DSWD wants other gov't agencies' help to assist those living in streets

DSWD wants other gov’t agencies’ help to assist those living in streets

/ 03:01 PM January 31, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian has called on other government agencies to help the department in assisting families and individuals in street situations (FISS).

During an inter-agency meeting for Oplan Pag-Abot in Quezon City, the DSWD chief noted that the government had “shortcomings,” resulting in people living in the streets.

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Oplan Pag-Abot is DSWD’s outreach operation aimed at assisting FISS by offering them livelihood and relocation through its “Balik-Probinsya” (Back to the province) component.


“They are in the streets because the state fails them,” Gatchalian said, as quoted in a statement from the DSWD on Wednesday.

“Now, it is time for us to make up for our shortcomings, us, the state, by providing them with the necessary social protection that they need, and we really need your help with it,” the DSWD chief told other agencies present in the meeting.

Gatchalian asked representatives from key agencies, including the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of Education, to help out in providing post-outreach support to FISS.

“Ang iniisip namin na support from other agencies will be the aftercare, lalong-lalo na kapag inuwi namin sila sa probinsya,” the DSWD chief said.

(We think that other agencies’ support may come in the form of aftercare, especially when we relocate them to their provinces.)

“We are planning to tighten a package together with all of you, a comprehensive package of aftercare for them, whether you help them farm, help them do business,” Gatchalian added.


Oplan Pag-abot

The DSWD chief sits as the chair of an inter-agency committee formed when Oplan Pag-Abot was institutionalized by Malacañang through Executive Order No. 52 on January 18.

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During the same meeting, Gatchalian explained that the operation takes a three-step approach to helping FISS.

“One, transitory, we put them in our care facilities. Two, when their family is there, we reintegrate them into their families. Three, we bring them to their provinces but with the right economic grants,” the DSWD chief said in a mix of Filipino and English.

He further explained that Oplan Pag-Abot does not force the beneficiaries to be relocated from the streets and instead takes a “rights-based” approach.

In previous interviews, Social Welfare Undersecretary Eduardo Punay said the program was allocated P300 million for 2024.

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During the program’s review in December last year, Punay noted that the DSWD was able to take 1,722 individuals from the streets as part of Oplan Pag-Abot.

TAGS: DSWD, Street beggar

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