Legarda Urges DSWD to Improve Rollout of Sustainable Livelihood Program

February 2, 2018

Senator Loren Legarda encouraged the officials of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to refine the systems and processes in implementing the agency’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

The SLP aims to enhance the capabilities of poor Filipino households and individuals by strengthening their skills, competencies, abilities, and resources in accessing income-generating opportunities. It is meant to complement the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), the DSWD’s flagship social welfare program.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, said that the DSWD should ensure the full utilization of the Php5.06-billion budget of the SLP for this year.

“Compared to other DSWD programs, the SLP registered a low utilization rate at 78% in 2017 due to the lack of accreditation and selection process required by our laws. Having a low utilization rate only means that there are funds unspent for the intended beneficiaries of the program, which, in this case, are the poorest of our poor families,” Legarda said.

The Senator also said that the SLP should undergo performance audit to check whether the program has really helped the poor families in terms of the success or progress of their livelihood ventures. She added that the DSWD should request the Commission on Audit (COA) to conduct an audit of SLP, similar to its management audit of the 4Ps, and to seek recommendation on how it could be further improved.

Moreover, Legarda emphasized the value of convergence in strengthening the effectiveness of our social welfare programs. She said that the National Nutrition Council (NNC) under the Department of Health (DOH) should help in addressing malnutrition among the children of 4Ps families.

Legarda also expressed support in the mapping of all DSWD programs in the country to identify the locations of these programs juxtaposed with the poverty profile of the area. The map will be instrumental in identifying losses for DSWD beneficiaries when forecasting disasters and in preparing before these disasters strike.

“DSWD is one critical agency of our government that provides timely and wide-ranging support for our poorest families. It is only proper that we invest heavily in our social welfare department in order to raise the living conditions of the millions of Filipinos still living in poverty. We should continue improving our systems and processes, while fostering convergence, in implementing our social welfare programs, so we could fully utilize our government funds. In doing so, we provide the maximum assistance we could extend to our poorest families,” Legarda concluded.