Senator Loren Legarda has augmented the budget for the rehabilitation of the 71 social welfare and activity centers and 48 Bahay Pagasa juvenile detentions— which will include purchase, repair, and maintenance of amenities and facilities–and construction of new ones all over the country.
During the budget deliberations on the proposed 2018 budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, said that the highest allocation or 37.8% of the P3.767-trillion proposed 2018 budget is intended for social services–describing the budget as pro-people or makatao.
“We should treat everyone with respect and dignity, including the poor. Our social welfare and activity centers serve as temporary homes for the underprivileged men, women, children, and elderly to support them until such time that they could get back on their feet,” Legarda said.
“Despite having limited capacity, it has been the policy of DSWD not to refuse anyone from entering their centers, which results in congested buildings and dilapidated facilities and amenities. By rehabilitating and establishing new centers, we reinforce their capability to accommodate and serve more families,” she added.
In the Senate version of the proposed 2018 national budget, P2-billion has been allocated for the repair, rehabilitation, and construction of DSWD centers nationwide. Legarda also welcomed the proposal of additional P1-billion to be used for Capital Outlay and Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses.
The Senator also welcomed the proposal to increase the pension for our senior citizens. She also committed to seek funding for the additional six juvenile detention centers being requested by local government units with high incidence of children in conflict with the law, such as in Naga, Carcar, Talisay, Bohol, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga City.
“Our government should be investing in a country where the poor are treated with dignity, our elderly are able to retire comfortably, and our delinquent youth be able to reform properly. Our government should make this happen. As we increase funding for social services, we signify our commitment to providing for what is right and just for every Filipino,” Legarda said.