Social services get P11.9-B share from 7-year budgets

The social services sector had received around P11.9 billion combined share from the city government’s annual budgets from 2014 to 2021, marking a 105% increase in allocation over the last seven years period.

Mayor Beng Climaco reported this in her State of the City Address (SOCA) to the Sangguniang Panlungsod Tuesday, saying that under the CSWDO’s social services program alone, the city had allocated P1.84 billion or 813.86% increase compared to that of the previous administration’s nine-year term combined.

“As a matter of fact, the Manila Times has recognized Zamboanga City in its Model City Awards as a Social Welfare Awardee, highlighting our programs that covered children, the youth, working population including our senior citizens, and persons with disabilities,” she said.

She also reported that around 358 child development workers had undergone intensive training on module preparation as the city continues to provide them with honorariums from P3,000 each monthly in 2021 to P4,000 this 2022.

Amidst the pandemic, we continued rolling out our supplemental feeding for children through the help of their parents. Our youth programs through the multi-awarded Youth Development Alliance, the Local Youth Development Council and the Pag-Asa Youth Association under CSWDO also benefitted in terms of funding, activities and other programs for youth development and capacity building.

The Office of the City Civil Registrar, meanwhile, has intensified registration of births, marriages and deaths, extending specialized assistance of registration for the internally displaced persons of the Zamboanga Siege, including the Indigenous Peoples.

These records are important so they can fully enjoy their rights and privileges, especially in accessing the various social and medical services of the LGU. Meanwhile, the city’s Public Employment Service Office (PESO) in 2021 remained steadfast and resilient in the delivery of its programs and services such as the adoption of online services for employment registration and referrals.

It was conferred the Bayanihan Service Award under the Highly Urbanized Cities category during the ZAMPEN year-end Performance Assessment Conference organized by DOLE Regional Office last December.

The Office has also conducted series of employment programs and services to the people of Zamboanga, fulfilling its mandate to provide quality and decent employment despite the COVID 19 pandemic.

The PESO has facilitated the job placement or hiring of 12,814 applicants under Infrastructure Projects in Malls, some in small-scale business enterprises and companies to include canning and fishing industries.

Furthermore, Climaco said Zamboanga City has pioneered the cash assistance for senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) even without the impetus of a national law by creating a local legislation to make it happen.

The age for centenarian beneficiary was also lowered to 80 from 100 previously. A total of 30,880 senior citizens have benefitted through this program.

The city has also established Grievance Redress Mechanism, monitoring and compliance, both for senior citizens and PWDs to “ensure that our policies and programs are observed even by private entities.” “This unique modalities can be modelled, replicated and shared as a ‘best practice’ to other LGUs in the country,” the mayor said.-(Vic Larato)