Since 2012, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has remained focused with its objective of fulfilling the millennium development goal to halve poverty incidence by 2015. As the leader in the social welfare and development sector, the Department currently implements three major social protection programs which are the key poverty reduction projects targeting the poor municipalities and poor households in the country with the Convergence Strategy.

The Convergence Strategy complements programs which aim to help specific sectors, such as poor individuals, families, households, and communities.  It involves pooling of expertise and resources, and the channeling of efforts in pursuit of a commonly agreed goal or objective.   It calls for the synchronization, complementation, and coordination of all government interventions (national and local) and the private sector in one geographical area to ensure that reforms in terms of poverty alleviation and social protection, among others, are achieved.

The DSWD’s Convergence Strategy addresses poverty through the harmonized implementation of   three of its major programs, namely: Kapit-bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS), the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (Pantawid Pamilya), and the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP)

KALAHI-CIDSS, which is being implemented in other regions, provides funding for community-driven infrastructure projects such as school buildings, health centers, farm-to-market roads, foot bridges, and water systems, among others

Pantawid Pamilya gives cash grants to poor families to ensure their education, health and nutritional needs. As of September 2013, Pantawid Pamilya has 258,486 household-beneficiaries from 14 cities and 116 municipalities in seven provinces of Region III. The FO has reached up to 99.33 percent out of its 3,102 target barangays for 2013. The program has likewise identified 51,369 potential households for Set 7. The RPMO paid the total amount of P930,922,100 for Period I, II and III as of the month of September 2013.

Sustainable Livelihood Program extends capital assistance and capability building to beneficiaries to start their own income generating projects. As part of the Convergence Strategy, Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who are graduating from the program may avail of the SLP.

Some 6,826 beneficiaries, who were enrolled in Pantawid Pamilya in 2008, are residents of Nueva Ecija and under the Convergence Strategy graduated in August 2013. There were 6,916 households who benefited from the Microenterprise Development Track I and 6,916 3,458 households who benefited from the Employment Facilitation Track II.

To uphold the principles of transparency and accountability, the DSWD has been actively engaging various civil society organizations (CSOs), non-government organizations (NGOs), people’s organizations and volunteer groups in the implementation and monitoring of its core programs, such as Pantawid Pamilya, Kalahi-CIDSS, SLP, centers and institutions and other programs.

To enhance the participation of CSOs and volunteer groups, DSWD adopted four mechanisms of engagement, which are ‘bantay’, (watchdog) to help the DSWD in the conduct of anti-corruption campaigns and activities; ‘gabay’ (guide) is the provision of technical assistance especially during the trainings of the beneficiaries;  ‘tulay’ (bridge),  is the implementation of feedback and monitoring mechanisms; and ‘kaagapay’ (helpmate or partner)  focuses on disaster risk management, and  anti-poverty projects and activities.