DSWD, OPAPRU to improve social protection programs for former rebels

Published January 25, 2023, 3:22 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

Officials of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) held a meeting with the representatives of the Office of Presidential Adviser for Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU) to strengthen their partnership in the implementation of social protection programs for Kapatiran members on Jan. 23, 2023. (DSWD)

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is working with the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU) to support the reintegration of Kapatiran members into society through continuous provision and monitoring of social protection programs.

Kapatiran is composed of former members of the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa ng Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade-Tabara Paduano Group (RPM/P-RPA/ABB-TPG).

DSWD and OPAPRU held a sit-down meeting on Monday, Jan. 23, to strengthen their partnership for the next years of implementation.

Essentially, the agencies envision a mechanism that will ensure the sustainability and steady growth of grants and other subsidies given to beneficiaries.

These include psychosocial services conducted by the DSWD-Program Management Bureau, and livelihood settlement and reinforcement grants extended by the DSWD-Sustainable Livelihood Program.

So far, all 727 members of the 12 Kapatiran chapters have been given livelihood settlement grants.

As the lead social protection agency, the DSWD recognizes the importance of a comprehensive case management program to better meet the needs of beneficiaries and further empower them and their families and communities.

Also, the DSWD noted that there are gender differences and unique needs of former female rebels that need to be addressed.

The bilateral meeting concluded with concrete steps towards integrating gender and peace-sensitivity dimensions, prioritization of children in conflict, development of livelihood programs, and enhancement of psychosocial interventions to further support the Kapatiran members.

DSWD OIC Eduardo M. Punay expressed his gratitude to OPAPRU for its continuous support and guidance in the department’s implementation of various peace programs.

“Let’s work hand in hand to sustain the government’s efforts in attaining just and lasting peace by following through with our commitments in the peace tables,” Punay said.