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DSWD holds first Livelihood Congress

Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro – More than 700 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries marched in the recently conducted graduation rights of SLP Livelihood Congress in this municipality, February 26, 2015.

The congress, titled “Sama-samang Linangin Pangkabuhayan Natin” is a week-long DSWD-led capacity building activity in convergence with the local government unit of Mansalay, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Department of Education (DepEd) and Provincial Tourism, Investments and Enterprise Development Office (PTIEDO).

The Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of DSWD identified more than 700 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in 17 barangays for skills enhancement on various fields including: Massage and Reflexology, Tour Guiding, Agricultural Practices, Tanglad Oil Extraction, Ube Pastillas making, Buri extraction, Cosmetology, Haircutting and Fish processing.

The congress, a lecture-cum-application training taught participants of techniques, procedures and skills on their chosen field of expertise. “This is the first time that the region had this kind of simultaneous  capacity building activities, and we will surely conduct the same for other municipalities,” said Domingo V. Agra, Regional Project Development Officer of DSWD-SLP.

In his speech, Mayor Joel Malinaw said that this event is a milestone for their municipality. “Natutuwa ako dahil malaking buti ang maidudulot nito para sa ating lahat, mas mapauunlad nito ang ating pamumuhay” he added. He also announced that the municipality is working a partnership with various stakeholders to assure that employment happens for the attending beneficiaries.

“We have gone through a long process of planning and preparation for this activity, and we are thankful that all concerned stakeholders have been supportive all along,” said Fe Dimaala, Provicial Project Development Officer.

Over Php1.5M was allocated for the said event to enable provision of starte kits for each participants. ###

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SICAD: Poverty alleviation through convergent and strategic implementation of SPPs

core housing

The OrMin Provincial Government awards core housing program to beneficiaries.

Oriental Mindoro is an image of a tropical paradise ranging from its famous white beaches, crystal clear water to green forests covering regal mountains. With its natural beauty, the province has much to offer in terms of tourism and other economic opportunities covering 14 municipalities and one city.

Despite of these great features, a truth lies beneath the province’s socio-economic status. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Listahanan 2009 province-wide assessment revealed 73,878 poor households in Oriental Mindoro putting it 2nd in rank in MiMaRoPa provinces with the highest number of   identified poor. This statistics shows that regardless of government efforts to address economic difficulties, the war on poverty remains a big challenge.

The SICAD Project

 To deal with this challenge, the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro (PGOM) through its current Governor, Alfonso V. Umali, a flagship reform program known as Strategic Intervention and Community-focused Action towards Development (SICAD) was implemented. It is a response mechanism and convergence strategy to synchronize the implementation of local Social Protection Programs (SPPs) of attached government agencies and private sectors in reducing poverty.

SICAD approach targets to improve access on government resources and services; as well as sustainable management of resources and institutional collaboration.  This initiative simply involves convergent delivery of interventions to communities alongside employing the triumvirate processes of change to alleviate poverty, eradicate social inequality and ensure sustainable resource use and management.

Moreover, SICAD aims to: (1) reduce poor number of poor families in Oriental Mindoro; (2) intensify the targeting mechanism of ‘who and where the poor are’; and (3) have a concrete coordination among social protection agencies for better delivery of programs and services to Mindoreños.

Identifying who and where the poor are

PGOM had difficulties in managing the information system. The process of selecting real poor was a big question and the uncoordinated delivery of local programs is another issue. In 2011, Listahanan database (list of names of poor families) was shared to the provincial government under the Memorandum of Agreement on data sharing through which inaccuracies and duplications of beneficiaries’ records and memberships were validated. Thus, identification of beneficiaries became easy, quick and relevant.

Dahil sa Listahanan, madaling tukuyin kung sino at nasaan ang mga nangangailangan kaya mas napapabilis ang pagbibigay ng kaukulang tulong para sa mga mahihirap,” said Provincial Welfare and Development Officer, Teresita A. Umbao.  The DSWD database was utilized in the implementation of localized social protection programs under SICAD intensification.

confirmation of scholars

PGOM on confirmation of scholars.

 SICAD Gains

Under this flagship reform strategy, programs and projects on education, health and medical services, livelihood programs and other social services are implemented. The Paaralan para sa Kalibliban (PPSaKA), is a continuing program of PGOM in coordination with the Department of Education hires annually contractual teachers for deployment to public schools in far-flung communities. Also, Integrated Scholarship Program to value the significance of education was employed. To date 909 Listahanan identified-poor are covered under this grant. Aside from the regular scholarship aids, short educational assistance through Pang-alalay sa Edukasyon are also offered to indigents totaling to 563 high school and college students.  These address the problems of illiteracy and inadequacy in number of teachers in rural public schools. Scholarship assistance was prioritized for intellectually capable students and those who have the aptitude for technical skills training but cannot pursue higher education due to financial constraints.  This democratizes the opportunities to access on free education for the Mangyans, an Indigenous People (IP) in Mindoro.

The lack of health facilities and limited access to medical services are among common social problems encountered.  In fact, Listahanan data recorded 126, 768 households in the province having no access to health facility. This prompted the continuous provision of medical care activities encompassing free-consultation, minor surgeries, dental services, and free on-the-counter medicines.  Nonetheless, PGOM has enrolled 86,000 poor families to Philippine Health Insurance Cards. The achievement of a universal Philhealth coverage with reliable data source of beneficiaries in the province is accounted through maximizing Listahanan data.

On the other hand, about 28,000 houses in Oriental Mindoro were made of light materials and some 30,000 households have no toilet facilities. This alarming truth motivates the local government in the implementation of Core Housing Program (CHP) and emergency shelter assistance. To date, 352 families received shelter assistance and 69 families for CHP.

Ang tulong pinansyal mula sa lokal na pamahalaan ay malaki ang naiambag para madagdagan ang puhunan ko sa aking pagnenegosyo,” said   Leona Quinzon of Calapan, beneficiary of PGOM livelihood program.

Employment is one of the basic factors toward economic development.  According to DSWD database 64,458 individuals (15 years old and above) are unemployed that largely contribute to the magnitude of poor households. In response, Livelihood Assistance Programs is created through interventions from the local government units. The result 148 beneficiaries of livelihood programs for   senior citizens, 38 beneficiaries for Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) Programs and 65 recipients for SEA for IPs.

Convergence Impact

SICAD converges and aligns the resources and competencies of the stakeholders by creating the necessary mechanisms, including structure and systems, that can push for tripartite cooperation in the area.  In this effort, it provides access to short-term demand-driven skills intended for under-privileged beneficiaries for entrepreneurial and self-employment capacities. For instance, the PGOM has ‘Sanayang Entrepreneur’, a short-term intensive training program to develop entrepreneurial skills. The training includes agricultural entrepreneurship intended to prepare beneficiaries for self-employment.

The convergence of social welfare programs which includes the localized Philhealth, Self-Employment Assistance, shelter assistance and core housing project, scholarship aids and other short-term initiatives of the provincial government effectively address the problem on poverty. Thus, the province of Oriental Mindoro adheres in the government’s unified goal of leaving no one behind. ###

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DSWD IV-MiMaRoPa Quick Response Team Advisory: Zero casualty, ensuring food and safety for affected families

As of December 7, 8:15 P.M.

Malate, Manila-  The Department of Social Welfare and Development IV-MiMaRoPa augments the provision of relief packs as it expects increase in the number of affected families during Typhoon Ruby (international name Hagupit) landfall. Currently, availability of food and safety for the 7,703 families (30,984 individuals) are ensured in the 238 evacuation sites across the region.

While Typhoon Ruby is expected to make landfall in Occidental, Mindoro by 2:00 A.M., the department continues its monitoring with the LGUs and evacuation centers to maintain zero casualty in the area.

Provinces of Romblon and Marinduque experience intermittent power supply. The local government in Oriental Mindoro suspends classes in all levels including private and public offices.

Packed relief goods are on standby at the DSWD distribution hub located  at Arthur Blanco ABC Compound, Balagtas, Batangas City for transport.  The Quick Response Team (qrt.fo4b.dswd.gov.ph) closely monitors all provinces in the region at arm’s length 24/7. ###

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Listahanan joins 2014 PSQ


Participants of this year’s Philippine Statistics Quiz held in Calapan City.

CALAPAN City- The Listahanan of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) MiMaRoPa has joined the 23rd Philippine Statistics Quiz (PSQ) – Regional Level last November 13, 2014 in this city.

PSQ is an annual activity of the Philippine Statistics Authority in accordance with the statistics month celebration.  Fourteen   said  students coming from different colleges and universities regionwide participated in the said quiz.

DSWD, as this the vice-chair of the PSQ committee has allocated  Php30,000.00 for the cash prizes of winners.

This year’s champion is a Bachelor of Secondary Education student from Marinduque State College, Roel M. Rey who will also represent MiMaRoPa at the national quiz next month.

Different government agency representatives participated in this activity namely: Department of  Public Works and Highways, Department of Science and Technology, Philippine Information Agency, Philippine National Police and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Representatives from local government units have also joined. ###


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A dream come true for a ‘Yolanda’ survivor


Olivia Fuentes waiting for the arrival of Pres. Benigno Aquino III during the turn over ceremony of the certificate of occupancy.

Guiuan, Eastern Samar“Grabe! Sobra-sobra akong nagpapasalamat sa Panginoon at sa gobyerno dahil sa paggawad sa amin ng pabahay dito sa Cogon Resettlement Site  (I am extremely grateful to God and to the government for giving us shelter here in Cogon Resettlement Site).”

Typhoon Yolanda survivor Olivia Fuentes, 40, could not contain her happiness after receiving a certificate of occupancy to their new house from President Benigno Aquino III during the turn over ceremony at the Cogon Resettlement Site on Friday, November 7, a day before the first year anniversary of ‘Yolanda’.

Olivia is one of the 44 PantawidPamilya beneficiaries who are among the 132 families who have moved to the transitional shelters from tents after the typhoon wrecked their houses.

In his message, Pres. Aquino stressed that although the houses are transitional, they are sturdy, still in accordance with the “building back better” principle used to guide reconstruction and recovery efforts in disaster-hit areas.

“Gaya po ninyo, naiinip din ako. Pero kailangan po natin idiin na hindi p’wedeng idaan sa bara-bara ang ating ‘build back better’ (Like you, I also become impatient. But we need to emphasize that we cannot be lax in implementing our ‘build back better’),” Pres. Aquino said.

With the President were Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman,  Presidential Adviser on Rehabilitation and Recovery Secretary PanfiloLacson, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson,  Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Executive Director Alexander Pama, and National Housing Authority General Manager Chito Cruz.



Shelter units at the Cogon Rettlement Site in Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

Olivia recounted the times when she dreamt of having her own house.

 “Pangarap ko talaga ang magkabahay para sa pamilya ko kahit noong hindi pa dumadating ang Bagyong Yolanda. Kaya noong nagkaroon ng shelter assistance mula sa DSWD at lokal na pamahalaan, natuwa talaga ako  (It is my dream to have a house for my family even before Typhoon Yolanda came. So I was very glad when DSWD and the local government offered shelter assistance),” she said.

Every morning, Olivia holds the picture of the shelter units mounted on the wall of her small tent, which has been her home together with her six children and her husband after the typhoon destroyed their house.

“Kapag hinahawakan ko ‘yong picture ng shelter units, nagdadasal ako nang taimtim. Sinasabikongmagkakaroonakonito at lahat ng pangarapkomatutupadsaloob ng bahaynaito (While holding the picture of the shelter units, I am praying deeply that I will have this and all my dreams will come true in this house),” she added.

When Olivia finally received the news that she will be a recipient of the shelter unit at the Cogon Resettlement Site, her heart was suddenly filled with greatest happiness and relief.

In her head, she saw a montage of scenes revealing her family’s pains and struggles in surmounting the challenges brought by the wrath of ‘Yolanda’.

With her voice slowly breaking she said, “Ibatalagaangtinurosaamin ngBagyong Yolanda at ang experience naminsapagtirasa tent. ‘Yung pinagdaanan namin na hirap ang sumukat ng aming katatagan bilang pamilya. Kaya palagi akong nagdadasal at nagpapasalamat sa mga tulong na dumadating sa amin tulad ng Pantawid Pamilya [ng Pilipino Program] at ng pabahay na ito (The lesson brought by Typhoon Yolanda and our experience in leaving in tent is unparalleled. The adversities we went through measured the resilience of our family. Thus, I always pray and I am always thankful for the assistance given to us like PantawidPamilya and this shelter assistance).”

PantawidPamilya is one of the programs of the national government being implemented by the DSWD that provides cash grants to poor Filipino families in exchange of education and health conditions. The objective of the program is to keep children aged 0-18 years old healthy and in school.

“Malaking tulong ang cash grants na nakukuha ko sa PantawidPamilya lalo na noong pagkatapos ng ‘Yolanda’. Ibinibili ko ng gamit sa eskwela at pamasahe ng anak ko sa pagpasok sa school. Kaya nagpapasalamat ako na may Pantawid Pamilya (The cash grants that I receive in Pantawid Pamilya are great help especially after Typhoon Yolanda.  I use the grants to buy school supplies and for the transportation allowance of my children in going to school. That is why I am thankful that there is PantawidPamilya),” Olivia proudly said.

Aside from the shelter units, the 132 families also received Pabaon Packs containing 25 kilos of rice, canned goods, cereal drinks, coffee, family kits (kitchen utensils, blanket, plastic sheet and jerrycans), and a hygiene pack composed of bath soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste.

“Masaya ako sa mga tulong na ito ng gobyerno. At sigurado akong tuloy-tuloy na ang aming pagbangon dahil kaya na namin ang pagbabago (I am happy with the help given by the government. And now I am certain that we will have a continuous recovery because we can face the challenges of change),” she concluded.

Now, with ticket number 18 in her hands, the lot number of her new abode and her lucky number, she is joyfully preparing her family for their occupancy of their new home, where she will rebuild her life and fulfill her aspirations for her family.

Indeed, a dream come true for Olivia and for the rest of the 132 families. ### (SMS)

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Permanent shelters handed over to survivors to mark ‘Yolanda’ anniversary


A ‘Yolanda’ survivor receives his Certificate of Occupancy.

TACLOBAN City, Leyte – As part of the activities to commemorate the first year anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda, several cabinet secretaries were here on Saturday, November 8, to lead the turnover of completed permanent shelter units to typhoon survivors.

Some 122 housing units in Ridge View Park, Barangay Cabalawan and 28 units in Villa Sofia, Barangay Tagpuro were distributed to survivors who were drawn at random.

These permanent houses, which also have complete electric and water facilities, are part of a tie-up project of the National Housing Authority (NHA) and the city government.

It was initially agreed that the certificates of occupancy will be handed over by Mayor Alfred Romualdez and NHA General Manager Chito Cruz to the beneficiaries as part of the partnership of the local government unit (LGU) and NHA, with Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Secretary PanfiloLacson of the Office of Presidential Assistant for Recovery and Rehabilitation (OPARR), and Secretary Rogelio Singson of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) witnessing the distribution.


Sec. Soliman takes a look at a housing unit at Ridge View.

However, Mayor Romualdez was not able to attend the 1:30 pm event so he sent City Administrator Atty. Jenny Lyn Polistico-Manibay and Maria Lagman, the head of the Shelter Cluster of the LGU, instead.

Sec. Soliman observed that the event exuded a positive atmosphere with the survivors looking forward to live in their new houses.

Marissa Abraham, 40, one of the beneficiaries of a unit in Ridge View said, “Safe na kami sabaha. Salamatsatulongnapabahay ng gobyerno (We are now safe from floods. Thanks to the shelter assistance of the government).”

Another beneficiary, Emma Tambulungan, also expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to start anew.

Salamatsagobyernosapanibagongbahay at buhaynamatatamasanamin(Thank you to the government for this house that will help us start anew),” she shared.

Sec. Soliman encouraged the survivors saying, “Patuloypokamingtutulong at sasabaysainyosapag-unlad.  Tayo ay sama-samangtatawidpalagpassakahirapan (We will continue to help and walk with you towards development. Together, we will fight poverty).”

For his part, Sec. Lacson reminded the beneficiaries to value what have been given them.

Tuloy pa rinangtulongnaibibigay ng gobyernosahanapbuhaybukodsapabahay. Kaya tulong-tulongtayongmahalinnatinitongpabahay (Aside from shelter assistance, livelihood assistance will continue to be provided. So, let’s take care of these houses),” he said. ### (SMS)

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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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