President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo served as Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development from July 1998 to October 2000, or a total of 27 months.
In her more than two years at the Department, shepioneered
the AHON Programs - Ahon Bayan, Ahon Bata and the Ahon Pamilya - which are all aimed at improving the lives of the poor and the disadvantaged through strengthening linkages with various stakeholders. The Quick Reaction Team was also launched during her term.
Ahon Bata sa Lansangan Our Future is in the Future of Filipino Children
The project seeks to intensify and accelerate past andpresent
attempts to address the plight of street children.Specifically,
it provides street children and their families with necessary social services to protect their rights and enjoy a new lease on life. The project covers as priority areas the 17 cities and municipalities in the National Capital Region. More than 11,730 children were reached out through the project.
Ahon Bayan is a resource generation project for social welfareservices. It addresses the inadequacy of funds for social welfare. The project aims to generate and mobilize resources by matching donors from local and international funding agencies with proponents from non-government organizations and people's organizations. The project is now institutionalized as a regular DSWD project. Since 1998, Ahon Bayan programme has funded a total of 80 projects throughout the country.
The project is also commonly known as the "National Family Violence Prevention Program". It is a community based strategy of preparing family members to protect themselves against violence and manage resolution of conflicts within the context of family members. The program is being supported by the New Zealand government and is being pilot tested in regions III, IV, V, VIII and X.
Quick Reaction Team Pamilya
The program which was launched in January 1999 has put in place a mechanism that ensures immediate response to the needs of sexually abused women and children. It mobilized individuals, professionals, volunteers and other socio-civic and religious organizations towards am effective response in sexual abuse cases. It involved the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Katarungan para sa Kababaihan at Kabataan, and Child Justice League for the provision of legal services. The QRT assisted 4,128 child abuse victims.
Internal Audit Service (IAS) and the External Assistance Office (EAO)
The two offices were also operationalized during her stewardship of DSWD. The IAS helps ensure that DSWD's resources are managed efficiently, economically and effectively through continuous and special review of control and quality assurance, policies and procedures. The EAO on the other hand, mobilizes resources and generates fund sources for social welfare and development projects.
During her stewardship of DSWD, Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo also made significant achievements in the regular DSWD programs.
Self- Employment Assistance Kaunlaran (SEA-K)
The SEA-K project is a community-based micro-financing project which builds capabilities of people's organizations to self-administer a socialized credit scheme. Project components are social preparation, capital assistance, savings mobiization and access to other social services. For this project, 2,184 SEA-K Associations were extended capital assistance benefiting 61,879 families. Each family-beneficiary was given P5,000.00 capital assistance for its chosen livelihood project.
Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (CIDSS)
This the flagship program to combat poverty in the 5th and 6th class municipalities nationwide including urban communities. It uses the four-pronged approach of community organizing, total family approach, convergence and focus targeting. More than one million family-beneficiaries benefited from the package of CIDSS project during her term as Secretary of DSWD.
Early Childhood Development Project (ECD)
The project was designed to promote the survival and development of children six years old and below in Regions VI, VII and XII. It refers to child and family focused services designed to build on and improve existing health, nutrition and early education services for disadvantaged children. During her term more municipalities and provinces in the pilot region were covered.