The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has recognized the strategic importance and role of civil society organizations (CSOs) in the government’s fight against poverty.
This recognition was done by DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman during the March 15 public consultation of the department with the leaders and representatives of about 30 CSOs on the department’s proposed budget for 2017.
The DSWD has been holding public consultations with CSOs since 2012 to ensure that programs, projects and services needed by sectors that the CSOs represent will be funded by the national government, according to Soliman.
The secretary, however, clarified that CSOs should be officially registered and accredited by the government before they would become partners of DSWD because the issue is the transfer of public funds from the government to them.
CSO registration and accreditation are in accordance with special provisions of the General Appropriation Act (GAA) of 2014, 2015 and 2016, which aim to ensure that the CSO is a legitimate one.
The accreditation process should also adhere to the standards and procedures set by the Commission on Audit and the Department of Budget and Management anchored on the principles of accountability and transparency.
In the same consultations, Soliman told leaders of the CSOs that the DSWD was very much willing and interested “to listen to you on how we would manage our budget, we value your opinions and suggestions” to further improve the implementation and increase the beneficiaries of DSWD programs such as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino (4Ps), Kapit-Bisig Laban saKahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), sustainable livelihood projects, supplementary feeding project, Recovery and Reintegration Program for Trafficked Persons (RRPTP) and social pension for indigent senior citizens.
The CSOs in return presented their recommendations to the DSWD so that the department could become more effective in utilizing its budget in implementing its programs.