Our country has been so blessed to be visited by Pope Francis last January 15-19 who has been dubbed as the champion of the poor. On his visit, all Christian Catholics gathered themselves to welcome his coming. His papacy’s unrelenting pursuit in giving hope to the hopeless makes us Filipinos believe on his dedication as instrument of God towards his people.
For the past several years, the Philippines had experienced disastrous calamities that killed thousands of people. Typhoon Yolanda for example trembles the belief of the nation on the existence of God. Others tend to question his mercy and compassion to those who are in need of his divine intervention. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), this incident drove 1.5 million Filipinos into poverty.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) declared 2015 as the year of the poor.
“We, as the Church of the Poor are called to renew our commitment to Christ’s mission and to always take the side of the poor and the oppressed, especially when and where there is injustice and denial of basic human rights. The farmers that till the land to bring us food, the fisher folks who navigate the seas for us and the workers who run the industries are still materially poor after decades and generations of work for living. Their dignity as co-creator of the Lord should be reclaimed,” Fr. Enrico Martin F. Adoviso, chairman of the Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM)’s Commission on Social Services and Development (CSSD), said.
Relative to this is the mission of the Department to develop, implement and coordinate social protection and poverty reduction solutions for and with the poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged. This mandates our actions to deliver excellent service, because our clienteles deserve more than a hundred percent (100%) of quality service but the commitment to willingly give ourselves to the community we serve in order to seek social change and social development. Like Pope Francis who always wants to journey with the people where they are, we as workers of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) should endeavor a similar characteristic. Every worker should have a hand that serves and a heart that sees the invisible, because we want to change not just the community but the perspective of other people as well, that they too, given the right opportunity can reach the level of self-sufficiency.
Along with this memoire is our celebration of the 64th founding anniversary on the 17th day of this month. This celebration will remind us on how we venture in alleviating the lives of our target beneficiaries. The theme for this year is DSWD @ 64 Tuloy sa Pagbangon at Pag-unlad”. The DSWD has travelled a lot in the timeline. It touched and has changed lives. In its 64th years of existence, we reckon how we rigorously and vigorously labored to deliver the things expected before us. We relinquish ourselves to our beneficiaries-our partners, because our presence is orchestrated for them, and to the many people that needs our help.
The DSWD is like Pope Francis in its little ways. Like him, who loves the handicapped, the children in conflict with the law, the indigenous people and even the victims of calamities who are in dire needing our compassion to lift up their hope; the Department believes in the capacities of the poor. We believe that they can contribute to make this world a better place. That out of their population are persons whose hearts are dedicated to help, a heart that can make a crying child to smile, a heart that can lift-up the pirits down and a heart that is willing to sacrifice himself for others. Because this Department was purposely created for them… to help them… and to make them realize that they have greater capacities to surmount all intricacies in life. As the Pope said, we need to ask the perspective and insights of the poor, because they have wonderful ideas.
Understanding the poor means loving them. Giving them hope means caring for them. Teaching them means empowering them and these are our mission.
Happy anniversary everyone.
Let our love in serving the poor speaks.
From the desk of the Regional Director,
MINDA B. BRIGOLI, CESO III