Campaign vs. poverty sees impact in R1

The Department of Social Welfare and Development has gained headway in its campaign against poverty in Ilocos region.

Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo, regional director of DSWD-1, reported in his 2016 State of the Region Address recently that their pro-poor programs have brought a big impact in their campaign in curbing poverty.

“With the launching of the 2015 regional data, we learned that 109,573 families or almost 54 percent of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) are non-poor in which our converged efforts contributed to the improved condition of the poor families in Region I,” Castillo said.

In the past six years, the state welfare agency assisted a total of 199,861 families in the region. The conduct of the second round of household assessment has greatly contributed in the updating of the database of poor households in the region.

At present, he disclosed that there are 165,235 poor households or 990,231 poor individuals assessed and encoded in the Listahanan data system in Ilocos region.

“We prioritized the health and education concerns to move out these poor families from poverty,” he said.

Further, a total of 2,503 poor but deserving students were also identified beneficiaries of the Expanded Students Grants-In- Aid for Poverty Reduction (ESGPPA).

The ESGPPA program has already produced two licensed teachers, two electrical engineers, one agricultural engineer, two mechanical engineers, and one civil engineer.

“We do not only empower, we also helped 18, 345 individuals access employment through the sustainable livelihood program (SLP) in which there were 13, 166 individuals  engaged in micro- entrepreneurial activities while 5, 179 were already employed. These achievements were made possible with the help of 79 offices, institutions, and private groups,” said Castillo.

For this year, the DSWD-1 sponsored 165 projects in 93 local government units spending a total fund of P207.5 million.

In the supplemental feeding program, the agency spent P190.7 million for assisting 105,972 daycare children who were given hot meals for 120 days.

Under the social pension program, Castillo said that the national government has used P511.1 million as stipend of 85,185 social pensioners in Ilocos region.

“Bedridden social pensioners were visited by either LGU-social welfare staff or DSWD regional staff to personally deliver their stipend,” Castillo said.

Meanwhile, the agency spent P25.9 million relief assistance to the 88,634 families affected by Super Typhoon Lawin.

In 2017, Castillo said that DSWD will start giving monthly rice subsidy on top of the monthly financial assistance of the Pantawid beneficiaries. (Freddie G. Lazaro/PIA -1)