What is the Meaning of DSWD – Department of Social Welfare and Development

DSWD stands for the Department of Social Welfare Development, which is the Philippine government agency responsible for providing social services to Filipino citizens. The department offers a range of programs and services aimed at helping people in need, including assistance with food, housing, healthcare, and education. It also coordinates disaster relief efforts during times of crisis.

Also Read: What is the Meaning of SSS – Social Security System

DSWD is one of the most active government agencies during the time of the pandemic. Many people have recognized the said agency as part of distributing financial help for the poor families and most affected people during the said crisis.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is a leading department of the government that is responsible for developing, implementing, and coordinating social protection and poverty-reduction programs. They focus on the poor, vulnerable, and disadvantaged population in the Philippines.

If there is a government department that is responsible for administering, developing, and implementing hands-on social welfare programs, it’s none other than the DSWD. The agency aims to improve the living conditions of every Filipino while empowering disadvantaged children, youth, women, seniors, people with disabilities, and families in crisis or at risk. 

meaning of dswd Department of Social Welfare and Development

What is DSWD?

DSWD is an acronym for the Department of Social Welfare and Development. The department is a government organization responsible for providing social services to the people of the Philippines. These services include but are not limited to food assistance, housing, healthcare, and education. The agency also coordinates disaster relief efforts during times of crisis.

Purpose of DSWD

DSWD provides social protection to children, adults, and senior citizens of the Philippines. The said department was made to implement policies, and create projects and services through NGOs, LGUs, and GOs. DSWD also promotes human rights and welfare for the vulnerable population, poor and disadvantaged individuals, and families who are not able to fight for their rights due to poverty.

About this Agency

As its logo says, it is a joint responsibility of the government and private sector (two hands holding heart). The DSWD aims to uplift each Filipino from poverty by providing beneficiaries with cash assistance and programs that will help them in their daily life.

In 2004, they added the tagline “Tulong! Sulong!” and establish a new mandate that focuses on providing direct help to their beneficiaries – the only way to an improved and quality life.

The following agencies are attached to the DSWD:

  • Council for the Welfare of Children
  • Inter-Country Adoption Board
  • National Youth Commission
  • National Council on Disability Affairs

DSWD during the Pandemic

The DSWD made hands-on participation during the battle of the Philippines against Pandemic Covid-19. They set up camps to ensure that there is a management desk available for evacuees and front liners, they give sustainable access to clean water, sanitation, washing areas, and bathing cubicles. Some of their small actions such as putting social distancing markings help the public to adapt to safety changes.

The DSWD is also one of the government departments that encouraged establishments to make Community Based Surveillance like contact tracing and case investigation for suspected Covid cases. This department of the government helps lift and empower every Filipino’s life no matter what crisis we are going to face. It is one of the Pillars of the Philippines Government during downtimes.

Functions and Responsibility

Just like other departments of the government, DSWD doesn’t only perform a single obligation to the Filipino people. Development (DSWD) is in charge of the program’s implementation. The stakes were high for DSWD is expected to provide. While DSWD had prior experience executing financial transfers and providing customer service, it had never dealt with anything remotely like a pandemic. This is an example of a case study. examines the problems, triumphs, and lessons learned from a nationwide implementation. In the Philippines, a shock-responsive social protection strategy was implemented.

There are also committed to these functions and responsibilities.

  1. To monitor and evaluate social wellbeing, establish performance measures. Performance of the research and development program, as well as its impact on the cases, studied supervision
  2. To provide and allow access to information, improve worker/agency performance and technical assistance to the supervisory recipient
  3. Facilitate and contribute to problem-solving and on-site case management through LGUs, NGOs, and DSWD.
  4. Assist service providers in managing crises, abuse cases, and other human rights needs of less fortunate individuals, Families, Groups, and Communities. 

Programs and Services

DSWD is the foundation behind several famous programs like Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan, Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services, National Community-Driven Development Program, etc.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program

The Philippines’s Conditional Cash Transfer Program is a government program that aims to provide health and education cash grants to poor households or families from 0-18 years old. This way, poor families will be able to support their children’s education, and if the mother of the family is pregnant, there are also health services made available. 

Sustainable Livelihood Program

A community-based program that seeks to improve the socioeconomic status of its members. For this program, DSWD is using a community-driven enterprise development approach. This type of scheme helps members to actively contribute to production and labor markets by looking at available resources and accessible markets.


This program acts as an expansion to the national scale of operations of the Community-Driven Development or CDD. A globally recognized strategy for reducing poverty and good governance. KC-NCDDP program helps communities identify and face challenges in the locality, wherein the DSWD will be able to provide decisions that can help the development.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some Frequently Asked Questions about DSWD:

1. What are the responsibilities of DSWD aside from taking care of abused children?

Yes, DSWD is known for saving a lot of minors from tragic and traumatic situations, but their capabilities are not limited to giving physical and emotional help to the victims. The DSWD through the help of LGUs provides support including temporary shelter, counseling, rehabilitations program, psychosocial services, as well as livelihood assistance.

2. Can middle-class families be qualified for Pantawid Pamilya Program?

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program 4Ps is one of the best strategic programs of the government to reduce poverty in the Philippines. As much as the government wants to extend its help to all the Filipino families who wish to get benefits from the government, the qualification will still rely on the status of living, the number of family members, and the age of the children in the household has. If all your children are above 18 and you have a decent job to pay for their education, then you will not be qualified for 4Ps.

3. Why many poor are not included in 4Ps?

DSWD relies on their census data called Listahanan. The government uses this as their main criteria for identifying present possible household beneficiaries. The algorithm uses the data to calculate the expected yearly per capita income of the households using the Proxy Means Test (PMT). The PMT generates income estimates for households. This is the simplest way to estimate each household’s income and classify who is poor and who is not.

Since they are using PMT, sometimes, there are circumstances wherein people will be labeled as impoverished. The 4Ps already addressed this issue and recognized problems with the inclusion and exclusion process. Because of this problem, DSWD created a resolution procedure to handle such issues. It had already removed 30,536 homes that were judged to be non-poor as of June 2019. Another cause for a poor home’s exclusion from the program is that at the time of the Listahanan household assessment, several families don’t have children aged 0 to 14 years old or pregnant members. The program is limited to poor families with children aged 0 to 18 years old. 

4. Can I get free mental health support from DSWD?

Yes, DSWD is also responsible for providing psychological assessment and debriefing for victims. But this time it’s not just about assessing people who had a traumatic experience. Recently, Senator Sonny Angara and Senator Bong Go develop and strengthen Section 5 of the Republic Act 110360. This will provide Filipinos with mental health conditions receive compensation benefits or special financial assistance that the person is entitled to by the law.

5. How does DSWD identify poor and qualified households for their programs?

DSWD relies on Census and Listahan, where they interview each household and ask about the family’s estimated income per month, number of children, and each family member’s personal profile. This helps their system pick who is qualified for a certain program.

6. Can I get a job from DSWD?

DSWD doesn’t actually produce jobs, but it has Livelihood programs wherein they will teach you how to earn money using small capital. They will also encourage you to join entrepreneurial activities, so you will not solely rely on conditional cash transfers from the government


The Department of Social Welfare and Development is one of the busiest departments of the government during the peak of the Pandemic, and when there is a disaster DSWD is always present. Why? This is because they need to give assistance and cash aid to those who are poor and less fortunate.

They help abused children to cope physically and mentally by providing shelter and psychological assistance. They’ve established a lot of possible ways in which people can adapt to changes caused by the pandemic.

DSWD has plenty of programs for the Filipinos who are considered poor, they provide monthly cash aid to those vulnerable families who can’t afford to send their kids to school. And up to this moment, many Filipino are benefiting from their programs. 

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