Press "Enter" to skip to content

Evaluating Ayuda: A help or a hindrance for poor families

By: Onin Miguel Develos/AdDU Intern

AS THE Philippines faces the pressure of rising inflation, the country’s heavy reliance on government assistance or “ayuda” has sparked a huge debate. Does this support genuinely help poor families or has it made families more dependent on the government?

In a recent forum, DSWD XI regional director Vanessa B. Goc-Ong addressed these concerns, shedding light on the ayuda’s impact on vulnerable communities.

“We just came out of the pandemic, and even if you ask anybody else, we are not yet stable,” Goc-Ong explained. “Considering the high inflation wherein food is becoming expensive, it is really just a stop-gap measure”

Goc-Ong emphasized that while ayuda is not a long-term solution, it has provided much-needed relief. “When we interview our beneficiaries, they are really happy and they manifest that it really helps them for their short-term needs,” she said. 

However, she acknowledged the need for a deeper evaluation of the ayuda’s long-term effects.

To address this, DSWD plans to collaborate with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to conduct an in-depth study. 

“It is better if there is a study about the impact of our short-term assistance to the people,” Goc-Ong stated. “We have discussed this with the regional director of NEDA so that we can document if our mechanics in giving short-term assistance are beneficial or dangerous.”

The proposed study aims to assess whether current aid mechanisms are effectively meeting the needs of beneficiaries without fostering dependency. “We have yet to discuss and go through with the study,” Goc-Ong added. 

Despite these concerns, she believes in the importance of continuing support. “Everyone is in need, so we are not supposed to cut our help to others because it is a huge help to our people.”

Merlinda A. Paragamac, assistant regional director for administration, emphasized that DSWD’s efforts go beyond immediate aid. 

“DSWD is mandated to initiate several poverty alleviation programs, and it is not only ayuda,” Paragamac explained. “We do KALAHI-CIDSS, which utilizes the community-driven development program, empowering barangays and involving our local government units.”

Paragamac highlighted other significant DSWD initiatives aimed at sustainable development. “We have sustainable livelihood programs where we conduct capability-building activities to augment the economic activities of our people who need capital funds and employment facilitation,” she said. “DSWD is not concentrating on ayuda only. It is just a short-term assistance, but we also have long-term programs to alleviate poverty.”

Through initiatives like KALAHI-CIDSS and sustainable livelihood programs, DSWD aims to empower communities and promote self-sufficiency, ensuring that government support translates into lasting benefits.

As the region waits for the results of the planned study with NEDA, the ongoing discussion highlights the balance between providing necessary aid and fostering independence, a challenge the Philippines must navigate carefully in the coming years.



Powered By ICTC/DRS