MIMAROPA – To foster robust collaboration with Local Government Units (LGUs) and to effectively communicate the strides made by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Pantawid Pami lyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), the Regional Program Management Office (RPMO) successfully organized a two-day Local Chief Executive (LCE) Forum. The event unfolded in the months of August to September 2023 in every province of the MIMAROPA region.
“We conduct the LCE Forum because we see that the involvement of the partners in the implementation of the program, particularly the Local Government Unit (LGU), is very significant especially now that social protection programs and services are being devolved to the local government,” PDO II Henryetta C. Dela Cruz, Institutional Partnership Development Officer-LGU Focal, stated.
Local Social Welfare and Development Officers (LSWDOs) along with municipal staff actively participated in the activity. Municipal Mayors also graced the forum and took the opportunity to raise their respective municipality’s concerns regarding the implementation of the program. Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officers (PSWDOs) also attended the significant event.
Through this, areas of concern for the continued provision of programs and services for the active 4Ps beneficiaries in the provinces were discussed and highlighted. The LGUs’ accomplishments, initiatives, and good practices that helped the program get off the ground were also acknowledged and recognized.
As such, engagement with the LCEs must really be intensified since they have the direct authority to execute the implementation of different services in the localities to assist in the implementation of the program. The LSWDOs also play a vital role in the monitoring and implementation of appropriate social welfare and development interventions, not just for the active household-beneficiaries, but also the provision of post-program and after-care services for the exited/graduated HHs.
In addition, representatives from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) also grabbed the chance during the LCE Forum to thoroughly discuss the Electricity Lifeline Rate program for 4Ps and qualified non-4Ps to further clarify the know-hows.
“Conducting this LCE Forum is an effective venue so we can encourage LCEs to be involved and/or initiate in making resolutions to address the issues and concerns on the implementation of the program. And because of the LCE Forum, mas lalong naintindihan ng ating mga partners kung ano nga ba ang layunin ng 4Ps. Napaparating din sa atin directly ang kanilang mga helpful suggestions, gayundin ang ating mga inaasahang commitments mula sa lokal na pamahalaan na patuloy na pagsuporta sa programa,” LGU Focal Dela Cruz expressed.
In conclusion, the municipal governments, as well as the provincial government through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Offices (PSWDOs), promised to still assist the households in terms of skills training for their livelihood, scholarship program, and the like. After hearing their voices on the ground, the LGUs’ willingness to provide was felt and seen. Hence, proper coordination and good relationship between them and the program in the region will be expected to be strengthened and deepened.