What is DSWD’s Social Technology Bureau (STB)?

Have you ever heard of the Social Technology Bureau (STB)? For starters, it’s part of the Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD). Secondly, it focuses on developing various social welfare and development programs.

Most, if not all, of the DSWD’s programs start out as a research study or project of the STB. In this article, we will talk about the bureau, it’s objectives, and the different “social technologies” currently being tested and/or implemented by the department.

DSWD Social Technology Bureau
Photo taken during the launching of Social Technology Bureau (STB) Expo 2018 at DSWD Auditorium.
Image Credit: @dswdserves / Twitter

Table of Contents

What is the STB?

The Social Technology Bureau (STB) is the program development arm of the DSWD. It is responsible for conducting research and developing programs to meet the needs and concerns of Filipinos — especially those who belong to the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized sectors.

Vision and Mission

The STB is envisioned to be the lead in the development of social welfare and development programs for the poor, vulnerable, and disadvantaged Filipinos.

The STB’s mission is to formulate, enhance, and promote social welfare models of intervention for our poor, vulnerable, and disadvantaged “kababayans.”


The STB aims to accomplish the following objectives:

  • Develop responsive, transformative, and sustainable social welfare and development models of intervention that address the needs of the poor, vulnerable, and disadvantaged persons;
  • Ensure a proactive and improved social technology development process;
  • Provide continuing capacity building to the bureau’s staff and intermediaries; and
  • Conduct accelerated and intensified social marketing of social welfare and development models of intervention.

Social Technologies

At present, the STB has several social technologies for different sectors: children and youth, family, women, older persons/persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and internally displaced persons.

Here is an overview of the technologies under each sector:

Children and Youth

Aruga at Kalinga sa Mga Bata sa Barangay (ARUGA)

Started in 2004, ARUGA is a strategy that aims to establish a pool of foster parents in the barangay, in order to provide planned substitute parental care to children who have been abandoned, neglected, surrendered (for adoption), or in need of temporary care.

The program was pilot tested in Muntinlupa City.

Strategic Helpdesks for Information, Education, Livelihood, and Other Developmental Interventions (SHIELD)

This project seeks to “withdraw” children from the worst forms of child labor by providing holistic and immediate interventions in the community. It also aims to contribute to the removal of one million children from child labor by 2025, which is part of the Philippine Program Against Child Labor (PPACL) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Buklod Paglaom Para sa CICL Holistic Psychosocial and Economic Interventions for Children in Conflict with the Law (BUKLOD)

This project offers a range of services that combine center and community-based interventions to children in conflict with the law (CICL). Its objectives include: (a) enabling CICL highly at risk of re-offending to develop and maintain positive behavior; (b) helping dysfunctional families become responsive to the needs of their children; and (c) make community members responsible for preventing juvenile delinquency.

Pilot areas of the project include Santiago City, Isabela (Region II), Caloocan City (NCR), Misamis Occidental (Region X), and Davao City (Region XI).

Youth Productivity Services (YPS)

This is a community-based strategy that aims to provide integrated skills and facilitate job placement among out-of-school youth (OSY) and the youth-at-risk. Aside from offering skills training, the project also seeks to provide financial support for other needs of qualified youth.

Comprehensive Program for Street Children, Street Families, and Indigenous Peoples Especially Sama Bajaus (COMPRE)

This program aims to reduce the activities and vulnerabilities of children and families-at-risk (i.e. street children, street families, and indigenous peoples). It seeks to engage them in productive, cultural, and developmental activities.

Conducted in partnership with local government units (LGUs), non-government organizations (NGOs), and some private organizations, COMPRE is now on its eight (8) year of implementation.

Modified Social Stress Model (MSSM)

This is a global framework designed for understanding the nature and assessing the needs of street children who are recovering from substance use and abuse. DSWD uses the MSSM framework in the department’s centers, residential facilities, LGUs, and NGOs that have residential care facilities.

Special Drug Education Center (SDEC)

This is a community-based facility that serves as a venue for promoting preventive and developmental services for street children and out-of-school youth (OSY). Its objectives include developing and implementing drug use prevention programs, as well as building the capacities of OSY, street children, and their families.

The pilot areas for this project include Pasay City (NCR) and Bacolod City (Region VI).


Wireless Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (WiSupport)

This project is designed for individuals and families affected by COVID-19 and other crisis situations. It seeks to establish a systematic response to address the mental health and psychosocial needs of Filipinos, especially during the pandemic. It has pilot areas in the NCR, Central Visayas, and CARAGA.

Family Drug Abuse Prevention Program (FDAPP)

As the name says, this program aims to educate families and communities about the negative effects of drug abuse. Target beneficiaries include: (a) families who are vulnerable to and potentially at risk of drug use and abuse; (b) people residing in barangays, sitios, or puroks with high incidence of drug abuse; and (c) families with members involved or have a history of drug abuse.

This program was piloted in Bacolod City (Region VI) and Davao City (Region XI).

Strategies Toward Acceptance, Reintegration, and Transformation for Poor, Recovering Drug Dependents (START)

This is a community-based “aftercare” intervention for recovering drug dependents who have completed primary residential or outpatient rehabilitation programs. It seeks to help them with their reintegration and transformation as self-reliant and responsible members of society.

The pilot areas of this project are: Makati City, Mandaluyong City, Pasig City, Taguig City (NCR); Daraga, Legaspi City, Tabaco City, Sorsogon City (Region V); Cebu City, Minglanilla, Dumaguete City, Lapu Lapu City, Talisay City (Region VII); and Cagayan de Oro City, Iligan City (Region X).

Yakap Bayan

Yakap Bayan is a program for Recovering Persons Who Used Drugs (RPWUDs). Its objectives include: (a) provision of adequate preparation or transition for reintegration among RPWUDs; (b) enhancement of their coping capacities upon return to their communities; (c) facilitation of an enabling environment for their transformation; and (d) enhancement of the knowledge, attitudes, and skills of families towards the recovery of RPWUDs.

DSWD Social Technology Bureau
Image Credit: stb.dswd.gov.ph (STB logo)

Psychosocial Care and Support for Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV) and AIDS and Their Families

This is a community-based intervention that aims to prevent and manage the risks and problems associated with HIV infection.

Generally, the project seeks to enhance the access of PLHIVs and their families to various support services and assistance. Specifically, it aims to provide psychosocial interventions, educational assistance, and economic support to project beneficiaries. The project also aims to strengthen the capacities of social workers in managing PLHIV cases.

Job Network Services (JNS)

This is a set of services offered to Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU) clients, providing them with access to job placement offices and other employment opportunities. Services include job matching, occupational counseling, and cash assistance, among others. Pilot areas include the CIUs in DSWD – NCR and Field Office VIII.

Comprehensive Delivery of Reintegration Services for Deportees and Irregular Overseas Filipino Workers (Balikbayan Project)

This is a set of services that aim to address the negative effects of repatriation, deportation, and unemployment of OFWs. Generally, the project seeks to improve the qualify of life of deportees, repatriates, and returned irregular OFWs.

Meanwhile, the specific objectives of the project include: (a) increasing the returned OFWs’ socio-economic capacity; (b) facilitating their psychological healing and recovery; and (c) speeding up their reintegration into their families and communities.


Comprehensive Intervention Against Gender-Based Violence (CIAGV)

CIAGC is a holistic framework that seeks to better understand and address gender-based violence. Its objectives include: (a) reduction of incidence of gender-based violence; (b) improved provision of services to victim-survivors of gender-based violence; and (c) facilitation of socio-economic integration of victim-survivors.

The pilot areas for this project include Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, and Surigao del Sur in CARAGA region.

Gender Responsive Case Management (GRCM)

As the term implies, GRCM is a case management model for victim-survivors of gender-based violence. It involves the recognition of gender biases in the home, community, and society. It also seeks to address the immediate and long-term needs of victim-survivors.

The target users of GRCM include social workers from DSWD, LGUs, NGOs, and institutions for women and girls. Also included are specialists such as psychologists, medical doctors, legal officers, police officers, and barangay VAW desk officers.

Women Friendly Space (WFS)

The WFS is a facility or structure established in evacuation camps and “transitional” communities to address the needs of women during crisis situations. The facility serves as a safe and accessible space for internally displaced women, particularly in matters related to their rights, well-being, sexual and reproductive health, and gender-based violence.

Pilot areas for the WFS include various locations in Region VI, Region VIII, and Region XI.

Counseling Services for Rehabilitation of Perpetrators of Domestic Violence (CSRPDV)

This is a community-based intervention that uses a counseling model designed for the male perpetrators of domestic violence. It involves a series of counseling sessions, with the aim of changing the perpetrators abusive behavior.

The pilot areas for this project include several locations in the NCR, Region V, Region VIII, and Region X.

Older Persons (OPs) / Persons with Disabilities (PWDs)

Sheltered Workshop for Persons with Disabilities and Older Persons (SWPDOP)

This is a community-based facility that is designed to provide training and employment for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and older persons (OPs). Basically, it aims to provide capability building activities as well as employment opportunities for PWDs and OPs.

The pilot area for this project is in Asingan, Pangasinan (Region I).

Community Action and Resources for Accessible and Better Living Environment for Persons with Disabilities (CARE-ABLE)

This is a community-based project that enables PWDs to access available programs, services, and resources in the community. It aims to increase the access of PWDs to social protection programs, while also strengthening the mechanisms of the city / municipality and barangay in providing various services to PWDs.

The pilot areas of this project are Ligao (Region V) and Zamboanga City (Region IX).

Intergenerational Program for Older Persons and Children (INTERGEN)

As the name says, this program aims to address critical problems of ageing, while also enabling the transfer of culture across generations. Through structured activities, both the elderly and the young can benefit greatly from intergenerational activities.

This program may be implemented in any city or municipality where there is a Day Care Center (DCC) and a Senior Citizens Day Center (SCDC).

Home Care Support Services for Senior Citizens (HCSSSC)

This is a community-based program that seeks to provide quality care for the sick, frail, or bedridden senior citizens. It involves coordination among family cares and home care volunteers.

The objectives of the program include: (a) provision of caregiving services to senior citizens who have difficulty performing daily activities; (b) capacity-building of volunteers who will deliver home care support; and (c) active participation of family members in providing care for senior citizens.

Reporting and Prevention System Project Program for Elderly Abuse Cases (ReSPPEC)

As the name says, ReSPPEC is a community-based project that aims to ensure holistic and efficient delivery of services when responding to elderly abuse cases. The system involves the formal reporting, investigation, intervention, documentation, and monitoring of such cases. At the same time, it also offers support groups for the abusers/perpetrators so they can reflect and change their behavior.

The ReSPPEC project is implemented in Regions I, VI, XI and the NCR, particularly in areas with high incidence and reported cases of elderly abuse.

Indigenous Peoples (IPs)

Sama-Bajau Localized Intervention and Learning Approach for Holistic Improvement (SaLInLAHI)

This is a community-based project that is focused on the learning and development of 0-4 year old Sama-Bajau children. It aims to ensure their protection, while promoting their rights and well-being through culture-based, early childhood care and development (ECCD) services.

The project’s target beneficiaries are Sama-Bajau children age 0-4 in ethnic communities, along with their parents. Pilot areas include Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija (Region III); Metro Manila, Parañaque City, and Taguig City (NCR).

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)

Team Balikatan Rescue in Emergencies (TeamBRE)

This project aims to enhance the skills of fisherfolks on disaster preparedness and response. It also seeks to organize them as TeamBRE volunteers who can work in coordination with LGUs in responding safely to disasters and emergencies.

Targeting fisherfolks and their families as beneficiaries, this project has been piloted in several areas, namely: Bacacay, Albay (Region V); Tacloban City (Region VIII); and Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur (CARAGA).

Cash Transfer and Cash Voucher to Affected Families in Emergencies (CTCVAFE)

This is a DSWD model of intervention that seeks to help disaster-affected families by providing them with cash transfers and cash vouchers so they can purchase their varying needs. This way, the beneficiaries themselves can decide on their needs, be it food, non-food items, medicines, etc.

The project’s pilot areas include Regions V, VIII, and XII — particularly those that are frequently affected by natural disasters.

Video: Social Technology Bureau AVP

For more information about the Social Technology Bureau, check out this video shared by STB Hub channel on YouTube:

Contact Information: Social Technology Bureau

For inquiries and concerns, you can get in touch with the Social Technology Bureau (STB) located at the DSWD Central Office in Quezon City. Its office hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Address: Social Technology Bureau, 3rd Floor, Matapat Building, Department of Social Welfare and Development – Central Office, IBP Road, Constitution Hills, Batasan Complex, Quezon City
Telephone: +632 8951 7124 / 8951 2802 / 8931 8144
Email: soctech@dswd.gov.ph
Website: https://stb.dswd.gov.ph/

Google Map:

NOTE: For those outside the NCR, you can contact the Regional Social Technology Unit in your province or region. Please see the STU directory for their contact details.

Final Thoughts

Thanks to the Social Technology Bureau (STB), the various programs and projects of DSWD are studied and tested carefully. This way, programs can be adapted to better meet the needs of beneficiaries, depending on the changing times.

Aside from the STB, there’s another bureau of the DSWD — a bureau that focuses on managing responses to natural disasters. Check out this link to read all about the Disaster Response Management Bureau (DRMB)!