President hails Congress support for National Social Welfare Program
Manila (30 July) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo thanked Congress Monday for enacting vital legislative measures in support of the government's National Social Welfare Program for the poor.
In her State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, the President said the latest administration measure passed by the Congress was Republic Act 9502, or the Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008, which the President signed into law last June 6 in Sta. Cruz, Laguna.
The new law expanded the Department of Health's (DOH) program of delivering cheap medicines to the grassroots, including the establishment of 15,000 Botika ng Barangay outlets nationwide by 2010.
"Pinagsasama-sama natin ang mga programa ng DSWD, DOH, GSIS, SSS at iba pang lumalaban sa kahirapan sa isang National Social Welfare Program para proteksyonan ang pinaka-mahihirap mula sa pandaigdigang krisis, and to help those whose earnings are limited by illness, disability, loss of job, age and so on-through livelihood projects, microfinance, skills and technology transfer, emergency and temporary employment, pension funds, food aid and cash subsidies, child nutrition and adult health care, medical missions, salary loans, insurance, housing programs, educational and other savings schemes, and now cheaper medicine-Thanks to Congress," the President said.
Last July 8, the President signed Administrative Order No. 232 clustering the social services program of the DOH, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), and the Social Security System (SSS) under the National Social Welfare Program to directly address the impact of the adverse global situation, particularly on the poorest.
The consolidation of the government social welfare programs will be headed by the administrator of the SSS who will be given a Cabinet rank.
The President ordered the consolidation of the government's social welfare programs to ensure convergence and cohesiveness, and thereby ensure that the billions of earnings from the implementation of the expanded value added tax (EVAT) law will reach the poor at the soonest possible time. (PIA-MMIO) [top]