Reaching out to street dwellers must be a collective effort among LGUs, NGAs, private sector

QUEZON CITY-- To address the needs of street families and street children, we must make sure to use a whole-of- government approach. Multi-stakeholder strategy ang kailangan natin dito at dapat community-based (We must apply a multi-stakeholder and community-based strategy).

This was one of the important points shared by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Assistant Secretary for the Office of Secretary Group (OSG) Aleli B. Bawagan during yesterday's episode of the DSWDMayMalasakit program, DSWD's weekly radio program which airs every Thursday on DZRH.

The 9th episode of the weekly radio program highlighted the Department's existing program and services to address the needs of street dwellers. These include community-based programs and services such as activity centers and the provision of educational assistance for street children; birth and civil registration and livelihood trainings for Sama-Bajaus; and the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) and family development sessions for street families.

In addition to the current programs of the Department, Asec. Bawagan disclosed that the agency is in the process of enhancing the programs for street dwellers with the help of local government units (LGUs), national government agencies (NGAs), non-government organizations (NGOs), and civil society organizations (CSOs) to shape up the gaps and maximize the provision of support for individuals at-risk on the streets.

Sa iba't-ibang regions, nagbuo kami ng mga task force. Ang gobyerno, ang private sector, hindi lamang ang DSWD, but also other LGUs and government agencies ay tumitingin at nag-aaral kung papaano yung nila ma-mamaximize ang kanilang mga program for street families, para din walang duplication of beneficiaries. Hindi dapat illang pamilya lang ang matutulungan kundi as many as possible na kayang maabot (We have established task force groups in different regions around the country comprised of representatives of LGUs, other government agencies and members from the private sector who are looking into ways to maximize their services for street families so that there won't be duplication of beneficiaries, and more at-risk families will be reached), Asec. Bawagan said.

Last month, the DSWD organized a workshop with different NGOs in Metro Manila to discuss and improve strategies on how to efficiently and effectively harmonize and complement the assistance that they provide for street kids and families with the programs of the government.

The agency will also organize a donor's forum next month to present areas of collaboration, especially the improvement of activity centers for street children, and to encourage more people to help individuals at-risk in the streets.

For her parting words, Asec. Bawagan reminded the public to report sightings of street children/street families to LGUs, who are considered as the first responders to these cases, or to the DSWD through its Twitter account, @savestreetkids.

Source: Philippines Information Agency

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