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DSWD IV-MiMaRoPa seeks deeper engagement with CSOs

Puerto Princesa City – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region IV-MiMaRoPa conducted an orientation-caravan with various Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan last July 16, 2013. With the aim to provide awareness and information among the CSOs as well as the general public on the different programs and services of the Department, the program kicked off with the opening of the photo exhibit at the Robinsons Place Palawan. The photo exhibit showcased pictures of the DSWD’s achievements in providing social welfare and development services to the poor. It highlighted how the Department caters to the upliftment of the lives of its clients and how CSOs can be part of these activities. Regional Director (RD) Wilma D. Naviamos led the ribbon cutting of the gallery with Assistant Regional Director (ARD) Annie E. Mendoza and National Program Management Office Focal Person on CSOs Roy Calfoforo of DSWD-Central Office. In her welcome remarks, RD Naviamos said that the Department is now forging a constructive engagement with the CSOs where they also become part of implementation of the programs and services given to the people. She added, “Ito ay isang gawain ng patuloy na pakiklahok, patuloy na pakikipag-usap, patuloy na pagsusuri at tunay na pakikilahok sa pamamahala ng ating pamahalaan.” It is not just a mere celebration but the start of the deeper engagement of the CSOs with the Department. To deepen this engagement with CSOs, an orientation was made at the Skylight Convention Center right after the opening of photo exhibit. Here, the poverty reduction and social protection programs of the Department were further discussed by ARD Mendoza. The types of engagement (Bantay, Gabay, Tulay, Kaagapay) were also tackled in detail by Pantawid Pamilya Regional Program Coordinator Vincent Dominic G. Obcena. In Kaagapay, CSOs conduct anti-poverty activities and projects while in Gabay, technical assistance in the implementation of programs was

Regional Director Naviamos shows the achievements of the programs and services of the Department to the CSOs.

Regional Director Naviamos shows the achievements of the programs and services of the Department to the CSOs.

provided. Most of the CSOs engage in this part assist in the conduct of Family Development Sessions on Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries. In Bantay, CSOs helps eliminate corruption and provide transparency in the implementation of the programs and services. Attending barangay assemblies during the social preparation stage in Kalahi-CIDSS, CSOs observe if the members of the community are rightfully heard and not overpowered by officials in choosing a project. Lastly, in Kaagapay, CSOs provide feedback and monitoring mechanisms in the implementation of the programs and services. In the open forum, it was further explained that the CSOs are part of the external convergence strategy of the Department in reaching out to the clients and included in the dimension of the Public-Private Partnership move of the national government. Although engaging with the Department entails following a tedious process like in liquidation of funds, RD Naviamos stressed that it is important that processes be followed since they are using the public’s money. RPC Obcena also ensured that if proper requirements and documents are provided, easier and faster facilitation will be given. Also, feedback mechanism with the help of CSOs was commended especially with those issues regarding misuse of cash grants. It was discussed that such incidents must be specifically identified and report it to the Provincial Operations Office for investigation or validation.

Assistant Regional Director Annie E. Mendoza tackles the various programs and services during the orientation-caravan at Skylight Convention Center.

Assistant Regional Director Annie E. Mendoza tackles the various programs and services at Skylight Convention Center.

With a deeper understanding on how they can partake in the implementation, the Department urges the CSOs to engage in providing better services to poor people and together move forward for a better future. As mentioned by Mr. Calfoforo, “Hindi po mangyayari yung pagpalawak sa iba’t ibang programa kung wala pong partnership sa mga CSOs na talaga namang kinikilala ng ating gobyerno at ituloy-tuloy lang po natin ang mga gawaing ito.” The activity was attended by 23 CSOs implementing various social welfare and development programs and services from the municipalities and city of Palawan.

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Romblon celebrates National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week

A father walks alongside his daughter in a parade at downtown Romblon in celebration of the NDPR week.

A father walks alongside his daughter in a parade at downtown Romblon in celebration of the NDPR week.

Romblon, Romblon – Festive in pink.  Like flowers sprouting at the break of spring, Persons with Disability beneficiaries together with their relatives and representatives from various PWD sectors of Romblon, Romblon wore pink and paraded along downtown streets of their municipality in celebration of the 35th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation week, July 17, 2013.

Holding signboards high above their heads, members of the PWDs voiced out their right to mandated laws protecting their interest. Freedom from derogatory comments, neglect and any form of abuse marked placards that they brandished in the entirety of the parade.

The NDPR week was a whole day celebration conducted by the LGU, DSWD and all concerned stakeholders. Part of the itinerary was the consultation dialogue between government agencies, LGUs, concerned stakeholders and PWD beneficiaries in the implementation of RA 9442 or “Magna Carta for Persons with Disability”.

Breaking the silence

Purification Arriola, Head Protective Services Unit , DSWD IV-MIMAROPA,  actively urged households to report to their respective municipality any member who has a disability. “Yung culture of silence na meron tayong mga Pilipino ang minsan nagiging dahilan para hindi natin bigyan ng kaukulang pansin yung kapamilya natin na may kapansanan,” said Arriola.

She emphasized how most households are bounded by the fear of being subjected to ridicule had their community learned that one of their family members is a PWD. She further added that some families would rather keep their silence on the condition of their member to avoid neighborhood gossips.

In the end, Arriola assured that RA 9442 encompasses sanctions given to any person who is verbally and/or physically abusing a PWD. “Huwag po tayong matakot, may kaukulang batas at parusa sa mga taong mangugutya sa mga kababayan natin na may kapansanan,” she added.

Shared support

The consultation-dialogue intensified as one of the stakeholders brought to table the 1% share from the total municipal budget for senior citizens’ and PWDs development programs. This concern was directed to the proper division of budget. Each party do not have the same developmental programs, and the PWD sector has relatively more number of projects therefore needing a higher budget. Marc Arthur Silverio, representative of town Mayor Gerard Montojo, addressed the issue saying both parties could come into concensus. They can hold a meeting and compromise as to the division of budget.

Silverio emphasized how the 1% share had been properly utilized since its implementation in 2009. He enumerated the programs to which the share was allocated such as, educational assistance for PWDs, issuance of ID for discounts, financial, medical and burial assistance.

Game face on

The celebration was punctuated with parlor games prepared for PWD attendees. Players proved how any form of disability do not hinder ones capacity to win. Every single one of the attendees participated in egg relay, stop-dance, paper dance and trip to Jerusalem. Fancy prizes were at stake. Having participated the game, Ilyn Ismael, a handicapped, said smiling “nagsaya ako ng husto hindi ko na-feel na natalo ako”.

PWD beneficiaries enjoying the all-too-famous Trip to Jerusalem parlor game.

PWD beneficiaries enjoying the all-too-famous Trip to Jerusalem parlor game.

As if befitting to the theme “Building an Inclusive and Non-Handicapping Environment for PWDs”, Jerry Masaulong, a PWD beneficiary, sang the lyrics to the song Pusong Bato which perfectly described the feeling of PWDs towards societal discriminatory behavior. Although it spoke of love and heartbreak, the emotional equivalent of pain and embarrassment a PWD feels by each derogatory word said to any one of them is evident.

In the end, the participants were all awarded with prizes such as canned goods, school supplies and grocery items. The LGU also took the time to distribute cash grants to the beneficiaries of Special Education Program for children with autism.

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DSWD IV-MiMaRoPa Holds Provincial Consultation Dialogue for RA 9442

Stakeholders attentively listen to presenters while noting down points for discussion thereafter.

Stakeholders attentively listen to presenters while noting down points for discussion thereafter.

Puerto Princesa City, Palawan – Five government agencies gathered in response to an initiative by the Department of       Social Welfare and Development IV- MIMAROPA to conduct a consultation dialogue with the Local Government Unit and Stakeholders of Puerto Princesa City in the implementation of Republic Act No. 9442 known as “Magna Carta for Persons With Disabilities”, last July 10, 2013.

The consultation dialogue was in favor of presenting the guidelines in implementation of the RA 9442. Delegates from the DSWD, Department of Health (DOH), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) took turns in presenting laws and programs to be implemented by their respective department.

The RA 9442 which benefits the welfare of persons with disabilities was an amendment of RA 7277. The Act highlights the 20 percent discount and other special privileges provided to PWDs at drugstores and establishments such as restaurants, theatres, cinemas, amusement parks etc.

A comprehensive discussion on specified orders in accordance with RA 9442 underlined the first half of the consultation dialogue. The rest of the day was solely dedicated to an open forum participated by attendees from various associations of PWDs and other concerned stakeholders.

One section of the Act that states the reduction in tax obligations of a person taking care of a PWD was put into question by Municipality Budget Officer of Quezon, Palawan, Mr. Eddie Luneta. He proposed that the same regulation should apply for employed PWD. Luneta further implied how having to take care of a person with disability and having the disability yourself bear no difference in the degree of burden therefore concluding the specific regulation should apply to an employed PWD himself.  This concern was quickly addressed by Ms. Geneliza Gabilan, DSWD IV-MIMAROPA’s focal person for PWDs, validating the 25% tax reduction on the gross salary total of an employed PWD.

As the forum progressed, one beneficiary complained of some drugstores’ refusal to provide a 20% discount on purchase. Gabilan explained that a beneficiary should first be legitimately registered as a PWD. That means undergoing the process of acquiring an ID needed to present to any drugstores and/or establishments that a PWD has benefit from. The process includes obtaining a medical report from a government hospital to identify the kind of disability a person has. The medical report will then be used to check if the type of disability a person has, qualifies for the kind of protection RA 9442 gives.

The session concluded with a few concerns left to be confirmed. That includes the 1% of the total municipal budget that is supposedly allocated to development programs for PWDs and Senior Citizens. Also, a few clarifications are yet to be discussed in reference to the percentage of tax reduction of an employed person who has a PWD for a beneficiary.  These concerns will be looked into by the concerned government agencies and a promise of a timely response has been set.



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NHTSPR second round assessment targets half a million households in MiMaRoPa

With the successful launching and implementation of the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTSPR) Central Database in 2009, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office IV-MiMaRoPa is now preparing for its second round of regionwide household assessment this September.

Targeting 591,699 households across five island provinces in MiMaRoPa, the DSWD will be deploying field staff to conduct house-to-house interviews as part of the four-year updating of database of poor and non-poor households to establish its integrity and relevance in identifying beneficiaries for various social protection programs.

DSWD will be using a four-paged revised Household Assessment Form (HAF) which is deemed critical to identify the socio-economic status of a household. HAF contains 42 verifiable indicators such as household composition, housing structure, education of household members, material assets and access to basic services.

“We will assess all households in the community particularly those barangays located in rural areas while barangays situated in urban centers are subject for saturation or pockets of poverty depending on the  magnitude of poor households”, says Regional Field Coordinator, Ernie H. Jarabejo.

The collected data will go  through Proxy Means Test (PMT), a statistical formula that estimates the income of households based on the proxy variables in the household assessment form to identify if the household is poor or not.

Moreover, these field staff will undergo series of training to equip them for the conduct of household assessment before they will be assigned in their respective areas. Trainings are scheduled on August to October 2013.

NHTSPR is the result of the Department’s effort to respond to the need of mapping out who and where the poor are nationwide. ###

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DSWD IV-MiMaRoPa conducts orientation on Foster Care

Malate, Manila – Municipal Social Welfare Officers from the different provinces of MiMaRoPa came in to attend the orientation on Foster Care Act of 2012 held last July 17, 2013. The activity was facilitated by Social Welfare Officers Ms. Priscila Contreras and Ms. Cecil Sajonia. The aim of the activity is to enhance the skills of social workers in handling foster cases.

Assistant Regional Director for Administration Mr. Joel Mijares said that with the passage of the Republic Act 10165 or the Foster Care Act of 2012, social workers will play a big part on how the said law will be effectively implemented. Being the ones at the forefront, there is a need to know the salient features of the law so as to provide the child with his/her needs.

Ms. Sandra Plata of the Protective Services Bureau, DSWD Central Office discussed the Republic Act 10165 and its implementing Rules and Regulations. As a backgrounder, the Republic Act 10165 adheres to the policy of the State to provide every child who is neglected, abused, surrendered, under sociocultural difficulties, abused, or with special needs with an alternative family that will provide love and care as well as opportunities for growth and development. It was recently signed into law last June 11, 2012.

Nonetheless, Ms. Plata also shared with the participants some known personalities who have engaged in foster care and have consequently become adoptive families.

In MiMaRoPa, there are 100 licensed foster families. To date, there are 56 children who are under the care of licensed foster parents.

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DSWD to hire project-based staff for NHTSPR enumeration

With the second round of household assessment to be conducted this September, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office MiMaRoPa is now looking for active and socially responsible staff for the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTSPR).

“We are hiring starting today, project-based staff such as Area Coordinators, Area Supervisors Enumerators, Encoders and verifiers that will help complete the 2013 NHTSPR household enumeration,” says DSWD Regional Field Coordinator Ernie H. Jarabejo.

DSWD is in need of 49 Area Coordinators, 247 Area Supervisors, 1,233 Enumerators and 147 Encoders and Verifiers who will be assigned in the five provinces of MiMaRoPa.

“This is the second round of household enumeration based on the guidelines on regular updating of the NHTSPR Central Database every four years,” Jarabejo added.

NHTSPR is the department’s targeting mechanism of identifying who and where the poor are that started in 2009. The result from the assessment will be the basis of targeting beneficiaries for government’s social protection programs.

“They will be conducting house-to-house interviews using the departments Household Assessment Forms. Their main function is to ensure that every household in the region is covered”, said Jarabejo

Interested applicants may send their resume thru e-mail at: or personally submit their application letter at the Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) Team at the provincial office. Deadline for submission of applications will be on July 26, 2013.

For complete details visit the nearest Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO).###

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DSWD calls to observe PWD rights

disability_dswdAnything that hampers normal physical function is a disability. In empowering the person with disabilities (PWD), the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office IV- MiMaRoPa celebrates the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week anchored with the theme: “Building an Inclusive and Non-Handicapping Environment for Person with Disabilities”.

“In collaboration with the Regional Council on Disability Affairs (RCDA) we will be having series of activity that will highlight the rights of PWDs this July 17-23, 2013 in Romblon, Romblon,” says DSWD PWD Focal Person Geneliza Gabilan.

Aside from PWD orientation and consultation dialogue with partner agencies, LGUs and private sectors, the department will be initiating a One-Stop-Shop Activity which will cater fun games for children with disability; legal consultation; livelihood programs orientation and onset (manual) and on-line PWD registration.

People with disabilities are often negatively stereotyped and marginalized by the rest of society.”Though we do not receive formal complaints about PWD discrimination in the region, issues like that arises during our consultation dialogues. It’s an unreported cases”, said Gabilan.

Regional Director Wilma D. Naviamos says, “PWDs are entitled to equal rights as well as access to education and employment”. Moreover, RA9442 has directed that PWDs are sanctioned with privileges’ and incentives such as 20% discount from all establishments particularly with the utilization of all services in hotels, restaurants and recreation centers like theaters and cinema houses; 20% discount for the purchase of medicines in all drugstores and; 20% for medical and dental services.

Furthermore, part of this year’s celebration is to give focus on employment and provide livelihood programs among our PWDs and households members with disabilities. “It is a challenge for us that government and private agencies should observe the newly passed bill, RA 10524,” Gabilan added.

RA No. 10524, an act expanding the positions reserved for PWD that provides 1% of all positions in all government and private agencies and offices shall be reserved for persons with disability.

In MiMaRoPa, 10,263 households have members with disability as identified by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTSPR) based on the 2009 household assessment. Among the identified disabilities, visual impairment has the most number of cases with 2,038 followed by speech problem with 1,218 cases. On the other hand, 1,064 PWDs were recorded to have hearing problem and 867 more having mental disability.

Generally, PWDs found in the province of Palawan according to NHTSPR database, the department’s targeting system that identifies ‘who and where the poor are’ in the country. ###

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LGU official commends DSWD programs

Cagayancillo, Palawan- The local government unit (LGU) of Cagayancillo attests that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) adheres to uplift and empower the life of the vulnerable sectors.

Vice Mayor Elect Jotham S. Tapalla says, “The National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTSPR) is an effective mechanism that helps identify who the poor are in Cagayancillo. It prioritizes the poor households to avail social protection programs of the government like the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program”.

Cagayancillo is a 6th class municipality and is considered one of the poor municipalities in the province of Palawan based on household income. The Vice Mayor said that the program really helps the Cagayanens where it teaches to value the importance of education and health.

Moreover, Pantawid Pamilya is well implemented in the municipality. “The increase of number of enrollees in the elementary and secondary education here only shows the positive effect of the program”, Tapalla added.

NHTSPR is an information management that identifies who and where the poor are nationwide. It has identified   601 poor households in the municipality and 478 or 79.5 percent of poor households are now served by the Pantawid Pamilya.

Pantawid Pamilya is a conditional cash transfer program of the DSWD that aims to eradicate the extreme poverty in the country by investing in health and education particularly 0-14 years old children.

DSWD ensures that the poor are targeted and included in the social protection programs. ###

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