April 13, 2024

The Department of Social Welfare and Development and the World Bank addressed issues aimed at further enhancing the ongoing implementation of the Beneficiary First Social Protection (BFIRST) Project, Asec. for Strategic Communications Romel Lopez said.

This, after the findings and results of the Implementation Support Mission held Dec. 4 to 7 between the two agencies were discussed in a wrap-up meeting that was attended by DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian and WB Country Director Ndiame Diop.

“Among the crucial things discussed during the meeting were the performance-based conditions which include the provision of cash grants to the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) through transactional accounts, and the assessment and re-assessment of the 4Ps beneficiaries’ socio-economic status using the Standardized Targeting System,” Lopez said.

Lopez said BFIRST is a joint project of the DSWD and the World Bank that aims to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 on poor Filipino families and to strengthen the DSWD’s social protection delivery systems to become more adaptive and efficient.

During the session, Gatchalian underscored the significance of the Implementation Support Mission, as this gives the DSWD an overview of the “ever-changing world of poverty.”

“We know that this is a very important package (BFIRST) that deals with a lot of lives,” Gatchalian said, emphasizing that the mission is helpful in helping the government in addressing the poverty problem in the country, which he described as “not static but rather dynamic.”

“So, these missions actually will help us to be able to tailor fit further actions both in service delivery and the actual grants,” he said.

The DSWD chief thanked the World Bank for its continued support of the fulfillment of the Department’s mandate to improve social protection delivery in the country.

“I am very appreciative that you and your team personally sit (here at the session) rather than send a team… so that we can get a better understanding [of the results of the mission],” Gatchalian said.

The DSWD chief was joined by Usec. for Policy and Plans Group, lawyer Adonis Sulit; Asec. for External Assistance and Development Juan Carlo Marquez, who is also the Project Manager of BFIRST; and Legal Service Director Leslie Rose Torres. Meanwhile, Diop was joined by Yoonyoung Cho, Task Team Leader and Senior Economist; Ruth Rodriguez, Co-Task Team Leader and Senior Protection Specialist; and Laarni Revilla, Social Protection Consultant. – PNA