MANILA – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the World Bank (WB) on Thursday held a technical discussion to further enhance the ongoing implementation of the Beneficiary First Social Protection Project (BFIRST Project) at the DSWD Central Office in Quezon City.

During the wrap-up session attended by DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian and World Bank Country Director Ndiame Diop, the findings and agreements during the recently concluded Mid-Term Review (MTR) Mission of the BFIRST project were addressed.

According to a DSWD news release, among the crucial issues discussed were the DSWD’s efforts in digital transformation, standardization of the targeting system for social protection programs and unification of the beneficiary database with PhilSys integration.

While the BFIRST project aims to increase the number of PhilSys-verified individuals listed in the unified beneficiary database, Gatchalian maintained that there would be “no deprivation on beneficiaries who are not registered on PhilSys.”

World Bank Task Team Leader Dr. Yoonyoung Cho, who presented the summary of major findings, agreements and recommendations from the MTR Field Visit and Technical Discussion held on May 23-31, commended the new DSWD leadership for its initiative to pursue the digital transformation.

Part of the key features of the BFIRST project is to achieve digital data governance and digital payments, including the transactional accounts, for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries.

Gatchalian thanked the World Bank for its continued support of the fulfillment of the agency’s mandate to improve social protection delivery in the country.

“We are partners in trying to end the intergenerational poverty,” Gatchalian said.

BFIRST is a joint project of the DSWD and the World Bank that aims to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 on poor Filipino families and to strengthen the DSWD’s social protection delivery systems to become more adaptive and efficient.

DSWD satellite offices

Meanwhile, the DSWD reminded its clients availing of the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) to go the satellite offices that are nearest to their places of residence.

“Beginning today, June 1, AICS clients should go to the DSWD satellite office nearest their areas of residence as this will be more convenient and economical for them,” DSWD spokesperson Assistant Secretary Romel Lopez said.

AICS serves as a social safety net or a stop-gap mechanism to support the recovery of individuals and families from unexpected crises such as illness or death of a family member, natural and man-made disasters, and other crisis situations.

Gatchalian earlier ordered the establishment of AICS satellite processing areas in line with the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to provide government assistance in the easiest and fastest way possible to those in need.

Lopez said clients residing in Northern Metro Manila, which covers the cities of Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela, should go to Camanava satellite office located at the Victory Trade Plaza in Monumento, Caloocan City.

For residents of the southern Metro Manila cities of Pasay, Parañaque, Muntinlupa and Las Piñas, they can request for their AICS at the Baclaran Satellite Office located at the Victory Food Market beside Baclaran Church.

Those residing in the municipalities of Norzagaray, Sta. Maria, Angat and the city of San Jose del Monte in Bulacan, they will be serviced by the SJDM Satellite Office situated at Starmall in Barangay Kaypian.

Meanwhile, residents of the cities of Manila, San Juan, Mandaluyong and Makati can get their AICS at the DSWD NCR Regional Office along Legarda Street in Manila, while those residing in Quezon City can go to the DSWD Central Office in Batasan Road.

Assistant Secretary for Community Engagement Uly Aguilar said DSWD will also soon open satellite offices in Pasig City and Rodriguez, Rizal. (PNA)