (kat/PIA7-NegOr)

On AICS, DSWD-SWAD Crisis Incident Unit Head Head Jenny Sarte-Egagamao said their office already disbursed around P35.7-M as financial assistance for individuals seeking financial help for their hospital and medical bills, burial assistance, food assistance, and other forms of aid for individuals in crisis.

Ang AICs usa ni ka-devolved na program. Natan-aw pod sa DSWD along with atoang Senate and Congress kinahanglan additional resource augmentation ang mga Local Government Unit (LGU) kay tinood dili igo ang ilahang financial assistance. Tungod kay gi-devolve siya ang DSWD nag-resource augmentation siya in support sa atong LGUs na naa kliyente na mangayo ug hinabang (AICs is a devolved program. The DSWD along with the legislators in Senate and Congress saw the need to establish additional resource augmentation for LGUs because their financial assistance is not enough. DSWD serves as resource augmentation in support to LGUs who have clients seeking for financial assistance),” Egagamao explained.

Out of the P35.7-M disbursed under AICS, P28.3-M was used for medical expenses serving 1,591 beneficiaries, while P2.5-M was given to 549 beneficiaries seeking burial assistance, P4.6-M to 1,105 beneficiaries asking for food assistance, and P147-M to individuals under “other assistance” category.

DSWD served around 3, 282 individuals in crisis situations since the approval of their budget in January 2021 to May 4, 2021.

Part of the other assistance category is the transportation aid for persons who want to go back to their original place of residents but have no means to buy ticket for their travel.

Egagamao said DSWD can facilitate the purchase of ticket to ensure that the person is headed to a local destination and is travelling for emergency purpose, such as seeking medical treatment or visiting the province to attend the funeral of a relative.

On Social Pension for indigent senior citizens, Provincial Program Coordinator Cirel Amores reported that their office has completed the payout for 38,592 beneficiaries in 19 cities and municipalities in Negros Oriental.

DSWD has a total of 54,760 target beneficiaries for SocPen in the province.

Amores said the pay out in Sibulan is ongoing and there are six LGUs that will roll out the cash aid for indigent senior citizens in the next weeks.

Each beneficiary will receive P500 monthly, but DSWD-SWAD in Negros Oriental is conducting the payout every semester.

Senior citizens can be considered indigent if they are frail, sickly or with disability, and with no permanent source of income or support from relatives. 

The money given by the DSWD is an augmentation for their medical expenses and for the purchase of their necessities.

On the other hand, DSWD also awarded P100,000 in cash grants for 12 centenarians in Negros Oriental since January this year.

The breakdown of recipients are: one in Ayungon, two in Bacong, one is Bais City, two in Bayawan City, one in Bindoy, two in Mabinay, two in Siaton, and one in Zamboanguita.

“During pay-out ga-remind mi sa representative or anak na ang nadawat (sa senior citizen) para gud ni sa iyaha. Mo-advise mi na ipa-safety ang iyahang cash grant na nadawat ug mo-monitor sad ang CSWDO para sa unsay angay sa tigulang (During the pay-out we remind the representative or children of the centenarian that the money is intended for the recipient. We advise them to keep the money safe and the City Social Welfare and Development Officer will monitor the status of the beneficiary),” Amores explained. (ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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