Archive | October, 2012

DSWD liquidates P3.5 Billion of CCT funds; speeds up full accounting of balance

A total of P3,513,591,379 has been liquidated as of September 30, 2012 from the COA reported P3.77 Billion unliquidated cash grants distributed in 2011 to eligible and compliant beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya, the conditional cash transfer program of the government, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The DSWD had self-imposed September 30 as deadline to zero-out the P3.77 billion unliquidated cash grants as of December 2011. As of September 30,  the unliquidated balance is P256,570,183, a feat even COA would be generous to commend, the Department further reported.

The DSWD continues to coordinate with Landbank of the Philippines to submit supporting documents such as acknowledgement receipts duly signed by beneficiaries in the payroll list, bank debit advices, and a certified list of paid beneficiaries, to speed up the liquidation of the remaining balance.

Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman said that the DSWD and the Landbank of the Philippines have already entered into a Memorandum of Agreement which clearly details the roles and responsibilities of each agency on the payment and liquidation of cash grants.

“We hope that through this agreement we can expedite the liquidation process and prevent the accumulation of unliquidated cash grants in the future,” Secretary Soliman explained.

“We assure the public that the cash grants released in 2011 were distributed and duly received by the rightful beneficiaries,” Secretary Soliman concluded ###

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DSWD Signs MOA with Child Group Advocate on Positive Discipline

In an effort to change perspectives and practices on disciplining, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has partnered with an international child group advocate to train caregivers and social workers on Positive Discipline.

Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman (2nd from left) and Ms. Anna Lindenforns (center), country director of Save the Children International (SCI) inked the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to implement the partnership.

The agreement specifies the integration of SCI’s Positive Discipline framework into the DSWD training modules on parenting, capability building of trainers, staff and partners,  as well as in developing guidelines for its residential care centers.

Secretary Soliman emphasized that this partnership aims to bring together children, parents and caregivers on the issue of child protection.  “We would like to ensure that all DSWD training modules on parenting incorporate the value of positive discipline and all staff in our residential care centers are trained to effectively implement the program.” Secretary Soliman said.

Several studies have shown that children who go through corporal punishment as a form of discipline experienced adverse effects as adults.  Corporal punishment also perpetuates a cycle of abuse wherein parents also inflict physical and emotional pain on their children in the guise of discipline.

Also present during the signing were (from left) DSWD Undersecretary Parisya H. Taradji, Ms. Wilma T. Banaga, child protection adviser of SCI, and DSWD Director Particia B. Luna. ###

 

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Seniors Hold Forum on Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010

Assistant Director Delia Bawan of DSWD-NCR welcomes the participants to the Forum on RA 9994 or Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010; leaders of senior citizens groups discuss issues affecting their sector with Congressman Godofredo Arquiza,  representative of the Senior Citizen Party List;  Sama-Bajaus join the Elderly Filipino Week Intergenerational Concert at SM Fairview; the lolos and lolas of Golden Acres Home for the Aged, a residential care facility managed by DSWD render song and dance numbers during the Dalaw Kalinga, as part of the Elderly Filipino week celebration.

Leaders of senior citizens’ associations batted for the inclusion of the 60-76 year-old indigent older persons to the social pension program of the government implemented through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“Indigent seniors aged 60-76 also need the assistance of government so we are lobbying that they be included in the social pension program,” Mr. Jorge Banal, President of the Federation of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines (FSCAP) NCR said. The provision of the P500 monthly social pension to 77 years old and above indigent senior is provided under RA 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act (ESCA) of 2010.

This was among the issues raised during the Forum on RA 9994 held recently at Bayview Park Hotel, Roxas Boulevard, Manila organized by the DSWD and the  Senior Citizens Party List led by Congressmen Godofredo Arquiza and David Kho, in connection with the Elderly Filipino Week celebration.

As of October 2012, about  184,000 older persons have been provided with social pension for a total of P518.6 million.

Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman explained that the DSWD is hoping that the budget for 2013 will be enough to include the 60-76 year-old indigent senior citizens in the social pension program. “We cannot include them now because the budget provided by Congress is   just adequate for the 77 years old and above. We are encouraging the organized associations of older persons to help us ensure that the assistance being given by the government goes directly to the intended beneficiaries,” Secretary Soliman added.

Assistant Bureau Director Delia Bawan of DSWD-NCR welcomed the participants from the different senior citizens’ associations and the local government units of Metro Manila and reiterated DSWD’s commitment to assist and empower the older persons sector.

Another issue is the full implementation of RA 9994. Some senior citizens belonging to the different associations reported that small ‘neighborhood’ drug stores do not give the 20 percent discount as specified under the law. The National Coordinating and Monitoring Board(NCMB) lodged with the DSWD as the body in charge of monitoring complaints filed by senior citizens on violations against RA 9994,  clarified that the law states that all drug stores, whether big or small have to grant the 20 percent discount because they get tax rebates from the government in return.  Senior citizens are urged to report violations to the DSWD NCMB  at telephone number  9517120 and email address ncmb@dswd.gov.ph.

Meanwhile, the Coalition of Services for the Elderly (COSE) led the Inter-Generational Concert dubbed as “Young Ones for the Young Once,” held at SM Fairview. The event also dramatized “Age Demands Action” (ADA), a grassroots campaign to fight age discrimination and enhance public awareness on issues affecting older people such as pensions, healthcare and housing.

Youth dance groups and older persons shared center stage with teen idol Paolo Valenciano, youngest son of matinee idol Gary Valenciano and Angeli Pangilinan, Cookie Chua, Gary Granada, and the GSIS Chorale, to the delight of the audience composed predominantly of senior citizens from COSE, Coalition of Older Persons in the Philippines (COPAP) and Federation of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines (FSCAP) NCR.

The DSWD and its partner non-government organizations (NGOs) and senior citizens’ associations also conducted the Dalaw Kalinga visit to abandoned and unattached older persons in Golden Acres Home for the Aged in Bago Bantay, Quezon City and Haven for the Elderly in Tanay, Rizal.

This year’s EFW theme “Nakatatanda: Sa Bisa ng RA 9994, May Dangal, Nagkakaisa, Buhay ay Gumiginhawa,” focuses on the contributions of RA 9994 to the improvement of lives of older persons.  ###

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Children’s Festival of Songs Kicks-Off 20th National Children’s Month

Some 6,000 school and day care children in Metro Manila participated in the Children’s Festival of Songs held recently at San Andres Sports Complex, Malate, Manila where they sang songs promoting children’s rights such as ‘Narito Munting Puso’ and ‘Bawat Bata.’

The Festival served as a kick-off event for the 20th National Children’s Month this October organized by the Council for the Welfare of Children, an attached agency of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

During the event, representatives from government regulatory agencies, media organizations and advertising agencies in the Philippines committed to continue to promote child’s rights and welfare especially through mass media.

The National Children’s Month is celebrated every year in October pursuant to Proclamation No.  267 issued in 1993, which aims to recognize the important role of the child within the Filipino family and in the Philippine society. The theme for this year’s celebration is Bright Child ay Siguraduhin:  Responsableng Pamamahayag ay Palaganapin.  ###

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Seniors join “Walk for Life,” “Hataw” Fitness and Got Talent Competition

The DSWD and DOH contingents led the ‘Walk for Life” parade ushering the Elderly Filipino Week celebration on October 1-7; Assistant Secretary Enrique Tayag of the Department of Health leads the ‘Hataw’ exercise joined by senior citizens; Director Patricia B. Luna expounds on the programs and   services provided by the DSWD and its partner-agencies to improve the quality of lives of older persons

Senior citizens from the 17 cities and municipalities of Metro Manila braved the early morning downpour on October 1 to join the ‘Walk for Life,” at the SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City.

The “Walk for Life” kicked-off the Elderly Filipino Week from October 1-7. It is held annually to enhance awareness of the public on the health concerns and well-being of older persons.

Senior citizens and contingents from participating government agencies paraded from the giant globe area to the Music Hall at SM MOA. The parade was followed by a short program with Assistant Secretary Enrique Tayag of the Department of Health and DSWD Social Technology Bureau Director Patricia B. Luna delivering inspirational messages.

Likewise, senior citizens from Las Piñas, Valenzuela, Pasay, Muntinlupa,     Pateros, and Mandaluyong participated in the “May Talento at Kakayanan pa Kami” got talent competition with the representative from Mandaluyong City as winner.

Other participating agencies and NGOs are: Departments of Trade and Industry, Education, Finance, Interior and Local Government, and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA); Coalition of Services for the Elderly (COSE), Coalition of Senior Citizens Associations of the Philippines (COSCAP), Philippine United Senior Citizens Association (PUSCA), SM Supermalls and Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) of the 17 cities and municipalities of NCR.

This year’s EFW theme “Nakatatanda: Sa Bisa ng RA 9994, May Dangal, Nagkakaisa, Buhay ay Gumiginhawa,” focuses on how the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 has improved the lives of older persons.

Other activities for EFW include: intergenerational concert on October 3 at SM Fairview, Kimona ni Lola fashion show on October 5 at SM Manila, Policy/Aging Forum on October 4, Dalaw Kalinga on October 6; and the Sampung Ulirang Nakatatanda Awards on October 7. ###

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KALAHI-CIDSS SYSTEM EFFECTIVE AGAINST CORRUPTION

The existing program control measures employed by Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) were found to be highly effective to curb corruption, according to a study conducted by a consultation team for the World Bank.

Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the anti-poverty programs under the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Aside from reducing poverty, the Project aims to empower communities by making citizens active partners in development and to improve local governance by improving people’s engagement with and access to their local government units (LGUs).

The consultation team, looked into the governance and anti-corruption (GAC) risks within the Kalahi-CIDSS process, known as the Community Empowerment Activity Cycle (CEAC). This is composed of five stages: Social Preparation, Project Identification and Planning, Project Prioritization, Project Implementation, and Transition.

Admitting that the study was essentially a “fault-finding mission”, the team said that the researchers employed different strategies in order to glean information on the GAC vulnerabilities of Kalahi-CIDSS.

Initial study results showed that the program control employed by Kalahi-CIDSS is highly effective in being free from corruption, due to the various levels of monitoring and evaluation built into the process, the existence and strict adherence to the Project’s guidelines, and the commitment of the staff and community volunteers, who serve as watchdogs against irregularities.

The team cited that while there have been attempts to commit anomalies at the local level, these have been quickly prevented due to the vigilance of communities against corruption.

The results of the study indicate the effectiveness of the community-driven development (CDD) approach, which is employed by Kalahi-CIDSS, in minimizing anomalies in the local level. CDD empowers ordinary citizens through direct participation in local governance by allowing them to identify their own community needs, as well as plan, develop, implement, manage, and sustain projects together to address local poverty issues.

According to Matt Stephens, Governance Specialist of World Bank, conducting the study is critical at this time given DSWD’s thrust to scale up Kalahi-CIDSS into the National Community Driven Development Program (NCDDP) by 2013. The national program is targeted to cover over 900 poor municipalities across the Philippines, some of which have already been previously covered by the parent project, KALAHI-CIDSS 1  and the ongoing expansion to 364 municipalities.

While the study has positive results, the team cautions the possibility of potential vulnerabilities emerging once Kalahi-CIDSS scales up, especially since the workers of the DSWD field offices, who will be directly implementing the program, will now have more areas under their supervision. The team recommends that care should be taken to ensure that the controls used by Kalahi-CIDSS would be maximized. Options to maintain quality of implementation coupled with strong anti-GAC mechanisms are being developed to enhance the design of the NCDDP.

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DSWD INAUGURATES HOUSING PROJECT FOR DISASTER VICTIMS

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recently inaugurated the housing project in Barangay Camen, Boston, Davao Oriental for displaced families.

The housing project is part of the disaster management and rehabilitation efforts of the DSWD through its Core Shelter Assistance Program (CSAP) to address the shelter needs of displaced families.

The CSAP provides a safe relocation site within the locality and brings out maximum participation of beneficiaries in the construction of their houses. Affected families are provided with structurally-strong and environment-friendly shelter units which can withstand wind velocities up to 220 kph, intensity four (4) earthquakes, flooding and other similar hazards.

The 27 core shelter units worth P70,000 each or P1.89 million were constructed in partnership with the local government unit of Davao Oriental which provided the relocation site. ###

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