Marcos tells DSWD to 'enhance' social pension, keep cash aid program for poor Filipinos

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 31 2023 02:05 PM | Updated as of Jan 31 2023 02:34 PM

RTVM screengrab
RTVM screengrab

MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday instructed the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to “enhance” its social pension program and maintain its cash aid program for poor Filipinos as prices of basic commodities continued to rise. 

“I call upon the DSWD to continue to implement the unconditional cash transfer program to provide cash grants to poor households and individuals who do not benefit from the lower income tax rates but who are adversely affected by rising prices,” Marcos said during the 72nd anniversary celebration of the DSWD.

“Let us also enhance the social pension program for indigent senior citizens as a means to augment their daily subsistence and medical needs,” he said.

Marcos Jr. urged DSWD workers to “remain steadfast” in its commitment to serve indigent Filipinos, underscoring that some poor families consider the agency as their “lifeline.”

“Alam ko na kung minsan ang pakiramdam ninyo dahil kayo ay pinapapunta sa malalayo na hindi kinikilala ang inyong trabaho. Huwag ninyong isipin yun,” the President said.

(I know that sometimes you feel your work is not recognized because you are sent to remote areas. Do not think that way.)

“I must remind you today that you have been, especially in the pandemic, the DSWD has been the lifeline for millions and millions of Filipinos,” he said.

“Kung hindi sa tulong ng DSWD… marami siguro sa ating mga kababayan ang nasawi ng pandemiya.”

(Without the DSWD's help, perhaps many of our compatriots would have died during the pandemic.)

The Philippines gives the DSWD the “highest esteem and biggest appreciation” and the administration would ensure that the agency’s new building would serve as a “venue for employee welfare and wellness programs,” Marcos Jr. said in his speech.

The establishment of a multi-purpose building in the DSWD headquarters in Quezon City will “ensure that the occupational health as well as the general welfare of DSWD employees are put to the fore,” he said.

“With your help, I am confident that we can build a more inclusive and compassionate society that truly cares and respects the life of every Filipino,” he said.

Vice President Sara Duterte was also invited to the DSWD’s 72nd anniversary and the inauguration of its new multi-purpose building, but was instead represented by her husband Manases Carpio.