Search Results | 'AO 5 s., 2012'

An Extraordinary Response to a Different Kind of Ordinary: How the “New Normal” Killed “Hayahay”

In the North Eastern part of Leyte, about 360 kilometers from Manila lies Tacloban City, the gateway to adventure east of Visayas. Not only do local and foreign visitors marvel at its pristine waters, they also take a tour of the past by visiting the historical structures located around the tourist circuit.

Progress, too, is evident here as it was proclaimed a highly urbanized city in December 2008 and a candidate for one of the top 10 Highly Urbanized City (HUC) Governments in 2011.Tacloban is the seat of trade, tourism, education, culture,and government in Region VIII.

Up until 2013, there was no way but up for the rapidly developing city. It was the stroke of fate in November of that year that changed the course of its history. Typhoon Yolanda, arguably the strongest typhoon ever that made a landfall in the world, greatly devastated Tacloban.

The debris of destruction caused by‘Yolanda’ littered the streets of Tacloban. Photo by European Pressphoto Agency/Francis Malasig

The debris of destruction caused by‘Yolanda’ littered the streets of Tacloban. Photo by European Pressphoto Agency/Francis Malasig

After ‘Yolanda’, the city was permeated with the stench of dead bodies. It had become a place wiped clean of shelter, livelihood, and urbanization.

“Amoy ngpatay, amoy ng mga survivors, amoy ng araw at ulan… amoy ng isang devastated na lugar ang Tacloban (The smell of the dead, the smell of survivors, Tacloban was the smell of devastation),” recalled Faye, one of the responders from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Central Office (CO).

The birth of the new normal

Year 2013 would go down in disaster playbooks as the year of calamities for the country. Disasters, both man-made and natural, struck the Philippines one after the other, starting with the Sabah conflict in March that led to the displacement of many Filipinos, and then Tropical Storm Maring in August, the Zamboanga siege and Typhoon Santi in September, and the Bohol earthquake in October, and finally ‘Yolanda’ in November.

The Philippines is no stranger to frequent visits of natural disasters. It is, after all, lying within the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area where typhoons and earthquakes occur.

In the 2012 World Risk Report by the United Nations University Institute of Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), the country was reported the third most disaster-prone country worldwide out of 173 countries assessed.

Every year, the Philippines is visited by an average of 20 typhoons per year, 5 of which are considered destructive.

An average of five earthquakes (though majority are too weak to be felt) also occur per day.

On November 2, news programs went abuzz over a low pressure area (LPA) that could possibly intensify and hit the Philippines in the following days. It only took two days for the LPA to intensify to a tropical storm according to the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) and the Joint Warning Center (JTWC). As days passed, the storm progressed to SupertyphoonHaiyan, and on November 7, ‘Haiyan’, now bearing the local name ‘Yolanda’, entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical & Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) issued public storm signal warnings and alerted people of a storm surge that would hit the coastal areas.

At that time, the country was still recovering from the aftermath of other disasters.

In Bohol, a total of P23, 373, 874 worth of relief goods were transported to Tagbilaran City via C-130 and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Ship. Some 198 personnel from DSWD-CO and Field Offices (FOs) were deployed to affected local government units (LGUs) to augment in disaster operations. Medical missions and clean-up operations were also being done alongside monitoring of ‘Yolanda’.

As the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and other agencies were putting things in order, they were also bracing for ‘Yolanda’.

Before the fateful day, NDRRMC had called for a meeting to reaffirm the status of preparedness of concerned agencies.

new normal1-DSWD prepositioned 24,450 family food packs and downloaded funds amounting to P30 million to the regions that were along the path of the typhoon.

The LGUs installed disaster preparedness measures, making sure that their response teams would be easily alerted. Forced evacuation procedures were simultaneously executed.

Preparedness was done, and done very well.

Yet, even a well-executed disaster preparedness plan could not match the events that occurred.

In the afternoon of November 8, ‘Yolanda’s’ wrath, with rains and sustained winds of 300 kilometers per hour, was clearly evident.

People braced themselves for the howling winds, floods, and mudslides that commonly accompany this kind of storm. But ‘Yolanda’ had another unpleasant surprise for them.

As the winds became stronger,  a storm surge as high as six meters barreled its way farther inland, causing rapid flooding and devouring everything that got in its path.

After the storm, power was down, trees uprooted, bridges collapsed, roads blocked, houses down, lives lost.

The Visayas Region bore the brunt of the disaster. More than three million families were affected, with less than one million displaced and about a million properties totally damaged.

Tacloban, the hardest hit, became a ghost town.

With the paralysis of the regional hub in Eastern Visayas, transportation, communication, and service delivery in neighboring cities and towns were also disrupted.

On said day, the “new normal” for disaster occurrences was born.

The difficult journey to Tacloban

Immediately after the disaster, office and bureau heads in the CO and FOs convened their staff to form the first batch of responders who will assist in the relief operations in Tacloban.

Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, the Vice-Chairperson for Disaster Response, led the operations, getting aboard a C-130 cargo plane of the Philippine Air Force (PAF), together with NDRRMC Chief Eduardo del Rosario, and PAF Commanding General Lt. Gen Lauro Cruz, to assess the situation of the disaster-wrought province.

At the DSWD Central Office, volunteer-employees from different offices and bureaus got ready for deployment to Tacloban. Most of the responders were experienced in disaster response while others faced their baptism of fire. But experienced or first timer, nothing would prepare them for the state of devastation that would welcome them in Tacloban.

For DSWD-CO responders, all roads led to Tacloban after ‘Yolanda’, but none of those roads was easily passable for them.

“We were called the Journeying Team because of our difficulty in getting to Tacloban,” shared Glo, a responder from DSWD-Capacity Building Bureau (CBB), recalled.

The group had to wait for a commercial flight to get them to Cebu because there were very few planes heading to the place. After they landed in Cebu, they had to secure another means of transportation to Tacloban.

“Only the naval ship was available to take us to Tacloban. We rode alongside families and relatives of ‘Yolanda’ survivors. They wanted to go to Tacloban to take their families out of the place,” Glo mentioned.

When the group reached the city, they boarded a vehicle towards the DSWD Operations Center. The atmosphere was tense, with people starving and asking to be flown out of the city. Anyone who went to Tacloban for rescue and relief operations was hounded by requests for food from survivors.

Immediate relief ops

When the first batch of responders composed of staff from the DSWD-Disaster Risk Reduction and Response Operations Office (DRRROO) reached Tacloban, they immediately conducted assessment of the communities that needed relief.

Relief goods were given to heads of barangays for them to facilitate speedier distribution to people in their respective areas. The responders were on the field from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Without electricity, disaster operations had to cease at night time.

In the morning, when the delivery of relief goods commenced, the responders boarded military trucks, escorting the soldiers who would deliver the goods from the warehouse to designated areas. Some of the goods had to be air dropped because there were towns that remained unreachable via land travel.

Jenny of CBB, aboard one of the helipads, recalled watching in awe as people pushed their way near the drop zone just so they would be the first ones to get the day’s delivery of goods.

Reporting on the status of incoming and outgoing of goods was also not a walk in the park. Glo narrated that a person manning the sea port had to walk from end to end just to provide updates on the status of incoming relief goods.

Faye, one of the responders manning the airport, recalled how the runway was converted to a storage space for incomingrelief goods to help ease operations in the warehouses in Tacloban.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Solimanjoins the repacking of relief goods at the DSWD hub inTacloban. Photo by DSWD

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman joins the repacking of relief goods at the DSWD hub inTacloban. Photo by DSWD

She noted that some of the goods had to be repacked to ensure that the distributed food packs are up to standard. At the time, each family food pack provided by DSWD for the ‘Yolanda’ survivors contained six kilograms of rice, eight sachets of coffee, eight packs of instant noodles, and six canned goods.

At the airport, too, was a long queue of people who wanted to get to Cebu or to Manila to seek temporary or permanent shelter.

“May mga nakapila na maliliit na bata, buntis. Nakapila sila, umulan o umaraw (Some of those in the queue were small children, pregnant women. They stayed there, rain or shine).”

Since getting out of Tacloban took some time, the responders invited some of the males queuing in the airports and those outside to participate in the Department’s Food-for-Work (FFW) and Cash-for-Work (CFW) programs to hasten transfer of goods from the hubs to the trucks that would deliver the goods to different areas. The survivors who rendered service were given food or cash.

In the Palompon warehouse, the DRRROO group ensured that 10,000 sacks of rice were repacked per day.

They noticed, as they were monitoring relief goods, that some of the food packs they received were wet and so cannot be distributed. Learning from this experience, the department later used container vans instead of barges to transport relief goods.

More than immediate relief

The deployed CBB staff knew that as social workers, they had to do more than assist in the daily operations. They were, after all, sent there for a specific reason, and that was to provide psychological first aid (PFA). They converted an unused tent to a temporary venue for the PFA.

“Ang PFA ay p’wedeng kahit simpleng tapik lang o simpleng pagtabi lang sa biktima. Hindi mo sila p’wedeng tanungin kung kumusta na sila dahil alam mo ‘yung nangyari sa kanila. Ang kailangan lang nila ay makakausap o mapapagsabihan ng nangyari sa kanila (PFA can be done even by a simple pat in the back or by simply sitting beside the victims. You cannot ask them if they are okay because you know what they‘ve been through. They only need someone to talk to about their feelings),” Faye relayed.

The smell of Tacloban after ‘Yolanda’ left a lasting impression on the CBB responders when they got home from their deployment. The stench of decomposing bodies and permeating smell of devastation served as a reminder of the great work still at hand.

“We survived our stay in Tacloban, but the work is still far from over,” Glo added.

The need for information is as important as the need for food

The Disaster Augmentation and Response Team (DART) of the DSWD-Information and Communication Technology Management Service (ICTMS) were deployed to Tacloban in the morning of November 9 to immediately install satellite data communication and emergency power for the communication needs of responders.

The survivors of ‘Yolanda’ availed of the free internet service provided by DSWD. Photo by DSWD-ICTMS

The survivors of ‘Yolanda’ availed of the free internet service provided by DSWD. Photo by DSWD-ICTMS

What the members of the team did not expect was that they would also help bridge the communication lines between ‘Yolanda’ survivors and their relatives in various parts of the country and abroad.

The installation of free internet service in the city hall provided survivors access to their email, Facebook, or Twitteraccounts wherein they were able to inform their relatives that they were alive or of their whereabouts.

For about five days, some 3,400 families, national and local government, humanitarian groups, and the media benefitted from the multi-modal emergency telecommunications support provided by the team.

The generators they brought also powered up the operations post and enabled survivors to charge their gadgets for 36 hours.

Alongside this provision of free service, rapid mapping was being done in disaster-hit areas.

On November 13, with the growing need to manage the inventory of relief goods, the satellite internet service was relocated to the DSWD warehouse in Barangay Apitong. This move ensured a more systematic monitoring of donated goods to aid in faster distribution.

Satellite phones from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) were sent later for use of responders for disaster operations.

The DART continued manning the workstations for the communications and technology needs of the operations.

Understanding the new normal

new normal2-Sec. Soliman, in her message during the Post-Disaster Operations Review in Subic, narrated her encounter with a waiter who thanked her for what the department had done to survivors of ‘Yolanda’ in Tacloban.

“Everybody knows that what we did in 2013 was phenomenal – nakatayo pa tayo, nakangiti, at patuloy na kumikilos (we are still standing, smiling, and continuing operations).”

Indeed, ‘Yolanda’, with the massive destruction it caused, presents a new challenge to disaster responders.

It went beyond the supertyphoon norm as the storm surge it triggered swallowed Tacloban whole, leaving only debris of the hard hit city.

At this stage, the new normal in disaster occurrences is only at its infancy. Recent studies show that the West Valley Fault is ripe for movement.  If the fault moves and hence generates a strong earthquake, destruction would ripple not only in Metropolitan Manila, but also in the neighboring towns and cities.

What this means for the department is that there is a need to keep revisiting its preparedness and response plan under the lens of the new normal. There is a need to counter the “hayahay” mindset because as the Secretary puts it, “Ang binibigyan natin ng tulong ngayon ay kahapon pa kailangan ang tulong (The people we are helping now are those needing the help yesterday).”

Even as stronger, more destructive disasters occur, the Department will remain resilient and stay committed to leaving no one behind in its struggle against a different kind of ordinary.###

Posted in FeaturedComments Off

An Extraordinary Response to a Different Kind of Ordinary: How the “New Normal” Killed “Hayahay”

In the North Eastern part of Leyte, about 360 kilometers from Manila lies Tacloban City, the gateway to adventure east of Visayas. Not only do local and foreign visitors marvel at its pristine waters, they also take a tour of the past by visiting the historical structures located around the tourist circuit.

Progress, too, is evident here as it was proclaimed a highly urbanized city in December 2008 and a candidate for one of the top 10 Highly Urbanized City (HUC) Governments in 2011.Tacloban is the seat of trade, tourism, education, culture,and government in Region VIII.

Up until 2013, there was no way but up for the rapidly developing city. It was the stroke of fate in November of that year that changed the course of its history. Typhoon Yolanda, arguably the strongest typhoon ever that made a landfall in the world, greatly devastated Tacloban.

The debris of destruction caused by‘Yolanda’ littered the streets of Tacloban. Photo by European Pressphoto Agency/Francis Malasig

The debris of destruction caused by‘Yolanda’ littered the streets of Tacloban. Photo by European Pressphoto Agency/Francis Malasig

After ‘Yolanda’, the city was permeated with the stench of dead bodies. It had become a place wiped clean of shelter, livelihood, and urbanization.

“Amoy ngpatay, amoy ng mga survivors, amoy ng araw at ulan… amoy ng isang devastated na lugar ang Tacloban (The smell of the dead, the smell of survivors, Tacloban was the smell of devastation),” recalled Faye, one of the responders from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Central Office (CO).

The birth of the new normal

Year 2013 would go down in disaster playbooks as the year of calamities for the country. Disasters, both man-made and natural, struck the Philippines one after the other, starting with the Sabah conflict in March that led to the displacement of many Filipinos, and then Tropical Storm Maring in August, the Zamboanga siege and Typhoon Santi in September, and the Bohol earthquake in October, and finally ‘Yolanda’ in November.

The Philippines is no stranger to frequent visits of natural disasters. It is, after all, lying within the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area where typhoons and earthquakes occur.

In the 2012 World Risk Report by the United Nations University Institute of Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), the country was reported the third most disaster-prone country worldwide out of 173 countries assessed.

Every year, the Philippines is visited by an average of 20 typhoons per year, 5 of which are considered destructive.

An average of five earthquakes (though majority are too weak to be felt) also occur per day.

On November 2, news programs went abuzz over a low pressure area (LPA) that could possibly intensify and hit the Philippines in the following days. It only took two days for the LPA to intensify to a tropical storm according to the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) and the Joint Warning Center (JTWC). As days passed, the storm progressed to SupertyphoonHaiyan, and on November 7, ‘Haiyan’, now bearing the local name ‘Yolanda’, entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical & Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) issued public storm signal warnings and alerted people of a storm surge that would hit the coastal areas.

At that time, the country was still recovering from the aftermath of other disasters.

In Bohol, a total of P23, 373, 874 worth of relief goods were transported to Tagbilaran City via C-130 and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Ship. Some 198 personnel from DSWD-CO and Field Offices (FOs) were deployed to affected local government units (LGUs) to augment in disaster operations. Medical missions and clean-up operations were also being done alongside monitoring of ‘Yolanda’.

As the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and other agencies were putting things in order, they were also bracing for ‘Yolanda’.

Before the fateful day, NDRRMC had called for a meeting to reaffirm the status of preparedness of concerned agencies.

new normal1-DSWD prepositioned 24,450 family food packs and downloaded funds amounting to P30 million to the regions that were along the path of the typhoon.

The LGUs installed disaster preparedness measures, making sure that their response teams would be easily alerted. Forced evacuation procedures were simultaneously executed.

Preparedness was done, and done very well.

Yet, even a well-executed disaster preparedness plan could not match the events that occurred.

In the afternoon of November 8, ‘Yolanda’s’ wrath, with rains and sustained winds of 300 kilometers per hour, was clearly evident.

People braced themselves for the howling winds, floods, and mudslides that commonly accompany this kind of storm. But ‘Yolanda’ had another unpleasant surprise for them.

As the winds became stronger,  a storm surge as high as six meters barreled its way farther inland, causing rapid flooding and devouring everything that got in its path.

After the storm, power was down, trees uprooted, bridges collapsed, roads blocked, houses down, lives lost.

The Visayas Region bore the brunt of the disaster. More than three million families were affected, with less than one million displaced and about a million properties totally damaged.

Tacloban, the hardest hit, became a ghost town.

With the paralysis of the regional hub in Eastern Visayas, transportation, communication, and service delivery in neighboring cities and towns were also disrupted.

On said day, the “new normal” for disaster occurrences was born.

The difficult journey to Tacloban

Immediately after the disaster, office and bureau heads in the CO and FOs convened their staff to form the first batch of responders who will assist in the relief operations in Tacloban.

Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, the Vice-Chairperson for Disaster Response, led the operations, getting aboard a C-130 cargo plane of the Philippine Air Force (PAF), together with NDRRMC Chief Eduardo del Rosario, and PAF Commanding General Lt. Gen Lauro Cruz, to assess the situation of the disaster-wrought province.

At the DSWD Central Office, volunteer-employees from different offices and bureaus got ready for deployment to Tacloban. Most of the responders were experienced in disaster response while others faced their baptism of fire. But experienced or first timer, nothing would prepare them for the state of devastation that would welcome them in Tacloban.

For DSWD-CO responders, all roads led to Tacloban after ‘Yolanda’, but none of those roads was easily passable for them.

“We were called the Journeying Team because of our difficulty in getting to Tacloban,” shared Glo, a responder from DSWD-Capacity Building Bureau (CBB), recalled.

The group had to wait for a commercial flight to get them to Cebu because there were very few planes heading to the place. After they landed in Cebu, they had to secure another means of transportation to Tacloban.

“Only the naval ship was available to take us to Tacloban. We rode alongside families and relatives of ‘Yolanda’ survivors. They wanted to go to Tacloban to take their families out of the place,” Glo mentioned.

When the group reached the city, they boarded a vehicle towards the DSWD Operations Center. The atmosphere was tense, with people starving and asking to be flown out of the city. Anyone who went to Tacloban for rescue and relief operations was hounded by requests for food from survivors.

Immediate relief ops

When the first batch of responders composed of staff from the DSWD-Disaster Risk Reduction and Response Operations Office (DRRROO) reached Tacloban, they immediately conducted assessment of the communities that needed relief.

Relief goods were given to heads of barangays for them to facilitate speedier distribution to people in their respective areas. The responders were on the field from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Without electricity, disaster operations had to cease at night time.

In the morning, when the delivery of relief goods commenced, the responders boarded military trucks, escorting the soldiers who would deliver the goods from the warehouse to designated areas. Some of the goods had to be air dropped because there were towns that remained unreachable via land travel.

Jenny of CBB, aboard one of the helipads, recalled watching in awe as people pushed their way near the drop zone just so they would be the first ones to get the day’s delivery of goods.

Reporting on the status of incoming and outgoing of goods was also not a walk in the park. Glo narrated that a person manning the sea port had to walk from end to end just to provide updates on the status of incoming relief goods.

Faye, one of the responders manning the airport, recalled how the runway was converted to a storage space for incomingrelief goods to help ease operations in the warehouses in Tacloban.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Solimanjoins the repacking of relief goods at the DSWD hub inTacloban. Photo by DSWD

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman joins the repacking of relief goods at the DSWD hub inTacloban. Photo by DSWD

She noted that some of the goods had to be repacked to ensure that the distributed food packs are up to standard. At the time, each family food pack provided by DSWD for the ‘Yolanda’ survivors contained six kilograms of rice, eight sachets of coffee, eight packs of instant noodles, and six canned goods.

At the airport, too, was a long queue of people who wanted to get to Cebu or to Manila to seek temporary or permanent shelter.

“May mga nakapila na maliliit na bata, buntis. Nakapila sila, umulan o umaraw (Some of those in the queue were small children, pregnant women. They stayed there, rain or shine).”

Since getting out of Tacloban took some time, the responders invited some of the males queuing in the airports and those outside to participate in the Department’s Food-for-Work (FFW) and Cash-for-Work (CFW) programs to hasten transfer of goods from the hubs to the trucks that would deliver the goods to different areas. The survivors who rendered service were given food or cash.

In the Palompon warehouse, the DRRROO group ensured that 10,000 sacks of rice were repacked per day.

They noticed, as they were monitoring relief goods, that some of the food packs they received were wet and so cannot be distributed. Learning from this experience, the department later used container vans instead of barges to transport relief goods.

More than immediate relief

The deployed CBB staff knew that as social workers, they had to do more than assist in the daily operations. They were, after all, sent there for a specific reason, and that was to provide psychological first aid (PFA). They converted an unused tent to a temporary venue for the PFA.

“Ang PFA ay p’wedeng kahit simpleng tapik lang o simpleng pagtabi lang sa biktima. Hindi mo sila p’wedeng tanungin kung kumusta na sila dahil alam mo ‘yung nangyari sa kanila. Ang kailangan lang nila ay makakausap o mapapagsabihan ng nangyari sa kanila (PFA can be done even by a simple pat in the back or by simply sitting beside the victims. You cannot ask them if they are okay because you know what they‘ve been through. They only need someone to talk to about their feelings),” Faye relayed.

The smell of Tacloban after ‘Yolanda’ left a lasting impression on the CBB responders when they got home from their deployment. The stench of decomposing bodies and permeating smell of devastation served as a reminder of the great work still at hand.

“We survived our stay in Tacloban, but the work is still far from over,” Glo added.

The need for information is as important as the need for food

The Disaster Augmentation and Response Team (DART) of the DSWD-Information and Communication Technology Management Service (ICTMS) were deployed to Tacloban in the morning of November 9 to immediately install satellite data communication and emergency power for the communication needs of responders.

The survivors of ‘Yolanda’ availed of the free internet service provided by DSWD. Photo by DSWD-ICTMS

The survivors of ‘Yolanda’ availed of the free internet service provided by DSWD. Photo by DSWD-ICTMS

What the members of the team did not expect was that they would also help bridge the communication lines between ‘Yolanda’ survivors and their relatives in various parts of the country and abroad.

The installation of free internet service in the city hall provided survivors access to their email, Facebook, or Twitteraccounts wherein they were able to inform their relatives that they were alive or of their whereabouts.

For about five days, some 3,400 families, national and local government, humanitarian groups, and the media benefitted from the multi-modal emergency telecommunications support provided by the team.

The generators they brought also powered up the operations post and enabled survivors to charge their gadgets for 36 hours.

Alongside this provision of free service, rapid mapping was being done in disaster-hit areas.

On November 13, with the growing need to manage the inventory of relief goods, the satellite internet service was relocated to the DSWD warehouse in Barangay Apitong. This move ensured a more systematic monitoring of donated goods to aid in faster distribution.

Satellite phones from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) were sent later for use of responders for disaster operations.

The DART continued manning the workstations for the communications and technology needs of the operations.

Understanding the new normal

new normal2-Sec. Soliman, in her message during the Post-Disaster Operations Review in Subic, narrated her encounter with a waiter who thanked her for what the department had done to survivors of ‘Yolanda’ in Tacloban.

“Everybody knows that what we did in 2013 was phenomenal – nakatayo pa tayo, nakangiti, at patuloy na kumikilos (we are still standing, smiling, and continuing operations).”

Indeed, ‘Yolanda’, with the massive destruction it caused, presents a new challenge to disaster responders.

It went beyond the supertyphoon norm as the storm surge it triggered swallowed Tacloban whole, leaving only debris of the hard hit city.

At this stage, the new normal in disaster occurrences is only at its infancy. Recent studies show that the West Valley Fault is ripe for movement.  If the fault moves and hence generates a strong earthquake, destruction would ripple not only in Metropolitan Manila, but also in the neighboring towns and cities.

What this means for the department is that there is a need to keep revisiting its preparedness and response plan under the lens of the new normal. There is a need to counter the “hayahay” mindset because as the Secretary puts it, “Ang binibigyan natin ng tulong ngayon ay kahapon pa kailangan ang tulong (The people we are helping now are those needing the help yesterday).”

Even as stronger, more destructive disasters occur, the Department will remain resilient and stay committed to leaving no one behind in its struggle against a different kind of ordinary.###

Posted in NewsComments Off

P62-M gov’t peace projects benefit conflict-affected areas in Central Mindanao

Koronadal City— The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has facilitated the completion of some P62 million-worth of various community peace projects that are now benefiting families in conflict-affected towns of Pikit, Arakan, and Libungan in Central Mindanao.

Built with the funding support of the PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (PAMANA) Project of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPPAP), the projects are part of the government’s firm intent for peacebuilding and development in conflict- affected areas in Mindanao.

PAMANA is the Philippine government’s program and framework for peace and development. It focuses on providing development interventions in hard-to-reach and conflict-affected communities, as well as in areas covered by existing peace agreements. DSWD is one of the implementing agencies.

In the town of Pikit, DSWD has completed P27.8 million-worth of projects. Arakan and Libungan, on the other hand, have P20.7 and P13.5 million-worth, respectively, of projects finished.

Among these are peace centers, community livelihood projects, pre and post-harvest facilities, electrifications, water systems, roads, canals, classrooms, and day care centers.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman explained that PAMANA employs the community-driven development (CDD) strategy which ensures people’s participation in decision-making process.

“The CDD process fosters peaceful relations between and among communities and addresses the root of conflict,” she said.

DSWD-Field Office XII Director Bai Zorahayda T. Taha emphasized that the projects form part of the synergized efforts of DSWD, local government units, village officials and volunteers.

The three towns have been granted additional P27 million funding for the implementation of more community projects that are expected to be completed before the year ends.

Aside from Region XII, other PAMANA areas are Regions IV-A, V, VIII, IX, XI, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), and CARAGA.

From 2012 to date, some 2,023  projects have been completed in these regions.  ###

Posted in NewsComments Off

Bunkhouses in Davao Oriental not overpriced — DSWD

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) today clarified reports that the bunkhouses that will serve as temporary shelters for families left homeless by typhoon “Pablo,” being constructed in Davao Oriental are not overpriced as compared to the bunkhouses being built by other groups specifically the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

DSWD’s statement came after a recent news report mentioned that a DSWD bunkhouse costs P550,000 while an IOM bunkhouse is P259,653.

Based on a comparative matrix, the DSWD pointed out that the cost estimates made by both DSWD and IOM are more or less the same. The difference in total cost was mainly due to varying design features. The DSWD bunkhouse is bigger in floor area, it has thicker floor slabs (1 inch thicker), with more roofing ( 159 GI sheets while IOM  has 96 GI sheets,), with pathway, wash areas, and kitchen compared to the IOM bunkhouse which has no provisions for pathway, electrical, kitchen and concrete wash, and toilet and bathroom.

The DSWD explained that there was no  alleged “ double payment” to soldiers who helped in the construction of the bunkhouse in San Rafael, Cateel. In lieu of the voluntary service of 20 AFP Engineering Brigade soldiers,  the DSWD provided them food allowance not salaries in the amount of P100 per day per person.  Brigade officials acknowledged receipt of P30,000 which was released in two tranches. The first tranche in the amount of P20,000 was released on December 15, 2012  and the second tranche in the amount of P10,000 was released on December 30, 2012. Copies of the receipts and names of soldiers are in the regional office in Davao City. The DSWD further said that with the soldiers volunteering their services, the Department saved P17,465  in labor.

With regard to the allegation that the DSWD  saved on cement as the bunkhouse in San Rafael was constructed on top of a basketball court which has an existing concrete floor,  the Department stressed that the materials are kept in the central warehouse in Poblacion, Cateel. The DSWD staff assigned in Cateel is keeping the inventory and utilization report of the construction materials delivered in the municipality. This document is subject to final inspection and audit by DSWD fiscal staff.

“We would like to emphasize that all transactions and activities of the regional office on the construction of the bunkhouses are supported by documents which are submitted to the Commission on Audit for Post-Audit. Rest assured that should there be findings of irregularities, the DSWD management will deal with these accordingly upholding the tenets of full accountability and transparency,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano Soliman said. ###

Posted in NewsComments Off

DSWD IN 2012: Moving Ahead With Its Convergence Strategy

In 2012, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) remained focused with its objective of fulfilling the millennium development goal to halve poverty incidence by 2015. As the leader in the social welfare and development sector, the Department currently implements three major social protection programs which are the key poverty reduction projects targeting the poor municipalities and poor households in the country using the Convergence Strategy.

The Convergence Strategy complements programs which aim to help specific sectors, such as poor individuals, families, households, and communities.  It involves pooling of expertise and resources, and the channelling of efforts in pursuit of a commonly agreed goal or objective.   It calls for the synchronization, complementation, and coordination of all government interventions (national and local) and the private sector in one geographical area to ensure that reforms in terms of poverty alleviation and social protection, among others, are achieved.

Convergence strategy gains grounds

The DSWD’s Convergence Strategy addresses poverty through the harmonized implementation of   three of its major programs, namely; Kapit-bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS), the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (Pantawid Pamilya), and the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), continued to gain headway in 2012.

KALAHI-CIDSS provides funding for community-driven infrastructure projects such as school buildings, health centers, farm-to-market roads, foot bridges, and water systems, among others.  In 2012, KALAHI-CIDSS expanded its coverage to reach up to 50 percent of the poorest municipalities in targeted provinces, utilizing the Additional Financing (AF) of the World Bank (WB) and a grant from the United States’ Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). To date, the project covers a total of 328 municipalities in 48 poorest provinces in the country.

Pantawid Pamilya gives cash grants to poor families to ensure their education, health and nutritional needs. As of December 26, 2012, Pantawid Pamilya has 3,121,530 household-beneficiaries from 1,410 cities and municipalities in 79 provinces nationwide.

SLP extends capital assistance and capability building to beneficiaries to start their own income generating projects. As part of the Convergence Strategy,  Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who are graduating from the program may avail of the SLP.

Some 321,624 beneficiaries who were enrolled in Pantawid Pamilya in 2008, are residents of KALAHI-CIDSS areas, and who are under the Convergence Strategy will graduate in 2013.

Juvy Pentes (2nd from left) works hard for her family and community

Juvy Pentes (2nd from left) works hard for her family and community

Juvy Pentes, 43, from Barangay Pagsangahan, San Francisco in Quezon Province, a beneficiary of all three programs, is a living example that DSWD’s convergence strategy works.

It used to be that saving money is not an option for Juvy since the income she earns from vending food products combined with her husband’s meager salary from construction work is barely enough to provide for the needs of her seven children.

“Saving money is not an option because everything that we earn goes to food and the school expenses of five of our children. Even if it’s raining or the sun is scorching hot, I had to walk far to sell food, I was willing to endure all these hardships just to feed and send the children to school,” Juvy narrated in the vernacular.

But when Pantawid Pamilya came to their village, Juvy says, “Little by little, our living conditions improved.  My children now have allowance for school.  They also have new uniforms and shoes. I can also buy vitamins for them. What’s more, I am able to save some money in my coin bank. “Eventually, Juvy also became a community volunteer who helps her neighbors in identifying their priority needs for possible KALAHI-CIDSS funding.

KALAHI-CIDSS provided P846,933 to fund the construction of the health center, a big help to Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who can now religiously comply with the health requirements of the program.

As a beneficiary of the Convergence Strategy, Juvy received P5,000 as capital assistance from the DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program  which she used to expand  her food business.

According to Secretary Soliman, the Convergence Strategy is an innovation developed by DSWD for a more wholistic implementation of the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program.  Unlike CCT programs in other countries that merely provide cash grants, the Philippine CCT has a livelihood component and infrastructure support to complement the cash grants, which makes it truly effective.

“Our goal is to prepare the beneficiaries to achieve self-reliance even before their enrollment in Pantawid Pamilya ends after five years,” the Secretary stressed.

Strengthening Partnerships

The DSWD upholds the principles of transparency and accountability. The Department has been actively engaging various civil society organizations (CSOs), non-government organizations (NGOs), people’s organizations and volunteer groups in the implementation and monitoring of its core programs, such as Pantawid Pamilya, Kalahi-CIDSS, SLP, centers and institutions and other programs

Moreover, DSWD’s engagement with these groups is in accordance to President Benigno S. Aquino III’s   thrust on strengthening public private partnership (PPP) in the fulfillment of his platform of Good Governance and Poverty Reduction.

For the past year, the DSWD also focused on empowering and capacitating the parent leaders to be active partners in implementing the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, sustaining the engagement of the community volunteers in different levels of decision making, encouraging entrepreneur-leaders to enter the larger markets, and involving victims of disasters in their own rehabilitation and rebuilding of communities and their lives.

To achieve these goals, the DSWD built collaborative systems to make convergence even more real at the level of the municipalities by strengthening convergence teams through bridging leadership programs.

To enhance the participation of CSOs and volunteer groups, DSWD adopted four mechanisms of engagement, which are ‘bantay’, (watchdog) to help the DSWD in the conduct of anti-corruption campaigns and activities; ‘gabay’ (guide) is the provision of technical assistance especially during the trainings of the beneficiaries;  ‘tulay’ (bridge),  is the implementation of feedback and monitoring mechanisms; and ‘kaagapay’ (helpmate or partner)  focuses on disaster risk management, and  anti-poverty projects and activities.

In 2012, the DSWD signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with 368 local CSOs, faith-based and civic organizations and nine national organizations in monitoring the transparency and augmentation of DSWD core programs and other projects.

Youth participants in the Family Camp for MCCT-HSF in NCR listen to a resource person from the Philippine National Police talk about drug awareness. (Right) Cash pay-out of grants to MCCT beneficiaries held in San Andres, Manila.

Youth participants in the Family Camp for MCCT-HSF in NCR listen to a resource person from the Philippine National Police talk about drug awareness. (Right) Cash pay-out of grants to MCCT beneficiaries held in San Andres, Manila.

From a life in the streets to a brighter future

Despite the series of calamities, the DSWD successfully launched the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Homeless Street Families (MCCT – HSF) which covers poor families who were not included in the regular Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program because of their mobile lifestyle.

The MCCT-HSF project provides a complete package of assistance to street families that include education and health grants, and shelter assistance with access to social services and economic opportunities to improve their lives.

Rolando Masayda, Malyn Navarro, Maureen DeLa Cruz, Mr. and Mrs. Angelo, and Jerlyn De La Cruz who used to live and eke out a living on the streets, now have their own rented  homes through the MCCT-HSF project.

As Malyn explained, “Aside from the financial assistance provided by DSWD for six months to enable us to pay for our rent, we are also undergoing livelihood skills training  that will capacitate us and eventually become economically self-sufficient.”

The DSWD conducted three batches of Family Camp for the homeless street families in November 2012 at Island Cove, Kawit, Cavite to provide a venue where they can enjoy new experiences and opportunities.  The beneficiaries participated in various camping activities which fostered family bonding and camaraderie, and served as venues for learning.

Comfort in their twilight years

An elderly woman receives her pension from a social worker during an onsite pay-out.

An elderly woman receives her pension from a social worker during an onsite pay-out.

One of the priorities of the DSWD is the provision of social protection programs and services to its center-based and community-based clients, such as senior citizens, abused women and children, persons with disabilities (PWDs) and children in conflict with the law (CICL).

The government’s Social Pension Program (SPP) implemented by the DSWD provides a monthly stipend of P500 to indigent senior citizens as mandated by Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

For Benedicto and Geronima Asis, social pensioners and residents of Poblacion, Veruela, Agusan del Sur, the monthly pension they receive is an unexpected blessing.  Their grandson Albert, who lives with the elderly couple, is thankful for the pensions of his sickly grandparents which he uses to buy their food and medicines.

“My grandparents are slowly getting stronger because we can already provide their medicines, nutritious food, vitamins, and milk,” relates Albert.

The priority beneficiaries of the Social Pension are senior citizens 77 years old and above who are frail, sickly and disabled, without a regular source of income and/or support from any member of the family, and not receiving other pension benefits from government and private agencies.

At 114 years old, Lola Francisca M. Susano from Puerto Princesa City is the oldest recipient of the social pension program, who considers herself lucky, because, at her age, she is still strong. Lola Francisca lived alone until she turned 114, and she moved in with one of her children.

“Before I became a pensioner, I preferred to live alone because I do not want to be a burden to my children who are also in difficult situations.  But when one of my children invited me to live with them, I did not hesitate anymore because I  know that even when I stay with them, I can still support my basic needs with the monthly pension that I receive. I can even share with them a little,” says Lola Francisca.

The indigent senior citizens are identified through the DSWD’s National Household Targeting System.

As of end of December 2012, a total of 180,710 indigent senior citizens or 97 percent of the 185,914 qualified beneficiaries for 2012 received their P500 monthly social pension from the DSWD.

The DSWD continues to hold meetings with senior citizens groups particularly the Confederation of Older Person’s Association of the Philippines (COPAP) and Coalition of Services for the Elderly (COSE) to address issues and concerns raised by senior citizens themselves to effectively and efficiently implement the program.

Keeping children healthy through the Supplementary Feeding Program

Day-care children enjoy the hot meals served by Day Care workers during a supplementary feeding activity.

Day-care children enjoy the hot meals served by Day Care workers during a supplementary feeding activity.

Another major program being implemented by the DSWD is the Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) which provides school children

with hot meals if they are enrolled

in day care and supervised neighborhood play (SNP) in school.

In 2012, a total of 1,567, 119 or 89 percent of the targeted 1,755,034 children in 41,042 day care centers nationwide availed of the SFP. Under this program, the parents of day care children are the ones to prepare the food following the menu of locally available foods.

Empowering the disadvantaged and vulnerable sectors

The DSWD provides livelihood assistance for victims of trafficking to assist them in their recovery towards a normal life. Shown in photo is a sari-sari store which a beneficiary manages with her mother from the P10,000 livelihood assistance.

The DSWD provides livelihood assistance for victims of trafficking to assist them in their recovery towards a normal life. Shown in photo is a sari-sari store which a beneficiary manages with her mother from the P10,000 livelihood assistance.

As the agency mandated to assist those in need, the DSWD served its various clientele by implementing community-based and center-based programs and services for abused and trafficked women and children,  older persons, solo parents, and persons with disabilities.

As co-chair of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), the DSWD continuously implements protective, recovery, rehabilitative, and reintegrative programs for victims of trafficking. “We are committed to protect our people from trafficking and provide the victims with the necessary recovery and reintegration program,” Secretary Soliman emphasized.

As a strategy to combat trafficking, the DSWD assigned social workers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and Diosdado Macapagal International Airport to detect and assist possible victims of trafficking.

Likewise, continuous advocacy and prevention activities are being done to inform the public on the dangers of trafficking.

Trafficked women and minors are provided with wholistic programs and services in DSWD centers, such as Home for Girls and Nayon ng Kabataan, and in community-based programs in coordination with local government units.

Rescued trafficking victims expressed their gratitude to DSWD for helping them turn a new leaf, “We have learned our lesson and we are thankful to DSWD and all the other agencies and organizations which freed and protected us from the illegal recruiters, and are continuing to help us,” Tamara from Region XII enthused.

As of September 2012, DSWD assisted 705 women-victims and 317 children-victims of trafficking.

Aside from victims of trafficking, the DSWD also served 45,283 women in difficult circumstances including physically/emotionally abused, women, and victims of rape, incest, illegal recruitment and involuntary prostitution. Services for them include counselling, livelihood, skills training, and legal assistance.

For persons with disabilities (PWDs), the DSWD continues to implement community-based and center-based programs and services to empower this sector and help them improve their lives.

In 2012, the DSWD served a total of 911 PWDs. Of this number, some 119 children and youth with disabilities availed of the Tuloy Aral Walang Sagabal (TAWAG) program.

A total of 1,959 PWDs also availed of livelihood skills training and psychosocial counselling, among others in DSWD-managed centers and institutions.

A brighter future for children in conflict with the law

Since the passage of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 or RA 9344, scores of children have been released from jails nationwide. However, there remains a need

A Bahay-Pag-asa (house of hope) for children in conflict with the law will soon rise in Valenzuela City as part of the local government’s programs for CICL. The groundbreaking ceremony was held in July 2012.

A Bahay-Pag-asa (house of hope) for children in conflict with the law will soon rise in Valenzuela City as part of the local government’s programs for CICL. The groundbreaking ceremony was held in July 2012.

for stronger advocacy to explain to the public that these children are victims themselves. According to RA 9344, children 15 years old and below are exempted from criminal liability, however, they will undergo diversion and rehabilitation programs and not go scot-free.

To provide temporary homes for Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL), DSWD, in coordination with local government units (LGUs) constructed “Bahay-Pag-asa” in Regions I, III, IV-A, VI, X, XII, NCR and CAR.

The DSWD chairs the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC) created to address the concerns of CICL.  Among their accomplishments is the crafting of a Comprehensive National Juvenile Intervention Framework to help LGUs in developing their programs for the children in their locality.

In 2012, DSWD served some 2,884 CICLthrough Released on Recognizance, Released on Bail, and Custody Supervision.

The advocacy for CICL  was given impetus through   Presidential Proclamation No. 489 which was signed by President Aquino on October 11, 2012 declaring the fourth week of October as the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Consciousness Week.  Henceforth, the JJWC Week will be observed in conjunction with the annual celebration in October as the National Children’s Month.

The 1st Juvenile Justice and Welfare Consciousness Week was held from October 22 to 27, 2012 highlighted by a Youth Flash Mob held at SM Mall of Asia.

Proclamation No. 489 affirms that the government of the Philippines commits its obligations to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN-CRC), a legally binding international instrument establishing the minimum entitlements and freedom of children respected by various governments worldwide.

Assisting victims of disaster

DSWD Region XI Director Priscilla Razon with movie star and World Food Programme Ambassadress KC Concepcion and WFP Director Stephen Anderson  distribute relief goods to typhoon ‘Pablo’ victims in New Bataan, Compostela Valley. (Right) DSWD staff man the disaster relief operations desk at DSWD Region XI in Magsaysay Avenue, Davao City.

DSWD Region XI Director Priscilla Razon with movie star and World Food Programme Ambassadress KC Concepcion and WFP Director Stephen Anderson distribute relief goods to typhoon ‘Pablo’ victims in New Bataan, Compostela Valley. (Right) DSWD staff man the disaster relief operations desk at DSWD Region XI in Magsaysay Avenue, Davao City.

As the year 2012 closed, the  DSWD also rose to the challenge of addressing the myriad  concerns brought about by the “Habagat” monsoon rains which flooded Metro Manila and Region III in August, and the severe devastation  wrought by typhoon ‘Pablo’ which struck Regions IV-B, VI, VII, XI and CARAGA on December 4. As of November 12, 2012, DSWD provided a total of P82.62 million worth of relief assistance to the families affected by ‘Habagat’ monsoon rains.

On the other hand, Region XI bore the brunt of typhoon Pablo’s destruction with the towns of New Bataan, Monkayo, and Montevista in Compostela Valley; and Boston, Cateel, and Baganga in Davao Oriental,  virtually wiped out. The DSWD together with other government agencies, such as the Departments of Health, Education, Public Works and Highways, Labor and Employment, Agriculture, Philippine Army, and Philippine National Police, immediately activated mechanisms and combined their resources to aid the thousands of displaced and distressed families.

To cope with the herculean task of helping the survivors rebuild their lives, DSWD dedicated staff worked during   the holidays, assisting the affected local government units in running the relief operations, from managing the evacuation centers to monitoring and assessment of the various needs of the displaced families.

Donations from local and international humanitarian organizations poured in for the victims and survivors. Volunteers heeded the call of DSWD and came in droves to the Disaster Relief Operations Center at the DPWH Depot, Panacan, Davao City to assist in the repacking of relief goods. The DSWD Regional Office continues to accept volunteers.

To foster the yuletide spirit in the typhoon-hit areas, DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman, together with local officials distributed Noche Buena packs to the affected families on December 22.

The DSWD provided a total of P1,487,475,380.00 cost of assistance to 204,464 families or 806,307 persons affected by typhoon “Pablo.” This figure covers DSWD food and non-food items as well as ‘noche buena’ packs, bunkhouses, financial assistance, and Cash-For-Work.

“Even while we are continuously providing the displaced families with food packs until March, we also want to give them a sense of dignity by providing them with means to support themselves and  their families through the cash-for-work program. Beneficiaries of the Cash-For-Work in Davao Region will receive the minimum regional wage of P226 a day in return for repairing community facilities damaged by the typhoon, and in helping in the construction of bunkhouses,” Secretary Soliman explained.

Forging Ahead

For this year, the DSWD will continue to forge ahead with the implementation of its core poverty reduction programs while assisting the families displaced by typhoon ‘Pablo’ and the series of flooding incidents in Davao region.

The Department’s priorities remain the same – keeping children in school and healthy, providing the needs of indigent senior citizens, while helping and empowering other sectors at risk and in need of special protection. But the passion of DSWD personnel to deliver the much needed services for the sectors it has vowed to serve will continue to burn brightly.

As always, DSWD’s work force remains steadfast, resilient, committed and dedicated ready to respond to emerging and immediate needs  ###

Posted in NewsComments Off

Relief goods sent to Davao Oriental – DSWD

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has mobilized all members of its Quick Response Teams and Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) Teams in the regions affected by ‘Pablo’ especially in hardest hit Region XI to continuously monitor the effects of the typhoon, and to ensure that relief goods are delivered on time in the affected areas, according to Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman.

As of 8 a.m. today, December 6, the DSWD has released a total of P12.83 million worth of relief assistance to Davao Region.

Some 7,760 family food packs were released to families in Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley and Davao City.

DSWD Field Office XI OIC-Regional Director Priscilla Razon and Davao Oriental Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon yesterday visited the municipalities of Boston and Cateel, Davao Oriental and handed over 3,000 family food packs to the affected families.

An additional 1,000 family food packs were released today to Mati; 2,000 packs to Boston; 2,000 packs to New Bataan; and 500 packs to Davao City.  Also, DSWD FO XI provided financial assistance of P10,000 each for the families of casualties.  Moreover, DSWD has deployed generator sets and family tents to Davao Oriental.

Secretary Soliman also said that “We are eyeing building bunk houses to help residents who lost their homes during typhoon ‘Pablo.’ These bunk houses will be used as temporary dwelling places in disaster-hit areas after the typhoon destroyed most of the houses there.” ### 6 December 2012 (DSWD-Social Marketing Service)

Posted in NewsComments Off

1 OUT OF 5 WOMEN IS ABUSED – DSWD

One out of five women, aged 15-49, has experienced physical violence, 14.4 percent of married women have experienced physical abuse from their husbands; 37 percent of separated or widowed women have experienced physical violence, according to Department of Social Welfare and Development, quoting the 2008 National Demographic and Health Survey conducted by the National Statistics Office.

In 2011, some 15,104 cases of domestic violence were recorded by the Women and Children Protection Center of the Philippine National Police. The 2011 figure is 5,619 cases more than the 2010 figure of 9,485 cases. For 2012, some 12,948 cases were recorded covering January to August.

“Violence against women is one of the challenges the world is facing today. It has turned into a pervasive human rights violation. It violates the fundamental freedom of women and impedes the development of their full potential,” Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman said.

In an effort to address the growing phenomenon of violence against women (VAW) especially in the Asian region, member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will gather for the Training Workshop on Strengthening Capacities of Communities, Practitioners and Policy Makers to Address Violence Against Women (VAW) on November 27-29 in Manila.

The training is part of DSWD’s commitment to advance the goals of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25.

The three-day training workshop is organized by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). It will be participated in by social workers, law enforcement officers and non-government organizations (NGOs) involved in managing cases of victims-survivors of violence against women, from the ten ASEAN member-states, namely; Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines.

The gathering aims to provide a venue for participating countries to share their initiatives, strategies, gains, challenges, and recommendations on strengthening capacities of communities, practitioners and policy makers in addressing VAW focusing on victims-survivors,  perpetrators and  enabling mechanisms.

The workshop hopes to identify common approaches that service providers and practitioners can adopt to effectively address violence against women in the Asian region.

ASEAN member-states have been undertaking different measures to study and address violence against women. At the national level, measures undertaken include legislation and legal reform, action plan formulation, implementation of programs and projects, setting up of referrals and linkages and working closely with NGOs.

Previously, the Philippines conducted two ASEAN Training Workshops, in 2003 and 2005, as part of the strategies to address VAW collectively undertaken by the ASEAN member-states. The previous activities sought to strengthen effective mechanisms to prevent domestic violence, and increase the competency of ASEAN member-countries in addressing the gaps on VAW interventions focusing on the treatment and rehabilitation of the perpetrators of domestic violence.

“This time, we need to focus on the service providers and stakeholders, particularly on strengthening the capacities of communities, practitioners and policy makers as the next step to eliminate violence against women.  We are looking forward to a fruitful sharing of ideas and strategies that will effectively eliminate this social malady in the Asian region,” Secretary Soliman emphasized. ###

Posted in NewsComments Off

New study shows Mindanao challenges

(reprinted from http://www.abs-cbnnews.com, May 3, 2012)

by Lila Ramos Shahani

Over the past 12 years, cycles of violent conflict in Central Mindanao have displaced nearly a million people from their homes.In October 2011, thousands of families had to leave their homes yet again when fighting escalated in parts of Zamboanga Sibugay and Basilan. Currently, several thousand people across Mindanao remain displaced, particularly in Maguindanao.

These disrupted lives present major challenges to both government and affected families, particularly since these displaced individuals do not always return to their own homes, a recent study by the WB and the WFP revealed.

It found displacement to be detrimental to livelihoods, social cohesion and welfare across virtually every key indicator: food security, access to basic services, income poverty and housing.

The survey, launched by the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cabinet Cluster (HDPRCC) last Friday, was conducted during the last quarter of 2010.

A total of 2,759 randomly-selected households from a total of 231 barangays across 5 provinces — Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), as well as Lanao del Norte, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat — were interviewed.

Families displaced by conflict

The study, “Violent Conflicts and Displacement in Central Mindanao: Challenges for Recovery and Development, ” revealed that 4 in every 10 households in the surveyed areas experienced displacement from 2000-2010, with 1 in 5 displaced 2 or more times, and 1 in 10 forced to leave their homes up to 5 times during this period.

The long-term effects of conflicts have been destructive indeed: they have repressed the growth of investments while diluting government resources needed for development, basic services and human capital.

But government firmly believes that war is not a solution to this long-term historical problem, and that much can ultimately be resolved by addressing the deeper problems of poverty and underdevelopment.

Inequality has been a primary reason for the insurgency’s continuation through so many generations: certainly, the human development index in ARMM is arguably the worst in the entire country, part of a legacy of decades of armed struggle.

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary and HDPRCC head Dinky Soliman welcomed the report’s “important insights on the inter-related dimensions of conflict, displacement and economic growth” in Central Mindanao.

“The data provides a basis to allow the relevant departments in government and other development partners to offer targeted recovery and render extensive development support in affected areas, especially the most vulnerable households,” she said.

In a statement read by Undersecretary Luis Montalbo, Secretary Ging Quintos-Deles of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) also lauded the study, finding it to be a “very relevant guide” for government’s efforts in conflict-affected communities under the current Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Peaceful and Resilient Communities or PAMANA) program.

“It is also important that interventions under PAMANA be based on detailed knowledge of livelihood opportunities and access to land, credit availability and food supply. These indicators vary from place to place,” Deles noted.

World Bank Country Director Motoo Konishi said the report shed considerable light on the nature and extent of vulnerability across provinces, population categories and livelihood groups in affected areas.

“It can shape the operational choices of humanitarian, recovery and development agencies, in addition to improving outcomes for the population on the ground,” he said. Konishi was represented by Mark Woodward, senior social development specialist at the World Bank.

WFP Country Director Stephen Anderson, meanwhile, said the study will help agencies like WFP “better target food assistance and help communities strengthen their resilience to conflict and natural disasters.”

 

Not enough food

Photos by Philipp Herzog, WFP

Photos by Philipp Herzog, WFP

Anderson noted that “the 2 ARMM provinces in Central Mindanao – Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur – suffer the highest levels of food insecurity. This is exacerbated by high levels of exposure to shocks, such as recurrent flooding and crop disease that make people poorer and more food insecure.”

The study found out that households in Central Mindanao most vulnerable to displacement have been “frequently exposed to violence.”

Movements of armed military and rebel groups were cited by 29% of surveyed households as one primary cause of their displacement, while 9%blamed it on clan conflict or “rido.”

Host families also felt additional pressures, resorting “to selling goods or assets to provide food and support” for the displaced people they were hosting.

Of the areas surveyed, Maguindanao accounted for the highest degree of vulnerability, with about 82 percent of all households in the area affected by displacement due not only to violent conflict but also to weather-related disasters.

These displacements represented the 2 poorest wealth quintiles, where households suffered the highest levels of food insecurity and the lowest incomes.

Money as top priority

When asked to identify their top priorities, surveyed households ranked money, employment, food, health and education, in that order. Respondents called for government attention to these basic needs, as well as the construction of roads and the need for electricity.

Respondents also identified economic development, the signing of a peace agreement, and ending impunity as critical interventions that are urgently needed.

Peace is crucial for human wellbeing, economic development and nation building. Deeper problems of poverty and underdevelopment propagate and sustain conflict — which we therefore should be focusing on instead.

Many sources of disagreement are now generations old, no longer amenable to short-term solutions.

Peaceful resolution will now therefore require much greater give-and-take, carefully crafted policies and a great deal of goodwill on all sides.

But policies and mechanisms for the peaceful settlement of political disputes must be coupled with programs that accurately target socio-economic, political and environmental vulnerabilities.

By increasing access to services and infrastructure, these areas of conflict can potentially be transformed into peaceful and progressive communities.

In line with President Aquino’s thrust for more participatory government, this publication provides a wellspring for greater dialogue and collaboration in the future. This is just the start of a creative new partnership between the Philippine government and its international partners to work towards more humanitarian conditions — and more lasting peace and development — in central Mindanao .

Lila Ramos Shahani is assistant secretary and head of communications of the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cabinet Cluster. She is also adjunct faculty at the Center for Development Management at the Asian Institute of Management.

 

Posted in NewsComments Off

Summary of Foreign and Local Donations
As of September 22, 2014

P98,312,055.16 - Local Donations

USD23,784,101.78 - Foreign Donations


e-AICS Logo

Hunger Project

The Story of Juan

DSWD GAD










Donate Online

Transparency Seal

Citizen's Charter

The Story of Juan

Pantawid Pamilya Impact Evaluation 2012 Data


Archives


Hit Counter provided by Los Angeles SEO
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