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DSWD reiterates: “Bawal ang Epal!”

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reiterated that the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is insulated from partisan politics and strongly opposes any act that would use it to advance the political agenda or interest of certain groups or individuals.

This came following reports about incidents that occurred during the pay-out activities of cash grants this month. In some regions, the beneficiaries were made to believe that the cash grants they were receiving were bonuses from a politician who has announced his plan to run for an elective position in the 2016 national elections.

“The DSWD always ensures that the Pantawid Pamilya is protected from undue politicking and must remain free of political influence and manipulation, and that the rights of the program-beneficiaries are safeguarded,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said.

The DSWD also learned that the beneficiaries were allegedly threatened that the implementation of the program will not be continued if they will not vote for the politician.

“This is not true and is just a desperate move of some political personalities who are attempting to use the program for their political advancement,” Sec. Soliman said.

DSWD emphasized that it is steadfast in safeguarding the non-partisan stand of Pantawid Pamilya and its beneficiaries, and that it supports free and honest elections.

“Also, through our Family Development Sessions and previous campaigns, our beneficiaries are aware that the grants they received came from the national government, and even the process of their selection into the program was based solely from the targeting system called Listahanan and therefore is not subject to any political influence or decision,” Sec. Soliman further explained.

DSWD encourages the public to be more vigilant and we also enjoin the general public to report politicians claiming credit from the program or such activities that aims to discredit the integrity of Pantawid Pamilya.

The public may file their complaints through the Grievance Text Hotline 09189122813or via social media (facebook/ twitter: Tanggapan ng Reklamo), or they can visit the nearest DSWD Regional Office or their Municipal Links. ###

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The Philippines’ education investment scores top marks

While the Philippines has had robust economic growth since 2010, even despite a weak global economy, it has had little progress in reducing income poverty. Recognising that some segments of society are left out in growth processes, the Philippine government has made inclusive growth the cornerstone of its most recent Philippine Development Plan.

The inclusive growth strategy includes more public investments in the social sector. In particular, bigger budgets have been given to both education and health. For 2015 alone, the education budget totals 361.7 billion pesos (US$8 billion), representing an increase of 18.6 per cent from the previous year. The government has also invested heavily in a conditional cash transfer (CCT) program referred to as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Primarily a social protection program, Pantawid was originally aimed at providing social assistance for poor households on the condition that these households invest in education and health, particularly of children, and access maternal health services. Grants for education amount to 300 pesos (US$8) per child per month for 10 months of the school year (for a maximum of three children per household). For health and nutrition, cash grants per household were 500 pesos (about US$12) per month per family. Starting in 2014, the government extended assistance to child beneficiaries to enable them to finish their high school education. Monthly cash assistance for high school students were increased to 500 pesos.

This CCT has become the largest social welfare intervention that the government has ever implemented. Since its inception, the CCT budget has continued to increase, as has the number of beneficiaries. During its pilot stage, the CCT had a budget of 50 million pesos to assist 6000 households. A year later, the budget grew to 299 million pesos to assist 300,000 households. The government has continued to scale up the program toward the official estimates of the number of poor households in the country.

The 2014 budget for Pantawid was 62.6 billion pesos with over four million households being assisted. This has coincided with the extension of assistance to child beneficiaries to complete high school. According to World Bank staff, Pantawid has also become the third largest CCT program globally, next only to those of Brazil (with 8.8 million households) and Mexico (6.5 million households).

Recent official poverty data suggests that poverty incidence in the Philippines remains practically unchanged. Research shows that out of those in poverty in 2006, about a third (8 per cent of the population) had managed to exit poverty by 2009. But a tenth of the non-poor (also 8 per cent of the population) fell into poverty by 2009. Although only a 20 per cent of households in 2012 were poor, more than 30 per cent of households are strongly at risk of falling into poverty, with incomes hovering between the poverty line and twice the poverty threshold. Critics suggest that the huge budget could have been better spent in other pro-poor programs for livelihood and employment.

But the lack of poverty reduction is not necessarily the fault of the CCT. All things have not been equal. Climate disasters and other factors put nearly-poor households at strong risk of falling into poverty. World Bank staff also suggest that poverty would have further worsened without Pantawid: the official poverty rate (25 per cent in the first half of 2013) could have been 1.4 percentage points higher without the CCT. With the peso cash grant, the poverty gap index (representing the average amount of income required by the poor to reach the poverty line) has been reduced by 61 centavos.

Some think that giving money to the poor is not the best way to help since the poor may become dependent on that assistance. But studies show many positive outcomes from the CCT. Some suggest that the CCT has actually increased the desire for work of adult members of CCT beneficiaries. The same papers also show that the CCT has significantly reduced the hours worked by primary school-aged children, although it did not significantly affect the incidence of child labour.

An examination of education indicators show that the proportion of five-to-fifteen year old children in school had gone up to about 95 per cent by 2013 from 90 per cent during 2007–10. In 2008, there were an estimated 2.9 million out-of-school children, of which 1.2 million were of primary school age. By 2013, the number of out-of-school children had fallen to 1.2 million, of which 440,000 are of primary school age. So while there are still a considerable number of children who are not in school, there is clear evidence that the government’s investments in Pantawid and in higher education budgets have started to pay off.

The CCT was premised on the poor having opportunity costs in sending their children to school, and that people respond to incentives. Investing in education is not only right in itself, but it is also yielding returns. All else being equal, we can expect less income inequality and lower poverty rates in the years to come, with better income prospects for these households given the improved education attainments of children. Can we ever do wrong when we invest in the education of children?

Dr Jose Ramon G. Albert is a senior research fellow at government think tank the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, and the president of the Philippine Statistical Association, 2014–2015. From October 2012 to February 2014, he was secretary-general of the now defunct National Statistical Coordination Board.

Author: Jose Ramon G. Albert, Philippine Institute for Development Studies

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DSWD opens Mindanao disaster hub

DSWD  Assistant Secretary Rodolfo M. Santos [right] and  Engr. Lorenzo M. Yumang of DPWH cut the ceremonial ribbon during the Blessing and Inauguration of the DSWD – Mindanao Resource and Operations Center Wednesday in Bago Oshiro, Tugbok District. Also in photo are DSWD Regional Director Priscilla N. Razon and Rev. Fr. Jovil Bongay of the Immaculate Concepcion Parish-Mintal. Right photo shows relief supplies neatly arranged ready for augmentation to local government units affected by disasters.

DSWD Assistant Secretary Rodolfo M. Santos [right] and Engr. Lorenzo M. Yumang of DPWH cut the ceremonial ribbon during the Blessing and Inauguration of the DSWD – Mindanao Resource and Operations Center Wednesday in Bago Oshiro, Tugbok District. Also in photo are DSWD Regional Director Priscilla N. Razon and Rev. Fr. Jovil Bongay of the Immaculate Concepcion Parish-Mintal.
Right photo shows relief supplies neatly arranged ready for augmentation to local government units affected by disasters.

In its efforts to scale up disaster operations, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recently inaugurated its Mindanao Resource and Operations Center (DSWD-MROC) at the DSWD Regional Rehabilitation Complex in Bago Oshiro, Tugbok District, Davao City.

With an initial budget of P7.4 million, the DSWD-MROC was constructed by the Department of Public Works and Highways-Davao City District Engineering Office (DPWH-DCDEO).

DSWD-Field Office XI requested for an additional P12.4 million from the Central Office to complete the structure and make it fully functional.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that the warehouse will serve not only the Mindanao area, but all the other regions in the country requiring emergency relief assistance.

MROC can hold up to 60,000 family food packs at a given time using the rack piling system.

“We are preparing this warehouse for nationwide operations, set to respond to a bigger scale of disaster operations,” Sec. Soliman explained.

“If at some point, the operations at the National Resource Operations Center (NROC) in Pasay City is hampered due to flooding or earthquake or any other disaster, the Mindanao hub can then supply the needs of the affected populace in the National Capital Region. In the same manner, the warehouses in Visayas and Luzon can also augment the needs of Mindanao regions when necessary,” Sec. Soliman pointed out.

DSWD will also be constructing warehouses in Cebu and Clark Air Base in Pampanga.

DSWD Assistant Secretary Rodolfo M. Santos, officials of the Davao Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, DSWD personnel, and some members of the media attended the inauguration. ###

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Government, people should join hands to fight poverty

(Left photo) Program beneficiaries who attended the Daang Matuwid Caravan and (right photo) Cabinet Sectaries (from left to right) Ramon Jimenez (DOT), Armin Luistro (DepEd), Florencio Abad (DBM), Corazon Juliano-Soliman (DSWD), and Janet Garin (DOH) applaud as (middle photo) Christopher Roda shares his experiences as a beneficiary of the Bottom-Up Budgetting where his community was provided with a water system project.

(Left photo) Program beneficiaries who attended the Daang Matuwid Caravan and (right photo) Cabinet Sectaries (from left to right) Ramon Jimenez (DOT), Armin Luistro (DepEd), Florencio Abad (DBM), Corazon Juliano-Soliman (DSWD), and Janet Garin (DOH) applaud as (middle photo) Christopher Roda shares his experiences as a beneficiary of the Bottom-Up Budgetting where his community was provided with a water system project.

“Sa tuwid na daan, mamamayan at pamahalaan ay matapat na kumikilos sa pagpuksa ng kahirapan (On the righteous path, both citizens and the government work faithfully to eradicate poverty).”

This was the message of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano- Soliman, during the ‘Daang Matuwid’ Caravan held recently at Club Manila East, Taytay, Rizal.

Sec. Soliman, together with Secretaries Florencio Abad of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Armin Luistro of the Department of Education (DepEd), Janet Garin of the Department of Health (DOH), and Ramon Jimenez, Jr. of the Department of Tourism (DOT) discussed the convergence of government programs and services, ensuring that there is no duplication and that these reach their intended beneficiaries.

The caravan was also attended by beneficiaries of the DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, teachers, health workers, civil society organizations, and other beneficiaries of various social protection programs.

According to Sec. Abad, the ‘Daang Matuwid’ Caravan is a venue for the national government to hear the views of the people regarding different programs and services offered to them not only to see their impact but also to determine opportunities to improve these services.

Transformed lives

The program beneficiaries narrated how their lives have changed.

Parent leaders Annaliza Ampatin, Dinah Poot, and Soledad Agpoon, who came from different barangays in Cainta and Taytay, Rizal, shared how the program empowered and helped them gain self-confidence, aside from helping them with the education and health of their children.

The parent leaders narrated their transformation from simple housewives to community leaders. Annaliza is now a barangay designated officer on Violence Against Women and their Children (VAWC), while Soledad is the Vice-President of the Cainta Federation of Parents-Teachers Association and San Francisco BERMAI Water Association. Dinah received an award as “Natatanging Tayena as Pantawid Parent Leader” last March 23, 2015.

Annaliza, 42, from Brgy. Sta. Ana, Taytay related that Pantawid Pamilya has strengthened parent-children relationships. By attending the Family Development Sessions (FDS), they learned their duties as parents and how they should relate to their children.

“Dahil sa Pantawid, naging mas mabuti kaming magulang. Layunin din naming  mapagtapos ng pag-aaral ang aming mga anak upang magkaroon sila ng mas magandang buhay (Because of Pantawid, we became better parents. It is also our aim to send our children to school until they finish their studies, so they would have better lives”), Annaliza stressed.

On the other hand, Soledad Agpoon from Brgy San Juan, Cainta, added that more than the cash grants provided by the program, they thank the lessons they learned from their monthly FDS.

“Sa FDS, binibigyan kami ng sapat na kaalaman para maayos naming magabayan ang aming mga pamilya (FDS has given us enough knowledge on how to care for our families),” Soledad said.

The FDS is a component of Pantawid Pamilya, and is one of the co-responsibilities of beneficiaries in the program. The session teaches parents on various topics including strengthening marital relationships, parent-children relationships, gender equality, budget management, and disaster preparedness, among others.

Soledad also encouraged other parent leaders that they should be good examples in their communities.

“Dahil sa Pantawid, naging aktibo kami sa pagsali sa mga proyekto ng mga ahensya ng gobyerno at ng aming mga komunidad, katulad ng clean-up projects at Brigada Eskwela (Because of Pantawid, we became active in joining  government and community projects, such as clean-up projects and Brigada Eskwela”), she stated.

Meanwhile, civil society and people’s organizations (CSO/POs) who are part of the Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) program also shared their experiences.

BUB is an approach in formulating the budget proposal of national government agencies, taking into consideration the development needs of poor municipalities as identified in their respective Local Poverty Reduction Action Plans (LPRAP). These are formulated with the strong participation of local government units (LGUs), civil society organizations, and people’s organizations.

The Rizal Province CSO, which is comprised of vulnerable sectors, such as senior citizens, persons with disabilities, marginalized farmers, fisherfolk, and solo parents, said that through BUB, they were provided with community and livelihood projects which helped sustain the needs of their families and communities.

Christopher Roda, 41, from Brgy. San Jose, Antipolo City narrated how he used to line up [H3] in the community artesian well  to fetch water.

“Dahil sa BUB, marami na kaming tubig higit pa sa aming pangangailangan (Because of BUB, we now have all the water that we need),” he enthused.

 Sustaining the change

Responding to the testimonies, Sec. Soliman emphasized that, “Magkatuwang tayo sa pagbabago (We are partners in development).”

The secretaries were glad to hear about the impact of government programs from the beneficiaries, but noted that they must also help to continue such change.

 Sec. Soliman also encouraged the beneficiaries to share their stories of change to the public.

 “Kayo ang testigo na may mga pagbabago sa buhay n’yo. Kayo ang garantiya na may pagbabago kaya mahalaga na binabahagi n’yo ang mga pagbabagong ito (You are the witnesses and the proof of positive change. It is important that you share your stories),” Sec. Soliman added.

Sec. Jimenez also emphasized the importance of the people in ensuring that these changes in their lives will be sustained.

“Ang pagpapatuloy ng daang matuwid ay ang pagpapatuloy ng inyong istorya (The success of this administration’s straight path is your continued journey toward change),” Sec. Jimenez shared. ###

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Pantawid Pamilya ID: A stroke survivor’s pass to new lease on life

Victor Maglangit, 52, of District 2, Barangay Puntod, Cagayan de Oro City has trouble walking. He struggles to balance his body after a recent stroke that paralyzed his left arm and left leg.

After his stroke on June 20, Victor was brought to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) for medication. During his seven-day admission at NMMC, Victor could not help but worry over his mounting hospital bill.

After being discharged from the hospital, Victor immediately asked his wife, Marilyn, to inquire about their bill at the cashier so that they can look for someone to help them pay the amount.

To Marilyn’s surprise, the cashier told her that they had nothing to worry about because the hospitalization, medicines, and professional fee for the doctors were all free.

“Ayha pa nako nadumdoman nga libre man diay kay Pantawid Pamilya man diay ko (I realized then that they were all free because I am a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary),” Marilyn said.

Marilyn recalled that Victor was hesitant to be brought to the hospital but she insisted, saying that someone once told her that Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries can avail of health coverage under the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth). Marilyn said that she only presented her Pantawid Pamilya identification card to the hospital’s admission office.

Upon learning this, Victor was thankful that his family is a beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

“Wala jud ko nagtuo nga libre diay to tanan (I never imagined that it would all be free),” he said, his voice breaking.

“I am happy that more families are now seeking medical help for their illnesses. Before, they were discouraged from seeking medical help for fear of the high cost of hospitalization. Their PhilHealth membership has given them the courage to face their health challenges,” Sec. Soliman said.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is a human development program that invests in the health and education of poor families, primarily those with children aged 0-18. It provides cash grants to partner-beneficiaries who comply with the conditions of sending their children to school, bringing them to health centers for checkups, and attending the monthly Family Development Sessions (FDS).

DSWD-PhilHealth partnership

In 2012, DSWD and PhilHealth partnered to provide health care for the poor.  Some 14.7 million indigent individuals aged 21 and above identified through the DSWD’s Listahanan database of the poor are now PhilHealth card holders.  Of the total, almost 4.4 million Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries are enrolled under the PhilHealth program as sponsored members.

As Sponsored Members, they are entitled to full benefits including the case rate payments for 23 medical and surgical cases wherein they no longer need to pay in excess of the PhilHealth set benefits in government facilities.

They can also avail of the ‘Z’ benefit package for catastrophic illnesses such as childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia (P210,000), breast cancer (P100,000), prostate cancer (P100,000), and kidney transplant (P600,000).

This package is available in all PhilHealth-accredited hospitals nationwide. Beneficiaries also enjoy primary care benefits such as consultations, regular blood pressure monitoring, promotive health education on breastfeeding, and counseling on lifestyle modification and smoking cessation. Medicines for diseases like asthma and acute gastroenteritis (with mild or no dehydration), upper respiratory tract infection/pneumonia, and urinary tract infection are also provided by accredited healthcare providers.

To avail of health care benefits, the beneficiaries will just have to present their household ID numbers at accredited hospitals in the country.

Now, Victor is doing daily exercises to immediately recuperate from the stroke. He is helped by his wife Marilyn and their son during the routine.

Through DSWD’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation, the Department is also facilitating Victor’s request for assistance to defray the cost of his daily drug maintenance. ###

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‘Habagat’ evacuees continue to receive aid

A total of ₱20,627,982.95 worth of relief assistance has been provided to ‘Habagat’ evacuees, as of today.

The amount came from the combined resources of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) which provided ₱19,021,674.55 worth of relief augmentation to the local government units (LGUs), concerned LGUs extended  ₱1,600,823.40, while a number of non-government organizations provided ₱5,485.00 worth of disaster relief assistance.

To date, 11  evacuation centers are still open and being managed by LGUs serving 374 families or 1,738 persons. These are located in Regions I, III, IV-A and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

In Central Luzon, 4,850 families or 22,939 persons in 17 municipalities in five (5) provinces were flooded as a result of the heavy downpour.

The province of Nueva Ecija, the hardest hit province, has 3,436 families or 17,079 persons affected from Cabanatuan City and Zaragoza; Zambales with 1,076 families or 4,219 persons from six  municipalities; Pampanga with 311 families or 1,512 persons from seven municipalities; Bataan with 19 families or 86 persons from Dinalupihan; and Tarlac with eight (8) families or 41 persons from Paniqui.

To date, concerned LGUs in the affected municipalities in Pampanga and Zambales have already provided P236,359.00 worth of relief assistance to their affected constituents.

In Region I,  the LGU of Bani in Pangasinan has declared the town under state of calamity due to incessant rains that caused massive flooding.  DSWD-Field Office I has a total of 18,627 family food packs ready for distribution to affected towns in the region.

DSWD disaster teams in the affected regions continue to coordinate with LGUs for further relief augmentation when necessary. ###

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Pantawid Pamilya can boost beneficiaries’ power to earn – DSWD

Amid clamor of some congressmen to channel the budget of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program to job generation, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said that the conditional cash transfer and job generation are not independent from each other but in fact complement each other in addressing poverty.

“We thank our congressmen for their recommendations,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said. “Like them, we at the DSWD believe that jobs or livelihood activities which lead to increased income are important. This is why we factored in the livelihood component through our Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).”

SLP is a community-based capacity building program that increases the economic opportunities of families through the different modalities that it offers such as skills training, seed capital fund, pre-employment assistance fund, and the cash for building livelihood assets. It is implemented through the Community-Driven Enterprise Development Approach which equips program participants to actively contribute to production and labor markets by looking at available resources and accessible markets.

Since its implementation from January 2011 to April 2015, SLP served a total of 723,090 families, of which 620,874 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries were linked with public and private partners for either micro-enterprise development or employment facilitation.

With these economic activities of the beneficiaries, Sec. Soliman added that the preliminary findings of the World Bank’s Benefit-Incidence Analysis showed that Pantawid Pamilya is achieving its objectives.

“The Analysis showed that Pantawid Pamilya has been able to increase the income of partner-beneficiaries, and to move them closer to the minimum income level needed to transcend poverty. The report also said that per peso cash grant, the poverty gap is reduced by 61 centavos,” Sec. Soliman added.

Likewise, based on the 2nd round of the impact evaluation on Pantawid Pamilya, the program is successful in encouraging school attendance, promoting preventive health check-ups, and improving maternal health which are all important factors to break the inter-generation cycle of poverty.

Specifically, the major findings of the impact evaluation are:

  • More Pantawid Pamilya mothers delivered in health facilities in the past five years, with 7 in 10 live births among Pantawid Pamilya mothers compared to 5.5 in 10 births among non-beneficiary mothers.  Furthermore, children beneficiaries have access to basic health services such as vitamin and mineral supplements that are vital to improving health outcomes. Pantawid Pamilya children aged 6 months to 6 years old receive Vitamin A supplements (86%) and iron supplements (35%).
  • Gross enrollment rate for high school children (12-15 years old) is higher (95%) for Pantawid Pamilya children living near the poverty threshold. Keeping the high school-aged children in school is important as this is the stage when they are likely to drop out of school to work.
  • Pantawid Pamilya households also invest more on education. Results show that Pantawid Pamilya households spent PhP206 more per school-aged child per year compared to non-beneficiary households. Expenditures for uniform or clothing are higher for Pantawid Pamilya children as well.
  • Pantawid Pamilya seems to have improved parents’ perception of their situation and of their children’s future. It encourages Pantawid Pamilya parents (87% compared to 81% for non-Pantawid Pamilya parents) to aspire for a better future for their children and expect the kids to live a better life compared to theirs. This indicates that the beneficiaries understand that the program will help their family’s future welfare. The healthier outlook of the future may also prompt beneficiaries to take necessary behavioral changes to achieve their aspirations.

Sec. Soliman also mentioned a World Bank study which stated that the implementation of social safety net programs such as Pantawid Pamilya helps reduce the poverty gap by 15 percent. The study added that social safety nets have positive and significant impacts on education, health, and food security, but also promote households’ ability to generate income that can lead to positive effects in local economies.

“The findings of the study of World Bank corroborate our premise that indeed CCT and job generation are complementary,” Sec. Soliman reiterated.

No vote-buying strategy

On the issue that the program is being used to buy votes, Sec. Soliman explained that the program has passed through the presidential election in 2010, the barangay elections in 2010 and 2013, and the midterm election in 2013,  but no instance or allegation of vote-buying has been raised.

Sec. Soliman attributed this to the extensive information drive that the Department undertakes to maintain the program’s non-partisanship during election period.

“We actively discuss active citizenship during our Family Development Sessions with parent-beneficiaries where we tell them about their role in nation-building,” she said.

The Secretary also mentioned the “Bawal Ang Epal Dito” campaign which educates the beneficiaries that no politician has a hand in the program and that only the beneficiaries can remove or retain themselves in the program by complying with the conditionalities.

“More than these, we tell them that we believe in their ability and capacity to vote wisely,” Sec. Soliman ended. ###

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Almost 1,000 Pantawid Pamilya grantees trained on organic farming under DSWD-SM partnership

Participants of the DSWD-SM Foundation skills training on organic farming apply the farming techniques they have learned.

Participants of the DSWD-SM Foundation skills training on organic farming apply the farming techniques they have learned.

As part of its continuing effort to engage the private sector in improving the lives of beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has partnered anew with SM Foundation, Inc. (SMFI) to conduct skills training for the beneficiaries.

Around 150 grantees from Tagum City, Davao del Norte were the latest beneficiaries of this joint project of the DSWD and SMFI. The beneficiaries were trained on high-value crop production as well as on organic farming which earn from and provide them fresh produce for their families.

A total of 959 families from Regions IV-A, V, VI, IX and XI trained under the DSWD-SMFI tie-up project.

The training which were conducted by Harbest Agribusiness Corporation included lectures and hands-on sessions on nursery preparation, seed sowing, land preparation, caring and nursing of seedling, pruning, trellis preparation, fruit selection and fruit thinning, pest and disease control, irrigation and drainage, and post-harvest technology.

Also integrated in the training course was an orientation on the DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) focused on Community-Driven Enterprise Development which covers self-awareness, time management, financial literacy, product management, participatory livelihood issue analysis, and value chain analysis.

DSWD and the Department of Agriculture (DA) also taught the participants about cost analysis and return of investment analysis.

Last week, at SMFI’s “Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Farmer’s Training Program,” DSWD, SMFI, Harbest, the Provincial Government of Davao del Norte, and DA witnessed the beneficiaries’ planting activity at a demonstration farm in Barangay Madaum in Tagum City.

There they applied the farming techniques they learned from their training. The participants planted vegetables and fruits like cucumber, tomato, squash, ampalaya, bell pepper, honeydew, and gourd.

Earlier, some 154 survivors of Typhoon Pablo from Monkayo also underwent the same training and they are now maintaining their organic farm in Barangay Olaycon while some have also ventured in cultivating their own backyard garden.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that DSWD engaged the participation of the private sector and civil society organizations in program implementation to ensure transparency.

“This will give our partners the chance to also observe how we implement programs to enable them to further understand and appreciate how the government works,” Sec. Soliman elaborated.

To date, 1,081 CSOs have committed to work with DSWD to assist Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries have access to income generating opportunities. In Davao Region alone, 36 CSOs have partnered with DSWD-Field Office XI. ###

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