Thursday, 28 July 2011 13:02
The Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Office IX recently held a meeting with some of its partners from the Civil Society Organizations (CSO) in Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte to update them of the regional office’s 2nd quarter accomplishments on its major programs.
DSWD Asst. Regional Director Zenaida Arevalo who represented the office with some other key officials said that the department regards the need to update their partners as a vital procedure in encouraging collective effort in targeting poverty and in ensuring transparency in all the department’s efforts.
It can be recalled last year when the department had formally engaged the participation of the civil groups and other non-government organizations in its massive campaign and effort in combating poverty. With the Convergence strategy, these partners shall serve or assist as bantay (guard against corruption practices), gabay (provide technical assistance), tulay (facilitate feedback and monitoring) at kaagapay (provide livelihood and employment opportunities).
Major programs of the DSWD includes the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) otherwise known as the conditional cash transfer, the KALAHI CIDSS and the Self-Employment Association for Kaunlaran (SEA-K).
DSWD Operations Division Chief Aida Magracia provided details such as to the number of beneficiaries now being targeted in the region, the funds expended and other highlights of the program implementation. She revealed that monitoring of the 202,210 household-beneficiaries’ compliance to the conditions through the program’s established systems are being strengthened while grievances received by the office are continually being investigated or referred to the Central Office for further investigation.
Ms. Magracia highlighted the remarkably high percentage that the Field Office got on resolved cases under the Grievance Redress System (GRS) which pegged at 46.1 percent. Records show that the Office received 15,860 complaints which are mostly on payment concerns. However, with 7,312 of the complaints settled, this positioned the region 10-percent higher than the average 36-percent benchmark for resolved cases. She said that support of partners such as the CSOs contributed much to the attainment of the high mark.
Updates on Rice Subsidy Program for Farmers and Fisherfolks, Social Pension for Senior Citizens and Supplementary Feeding Program were also shared to the participants. As a strategy, all these programs focused on 4Ps beneficiaries.
SEA-K focal person Ms. Gregoria Sissay, on the other hand, has revealed that 24 associations composed of 4Ps beneficiaries were recently endowed with capital assistance to start small-enterprises that would bring about employment and income in the family. Prior to the provision of loan, these groups attended trainings on Basic Business Management and simple bookkeeping to equip them in handling their businesses. Ms. Sissay revealed that assigned Project Development Officers are regularly monitoring the progress of these members. However, she called on the CSO partners to assist in the monitoring. She also appealed to those partners with funding capability to help the department in extending capital assistance to some groups considering the limited funds of DSWD.
KALAHI-CIDSS, which enables communities to build priority infrastructures through community participation and LGU complementation, has started preparatory activities in the 20 newly-targeted municipalities. Ms. Marilyn Fabian, shared that with the Tatsulo convergence strategy, 11 of the new KALAHI areas are 4Ps areas too.
During the open forum that ensued, one of the requests from the partners is the calendar of activities for their reference in organizing their support and efforts. They also requested for DSWD-issued identification cards which will identify them as volunteers during their monitoring and field engagements.
According to Ms. Magracia, the management is preparing for its next steps which include preparations for the interviews for the Profiling of Households, Stepping-up on resolution of grievances and expanding engagements with CSOs.###
TEODULO R. ROMO, JR.
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