LEGAZPI CITY, Feb. 13 (PNA) -- "Maraming Salamat, Madam Secretary (Thank you very much, Madame Secretary)," Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda told Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman Wednesday in front of about 2,000 officials and employees of the agency from the region and those involved in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) nationwide.
The DSWD official family members are currently attending a five-day national workshop, dubbed as National Program Review and Evaluation Workshop, at The Oriental hotel here that started on Monday and will end Friday.
The workshop is an annual event of the department to evaluate the implementation of the 4Ps, its systems policies and guidelines to enhance its impacts, and discuss new targets.
“Secretary Soliman not only capitalizes on her intelligence to do her job in order to accomplish the objectives of the DSWD but also her heart,” Salceda said.
As a socialist, he added, Soliman thoroughly studies all aspects in order to raise the quality of life of every Filipino.
The Albay governor claimed that he has long been a witness to the hardworking style and determination of the DSWD secretary, who he first saw in an immersion project of their group in Cagraray island, Bacacay, Albay.
He noted that from P1 million annual budget of the department, the amount was increased to P90 billion this year.
Of this amount, Salceda said, more than P52 billion is allotted for the 4Ps as one of the banner programs of the DSWD.
The 4Ps covers 4.3 million poor families in the entire country, he added.
Of this total budget for 4Ps, the governor said, P5.7 billion is allocated to the 400,000 families in the Bicol region as beneficiaries.
“In Albay alone, P1.3 billion has been budgeted for 76,000 families,” he stressed.
Salceda claimed that the people are directly benefiting from the program by having the opportunity to finish one’s schooling, have good health condition and job opportunity.
“The program is the key to end inter-generational poverty,” the economist governor said.
Soliman admitted that the office of the Albay governor has long been a partner of the DSWD.
She said the DSWD must adopt the suggestion of Salceda to “institutionalize this capability," referring to the 4Ps and its impacts, for use of the future generations.
The DSWD secretary disclosed that it is the objective of the national government to make 4Ps beneficiaries in the whole country self-sufficient in survival and subsistence status at the end of 2016.
She disclosed that the department has expanded the coverage of qualified student beneficiaries from 15 to 18 years old.
Soliman added that the department will unify its implementation processes of 4Ps for a more solid and concrete action.
She announced that the department will create a municipal action team in every town.
The DSWD head said the continuing increasing intensity of natural calamities, like super typhoon “Yolanda,” that occur not only in the Philippines but also in the whole world due to climate change is a great challenge to the department and the entire country.
She said the negative effects of calamities are mounting.
The cabinet member said that although DSWD workers get tired and frustrated sometimes, they cannot and should not yield to pressures in the name of public service and a loving and caring heart.
“As an inspiration to our workers, let’s emulate what the province of Albay is doing as a model in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction Management and Climate Change Initiatives,” Soliman said, adding that “this is also what the late President Nelson Mandela of South Africa, who was imprisoned for 27 years and suffered hardships and oppression but did not surrender for the sake of his country.(PNA) LAP/FGS/NIM/CBD/