DSWD anti-poverty programs chipping away the ‘old system’ – Sec. Soliman PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 19 February 2011 14:58

By giving the poor more opportunities to improve their way of life through the implementation of its poverty-alleviation programs, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Juliano-Soliman said that the DSWD is slowly “chipping” the old system away.

System, here, refers to the way government and institutions address certain issues such as the perennial problem of poverty. Secretary Soliman said that the “chipping” applies not only to anti-poverty efforts, but to the way society sees and addresses its many problems as a whole.

The DSWD maintains three poverty-alleviation programs: the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program conditional cash transfer, the SEA-K livelihood enhancer and the community-driven KALAHI-CIDSS Project. These three programs, although having different mechanisms have several things in common. One such similarity is that they all send funds directly to the poor, without having to pass by “pit-stops” before reaching the beneficiaries.

As a result, funds are handled by the communities and poor families themselves, leaving virtually no room for corruption at the in-between.

“The money goes directly to the poor,” said Secretary Soliman. “Since the funds do not pass ‘in-betweens’, they are whole and clean.”

Soliman shares that perceiving the poor to lack the capacity for self-actualization is one of the reasons why certain groups are not so susceptible to the programs’ ideas. As a result, most see DSWD as being a dole-out agency that encourages mendicancy by implementing such programs.
On the contrary, the implementation of the programs has radically transformed beneficiaries into developmental actors. They handle funds, they develop better habits, they collectively decide on their communities’ priorities, and they find ways to answer the very problems confronting them – at the grass root level.

The poor are not given one-time interventions, as claimed by certain groups. In fact, through the projects’ operations, the poor are empowered. They have developed the idea that their change of behavior from apathy to participation is essential to their development.

The powers-that-be need only to see what the poor have achieved through our programs, and they themselves will chip the remaining bricks away, Secretary Soliman said.

Soliman was in Zamboanga City last Wednesday to address the agency’s information officers from the different regions during their communications planning workshop and conference. She also took the opportunity to meet with Mayor Lobregat and discuss the implementation of the agency’s poverty alleviation programs.