DSWD Meaning – Department of Social Welfare and Development

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is a government agency in the Philippines that aims to promote the social welfare of Filipinos, protect their rights, and uplift their well-being. The DSWD has been serving the country since 1915, starting as the Public Welfare Board and evolving into the DSWD in 1987. Over the years, the agency has implemented various programs and services to address the needs of vulnerable individuals and communities in the country.

Department of Social Welfare and Development
Department of Social Welfare and Development

The DSWD has a wide range of programs and services that cater to different sectors of society, including children, women, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and other marginalized groups. These programs and services aim to provide social protection, promote social development, and reduce poverty in the country.

Key Takeaways

  • The DSWD is a government agency responsible for protecting and promoting the social welfare and development of all Filipinos, particularly those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged.
  • The agency provides services that aim to uplift the lives of Filipinos through various programs that focus on poverty alleviation, social protection, disaster response, and rehabilitation.
  • The DSWD has been playing a vital role in Philippine society since its establishment in 1939, and has helped countless Filipinos through its various programs and services.

What is the Meaning of DSWD?

DSWD stands for Department of Social Welfare and Development in the Philippines. The DSWD is responsible for providing social services such as education, health care, and housing to the people of the country. It also focuses on helping marginalized communities, including indigent families and women who are victims of domestic violence.

What is the Purpose of DSWD?

The DSWD is tasked with developing and implementing programs and projects related to social welfare in the Philippines.

Functions and Responsibilities

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

The DSWD 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.


DSWD was established in 1978 as the Department of Social Services and Development (DSSD), which was later renamed to the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD). In 1987, it was reorganized and renamed as DSWD under Executive Order 123 signed by President Corazon C. Aquino. For more information, please refer to this infographic from the DSWD website.

History of DSWD

List of DSWD Programs and Services

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is committed to providing various programs and services to the underprivileged communities in the Philippines. These programs and services aim to improve the lives of individuals who are in need of assistance. Below are some of the notable programs and services provided by the DSWD.

1. Adoption and Foster Care

The DSWD 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.

2. Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB)

The BUB program 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.

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

The DSWD takes into account gender relationships 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 KALAHI-CIDSS: KKB is a flagship project of the Philippines government’s efforts to improve the lives of underprivileged communities through the implementation of comprehensive social services. Through its various initiatives, the government aims to empower local communities.

8. Listahanan

The 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.


PAMANA 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.

13. DSWD Educational Assistance Program

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.

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.

15. Technical Assistance and Resource Augmentation Program

The TARP provides 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 program aims 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.

Video: Pres. Marcos Jr. wants DSWD Aid Program Expansion

The government plans to update its records and ensure that only qualified beneficiaries are included in the list of 4Ps. By doing so, the DSWD can provide better assistance to those who need it most. President Marcos Jr. also wants DSWD officials to be more responsive to complaints from their constituents and to work harder on improving services so that Filipinos can get the help they need.

Budget and Funding

In 2024, the department’s budget amounts to Php 245 billion, which will be used to fund existing social welfare programs and services DSWD vows stronger delivery of social services in 2024.

The proposed budget of the DSWD for 2024 has been increased by P10.4 billion or 5.22% to P209.9 billion to support the agency’s poverty reduction and community development initiatives DSWD’s proposed 2024 budget hiked by 5.22% to P209.9B — DBM. The increase in budget allocation is a testament to the government’s commitment to provide social welfare services to the Filipino people.

The DSWD’s budget covers its central office and its attached and supervised agencies, such as the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC), and National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) DSWD sees implementation of ‘stronger’ social protection programs in 2023. The department also receives funding from international organizations, such as the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme, to support its programs and services.

The department’s budget is used to fund various social welfare programs and services, such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS), Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), and Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens. The DSWD also provides emergency relief and rehabilitation assistance to communities affected by natural and man-made disasters.

Contact Information

For inquiries or concerns related to the services and programs offered by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), individuals can contact the agency through the following channels: