Archive | DSWD MiMaRoPa

MIMAROPA Youth Center: A better temporary shelter for CICL

In pursuit of its mandate to deliver efficient programs and services to the vulnerable sectors that it serves, including children in conflict with the law (CICL), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office (FO) MIMAROPA has improved the MIMAROPA Youth Center (MYC).

From a one building-facility built in 2009, the MYC of the DSWD FO IVB now has an Administration Building, two separate dormitories, two stockrooms, a centralized kitchen, and a multi-purpose hall.

According to Bartolome Castillo, a house parent who has been working in MYC since it started its operation, the new improvements to the center is a welcome sight not just to the current clients but also to the staff and visitors.

Malaking tulong na may sarili nang lugar ang mga bata at hindi na nakahalo sa mga staff. May privacy ang mga bata, at makakapag-focus na rin ang mga staff sa trabaho nila,” (It is a huge advantage that the children now have a place of their own and are not sharing a single space with the staff. The children may enjoy their privacy, and the staff can now focus on their tasks), he said.

The renovation of MYC was realized through the Centers and Residential Care Facilities (CRCF) project of the Department. Through the project, Field Office MIMAROPA was given a total of P15.7 million allotment with P9.7 million for the construction and repair of infrastructure sub-projects; P3.8 million for non-infrastructure provisions such as machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures, semi-expendables and other supplies and materials; and P2.1 million for salaries of additional staff and other project costs.

The blessing and Inauguration of the new facilities of the MIMAROPA Youth Center was held last July 2019.

Located in Bansud, Oriental Mindoro, MYC provides protection and rehabilitation services to CICL to prepare them for their reintegration to their families and communities. The center currently houses 27 CICL who are provided with social, homelife, educational, health promotion, spiritual, practice skills enhancement, sociocultural, and legal services.

Likewise, the center has 19 staff complement composed of social welfare assistants and officers, engineer, house parents, psychometrician, and administrative assistants who ensure the efficient and effective delivery of services to its clients.###

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San Jose, Occidental Mindoro wins big in the Regional SFP Awarding Ceremony

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) MIMAROPA awards the Municipality of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro as the Best Local Government Unit (LGU) Implementer of Supplementary Feeding Program’s (SFP) 8th Cycle this year.

“Patuloy po sana tayong magkapit kamay para i-promote ang children’s right to good health and proper nutrition,” [May we continue to work hand-in-hand to promote children’s right to good health and proper nutrition] said Alicia M. Cajayon, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer of San Jose.

Moreover, Municipality of San Teodoro, Oriental Mindoro and Municipality of Sofronio Española, Palawan clinched 2nd and 3rd Best LGU Implementer award respectively.

The region also recognized Concepcion Norte CDC of Sta. Maria, Romblon as the Regional Outstanding Child Development Center, while Hacienda SNP of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro as the Regional Outstanding Supervised Neighborhood Play. Likewise, Blesilda A. Magsino of Abre de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro was awarded as the Most Outstanding Child Development Worker in the Region.

This year’s 2019 Stakeholders’ Conference and Awarding Ceremony of the Region’s Supplementary Feeding Program aims to recognize the efforts of the local government units and other stakeholders in the implementation of SFP in all the provinces of the Region.

Among the participants are Child Development Workers, Child Development Service Coordinators, Municipal Accountants, Nutrition Action Officer, Municipal and Provincial Social Development Officers, Regional Staff, Chief Local Executives, and partner agencies such as National Nutrition Council and Kabisig ng Kalahi.

Supplementary Feeding Program is the provision of food in addition to the regular meals to children currently enrolled in the Child Development Workers as part of the DSWD’s contribution to the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) program of the government. For the 8th cycle, the region serves 78,479 children under the feeding program.

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Mangyan-Hanonoo community of Magsaysay, Occidental Mindoro benefits from cemented foot trail through DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS

ACCESS TO DEVELOPMENT. Residents of Sitio Bambayan use the 1kilometer foot trail completed through DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS.

A total of 58 households from the Mangyan-Hanonoo tribe of Sitio Bambanay, Purnaga, Occidental Mindoro is now benefitting from the completion of a one-kilometer foot trail with six footbridges sub-project of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) program of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

 

The foot trail, which eases the access to and from the indigenous people community, was officially handed over to the barangay local government unit of Purnaga in an Inauguration and Turn-Over ceremony held at the Barangay Covered Court September 23, Monday.

“Nung wala pa pong foot trail, ang mga guro namin ay hirap sa pag-akyat papunta sa amin. Sa mga pasyente rin po namin. Kapag halimbawa po, emergency, nahihirapan po kami kasi ang ginagawa po namin ay sinasakay sa duyan para maibaba ang pasyente,” said Maricel Fugoso, Kalahi-CIDSS volunteer and part of the Mangyan-Hanonoo tribe.

The one-kilometer foot trail was the community’s identified solution to their mobility and accessibility problem heightened during times of disasters and health emergencies. The entrance to Sitio Bambanay is separated from its neighboring sitio, Sitio Nawak, by about 2.7km mountainous terrain.

Community volunteers, members of Mangyan-Hanonoo tribe, and staff from DSWD and Magsaysay Municipal Social Work and Development Office gather for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the 1 kilometer foot trail subproject of DSWD-Kalahi- CIDSS.

Magsaysay Vice-Mayor Edgardo Eliscupidez Sr. graced the event in behalf of Mayor Cesar M. Tria, Jr. DSWD- MIMAROPA OIC-Regional Director Floreceli Gunio, meanwhile, expressed her gratitude to the community and the local government units, from provincial to barangay level, for their commitment to the successful implementation of the program.

She likewise encouraged the community to ensure sustainability of the newly turned-over foot trail and to always remember the lessons they’ve learned as volunteers.

“Huwag na huwag po kayong papayag na basta-basta masira ito. Lahat po tayo ay may naiambag dito – oras at kakayahan. Ang proseso na natutunan ay gamitin natin. Ito ang progreso na nagmumula sa tao. Ang pagtukoy ng kanilang pangangailangan at pagtukoy ng tugon ay nagmumula sa tao,” Gunio said.

Kalahi-CIDSS is the largest program in the Philippines which uses Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach in its implementation. CDD ensures that the community members are in the forefront of development process by involving them in planning, identification, implementation, monitoring, and management of the development interventions brought to poor communities. ###

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DSWD MIMAROPA ipinagdiwang ang tagumpay ng benepisyaryo ng Pantawid

“Kampay para Sa Tagumpay” – nagsagawa ng isang kampay ang mga dumalo sa aktibidad ng Pantawid Pamilya upang ipagdiwang ang tagumpay ng mga benepisyaryo na naka-“graduate” na sa programa

Puerto Princesa City  – Isinagawa ng Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office MIMAROPA sa pangunguna ng Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program ang “Kampay para sa Tagumpay: Pagkilala sa mga Kwento ng Pagtawid” noong Hulyo 26, 2019 sa Palawan Uno Hotel, Puerto Princesa City upang ipagdiwang ang pag-“graduate” o pag-“exit” sa programa ng mga benepisyaryo nito dahil sa unti-unting pagtaas ng antas ng kanilang pamumuhay.

Layunin ng aktibidad na bigyan ng pagkilala ang tagumpay ng mga benepisyaryo nito at maipahayag ang mga kwento ng kanilang pagtawid sa kahirapan.

“Simula 2011, 1,436 na pamilya na ang naka-“graduate” sa programa hanggang sa kasalukuyang taon. Ang mga pamilyang ito ay may mga nakapagtapos na mga anak, nagkaroon na ng magagandang hanap-buhay, at nagkaroon ng regular na pinagkikitaan habang sila ay nasa loob ng programa. Ang mga Municipal o City Links ang siyang tumutukoy sa pamamagitan ng isang assessment kung ang mga pamilyang ito ay maari nang umalis sa programa. Ang iba naman na mga benepisyaryo ay boluntaryong nagpapatanggal sa programa dahil para sa kanila, kaya na nilang tumayo sa kanilang sariling mga paa dahil ang programa ay nagging malaki na ang tulong sa kanila,” ayon kay OIC Regional Director Floreceli G. Gunio.

Mayroong 30 na pamilya ang dumalo sa nasabing pagdiriwang mula sa Puerto Princesa, Narra, Roxas, at Quezon na nagrerepresenta sa mga benepisyaryo sa buong rehiyon ng MIMAROPA na naka-“graduate” na sa programa.

Nagbigay ng mensahe at testimonya sina Margelyn Mandapat mula sa Quezon, Eva Acierto mula sa Roxas, Joesyl Mantal, mula sa Narra, at Daisy Franco mula sa Puerto Princesa City upang ipahayag ang pagbabago sa kanilang buhay matapos maging benepisyaryo ng Pantawid Pamilya.

Ayon kay Margelyn, nabago ng programa ang kanilang buhay maging ang kaniyang sarili sa loob ng pitong taon niya bilang benepisyaryo ng programa.

“Karamihan sa mga kasamahan ko sa cluster ay katutubong Palaw’an na talagang kapos sa buhay at kulang sa sapat na edukasyon. Dahil sa programang Pantawid, pinahalagahan nila ang edukasyon at programang pangkalusugan ng ating gobyerno, na sa totoo lang, noong wala pa ang Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program ay ayaw nilang pagsumikapang paaralin ang kanilang mga anak at napakahirap nilang alukin ng mga programang pangkalusugan na ibinibigay ng ating pamahalaan,” pahayag ni Margelyn.

Si Margelyn ay isang katutubong Palaw’an na ngayon ay nagtatabaho na sa Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) sa Palawan.

Dinaluhan din ni Vice Governor Victorino Dennis M. Socrates ang naturang pagdiriwang kasama ang mga katuwang na ahensiya, organisasyon, at lokal na pamahalaan ng Pantawid Pamilya upang magbigay ng testimonya at mensahe sa mga benepisyaryong Pantawid.

Nagpakita din naman ng presentasyon ang Department of Agriculture (DA), Palawan State University (PSU), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Amigonian Youth Center, Inc., International Care Ministries (ICM), at Ligaya ng Buhay tungkol sa ng kanilang mga serbisyo na maaring makuha ng mga naka-“graduate” na pamilya.

Hinihikayat ni OIC RD Gunio ang lahat ng benepisyaryo ng Pantawid Pamilya huwag huminto sa pagsisikap, bagkus ay lalong palawigin ang pagbabagong puno ng pag-asa at liwanag tungo sa kanilang pag-unlad.

Ang Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program ay isang programa ng DSWD na nagbibigay ng kondisyonal na tulong-pinansiyal para sa pinakamahihirap na Pilipino upang pabutihin ang kalusugan, nutrisyon, at edukasyon ng mga batang may edad 0 hanggang 18 taong gulang. ###

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No more classes under Banaba Tree

Ma’am Evelyn Urieta-Rivera, Principal of Sta. Lucia Elementary School in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro

When Evelyn Urieta-Rivera, 57, received her new assignment as an elementary school principal three years ago, she was ecstatic. On her 33rd year of service as a public school teacher, Ma’am Evelyn would finally set foot at Sta. Lucia Elementary School, a quaint learning institution situated at the center of Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro. This small school, oozing with that childhood energy and innocence, was built atop her family’s ancestral land.

“Kasi itong land area nitong school na ito, sa family namin nanggaling as donation. Kaya sabi ko nga, sa lahat ng school, ito ang pinakamahal ko (My family donated this land for the construction of this school. So among all schools, this is the one dearest to me),” she added.

In 2016, when Ma’am Evelyn reported for her first day however, a heart-wrenching sight welcomed her. Entering the school from the main gate, she saw a Banaba tree, and under its shade sat 25 or more Grade 2 students intently listening to their teacher.

Three years have passed and the Banaba tree has gone transformations to at least give some level of comfort to its 7-year-old patrons. First, a roof was built, then wooden walls and thin cement flooring were added to give the pupils a sense of a normal classroom set-up, she said.

In 2019, the community of Brgy. Sta. Lucia finally found a solution to address their problem. This community used cooperation and volunteerism to pave the way to finally end the years of having school children learning outside the four corners of a classroom.

CLASSROOM. This makeshift classroom under a banaba tree serves as the second home of the Grade 2 students in Sta. Lucia Elementary School.

Classroom Under a Tree

With a total land area of 2,188 sq. kms, Sablayan is considered as the largest municipality in the Philippines. Located at the central part of Occidental Mindoro, it is famous for the Apo Reef Marine Natural Park, the second largest contiguous coral reef in the world next to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Sablayan may be blessed with a one-of-a-kind natural wonder, but this laidback town hasn’t been exempted to one of the most pressing problems of the Philippine education system – the shortage of decent classrooms for students.

“Andun sa puno lang [sila nagkaklase]. Kapag umuulan, kawawa talaga ang mga bata, tumutulo syempre (They were conducting classes under a tree. When it rains, the roof starts to drip.),” said Ma’am Evelyn, pointing to the make-shift classroom which houses the Grade 2 pupils prior to the completion of the new building.

There were more or less 30 students sharing in the small space under the sturdy Banaba tree, she said. Its large trunk, moreover, looked like the classroom’s centrepiece – a wooden column planted in the center of the room. The children’s future had been literally depending on its branches for many years.

Imagine being a wide-eyed 7-year-old kid staying under a tree for eight hours, five times a week, rain or shine, learning the difference between a noun and a pronoun.

“Kasi kung malalaki ung ilalagay namin doon hindi sila kasya kaya maliliit ung nilagay namin doon (We couldn’t give the makeshift classroom to older students because they wouldn’t fit.),” said Ma’am Evelyn.

These Grade 2 pupils were the perfect tenants then, small enough to fit to the small space provided, yet big enough to take care of themselves when the rain drips from the clouds to the leaves and eventually find their way on their thin cement flooring.

Building School, Building Future

TURN OVER: The newly-constructed 1 unit, 2 classroom building has been formally turned-over to Sta. Lucia Elementary School

“Sobrang thankful kami na nagkaroon ng Kalahi, sobrang tuwang-tuwa ang mga teachers eh, kanina binisita nila ‘yan, ay meron ng ceiling fan, makakalipat na kami (We are very thankful for Kalahi, the teachers are very happy. We visited the new classroom earlier, there’s a ceiling fan already, we may be able to transfer soon),” said Ma’am Evelyn, pertaining to the 1 unit, 2 classroom building sub-project of the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

To date, Kalahi-CIDSS has a total of 206 sub-projects in the province of Occidental Mindoro, 48 of which are in Sablayan. The poverty alleviation program which uses the Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach ensures that community members are in the heart of decision-making especially in identification, prioritization, establishment, and operationalization of the community sub-projects.

In July 2019, the makeshift classroom under the Banaba Tree finally ceased to shelter the Grade 2 students of Sta. Lucia Elementary School. Due to the combined efforts of the community, the school, and the barangay and the municipal local government unit, having classes under a tree is now a thing of the past.

VOLUNTEERISM. Community volunteer Juanita Jarabe proudly posed in front of the school building she helped build.

“Madami pong naitulong [ang Kalahi] at malaki talaga. Ang pangunahing pangangailangan sa community, natutugunan po talaga. Tulad nitong classroom (Kalahi has helped us a lot. With Kalahi, we were able to address our most pressing concern, thus, this classroom),” said Juanita Jarabe, a community volunteer.

Juanita, and the rest of the 16 active community volunteers of Brgy. Sta Lucia, has ensured the smooth implementation of their new classroom worth a little over PHP 1.5 million. Complete with amenities such as tables and chairs, fans, and own restroom, the classroom was constructed from the combined budget of the stakeholders.

Kalahi-CIDSS total grant was at PHP 780,000, to which the municipal LGU gave a counterpart of PHP 500,000, the barangay LGU at PHP 250,000, and even the school has set aside PHP 36,000 from their budget.

For Ma’am Evelyn, the help of the community volunteers and the LGU officials has been vital for the realization of their dream to provide the students the facilities they deserved.

“Nagpapasalamat talaga kami kina Juanita, isa rin sa nagpursige na magkaroon talaga kami nito, sa mga konsehal, sa lahat na nag-counterpart (We are extremely grateful to Juanita and to other volunteers for their efforts, to the councillors as well, to everyone who provided counterpart),” she said.

Juanita, whose youngest child is currently enrolled at Sta. Lucia Elementary School, claimed that she finds volunteer work fulfilling.

“Sabi ko nga sa mga kasama ko masaya ako at nakakatulong ako at nalalaman ko yung mga pangunahing pangagailangan ninyo para magawan ng ng paraan para makahingi ng mga pondo katulad nyang school building (I told my co-volunteers that I am happy for extending a helping hand. At least we’ve identified the major concern and we were able to address it, asking for funds, if needed),” she said.

More than the infrastructure, the lessons imparted by the program has made the community volunteers more devoted to volunteering.

“’Yung mga katulad namin na ordinaryong mamamayan lang ay na-empower po, natuto kaming ipaglaban kung ano talaga ang aming mga karapatan dito sa community (Ordinary citizens, like me, were empowered. We’ve learned to fight for our rights),” Juanita added.

The product of the community’s collective effort is a safer, more conducive for learning classroom for the students – something that Ma’am Evelyn would be thankful for forever.

“Sabi ko nga ma-itransfer man ako bilang principal…masaya na ako kasi makikita ko ang mga bata na maayos ang kalagayan (If ever they have me transferred to other schools, I would still be happy knowing that I would be leaving the kids in a better condition),” Ma’am Evelyn added. ###

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DSWD MIMAROPA names Romero family as Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya 2019

The Romero Family of San Agustin, Romblon is Pantawid Pamilya MIMAROPA’s Huwarang Pamillya 2019

Malate, Manila – On June 4, 2019, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office MIMAROPA announced the Romero Family of Brgy. Bachawan, San Agustin, Romblon as this year’s Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya 2019.The Search which commenced on 2012, was conducted yearly to showcase the improvement in the lives of the family beneficiaries as the fruits of their own hard work and inspire the whole country despite the challenges they experience brought about by poverty.

The Romero Family is an active beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program since 2010. Tess, the mother, is a sales lady, while Felix, the father, is a farmer and is serving as a barangay kagawad. The couple has seven children namely: John Paul, Dannica Joy, John Vincent, April Joy, Felix III, Princess Ella May, and John Angelo.

Tess and Felix’s income cannot always provide the needs of their children especially in school.  Hence, they raise their children to be contented on what they have and to be more understanding of their situation. As the children experience the hardships in life due to poverty, they become more determined to work hard to improve the life of their family. All of their children excels in school and they are also active in different school and community activities.

“Nagsisikap po kami talagang magkakapatid kasi gusto namin na masukllian ang pagod nila Mama at Papa at sila naman ay mabigyan ng kaginhawaan,” said April Joy, the 4th child.

Dannica Joy, the second child, has graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology in 2018. When she and her eldest brother, John Paul, were both in college, John Paul has to stop going to school to work as a security guard in Manila to help in financing the needs of their siblings. But as soon as Dannica Joy graduated, Felix encouraged John Paul to continue studying so he can fulfill his dream of graduating in college.

The family has also been inspiring their community not only because of their strong family relationship but also because of their compassion to others. Through the leadership and initiative of Felix, a foot bridge was built to cross the river dividing Sitio Iso and Sitio Agnaga.

“Dati rati po kasi tumatawid sila ng sapa habang pasan pasan ang kanilang mga kopra tapos ang mga estudyante malayo naman ang nilalakad para hindi mabasa ng tubig,” narrated Felix. Because of this, he encouraged the community members in both sitios to join together to create a foot bridge. Felix’s family provided foods for the volunteers until the construction of the bridge has finished.

Ultimately, the Romero Family maintain a God-centered life, demonstrated positive Filipino values, and created an impact to their community. With their acts of kindness, respect, humility, and love, the family has been recognized as a huwarang pamilya.

Aside from the Romero family, four families from other provinces of the region has also been recognized. The Orense Family of Bansud, Oriental Mindoro has been awarded the 2nd place, while the Sucidor Family of Magsaysay, Occidental Mindoro got the 3rd place. The Cayapas Family of Roxas, Palawan and the Acuzar of Gasan, Marinduque got the 4th and 5th place, respectively.

On September 29, 2019, the Romero Family will represent the MIMAROPA Region in the National Family Day Congress to be conducted in Metro Manila. They will also be invited to be awarded during the DSWD MIMAROPA’s Regional Search for Exemplary Children 2019 on October 11, 2019 also in Metro Manila.

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DSWD MIMAROPA launches Bata Balik Eskwela Campaign

Pantawid Pamilya launches its Bata Balik Ekwela Campaign to the different provinces of MIMAROPA Region to encourage students who are not attending school to continue studying

Malate, Manila – The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office MIMAROPA through Pantawid Pamilyang Pamilya Program launched the Bata Balik Eskwela Campaign on May 20, 2019 as part of its efforts to encourage children beneficiaries to enroll in school and maintain their attendance in class. With tagline, “Edukasyon ay Mahalaga, Ito ay ating Ipaalala”, the campaign will continue until the end of enrollment which is set on August.

In order to sustain the compliance of the beneficiaries to the program’s conditionalities especially in education, the Pantawid Pamilya rolled out the Bata Balik Eskwela Campaign or BBE which is targeted mainly for Pantawid children who are not currently enrolled and not attending.

The campaign was launched to encourage Pantawid children who are not attending school to continue studying so that they will fully utilize the program’s benefits,” said DSWD MIMAROPA OIC Regional Director Floreceli G. Gunio.

The different Municipal Operations Offices (MOOs) of Pantawid Pamilya set up information booth during Brigada Eskwela as part of the campaign to provide consultation to parents and children who are not attending school (Photo from Buenavista, Marinduque)

The Pantawid Pamilya provides conditional cash grants to the poor Filipino families, investing on health and education of the children. It provides P300.00 for every family who are compliant to its health conditionalities while another P300.00 for every monitored child who maintains 85% of their attendance in pre-school and elementary while P500.00 for those who are studying in high school. Only three children of the household-beneficiary can be monitored.

“Through the campaign, different reasons for not attending school were identified such as early pregnancy/fatherhood, bullying, gender-based violence, loss of interest, and working among others. These serve as guide to manage the cases of the children and provide them proper interventions,” explained Gunio.

Before the launch of the campaign, the Regional Office of Pantawid Pamillya convened all social workers of the DSWD Field Office MIMAROPA to create an action plan based on the different reasons for not attending school. These strategies have helped the field staff of the Provincial Operations Offices (POOs) in the execution of the campaign which include setting up of information desk during Brigada Eskwela; conducting focus group discussions to both parents and children; and tapping Alternative Learning System (ALS) coordinators to provide orientation about other modes of education offered by the Department of Education (DepEd) which they may also attend in lieu of the formal regular classes if they were not able to finish elementary or high school or have not attended school at all. In Oriental Mindoro, Pantawid Pamilya field staff conducted a stage play in every municipality. The stage play commenced on May 22, 2019 in Roxas, Oriental Mindoro and will continue until June 28, 2019. The play demonstrates stories of the beneficiaries and their struggles in life especially in gaining access to education. Through the stage play, the field implementer aim to exhibit the different means which beneficiaries may adopt in order to respond with their problems to allow them to continue studying.

Moreover, the program coordinates with the schools and Barangay Local Government Units (BLGUs) to discuss the involvement of the school’s Child Protection Policies and the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children in the implementation of the campaign. Starting June until August, the field staff will conduct case management, group work, and monitoring for those students who did not enroll for School Year 2019 to 2020.

“It is hoped that through these efforts, the importance of education in providing a better future will be instilled in the minds of the children beneficiaries,” Gunio said.

As of March 2019, there are 14,872 identified children beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya in MIMAROPA Region who are not attending school.  ###

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A Teacher’s Quest in Ensuring Education for the Disadvantaged

Geralyn Fajilan of Mabini National High School has been awarded as the Best Pantawid Focal 2019 on Education for her efforts beyond service to the children beneficiaries of the program

“Galing ako sa mahirap na pamilya kaya nararamdaman ko rin ang hirap na pinagdadaanan ng mga estudyante namin dito (I also came from a poor family that’s why I know the difficulties that our students are going through),” said teary-eyed Geralyn Fajilan, the Pantawid Pamilya focal for education in Corcuera, Romblon when asked about what keeps her motivated in encouraging children from poor families to pursue their studies.

For four years of being a Pantawid focal, Geralyn has been providing services to the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beyond her duty of monitoring the compliance verification of the program’s monitored children in Mabini National Highschool in Brgy. Mabini, Corcuera, Romblon.  Since she came from a poor family who depends on farming to finance their needs, she understands the challenges that the students have to face especially in financing their education. Therefore, she was glad when she was assigned as the Pantawid focal since she will be able to take part in the program’s advocacy in keeping children in school through provision of financial assistance.

“Napakalaking responsibilidad para sa akin ang maging isang focal ng programa dahil kinakailangan kong siguruhin na maayos na natatanggap ng mga batang ito ang tulong mula sa programa sa pamamagitan ng pagmomonitor ko ng attendance nila sa kanilang mga klase, (Being a focal of the program is a big responsibility for me because I need to ensure that the children will properly receive the aide from the program through monitoring their attendance to their classes),” Geralyn said. “Kaya naman hindi ko lamang silang gustong tulungan na makatanggap ng kumpletong cash grant kundi gusto ko rin silang tulungang mapabuti ang kanilang pag-aaral sa pamamagitan ng pagtuturo ko at ibang mga proyekto ko para sa kanila (That’s why I want to help them not only to receive their complete cash grants but also help them with their studies through my teachings and the different projects I develop for them)”, she added.

Through Geralyn, the 4Ps club in Mabini National High School was established and Pantawid student beneficiaries were prioritized in receiving other services that their school offers. Aside from mobilizing the student beneficiaries in participating actively in school and community activities, the club was also created to better monitor the compliance of the students to the program conditionalities.

 

Beyond Duty

In 2016, Geralyn was assigned by their school Principal, Ronald Famodulan as the Pantawid focal. “Nakitaan ko siya ng malasakit sa pagtugon sa pangangailangan ng mga estudyante dahil sa pangunguna niya sa aming proyektong, ‘Adopt-A-Child Program’ kaya siya ang napili kong coordinator (I saw how she cares for our students in attending to their needs due to her management in our project, ‘Adopt-A-Child Program that’s why I assigned her to become the coordinator),” Mr. Famodulan said.  As the coordinator of the said project, which was the initiative of the former principal of the school, she encourages the alumni of the school to become sponsors of children, whose grades are not lower than 85%, to help them with their financial needs. As much as she wants to help more students, there are only limited slots since there are limited numbers of sponsors hence, the students undergo screening to identify the deserving students. Currently, 24 out of 46 grantees of the project are Pantawid beneficiaries.

Geralyn believes that part of her responsibility as a focal is to ensure the welfare of the students through helping them appreciate the importance of education in attaining a better future.  Because of this, she is determined to exert efforts to help these children in uplifting their lives as well as their families.

Mahalaga na malaman ng mga bata ang kahalagahan ng edukasyon kaya kailangang bigyan sila ng motibasyon para ipagpatuloy ang pag-aaral at magtiwala rin sa kanilang sarili, (It is important for the children to understand the importance of education that’s why we need to motivate them to continue their studies and to become confident with themselves),” Geralyn said. This has inspired her to establish the 4Ps Club in 2018 to organize the 412 student beneficiaries of their school in strengthening the advocacy of the program. Through this club, Geralyn aims to strengthen the sense of responsibility and leadership of the students as well as boost their confidence of being a Pantawid beneficiary.

Geralyn organized the student beneficiaries of Pantawid to create the 4Ps club in 2018

Sa pamamagitan po ng 4Ps club, mas naging proud na po kaming mga estudyante na maging benepisyaryo ng 4Ps dati po kasi ay may mga nahihiya ‘pag sinasabing sila ay 4Ps (Through 4Ps club, we became more proud to be a beneficiary of 4Ps since before, there were students who were intimidated to tell others that they are beneficiaries of the program),” said Trisha Fampo, the president of the club.

The students nominated their officers and each grade level have their own representatives to make it easier for them to gather the members and keep them updated of the activities and the program’s advocacies. The club conducted a community clean-up drive and created an herbal nursery in school, which were all coordinated and organized by the officers of the club.

“Kami po ang nakikipag-usap sa Department of Agriculture para sa mga seeds o kaya sa barangay para sa iba pa naming mga kailangan (We coordinate with the Department of Agriculture for the seeds or with the barangay for the other things that we need),” Trisha said. According to her, the club has inspired them not only to become better students but also become better members of the community.

For Geralyn, the club has also become a great help for her as Pantawid focal since she is able to better monitor the compliance of the student beneficiaries as well as somewhat solve issues on non-compliance. “Mayroon silang peer counselling sa kanilang mga kaklase na hindi pumapasok o kaya naman ay palaging nagcucutting (They conduct peer counselling with their fellow classmates who have issues on absenteeism or on cutting classes),” said Geralyn. It has allowed students to easily seek help to their fellow classmates or beneficiaries and provide listening and support for those problematic students.

“Kapag may mga kapwa benepisyaryo po kami na nahihirapan na at hindi na po namin makausap, nirerefer na po namin ito kay Ma’am (When there are fellow beneficiaries who are having difficulties which we cannot handle, we refer it to our teacher),” said Trisha. She added that the officers of the club also coordinate with the Pantawid municipal staff in conducting counselling to the non-compliant beneficiaries.

The club has gained support of the school since it has also helped them in decreasing the numbers of students who are dropping out. “Dahil majority ng aming eskwelahan ay 4Ps beneficiaries, sa tulong ng mga pagmomonitor sa mga bata, bumababa ang kaso ng drop out sa amin (Since majority of our students are beneficiaries of 4Ps, the monitoring conducted has helped in the decrease of students who are dropping out of our school),” said Mr. Famodulan.

After a year of its establishment, the Municipal staff of Pantawid in Corcuera was inspired to introduce to other schools in their municipality the organization of a 4Ps club  for the next academic year through their meeting this May. On March 2019, Mabini National High School recorded a 96.60% compliance rate where 14 students were non-compliant.

 

Becoming an Inspiration

“Si Ma’am Geralyn ang nagbigay sa akin ng lakas na loob na kayanin ang isang pagiging lider sa lahat ng mga benepisyaryo ng 4Ps sa aming eskwelahan (It was Ma’am Geralyn who has given me the confidence to become a leader of all 4Ps beneficiaries in our school),” said Trisha. Trisha was able to develop her leadership because of being the president of the club since it was Teacher Geralyn who believed in her.

According to Mr. Famodulan, one of the greatest characteristics of Geralyn is her ability to inspire students to reach greater heights of performance and success. In fact, as the Grade 10 adviser, she has been able to motivate all of her students to graduate with honors for two consecutive years already.

Teacher Geralyn ensures that her students are inspired and motivated to finish their studies to achieve their dreams in life

Geralyn was motivated to extend efforts to the beneficiaries of the program because she understood the objectives of the program in educating the children. With her strong dedication and passion to help them, she is driven to continue helping the program towards attaining its objectives.

For Geralyn, it is not important to be recognized and appreciated as long as she does things which can benefit other people.

Through being a Pantawid focal, Geralyn said that she was able to be given a chance to use and develop her skills as a teacher to open the eyes of the children in understanding the importance of education in improving their lives, their families, and their community. With this, Geralyn assured that she will continue in becoming an inspiration to the students and in helping them achieve their dreams. ###

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