FOR over seven decades, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has been the government's primary agency in providing social welfare assistance to the poor, vulnerable, marginalized and the disadvantaged.
The DSWD's red-vested workers have become a reassuring sight to victims of calamities, be it a neighborhood fire or a devastating typhoon.
Small wonder that the department has earned the public's trust as it carries out its mandate. Its commendable performance has not gone unnoticed.
In the 2021 Philippine Trust Index, the DSWD was among the most trusted public and private institutions with a trust rating of 88 percent. Over the years, the DSWD has also consistently scored high in awareness, trust and performance surveys.
It has also proven its ability to deliver its programs and services despite the challenges that stood in its way. Among these programs are the Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services; Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services; Self-Employment Assistance Kaunlaran Program, which later evolved into the Sustainable Livelihood Program; Supplementary Feeding Program; Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program; Social Pension Program; Yakap Bayan Program; Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation Disaster Response Program; and the Social Amelioration Program.
But the DSWD's service does not stop there. It is also deeply involved in the implementation of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act, Senior Citizens Act, Centenarian's Act, 4Ps Act, Magna Carta for Social Workers, An Act Establishing the Social Welfare Attache and the National Commission on Senior Citizens Act.
The department is continuously striving to improve its programs and services. It recently revived its Performance Governance Scorecard, a holistic and collaborative framework for designing, executing, monitoring and sustaining road maps to reforms.
For this effort, the DSWD received a Silver Trailblazer Award, which is given to an institution that has successfully carried out progress reports on strategy, process coaching for lower level units, and instituting rewards mechanisms and initiatives, led by its Multi-Sector Governance Council partners.
The department is also aiming for an ISO 9001-2015 Quality Management System certification. It expects the formal conferment of the certification this year, which will serve as a milestone achievement in time for the celebration of the department's 71 years as an institution.
The DSWD is also reengineering its systems, practices and processes in preparation for the full devolution of frontline programs to local government units (LGUs).
It has developed a plan for the transition and strengthening the mechanism for the provision of technical assistance and resource augmentation to the LGUs.
The DSWD will be celebrating the milestone by recognizing the accomplishments of its employees, the Angels in Red Vest, through the conferment of the Programs on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (Praise). Praise is the department's way of thanking its employees for their hard work in the face of health hazards posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Many DSWD employees were infected with Covid-19 while serving as service delivery frontliners.
The need for more social welfare development services was highlighted by the pandemic and other disasters, and the presence of DSWD partners and stakeholders helped immensely in fulfilling the department's mandate.
In gratitude, the DSWD will be conducting an online awarding activity for its partners through the Pagkilala sa Natatanging Kontribusyon sa Bayan or the Panata Ko sa Bayan Awards. The award is given to groups and individuals who have provided their services to or shared their resources with the department.
The department, however, is not sitting on its laurels. It recognizes that it has to reinvent itself to adapt to the new challenges of the new normal.
Upholding its “Maagap at Mapagkalingang Serbisyo” mantra, the DSWD takes the 71st year as a new step towards improving the delivery of public service and motivating all employees to work towards this goal.
As William Edwards Deming, renowned management thinker in the field of quality, said, “Quality is everyone's responsibility.”
The DSWD expects its Angels in Red Vest to carry on the tradition of hard work and trustworthy public service that the department has cultivated over the years.
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