By Leilani S. Junio
MANILA, Jan. 30 (PNA)–The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Thursday stressed the need for greater convergence of its programs in addressing the poverty issue of the country.
DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman said the stronger convergence is needed to strengthen its poverty alleviation program which might be affected if stronger disasters will hit the country in the future.
Soliman said that occurrence of calamities worsens the situation of the poor people as they are the ones who suffer the most, particularly in the loss of their property and other belongings.
Calamities worsen the situation of the people who are fighting poverty. It makes them poorer and sometimes even push those that were previously identified as non-poor into poverty, she explained.
She also cited as an example the Philippines felling prey to strong calamities at the level of Typhoon Yolanda, which devastated the Visayas and Palawan in November 2013.
"This is a new normal phenomenon wherein a large number of people were affected and became poorer, thus, are still being addressed by the government through relief and rehabilitation efforts.
We have to boost the conduct of unified efforts needed in order to further combat the poverty issue, she added, emphasizing that one program alone will not be able to solve poverty.
According to Secretary Soliman, the convergence of the three main programs of the DSWD such as Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps, and the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) is very essential.
She described these three programs of DSWD as Tatsulo, or Tatlong Sulo (Three Torches), in which each of the programs will serve as a lit torch working together in helping the people to fight and get out from poverty.
She said that under Kalahi-CIDSS, through its community intervention program, the poor people are encourage to participate by identifying and helping in the creation of basic services needed by their community such as small scale facilities like school buildings, day care centers, health stations and even access roads that will help them improve their lives.
Likewise, the beneficiaries of 4Ps access to school facilities, day care centers and health stations and access roads will help them comply diligently to the requirements to be followed as beneficiaries like keeping their children in school so they can acquire education and visit health clinics to learn the value of good health.
The SLP on the other hand, she added, can help the 4Ps members generate income by providing employment and business opportunities that will eventually empower them to aim for greater income opportunities.
The assistance they can get from SLP such as availment of non-collateral and interest-free loans of P10,000.00 payable in two years, will encourage them to keep on using their productive time in earning additional income for their family and enable them to improve their lives, and eventually inspire them not to go back to poverty.
The DSWD chief expressed optimism that with boosted unification of these Tatsulo programs and involvement of other national government agencies in the Grass Participatory Budgeting Process (GPBP), formerly known as Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB), the needs of the citizens especially the disadvantage sectors, will be addressed under the local development and governance and thus contribute to the Millenium Development Goal (MDG) of poverty alleviation to attain inclusive development.(PNA)