As a follow through activity of a high level conference on Social Protection (SP) conducted earlier this year engaging international and local experts,  a regional consultation workshop on enhancing the Philippine Social Protection  Operational Framework was conducted by DSWD-Policy Development and Planning Bureau (PPDB) on September 6-8 at Ever-O Hotel, Zamboanga City.

According to Fe L. Dela Cruz, OIC-Chief of Policy and Plans Division (PPD), the two-day activity aimed to generate inputs from key stakeholders for the revision of the Social Operational Framework and the SP Plan, which should be aligned with the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) for 2017-2022.

“At the regional level, various engagements with partner agencies and other stakeholders were undertaken to collate comments and feedback from the SWD sectors as well as to propose strategies and initiatives from a regional perspective,” she added.

Susan C. Valerio, OIC-ARD of National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) – IX presented the Regional Development Plan focusing on social protection mainstreaming a key strategy in operationalizing the PDP.

Dr. Fernando T. Aldaba, Dean and Professor of Economics from the School of Social Sciences of Ateneo de Manila University who is the Consultant for the SP Framework Review, spearheaded the regional consultation and provided salient inputs for the enhancement of the Philippine Social Protection Operational Framework and the Proposed Medium-Term SP Plan.

In line with the operationalization of the PDP, Dela Cruz elicited insights on challenges, policy issues, and gaps in our trasitioning from one medium-term plan to the next onward to attaining the country’s long-term development plan dubbed “Ambisyon Natin 2040.” Valerio cited the limited capacity of the implementing agencies, lack of data from the local level as crucial inputs to planning, continuity of policies and emerging priorities given the changes in administration every three years, and overlapping of funds and resources for some projects as among the challenges in the development strategies execution.

Valerio also underscored the importance of having check and balance through the enhanced participation of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in monitoring and evaluation of the various programs, projects, and services.

The SP is considered as one of the strategies to build the  socio-economic resilience of individuals and families by reducing their vulnerability to various risks and disasters (PDP 2017-2022). The PDP aims to provide universal and transformative social protection that will benefit the entire population. Since 2007, various perspectives and issues and recommendations were raised by different sectors in the course of implementing and mainstreaming social protection.

The two-day activity was attended by 28 participants from regional line agencies, Local Government Units (LGUs), CSOs, and both key technical staff and development planners both from Region IX and ARMM-BaSulTa. ###