DSWD extends P1.2-B worth of ‘Yolanda’ aid to Tacloban City

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that around P1.2-billion worth of goods, services, and on-going projects continue to be extended to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban City.

These include those provided from November 9, 2013 to October 17, 2014 such as food and non-food items; emergency shelter and livelihood assistance; supplemental feeding; and, the construction of an evacuation center/regional facility.

Based on record, DSWD has spent more than P575 million in food assistance for 58,823 families.

It comprises of food packs with 3-kg and 6-kg rice packs, 15-kg and 25-kg rice packs, bottled water, canned goods, high energy biscuits, noodles, and coffee, among others.

Non-food items were likewise distributed such as tents, tarps, mosquito nets, blankets, hygiene kits, mats, used clothing, plastic glass/cups, collapsible containers, plastic pails, slippers, frying pans, cooking pots, canvass, towels, flashlights, and water jugs.

Around P35.8 million was also released for the implementation of the Cash for Building Livelihood Assets for 9,395 families.

Some P3 million will also be released to fund the livelihood projects of 17 Self-Employment Association-Kaunlaran (SEA-K) groups. Another P103,212 is allocated for for the long term livelihood of other survivors.

Around P23.86 million is also intended for the livelihood skills training of survivors to include 600 beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Likewise, P188 million has been used for the ongoing regular supplementary feeding and feeding program in bunkhouses for 112,227 children.

As committed by the Department, P10 million is also allocated for the construction of an evacuation center cum regional facility, which is part of the preparation for other future disasters that may hit the area. DSWD is just awaiting for the finalization of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and documents for the change of location site.

Furthermore, DSWD has also allocated funds for the construction of 113 bunkhouses amounting to P68.9 million.

“Sinisiguro namin na walang maiiwan sa pagbangon na biktima ng bagyong ‘Yolanda’. Lahat ng bayan na nasalanta ay meron tayong kaukulang programa na binibigay para sa kanilang pagbangon (We ensure that no one is left behind in the rehabilitation efforts for ‘Yolanda’ survivors. There are recovery and rehabilitation programs and services implemented in all towns devastated by the typhoon),” Sec. Soliman added.

At present, DSWD continues to provide relief assistance to 48 families staying at the San Fernando Elementary School, the lone evacuation center still operating in the city.

Further, the Department has also been paying for the electric consumption of families staying in the three bunkhouses in the city. ###

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Stakeholders cite education, employment, advocacy to address issues of street dwellers

“Ang kalsada ay hindi ligtas para sa bata. Pagtulungan nating mailipat sila sa ligtas na lugar  (The streets are not safe for children. Let us work together to bring them to safe places),” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said during yesterday’s closing ceremony of the three-day Multi-Stakeholders Summit on Street Dwellers in Mandaluyong City.

According to Sec. Soliman, the  summit, dubbed as “A Conversation: Ensuring that street dwellers are not left behind”  is a good opportunity to address the varied concerns of street dwellers with the different non-government agencies (NGA), non-government organizations (NGOs), corporate foundations, business sector, and the local government units (LGU) working together to come up with concrete and appropriate programs and sustainable solutions.

“There are ways and means to establish additional facilities for street children. Inter-agency efforts are being done to rescue and provide safe havens for them. The bottom line is we must not let them stay on the streets,” Sec. Soliman emphasized.

To address the needs of street dwellers, DSWD is working closely with the Department of Education (DepED) in implementing the  Alternative Learning System (ALS);  Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and LGUs in conducting rescue operations; Departments of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Agriculture (DA) in ensuring they have lands to till should they avail of the ‘Balik Probinsya” program; Department of Tourism (DOT) in providing jobs in parks; and, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in providing  skills training.

DSWD is currently implementing the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Homeless Street Families.

To date, some 2,311 street families are registered in the program. Of this number, 1,348 families availed of the house rental subsidy for six months.

Based on the rapid assessment done by DSWD in 2010 and 2013, there was a decrease in the number of children living in the streets, from 3,072 in 2010 down to 1,270 in 2013. However, there was an increase in the number of street families from 657  in 2010 to 1,568 in 2013, while the number of individual adults living in the streets also went down from 2,014 in 2010 to 653 in 2013.

As of April 2013, there are 12,042 street dwellers.

Foremost reasons why they are on the streets include marital, family, and work-related problems. Others used to have houses but were demolished, and some lack of financial resources to rent or own homes. There are also those who were victims of disasters.

Change of mindset

Meanwhile, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista said, “The mindset must be changed, including [ours] in government. Opportunities in the provinces must be elevated.”

Mayor Baustista also explained that the misconception that employment and other opportunities abound in Metro Manila must also be corrected.

“People from the provinces flock to the cities to seek greener pasture, but there are also opportunities in the rural areas. The local governments are there, possibilities have to be explored. With the intervention of DSWD and stakeholders,  street dwellers learned that programs are available,” Mayor Bautista added.

Clarifying the issue that street children are forced to go  with authorities during rescue operations, MMDA Undersecretary Corazon Jimenez said, “We talk to them, they are not forced. We bathe them and bring them to DSWD facilities.”

The three-day Summit yielded three areas of collaboration for the different sectors, which are education, employment, and advocacy and legislation.

The  stakeholders were united in saying that if street dwellers are educated, they can have gainful employment, while continuous advocacy and appropriate legislative measures are needed to ensure that they do not return to the streets.   ###

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Stakeholders cite education, employment, advocacy to address issues of street dwellers

Joanna Marie Sorio, child-beneficiary of the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Homeless Street Families (MCCT-HSF) implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) shares her hopes and dreams, while DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Undersecretary Corazon Jimenez and Jean Joaquin, Assistant department Head of Manila City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) listen intently.

Joanna Marie Sorio, child-beneficiary of the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Homeless Street Families (MCCT-HSF) implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) shares her hopes and dreams, while DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Undersecretary Corazon Jimenez and Jean Joaquin, Assistant Department Head of Manila City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) listen intently.

“Ang kalsada ay hindi ligtas para sa bata. Pagtulungan nating mailipat sila sa ligtas na lugar  (The streets are not safe for children. Let us work together to bring them to safe places),” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said during yesterday’s closing ceremony of the three-day Multi-Stakeholders Summit on Street Dwellers in Mandaluyong City.

According to Sec. Soliman, the  summit, dubbed as “A Conversation: Ensuring that street dwellers are not left behind”  is a good opportunity to address the varied concerns of street dwellers with the different non-government agencies (NGA), non-government organizations (NGOs), corporate foundations, business sector, and the local government units (LGU) working together to come up with concrete and appropriate programs and sustainable solutions.

“There are ways and means to establish additional facilities for street children. Inter-agency efforts are being done to rescue and provide safe havens for them. The bottom line is we must not let them stay on the streets,” Sec. Soliman emphasized.

To address the needs of street dwellers, DSWD is working closely with the Department of Education (DepED) in implementing the  Alternative Learning System (ALS);  Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and LGUs in conducting rescue operations; Departments of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Agriculture (DA) in ensuring they have lands to till should they avail of the ‘Balik Probinsya” program; Department of Tourism (DOT) in providing jobs in parks; and, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in providing  skills training.

DSWD is currently implementing the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Homeless Street Families.

To date, some 2,311 street families are registered in the program. Of this number, 1,348 families availed of the house rental subsidy for six months.

Based on the rapid assessment done by DSWD in 2010 and 2013, there was a decrease in the number of children living in the streets, from 3,072 in 2010 down to 1,270 in 2013. However, there was an increase in the number of street families from 657  in 2010 to 1,568 in 2013, while the number of individual adults living in the streets also went down from 2,014 in 2010 to 653 in 2013.

As of April 2013, there are 12,042 street dwellers.

Foremost reasons why they are on the streets include marital, family, and work-related problems. Others used to have houses but were demolished, and some lack of financial resources to rent or own homes. There are also those who were victims of disasters.

Change of mindset

Meanwhile, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista said, “The mindset must be changed, including [ours] in government. Opportunities in the provinces must be elevated.”

Mayor Baustista also explained that the misconception that employment and other opportunities abound in Metro Manila must also be corrected.

“People from the provinces flock to the cities to seek greener pasture, but there are also opportunities in the rural areas. The local governments are there, possibilities have to be explored. With the intervention of DSWD and stakeholders,  street dwellers learned that programs are available,” Mayor Bautista added.

Clarifying the issue that street children are forced to go  with authorities during rescue operations, MMDA Undersecretary Corazon Jimenez said, “We talk to them, they are not forced. We bathe them and bring them to DSWD facilities.”

The three-day Summit yielded three areas of collaboration for the different sectors, which are education, employment, and advocacy and legislation.

The  stakeholders were united in saying that if street dwellers are educated, they can have gainful employment, while continuous advocacy and appropriate legislative measures are needed to ensure that they do not return to the streets.   ###

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Proposed 2015 monitoring and evaluation budget of CCT, only P429-M not P4.2-B

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) clarified that the P4.2 billion which Senator Chiz Escudero was quoted to have said as the 2015 proposed budget for the monitoring and evaluation of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is actually the proposed overall incremental operating cost of the program for next year.

“The proposed budget for monitoring and evaluation of the program is only P429,298,000 and not P4.2 billion,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman explained.

The monitoring and evaluation component covers for the conduct of spot checks, researches, impact evaluations, technical assistance, rapid assessment of existing policies, and consultation dialogues with civil society organizations, and other external partners, among others.

“The output of which are used to further improve the program implementation,” Sec. Soliman added.

Aside from the monitoring and evaluation, other components of the billion incremental operating cost are: Cost of service or salaries of workers: P2,249,168,776; Trainings: P403,664,000; Advocacy/printing: P114,912,876; Administrative cost for office supplies, communications, gas, and utilities: P321,604,373; Financial expenses or fees  for the services of banks, remittance centers, and other conduits which deliver the cash grants to beneficiaries: P700,000,000; and, Capital outlay for equipment: P24,400,000.

Sec. Soliman said the P4.2 billion is just 6.5% of the total 2015 proposed Pantawid Pamilya budget of P64.7 billion.

The Secretary assured that the bulk of the proposed budget is still for the cash grants of beneficiaries. ###

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A community volunteer’s small act leads to big change

“Masarap po ang pakiramdam na kaming mga community volunteers ay may naging kontribusyon sa pag-unlad ng mga kabataan at ng aming mismong komunidad sa tulong ng Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-National Community Driven Development Program o KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP, kahit na wala po kaming sweldo  (It feels goods that community volunteers like me are contributing to the development of our youth  and  community through the KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP, even without remuneration).”

This was the statement of Analyn Depoo, 36, a Community Volunteer of KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP from Brgy. San Antonio  Biñan, Laguna, as her eyes began to well-up with tears during her testimony on Monday at the flag ceremony of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Central Office in Batasan, Quezon City.

“Ang dating mga batang hindi nakapag-aral ay may kanya-kanyang pinagkakakitaan na ngayon. Unti-unti, natutugunan ng programang ito ng DSWD ang layunin nitong mabawasan ang kahirapan (Youths who have not gone to school already have their own work. Slowly, DSWD is helping in the poverty reduction efforts of our community),” she added.

Analyn was referring to the 46 scholars of the community based skills training project of KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP in partnership with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) which provides courses on automotives, electronics, welding, and dressmaking.

At present, 44 of the scholars under the first cycle skills training are already employed and currently helping their families. Two of them are now employed abroad.

DSWD is now preparing for its second cycle of implementation in Brgy. San Antonio. It hopes to provide training in electronics, mechatronic, welding and automotives, also in partnership with TESDA.

For both cycles, Analyn served as the Community Sub-Project Management Committee (CSPMC) Chairperson for Livelihood in their KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP implementation, making her the de facto leader of the community volunteers in Brgy. San Antonio.

KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP is the expansion into a national scale of operations of the community- driven development (CDD) approach, which was tried and proven effective by Kalahi-CIDSS. It targets the coverage of 847 of the poorest municipalities in the country.

Japan Social Development Fund- Livelihood Opportunities for Vulnerable Urban Community (JSDF- LVUC) provided $3 million grant to KALAHI-CIDSS-NCDDP to help support poor urban communities. Prior to this, the program was exclusively implemented in rural poor communities. The JSDF-LVUC project was piloted in 2011, reaching six communities in Malate and Cavite. Since then, it was rolled out to 69 communities in Cavite, Laguna, Muntinlupa, and Malabon.

Community-driven development (CDD) puts power back in the hands of the people by giving them the opportunity to make informed decisions on locally identified options for development and manage resources to implement sub-projects that address needs identified by communities themselves.###

 “Kung dati ang pumapasok sa aming isipan kapag naririnig ang KALAHI ay iyong tinapay, ngayon po nabago na ito pati na ang aming pananawAng KALAHI na ito ay higit pa sa tinapay dahil ito ay nagpapakain na sa pamilya ng mga kabataan na nagkaroon na ng trabaho (Before, every time we hear the word KALAHI, we would associate this with the popular local pastry. Now, our perspective has changed.  KALAHI  now feeds the families of the scholars who are now gainfully employed),” she explained.

Motivation

Analyn used to be a simple housewife and mother who just stays at home and wait for the small amount her husband, Arman, would give her. Arman works as a delivery boy in a water station, earning P200 daily.

But this has changed when her family was chosen as beneficiary of another DSWD program, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Analyn said that while the government continuously assists her family to meet the education and nutrition needs of her children through the cash grants, she also wants to be an instrument in improving the lives of others by volunteering to government programs like KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP.

She said this is just her small act of giving back and sharing her blessings to the community especially to the out-of-school youths who also need positive change in their lives.

Analyn became a Parent Leader and community volunteer.

As the CSPMC Chairperson, part of her tasks is preparing the allowances of the scholars who undergo skills training.

 

“May mga panahon na kami ay nag-o-overtime at gabi na nakakauwi ng bahay dahil sa pag-prepare ng mga allowance ng mga scholars  (There would be times that we render overtime and  would go home late at night because we would prepare the allowance of the scholars),” Analyn narrated.

She said that all their sacrifices pay off when they receive words of gratitude from the scholars.

DSWD Assistant Secretary Javier Jimenez commended Analyn’s pure heart and generosity.

“Pinahanga ako ni  Analyn dahil bihira na ang mga taong tulad niya na may mabuting kalooban at naglalayon ng kabutihan hindi lamang sa kanyang pamilya pati sa kanyang komunidad (I admire Analyn because it’s rare to find people like her who wants  to bring positive change not only to her family but to her community),” Asec. Jimenez said.

Community project

Aside from the skills training, Analyn said that KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP also helped them with their canal de-clogging and  improvement project.

KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP also aims to provide poor communities with better access to basic services while empowering them to get involved with the project implementation.

The volunteers felt a sense of fulfillment for being able to complete the project which they painstakingly worked on from conceptualization to completion.

Since its construction, the sub-project, amounting to P677,000 has helped reduce flooding in their community, benefiting 241 households.

This project was also funded by JSDF.

“Muli po, sa ngalan po ng mga Community Volunteers sa aming barangay, gusto ko pong ihatid ang taos puso at walang katapusang pasasalamat. Mananatili po sa aming puso ang idinulot ninyong malaking pagbabago sa aming komunidad.  Dahil po dito nabago ang aming pananaw sa buhay na sa bawat pighati at hirap, mayroong nakatagong pag-asa  (Again, in behalf of the community volunteers of our barangay,  I would like to convey our deepest and endless gratitude because of the big transformation of our community.  It gave us a new perspective in life that in every  struggle, there is  hope),”  Analyn concluded. ###

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A community volunteer’s small act leads to big change

Analyn sharing her story as community volunteer.

Analyn sharing her story as community volunteer.

“Masarap po ang pakiramdam na kaming mga community volunteers ay may naging kontribusyon sa pag-unlad ng mga kabataan at ng aming mismong komunidad sa tulong ng Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-National Community Driven Development Program o KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP, kahit na wala po kaming sweldo  (It feels goods that community volunteers like me are contributing to the development of our youth  and  community through the KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP, even without remuneration).”

This was the statement of Analyn Depoo, 36, a Community Volunteer of KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP from Brgy. San Antonio  Biñan, Laguna, as her eyes began to well-up with tears during her testimony on Monday at the flag ceremony of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Central Office in Batasan, Quezon City.

“Ang dating mga batang hindi nakapag-aral ay may kanya-kanyang pinagkakakitaan na ngayon. Unti-unti, natutugunan ng programang ito ng DSWD ang layunin nitong mabawasan ang kahirapan (Youths who have not gone to school already have their own work. Slowly, DSWD is helping in the poverty reduction efforts of our community),” she added.

Analyn was referring to the 46 scholars of the community based skills training project of KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP in partnership with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) which provides courses on automotives, electronics, welding, and dressmaking.

At present, 44 of the scholars under the first cycle skills training are already employed and currently helping their families. Two of them are now employed abroad.

DSWD is now preparing for its second cycle of implementation in Brgy. San Antonio. It hopes to provide training in electronics, mechatronic, welding and automotives, also in partnership with TESDA.

For both cycles, Analyn served as the Community Sub-Project Management Committee (CSPMC) Chairperson for Livelihood in their KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP implementation, making her the de facto leader of the community volunteers in Brgy. San Antonio.

KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP is the expansion into a national scale of operations of the community- driven development (CDD) approach, which was tried and proven effective by Kalahi-CIDSS. It targets the coverage of 847 of the poorest municipalities in the country.

Japan Social Development Fund- Livelihood Opportunities for Vulnerable Urban Community (JSDF- LVUC) provided $3 million grant to KALAHI-CIDSS-NCDDP to help support poor urban communities. Prior to this, the program was exclusively implemented in rural poor communities. The JSDF-LVUC project was piloted in 2011, reaching six communities in Malate and Cavite. Since then, it was rolled out to 69 communities in Cavite, Laguna, Muntinlupa, and Malabon.

Community-driven development (CDD) puts power back in the hands of the people by giving them the opportunity to make informed decisions on locally identified options for development and manage resources to implement sub-projects that address needs identified by communities themselves.###

 “Kung dati ang pumapasok sa aming isipan kapag naririnig ang KALAHI ay iyong tinapay, ngayon po nabago na ito pati na ang aming pananawAng KALAHI na ito ay higit pa sa tinapay dahil ito ay nagpapakain na sa pamilya ng mga kabataan na nagkaroon na ng trabaho (Before, every time we hear the word KALAHI, we would associate this with the popular local pastry. Now, our perspective has changed.  KALAHI  now feeds the families of the scholars who are now gainfully employed),” she explained.

Motivation

Analyn used to be a simple housewife and mother who just stays at home and wait for the small amount her husband, Arman, would give her. Arman works as a delivery boy in a water station, earning P200 daily.

But this has changed when her family was chosen as beneficiary of another DSWD program, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Analyn said that while the government continuously assists her family to meet the education and nutrition needs of her children through the cash grants, she also wants to be an instrument in improving the lives of others by volunteering to government programs like KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP.

She said this is just her small act of giving back and sharing her blessings to the community especially to the out-of-school youths who also need positive change in their lives.

Analyn became a Parent Leader and community volunteer.

As the CSPMC Chairperson, part of her tasks is preparing the allowances of the scholars who undergo skills training.  

“May mga panahon na kami ay nag-o-overtime at gabi na nakakauwi ng bahay dahil sa pag-prepare ng mga allowance ng mga scholars  (There would be times that we render overtime and  would go home late at night because we would prepare the allowance of the scholars),” Analyn narrated.

She said that all their sacrifices pay off when they receive words of gratitude from the scholars.

DSWD Assistant Secretary Javier Jimenez commended Analyn’s pure heart and generosity.

“Pinahanga ako ni  Analyn dahil bihira na ang mga taong tulad niya na may mabuting kalooban at naglalayon ng kabutihan hindi lamang sa kanyang pamilya pati sa kanyang komunidad (I admire Analyn because it’s rare to find people like her who wants  to bring positive change not only to her family but to her community),” Asec. Jimenez said.

Community project

Aside from the skills training, Analyn said that KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP also helped them with their canal de-clogging and  improvement project.

KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP also aims to provide poor communities with better access to basic services while empowering them to get involved with the project implementation.

The volunteers felt a sense of fulfillment for being able to complete the project which they painstakingly worked on from conceptualization to completion.

Since its construction, the sub-project, amounting to P677,000 has helped reduce flooding in their community, benefiting 241 households.

This project was also funded by JSDF.

“Muli po, sa ngalan po ng mga Community Volunteers sa aming barangay, gusto ko pong ihatid ang taos puso at walang katapusang pasasalamat. Mananatili po sa aming puso ang idinulot ninyong malaking pagbabago sa aming komunidad.  Dahil po dito nabago ang aming pananaw sa buhay na sa bawat pighati at hirap, mayroong nakatagong pag-asa  (Again, in behalf of the community volunteers of our barangay,  I would like to convey our deepest and endless gratitude because of the big transformation of our community.  It gave us a new perspective in life that in every  struggle, there is  hope),”  Analyn concluded. ###

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DSWD vows to continue war vs poverty amid increase in hunger stats

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman stressed that the agency will continue to intensify its various anti-hunger programs to combat poverty and hunger amid the latest result of the Social Weather Station (SWS) survey showing an increase in the number of Filipinos experiencing involuntary hunger in the past three months.

The recent SWS survey showed that an estimated 4.8 million families experience involuntary hunger atleast once in the last three months.

The Secretary reiterated that solving hunger and poverty is not overnight.

“Hindi pang mabilisan ang pagsagot sa kahirapan at pagkagutom.  Magandang gawing reference ang mga survey results tulad ng sa SWS, ngunit hindi dapat maging hadlang para huminto tayo sa pagtugon sa pangangailangan ng ating kababayan (Responding to poverty and hunger is not achieved overnight.  Survey results like that of the SWS are good references but should not hinder us from implementing poverty alleviation programs),” she explained.

Sec. Soliman also said that the results of the survey do not indicate that programs are not working.

“In fact, without our programs, the survey may have yielded more detrimental results. It is important then to intensify our programs to ensure that the number will not increase anymore,” Sec. Soliman added.

Pantawid Pamilya

Sec. Soliman explained that the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is just among the big-ticket anti-poverty measures of government.

To date, Pantawid Pamilya is already serving 4,396,996 poor households nationwide to address the education, health, and nutritional needs of children.

However, the total impact of Pantawid Pamilya cannot be measured immediately as this is an investment in education and health of children. Its goal is to stop the intergenerational poverty in poor families.

She reiterated her previous statement that, “The investment in the children’s education would only be fully felt ten years from since the program started, when the children have graduated and have been gainfully employed. They will be the ones to help their family get out of poverty.”

Sec. Soliman stressed that  Pantawid Pamilya is contributory to poverty reduction but is not the lone solution.

Milestones

She claimed though that the program has achieved milestones in improving the quality of lives of poor families.

She cited the positive results of the 2nd wave Impact Evaluation for Pantawid Pamilya.

The Impact Evaluation was conducted in 5,041 households in 30 municipalities. The main findings of the study show improvements in the health condition of children beneficiaries and food consumption of household beneficiaries.

Results show that more children in Pantawid Pamilya areas under the age of 6 were given Vitamin A supplementation (85.8%) compared to those in non-Pantawid Pamilya (73.5%). Likewise, more children are fully immunized by age 1 (69.8% vs. 21%), and more children under 6 years old have received iron (35.3% vs. 22.9%).

Moreover, less Pantawid Pamilya children 2 years old and below suffer from severe underweight and severe stunting (0% vs. 39.5% and 4.7% vs. 41%, respectively). There are also less Pantawid Pamilya children 2 years and older who suffer from stunting (26.4% vs. 62.2%).

There is also considerable positive impact on the utilization of both preventive and curative health services in public health facilities. More Pantawid Pamilya children aged 2 to 5 visit health centers bi-monthly to undergo regular weight monitoring (48.9% vs. 24.7%). Pantawid Pamilya children also visit public health centers more often during episodes of illness, such as fever or cough (55.1% vs. 43.4%).

Likewise, a greater proportion of Pantawid Pamilya children aged 6 to 14 received deworming pills at least once a year compared to non­Pantawid Pamilya children (88.9% vs. 69.5%).

The study also showed that more Pantawid Pamilya mothers avail of natal care services.

Results also show that Pantawid Pamilya households use their cash grants mostly on food and education. Pantawid Pantawid households’ per capita spending on food is greater compared to non-Pantawid Pamilya households at P16,959 per year compared to P16,026 among non-Pantawid Pamilya households.

With these strides of the program, international organizations have remarked that the Philippines is one of the best implementers of CCT worldwide.

Meanwhile, Sec. Soliman said that the increase of hunger in balance Luzon can be related to the disasters that hit the region like Typhoons Glenda and Mario.

The non-increase of hunger in Mindanao, on the other hand, can be attributed to the significant progresses in the peace process.

“People can plant & harvest anytime without fear of being harmed by lawless elements,” she said.

Anti-hunger programs

To combat hunger among children, DSWD in coordination with local government units implements the Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP).

SFP is the provision of food in addition to the regular meals to currently enrolled day care children.

Food supplementation is in the form of hot meals being served during break time.

The feeding program is managed by the parents based on a prepared meal cycle using available indigenous food supplies.

Children-beneficiaries are weighed at the start of the feeding period and three months thereafter. After the completion of 120 feeding days, the  improvement and sustenance in the nutritional status of the beneficiaries will be determined.

As of September 30, 2014, the Department has already served 1,120,423 children in 30,409 day care centers in the Philippines amounting to P2,309,449,064 in assistance.

Sec. Soliman agreed with the comment made by Senator Grace Poe that more funds should be channeled to the feeding program for children and delivery of social protection services.

She added that DSWD will look into how it can work with the Senator on this concern.

Advocacy

DSWD is also intensifying its advocacy to fight hunger through an online platform.  It has an ongoing partnership with World Food Programme (WFP) and Rappler, an online site, for the conduct of social media fora to generate proposals from various sectors in solving hunger.

Sec. Soliman said that the important thing is that the Aquino Administration remains committed to implement consistent and focused poverty alleviation measures to continuously combat poverty and hunger.

The Secretary also said that these survey results can actually become guide for stakeholders to develop more strategic programs that will redound to the advantage of beneficiaries.###

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DSWD hosts ASEAN training to improve services for PWDs

ASEAN-PWDsThe Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will lead the Association of South East Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) Training of Trainers on the Development and Management of Inclusive Programs and Services for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) on October 28 to 30 at the Century Park Hotel, Manila.

The three-day conference is supported by Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF).  It will gather various social workers and professionals from government and recognized non-government agencies from Myanmar, Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano- Soliman said that the Philippines fully supports an inclusive, barrier-free, and rights-based society for PWDs, and provision of auxiliary social services is a means of restoring their social functioning and participation in community affairs.

Auxiliary social services are supportive interventions that include the acquisition of mobility and assistive devices,  assistance and provision of medical intervention on specialty services, and promotion of positive attitude towards PWDs.

“It reduces the hindering effects of disability through provision of programs and services that will enhance their capability to attain a more meaningful, productive and satisfying way of life and ultimately become self-reliant and contributing members of society,” Sec. Soliman explained.

Topics to be discussed include Global Trends for PWDs by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), New Programs and Strategies for PWDs in the Philippines by Asia Pacific Development Center (APCD), and Community-Based Rehabilitation for PWDs by KASAMAKA-Community Based Rehabilitation Foundation, Inc.

ASEAN member-countries will also present their country papers on best practices focusing on the different auxiliary programs and services for PWDs, and advocacy strategies.

“We are happy to host this international event.  We hope that through this capability building training for program implementers,  we can strengthen and improve our service delivery for PWDs in the region,” Sec. Soliman enthused. ###

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