Celso cites social workers as ‘agents of change, hope’ PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 11 November 2011 13:40

Mayor Celso Lobregat Wednesday afternoon warmly welcomed the over 200 registered social workers from all over the country participating in the  7th Biennial Inter-Regional convention being held in the city from Nov. 9 to 11.

The mayor likewise acknowledged the social workers’ intention to tackle professional advancement during their convention stressing that “professional acknowledgement “very critical to the discharge of your responsibilities”.

“As agents of change and hope seeking and working to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of individuals and communities, it is essential that you keep yourselves abreast with not only the latest developments in your fields but everything that may  hamper the success of whatever programs you are implementing”, the mayor told the participants in his welcome message during the program formally opening the convention with  former Social Welfare Secretary and Civil Service
Commission Chair Corazon Alma de Leon as guest of honor and speaker.

The mayor urged the social workers not to allow the many challenges besetting the society to get in between them and their service to the people. “I urge you to let these challenges push you, empower you to persevere. Let your commitment make a difference, to help the less privileged be stronger than the frustrating circumstances that you encounter.”

Hosted by the Philippine Association of Social Workers Inc.-Mindanao chapter, the 3-day event is being participated by social workers from Regions 1-16 including National Capital Region and CARAGA.

Mayor Lobregat cited the contributions of social workers to the efficient and effective delivery of social services to the people. Zamboanga City, he said, through the help of social workers, attained unparalleled feats highlighted by the selection of the city’s chief executive as Most Outstanding Mayor for exemplary implementation of social welfare programs for 3 consecutive years starting 2008 and elevating the city to the Hall of Fame in 2010.

The mayor pointed out the numerous social welfare programs of the city, which are geared to address the many dimensions of human development with the ultimate goal of alleviating the plight of thousands of Zamboangueños living below the poverty line.

For her part,  Mrs. De Leon, who is an advocate of Gawin ang Tama Movement Character Building Foundation, Inc. extolled the contributions of social workers saying “to think of social work is to think of our greatest capacity to help alleviate human suffering due to poverty, to restore human dignity by recognizing that the poor needs jobs and justice, food and freedom”.

She cited the need for social workers to consider “public-private partnerships, indigenization and innovation in strategies  for better results and mobilizing community resources as intercessor mediators for the betterment of the people we serve”.

She added that the greater challenge for social workers in Mindanao is how to be peacemakers as there can be no peace without development and no development without peace.

Also present during the opening program were Councilor Nonong Guingona, Atty. Mary Inglay Fokno, Vice President for PASWI-National; Dr. Ely Acosta-PASWI President-Mindanao, City Social Welfare Officer Francisco Barredo and board of directors of PASWI-National and PASWI- Mindanao. — Sheila Covarrubias