ILOILO – For the second time in a row, social worker officers all over the country consider Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. as the most outstanding local chief executive in the field of social governance.
The Gawad Parangal Committee of the Association of Local Social Welfare and Development Officers of the Philippines Inc. adjudged Defensor as Outstanding Governor in 2014 and again this 2015.
The committee will award the citation to the governor during the 19th National Convention and General Assembly of ALSWDOPI on April 8, 2015 in SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.
The innovations and significant accomplishments of Defensor for the past years made him the champion, according to Provincial Social Welfare Officer Neneth Pador, also the National President of ALSWDOPI.
Among these are the Aid to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), the establishment of Iloilo Provincial Development Center for Women and Children, hazard pay of social workers, inclusion of indigents to PhilHealth and granting privileges to elderly and disabled persons in the province.
Under the AICS, the provincial government provides a maximum of Php3,000 medical and burial assistance to indigent individuals. Records further showed that an average of 60 individuals goes to PSWDO every day to avail the aid.
In 2014, the governor started giving guarantee letters instead of cash to the recipients. The budget for AICS is given directly to the government hospitals where the patients are confined or treated. This system is put in place to prevent the existence of fixers.
Last year, the governor also provided P2.7-million for the establishment of the Iloilo Provincial Development Center for Women and Children in Cabatuan town. The Center is like a halfway house that provides residential care, custody and restorative services to women and children in crisis situation.
He also approved the payment of hazard pay for all the social workers of PSWDO in 42 local government units in the province in compliance to Republic Act 9433 or the act providing for the Magna Carta for public social workers.
He also expanded the coverage of PhilHealth in Iloilo to 92,219 indigent families as identified by the National Household Targeting System and included 8,136 Day Care Workers, Barangay Health Workers, Barangay Nutrition Scholars and Barangay Service Point Officers in the health insurance.
Unlike in any other places in the region, Iloilo granted many privileges to persons with disability and senior citizens. Among these is the discount ranging from 20 to 50 percent in all services in province-run hospitals and rentals of structures operated by the province. A scholarship grant is also conferred to qualified PWDs. Meanwhile, a Centenarian Day is held annually to give cash rewards and citations to senior citizens who reached the age of 100. (Jezza A. Nepomoceno/Capitol News)