CEBU CITY, July 15 (PIA) -- Beneficiaries of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) programs and services such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center II (AVRC), Home for Girls, Regional Haven and the Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY) attended the pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2019 Forum held July 10, 2019 at Waterfront Hotel, Lahug, this City.
This is the second leg of the three-part fora which aims to trumpet the latest achievements of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte's administration ahead of his fourth SONA on July22.
"Nalipay ko nga gi-imbitar ko nga makatambong ani nga okasyon bisan usa ra ako nga ordinaryo nga tawo nga makakita sa mga dagkong opisyales sa atong gobyerno (I am happy that I was invited to attend this occasion despite being an ordinary citizen and I was able to see high officials of the government)," said Genoveva "Ebeng" Castro, a 4Ps partner-beneficiary from Buenavista, Bohol.
Castro is also a program-participant of SLP which provided her a livelihood training and a new handloom machine for her raffia weaving business.
"Nindot nga makakita ta ani aron masayud ta unsay nabuhat sa gobyerno (It is good that we have witnessed this activity for us to know the updates of what the government has been doing and its accomplishments)," added Castro.
Ma. Luna Furog of Poblacion Talibon Association for SLP in Talibon, Bohol, another beneficiary who attended the Pre-SONA, has the same remarks as Castro expressed that these good accomplishments of the government will continue.
"Mas nindot nga mapadayun kining mga programa ug madungagan pa ang angayan matabangan (It would be better if these programs will continue and will add more beneficiaries especially those who are in dire need)," Furog said.
Poblacion Talibon Association SLP was awarded second place in the Gawad Usbong under the market category of micro-enterprise development (MD) track during the Sulong Bayanihan 2019 of the SLP.
Before the start of the Pre-SONA, Francisco Elardo, a 4Ps partner-beneficiary from Badian, Cebu was interviewed by DZRB-AMRadyoPilipinas via phone patch.
He shared how 4Ps has helped in sending his children to school.
"Dako ang natabang sa Pantawid sa among pamilya labina sa pagpaeskwela sa akong mga anak apan kabalo kong kini abag ra gayud ug maninguha gihapon ako isip padre de familia uban sa akong asawa (Pantawid greatly helped our family especially in sending my children to school but I know that this program is just an assistance and I should continue to persevere as the head of the family together with my wife)," said Elardo.
The Elardo family is the 2019 Search for Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya regional winner.
Aside from Castro, Furog, Elardo, selected beneficiaries from Cebu City and Mandaue City also attended the forum.
As the Chairperson of the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cluster (HDPRC), DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista reported the updates of the HDPRC.
"Investment in human capital development is an essential factor in socio-economic growth and for the past three years, it is with great pleasure to inform you, my fellow government officials and our dear beneficiaries, that the Duterte Administration's commitment to achieving "Matatag, Maginhawa at Panatag na Buhay" has gained attraction and is now being felt by our fellow Filipinos," said Bautista in his opening speech.
The DSWD Secretary also shared the significant drop of poverty incidence in the first half of 2018 by 6.1 percent as compared to the same period in 2015.
He said more Filipino families were able to meet their basic food needs as subsistence incidence decreased also to 6.2 percent in the first half of 2018.
"Also, the proportion of Filipino individuals described as poor has settled at 21 percent of the country's total population, down from 27.6 percent during the same period of 2015," Bautista said.
"Therefore, in just three years, we can already see the fruits of our efforts. Poverty has decreased substantially by focusing on four priority areas - education, health, social protection and rural poverty - which were identified by the President during the SONA in 2018," the DSWD official reported.
Aside from Bautista's report on HDPRC, Sec. Eduardo Ano of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Officer in Charge (OIC) Janet Abuel of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) provided updates on the Participatory Governance Cluster (PGC).
After the presentations of the accomplishments of the two clusters, secretaries of the various national government agencies under the HDPRC and the PGC answeres questions from the audience during the open forum.
To end the forum, a video closing message of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte was shown.
In his message, he expressed his appreciation of the unwavering commitment of each Cabinet Cluster and urged all government agencies to continue working together over the next three years to bring about a brighter future for the nation. (jsme/PIA7-Cebu/DSWD-7)