DSWD budget in 2024 tabbed for 4Ps, ‘retooling’ of programs

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said its P245-billion budget in 2024 will be utilized for digital innovations and existing programs and services, including the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) for indigent Filipino families.

In a statement, the DSWD said it was committed to providing “stronger social services that will be able to adapt with the changing socio-economic landscape.”

The DSWD included the 4Ps—which provides cash grants for the poorest of the poor Filipino families—in its announcement of priorities this year.

To recall, benefits granted to 700,000 4Ps households were suspended last year pending the evaluation of their status by the DSWD.

However, House Committee on Poverty Alleviation Chairperson Michael Romero of the 1-Pacman party-list said last month that the DSWD found that the households were still qualified under the 4Ps, thus paving the way for the resumption of the granting of cash benefits.

“Under the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps), the DSWD will continue its provision of interventions to graduating and exiting 4Ps beneficiaries, in partnership with local government units (LGUs), and monitor their level of well-being to ensure that they will not slide back to poverty,” the DSWD said.

DSWD will also prioritize the “retooling of its existing programs” to make these more inclusive and adaptive to the changing needs of target beneficiaries.

These include the: Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) Program, the Tara Basa! Tutoring Program, the Oplan Pag-Abot Program, and the Walang Gutom 2027: Food Stamp Program (FSP).

“Under the leadership of DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian, the agency will focus on the development and deployment of automated systems for its priority frontline services,  streamline benefit disbursement, and promote financial inclusion,” said DSWD Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs and spokesperson Irene Dumlao.

DSWD Academy, disaster response

The department is pushing for the full operation this year of the DSWD Academy, which will capacitate LGUs and relevant agencies to provide social protection services, and advance the practice of social work and community development in the country.

Also in the pipeline is the Buong Bansa Handa Program disaster preparedness program, as well as a new Disaster Response Command Center (DRCC) that will provide 24/7 disaster monitoring, reporting, data and information management, and coordination of relief efforts between the DSWD Central Office and field offices.

“Through these programs, the Department assures the public of a stronger and more efficient delivery of social welfare and development services that will be able to uplift the lives of Filipinos in need this 2024,” Dumlao added. — Jiselle Anne Casucian, VDV/ GMA Integrated News

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