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PIA Press Release

Legislators commend DSWD for good performance

Quezon City (20 October) -- Legislators, representing both the minority and majority blocs, commended the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for its consistent good performance when the House of Representatives recently approved the DSWD's 2007 budget of P3.9 billion.

Congressman Francis Escudero cited the DSWD Region V "for its good job in the relief operations for victims of typhoon Milenyo and the series of disasters in the Bicol region." This was affirmed by Congressman Douglas Cagas who expressed satisfaction over the performance of DSWD in Region XI as well as Congressman Gilbert Remulla who in turn cited Region IV-A.

In thanking the legislators for their support, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Esperanza I. Cabral said: "This gesture of approving our budget without cuts and without further deliberation once more demonstrates our legislators' sensitivity and responsiveness to the needs of our poor countrymen. This is shown in the increasing amount of Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) being channeled to DSWD for social protection and poverty alleviation projects."

Secretary Cabral assured that the DSWD will stand equal to the legislators' expectations of efficiently delivering services to the poor.

The DSWD 2007 budget was sponsored by Congressman Faustino Dy III, sub-chair of the Committee on Appropriations.

Secretary Cabral said that the 2007 DSWD budget represents a 56 percent increase over its 2006 budget of P2.5 billion. It is, however, only equivalent to .36 percent of the proposed national government budget of P1.1 trillion and only 2.63 percent of the combined budget of the four major departments of the social sector which include the Department of Health, Department of Education and the Department of Labor and Employment.

The major highlights of the 2007 DSWD budget are support for the Food for School program, the KALAHI-CIDSS project, the Self-Employment Assistance Kaunlaran and the Tindahan Natin project and the upgrading of DSWD centers and institutions nationwide.

Cabral said the Food for School program is an immediate intervention to address hunger among families through their children in preschool and day care centers. It provides a daily ration of one kilo of rice during school days to aid in mitigating hunger in the family.

The KALAHI-CIDSS or Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan - Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services is a social development project that empowers the poorest barangays to plan, implement and manage their own community projects. Through KALAHI-CIDSS, roads, water systems, electrification and other infrastructure projects have been implemented in the poorest communities. For 2007, the P1.2 billion budget for KALAHI-CIDSS will cover the implementation of projects in 2,758 barangays of 116 municipalities.

Through the Self-Employment Assistance - Kaunlaran (SEA-K) project, DSWD provides the poor with technical assistance and seed capital to start their own business. The P43 million budget for SEA-K is intended to augment the existing revolving fund of SEA-K.

The Tindahan Natin project provides low-priced but good quality rice and noodles through a store jointly identified and endorsed by the DSWD, the local government units, the barangay council and subsequently accredited by the National Food Authority. The DSWD 2007 budget is intended to fund 7,725 Tindahan Natin operators, to benefit 1.9 million families with improved food security. On the other hand, the upgrading of DSWD centers nationwide is in line with Secretary Cabral's directive of raising standards of service and showcasing them as centers of excellence.

Aside from these, the DSWD allots funds for relief and rehabilitation services to communities affected by natural and man-made disasters. As of October 2006, for instance, the DSWD has spent P69.9 million for relief assistance, emergency shelter assistance, core shelter assistance, cash for work and food for work for victims of calamities. ### (DSWD-Social Marketing Service) [top]

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