“Ang pagpuksa ng kahirapan ay manggagaling sa pagtutulungan ng gobyerno at mamamayan. (The eradication of poverty will come from the joint efforts of the government and the citizens).”
This was the message of DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman during the National Consultation with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) for the DSWD 2017 budget preparation held on March 15 in Quezon City.
Speaking before the representatives of 30 CSOs representing different sectors, such as children, women, urban poor, farmers and fisherfolks, persons with disabilities (PWDs), and older persons, Sec. Soliman acknowledged their important role as conduits of accurate and timely information to the sectors that they represent.
The Secretary stressed that, “Kaugnay nito, aming kinikilala ang mga CSOs na aming gabay, bantay, tulay at kaagapay sa matapat at matuwid na paglilingkod (In connection with this, we recognize the CSOs as our guide, watchdog, bridge, and partner in the pursuit of honest public service).”
To improve the quality of life of the Department’s target beneficiaries, Sec. Soliman said that the Department has been holding national and regional consultations with CSOs since 2012 to identify programs, projects, and services that can be funded by the government.
“A CSO, however, should first be registered and accredited to be able to become a partner of DSWD, especially, if there is a fund transfer. This is one way of showing their sincere desire to help their sectors),” Sec. Soliman pointed out.
CSO accreditation is based on special provisions of the General Appropriation Act (GAA) of 2014, 2015 and 2016, which specify requirements to ensure that partner-organizations are legitimate.
“The accreditation process should also adhere to the standards and procedures set by the Commission on Audit and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) following the principles of accountability and transparency,” Sec. Soliman further expounded.
The national consultation aims to promote access to the Department’s budget preparation for 2017, adopt a transparent budget system and enforce the government’s open budget policy.
As Sec. Soliman pointed out, “We would like to listen to you on how we would manage our budget, we value your opinions and suggestions.”
During the consultation, the CSOs presented their recommendations on how the Department could more effectively utilize its budget in the implementation of its programs, such as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino, Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), Sustainable Livelihood, Supplementary Feeding, Recovery and Reintegration Program for Trafficked Persons (RRPTP) and Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens, to reach a greater number of those in need.
Among the recommendations gathered from the one day consultation are the following: The DSWD should focus more on the situation of people in relocation sites, implement other activities for Cash-for-Work aside from street sweeping, push for the active participation of PWDs in the Kalahi-CIDSS processes, more thorough and strict monitoring of day care centers to ensure that nutritious and indigenous food are being given to the day care pupils, establishment of data warehousing identifying the different sectors and the programs available to them, and expansion of SLP to include non-Pantawid members.