DSWD seeks to double beneficiaries to 5,000 this year

President Marcos ordered the expansion of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s “Pag-abot” Program to ensure the effective delivery of services to disadvantaged and vulnerable street dwellers.

“The Pag-abot Program is hereby institutionalized as a platform for an enhanced and unified delivery of services to vulnerable and disadvantaged children, individuals, and families in street situations, through provision of social safety nets and protection against risks brought about by poverty,” Mr. Marcos said in Executive Order No. 52

According to data released by DSWD Undersecretary Edu Punay, the Pag-abot program was able to take 1,722 people out of the streets of Metro Manila from June to December 2023 out of 2,695 profiled individuals.

Punay told Manila Standard the agency is eyeing to double last year’s profiled individuals with the allotted P300 million budget.

“This year, we’re targeting 5,000 individuals with our budget at P300 M, including grants and administrative costs,” Punay said.

Under the EO, an Inter-Agency Committee consisting of the various departments will be created, with the DSWD Secretary serving as its chairperson and the Department of Interior and Local Government chief as its vice-chairperson.

The Pag-abot Program is one of DSWD’s pilot projects which caters to providing support for the poor with assistance packages that involve transportation/relocation, financial assistance, transitory shelter assistance, livelihood assistance, and employment assistance

As this developed, the DSWD, through its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program, provided aid to more than 6.5 million Filipinos from January to December 2023.

The number of clients served under the AICS, said DSWD Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communications Romel Lopez, was more than four times the program’s annual total target of 1,691,869 beneficiaries.

“It is evident that many of our kababayans need support from the government and we, at the DSWD, remain committed to responding to their immediate needs through the AICS program,” Lopez said.

He said most of the beneficiaries served by the DSWD were from the Calabarzon region with more than 870,000 individuals who sought assistance.

“Under the AICS program, beneficiaries were provided with different interventions, including medical, food cash, burial/funeral, and transportation assistance, as well as psychosocial support, among others,” Lopez said.