Butuan City – As the national government gears towards the implementation of the Mandanas Ruling or devolution in 2022, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office Caraga held a media forum at the Pavilion, Watergate Hotel, Butuan City, on October 29, 2021.
Recognizing the critical role of media in information dissemination, the Field Office invited media practitioners within the region to provide an overview of the social protection programs and services to be devolved, as well as the measures and strategies made by DSWD Field Office Caraga to ensure that the transition phase for the devolution will be efficient and well-ordered.
In his message, OIC-Regional Director Ramel Jamen stressed that the DSWD values its partnership with the media as they also serve as advocates in promoting the programs and services of the Agency. “Please know that DSWD Caraga deeply values the media as our partners and advocates in the dissemination and promotion of our programs and services. With your contribution, we’ll be able to deliver correct and verified information to our people,” Jamen said.
The said media forum was funded by the Sustainable Livelihood Program and spearheaded by the Field Office’s Social Marketing Section.
OIC-Policy and Plans Division Chief Aldie May Andoy led the discussion about the devolution on behalf of OIC Asst. Regional Director for Operations and Devolution Committee Head, Jean Paul Parajes.
“The Mandanas Case Ruling is in pursuant to Executive Order No. 138 or the ‘Full Devolution of Certain Functions of the Executive Branch to Local Government, Creation of a Committee on Devolution, and For Other Purposes. With this ruling, local governments units (LGUs) will have bigger responsibilities and more resources to manage. In this respect, LGUs are expected to become more responsive and accountable,” Andoy explained,
Based on the Local Government Code of 1991, basic services shall be devolved to the LGUs as they are viewed to be in a greater position to address the needs of their community or constituents.
As to the function of DSWD, Andoy emphasized that the agency will still play a pivotal role in the implementation of the programs and services and will cover various responsibilities, such as policy development, technical assistance, research development, resource augmentation, standard-setting and regulatory functions, monitoring and evaluation, capacity building, and program evaluation and audit.
Further, focal persons of the different DSWD programs and services to be devolved respectively provided an outline and overview of the devolution transition plans. In DSWD, a total of eight programs will be devolved in 2022-2024, namely: Supplementary Feeding Program, Assistance to Persons with Disabilities, Comprehensive Project for Street Children, Transition of Programs for Older Persons to NCSC, Recovery and Reintegration Program for Trafficked Persons, Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations, Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS), and Sustainable Livelihood Program.
Aside from the devolution, the media forum also became a venue for the updating of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT, especially that most queries are from the general public concern the said programs.
The presentation of updates and accomplishments was followed by a press conference with OIC Regional Director Ramel Jamen as head of the panelists. Most of the issues and concerns raised were about devolution, UCT, and 4Ps.
Present during the forum were media personnel from Philippine Information Agency – Caraga, BeeTV 7 Butuan, Brigada News FM, Magik FM, Real Radio, Hope Radio, Radyo Pilipinas, Radyo Serbato, Radyo Trumpeta. Centro Mindanao, and News Courier.
The media forum is a yearly event of the Social Marketing Section of the Field Office to provide media partners with the latest news and updates about the Agency and address their issues and concerns. Moreover, the activity is also a step of DSWD in strengthening its relationship with the media community.