DSWD seeks legislators’ support for 7 social welfare-related bills

MANILA-- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has appealed to legislators to prioritize seven bills that will help the department fulfill its mandate to provide social protection to the poor and marginalized sectors of society.

These bills are on social welfare and development agencies (SWDAs); public solicitation; amendments to the Solo Parents' Welfare Act of 2000; elderly abuse; establishment of the National Council for the Welfare of Senior Citizens; positive and non-violent discipline of children; and the Magna Carta of Day Care Workers.

"The immediate passage of social welfare and development-related bills will surely benefit the needy, marginalized, and vulnerable sectors. This is why we appeal for the support of our legislators to prioritize the review and enactment of the seven bills that we are proposing," Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said in a news release issued Friday.

In citing that these bills are important in achieving a corrupt-free and effective governance, she urged lawmakers to include them in their priority list.

The SWDA bill is in support of the department's core mandate of setting standards for the implementation of social welfare and development programs.

Its primary aim is to strengthen the DSWD's regulatory functions; set standards; provide benefit and incentives; and monitor public and private individuals, agencies and organizations engaged in social welfare and development activities.

It also provides mechanisms for sanctions in case of non-compliance with standards and procedures set by the DSWD. It grants benefits and incentives to registered, licensed, and accredited SWDAs in recognition of their importance and invaluable contribution to social welfare and development.

Meanwhile, the bill that seeks to protect the public from deceitful solicitations aims to protect the general public from unscrupulous solicitation by strengthening the system of granting permits for charitable and welfare purposes.

The bill also provides the modes of solicitation and prescribes penalties for solicitation without permit. It will help protect the public from falling prey to fake solicitations and resource generation efforts.

On the other hand, the bill amending the Solo Parents' Welfare Act of 2009 acknowledges the issue that solo parent-headed families have valid concerns that need to be addressed.

According to Taguiwalo, there is a need to amend Republic Act 8972, which has been enacted into law 16 years ago, to help solo parents cope with their situation.

On the bill for the protection of the elderly, the DSWD wants to ensure the prevention of abuse and abandonment of older persons by their own families.

"We hear of senior citizens being beaten by their guardians. Some sickly elders were allegedly even tied to posts or locked in rooms. There is an urgent need to ensure the protection of the older persons. The Elderly Abuse Bill, as well as the establishment of the Council that will oversee their welfare, will address this and other concerns connected to the welfare of our senior citizens," the social welfare chief explained.

The bill defines acts committed against senior citizens, imposes higher penalties for their commission, and requires the development of strategies to prevent or reduce abuses.

The other bills intend to benefit children by safeguarding their right to grow up in a safe environment.

The Magna Carta of Day Care Workers bill is also being lobbied so that public servants in the day care service are recognized for their contribution.

"Right now, day care workers get so little compensation for their work of teaching and minding our young children. It is fitting that we look into their rights, benefits, and privileges to help them in their effort to perform their task of taking care of our children," Taguiwalo said.

The Magna Carta provides day care workers training, education, career enhancement, and security of tenure.

The DSWD is also reiterating its support for the bill on positive and non-violent discipline of children. Corporal punishment of children in all settings is prohibited under this bill.

"Children must not be subjected to punishment that tend to affect their development. We must not expose children to situations where violence is used as a tool to solve issues," she said.

The bill emphasizes the role of education in promoting the positive and non-violent discipline of children.

Source: Philippines News Agency