Archive | November, 2015

DSWD conducts special household assessment in Kalayaan

KALAYAAN, Palawan- A total of 27 households are enumerated in the recent assessment conducted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) MIMAROPA in barangay Pagasa, municipality of Kalayaan.

The said assessment is part of the government’s databasing of poor families for potential social protection programs intervention through Listahanan, the mechanism of mapping out who and where the poor are nationwide.

In 2009 during the first nationwide assessment, Kalayaan was excluded. “Nagpapasalamat kami dahil ngayon, nakarating na ang DSWD dito sa aming isla sa kabila ng layo nito”, said Rizen Galva, one of the island residents.

Delivery of social services to Kalayaan remains a challenge due to its geographical distance.  The island can be reached either by boat or plane on which residents usually travel thru a government- owned ship which takes three to four days going to Puerto Princesa Palawan vice-versa.

Adhering to the goal of no should be left behind towards development, DSWD has reached Pagasa in coordination with the Naval Forces North West (NAVFORWEST) on November 24, 2015. Pagasa is the only barangay in the said municipality.

To date, DSWD is only implementing Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) in Kalayaan together with the local government unit. SFP is the additional food provision to day care children, a mechanism to reduce extreme hunger and malnutrition in the country.

“Sana ang pagpunta ng DSWD ay ang susi para magbukas ang iba pang programa ng ibang sangay ng pamahalaan dito sa Kalayaan”, a hopeful resident said.

The municipality is a picture of isolation where health and education services are insufficient and still inaccessible.###

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DSWD MiMaRoPa Sustainable Livelihood Program overall winner in Bangon Kabuhayan 2015

SLP Seaweeds Production in Taytay, Palawan (1st Place, Best Enterprise and Best Agribusiness)
SLP Pre-Licensing Training Course in Agutaya, Palawan (3rd Place, Best Employment Model)

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One true believer

Among the crowd, you will notice those big, smiley eyes looking at you. Unassuming and just smiling, the charming lass was careful to follow instructions for the preparation of the opening number of the Regional Search for Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya Children.

In its fourth year of the search, who would have thought that this year’s winner will come again from the province of Occidental Mindoro, making it their third; but then again, it was the bright smile and confidence of a pretty young lady from the municipality of Rizal that captivated the hearts of many.

Cherry Ann says, "Kaya kong hilahin ang kahirapan patungong tagumpay." AS a young achiever, she believes that her dreams will come true with hardwork.

Cherry Ann says, “Kaya kong hilahin ang kahirapan patungong tagumpay.” As a young achiever, she believes that her dreams will come true with hard work.

Cherry Ann Abracia, 14, prefers to stay inside the house rather than play outside. “Nagugulat nga po yung mga kamag-anak namin kasi raw parang lumaki na raw ako at di nga nila ako napagkikita at di po kasi ako pala-labas,” said Cheche as what her family and friends call her.

A good daughter

 Si Cherry Ann po ay isang mabuting anak, mabait po, mapagmahal, maalalahanin sa magulang,” says Charity, Cheche’s mother, while trying to keep her voice still and refraining herself from crying.

Nanay Charity narrates their daily routine in the family, giving a picture of how their day is.

Hinahandaan (ko) ng pagkain pagkagising sa umaga, magliligpit (sila) ng pinaghigaan, magwawalis ng unti, sabay-sabay maliligo. Siya (Cheche) na rin magbibihis sa dalawa niyang batang kapatid,” recounted Nanay Charity.

Then, the children will go to school. Sometimes, Nanay Charity lets Cheche goes to school earlier since their house is far from school.

Minsan ay siya ang una kong pinapaalis kasi malayo ang school nila. Minsan walang service at nagko-commute, minsan hinahatid ng Papa niya. ‘Pag walang sasakyan ay naglalakad na lang siya pag maraming pasahero,” said Nanay Charity.

If a single motorcycle will be used, the Abracia house to Manoot High School will take almost 30 minutes to ride. If Cheche walks, it will take her an hour to get to school.

She doesn’t mind walking that far as long as she can study and learn. “Minsan, ginagabi rin kasi may iba pang gagawin after ng klase, sumasabay nalang po ako sa mga kakilala ko,” says Cheche. Distance does not matter for a heart wanting to achieve her dreams.

Nanay Charity further narrates, “Pag-uwi, minsan wala pa kami sa bahay ay siya ang magsasaing na at mag-aasikaso ng mga kapatid niya.”

Cheche added that she is used to taking care of her younger siblings. She will attend to her siblings’ assignments first before doing her own. “Yung mga bata niyang kapatid tutulungan niya sa assignments, tuturuan niyang magbasa,” says Nanay Charity.

Tatay Alvin could not agree more as he sees how diligent her daughter is in helping them. “Mabait po talaga yan. Wala po talaga akong masabi kundi mabait na anak talaga,” tells Tatay Alvin while keeping himself from crying just like her wife Charity.

Relaxed as they may seem at first, keeping still during the interview, but as Nanay Charity and Tatay Alvin sit beside their daughter, it is seen in their eyes and heard in their voices that they are proud of Cheche.

Cherry Ann sheds tears of joy as she receives plaque and 15,000 pesos for being the 2015 regional winner.

Cherry Ann sheds tears of joy as she receives plaque and 15,000 pesos for being the 2015 regional winner.

An active student

At a young age, Cheche is an achiever. Joining various clubs and competing in different quiz bees gave her confidence. She is a consistent honor student and even graduated as Valedictorian in elementary.

Now that she is in high school, Cheche admits to being more active in extracurricular activities. It is in these activities that she gets to travel in other places and meet new people. After school, Cheche usually practices for their band and lyre and trains for their Arnis Team.

Asked why she chose Arnis, she simply says that she loves it. “Gusto ko po talaga. Dahil ginawa ko yung gusto ko, nakapunta po ako sa iba’t ibang lugar at marami akong nakilalang mga tao,” says Cheche. Her sport paved way for her to gain more confidence in herself.

Minsan pag may gusto siyang puntahan, mag-iipon po yan ng allowance. Minsan, pinapakiusap ko nalang po sa adviser niya at buti nalang po natutulungan din naman kami,” tells Nanay Charity.

Due to financial limitations of the family, whenever Cheche needs to travel to other places to compete, they cannot fully provide for her expenses and sometimes seek help from others like her adviser.

A young dreamer

 Marami po akong pangarap sa buhay. Marami po akong gustong puntahang lugar. Marami akong gustong marating,” exclaims Cheche.

One of her dreams is to be a teacher. “Gusto ko po maging teacher. Gustong-gusto ko po magdiscuss sa harapan at gusto ko rin po magturo, magshare ng mga nalalaman ko,” tells Cheche.

This is not surprising as this is also evident in the way she takes care of her younger siblings, teaching them to read and guiding them in their assignments. She is also often chosen by her teachers to take charge in classes, leading her classmates in some of their lessons.

A young dreamer indeed, when asked where she wants to go, she says, “Gusto ko, someday, makapunta ako ng Paris at Canada.” Asked why, she simply says, “Bata pa lang kasi ako nakikita ko na kung gaano kaganda sa mga lugar na ‘yon, sa mga aklat, mga magazines.” Those are the top places in her bucket list.

It is seen in the way her eyes sparkle that Cheche truthfully dreams of going to the said two countries. It was like seeing a young girl gushing over her crush. An impossible dream for the likes of Cheche’s family considering their economic status but a young believer lives in the heart of this 14 year old girl. With hard work, Cheche believes this will happen. Not only thinking of herself, she says that she wants to go to these places with her family.

As of now, Cheche is making a step in achieving her dreams by studying hard. Slowly but surely, she believes all the things she dreams can come true. “Sa oras ngayon, gusto ko lang makapagtapos ng pag-aaral. Matapos ko yung kolehiyo. Matulungan yung mga magulang ko. After nun, makapaghanap ng trabaho para matustusan ko pa rin yung mga pangangailangan at pag-aaral ng mga kapatid ko,” tells Cheche.

It is these kinds of dreams of people who seem to have nothing, but in the end, achieved it that inspires people and make others believe that dreaming the impossible is possible.

Abracia family poses for the camera with the usual field that they see from the back of their home.

Abracia family poses for the camera with the usual field that they see from the back of their home.

Working for a bright future

 After winning all the cash prizes from the provincial and regional searches, Cheche gave all of her winnings to her mother. As a treasurer in their church that records all the finances, Nanay Charity saves most of her daughter’s winning in the bank.

They plan to buy three pigs that will serve as another source of income for the family in the future. Being farmers, the family’s earnings are seasonal. Cheche’s parents mostly rely on the vegetables that they plant and their everyday earnings in ‘gapasan’. Tatay Alvin and Nanay Charity earn 150 pesos per day per person, at most 300/day/person, if their body can still work under the sun’s heat for longer hours and wider fields.

The cash grant that the family receives from Pantawid Pamilya is just what they need. Not worrying on where to get their children’s expenses for school assignments and projects is like lifting a weight from their shoulders.

Sabi ko po sa sarili ko ay itataguyod ko ang pag-aaral ng mga anak ko,” says Tatay Alvin. He is thankful that his children are hard working. He doesn’t mind working in the field for long hours as long as he can see that his family is taken care of. “Gusto ko makatapos talaga ang mga anak ko ng pag-aaral para hindi lang din sa bukid ang maging trabaho nila,” adds Nanay Charity.

That is why Cheche is determined to finish her studies. She believes that education can uplift their family’s status. More than that, she believes in herself. “Kaya kong makapagtapos ng pag-aaral. Kaya kong hilahin si kahirapan patungong tagumpay,” ends Cheche. She can, and she will, being a true believer that she is. ###

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DSWD MiMaRoPa holds 2nd anti-poverty symposium

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DSWD highlights the government’s social protection framework for the vulnerable, marginalized and disadvantaged sectors.

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) MiMaRoPa conducted its second Listahanan Anti-poverty Symposium in accordance with the United Nations international day celebration for eradicating extreme hunger and poverty on October 28, 2015.

This year’s theme is Building a sustainable future: Coming to end poverty and discrimination.

“The Department, together with other partner-stakeholders in eradicating poverty here in MiMaRoPa, embraces United Nations Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights. Our collective efforts will surely protect and secure ordinary people especially those living in extreme poverty”, Regional Director Wilma D. Naviamos said.

DSWD is implementing social protection programs such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program; Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP); and Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) and Social Pension Program for poverty alleviation regionwide.

In 2009, the Department’s Listahanan, a mechanism of identifying where and who the poor are, has identified 242,633 poor households in Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan provinces in which 196,029 households are already enrolled to Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and 53,215 identified poor senior citizens are receiving P500.00 monthly pension.

Moreover, the city government of Puerto Princesa, National Anti-poverty Commission (NAPC), Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), National Economic development Authority (NEDA), and Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff (PCSDS) have presented their own sustainable anti-poverty programs implemented in Mimaropa region particularly in Palawan province.

Listahanan Exhibit of during the anti-poverty symposium

Listahanan Exhibit during the anti-poverty symposium

The said symposium was also participated by different national government agencies, Provincial Government of Palawan and  Palawan-based Civil Society Organizations namely, Ligaya ng Buhay Foundation, World Vision, Palawan NGO Network Inc., Federation of Senior citizens and other local organizations.

A sustainable world cannot exist when there is poverty, discrimination and abuse of human rights. A sustainable world leaves no one behind, Naviamos concluded.

Poverty is occurring not only in the Philippines, but also in the rest of the world. Thus we are celebrating the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty. This has been celebrated since 1987 and recognized by United Nations since 1992.###

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