De Lima bats for ample funds for DSWD protective services program

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Sen. Leila M. de Lima today pushed for adequate funding support to the Protective Services Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to assist individuals and families affected by unexpected crisis or calamities.

During the deliberations of the proposed 2017 P127.8-billion budget of the DSWD in the Senate, De Lima inquired about the sustainability of the funds meant for the department’s protective services program.

“Kailangan lang po nating linawin kung anong sitwasyon at sino ang mga bibigyan ng tulong. Baka kulangin ang budget, baka pwede pang madagdagan ang pondo para maraming matulungan,” she said.

De Lima noted a substantial decrease of P3.1 billion from this year’s budget – or 46.29% in the department’s budget for protective services for individuals and families in difficult circumstances under its proposed budget for next year.

For 2017, she pointed out that DSWD is only proposing a budget of P3.6 billion for the protective services program, which is a substantial reduction from its previous allocation of P5.2 billion and P6.7 billion in 2015 and 2016, respectively. In her interpellation, De Lima asked for the breakdown of the allocations under the Protective Services Program for Individuals and Families in Difficult Circumstances, such as illness or death, natural and man-made calamities.

In response, Sen. Loren Legarda, sponsor of the proposed 2017 P3.35-trillion national budget, disclosed that the breakdown includes medical, burial, educational, transportation, food and non-food assistance to individuals and families in need.

Under its proposed P127.8-billion budget, the DSWD proposed an allocation of P3.597 billion for 1,279,167 target beneficiaries for its protective services program, including P2.795 billion budget for assistance to individuals in difficult circumstance.

Taking cue from the neophyte senator’s intervention, Sen. Legarda suggested to set up a protective services desk for the Senate at the National Capital Region and Central offices, if not at all for the DSWD’s local and regional offices.

Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo who was present during the Senate budget deliberation immediately agreed to the suggestion.

Activities included in the protective services program are the assistance to communities during natural and man-made disasters; the alternative family care program which facilitates the review and processing of documents of children for adoption, and the international social welfare services for Filipino nationals which helps OFWs and migrant Filipinos in crisis.

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