DSWD Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Irene Dumlao

By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

QUEZON CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Friday (Jan. 5) divulged that its PHP245-billion budget for this year will be utilized to fund social welfare, development programs and services.

DSWD Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Irene Dumlao, who is also the agency’s co-spokesperson, said that the DSWD’s budget for 2024 amounting to Php245-billion will be used to fund existing social welfare and development programs and services, as well as implement agency innovations on digital transformation.

“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,” Dumlao said.

For this year, the DSWD will also prioritize the retooling of its existing programs to be more inclusive and adaptive to the changing needs of target beneficiaries.

Among the programs that will be retooled are the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), the 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 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.

In terms of capacity building, the DSWD is looking forward to the full operation of the DSWD Academy this year to capacitate local government units (LGUs) and social welfare agencies in their provision of social protection services, which will in turn, advance the practice of social work and community development in the country.

Dumlao said that the DSWD will also be launching the Buong Bansa Handa Program, a new disaster preparedness program that will bolster the existing disaster supply chain of the government through public and private partnership.

The agency’s co-spokesperson said that apart from its new disaster preparedness program, the DSWD will also boost its disaster response and management operations as it is set to inaugurate the new Disaster Response Command Center (DRCC), a centralized hub that will operate 24/7 for disaster monitoring, reporting, data and information management, and relief efforts between the DSWD Central Office and its 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 said.