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Gatchalian pledges to continue the DSWD’s fight against hunger and poverty

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Rex Gatchalian, the secretary of social welfare and development, stressed on Friday that the “battle against hunger and poverty” is the primary focus of his administration. He also indicated a preparedness to address the socioeconomic issues facing the nation.

Gatchalian provided an overview of his work plan and strategy for addressing the services and assistance required by the poor and vulnerable sector in general, and affected families during and after calamities in particular, during a press conference held at the DSWD central office in Quezon City.

First, he promised to reinstate the “food stub” system and provide qualified families and individuals with livelihood aid to combat hunger.

He declared that he would give the database of beneficiaries’ list first priority in order to guarantee that only deserving and eligible families and individuals would gain access to the various DSWD aid and support programs.

I wasn’t particularly intense, per se, regarding the listahan. I don’t have any plans to alter the beneficiaries list, although I am the mayor of Valenzuela, therefore the database will likely be updated as a result of the available sources. However, when I was still the mayor of Valenzuela, I observed that the database constantly altered as a result of numerous sources, some of which could be false, Gatchalian remarked.

The DSWD’s help or support, particularly in the implementation of the “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program” (4Ps) and other financial handouts from the government, is only wanted by those who are truly in need, he continued.

In order to achieve this, the new DSWD director stated that he will enlist the help of specialists from the Social Weather Stations (SWS) and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), among other organizations.

Gatchalian was a fervent supporter of high-quality education and was dedicated to combating illiteracy.

Although the DSWD already had a number of initiatives aimed at lowering illiteracy, he claimed that this issue still plagued the poor and vulnerable, and he hoped to take action.

The DSWD secretary also reaffirmed what he had said during a briefing with his undersecretaries and other officials, stating that he would work to “set up logistics networks and additional warehouses for relief goods and family food packs in strategic locations in the country” in order to quickly and effectively assist the families who will be affected by disasters and calamities.

The former congressman also intended to simplify or shorten the conditions for DSWD benefits and other particular grants and financial aid.

Additionally, Gatchalian pledged to put improvements into action for the DSWD’s social service centers and medical facilities.

Gatchalian claimed that as a three-term mayor, he was familiar with the general procedures and ideas involved in his new project. Nevertheless, he requested a bit more time before diving into more specifics.

I’ve only been in the office for three days, so there are still many individuals I need to speak with and request essential data from, Gatchalian said. “Tatlong araw pa lang po ako sa opis ata marami pa akong tao na dapat kausapin at hingan ng mga importanteng datos,” he said.

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