DSWD recognizes transformative role of social workers in World Social Work Day celebration

In line with the World Social Work Day celebration, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in partnership with the ASEAN Social Work Consortium-Philippines, held a forum to promote the development of the social work profession on Wednesday (March 20) at the DSWD Central Office Auditorium in Quezon City.

The World Social Work Day is celebrated annually on the 3rd Tuesday of March with this year’s event slated on March 19. With the theme, “Buen Vivir: Shared Future for Transformative Change,” the World Social Work Day honors the hard work and dedication of social workers to bring transformative change to communities through the principle of “Buen Vivir,” which means “living well” or “life in harmony.”

In her opening remarks, Undersecretary for Standards and Capacity Building Group (SCBG) Denise Bernos-Bragas enjoined the participants to continue to “cooperate, coordinate, and collaborate” in addressing the contemporary challenges and bring into fruition the aspirations of social work in the global setting.

Undersecretary for National Household Targeting System and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) Vilma Cabrera, who is a veteran social worker, highlighted the importance of social work in promoting social justice, human rights, and sustainable development.

“Social work is a practice-based profession, whose core mandate or core intention is to effect social change, social development, social transformation, and changes favorable to the society, the individuals, the families, and the nation,” Undersecretary Cabrera explained.

Undersecretary Cabrera pointed out that promoting the celebration contributes to the initiatives of the roadmap in the implementation of the Hanoi Declaration on Social Work that aims to strengthen the social work and social service workforce towards “the effective, responsive and sustainable delivery of inclusive and quality social service” in the ASEAN region.

“By commemorating the World Social Work Day, stakeholders can leverage the momentum generated by this global event to highlight the role of social work in addressing regional challenges and provide a platform to showcase successful social work interventions and initiatives that have made a positive impact,” Undersecretary Cabrera said.

Several speakers discussed specific topics related to the strengthening of the social work profession. The resources persons included DSWD Asst. Secretary for SCBG Janet Armas; Ateneo de Davao University Social Work Department Chairperson Dr. Epifania Melba Manapol; Association of Local Social Welfare and Development Officer Jocelyn Arzaga; and, Ateneo de Davao University social work student Jhunhalyne Villarta.

Also gracing the event were ASEAN Social Work Consortium-Philippines Chairperson Glady Bunao; Department of Health League of Medical Social Workers President Evelyn Muniz; National Association of Social Work Education, Inc. President Khalachuchi Flores-Caballes; Philippine Association of Social Workers, Inc. official representative Rosauro Luntayao; and, Philippine Association of Court Social Workers, Inc. official representative Precious Loida Ladaga. #