No less than President Benigno S. Aquino, III commended the management and employees of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) when they made a courtesy call at the Malacañang Palace to celebrate the agency’s 65th anniversary.
“Ang bawat butil ng malasakit ninyo sa inyong kapwa-Pilipino sa kasalukuyan, paglaon, ay magbubunga ng mas malaki pang pagbabago… Talaga pong kayo ang gumagawa ng pagbabago. Muli, maraming salamat po sa inyo (Every ounce of your concern to your fellow Filipinos in the present will eventually yield even bigger changes. Truly, you create change),” Pres. Aquino said.
As a sign of appreciation, the President announced the provision of a P10,000 anniversary bonus to regular, casual, and contractual employees of DSWD’s Central and Field Offices who have rendered at least one year of service until January 3, 2016.
“Napakahirap ikahon sa iisang linya ang kabuuang ambag ninyong social workers sa ating bayan. Pero kung papansinin natin ang simpleng logo ng DSWD… mayroong mga kamay na tangan ang isang puso, na sumisimbulo sa bukas-palad ninyong pag-aalay ng sarili para sa kapwa (It is difficult to capture in one line the collective contribution of social workers to our country. But if we will notice the simple logo of DSWD… there are hands holding a heart which symbolize your generous offering of yourselves),” he added.
The President likewise praised Sec. Corazon Juliano-Soliman for being on call “25 hours a day, 8 days a week” without “overtime or incentive bonus”.
However, Sec. Soliman passed on the recognition to her co-workers in the Department.
“Nagagawa ko lamang ito sapagkat nand’yan ang mga kasamahan ko na ibinibigay ang higit pa sa kanilang trabaho (I am only able to do my job because of my colleagues who give more than what their jobs require them),” Sec. Soliman enthused.
She likewise acknowledged the hard work and passion of the staff that led to the government being able to assist 4.4 million households through Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, 1.1 million individuals through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), and some 3.8 million households through Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services-National Community-Driven Development Program (Kalahi-CIDSS-NCDDP).
“Umiikot ang kwento natin sa pakikipagkapwa at bayanihan, sa pag-akay at pag-alalay sa mga nangangailangan, at sa pagsabay sa kanilang magpursige upang manumbalik ang tiwala nila sa kanilang sariling kakayanan (Our story revolves around forging relationships and cooperations, guiding and assisting the needy, and joining them as they persevere to regain their trust in their own capacities),” Sec. Soliman related.
Also present during the event were beneficiaries and Field Office staff who gave testimonials in front of the President.
Tarlac resident and Social Pension beneficiary Lola Rosario Resulta, 78, expressed her gratitude to the Department for not only providing services, but also initiating innovations that speed up the delivery of these services.
“Dati po nahihirapan kaming pumunta sa bayan at pumila para makuha ang aming pension. Ngayon ay door-to-door na ang delivery ng aming pension kaya’t napakalaking ginhawa sa amin(Before, we have a hard time going downtown and lining up to get our pension. Now it is already being delivered door-to-door, which is really a big relief for us),” she narrated.
Lola Rosario uses her pension to buy medicine and food, so she does not have to depend on her children, who already have families of their own.
Under the Social Pension Program, beneficiaries receive P500 per month, which is released quarterly. This year, the Department has worked for the expansion of the program to cover indigent senior citizens from 60 years old. In 2015, the program has assisted 939,609 seniors.
For his part, John Ramon Gadia shared that he owes the recognition of being the 2015 Pantawid Pamilya Exemplary Child of National Capital Region to the “exemplary government employees” of DSWD.
Now a student in a Science High School, he thanked the President and the administration for expanding the coverage of Pantawid Pamilya until high school.
“Tinutupad [ng Pantawid Pamilya] ang aming mga pangarap na makaranas ng de-kalidad na edukasyon. Higit pa, binibigyan po nito ang mga mahihirap ng opurtunidad sa buhay – opurtunidad na magkaroon ng ginhawa at makaramdam ng kalinga (Pantawid Pamilya fulfills our dream to experience quality education. Moreover, it provides us opportunity in life – opportunity to experience providence and ease in life),” John Ramon touchingly uttered.
Mary Grace Pagaran, Pantawid Pamilya Manila City Link, on the other hand, credited the fulfillment of her dream to work in DSWD to the administration’s expansion of the Department’s programs.
She likewise took the chance to defend the agency’s beneficiaries.
“Iniisip ng karamihan na tamad ang ating mga benepisyaryo. Pero sa totoo lang, sila ang pinakamasipag na gumigising sa umaga at kumakayod buong araw. Sadyang kulang lamang sila sa oportunidad na maiangat ang kanilang sarili. Ito ang iniaalay ng ating pamahalaan sa kanila – pag-asa (Most people think our beneficiaries are lazy. In reality, they are among the most industrious, who wake up early in the morning and work the whole day. They just lack the opportunity to improve their lives. This is what our government gives them – hope),” she said.
Sec. Soliman said that this event is recognition of how DSWD programs have significantly contributed to Pres. Aquino’s “Daang Matuwid” leadership.
She assured that as the Department enters another milestone in public service, its workforce will continue to thread the straight path through its “matapat, mabilis, mahusay, at magiliw” (honest, fast, efficient, and courteous) brand of service.