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DSWD continues fight against child labor

In an effort to help curb the prevalence of child labor in the country, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is intensifying the conduct of Family Development Sessions (FDS) for parent-beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program to enhance their parental roles and become more aware of the need to ensure the welfare of their children.

Based on the 2011 Survey on Children conducted by the National Statistics Office, there are 5.492 million working children aged 5-17 years old as of October 2011. Of this number, 2.993 million or 54.5 percent children are exposed to hazardous child labor.

“We hope that through the FDS, we would be able to impart to the parents that they should not allow their minor-children to work because working at a tender age has negative effects on the children’s growth and development,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said.

FDS is one of the program conditions of Pantawid Pamilya, which provides cash grants to poor families to enable them to meet their children’s health and education needs.

It serves as a venue where topics on effective parenting, husband and wife relationships, child development, laws affecting the Filipino family, gender and development, and home management are discussed.

Through the FDS, parents are also informed of their obligations that they need to fulfill not only as husband and wife but also as parents and community members. It consists of three modules, namely: Paglalatag ng Pundasyon ng Programang Pantawid Pamilya, Paghahanda at Pangangalaga ng Pamilyang Pilipino, and Partisipasyon ng Pamilyang Pilipino sa Gawaing Pang Komunidad.

Preventing children from untimely labor

Sec. Soliman also cited the role of Pantawid Pamilya in reducing the incidence of child labor. In ensuring that children go to school, they are steered away from a life on the streets and from premature employment.

As of December 2014, around 11,119,385 children-beneficiaries, 0-18 years old are being served by Pantawid Pamilya.

Based on the results of the Second Wave Impact Evaluation of Pantawid Pamilya, the enrolment rate of elementary and high school children are high for Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries.

“The high enrolment rate of these children indicates that they are not engaged in any form of child labor,” Sec. Soliman emphasized.

Community, center-based services

In 2014, the Department provided appropriate services and programs to 30 children-victims of child labor who were rescued from different industries such as pyrotechnic, deep-sea fishing, sugar cane plantation, mining and quarrying, domestic work, as well as prostitution.

Sec. Soliman explained, “DSWD handles each case of child labor victim differently. There are those who can be served within the community, while others are served in our centers.”

Some of the services provided within the community are Parent Effectiveness Seminars to ensure that parents participate in the child’s development, as well as continued counseling sessions for both the child and the parents.

DSWD also implements supplementary feeding programs in vulnerable communities to give proper nutrition and health care to the children.

In cases where children-victims were found to need more care and direct supervision, DSWD places them in centers like the Haven for Children, to ensure that they are treated accordingly.

At the center they are given rehabilitative services such as psycho-social, educational, homelife, dietary, health, recreational, cultural, and spiritual enhancement. They are also provided with play and music therapy.

Older children are given productivity skills training to enable them to gain some skills in preparation for their eventual mainstreaming to their respective communities.

Reporting child labor cases

“Children begging for the family’s needs is also a form of child labor.  Sometimes, it is the parents who urged them to do so,” the Secretary added.

The Secretary urged the public to refrain from giving alms to children-mendicants so as not to further encourage them to continue with this risky activity.

She advised the public that if they want to help mendicants, they can channel their assistance through agencies and licensed/accredited non-government organizations, or to religious institutions.

DSWD is urging all sectors in society to immediately report any occurrence of child labor to government authorities.

DSWD has its 24-hour Crisis Intervention Units (CIU) in all its regional offices where the public can report cases of child labor.  For the National Capital Region (NCR), the public may directly report at (02) 488-2861.

It also has a Twitter account, @savestreetkids, where the public can report sightings of street children. DSWD will conduct rescue operations after receipt of tweets. ###

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DSWD, CWC lead fight vs child abuse

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and its attached agency, the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), call on the public to be united in combating child abuse and exploitation.

This is in observance of the 19th National Awareness Week for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation or Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Week (CSAAW) from February 7-13 with the theme: Labanan ang Pag-aabusong Sekswal sa mga Bata: Now na!

The theme gives emphasis to the importance and urgency in fighting and preventing child sexual abuse and exploitation through public awareness.

The celebration will be marked by activities that will increase awareness and strengthen the promotion of the rights of the child such as the following:

Fun and Learning Day with Children on February 7 at Sunken Garden, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City Flash Mob with DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano- Soliman on February 8 at Liwasang Aurora, Quezon City Circle and Safer Internet Day Campaign and Forum on the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation in Emergencies at Bayview Hotel, Manila on February 13.

The public is enjoined to participate in these activities.

Protecting children

Sec. Corazon Juliano-Soliman appealed to everyone to do his or her part to stop child sexual abuse and exploitation by reporting any case of abuse that they know of to the proper authorities.

“Don’t be silent about child sexual abuse. We have an obligation to ensure the safety and well-being not only [of] our own children but practically all children,” Sec. Soliman said.

DSWD implements preventive programs to protect children from being abused and exploited, and rehabilitative programs for abused victims to ensure their healing and recovery.

The preventive programs are Alternative Parental Care Program which provides permanent or temporary family care arrangement for children whose parents are unable to ensure protection, Family Development Sessions (FDS) for Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries, Parent Effectiveness Service (PES), and Empowerment and Reaffirmation of Paternal Abilities (ERPAT).

The goal of FDS, PES, and ERPAT is to enhance parental roles, thereby ensuring child protection and development.

Meanwhile, the rehabilitative programs are undertaken through the Residential Care Service which is the provision of temporary shelter and center-based services such as psychosocial treatments and case management.

The Regional Haven (Center for Women and Girls), the Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC), and Marillac Hills, which are all managed by the DSWD, provide rehabilitative service to child abuse victims.

From 2012 to January 2015, a total of 1,319 sexually abused and exploited children were served by the Department.

Parents, barangay and municipal officials and members of private groups are all encouraged to join the observance to strengthen the promotion of the right of the child towards a Child-Friendly society. ###

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Street family finally finds dignity in their new home

Noon sinuwerte lang siguro kami sa kalsada at walang kapahamakan na nangyari sa amin, pero ngayon, di na ako papayag na manirahan ulit kami sa kalsada. Masyadong delikado ‘dun (We were lucky that our family was unharmed while living on the streets, but now I won’t allow us to live there again. It’s too dangerous),” said Nicanor Ripalda Raz, a former street dweller turned beneficiary of the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Homeless Street Families (MCCT-HSF) implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Mang Nik sells popcorn on weekends and after his work at the construction site.

Mang Nik sells popcorn on weekends and after his work at the construction site.

Nicanor or Mang Nik, 48, used to live on the streets with his wife Marivic Beatriz and their eight children.

Sobrang nakakapanliit ang tingin ng mga tao noon.  Hindi naman ako pwedeng magtago lang dahil sa kalsada talaga kami kumukuha ng ikinabubuhay namin (It was so demeaning, but we couldn’t hide anywhere because we really lived on the streets and it’s where we get our income),” Mang Nik narrated.

Their deplorable plight ended when they were registered in the MCCT-HSF.  They now live in a rented house in Singalong, Manila, away from the perils and noise of the streets.

When Mang Nik’s family and other street dwellers were interviewed by a staff from DSWD, he was confident that help was on its way.

’Nung sinabi nu’ng nag-interview na galing siya sa DSWD, kahit ‘di siya nangako ng tulong sa amin alam kong may tulong na darating (Even if the interviewer did not promise the we will be given assistance, I knew that help will come when he said that he was from DSWD),” Mang Nik continued.

It was an answered prayer for Mang Nik. He does not want his grandchildren to experience his and his children’s life in the streets.

A fighting chance

MCCT-HSF provides a complete package of assistance to street families, including responsive shelter programs, with 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 for six months to one year.

Aside from the rental assistance, Mang Nik’s family receives cash grant for their compliance to the education and health conditionalities of the program.

According to Mang Nik, “Noong una, pinapapasok ko lang ang mga bata para makakuha kami ng cash grants.  Pero ngayon, naisip ko na mahalaga ang edukasyon.  ‘Yung pagbalik sa kalsada, iniwasan ko rin ‘yun pagkatapos ng anim na buwan dahil nakalagay sa kasunduan na mawawala kami sa programa pag bumalik kami (I used to tell my kids to go to school so we could get the cash grants, but now I learned to value education. I avoid going back to the streets because we will be removed from the program if we go back there).”


Another benefit of becoming a member of MCCT is having access to job and livelihood opportunities.

Mang Nik is now a construction worker at Philippine Sundt Construction where he earns P350 a day. To augment their income, Mang Nik sells popcorn at night.

Nagsusumikap ako para sa pamilya ko para hindi na namin maranasan ang buhay sa lansangan (I work hard for my family so we will never have to experience life on the streets again),” he said.

With a stable source of income, Mang Nik’s family is proud that they now maintain the house rental by themselves.

He is even more proud to have given his loved ones the dignity that they rightfully deserve – to live in a safe place without the humiliating look of passersby. ###

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Street families dream of change

Simpson (L) and Dela Cruz(R) families joined the DSWD’s Family Camp in Batangas.

Simpson (L) and Dela Cruz(R) families joined the DSWD’s Family Camp in Batangas.

“Mahirap tumira sa lansangan. Maingay, magulo. Hindi ka makakain at makatulog ng maayos. Sana balang araw makaalis kami sa ganitong sitwasyon (It’s hard to live in the streets. It’s noisy and dirty here. You can’t eat and sleep well. We hope that we’ll be able to get out of this situation someday).”

This is how Mark Anthony Simpson describes his life living in the streets of Manila.

He is one of the participants of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) six-day Family Camp. The activity was an opportunity for 100 street families, majority of who belong to the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program for Homeless Street Families (MCCT-HSF).

MCCT-HSF provides a complete package of assistance to street families, including responsive shelter programs, with 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 for six months to one year.


Mark, 24, avers that the Family Camp of the Department is a good chance for families to bond. He and his wife Karmi work as barkers in Ermita thus they do not have the time and means to spend time and have fun with their kids.

Kapag po kasi nasa kalye ka puro hanap-buhay ang iniisip mo. Kaya sumasama kami sa Family Camp ng DSWD para makapagsama-sama kami at maging masaya ng pamilya ko (You always think about work when you’re in the streets. My family joined the Family Camp of DSWD so we could be together and enjoy),” said the father of three.

It was unforgettable for Mark.

Asked what his most memorable experience in the camp was, he said it was spending time with his family in a bedroom with clean beddings and a comfort room.

’Yung sama-sama kami sa isang kuwarto, nakakakain kami ng maayos, di ko malilimutan ‘yun (The experience of being together with my family in one room, eating good food, sleeping with clean beddings and having a comfort room is something I will never forget),” he added.

Karmi recalled the activities prepared for the families.

There were story-telling sessions and film viewing and lectures on cleanliness and personal hygiene, children’s rights, and values education. Discussions and workshops on parenting and family planning were also conducted for the parents.

“Tinuruan kami tungkol sa family planning, paano alagaan ang pamilya namin at palakihin ng tama ang mga anak (We were taught about family planning and how to rear our children the right way),” Karmi said.

Marami pong gawain para sa pamilya. May mga games at swimming pa. Enjoy na enjoy ang mga bata (There were a lot of activities for the families. There were games and we went swimming. The kids really enjoyed),” Karmi added.


The Family Camp gives hope to street families and makes them realize that help is available.

It is a regular activity of MCCT-HSF and Comprehensive Program for Street Children and Street Families, including the Indigenous Peoples (IP). Since 2011, the camp has been a venue for the local government units to discuss with the street families their concerns and the government support interventions and services for them.

May tumutulong sa amin – ang DSWD. Kaya tinatanggap namin [ang tulong] kasi napapabuti naman kami. Nakasali pa kami sa cash-for-work kaya may napagkakakitaan kami (We are getting help, it is from the DSWD.  We receive their help because we believe they are doing it to make us improve. We even joined the cash-for-work and thus, we have additional source of income),” Mark related.

He became a beneficiary DSWD’s cash-for-work program after the camp. He was a street sweeper in Luneta and earned P320 per day, for 10 days.

The DSWD’s cash-for-work is an intervention that provides temporary employment to distressed or displaced individuals.

Like Mark, Joel Dela Cruz and his family also availed the assistance offered in the camp.

The 33-year-old father of four became a street sweeper through the cash-for-work program.

Joel related, “Masaya kami roon [sa camp]. Masayang nagkakainan, nag-uusap. May mga activity para sa mga bata at matanda. Tinuruan kami kung paano namin mabibigyan ng  magandang buhay ang mga anak namin (We were happy there. We were eating together, just talking. There were activities for the children and adults. We were taught how to make better lives for our kids).”###

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DSWD defers debriefing for families of slain SAF to give them time to mourn

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) stated that it is ready to provide critical incident stress debriefing (CISD) to the families of the 44 Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) commandos killed during the armed clash in Mamasapano, Maguindanao but deferred it, in the meantime, to give them time to mourn.

“We will wait until the families are ready. We know that  they are still in the mourning period,”  DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said.

CISD is a series of sessions administered by social workers aimed at enabling the victims to overcome the trauma caused by crisis such as loss of a loved one.

Sec. Soliman added that DSWD is reaching out to the bereaved families to also assess them for other possible interventions.

So far, two families from Region I have accepted the assistance offered by DSWD.

DSWD-Field Office I has extended other forms of assistance during the wake of PO2 Ephraim Mejia in Pangasinan.

“We also offered a job to Mrs. Mejia according to her skills. We also referred her to contact persons who can help her process the requirements for claiming the benefits due her,”  Sec. Soliman said.

Mrs. Mejia also voiced her desire to build a house on the lot purchased by her husband.

Meanwhile,  DSWD has to date received P305,886.20 cash donations through the DSWD account for Armed Conflict in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

“We have posted  a daily donations transaction update on our website,,  for transparency,” Sec. Soliman added.

Interested donors may deposit to Landbank of the Philippines (Batasan Branch) Peso Current Account No. 3122-1026-28 under DSWD Donation Account for Armed Conflict in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

Sec Soliman also said that the evacuation center in Barangay Daladap, Mamasapano is already closed with the evacuees returning to their homes. ###

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I’m a 4Ps scholar

They call us the lower class, the twerps, a burden to the government. They dub us dependents, supposedly merely after government doles. They call us the poorest of the poor, the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

Let me tell you people, we are less fortunate but we are not stupid. Yes, we are receiving a certain amount from the government, to alleviate our current situation, which is the program’s primary objective. But, is it really a basis for social discrimination and bullying?

I am a 4Ps scholar, one of the beneficiaries of the Expanded Students’ Grant-In-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA), to be particular about it. So, what do you think? I am giving you the freedom to say something about it. Are you one of those judgmental persons or among the rational ones?

When I first heard about the opportunity to avail myself of the ESGP-PA, I thought of my dreams becoming possible. It was as if chance had found a deserving student who desired to make a difference in her life, in her family, and in her society. Eventually, I became a lucky grantee. I consider that a significant gift that drew me closer to achieving my aspirations.

For me, tuition and other school fees, academic and extracurricular expenses, the purchase of textbooks, the lack of stipend and transportation fare ceased to be constant worries in the pursuit of a college degree. Each grantee is entitled to P30,000 per semester, and that has been making a difference.

But, the difference includes social discrimination and bullying. Some fellow students say something to this effect: “Those 4Ps scholars, they already have the scholarship, and they’re also given special treatment.” Those students who belong to well-off families look down on us when they learn that we are ESGP-PA grantees, as though we were unsightly.

The worst thing was when, in class, a professor presented his opinion on the program’s “dependency” on the government and how our expenses as grantees were being shouldered by taxpayers including himself, all because of irresponsible parenthood. His opinion just seemed so biased. It appeared that he did not realize: What could this mean, how could this affect, an ESGP-PA grantee in his class?

These have happened, not just to me, but also to my fellow 4Ps scholars. It’s like being a 4Ps scholar is a sin, that being less fortunate is a sin.

We are not the proponents of this program; we are merely the chosen recipients. I’ve come to think: What if everyone is a 4Ps beneficiary? Will their views still be the same? Will the treatment be just and fair? Why does social hierarchy matter a lot in building a community? Irrationality will never unite a country.

This is not all about irresponsible parenthood; this is reality. Poverty is present in the country. We are not building a poverty society. In fact, we strongly want to get out of that status. We strive to lift our families out of poverty and eventually give back to the economy.

I feel that I should just shut my mouth whenever they throw gibberish at us and degrade the ESGP-PA. Yet my open mind cannot fathom the fact that those words come from supposedly educated people who should know better than us. It is just a manifestation that someone can be educated but not learned.

Still, I extend my thanks to the government for providing a great opportunity for deserving students to complete tertiary-level education. I will focus on the positive goals. We’ll eradicate poverty; we don’t need irrationality. We are less fortunate, but we are not stupid.

Rose J. Bongon, 20, is a third-year IT student at Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges. She is associate editor of The Spark (the official CSPC school–community publication) and blogs at

Reprinted from Young Blood, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Thursday, February 5th, 2015

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DSWD, WFP provide cash assistance to 6,700 families affected by ‘Hagupit’

MANILA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is extending  P17 million cash assistance to 6,700 families or roughly 33,000 people affected by Typhoon Hagupit (local name: Ruby), in close partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Through DSWD’s social safety net program called the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), WFP has provided a one-time add-on amount of P2,600 each to the most affected households in the municipalities of Can-Avid, Dolores, Jipapad, and Taft in Eastern Samar. The cash distribution to affected households will begin this February.

“We truly admire the resilience of the people of Eastern Samar as they rebuild after Hagupit. We hope that with this cash support, families will be able to meet their daily food requirements and have access to a variety of nutritious food available in the local market,” said WFP Philippines Country Director ad interim Martin Bettelley.

“When these areas got hit by ‘Hagupit’, they were actually still trying to recover after Typhoon Yolanda ravaged them just a year ago. So, this cash to be given to our partner-beneficiaries on top of the regular cash grants they receive will definitely be able to help them get back on their feet again and assist them restore what they lost during these disasters,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman shared.

Aside from cash support, at the onset of ‘Hagupit’, DSWD and WFP also provided food assistance in Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, and Western Samar.

Typhoon Hagupit was one of the strongest typhoons to pass through the Philippines in 2014, which affected four million people. It slowly crawled through the country and caused P5 billion worth of damages in infrastructure and agriculture. ###

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DSWD cites top LGU users of database of poor families

The winners of the Gawad Listahanan with Secretary Soliman, Assistant Secretary Rodolfo Santos (3rd from left, 2nd row) and Asec. Camilo Gudmalin (4th from left, 2nd row).

The winners of the Gawad Listahanan with Secretary Soliman, Assistant Secretary Rodolfo Santos (3rd from left, 2nd row) and Asec. Camilo Gudmalin (4th from left, 2nd row).

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), through the Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction, awarded the first Gawad Listahanan to the Municipal Government of Dalaguete, Cebu; Escalante City, Negros Occidental; and, Ilocos Norte on January 29  during the Department’s 64th anniversary celebration.

Gawad Listahanan is an award conferred to local government units (LGUs) that have registered the most number of beneficiaries of their locally-funded programs using the Listahanan database of poor families.

Listahanan is an information management system that makes available to national government agencies, local government units, and other social protection stakeholders a comprehensive list of poor families in need of assistance.

“This award recognizes the significant efforts of our data users, and celebrates their success in ensuring the protection and improving the quality of life the poor,” said DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman.

Dalaguete Mayor Ronald Allan G. Cesante received the award for the municipal category. The town entered the locally-funded program known as the Local Government Institutional Support Services for Transformation Advancement (LISSTA) that provides educational assistance like school supplies and scholarship grants to Listahanan identified-poor students at the elementary, high school, and college levels.

Escalante City Councilor Virgie A. Pastor received the award for the city category. The city implements the Indigency Program, which provides Listahanan-identified poor families with hospital, medical, and burial assistance.

For the provincial category, Corazon Lilian C. Rin, Head of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) of Ilocos Norte, received the award.

Ilocos Norte has established the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) program using the Listahanan as basis for its local situation analysis, planning, beneficiary selection, monitoring and evaluation of local poverty issues and response mechanism.  Some projects under the MDG program include Scholar ni Manang Imee, Animal Dispersal, and Medical and Dental Mission, among others.

Gawad Listahanan winners received a plaque of appreciation and cash incentive of P50,000. ###

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Summary of Foreign and Local Donations
As of February 23, 2015 (5:00PM)

P98,682,166.37 Local Donations

USD23,790,534.18 - Foreign Donations


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