Rex T. Gatchalian DSWD Secretary Rex T. Gatchalian graces the 2023 Filipino Social Workers’ Day celebration on Monday, June 19, at the SWADCAP Compound in Bgy. Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

DSWD vows to strengthen social work practice

June 19, 2023 People's Tonight 220 views

As PH celebrates Filipino Social Workers’ Day

THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) showed its commitment to strengthening the social work practice in the country during the celebration of the 2023 Filipino Social Workers’ Day on Monday at the Social Welfare and Development Center for the Asia and the Pacific (SWADCAP) Compound in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

In his speech, DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian shared the plans of the social welfare department for sustaining responsive Filipino social workers amid the “ever-changing” landscape of the social welfare practice, including the establishment of the DSWD Academy.

“There has to be a continuing learning facility in the department or in the country that foster specialized training for social workers, continuing learning ninyo (for you all), kasi (because) the world does not stop, it keeps on evolving,” the DSWD chief pointed out.

The DSWD Academy, which is the existing SWADCAP facility of the social welfare department in Taguig City, will serve as a learning facility that will provide specialized training, capacity-building activities, and other learning development interventions to social workers to enable them to meet the ever-changing social work landscape.

Gatchalian underscored the importance of the Academy in this day and age where “there are new technologies out there in terms of social protection, [and] disaster camp management.”

To operationalize the Academy, the DSWD chief signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) Chancellor Melinda DP. Bandalaria and heads and representatives of the ASEAN Social Work Consortium-Philippines (ASWC-PH) member associations. This became the highlight of the Filipino Social Workers’ Day celebration.

Under the signed MOU, the member organizations of ASWC-PH and the UPOU will serve as learning service providers for the DSWD Academy as well as partners of DSWD in providing technical assistance to social welfare and development intermediaries and other stakeholders.

Part of the Academy’s thrust is the empowerment of social welfare assistants, including those who work at the local government units (LGUs) as social welfare aides and early childhood development workers, among others, to learn the skill sets of social workers.

“While we are developing and fostering upgraded skills for social workers, we are also empowering social welfare assistants and private individuals who are conducting social work practice,” Gatchalian said.

‘Expansion of benefits’

Aside from learning and development, the DSWD is also advocating for the expansion of the privileges and benefits of social workers.

Assistant Secretary Janet P. Armas discussed the updates on Republic Act (RA) No. 9433, the law which provides for an increase in the compensation and benefits of social workers in the government service.

‘Recognizing contributions of social workers’

During the program, Gatchalian expressed his gratitude to the social workers “who dedicate their lives in making a positive difference in our communities, by ensuring that the social welfare and development programs and services are well-implemented.”

The DSWD secretary led the awarding of recognition to social workers and social work organizations for their invaluable contributions to social work and development.

“Our social workers got through all of these things day in and day out, but yet, they still do it, and they do it with so much love and so much care,” Gatchalian said.

The awards include the 2023 Gawad Parangal Sa Natatanging Manggagawang Panlipunan and Gawad Parangal Sa Natatanging Asosasyon Ng Manggagawang Panlipunan.

The celebration was attended by social workers from across the country and from the different member organizations of ASWC-PH, including The National Association for Social Work Education, Inc. (NASWEI), The Association of Local Social Welfare and Development Officers of the Philippines, Inc. (ALSWDOPI) and the Philippine Association of Court Social Workers, Inc. (PACSWI).

Present during the celebration were the representatives from the Association of Child Caring Agencies of the Philippines, Inc. (ACCAP), DOH League of Medical Social Workers (DOH-LMSW), Association of Medical Social Workers of the Philippines (AMSWPI), Association of DSWD Social Workers, Inc (ADSWI), National Council of Social Development (NCSD), and the Area Based Standards Network (ABSNET).

The DSWD secretary expressed his gratitude to all Filipino social workers for their commitment to the country’s inclusive and sustainable development.