Aid for displaced Lumads in Surigao del Sur continues

Some 574 families or 2,793 persons from Surigao del Sur affected by the civil unrest in the province continue to receive the converged services of concerned government agencies, non-government organizations (NGOs), and the local government unit (LGU).

The government and NGOs continue to ensure the safety and well-being of those who are still staying at the three evacuation centers as the civil unrest in the province is being resolved.
To date, close to P7.5 million worth of relief assistance has been provided to the displaced families from the combined resources of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) with P2.7 million, P2.1 million from other government agencies and private individuals/institutions, P1.5 million from NGOs, and P1.1 million from the LGU.
The DSWD reiterated it has enough relief supplies to augment the resources of the LGU of Surigao del Sur for the evacuees.
To maintain hygiene in the evacuation centers, additional latrines were constructed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and are now being used by the evacuees inside the SDS Sports Center in Tandag City.
On the other hand, a consultation dialogue with 27 community leaders was conducted by the DSWD-Field Office CARAGA to enable the evacuees to avail of the Cash-for-Work (CFW) and Food-for-Work (FFW) programs while at the evacuation center.
Qualified evacuees will render CFW and FFW activities such as declogging and making of canals, gravelling, weeding, and grass cutting.  The Field Office and the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office are now preparing the proposal for the CFW and FFW.
The DSWD Field Office is also consolidating the list of children-evacuees who will be granted college scholarship by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and other agencies.
Social workers from the DSWD-Field Office and from the LGU hold continuous dialogue with community leaders to determine how the evacuees can be further assisted. ###

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DSWD capacity to receive boost from Australian support

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Australian Government are set to launch a partnership project that will enhance the capacity of the DSWD in responding to natural disasters and other emergencies.

The launch, which includes the groundbreaking for a new warehouse, will be held on December 3 at the National Resource Operations Center (NROC) in Pasay City.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman and Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell will lead the groundbreaking ceremonies, signifying the start of the construction of the warehouse. They are also expected to make the announcement on the new partnership and what the public can expect from it.

Other guests from partner agencies like the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and other member-agencies of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) are expected to attend the ceremony.

The DPWH will take the lead in the construction of the warehouse, which is expected to be finished within the first semester of 2016.

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From street thug to hardworking mother

Life took a complete turn for May Lacson, who used to call the streets of Manila home before becoming a beneficiary of the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program for Homeless Street Families (MCCT-HSF) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“Kung dati po patalim ang hawak ko, ngayon rosary na (I used to hold a knife, but now, I just hold a rosary),” recounted May in an interview during the initial broadcast of the I-PUSH Natin ang Pagbabago radio program of DZRH. The show airs every Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 nn.

May added, “Napakahirap po ng buhay sa kalye, dapat po matuto ka talagang maging matigas. Inaamin ko pong matigas ang ulo ko dati. Nasubukan ko na din mag-drugs. Kaya nagpapasalamat ako at iniabot ng DSWD ang kamay ng pagtulong sa amin na parang patapon ang turing ng iba (Life on the streets is difficult.  You must learn how to be tough.  I admit that I was hardheaded before.  I even tried using drugs.  That is why I am thankful to DSWD for reaching their helping hands out to us who are considered by many as social outcasts).”

Tough life on the streets

The MCCT-HSF is an expansion of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program which provides a complete package of assistance to street families, including responsive shelter program, access to social services, and economic opportunities for the improvement of their living conditions.  It also extends house rental assistance of up to P4,000 per month from six months to one year. MCCT-HSF started in 2012.

To date, a total of 4,408 families are registered in the program.  Some 700 families are already paying their own house rental after they gained a steady source of income through the livelihood component of the program.

A single parent, May and her two children were among the first beneficiaries of the MCCT-HSF program in August 2012.

According to May, she actually had three children but lost one child to meningitis in 2004 while they were still living on the streets.

Recounting her previous life, May said they used to live within the Port Area, Manila near the office of the Department of Public Works and Highways.  They were staying in a makeshift house made of tarpaulins and empty boxes when the DSWD found them.

After further assessment, the Lacson family was transferred to a rented house as part of the program assistance in November 2012.

Life changing program

With her voice breaking, May said, “Napakalaki ng pasasalamat ko sa DSWD sa tulong na ito.  Ngayon ay masaya ako at ligtas na ang pamilya ko dahil may sarili na kaming bahay (We greatly thank DSWD for the help. I am happy that my family is now safe inside our own rented house).”

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said the MCCT-HSF is designed particularly to help the homeless street families year-round. 

“Contrary to reports that street families are just given attention during big events like the APEC, the DSWD has been implementing the program as early as 2012.”

“Hindi kami nagtatago ng mga street families, kasi hindi naman naitatago ang kahirapan.  Talagang parte ng programa ang oryentasyon na ginagawa (We do not hide the street families, as we all know we can never hide poverty.  Orienting the beneficiaries is an integral part of the MCCT-HSF program),” the Secretary added.

May affirmed saying, “Hindi po kami itinago, tinulungan po kami. Tinuruan din kaming maging mabuting tao, maging mabuting magulang, at mabuting anak sa pamamagitan ng Family Development Sessions FDS (We were never hidden, we were helped by DSWD. We were taught to be good citizens, be better parents and children through the FDS.)”

Sec. Soliman explained that the FDS is ​one of the conditions of​ the MCCT-HSF program wherein beneficiaries attend monthly sessions on responsible parenting and values formation as well as trainings on livelihood to ensure that they will have a sustainable source of income.

For May, she is employed as a street sweeper under the Cash-for-Work, also a component of MCCT-HSF.

“Nag-street sweeper po ako bilang parte nung Cash-for-Work program ng MCCT-HSF, tapos nagpepedicab din po ako.  Sa umaga, pedicab po tapos sa tanghali pasok na sa trabaho (I work as a street sweeper as part of the cash for work program, and I also work as a pedicab driver in the morning),” May said.

When asked for her final message, May has this to say for her fellow beneficiaries, “Sa mga kapwa ko mga dating nasa lansangan, dapat po natin alalahanin na dapat pagyamanin natin ang tulong ng gobyerno. Hindi lahat iaasa, dapat magtrabaho din. Ako,​ ​narealize ko kaya ko din pala,​ ​kaya nagsisikap ako. Gusto ko din makapag-aral pa balang araw (To all my fellow former street dwellers, we should treasure the assistance of government.  We should not rely only on their help. We should also work to help ourselves).” ###

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Visit, shop at bazaar of Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries -DSWD

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through the Sustainable Livelihood Program  is inviting the public to visit and shop at PaskuJuan 2015, a holiday bazaar on November 29(Sunday) from 9 am to 8pm at the Araneta Gateway Food Park, Cubao, Quezon City.

PaskuJuan will feature products crafted by Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries from different parts of the country.

PaskuJuan is a yearly project of the DSWD to help Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, who are also being provided with livelihood assistance through SLP, market their products.

“The success of PaskuJuan last year prompted us to institutionalize it as a yearly activity. It is one way of helping the beneficiaries market their products to the public,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said.

“If you buy their products, then you are also helping them earn for their family,” Sec. Soliman continued as she enjoined the public to do their holiday shopping at the bazaar.

SLP is a community-based capacity building program that seeks to improve the socio-economic status of program participants or the beneficiaries.

It is implemented through two tracks: Micro-enterprise Development and Employment Facilitation. The Micro-enterprise Development track supports micro-enterprises in becoming organizationally and economically viable, whereas the Employment Facilitation track assists participants to access appropriate employment opportunities. Both tracks are executed based on the Community-Driven Enterprise Development (CDED) approach, which equips program participants to actively contribute to production and labor markets by looking at available resources and accessible markets.

From January 2011 to October 2015, SLP served a total of 851,505 families wherein  87 percent or 740,665 are Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries and 13 percent or 110,840 are non-Pantawid Pamilya  assessed as poor through the Listahanan or data base of poor families. ###

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Fisherman’s son named as National Pantawid Pamilya Exemplary Child

Jake Lere Boyles performs his winning piece during the Araw ng Kabataan while Sec. Soliman and other guests beam as they watch.

Jake Lere Boyles performs his winning piece during the Araw ng Kabataan while Sec. Soliman and other guests beam as they watch.

Overflowing in confidence despite his small frame, 11-year-old Jake Lere Boyles, a fisherman’s son, was the image of success during the Araw ng Kabataan celebration last November 21.

Jake bested 16 children from the different regions nationwide when he was named as the national winner of the Search for Pantawid Pamilya Exemplary Child.

He received his award from Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman during the celebration of Araw ng Kabataan held over the weekend at the Quirino Grandstand.

Now on its fourth year, the search has identified young leaders who serve as role models of other Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries.

The Search was the highlight of the National Children’s Congress, a gathering of regional winners of the Search, organized by the DSWD.

Jake was chosen among the nominees of the search for his excellent leadership skills and talent.

During the congress, Jake was among the most active participants, giving his voice on various issues that affect the children’s sector.

He also gained the admiration of his co-participants when he performed his talent in rap music using an original piece that expressed his desire to end poverty.

He was also the main character of the creative group presentation that reflected how Pantawid Pamilya is fulfilling children’s aspirations in life.
Overcoming poverty

Jake’s father Bartolome is a fisherman and his mother Armida is a plain housewife from Tigdaranao, Tarangnan, Samar Province. He is the fourth among seven children.

Jake related that his schooling was on and off due to their poverty.

Kulang po ang kita ng tatay ko sa pangingisda para matugunan lahat ng aming pangangailangan tulad ng pamasahe araw-araw at baon (The income of my father as a fisherman is not enough to meet all our needs like our daily transportation and school allowance),” Jake said.
He said that he had to ride a boat from his island barangay to reach Tarangnan National High School where he is in first year high school.
He added that although it is difficult to travel to school especially during the “habagat” season when waves are huge, he is still determined to attend classes regularly.
Things changed when his family became one of the 4.4 million beneficiaries nationwide of the Pantawid Pamilya, a human development program that invests in the health and education of poor families, primarily those with children aged 0-18. It provides monthly cash grants to beneficiaries who comply with the conditions of sending their children to school, bringing them to health centers, and attending the Family Development Sessions.
Today, Jake and his siblings can already go to school every day without worrying about their transportation and school allowance.
For Jake, education is important in achieving his dream of becoming a chef or a scientist to be able to help his parents uplift their living condition. This encouraged and inspired him to continue high school despite all the challenges.
In fact, he has been part of different science contests and competitions, and he has already bagged awards in Science Olympics such as First Place in Large Barge and Water Rocket and Second Place in Water Transportation in 2014; and First place in Water Transportation in 2015.  He also graduated as Class Valedictorian last year.
Akos ko an pagbabago kay pursigido ako magmaupay it akon kinabubuwason para ha akon pamilya pati na gihap han akon komunidad (I can make a positive change because I am determined to have a better future for my family and the entire community),” Jake said.
Other winners
Aside from Jake, four other Pantawid Pamilya children-beneficiaries were awarded. They were Mark Anthony Isaac of Region III, 1st Runner Up; Angel Anne Marie Jabian of Region X, 2nd Runner Up; Ericka Rose Monteclaro of Region VI, 3rd Runner Up; and, Misty Tam-awen of CAR, 4th Runner Up.

Sec. Soliman commended the exemplary children and urged them to continue being good examples to their fellow youth.

She pointed out that the gathering of exemplary children during the congress was a recognition of their role in development.

“Their voices are equally important to us. We will not only listen to their stories, but we will also make sure that their recommendations are put to action to ensure that children are part of inclusive growth,” Sec. Soliman concluded. ###

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Sec. Soliman clarifies report of human rights group on homeless families

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman refuted the claim of a human rights group that hundreds of homeless families were taken off the streets saying that only 77 families were reached-out by the Manila Department of Social Welfare during a city wide reach out operations.

“What the media saw during the visit at the Boystown were regular residents of the center who have been reached out much earlier than the city wide reach-out operation, “ Sec. Soliman said.

It can be recalled that local government of Manila brought the reached-out families to the Boystown where they were interviewed and assessed for the provision of appropriate services.

During the assessment, 12 families were assessed to be potential beneficiaries of the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Homeless Families (MCCT-HSF) and two were qualified under the regular Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

The MCCT is an expansion of the Pantawid Pamilya, which provides a complete package of assistance to street families, including responsive shelter program, access to social services, and economic opportunities for the improvement of their living conditions. It also extends house rental assistance of up to P4,000 per month, which is paid directly to the lessor and not the families, for six months to one year. MCCT-HSF started in 2012.

Some 73 adults were also provided Cash-for-Work (CFW) where they helped in cleaning the quarters and the surroundings of the center. The CFW beneficiaries received P360 per day.

They are now being evaluated if they are qualified to avail of employment facilitation where they will be employed as park attendants.

Back on the streets?

On the issue that the homeless are now back on the street after one week, Sec. Soliman said that those roaming the streets now may have come from other areas as they move from one place to another.

“They too will be reached-out by the Department in partnership with the LGU so that their needs will also be assessed,” Sec. Soliman continued.

Sec. Soliman also cited the positive result of the reach-out operation and family camp in January saying that 75 of the 100 street families who were part of the activities are now living in safe houses through the provision of financial assistance and Alternative Family Home (AFH) with sustainable livelihood. Their children are also enrolled under the Alternative Learning System (ALS) of the Department of Education.

The rest have gone back to their provinces of origin or have returned to their homes in Metro Manila but continue to receive follow through services from the Department and from concerned LGUs.

Sec. Soliman also shared that of the 4,408 beneficiaries of the MCCT-HSF, 700 families are now able to pay for their house rental. ###

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Children express their voices during “Araw ng Kabataan”

Some 3,500 parent-and child-beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and recipients of other child-focused services of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) gathered today at the Quirino Grandstand, Luneta Park, to celebrate “Araw ng Kabataan.”

“Araw ng Kabataan”  was organized by the DSWD together with its two attached agencies, the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) and the National Youth Commission (NYC), and is in line with the National Children’s Month Celebration this November with the theme, “Komunidad at Pamahalaan, Magkaisa; Pang-aabuso sa Bata, Wakasan Na!”

As the lead agency mandated to protect the rights and promote the welfare of children, DSWD strongly bats for a violent-free society for children through the use of positive discipline rather than corporal punishment to teach children the principles of right and wrong and to inculcate positive character qualities.

The DSWD supports House Bill No. 155 or the “Positive and Nonviolent Discipline of Children Act,” introduced by Representative Susan A. Yap.

On the other hand, DSWD is also pushing for the institutionalization of Pantawid Pamilya to sustain the gains of the program in providing poor children a fighting chance to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty in their respective families.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that the event was a demonstration of the collaborative efforts of communities and the local and national governments to combat all forms of abuse and exploitation against children, and to create a friendly society where children can develop their full potential.

“Today is the day that communities and all levels of government join hands to secure the future of our children by advocating for the passage of policies and legislations, as well as by developing appropriate services that will nurture their talents and skills essential for them to become our future leaders,” Sec. Soliman stated.


One of the highlights of the event was the presentation of the results of the Barangay-based Talakayan and the Children’s Summit.

DSWD, in partnership with the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) in the different National Capital Region local government units, organized barangay fora that tackled responsible parenting and positive disciplining. Beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya and other families in the community participated in these events.  

The Children’s Summit, on the other hand, generated recommendations from the children-participants on how to further address their concerns and needs.

“We recognize the role of our children in development and their voices are equally important to us. We will not only listen to their stories but we will make sure that their recommendations are put to action,” Sec. Soliman said.

The results of these two child-focused activities will be used as basis for the crafting of policies and programs for the sector.

The winners of the Search for the Pantawid Pamilya Exemplary Child were also awarded.

Pantawid Pamilya is human development program that invests in the health and education of poor families, primarily those with children aged 0-18. It provides monthly cash grants to beneficiaries who comply with the conditions of sending their children to school, bringing them to health centers, and attending Family Development Sessions. ###

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DSWD assists homeless families at Boystown

Male adults who are among the homeless individuals reached-out by the Manila City Social Welfare and Development Office and are now temporarily staying at the Boystown undertake Cash-for-Work.

Male adults who are among the homeless individuals reached-out by the Manila City Social Welfare and Development Office and are now temporarily staying at the Boystown undertake Cash-for-Work.

A team of social workers from the Department of Social Welfare and Development-National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) continues to assist the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) of Manila in providing appropriate services to the homeless families who were brought to Boystown after a citywide reach out operation last week, which was solely an initiative of the Manila local government.

Around 24 families or 87 individuals composed of 42 adults and 45 minors are now temporarily staying at the center. There are also 118 unattached adults. All of them were reached out during last week’s operation.

Upon coordination with the CSWDO yesterday, the DSWD social workers gathered the families for an interview and assessment to determine their profile and the appropriate services that they need. The families will be assisted according to their needs.

Based on the assessment, the families who have their own houses will be brought back home. Those who do not have houses will be registered under the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program for Homeless Street Families (MCCT-HSF).  Adults who are capable of working will be provided Cash-For-Work. The children, on the other hand, will undergo play therapy and other kids activities while at the center.

As of press time, 12 families were assessed to be potential beneficiaries of the MCCT-HSF and two are qualified under the regular Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.  Some 73 adults are currently undertaking Cash-for-Work (CFW) where they help in cleaning the quarters and the surroundings of the center. The CFW beneficiaries will receive P360 per day.

The rest are being assessed for other appropriate services or referral to other government agencies.

Some of the families whose houses were gutted by fire and were forced to stay on the streets will also be given appropriate services.

The team of social workers also brought 300 family food packs for the families to ensure their daily food needs.

To keep the families busy, a free training on massage therapy and haircutting for the adults is being conducted at the center.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that DSWD-NCR will continue to work with the CSWDO to ensure the safety and welfare of the families.

Based on the Devolution Act of 1991, LGUs have the primary role of assisting street dwellers under their jurisdiction while the DSWD is mandated to render technical and resource augmentation to LGUs.

For his part, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada also visited the families at the center to validate reports that they are being detained.

He assured the families that food supply will be enough to cover their stay at the center.

Not detained

The families clarified reports that they were being detained at the center.

Virgilia de Veyra, 56, denied that they were being detained. She and husband Pascual were reached out along Pureza St in Sta. Mesa.

“Hindi po kami kinukulong dito dahil malaya naman kaming nakakalakad dito sa compound (We are not being detained here because we are free to walk around the compound),” Virgilia said

Virgilia expressed her thanks that she was included in the CFW.

She said that once they leave the center, she will use her earnings from the CFW to rent a small room for her and husband who is a stroke survivor.

She shared that they were fed regularly, though there were some who complained about the variety of food served.

Rolando Tranzona, 40, echoed what Virgilia said. Rolando, and common-law wife Getheryn Macapundag, and their 4 children were reached-out along Adriatico St. on November 16.

“Hindi po kami nakakulong dito. Maayos naman ang pakitungo nila sa amin. (We are not being detained here. They treat us well),” Rolando said.

Rolando added that they will return to their house in Adriatico since Getheryn is a beneficiary of MCCT and they are assured of rental assistance.


The CFW started yesterday with a group of 20 men cleaning the olympic-sized swimming pool while another group of 10 women cleaned the main quarter which is their sleeping area.

Arvin de la Cruz, street educator from the CSWDO of Manila, said that these men and women comprise the morning session of the CFW. Another batch of beneficiaries will do the cleaning for the afternoon batch. ###

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