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The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Tuesday showcased the agency’s peace and development programs before the United Nations-sponsored regional dialogue on countering violent extremism in Penang, Malaysia, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

DSWD programs and activities are designed for former rebels, former violent extremists, and their families, Undersecretary for Inclusive-Sustainable Peace and Special Concerns Alan Tanjusay told participants of the Southeast Asian Regional Conference on Multi Sectoral Partnership.

“The secret to DSWD's success, with its peace and development programs, are the combination of its dedicated social workers and efficient development workers, and the determination of the Marcos administration's peace agenda strategy,” Tanjusay, representing Secretary Rex Gatchalian, said at the forum.

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He cited various interventions such as emergency food and cash assistance, modified shelter assistance with a cash-for-work program, sustainable livelihood program, and various community-driven development approaches for the rehabilitation and reintegration of surrenderees and their families.

“These strategies help nurture peace, embrace development, drive local investments, and generate employment in geographically isolated, conflict-affected and vulnerable areas across the Philippines,” he said.

The three-day Southeast Asian Regional Conference commenced Tuesday with the goal of capitalizing on the momentum generated by previous initiatives and actively engage key stakeholders in Southeast Asia to address the multifaceted challenges posed by violent extremism. 

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