What is DSWD Philippines Department of Social Welfare and Development

When it comes to social issues, including poverty and inequality, one government agency comes to mind: the Department of Social Welfare and Development or DSWD. It’s among the many agencies on the list of government entities in the Philippines with a role to play in addressing the issues affecting our country.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development is the Philippines’ primary agency responsible for protecting and promoting the social welfare and development of all Filipinos, especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged.

The agency provides services that aim to uplift the lives of Filipinos through DSWD programs that focus on poverty alleviation, social protection, disaster response, and rehabilitation. Some of its notable programs include the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), which provides cash assistance to impoverished households; the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), which helps communities become more resilient to disasters; and the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), which helps households develop their own enterprises.

The DSWD also provides relief and rehabilitation services in times of disasters and calamities. It is responsible for the management of evacuation centers and the distribution of relief goods to affected individuals and families. The agency also implements programs that aim to help communities recover and rebuild after a disaster.

The DSWD has been playing a vital role in Philippine society since its establishment in 1939. It has helped countless Filipinos through its various programs and services, making it an important institution in our country today.

But what exactly is the DSWD and what are the DSWD programs about? What is its role in society, and who does it cater to? In this guide, we will look into the role of DSWD and discuss its relevance today.

Table of Contents

what is DSWD Philippines

What is the Meaning of DSWD?

DSWD stands for DSWD stands for Department of Social Welfare and Development in the Philippines. By its name, the DSWD is tasked with ensuring that people in the country have access to the social services they need. These include education, health care and housing. The DSWD also aims to assist marginalized communities such as indigent families and women who are victims of domestic violence.

Formation of DSWD

In 1987, President Corazon Aquino issued Executive Order 123, which restructured the Ministry of Social Services and Development (DSWD), then renaming the agency the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Executive Order No. 292, also known as the Revised Administration Code of 1987, created the DSWD’s name and organizational structure, as well as its functional areas of responsibility. It also clarified the agency’s statutory jurisdiction.

What is the Purpose of DSWD?

The DSWD is a government agency responsible for implementing and developing programs and projects related to social welfare in the Philippines.

Functions and Responsibilities

The DSWD is the executive branch of the government of the Philippines, responsible for guaranteeing the development of the country’s social welfare.

The DSWD is mandated by law to develop, implement, and manage programs that improve the living conditions of disadvantaged individuals and families. These programs are aimed at empowering women, children, seniors, and individuals with disabilities, as well as communities in need.

The DSWD is responsible for promoting and protecting the development of the country’s social welfare. It carries out its various functions through programs and services.

The DSWD also provides various services to vulnerable groups such as orphans, street children, and individuals with disabilities. It also responds to natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies.

Through its cash transfers, livelihood, and social housing programs, the DSWD aims to alleviate poverty and prevent it from happening in the first place. These services and programs have an impact on the lives of many Filipinos.


To learn more about the history of DSWD, please check out this helpful infographic as shared from their official website:

history of dswd philippines

List of DSWD Programs and Services

The DSWD provides various development and welfare services to the underprivileged comunities in the Philippines. Its programs and services are aimed at improving the lives of these individuals. Learn more about DSWD’s programs and services by reading the sections below.

1. Adoption and Foster Care

The agency provides foster care services to children who have been neglected, abandoned, or mistreated by their caretakers. This type of service includes psychological and social support, as well as legal aid. Material assistance and legal aid are also provided.

dswd adoption program

2. Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB)

The concept of bottom-up budgeting is a method that allows local government units to have a direct say in the creation and management of their budgets. This program is carried out through the DSWD’s efforts to provide local government units with the necessary tools and resources to effectively manage their budgets.

DSWD Bottom Up Budgeting Program

3. Center & Residential Care Facilities

Family Care Services are 24-hour programs that provide an alternative to traditional care for vulnerable and disadvantaged families and individuals in crisis.

4. Disaster Response Operations

The DSWD is responsible for carrying out disaster-response operations. These include providing emergency aid to individuals and communities affected by natural disasters and human-caused acts of violence.

5. Gender and Development

Gender refers to the relationships between males and females, males and males, males and males, boys and girls, and males and males. It can affect various aspects of development, and the government should take into account this when it comes to planning, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing policies, programs, and initiatives related to development.

6. International Social Welfare Services for Filipino (ISWSFN)

The ISWSFN is a program that provides financial, legal, and other support services to foreign Filipino nationals and migrant Filipinos residing in the Philippines. This assistance can be provided through the embassies of the Philippines.

7. Kalahi CIDSS – NCDDP

The Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Services: Kapangyarihan at Kaunlaran sa Barangay (KALAHI-CIDSS: KKB) is a flagship project of the Philippines government’s efforts to improve the lives of the underprivileged communities through the implementation of comprehensive social services. Through its various initiatives, the government aims to empower local communities.

The KKB is a project of the Philippines government that aims to improve the lives of underprivileged communities through the implementation of asset reforms and other social services.

8. Listahanan

This LISTAHANAN program uses a data management system to identify and locate the poor in the country. The National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) is responsible for its management.

dswd listahanan project


Through its programs, PAMANA (Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan) aims to provide social services to low-income families while also promoting responsive governance.

10. Recovery and Reintegration Program for Trafficked Persons (RRPTP)

The RRPTP is a comprehensive program that aims to rehabilitate and reintegrate apprehended persons. It involves various activities and services that are designed to meet the psychological and economic needs of the victims.

11. Supplemental Feeding Program

This program is an integral component of the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) program, which provides children with food. It also provides them with additional meals.

12. Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP)

The SLP is a community-based program that aims to enhance the socio-economic standing of its participants.

Through the use of a two-track program, the SLP helps its participants establish and manage their businesses. The first path is called Microenterprise Development Track, which provides them with the necessary tools and resources to improve their financial situation. The second path is Employment Facilitation, which helps them find employment opportunities that are suitable for them.

dswd sustainable livelihood program

13. DSWD Educational Assistance Program

The DSWD provides financial assistance to individuals who are in need of educational support. The program is open to graduate and undergraduate students with cash benefits of up to PHP 4,000. To apply, individuals should contact their nearest DSWD office.

More details about DSWD Financial Assistance for Education here.

14. DSWD Centers and Institutions Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC)

The RSCC is a 24-hour facility that provides a variety of rehabilitation and protection services to children, including those who have been neglected, abused, or exploited. It also provides care and protection for kids with special needs. These include those who are at risk and require 24-hour supervision.

Besides these, the RSCC also provides a variety of social work services to help children who have been abused. These include providing them with the necessary support and resources to develop their skills and safety.

Aside from these, the RSCC also provides various other services such as case management and placement. It aims to improve the efficiency and expertise of its staff members and service providers.

15. Technical Assistance and Resource Augmentation Program

The TARP is a project of the DSWD and other international organizations. It was created to provide technical assistance and resource augmentation to various agencies and programs in developing countries.

Through the use of various resources and techniques, such as training, research, and networking, the TARP aims to strengthen the capacity of various agencies and programs to address issues related to social protection and poverty reduction. It also facilitates monitoring and evaluation of programs and policies.

16. Development of Social Technologies

The goal of the program is to increase the capacity of various local government units and other key stakeholder groups to carry out effective social protection activities. Through the program, they can receive monetary support to help them carry out their duties. Aside from this, the project also conducts studies and develops new strategies to address the issue of poverty in the Philippines.

17. Regulatory Services

The program’s overall objective is to ensure that all social protection activities are carried out in a manner that is geared toward empowering and educating the beneficiaries. In addition, it aims to enhance the level of service that local government units provide to their constituents.

Through its various partners, the TARP also aims to improve the monitoring and evaluation of local government social protection programs. This process involves working with non-government organizations and civil society groups.

18. Bangsamoro Umpungan sa Nutrisyon Project

The project’s goal is to reduce the undernutrition and stunted growth rates among children in Muslim Mindanao. Through its various initiatives, such as providing food to pregnant women and school children, the organization aims to improve the nutritional status of the region’s population.

Aside from these, the project also aims to improve the capacity of local government units to implement and monitor nutrition programs.

19. Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens

The SPIC is a monthly financial assistance program for low-income senior citizens. It provides non-medical financial help to individuals who are 60 years old or older. The objective of this program is to help decrease the poverty rate among senior citizens.

20. Centenarians Act Implementation

In 2016, a law was enacted that aimed to provide financial, pension, and medical support to Filipino centenarians. This legislation was passed in response to the concerns of the country’s aging population. Under the law, a centenarian can receive a monetary gift, as well as medical expenses and a pension.

It also requires that a National Register for Filipino Centenarians be established to document the information about the individuals who are entitled to these benefits.

21. Programs and Services for Persons with Disabilities

The DSWD is the primary agency that provides services and programs for people with disabilities. It is responsible for developing and delivering programs and services that are geared toward improving the lives of these individuals through:

  • The Magna Carta for Disabled Persons Act of 2002, which prohibits discrimination against disabled people and their families, offers legal protection to people with disabilities and their families.
  • According to the Unified Local Government Code of 1991, local government units are required to guarantee that all of their buildings, facilities, and other infrastructure are accessible to people with disabilities.

22. Assistance to Individuals with Crisis Situations (AICS)

DSWD’s AICS program is one of the agency’s programs that provides financial and other assistance to individuals who are facing critical situations. This includes those who have been affected by natural disasters and other types of calamities. Families can get educational assistance, medical assistance, transportation assistance, or funeral assistance benefits.

23. Comprehensive Program for Street Children, Street Families and Indigenous People

The DSWD’s program for street children, indigenous people, and families is known as the Comprehensive Program for Street Children, Street Families, and Indigenous People. It aims to protect these groups from abuse, exploitation, and violence. Through this program, these individuals are provided with safe and proper living conditions. They are also prevented from engaging in illegal activities such as prostitution and begging.

24. Residential and Non-Residential Care Program

The agency’s non-residential and residential care programs are designed to provide residential care for children who are suffering from abuse, neglect, or exploitation. These programs are also aimed at helping children who are homeless and in conflict with the law. Aside from these, the DSWD also provides non-residential care services through its child development centers.

25. Lingap at Gabay Para sa May Sakit

The goal of the DSWD’s Lingap at Gabay Para Sa May Sakit program is to provide free medical care to Filipinos who don’t have access to insurance coverage. This initiative is part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to provide comprehensive health care to low-income individuals.

Executive Order No. 391 was signed in order to expand the coverage of the government’s health insurance program for low-income individuals. This initiative was created to provide coverage to people who are not covered by the existing insurance programs such as the PhilHealth and the Senior Citizens’ Benefits Pension Fund.

26. Unconditional Cash Transfer Program

The UCTP is a government-run program that provides cash grants to low-income families. It aims to reduce the prevalence of poverty and enhance the standard of living of these families. In 2008, the initiative was implemented by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

27. Yakap Bayan After Care Program

The Yakap Bayan After-Care Program is a component of the government’s efforts to provide financial and medical assistance to families with members who are part of the Pantawid . This assistance is targeted toward families with members who are enrolled in the 4Ps of the program. The program was made available to the public in September 2011.

28. Targeted Cash Transfer Program

The government’s cash transfer program, known as the Targeted Cash Transfer Program, provides financial assistance to low-income families. It aims to reduce the prevalence of poverty and enhance the living conditions of these families. In November 2011, President Benigno Aquino III issued Executive Order 639, which marked the start of the program.

With these programs, the DSWD is able to provide assistance to families that are living below the poverty line. It also aims to reduce the number of Filipinos who live in abject poverty by providing them with basic necessities such as food, education and healthcare. However, since the DSWD offers a wide scope of benefits, it’s important to know which exactly you are eligible for. If you have any questions or concerns about your eligibility, you may contact the nearest DSWD office.

29. DSWD Online Services

DSWD eServices are web-based applications that allow the public to access and approve DSWD transactions online. They also cut down on the time it takes to process and approve DSWD transactions. These applications also help reduce the paper forms that are required by the public.

DSWD eServices are used by various frontline services to process and approve DSWD transactions. These include online applications, processing, and approval processes for the following:

30. DSWD Travel Clearance for Minors Travelling Abroad

Through the new DSWD e-Services facility, minors can now travel without their parents or other legal guardians’ permission. This new feature allows them to travel without having to provide written permission.

Individuals who are planning on taking a vacation but don’t want to go through the laborious process of securing permission from their legal guardians or parents can now use the new feature of DSWD eServices.

DSWD Travel Clearance Minors Procedure

Also Read: How to Apply DSWD Solo Parent ID / Single Parent Application Form

31. Registration, Licensing and Accreditation of Social Welfare and Development Agencies (SWDAs) and Service Providers (SPs)

The DSWD has issued a memorandum circular that provides the necessary guidelines and procedures that are required for the registration, licensing, and accreditation of service providers and social welfare agencies. The main objective of this is to ensure that all SPs and SWDAs are up to date and can deliver high-quality services.

32. Knowledge Management Portal

The DSWD’s Knowledge Management Portal was created to help the agency and its partners generate and share knowledge about social protection and welfare. It features various educational resources and products that are designed to help the public and service providers improve their knowledge. This is a complex technique that involves the sharing and storing of digital, audio, and print content.

The goal of the DSWD’s Knowledge Management Portal is to provide the public and service providers with opportunities to improve their knowledge about social protection and welfare. It features various tools and resources designed to help them do so.

These are just some of the online services provided by the DSWD to the public. In addition, the DSWD also offers a one-stop shop for its services and information through its website. This provides visitors with fast access to the agency’s services and contact details of their local field office.

Video: Pres. Marcos Jr. wants DSWD aid program expansion – SONA 2022

In his first State of the Nation Address, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said that he wants the Department of Social Welfare and Development to expand its programs to help those in need. One of these is the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps), which will be cleaned up so more people can receive support. This is good news for our underserved kababayans who are greatly affected by the pandemic.

By cleaning up the list of 4Ps, the government intends to update its records and ensure that only qualified beneficiaries are included in the list. This will help them provide better assistance to those who need it most. The President also said that he wants DSWD officials to be more responsive to complaints from their constituents and for them to work harder on improving services so that Filipinos can get what they need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please check out these common questions and FAQs about the DSWD agency:

1. Who are the partners of DSWD agency?

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is partnered with various agencies that provide services to the poor, including:

  • Department of Health (DOH)
  • Office of Local Government (OLG)
  • Philippine National Police (PNP)
  • Local Government Units (LGUs)

So should you have any social services or welfare assistance needs or queries, these agencies will direct you to the right office. Otherwise, you can also ask if they have any programs related to the DSWD you can benefit from.

2. How can I sign up for one of their programs?

DSWD’s website is the easiest and fastest way to sign up for its various programs. In addition, some of its offices provide sign-ups in person. Before visiting an office, make sure that you thoroughly check the website of the agency.

While in-person sign-up is possible, this is not usually advised as it can be quite time-consuming. Applicants are encouraged to sign up online first, then visit the local office if they need assistance with their application.

3. Where can I go if I need help?

If you need help with any of the various social welfare programs in the Philippines, you can call the DSWD’s emergency hotline at (911) or visit their website at www.dswd.gov.ph. Most LGUs or regions have a local social welfare office where you can go for assistance. You can also visit the DSWD website to find the nearest office in your area.

4. Are there other government agencies that also advance social welfare and development? If so, which ones?

Aside from the government, various agencies in the Philippines provide support to the people of the country. For instance, the Department of Education provides free education to all students enrolled in public schools. The Department of Health also provides low-income individuals with free medical care in government hospitals. Two of the country’s government institutions are known to provide assistance to senior citizens. These are the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office and the National Council on Senior Citizens.

To learn more about the various programs offered by the other government departments, you may visit their respective websites.

5. What is the amount of DSWD cash assistance?

For the selected beneficiaries, this program provides them with financial assistance through a cash payment of Php 3,000 or three thousand pesos only. This will help them meet their basic needs and provide them with some financial stability.

As expected, the cash assistance cannot provide for an entire family’s daily sustenance. Instead, it aims to augment the beneficiaries’ income so that they can effectively support themselves and their families.

6. How do I access SAP DSWD through the internet?

SAP users can perform self-registration through the website ReliefAgad website (https://dctx.ph/reliefagad). They can access the application through either a desktop or mobile browser. To register, go to the website’s registration page and start the process.

Do be aware, however, that successful registration does not automatically guarantee the approval of a cash grant. DSWD will need to check your data against other programs, such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps, Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers or TUPAD etc.) in order to ensure that you do not receive duplicate benefits.

Those who have already received cash assistance from the DSWD will not be eligible for more.

NOTE: The ReliefAgad mobile application is only available to people who have been issued a Social Amelioration Card (SAC).

7. Who is eligible for financial support from the DSWD?

The DSWD Listahanan defines poor, vulnerable, and disadvantaged individuals and families in the informal sector as individuals or groups who are either in crisis or have been identified as such by a social worker.

8. Who is considered indigent in the Philippines?

Those residing in Metro Manila and other areas of the Philippines with families income that does not exceed P14,000 a month are considered residents of this country.


The executive branch of the government is responsible for ensuring that the country’s social welfare is maintained. This department is known as the DSWD. The name of the department and its functional areas and organizational structure were established by the 1987 Revised Administration Code.

The DSWD is responsible for creating, implementing, and administering comprehensive programs and projects related to the country’s social welfare. These programs and projects aim to improve the living conditions of children, youth, seniors, and people with disabilities.

Through the various laws enacted by the department, more Filipinos have been able to enjoy the benefits of social protection. The department is also responsible for providing legal assistance to indigent clients and implementing policies that promote the welfare of women, children, and families.

Contact Information

Address: DSWD Building, Constitution Hills, Batasan Complex, Quezon City
Telephone Number: (632) 931-8101 to 07
Website: http://www.dswd.gov.ph/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/dswdserves
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dswdserves
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dswdserves