Civil society groups ink pacts backing DWSD’s 4P

As of Feb. 25, 2011, 77 national and local non-government organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) signed memoranda of agreement (MOA) with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to empower their active participation in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program also known as the conditional cash transfer program of the Philippines.

The formalization of the partnership through the MOA defines the specific roles and functions of the CSO and DSWD in the monitoring and implementation of poverty-reduction programs. This is in line with the directive of President Benigno S. Aquino III in the public-private partnership in the fulfillment of his platform of Good Governance and Poverty Reduction.

For DSWD in particular, Public-Private Partnership (PPP) is a system for cooperation between the two parties for the purpose of delivering basic social services to the poor, implementing development projects of the government and instituting transparency and accountability mechanisms to fight corruption.

This may be done in any of these four ways: (1) “Bantay,” or projects and activities geared towards fighting corruption; (2) “Gabay,” a mechanism for extending technical assistance; (3) “Kaagapay,” or anti poverty projects and activities; or (4) “Tulay,” which refers to facilitating action, feedback and monitoring.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman in coordination with DSWD field offices has completed the conduct of the Convergence Roadshow where different volunteer groups nationwide were oriented on the convergence of the three poverty-reduction programs of the department.

Eight regional planning workshops with volunteer groups and CSOs have also been conducted.

The DSWD wishes to inform the public that NGOs and CSOs are now welcome to actively participate in the Pantawid Pamilya through adoption of areas covered by the program.  Partner CSOs may assess every step of the program in order to ensure good governance and transparency in all levels. The DSWD shall also facilitate training/workshop and transfer of technology to CSO members.

Concretely, volunteer organizations may be involved in any of the following ways: (a) coordinate with the leaders of Citizens’ Organizations for the participation of their volunteers in the implementation of the program; (b) participate in Community Assemblies as part of the beneficiary identification process; (c) on-the-ground audit of the Compliance Verification System; (d) assist in the Beneficiary Updating System; e) assist in the implementation of the Grievance Redress System; and in the (f) enhancement and implementation of the Family Development Session modules.

“To ensure its success, the Pantawid Pamilya must be democratically implemented with active participation of civil society and the grassroots urban and rural communities”, Sec. Soliman said.

The Pantawid Pamilya helps the poorest families meet immediate needs and at the same time ensuring that young people have better opportunities for advancement. It helps families to gain leverage by giving them the capacity to access basic social services to be able to help themselves break free from the inter-generational cycle of poverty.

It is hoped that the program can be an important weapon in helping the poorest families step forward in the effort to create a base for a movement for “transformative social protection,” one that sees the right to be free of poverty as a basic social right, the fulfillment of which must be the basic goal of economic and social policy.

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