Hon. Dinky Soliman asks "Will the Poor Always Be With Us?"

February 20, 2015

Hon. Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) presented the Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair for Public Service and Governance lecture at Escaler Hall on February 18, 2015. Entitled “Will the poor be always with us?” Soliman discussed the government’s efforts in curbing poverty.

“When we talk about how to solve poverty, it is not merely a question of income or employment. It is a question of freedom and choices,” Soliman began her lecture. Speaking before an audience comprised of students, staff and guests from the Metrobank Foundation and the DSWD, Soliman emphasized the multidimensional aspects of poverty. What is true for one family may not be applicable to others, she said.

 Hon. Dinky Soliman
In his opening remarks, Atty. Jaime Hofilena, Vice President for Social Development says that  "the country needs leaders who are capable of delivering palpable results in the achievement of development including reducing povertry and ensuring democracy.

The country’s response to poverty and development, Soliman said, is seen through the lens of what is termed as the human development and poverty reduction cluster framework.  “It boils down to two things—enlarging people’s choices and capacitating them to access these choices.” According to the DSWD secretary, these objectives may be achieved by raising the standard of living through human capital investment; securing one’s well-being through social protection; enlarging one’s choices and enhancing one’s access through empowerment processes and citizen’s participation.

The lecture also gave Soliman the opportunity to explain current DSWD projects such as the National Targeting System for Poverty Reduction, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, and Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services.

 "The foundation pursued an active partnership with Ateneo and invited leaders and partners in various fields to share insights in public governance," says Mr. Aniceto Sobrepena, President, Metrobank Foundation, Inc.
Dr. Antonio La Vina, Dean of the Ateneo School of Government, lauds Hon. Soliman's lifetime of work with the poor.

The successes of these programs, as with all government-initiated projects, rely on the concerted efforts of the government and the people. “A responsive government and an active citizenry” help make a difference, Soliman said. After all, the welfare of the family depends on the opportunities “made available to them by them by the communities.”

 “Addressing poverty is a thing that requires a lot of courage. On the side of the government— the courage to take definitive steps to address this situation of poverty, and on the side of the people—to shun the culture and collective behavior of a society that reinforces this kind of behavior,” Soliman said.

The audience listens to Hon. Soliman as she gives an overview of DSWD's programs.

The Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair for public service and governance is awarded every year to public servants who have demonstrated ethical, effective and empowering public leadership. The lectures aim to inform the public on various issues like law, medicine, and public service and governance.