Archive | September, 2018

Ginintuang Karagatan: Kwento ni Dalmacio ng Cajidiocan

Bawat tao ay pinapangarap na mabigyan ng maginhawang pamumuhay ang kanyang sariling pamilya. Para sa mga naninirahan sa malalayong probinsya, lakas ng loob at pagpupursigi ang tanging pinanghahawakan upang makamtan ang pangarap na ito.

Si Dalmacio Rey Rivera, 54 na taong gulang, at ang kanyang maybahay na si Ma. Evy Rivera, 51 taong gulang, ay mga residente ng Brgy. Taguilos, Cajidiocan, Romblon. Biniyayaan sila ng apat na anak na sina Eduardo, Francis, Daniel, at Dennis.

Bago mapasali sa Sustainable Livelihood Program ng Department of Social Welfare and Development noong taong 2017, si Dalmacio ay naghahanapbuhay bilang isang mangingisda.

Napili niya na magkaroon ng marine engine, isang makinang nagtutulak sa bangka o iba pang sasakyang pandagat, sapagkat mayroon na siyang bangkang pampalaot. Ang prokyetong ito ay napondohan sa ilalim ng Seed Capital Fund na nagkakahalag ng PHP 14,200.00.

Ang makinang ito ay inihandog sa kanya noong 2017 at agad namang ikinabit sa kanyang bangka. “Kahit gusto naming mangisda sa malayo dahil mas maraming huli doon, hindi kakayanin ng bangka ko. Masyadong maliit. Minsan ang ginagawa ko eh sinusundan ko yung mas malalaking bangka para makilagay ng mga huli,” salaysay ni Dalmacio.

Kung ang ibang mangingisda ay gumagamit ng langis na krudo, si Dalmacio ay bumili ng carburetor, isang tubo na ginagamit upang maghalo ang hangin at gatong sa makina. Sa paraang ito, nakatitipid siya ng PHP 700.00 bawat byahe kumpara sa paggamit ng krudo. Dito makikita na ang isa pang magandang puhunan bukod sa pera ay ang kakayahan na maging maparaan. Dahil isa nang ganap na bangkang de-motor ang bangkang papalaot ni Dalmacio, kumikita siya ng PHP 3000.00 hanggang PHP 5000.00 bawat byahe.

Ayon kay Evy, kumikita sila ng PHP 40,000.00 kada buwan dahil nakakapangisda na sila dalawang beses kada linggo. “Gusto namin ipaabot ang aming pasasalamat sa gobyerno dahil tinulungan nila kami. Isang beses lang sa buong linggo kami nakakapangisda noon pero ngayon na may makina na ang bangka namin eh naging dalawang beses na,” aniya Evy.

Mas lalong naging matatag ang kanyang paniniwala na ang lahat ng pagsisikap ng isang tao ay may magandang ibubunga. Sa kasalukuyan ay pinag-iipunan ng pamilya ang pagbili ng panibagong bangkang de-motor upang mas lumago ang kanilang kabuhayan. ###

Contributor:

Francis Salas, Project Development Officer II, Romblon

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DSWD MIMAROPA releases UCT grants in Romblon towns

Beneficiaries from Ferrol, Looc, Odiongan, and San Andres, Romblon line-up to get their UCT grants.

ODIONGAN, Romblon- A total of 1,139 beneficiaries in four towns of Romblon received cash grants amounting to 2,400.00 each as an aid from the government under the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) Program.

The payout in coordination with Landbank of the Philippines (LBP)- Odiongan branch held in Romblon State University covered court on September 22, 2018, DSWD has disbursed a total of P2,733,600.00 disbursed for 267 beneficiaries in Looc; 104 in Ferrol; 174 in San Andres; and 594 in Odiongan.

UCT is the tax subsidy provided for under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law to help the poor cushion the adverse economic impact of the law for three years, starting 2018. For this year, beneficiaries will receive P200 per month or P2,400 for one year. In 2019 and 2020, the subsidy will increase to P300 or P3,600 a year.

“From the 1,570 target beneficiaries identified poor in Listahanan database, only 72.5% was able to claim their grants,” DSWD MIMAROPA OIC Policy and Plans Division Chief Editha B. Ocampo said.

The DSWD official said that some of the beneficiaries failed to bring complete documents during the release and cases of no-show beneficiaries. A new schedule will be set for those unclaimed grants.

Earlier this month, DSWD spearheaded the notification and registration of beneficiaries in the said towns as the pilot area in the province, prior to the payout which was initially scheduled on September 15, 2018. However, it was postponed due to Typhoon Ompong.

“We recognize the support of our partner Romblon local government units down to the barangay level for the UCT program implementation,” Ocampo added.

On the other hand, UCT payout in other towns will be scheduled in the following months either off-site release or through LBP conduits.

 

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Palawan towns receive DSWD list of poor

Local officials in Brooke’s Point (L) and Rizal (R) receive the list of the poor households stored and encrypted in Compact Disc from Listahanan Regional Coordinator Ernie Jarabejo.

PALAWAN- The municipalities of Rizal and Brooke’s Point received the list of poor households from Listahanan of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) MIMAROPA as part of the data sharing agreements.

These local government units have complied with all provisions in the DSWD data sharing guidelines, a mechanism to safeguard the information of poor households in compliance with the Data Privacy Act of 2012, an act that protects individual personal and personal sensitive information.

This data sharing aims to establish a systematic way of sharing data and information of poor households as a basis for selecting potential beneficiaries of various local social protection programs.

Listahanan is a government mechanism that identifies who and where the poor are nationwide.###

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DSWD MIMAROPA hosts Basic DRRM-CCA Concepts and Legal Frameworks and Mainstreaming DRR-CCA in the CEAC Process Training of Trainers

Puerto Princesa City Palawan— The regional technical specialists from Regions MIMAROPA, V, VI, and VII gathered for a five-day training seminar on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management – CCA last September 9-15, 2018 at Citystate Asturias Hotel in Puerto Princesa City Palawan.

The said training was hosted by DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS MIMAROPA and was attended by each of the region’s technical specialist starting from the regional community development specialist (RCDS), regional community infrastructure specialist (RCIS), regional financial analyst (RFA), regional capability building specialist (RCBS), and regional monitoring and evaluation specialist (RMES).

The first day of the training focused on the discussion on basic DRR-CCA concepts and topics on climate change. On the next day, the participants were introduced to the laws governing the DRR in the Philippines and further discussion on impact of climate change in the country on topics about Climate Change and impact to the environment and the communities. In the afternoon, the participants were taught how to create community basemap using the software QGIS.

On the third day, the participants were taught to use the InaSAFE feature of the QGIS software. This feature allowed the translation of data into a report. It was followed by the discussion of Dr. Jake Tio on Mainstreaming DRR in the Community Empowerment Activity Cycle (CEAC) and the discussion of Ms. Fatima Marifosque on incorporating the DRR in Participatory Situational Analysis (PSA).

The participants went on an educational tour within the Puerto Princesa City wherein they conducted a teaching demonstration on all the concepts they were taught on the duration of the training. To conclude the training, the participants shared their thoughts on how to better incorporate DRR-CCA in the CEAC Cycle.

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A Family’s Secret to Happiness is Helping Others

Manuel Family ‘s secret to happiness is helping others who are in need

 

Ang mga Manuel ay talagang kilalang-kilala dito na malalapitan kapag nangailangan ka. Tulad ng pangangailangan sa mga gamot at school supplies dahil may mga kilala silang matataas na kinukunan. Ang anak ko ay nakadalawang beses nang nakatanggap ng school supplies sa kanila. Kahit nga sa tulong pinansyal ay natutulungan din kami kung minsan kahit sila din naman ay hirap sa buhay. Ang kanilang buong pamilya ay mababait talaga at wala din akong masabi sa kanilang mag-anak, nakasanayan na at malapit sila sa mga katutubo.  Sa totoo lang, wala kaming naririnig sa kanila na ‘di maganda, kahit naman kwento din ng aming mga magulang ay walang masamang masabi sa kanilang pamilya,”

– Theodor Daguman, IP beneficiary from Sitio Kabanabahan

The Manuel family from Sitio Cuartero, Brgy. Casague, Sta. Cruz, Occidental Mindoro, knows no boundaries in serving those who are in need. Helping the Mangyan tribe has been their mission for years, which strengthens the relationship of their family more.

They cross rivers and trek hilly terrains to extend their helping hand to the Mangyan communities in their neighboring sitios to educate them and inspire them to become better members of the community.

Yet, the Manuel family, themselves, do not live in prosperity.  Their family also belongs to the marginalized sector of the community working hard to get out of poverty.

But their status in life does not hinder their goal to help those people in need.

Alam po kasi namin yung pakiramdam ng naghihirap kaya tumutulong rin kami lalo na sa mga kababayan nating maliliit (katutubo) na mas nangangailangan pa (We know how it is being poor that’s why we tend to help those (indigenous) people who need greater help),” said Rolando Manuel, “pillar” of the home of the Manuel Family.

According to the family, one does not need to be wealthy to help other people.

Kung nagtatanim ka ng mabuting bagay sa kapwa mo lalo na sa mga mahihirap, may malaking bahagi rin yan na babalik. Hindi man natin siya makita nang agaran, sabi nga’y ‘ang mabuting binhi na itatanim mo sa kapwa mo ay sisibol din’ (If you do well to others especially those who are poor, good things will also return to you. We may not see it immediately, but as they say, ‘you will reap what you sow’),” Rolando added.

True enough, while they are working towards uplifting their lives, the family makes sure that no one is left behind by providing assistance to other people in their community who are also in need of their help.

 

Compassion Starts at Home

The Manuel Family is mostly known for their assistance to the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) in their community, specifically the Mangyans.

They make sure to extend help to those who are in need even though they, themselves, are also striving to improve their well-being.

Ang buhay namin ay pangkaraniwan lang din kagaya ng iba (Our life is also ordinary like others),” said Rolando.

Their family only depends on farming as their main source of income. Rolando inherited a 1-hectare farm land which he utilizes for two croppings every year—palay for the main crop, and corn for the second crop. However, in the year 2000, the land was devastated by a typhoon which caused the river to flood their area leaving them with only half of their land. At present, the family acquires only P2,000.00 to P5,000.00 of income from the remaining land every harvest.

After the tragedy, Rosalie knew that it will be harder for them to finance the needs of their growing children. Hence, in order to help Rolando, she raised hogs which gives them at least P6,000.00 to P8,000.00 depending on the piglets to be sold. Meanwhile, to lessen the expenses of the family, Rosalie, with her children, created a backyard garden to plant vegetables for their personal consumption. They also raise native chicken which they sometimes sell or cook for their family.

Having six (6) children to support, Rolando and Rosalie make sacrifices in order for them to finance their needs. And as their children see their efforts and hardships, they work together to help their parents in overcoming the challengesthat they face as a family.

According to Jacqueline, the eldest child, even though they are poor, they study hard with the aim of helping their family get out of poverty.

“Bilang ako pa ang panganay, minsan hindi na ako nanghihingi ng allowance kina mama dahil alam kong wala namang ibibigay. Kaya ang ginagawa ko, pinaglalaba ko na lang mga kaklase ko para bigyan ako ng pagkain (Since I am the eldest, there were times when I don’t ask for allowance from my mother since I know that they don’t have anything to give. That’s why I do my classmate’s laundry in exchange for food),” Jacqueline narrated with teary eyes.

After years of hard work, Jacqueline acquired her Diploma in Midwifery and is now working as a Registered Midwife at the Municipal Health Office of Sta. Cruz, Occidental Mindoro. Although she is now married and has a three-year old child, she still participates in her family’s activities in church and in helping the IPs.

Meanwhile, James, the 2nd child, said that even though life was really hard, their family stays happy and contented.

Noong nagkasabay kaming mag-college nung kapatid ko, sumasama ako sa mga nagtitinda ng rambutan para magbenta rin para magkapera kaming magkapatid pero okay lang yun kasi naiintindihan naman namin ang sitwasyon namin’ (When my sibling and I went to college at the same time, I sell rambutan so we can have money. But that’s okay, because we understand our situation),” he recounted.

James knows that their family cannot support both him and Dorothy, the 3rd child, in college, so he decided to quit studying Maritime Engineering to help their father cultivate their farm. After a year of helping in financing the needs of the family, his parents decided to enroll him again to a vocational course but he was not able to finish because his girlfriend got pregnant, opting him to raise his own family.

“Nung una, masakit sa amin kasi gusto talaga sana namin na makapagtapos silang lahat. Pinakasal namin agad sila dahil ayaw namin na sa parte ng babae, baka iba ang isipin ng tao sa kaniya bilang nabuntis siya nang hindi pa nakakasal. Tinanggap na rin namin at wala naman kaming sawang magpayo sa kaniya, (At first, we had a hard time accepting it because we want all our children to finish their studies. We decided to get them married because we would not want  other people to criticize the girl since she got pregnantbefore marriage. We accepted them and we never get tired of giving them advise),said Rolando when asked how they felt after knowing that their son got his girlfriend pregnant.

After getting married, James and his new family live with in his parents’ house. He is now working with a Job Order position in the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Occidental Mindoro to support his own family.

Nagpapasalamat pa rin po talaga ako lalo na sa aking mga magulang dahil kahit nagkaroon na ako ng asawa ay tinutulungan nila pa rin ako. Pinalaki talaga nila kami nang may mabuting asal at may takot sa Diyos (I thank my parents because even though I have a family of my own now, they still help me. Our parents really raised us to have good moral character and fear of God),” James said.

On the other hand, according to Dorothy, it is because of their situation that she became motivated to finish her studies especially when his older brother quit college to support them. Even though she only had P300 weekly allowance in college, she was able to manage her expenses well

Nakatapos po ako ng pag-aaral nang dahil sa pagsisikap nila mama. Sobrang naiintindihan po naming lahat yung kanilang sakripisyo para sa amin kaya sa totoo lang po kaming magkakapatid ay tumutulong din para kahit papaano ay makabawas sa hirap na dinadanas ng aming mga magulang (I finished my studies through the hard work of our parents. We fully understood their sacrifices for us that’s why my siblings and I are also helping them so that we can lessen our parents’ burden),” said Dorothy.

The family makes sure that they do other activities to keep their bond stronger

She was able to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering through scholarships with her good grades and is now working as an engineer in DPWH-Occidental Mindoro. She plans to take the licensure exam and is now starting to save money so she can attend a review center in Manila.

Since Jacqueline, James, and Dorothy are now working, they do not forget to help their family especially their three other siblings who are still studying:John Robert, the 4th child, in Grade 10; Neil Joseph, the 5th child, in Grade 7; and their youngest, Mark Jay, in Grade 5. In fact, the three of them contributed in providing electricity to their house and to their grandparent’s house, which is near them.

Isa po talaga sa pangarap namin ay yung magkaroon ng kuryente kasi bata pa lang po kami, nagtitiis po talaga kami sa gasera lamang para magkaroon ng ilaw sa bahay, (One of our dreams is to have electricity at home because when we were just kids, we only use lamp to light our house)” Dorothy said.

Rolando and Rosalie’s guidance to their children has led them to become more compassionate, open-minded, and understanding individuals. They teach their children through action. After their 6PM daily prayer, they talk to each other openly because Rolando sees to it that they should always have time to communicate with his family.

 

Yang mag-asawa talaga ay marunong dumisiplina sa kanilang anak. Sila mismo ay maunawain at matalungin kaya siguro ay nakikita ng kanilang mga anak iyon (The couple knows how to discipline their children well. They, themselves, are understanding and helpful that’s why their children replicate them),” said Evangeline P. Echon, their cluster’s Parent Leader.

True enough, the couple’s kindness had brought Mark Jay to their family.

Mark Jay is not a biological child of Rosalie and Rolando. According to Rosalie, Mark Jay is her brother’s child. His wife suffered from post-partum psychosis, hence, they cannot take care the young boy’s needs. Because of this, Rosalie and Rolando decided to foster Mark Jay even though they are financially struggling that time. Rolando said that they did not hesitate to offer their help to support him because he deserves to be loved and be taken care of.

Naghihintay pa kami ng tamang oras para sabihin kay Mark Jay na siya ay ampon. Pero naunahan kami ng tito niya noong nagalit ito sa kaniya nung Grade 3 pa lang siya (We are waiting for the right time to tell Mark Jay that he is adopted. But we were forestalled by his angry uncle when he was in Grade 3),” narrated Rosalie.

Even before, Mark Jay has been wondering why he uses a different last name from his siblings since they are “Manuel” while he is “Morris”.

Mark Jay does not hold any grudges to his foster parents even though he was not able to know it in the first place.

Naiintindihan ko naman po kung bakit ‘di nila sinabi agad. Hindi ko nga po malalaman yun dahil inaruga nila ako na parang tunay nila akong anak kaya kahit naman hindi sa akin sabihin ay okay lang. Kulang na kulang pa nga po ang pasasalamat ko sa kanila dahil minahal nila ako at inalagaan na parang tunay na anak (I understand why they didn’t tell me straightaway. I won’t even notice that since they take care of me like I am their true son that’s why I won’t mind if they don’t tell me at all.  I can’t thank them enough for loving me and taking care of me like I’m one of their children),” explained Mark Jay while crying.

At that circumstance, his parents and his siblings have given extra time to guide Mark Jay on his way to acceptance. According to Rosalie, it won’t happen in a day so that they give more efforts to help him because they love him as much as their own child.

“Hindi naman naging iba noon pa lang ang turing namin kay Mark Jay. Noong bata ako, sabi ko kay nanay noon wag na lang ako mag-gatas para makabili ng panggatas sa kaniya. Tanggap naman kasi namin siya noon pa (We do not consider Mark Jay as other people. When I was a child, I told my mother that I will stop drinking milk so that we could buy more milk for him. We already accepted him even before),” said Neil Joseph.

Makikita mo naman sa bata kung paano sila pinalaki ng kanilang mga magulang lalo na sa upbringing nito. Kahit si Mark Jay ay hindi nila tunay na anak, ang ugali nya ay kapareho rin ng kaniyang mga kapatid na talaga namang mababait (You can see how well a child was raised  with the guidance of their parents through his/her upbringing. Even though Mark Jay is not their biological child, his character is the same with his siblings which are indeed generous),” said Cathy Sofelo, their class adviser in Casague Elementary School, where all six children of Rolando went.

It may seem that even though the Manuel family also have their own hardships and adversities, it does not hinder them in sharing their blessings to other people.

 

More Blessings to Receive, More Blessings to Give

In 2013, the family was able to become a member of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Sobrang blessed po kami lalo na po noong napasama kami sa 4Ps. Malaking tulong po ito sa amin lalo na po sa mga kapatid kong nag-aaral (We are really blessed when webecame 4Ps beneficiary . It is a great help for our family especially to my siblings who are studying),” said Dorothy.

Apart from the financial assistance they receive, the family has become more committed to improve their lives as strengthened from the lessons they have learned from the monthly attendance of Rosalie to the Family Development Sessions (FDS).

They become more concerned with their surroundings and the environment that they created their own backyard garden and practiced proper sanitation by having sanitary toilet and managing their wastes through decomposing and recycling. They collect and sell non-biodegradable wastes such as tin cans, plastic bottles, and plastics so they can have additional money for buying their basic needs.

They separate their garbage to biodegradable and recyclable so that they can sell the recyclable materials

Applying their knowledge from the FDS, the family prepares their “Emergency Balde (e-balde)” for disaster risk reduction and response preparation.

Dahil po sa 4Ps, lagi na po kaming may baon sa school at nakakaipon po ako at nilalagay ko sa alkansya. Yung naiipon ko po ay ibinibigay ko kay Mama para pangtulong din po sa gastusin sa bahay (Because of 4Ps, we were able to have allowance for school which I was able to save and put in my piggy bank. I give my savings to Mama to help them with our daily expenses at home),” said Mark Jay, who is one of the monitored children.

According to Rosalie, the rice subsidy is also a big help to the family especially since common goods are expensive nowadays.

Ang tulong na binibigay ng gobyerno ay pinapahalagahan namin kaya naman kami rin sa aming pamilya ay tumutulong din sa iba pa nating mga kababayan para kahit papaano ay mag-share ng aming biyayang natatanggap sa kanila, (We appreciate that our government helps us that’s why we also help other people in order to share the blessing we receive to them),” said Rolando.

And while the Manuel family receives more blessings with the help of the program, it allows them to share more blessings to other people as well.

 

Helper of the People

According to Rolando, his roots have been living in Sitio Cuartero since he was born. His father owns a land where he let the Mangyans work in exchange for a sack of rice. When he was a child, he got to play with the children of the Mangyans who work in their farm. This is when their family started to create a strong bond with the Mangyans in their community.

Mga kalaro ko lang sila dati at minsan itinuturing na rin namin silang kapamilya. Hindi kami yung ibang mga Tagalog na parang iwas sa kanila, (They were my playmates and sometimes, we consider them as our own family. We are unlike other Tagalogs who avoid them),” said Rolando.

Growing up with the Mangyans helps Rolando realize that these people are not to be avoided . Since the tribe depends mainly on agriculture and live mostly in the mountains, Rolando knows that it is harder for them to keep pace with development especially that they lack knowledge since education is inaccessible to them.

When Rolando, created a family of his own, he made sure that they understand his passion to serve other people.

The family has established strong relationship to IPs since they conduct activities such as distribution of school supplies and food packs, etc.

Nakuha na namin sa aming mga magulang ang magmahal sa mga maliliit (katutubo) kaya hanggang sa ngayon, parang ang tingin namin sa kanila ay kaparehas din namin, (We inherited from our parents the love for the indigenous peoples that’s why, until now we see them as equals),” said Dorothy.

In school, his children are also kind to the IPs and they also join him in his advocacies to help the Mangyans.

“Natutuwa nga po ako sa mga batang yan kasi hindi sila ilang sa mga katutubo. Lagi sila yung kasama nila tapos kapag may nangbu-bully eh sila ang nagtatanggol (I’m glad that those children are comfortable with the indigenous peoples. They are always with them and when they are bullied, they protect them),” said Cathy Sofelo, their class adviser in Grade 6 in Casague Elementary School, where all six children of Rolando went.

As a pastor of All Mission Vision Church, a protestant sect founded by the Koreans, Rolando was able to widen his reach to the minorities through linking them to God and at the same time helping them improve their lives. As a church leader, he was able to contribute in the establishment of churches in their barangay.

In order to serve his community more, he serves as barangay official for 23 years. Meanwhile, Rosalie volunteered as a barangay health worker (BHW) for 28 years.

With his desire to help the Mangyans in their community, Rolando was able to help in the establishment of a minority school in Sitio Ke-Oring presently known as Ke-Oring Minority School. When he found out that a Korean retiree is planning to have a school building project in Sitio Pinagturilan and was not approved by the IPs in the area, he proposed for its transfer to Sitio Ke-Oring. He lobbied the proposal of the project to the barangay local government unit so they can support him. Rolando believes that education is a significant step towards empowering the IPs to improve their well-being.

Noong una, day care pa lang ang school na yun, pero ngayon ay hanggang Grade 4 na (The school started from day care but now they offer classes for Grade 4 already),” Rolando said proudly.

According to Tomas Ibuca, Alangan Mangyan from Sitio Ke Oring, “malaking tulong sa aming mga anak ang pagpapatayo ng eskwelahan doon dahil natututo na sila ngayon hindi gaya namin noon na walang alam (the establishment of the school there is a great help to our children since they are now learning unlike us who are uneducated).”

Furthermore, the family seeks help from Ministries without Borders, a non-government organization (NGO) in Abra De Ilog, Occidental Mindoro, to sponsor the school supplies of IP children in different IP communities in their area. Together, the family has been doing this activity every May or June for three years now. The school supplies include bag, notebooks, ballpen, pencil, and crayons.

Aside from that, the family also conducts feeding program and other recreational activities (i.e. youth day) to the IPs of Barangay Casague. Their children on the other hand, teach IP children to read, write, and sing praises to the Lord.

According to Dorothy, the IPs are their inspiration for striving hard amidst the difficulties in life.

But the family is not only generous to the IPs but also to other Tagalogs in their community.

Wala akong masasabing masama sa kanilang pamilya dahil wala silang bisyo, mababait, at mapagkakatiwalaan. Bukod sa pinansyal na tulong sa amin, sa kanila din namin nakilala ang Panginoon (I don’t have anything bad to say to this family since they do not have vices, and they are kind and trustworthy. Other than helping us financially, they also lead us to know God),” testified Purificacion Asuncion, their fellow church servant and neighbor in Barangay Casague.

The endeavor and perseverance shown by the family is priceless according to their neighbors in Barangay Casague. As an ordinary family who performs extraordinary things for their community, they serve as a model and inspiration to other families.

 

Secret to Happiness

For the family, being a good community member means developing oneself and at the same time helping other people with their development.

The greatest prize of their efforts is seeing the smiles of the people they help, especially the minorities.

“Minsan tinatanong namin ang sarili namin kung bakit ba namin kailangang gawin ang mga bagay na ito. Bumabalik lang kami sa aming paninindigan na kung kami, bilang mga Tagalog ay nakakaranas na makakain ng kumpleto kahit simpleng ulam, bakit sila ba walang karapatan na magkaroon din? Palagay namin, kailangan naming gumawa (We sometimes ask ourselves on why we do such things. We just go back to our standpoint that if we as Tagalogs can be able to eat a complete meal even with simple food, don’t they also have the right to have what we have? We think that we need to do something),” said Rolando.

When asked about their secret of maintaining harmonious relationship of their family, Rosalie said, “walang perpektong pamilya pero kapag nagkakaisa at nagtutulungan, mas nagiging maganda ang kanilang pagsasamahan (there’s no perfect family but if they have unity and all of them work together, their relationship becomes better)”.

The Manuel family strives hard to help not only themselves but other people in their community as well

Through conducting activities for the IPs, their bond becomes stronger than ever.

Natutunan namin mula sa aming mga magulang na kailangan tayo laging makiramdam sa kung ano man ang nararamdaman ng ibang tao. Kaya naman, mas nagbukas din sa isip namin na intindihin ang sitwasyon namin na nakatulong rin naman para makatulong kami sa ibang tao (We learned from our parents that we need to be empathic towards other people. Thus, it opened our minds to understand our situation which helped us in helping other people as well),” Jacqueline added.

The Manuel family wants to show that something can be achieved without receiving anything in exchange. Their heart burns with passion to help others as they continue to go out, take action, and accomplish more.

As Rolando said, “nagtatrabaho kami nang mabuti upang magkaroon ng sapat na pangangailangan ang aming pamilya at magkaroon din ng sobra na maibibigay namin sa ibang nangangailangan (we work hard so we can have enough for the needs of our family and to have additional blessings to share with others who need it).”

Ang pangarap namin sa aming pamilya ngayon, ay makapagtapos lang ng pag-aaral ang aking mga anak at patuloy pa nawa kaming makatulong sa ibang tao para sabay-sabay umangat ang aming pamumuhay (What we dreamed of today for our family is for our children finish their studies and for us to continue helping other people so that we can raise out of poverty together), he added. ###

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Pantawid Pamilya conducts Family Day Congress in Torrijos Marinduque

Family Day Congress in Torrijos Marinduque

Torrijos, Marinduque – More than 400 beneficiaries gathered on September 8, 2018, Saturday in Torrijos Municipal Covered Court, Torrijos, Marinduque to attend the Family Day Congress 2018 of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office MIMAROPA with the theme “Pamilyang Pilipino: Nagsusumikap, Nagtutulungan, Nagtatagumpay”. Families from the 25 barangays of Torrijos joined the event, which employed a combination of methods of fun-filled activities and plenary and individual/group discussions to infuse positive life-affirming event for the members of the family.

Mr. Primo Pamintuan, Board Member for Mayor in Torrijos, Marinduque welcomed the beneficiaries of the program to officially start the event. Through the support of the Local Government Unit of Torrijos and the Local Government Unit of Marinduque, the activity was successfully conducted.

In order to ensure a festive vibe, the event was filled with booths and stalls from the different partner agencies of the program such as the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Agriculture (DA), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and Marinduque Police Office which offer free services to the beneficiaries. Other than services from the partner agencies, the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office of Torrijos through Ms. Mary Anne Larracas, MSWDO, set up a Kiddie Corner to offer children toys and free ice cream during the conduct of event. The Pantawid staff, on the other hand, set up a Games Corner which let children and adult play different games such as pabitinpalayok, and other simple ball games. A photo booth was also set up to help the families commemorate the event.

One group sharing their output during the the first part of the discussion

The event was divided into discussion part in the morning and the family day fair in the afternoon.

Pastor Francisco De Jesus of the Norwegian Mission Alliance, one of the CSO partners of the program led the discussion proper on topics: 1)”Ano ang Masayang Pamilya”; and 2.) “Paano masosolusyunan ang di Pagkakaunawaan sa Pamilya”. On the first discussion, all families were grouped into 20 groups and were tasked to illustrate what defines a happy family. Meanwhile, on the second discussion, the parents, teens, and children were separated to discuss the second topic using film showing for the children, role playing for the teens, and plenary discussion for the parents.

On the afternoon, the Family Day Fair commenced to conduct the three major contests of the event such as the Gulayan Cooking Contest, Collage-Making Contest, and the Recycled Art Contest. The Gulayan Cooking Contest were participated by five (5) families. Since the program is strengthening backyard garden of its beneficiaries, all vegetables used in the contest were picked from the backyard garden of the family or their communal garden. The challenge was to prepare a nutritious meal with vegetables as their main ingredient. For the Collage-Making Contest, the eight (8) families who participated created a collage about the theme of the event. Meanwhile, the ten (10) families who participated on the Recycled Art Contest used 80% recyclable or trash materials which they collected to create a material which can be used at home.

Simultaneously, while the three contests were being conducted, other families played Filipino games such as putukan na, rice planting, spoon feeding, egg relay, balloon relay, race around chairs,  calamansi relay, and balloon relay. All booths were open on the afternoon hence, those families who did not join the games can visit them.

Cooperation of the family members during the Gulayan Cooking Contest

According to DSWD MIMAROPA Regional Director, “mahalagang magkaroon ng isang pagdiriwang ang pamilya tulad nitong Family Day Congress upang mapagtibay natin ang kanilang komunikasyon at suporta sa bawat isa, maging responsableng miyembro ng pamilya, at mapagtanto ang kahalagahan ng isang pamilya (it is important to conduct activities such as the Family Day Congress to strengthen communication and support of the family members to each other, to become a responsible member, and to understand the importance of a family).”

Ating hinihikayat ang bawat pamilya na magkaroon ng bukas na komunikasyon sa kanilang tahananan at magsagawa ng iba pang gawain na makatutulong upang mas mapagtibay ang kanilang samahan (we encourage all families to have open communication in their houses and to conduct other activities which can help them strengthen their relationship),” she added. ###

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Pantawid Pamilya visits Tau’t Bato Tribe in Palawan

IP beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries from Sitio Signapan attends FDS

On May 21-25, 2018, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program visited the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) of Brgy. Ransang, Rizal, Palawan.

Before going to Sitio Signapan to meet with the Tau’t Bato tribe beneficiaries, the team stayed for a night in Sitio Ogis where they met Panlima Eldino Goling, one of the tribal leaders in the community. Panlima Eldino, a program beneficiary under RCCT, shared that he was originally from the Tau’t Bato tribe who decided to reside at the foothill of the mountain. According to him, it was hard for the tribe to access health care and education because of their distance hence he decided to build a permanent home in Sitio Ogis with his family.

Pantawid Pamilya with IP beneficiary before going to Sitio Signapan

Since malaria cases are rampant in their area, two of Panlima Eldino’s children became volunteer health workers who conduct Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) through the Kilusan Ligtas Malaria (KLM) program. Panlima Eldino also sought assistance to KLM to help him build health center and daycare center in his own land. Already on process, Panlima Eldino initiated the construction of the centers to cater to the IPs in Sitio Ogis and to their neighboring sitios. He also started building kubol-kubol or small houses where students or families can live once the centers were built.

From Sitio Ogis, it took the team a 5-hour trek to reach Sitio Signapan. From there, they met 17 members of the Tau’t Bato tribe, who took part in the focus group discussion (FGD) led by the IP focal, Ms. Karen Uson. Since the payout was scheduled a day after the visit of the team, only few beneficiaries attended as some of them already went down from the mountains to be early for tomorrow’s payout. In the discussion conducted, it was learned that most children-grantees in the sitio attend non-formal schools and daycare centers.

Due to the distance of elementary schools in their sitio, most children, whose age grade should be in the elementary level, are likely to attend daycare centers and non-formal education. According to the parents, it is hard for them to let their children study in the lowland since they cannot monitor what they are doing and they fear that something might happen to them. Adding to that is the fact that most of their children help them in farming or kaingin. They suggested to build an elementary school situated in their sitio to make it easier for the students to go to school. Jonathan Diklay, MCCT- Social Welfare Assistant, who is also a member of the tribe, shared that they already started lobbying to the authorities to build a school in their community but the documents submitted were declined to be signed by the barangay officials due to unknown reason. It was agreed upon during the visit that the construction of school in Sitio Signapan will continue its petition with the help of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Pantawid Pamilya.

Most people of the tribe believe that education is important so that their children can learn how to read, write, and count. They believe that through education no one can take advantage of them. However, they do not consider education as a way to escape poverty or their difficult situation because of their culture. Since they are used to farming and living in the mountains, they still fear that if their children reach a higher level of learning, they will change behaviors and will not go back to their tribe again. This also affects parents’ action towards sending their children to school outside their community. ###

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Building Hope One Library at a Time

Paluan, Oriental Mindoro – Located in the northern part of the Mindoro region, this municipality is home to over 3,500 people of diverse ethnoliguistic tribes dominantly of Hanonoo Mangyan origin.

Despite its peaceful terrain, the municipality experienced gun violence in this once peaceful town due to political turmoil.

However, efforts poured in the recent years by the government and civic organizations contributed much to its gradual decline in the recent years.

With a violent past shadowing this fifth class municipality, people here are slowly turning their focus on education with high hopes on the younger generation to shed brighter light and eventually lift them from poverty.

“The children of Paluan have all the equal potentials of becoming great leaders and excellent professionals,” Rolando Blanes said. A native son of Paluan, he chose to serve his own people at his residence in barangay Toon as a teacher for over two decades before promoted to principal in adjacent barangay Harrison in 2011.

 

Library of hope

Having spent nearly half of his life in Paluan public schools, Blanes was a witness to the plight of children especially in the town’s outskirts.

Harrison Elementary School where he is head, is the second largest school in Paluan with close to 200 students. It caters to children not only from Harrison but from the neighboring barangays of Poblacion and sitio Tumawan as well.

Despite having more than half of its students as recipients of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Harrision Elementary School has turned into one of Paluan’s top performing schools- even representing the province in many competitions.

It has, however, one problem – children in the said school never saw a library.

“We know what a library is but we never get to experience having one,” Grade 5 student Jeremiah Bulda said in vernacular.

The establishment of a two-unit building intended for a library and a clinic was almost close to realization last 2013.

Under the Kapit-bisig Laban sa  Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), Paluan was granted  a total of over P2 million to implement infrastructure projects from 2015 to this year.

 

However, the building proposal did not reach the priority cut-off point and was shelved.

The Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the poverty alleviation programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) which anchors on community empowerment and grassroots approach in implementing its projects.

“We were a little saddened because the community was pushing for it,” Blanes said. In a series of consultation, the community even agreed on the site and vowed to help in its construction, he added.

However, Paluan was able to receive a blessing early this year as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) will be funding proposals to build educational institutions.

Two projects in Paluan were given grants: one is the two-unit building in Harrision Elementary School and a Day Care Center in Brgy. Toon.

“With the library, we can truly open more doors of learning through books and equip our children the knowledge they can use in the future. After all, our hopes of a better Paluan lies in our children,” Grade 4 teacher Archie Pre stated.

Once fully furnished, the clinic and library will be open not only to Harrison Elementary School students but to nearby schools and the community as well, according to Blanes.

 

Basic necessity

In nearby Brgy.Toon, similar feelings of euphoria swept a small community on learning they will no longer use a dilapidated stage as a classroom soon. They, too, have proposed this project under the Millennium Challenge Coorporation funding of  Kalahi-CIDSS but did not also make the cut.

Day Care teacher Leonora Anting, 26, described it as a “very big blessing” to the community she has served for quite a few years.

Like Blanes, Anting opted to serve her own community despite a meagre salary of P3,000 a month. She sewed basic education in Toon as a kindergarten teacher for three years before becoming a day care teacher, now on her second year.

Typically, a Day Care classroom consists of a lot of visual materials posted across the four walls such as color charts, animated alphabets and animals, or attendance charts. But this is not the picture in this barangay.

Anting said classes were once held in a condemned building before it was moved in a narrow classroom shared with the kindergarten. This year, they transferred to the small stage of Toon Elementary School with only a roof and a wall on one side of the building separating the users from the elements, but it is the only space available.

Without the 2-by-3 foot plain chalk board, it looked like a scene from a children’s mini play tea party.

Carmencita de Lara, 64, knew very well the hardship of getting basic education here.

“Classes are cancelled even if it only drizzles a little because the wind sprays rain on the children,” de Lara lamented.

On school days, she checks on the weather before accompanying her granddaughter Kristel, 4, walking 500 meters to school as she has done for the past six years. Kristel is her sixth grandchild to escort going to the very same Day Care institution.

De Lara said she made it a commitment to see her grandchildren attend and finish school.

“Right now, it is a basic necessity. If they will do well in school, they have better chances of staying out of poverty like where we are,” she said.

Anting said the construction of the Day Care Centre would not only provide a conducive environment for learning but will entice more children to enroll. As of this writing, Toon Day Care Centre has 23 enrollees.

The two projects in Paluan were selected based on the local government unit’s willingness to provide a financial counterpart. These will be implemented using the process of the Kalahi-CIDSS Project whereas the local government unit and the community members will provide their counterpart through finance or labor. The community members will also lead in its implementation including the preparation of program of works, procurement of materials, disbursement of funds, monitoring and evaluation, among others.

The DFAT has allotted P1.088 million for the two-unit clinic and library building in Harrision and over P586,000 for Toon.

Like Anting, Blanes banks his hopes on the younger generation to get the most of education as he says could be people’s key to unshackle themselves from ignorance and poverty.

“As they say knowledge is power and one thing is for sure, knowledge from education can never be stolen,” Blanes said with a smile.

 

###

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