Speech of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in the 73rd Anniversary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)

Speeches 12 January 2024

Thank you to our DSWD Secretary, Rex Gatchalian for your kind introduction.

Please sit down.

For your kind introduction and quick congratulations on all of the achievements that you have enumerated in your report, and of your report.

And I am very happy to see that we have extended the purview of DSWD.

Kung minsan ang iniisip lamang ay pang disaster lamang, ngunit napasok na ang DSWD sa feeding program pati na sa education na mayroon kayong joint program kasama ng DEPED.

Kaya’t I need to congratulate of course, Secretary Rex, but lahat ng ating mga nagtatrabaho sa DSWD, lahat ng mga partner, lahat ng mga LGU na kung sumama ito’y napakagandang halimbawa na ipakita kung papa’no ang magiging–’yung tinatawag na synergy, kapag ‘yung iba’t ibang ahensya ay nagkakasundo at alam nila ang gagawin nila upang tumulong sa taong bayan.

I’d also like to greet the most travelled Undersecretary of DSWD. Kahit saan ako pumunta, nandun sya e. Lagi akong nauunahan at lagi siyang naiiwan. ‘Pag-alis ko nandun pa rin– siya pa rin nandun naiiwan.

That’s why we know that the DSWD is working from the grassroots, ang ating butihing undersecretary, Undersecretary Ed Punay .

Ang ating mga kasamahan sa pamahalaan, other distinguished guests that are here with us today, magandang tanghali po sa inyong lahat.

I am very, very happy to be here once again in the DSWD where heroes walk and work. Heroes and angels walk and work. [Applause]

For that is how I view with great admiration the working men and women of your agency.

To call this place just a central office is an underestimation of the critical work that you do and undervalues the great service that you have done for our people.

More than that, here is the place, the headquarters of our war against poverty.

It is the command center of the DSWD’s disaster response, the mission control of our community development drive, and it may be the compassion central that dispenses help to the needy.

But what DSWD offers goes beyond just easing the pain of victims of misfortune – it ends at the roots of the vulnerability of those most in need of our society.

Kagaya ng aking nabanggit, ang pagka ‘yung taong bayan ang sinasabi “Andito ang DSWD”. Ang kanilang akala ay ‘yan lamang—ang ginagawa lamang ay ‘yung disaster response. Dahil siyempre pagka kayo ang nauuna, kayo ang nakikita doon sa disaster response.

Kaya napakahalaga itong report na ibinigay sa atin ni Secretary Rex. Naipaalam natin sa tao na may mga iba’t ibang programa na sinasakop nga ang edukasyon, sinasakop nga ang feeding program, at lahat ng iba’t ibang mga program na ginagawa ng DSWD.

Because more than palliatives, the country’s poor and deprived deserve permanent relief from conditions that chain them to misery.

It is not enough that we come in when there are time of need, when they have suffered a disaster. And once they have returned to relatively normal life that we leave them.

What we have done is we have extended the mission of DSWD to go to the root of why they have been put in that category of being poor, of suffering poverty, of being undernourished, and under-educated.

Kaya sinabi ko po noong bagong taon na ang anumang ayuda ay pantawid lamang, hindi pangmatagalan. ‘Yung iaaahon ka sa hirap, hindi ka ibuburo sa kadukhaang walang katapusan ay hindi naman maaaring basta’t pabayaan ang taumbayan na sila ay parang pinaparusahan.

DSWD programs have never been regarded as a hand-out but we call it a hand up, designed to help people pull themselves up from the rut they have been thrown into, through no fault of their own.

DSWD pairs temporary relief with permanent rehabilitation. The safety nets that DSWD deploys to catch those who have fallen into the cracks of society come with opportunity ladders to help them climb out from the state they find themselves in.

It does not merely serve the disadvantaged, the PWDs, so they can remain in the margins a tad more comfortable but to bring them out into the mainstream of society as productive members, fully exercising their right to realize their full potential.

Kahit po sa 4Ps may kondisyon pa at alituntunin na dapat sundan. Bakit? It is not meant to supplant the family income, but to supplement it.

Kaya naman napakalawak ang saklaw ng inyong gawain ngayon. At nakakamangha ang walang pagod ninyong paggampan sa marami at mabigat ninyong mga tungkulin, tulad na lang ng mga nagdaang pandemya.

I cannot begin to imagine what greater pain COVID would have been able to wrought if DSWD had not gone into quarantine, locked down its operations, and shuttered its offices?

But that is not what the DSWD’s response was. You rose to the occasion, you rose to the challenge, as your predecessors had done over the past 125 years when they disregarded personal safety to come to the aid of victims of war, of disaster, of pestilence, and of hunger.

And as a result, never have so many been helped by so few.

And the state of being outnumbered but never outfought is a proud DWSD tradition that we took from the military and continues until today with the efforts of the DSWD.

Halimbawa, one DSWD worker serves about one thousand clients. This is one agency that has too much on its plate with too few plantilla positions.

Although, you already–your Secretary informs me on a nationwide basis, there are approximately already 37,000 DSWD employees. And it is absolutely necessary that we have that many. Parang sasabihin, baka masyado nang marami. Kulang pa nga ‘yan.

At dahil kapag tinamaan ng disaster ang isang lugar, ‘yung regional office ninyo, ‘yung local office ninyo, nagiging central office ‘yan.

Kaya’t kailangan kaya niyang gampanan ang mga katungkulan ng isang central office para matulungan ‘yung area kung saan tinamaan ng disaster.

But because no–as they say no good deed goes unpunished – by Congress, I must stress, because credit must be given where it is due – they have hiked your budget this year to PhP245 billion, from last year’s PhP196 and a half billion.

Kuripot man ang pagka-Ilokano, lalo na pagdating sa pera ng bayan, ‘ yan naman ay kagalantehan pagka nasa lugar na hindi ko tatanggihan. In my government, various spendings are veto-proof.

Mayroon talaga tayong in-identify na hindi ninyo pwedeng galawin dahil nag-a-agree naman ang ating mga kongresista, ang ating mga senador, at na-identify natin na itong mga ito ay hindi maaring galawin dahil bawat sentimo na ibinawas d’yan sa mga budget na ‘yan ay mababawasan din ang maibibigay nating tulong sa taumbayan kapag sila’y nangangailangan.

So, as a result, in 4Ps and Senior Pension alone, just to mention two sectors, you will be running a payroll operation bigger than that of government, in terms of payees.

Kasi yung sa 4Ps, isang-daan at anim na bilyong piso ang inilaang pondo para sa higit apat na milyong pamilya.

Idagdag pa dito ang PhP49.8 billion for social pension of 4.085 million seniors. At pati yung insentibo para sa mga superseniors, mga centenarians, ika nga, tulad ni Manong JPE sa susunod na buwan, ay…itong si Secretary JPE, ang birthday niya Valentine’s day. At itong susunod na Valentine’s day, 100 years old na siya. Qualified na siya para sa mga benepisyo na ibinibigay ng DSWD.

Mayroon pa rin pala kayong food catering operation, which will serve tens of millions of hot meals to 2.027 million preschool children in communities, at a cost of PhP4.1 billion.

Hindi lang yan ang tugon nyo sa kagutuman. Pinarisan ang food stamps na nagkakahalaga ng tatlong libong piso bawat buwan para sa limampung libo na pamilya.

Indeed, your activities cover from womb to tomb, from helping the homeless to sheltering victims of calamities, saving lives and providing livelihood, helping the sick, keeping mothers and their children healthy.

You operate orphanages for those in the dawn of life and homes for the aged for those in the dusk of life. You are first responders to disasters and frontliners in community development.

Pati kapakanan ng mga PWD ay nasa inyong mandato – maliban na lang doon siguro sa isang klase ng PWD, ang Person Without Dyowa. [Applause]

Matagal ko nang tinatago ‘yung joke na ‘yun.

But does a broken heart qualify as a disability? I have to ask the legal opinion first of the First Lady.

Seriously, these people must have access ramps to government services. Huwag tayong bingi at bulag sa kanilang mga hinaing.

At dahil dumadami ang nangangailangan ng tulong at ayuda, lumalawak tuloy ang inyong mandato.

Ngayong taon, dinagdagan pang muli ng Kongreso ang AKAP ng dalawampu’t pitong bilyong piso upang lalong makinabang ang mga manggagawang maliit na ang kinikita at higit na apektado ng mataas na presyo ng bilihin.

Suma-tutal, malaking bahagi ng populasyon ng mga nangangailangan sa ating bansa ay nadadaupan ng tulong ng DSWD.

Help which helps them tide over, to help them get back on their feet, not consigning them to a life of dependency, because aid that emancipates a human being is the kind of dignified giving that government should practice and that this government is practicing.

Remember: Welfare must come with the ways that truly empower recipients so that they will be armed with the skills and the tools that will make self-liberation possible.

Hindi natin sinasanay ang taumbayan. Wala namang tamad na Pilipino. Handa naman talaga ang Pilipino na magtrabaho kaya’t bigyan natin sila ng pagkakataon. Hindi lamang kapag sila’y nasa krisis, kung hindi sa kanilang pang-araw-araw na buhay.

Kaya sa ika-pitumput tatlong anibersarsyo ng inyong pagkakatatag, inaasahan kong di lamang ninyo ipagpapatuloy kundi pag-iibayuhin pa ang Tatak DSWD sa paglilingkod.

You are the country’s social welfare forces, always on red alert, in a country where distress calls from disaster victims and disadvantaged sectors never end.

As you put our people out of harm’s way, and on to the road to recovery and a better life, always serve your clientele with care and compassion as you have been doing.

Hindi lang mabilis na serbisyo, kundi taus-pusong paglilingkod at may kasamang pag-unawa na nagpapalakas ng loob at nagbibigay ng pag-asa sa mga walang-wala.

Treat them with kindness, with understanding, and compassion because that care is a hallmark of public service as well. Empathy goes a long way. Empathy that you have demonstrated very clearly in this past year.

Iyan ang diwa ng pagtulong at pagkalinga sa itinatag nating Bagong Pilipinas.

Mabuhay ang bayanihan ninyo sa DSWD.

Mabuhay ang kabayanihan ng DSWD.

Happy anniversary. Happy New Year.

Maraming salamat sa inyong serbisyo.

Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat.

Magandang tanghali sa inyong lahat.

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