DSWD FO III shields Pantawid Pamilya from partisan politics

Director Adelina S. Apostol of Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office III (DSWD Field Office III) led the entire staff of the field office in ensuring that Pantawid Pamilya and its beneficiaries in Region III will not be tainted by partisan politics.

“As head partner-implementer of Pantawid Pamilya, it is the moral duty of DSWD to safeguard the non-partisan stand of the program and its beneficiaries,” according to Apostol. She added that DSWD had already issued guidelines to make sure that all regional staff are in one with DSWD in this crusade. In addition to DSWD Memorandum Circular No. 24 s. 2012, the department has Bawal ang Epal Dito campaign which is part of the voter’s education given to all beneficiaries in the region through Family Development Sessions (FDS).

“We have also intensified our voter’s education through mass communications,” Apostol said. This April, our Social Marketing Team together with local staff will be going around the region for radio and TV guesting and to join our municipal and city links in their FDS.

Pantawid Pamilya is about empowering beneficiaries. In the 2013 elections, empowerment for them circles around their human rights to cast a conscience vote. In their exercise of this right, some people will try to woo them; some will try to intimidate them. The important thing is, they are reminded of their rights and their responsibility to ensure the welfare and development of the country. Anything and anyone who tries to have a ride-on in this exercise is tagged as “epal.”

In a national program that empowers the beneficiaries and ensures their rights, it is definitive to say “Bawal ang Epal Dito.”

“I am also thankful to Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for coming out with a memorandum specifically enjoining all local government units (LGUs) to spare Pantawid Pamilya from partisan politics,” Apostol said. DILG Merorandum Circular 2012-44, Apostol said, is a great help on their part to guide all Pantawid Pamilya stakeholders in conducting program activities.

In Region III, there had been a report of “epal” as early as December of 2012.

In situations where there are clear attempts to infringe on the rights of our beneficiaries and for the program to remain non-partisan, the Field Office remains firm on its stand of making Pantawid Pamilya politics-free. “The office of Sec. Dinky Soliman has always been supportive of the efforts exerted by our people in the field,” Apostol explained.

DSWD also heeds to the call of DILG prohibiting the display of photos/pictures and names of government officials in posters/streamers in the announcement of conditional cash transfer (CCT) or Pantawid Pamilya related activities.

“Our efforts to shield Pantawid Pamilya and its beneficiaries from partisan politics were favored by the public,” Apostol revealed. There had been public consensus of keeping the program politics-free. “The people I spoke with specially those from the non-government organization (NGO) and civil society organization (CSO) sectors were all happy about our way of bringing voter’s education to our beneficiaries,” Apostol said.

As the Philippines is about to begin the campaign for the local election, DSWD remains focused in its advocacy to keep Pantawid Pamilya politics-free and enjoys the support of the general public and of the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya. ### SMU-Pantawid Pamilya

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