Department of Social Welfare and Development

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The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD: Filipino: Kagawaran ng Kagalingang Panlipunan at Pagpapaunlad[1]) is the executive department of the Philippine government tasked with protecting the social welfare rights of Filipinos and promoting social development.[2] Philippine Army veteran Rolando Joselito Bautista is the current secretary of the department.


American Period

DSWD's Field Office building in the National Capital Region

In 1915, the American colonial government created the Public Welfare Board (PWB) to study, coordinate and regulate all government and private groups engaged in social services. In 1921, the board was abolished and replaced by the Bureau of Public Welfare, which was under the Department of Public Instruction.

In 1939, Commonwealth Act No. 439 created the Department of Health and Public Welfare, which the Bureau of Public Welfare (BPW) joined in 1941. Other than coordinating the services of public and private social welfare institutions, the bureau also managed public child-caring institutions and the provision of child welfare services.

Post World War 2

President Manuel Roxas abolished the BPW in 1947 and replaced it with the Social Welfare Commission (SWC), which was put under the Office of the President.

In 1948, President Elpidio Quirino created the President's Action Committee on Social Amelioration (PACSA) for socio-economic reforms to counteract social unrest. In 1951, the SWC and the PACSA merged to form the Social Welfare Administration (SWA) and started an integrated public welfare program.

In 1968, Republic Act 5416, or the Social Welfare Act of 1968, elevated the SWA into a department under the executive branch of the government, hence forming the Department of Social Welfare. It gave the agency an equal status with other social agencies like health and education.

In 1976, President Ferdinand Marcos signed Presidential Decree No. 994, which renamed the Department of Social Welfare into Department of Social Services and Development (DSSD), giving it a more accurate identity.

In 1978, in line with the change in the form of government (from presidential to parliamentary), the DSSD was renamed Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD).

DSWD at Present

Under Executive Order 123 signed by President Corazon C. Aquino in 1987, MSSD was renamed Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Executive Order No. 292, or the Revised Administrative Code of 1987, established DSWD's name, organizational structure and functional areas of responsibility, which further defined its statutory authority.

The passage of Republic Act 7160, or the Local Government Code of 1991, effected the devolution of DSWD basic services to local government units.

In 1998, President Joseph Estrada issued Executive Order No. 15 and redirected the functions and operations of DSWD to strengthen its repositioning efforts.

In 2003, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Executive Order No. 15, which defined DSWD's mandate, roles, powers and functions.

On 28 January 2005, the Department of Budget and Management approved DSWD's Rationalization and Streamlining Plan (RSP) for implementation in the next five years. Its RSP emphasized the department's shift in policy, functions and programs in line with its steering role.

Organizational Structure

The department is headed by the secretary of social welfare and development, with the following nine undersecretaries and eight assistant secretaries:

  • Undersecretary for General Administration and Support Services Group
  • Undersecretary for Special Concerns Group
  • Undersecretary for Policy and Plans Group
  • Undersecretary for Promotive Operations and Programs Group
  • Undersecretary for Protective Operations and Program Group
  • Undersecretary for Disaster Response Management Group
  • Undersecretary for Support Programs Infrastructure Management
  • Undersecretary for Luzon Affairs
  • Undersecretary for Legislative Liaison Affairs and Special Presidential Directives in the Mindanao Region
  • Assistant Secretary for General Administration and Support Services Group
  • Assistant Secretary for the Office of the Secretary
  • Assistant Secretary for Special Women's and Children's Concerns
  • Assistant Secretary for Special Concerns Group
  • Assistant Secretary for Promotive Programs
  • Assistant Secretary for Finance and Legal
  • Assistant Secretary for Policy and Plans Group in charge of National Household Targeting Office and Policy Development and Planning Bureau
  • Assistant Secretary for Policy and Plans in charge of Standards Bureau and Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) Project Management Office

Attached Agencies

  • Council for the Welfare of Children
  • Intercountry Adoption Board
  • Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council
  • National Council on Disability Affairs

Supervised Agencies


# Name Term Began Term Ended President
Minister of Welfare
1 Gracio Gonzaga January 21, 1899 May 7, 1899 Emilio Aguinaldo
Commissioner of Public Welfare
2 Jose Fabella November 15, 1921 November 15, 1935
Secretary of Public Instruction, Health, and Public Welfare
3 Juan Nolasco November 15, 1935 December 24, 1941 Manuel L. Quezon
4 Sergio Osmeña December 24, 1941 August 1, 1944
Secretary of Justice, Labor and Welfare
5 Xandra Sinfuego August 1, 1944 December 25, 1944
* Mariano A. Eraña December 25, 1944 February 17, 1945 Sergio Osmeña Sr.
Secretary of Health and Public Welfare
6 Juan Salcedo February 17, 1945 November 10, 1945 Sergio Osmeña Sr.
7 Jose Locsin November 10, 1945 May 28, 1946
Secretary of Social Welfare
8 Asuncion Perez 1950 1953 Elpidio Quirino
9 Pacita Madrigal-Warns 1954 1955 Ramon Magsaysay
10 Amparo Villamor 1960 1961 Carlos P. Garcia
11 Tecla San Andres Ziga 1962 1963 Diosdado Macapagal
12 Jose O. Pelayo 1963 1965
13 Francisco T. Remotigue 1966 1967 Ferdinand Marcos
14 Gregorio Feliciano 1967 1971
15 Estefania Aldaba-Lim 1971 1976
Secretary of Social Welfare and Development
Estefania Aldaba-Lim 1976 1977 Ferdinand Marcos
16 Nathaniel Tablante 1977 1978
Minister of Social Welfare and Development
17 Sylvia P. Montes 1978 1986 Ferdinand Marcos
Secretary of Social Welfare and Development
18 Mita Pardo de Tavera February 25, 1986 June 30, 1992 Corazon C. Aquino
19 Corazon Alma de Leon June 30, 1992 June 30, 1995 Fidel V. Ramos
20 Lina B. Laigo June 30, 1995 June 30, 1998
21 Gloria Macapagal Arroyo June 30, 1998 October 12, 2000 Joseph Estrada
22 Dulce Saguisag October 12, 2000 January 19, 2001
23 Corazon Soliman January 20, 2001 July 8, 2005 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
* Luwalhati Pablo July 8, 2005 July 20, 2005
24 Esperanza Cabral July 21, 2005 August 31, 2009
25 Celia Yangco September 1, 2009 June 30, 2010
(23) Corazon Soliman June 30, 2010 June 30, 2016 Benigno Simeon Aquino III
** Judy Taguiwalo June 30, 2016 August 16, 2017 Rodrigo Duterte
* Emmanuel Leyco (OIC) August 19, 2017 May 9, 2018
* Virginia Orogo May 10, 2018 October 16, 2018
26 Lt. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista, AFP (Ret.) October 17, 2018 Incumbent