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DSWD chief: PH, Australia ironing details for social protection package

MELBOURNE, Australia - Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian said the Philippines and Australia are ironing out details for a social protection technical assistance package that will benefit the vulnerable sector. 

Gatchalian told GMA News Online that the DSWD is in charge of the ASEAN Social Cultural Community Pillar, one of the three pillars of the regional bloc, for the Philippines.

He said this role would ensure that significant investments are made to people-to-people endeavors, especially in the realm of investments to human development. 

''Currently, DSWD is in the thick of ironing out the working details with the Australian government representatives in Manila with the upcoming social protection technical assistance package being extended [to] our country,'' Gatchalian said in a message.

''We see this investment in social protection by the Australian government as a key to unlocking the vast potentials of our human capital,'' he added. 

Asked how much the investment is, Gatchalian said it would be premature for him to disclose the amount since ''things may still change.''

''Suffice to say though it's substantial in line with the upgrading of the country's partnership status with Australia,'' he said. 

He noted that this package or investment would provide various terms of services and technical assistance outputs, including gender sensitive programs to residential care facility program enhancements. 

''DSWD can actually continue to define its needs to incorporate into the program,'' Gatchalian said.

The DSWD chief is part of the Philippine delegation here in Melbourne for the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit.—AOL, GMA Integrated News