Wed, 29 Nov 2023

MANILA - Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Monday said it will host the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Inter-Sectoral Consultation for the finalization of two important outcome documents on Feb. 7-8.

This consultation is being carried out in line with the responsibilities of the DSWD as the focal agency representing the Philippines to the ASEAN Sectoral Body on Social Welfare and Development, in cooperation with the ASEAN Social Work Consortium, the ASEAN Secretariat and with support from UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office.

The two documents to be finalized referred to the Regional Guidance on Strengthening the Role of Social Workers and the Wider Social Service Workforce in "Health"; and the Regional Guidance on Strengthening the Role of Social Workers and the Wider Social Service Workforce in the "Justice System".

The virtual consultation would provide an opportunity to feedback and further gather inputs from ASEAN member states and other international partners necessary to enhance and finalize the regional guidance.

The said consultation is also expected to address challenges and discuss opportunities to invigorate the roles, competencies and capacities of social work and the wider social service workforce in the health sector and justice system.

ASEAN member states (AMS) acknowledge the significance of the regional guidance documents. These would assist each ASM's policymakers, managers, government officials and the whole social welfare and development sector in the entire body. The documents will also help AMS in planning, developing and supporting social workers and the wider social service workforce.

The guidance documents will be essential to the delivery of inclusive, accessible, multidisciplinary and responsive social services to raise the quality of life, as well as in responding to the needs of the vulnerable and marginalized sectors of society.

Pursuant to its commitment, the DSWD will continue to support ASEAN activities to foster camaraderie and international solidarity.

Meanwhile, the DSWD thanked the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the timely release of PHP151 billion budget for the implementation of social protection programs and services.

The prompt release of the funds will redound to the benefit of the poor and vulnerable sectors as they will continue to receive the much needed government aid and assistance.

The DSWD vowed to judiciously utilize the budget for the operations of its major social protection programs which include the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) and Protective Services for Individuals and Families in Difficult Circumstances (PSIFDC).

Under the new leadership of Secretary Rex Gatchalian, the DSWD will also prioritize streamlining of services and digitization as directed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to ensure the fast and efficient delivery of social welfare and development programs for the poor, marginalized and vulnerable sectors.

ASEAN member states include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (PNA)

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