Solon bats for bigger budget for DSWD program for conflict-affected areas
MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker on Tuesday batted for a bigger budget for the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) program aiding conflict-stricken areas.
In the House budget briefing of the DSWD, Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor said he would move to “reinstate” the agency’s requested budget for its Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Pamana) program “at the proper time.”
DSWD Undersecretary Rene Glen Paje said the agency asked for a P1.6 billion budget for its Pamana program; however, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) only approved P960 million.
“Some social preparation have been conducted and sadly if these will not be given the support, then this will have to be shelved,” Paje revealed during the hearing.
The Pamana is the DSWD’s program and framework for peace and development in 11 regions affected by conflict and communities covered by existing peace agreements.
Paje said the program targets areas that are “vulnerable” and conducts projects and activities “to ensure that these areas will not be left out compared to the other areas which are not conflict-affected.”
Defensor called for the continuous support in conflict-stricken areas to ensure their development.
“At the proper time, I will move to reinstate the P1.7 billion budget [for Pamana],” the party-list representative said.
“It is not a question of just additional funds, these are areas that we have to support, that we have to show concern and that we have to win over because the conflict is not yet over,” he added. /je
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