A society where poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals, families and communities are empowered for an improved quality of life.

To provide social protection and promote the rights and welfare of the poor, vulnerable and the disadvantaged individuals, families and communities that will contribute to poverty alleviation and empowerment through social welfare development policies, programs, projects and services implemented with or through local government units (LGUs), non-government organizations (NGOs), people’s organizations (POs), other government organizations (GOs) and other members of civil society.

DSWD develops, and leads other agencies in developing, complementary programs and strategies to protect the poor and to increase opportunities for uplifting their conditions. DSWD also considers social protection and poverty reduction as a shared responsibility.


DSWD’s core social protection programs are meant to:

• help poor families cope with various risks and allow them to invest in human development (protective programs like conditional cash transfer (CCT);

• offer opportunities for livelihood and employment for the poor to enable them to generate sustainable income (promotive programs like sustainable livelihood and guaranteed employment); and

• empower the poor to participate in governance and helps communities where the poor are to become vibrant and more responsive to their own needs (transformative programs like Kalahi-CIDSS).

DSWD considers Social Protection and Poverty Reduction as a shared responsibility:
• DSWD provides integrated and comprehensive social protection and poverty alleviation program. However, DSWD should not be alone in this endeavor.
• Other government agencies such as the Senate, Congress, the Executive Department and local governments also have roles and responsibilities in social protection and poverty alleviation.
• Civil society, academe and even program beneficiaries also play important roles in identifying and attending to the needs of the poor and alleviating their difficulties.

What is convergence and why is it important?

• Convergence calls for the synchronization of all interventions of the government and the private sector in identified geographical areas to ensure that reforms in terms of poverty alleviation, among others, are achieved.
• Convergence aims to (1) maximize resources by reducing duplication of efforts and enhancing operational efficiency, and (2) enhance local skills, knowledge, and collaborative action between stakeholders for sustainability of outcomes.

• Rationale for convergence: Poverty is multi-dimensional yet interventions are typically one-dimensional. The challenge is how to integrate program interventions without sacrificing the efficiency of individual components.

• Convergence means (1) making sure the programs to be converged help the targeted beneficiaries, and (2) focusing on delivery systems – working on the ways the different programs deliver the benefits.
• While the long-term goal of convergence at the national level is to harmonize all poverty reduction programs of various agencies, DSWD will also orchestrate its own social protection programs.

• The DSWD convergence strategy harmonizes the three (3) core social protection programs of DSWD to generate greater impact on poverty reduction.

• The convergence strategy links the Department’s social protection and poverty reduction programs to establish strategic focus, complementation and operational efficiency for the empowerment of all its stakeholders – beneficiaries, LGUs, NGOs, service providers and intermediaries.

• The DSWD convergence framework has the following elements

• Use of a unified targeting system. The National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction database will be used to identify beneficiaries.
• Synchronized implementation of social preparation and community mobilization activities.
• Harmonized engagement of LGUs. Generating and mobilizing local government support.
• Coordinated capability building. Harmonized monitoring and evaluation, including social case management for households covered by the three core social protection programs of DSWD.
• Enhanced partnership with NGOs, people’s organizations and civil society organizations.
• Strategic communications. Crafting a common communications strategy on social protection.

How does DSWD implement convergence strategy in its programs?
Tatsulo. DSWD has introduced “Tatsulo” (short for “tatlong sulo”) which symbolizes the convergence of its three core programs that protect, promote and empower the poor. Tatsulo is illustrated through an image of three flames making up a single “sulo” or torch. The torch is a symbol for lighting up the path away from the darkness of poverty.
Three core programs. Each flame in the torch symbolizes the three core programs of DSWD:

Pantawid Pamilya, the backbone of the social protection framework, is a conditional cash transfer program that promotes investments in human capital and alleviates present financial difficulties of poor families.
Sustainable livelihood and guaranteed employment program promotes improved opportunities, livelihoods and better jobs for the economically active poor. Its purpose is to deliver a capacity-building program to develop the entrepreneurial and socio-economic skills of poor households by providing them with income-generating opportunities to enhance their access to basic social services and improve their standard of living.
Kalahi-CIDSS (Kapit-bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services) empowers poor communities to identify their needs and create programs to solve problems through improved social services. It also supports participation and good governance of local development resources.

Why is social protection and poverty alleviation a shared responsibility?

While the DSWD is the lead government agency, it needs the collective efforts and resources of other government agencies to help the poor.
Legislators must develop and enact appropriate policies and laws that will support implementation of government programs on social protection and poverty alleviation. Having the power over the budget, the legislative branch must ensure adequate allocation of resources or poverty alleviation and social protection programs. Other national government agencies in the Executive Department should aggressively work to develop and implement coordinated and well-designed programs to address poverty and vulnerability. With many of the basic social services now decentralized and devolved to local governments, LGUs must likewise ensure that basic services are adequate in their respective localities to give the poor better chances to help pull themselves out of poverty.

Further, clients and ordinary citizens need to be actively involved in efforts to improve people’s quality of life. People cannot rely solely on government to uplift their conditions.

Who are DSWD’s partners in protecting the poor?

LGUs, because they are in a better position to know and respond to the needs of their constituents.

a. Decentralization/devolution. DSWD is ready to work with LGUs, as needed, in delivering social services to the poor. Many basic services that used to be directly provided by DSWD have already been devolved to LGUs.

b. Supply-side of Pantawid (Health). Local governments need to ensure that healthcare facilities and supplies are available for families who will need them as required by the Pantawid Pamilya program. These include provision for adequate midwives and other healthcare professionals and maternal healthcare equipment and facilities.

c. Complementation of national and local government efforts. DSWD needs LGUs to complement national government programs and strategies for targeting the poor. Because the national government cannot possibly reach all of the poor and attend to their needs, LGUs should share in the responsibility of protecting and alleviating the difficulties of the poor. LGUs are needed to help provide universal access to basic services, facilities, infrastructure and other public goods needed to promote local economies.

Executive Department. DSWD works closely with other national government agencies in the executive branch like DepEd, DoH, and NAPC to ensure that there are enough schools and health facilities; that public investments generate jobs and make the assets of the poor (land and labor) productive; and that social protection policies are in place and enforced. DSWD will continue to collaborate with other government agencies for better-targeted and integrated/convergent programs on social protection and poverty alleviation.

a. Supply side of Pantawid. While Pantawid Pamilya encourages poor families to invest in health and education, the Departments of Health and Education need to ensure that there are well-equipped schools accessible to children of beneficiaries, and there are enough healthcare professionals, facilities and supplies for these poor families to avail of. DSWD is working closely with both Departments, together with DBM, to ensure that the budget allocation for such needs in Pantawid areas are adequate and are made available on time.

b. Cabinet Human Development Cluster. DSWD heads the Cabinet HD cluster and works with the National Anti-Poverty Commission, which is the secretariat of the cluster, to coordinate government anti-poverty and social protection programs and initiatives.

Legislative Department. DSWD seeks the support of Congress and Senate to ensure that adequate resources are allocated for DSWD’s core programs and that well-crafted laws are enacted to protect the welfare of the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized

a. DSWD is very strategic in its use of limited resources. It manages programs efficiently and works closely with other agencies to ensure that its efforts complement the programs of other agencies.

b. DSWD appreciates Senators and Congressmen who have proposed or committed to use a part of their PDAF allocation to support or complement DSWD programs for the poor.

Civil Society. DSWD has developed various modes for civil society participation/engagement as part of Public-Private Partnership in delivering basic social services to the poor, implementing development projects of the government, and instituting transparency and accountability mechanisms to fight corruption. The engagement and partnership between the DSWD and the CSOs are firmed up through a Memorandum of Understanding and can be described according to the following broad categories:

o Bantay – DSWSD and the partners cooperate in implementing projects and activities geared towards fighting or preventing corruption

o Gabay –the partnership is intended to enhance technical capacities of DSWD staff and/or direct service workers utilizing the expertise of the partner NGOs or CSOs on a required program area needing technical assistance

o Kaagapay – the partnership is on implementing anti-poverty projects and activities targeting a commonly agreed upon sector or geographical areas and results

o Tulay – the partnership’s primary intent is to facilitate action, feedback and monitoring of a specific program and area of implementation using the partner as the link between the Department and its target sectors.

• Program Beneficiaries. Sending children to school and submitting to health services, etc. are shared responsibilities with the parents who receive cash grants from Pantawid Pamilya.

Public. The support and cooperation of the public are needed to help DSWD serve its clients well and demand accountability from government.