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More homes completed for Typhoon Pablo survivors

Francisco Culpa of Sibajay, Boston happily holds his Certificate of Occupancy to his new home. Also in photo is his grandchild.

Francisco Culpa of Sibajay, Boston happily holds his Certificate of Occupancy to his new home. Also in photo is his grandchild.

Cateel, Davao Oriental - Typhoon Pablo may have trampled the houses and lives of many residents of Davao Oriental but it also brought transformation to every survivor who strives to bounce back.

For Leofora Losentes, 45, of Barangay Alegria, though ‘Pablo’ brought them devastation, it also paved the way for the building of more beautiful homes and creation of more opportunities.

As part of the continuing rehabilitation program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for ‘Pablo’ survivors, in partnership with the Provincial Government of Davao Oriental, another 728 permanent homes for the typhoon survivors of Cateel, Boston, and Baganga were recently completed and turned over.

This brings to 3,369 the total number of permanent shelters completed in Davao Oriental through the DSWD Modified Shelter Assistance Program (MSAP).

The continuous construction is being implemented while ensuring that residents are properly relocated in safe zones to prevent future disasters.

Losentes expressed her gratefulness to the Department for subsidizing all expenses in building their home.

“Grabe akoang kalipay nga naa na gyud mi maingon karon nga amoang balay.  Gilupad man sa bagyo amoang balay ug nagpuyo sa payag-payag kilid sa kalsada pero karon makatulog na akoang mga anak og maayo (I am extremely happy now that we have a home we can call our own. Our house was swept away by the typhoon and we had to stay in a makeshift house along the road. My children can now sleep comfortably),” Losentes added.

A Pantawid Pamilya grantee, Losentes has seven children. Her husband Pedro is a farm laborer. Her eldest son Luther, 22, works as a laborer in a rice field while second child Jick, 19, is a helper in the construction of houses for typhoon victims.

At the ceremonial turnover, Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon encouraged beneficiaries to also participate in the construction,  a scheme where they  are paid for the labor in building their own homes.

“We are  fast-tracking the construction of all the houses and targeting to finish these as soon as possible. I urge everyone to take advantage of this opportunity to earn while helping themselves,”  she said.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman conveyed her appreciation to the Provincial Government of Davao Oriental in helping the victims recover from the disaster.

To Lorna Rendola, 50, of Barangay Dawis, Baganga, the opportunity offered by the governor would surely help her family move on. Rendola’s husband died prior to the typhoon. She lost her son, daughter-in-law, and  three-month-old grandson to  ‘Pablo’.

“Sakit gyud akoang gibati hangtod karon pero kinahanglan ko mabuhi para sa akoang pamilya ug mga anak  (Up to now I am deeply devastated by what happened but I need to be strong for my family and children),” she said.

Rendola has seven more children and one grandchild to look after. She is very thankful to the government who never left them and hopeful for all the opportunities that will still come.

“Kaya ko ang pagbabago dahil sa patuloy na tiwala at tulong ng gobyerno. Maraming salamat po ( I can meet the challenges of change because of government’s help. Thank you),” she stated.

“The spirit of perseverance has come alive in the province where people surpassed the odds through unity and resiliency. I assure you that in every initiative of the government, no one will be left behind,” Sec. Soliman said.  ###

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A once adopted child becomes an adoptive father

 Pastor Samuel Cariño, his wife Hope, and adopted child, Chosen is a picture of a happy family.

Happy family. Pastor Samuel Cariño, his wife Hope, and adopted child, Chosen.

She was alone with the baby in the hospital. The man who made promises left her, and not one in the family back in the province knew about her pregnancy.  She was only 18, a student.

Having no one, no means to pay the hospital bills and no way to support the new born child, she was forced to make a difficult decision, to have her newborn child adopted.

Thus, begins the story of Pastor Samuel Cariño, an adopted child, who later on became an adoptive father.

He was legally adopted by Miguel and Victorita “Betty” Cariño, a childless couple from Midsayap, Cotabato on May 30, 1974.

Since Miguel and Betty got married in 1969, the couple earnestly prayed for a son.

Betty even made this vow saying, “Lord, if you would give me a son, he will become a pastor.”

After four years, God blessed the couple with a child of their own, a baby girl, whom they named  Marife.

Pastor Samuel recalled, “We were treated equally.  I was so loved that I never realized I was an adopted child.  Not until I turned 12 when my friends started calling me “Hapon” that I began to observe the faces of my family.  Slowly, I began to realize that I did not resemble them in any way. Then I gathered enough courage to ask my mother if I am adopted.”

When his mother confirmed that he was indeed an adopted child, Pastor Samuel decided to find his real parents.

“I packed my things, my emotions in turmoil. My mother did not stop me from leaving. Instead, she waited for me to come home. Since I did not know where to go [nor where to get] the means [to survive], I decided to go home.  Mom assured me that even if I was not their biological son, they love me still,” he narrated.

Looking back, Pastor Samuel related, “As the years went by, I honestly felt no unfair treatment at home. My parents played no favourites. I received the same treatment from my loved ones. And so, we continued to grow in the fear and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Experiencing tragedy

Tragedy struck the family in 1992 when his adoptive father was diagnosed with cancer of the lungs and was given only six months to live.

Unfortunately, Pastor Samuel’s adoptive mother died earlier due to enlargement of the heart after a liver operation.

“My world crashed. I did not know what to do. We became orphans in a span of two months. How could my sister and I survive?  What would happen to our schooling? These were just some of the questions that went through my mind,” he related.

Pastor Samuel admitted that he became bitter.

“I grieved, rebelled and questioned God until one day I got very sick and ended up in the hospital fighting for my life.  It was then that I pleaded before God to give me one more chance to live my life. Along with the plea was the promise to serve Him faithfully all the days of my life.”

After he was healed, Pastor Samuel decided to fulfil his mother’s vow. He entered Ebenezer Bible College and Seminary in June 1994.

Journey towards adoption

At the seminary, he met Hope, his high school crush.

“Since she was seeing somebody at that time, I opted to wait and pray. Every single day, I prayed for her and God heard my prayers. She became my girlfriend in 1996, and three years later, we got married, “ he continued.

After eight years, the couple remained childless. Although they were sad about this, Pastor Samuel stated that “[they] are grateful to God for giving [them] the courage to accept our situation.

“Acceptance. That was more than enough for us at that time. That is why having no children of our own was not a source of tension in our relationship,” he shared.

On their 10th year of marriage, Pastor Samuel felt that “God was leading [him] into something that will change their lives forever.”

“He impressed adoption in my heart and made me realize that my situation was no accident. I believe that God orchestrated the events in my life, and if there is one thing that He would want me to do, that is to adopt a child. I felt that this was the legacy God wanted me to pass on,” he recounted.

At first, Pastor Samuel narrated, his wife was not as excited about adoption as he was, having gotten used to their set-up, that an added member of the family would require a lot of adjustment in all aspects of their lives.

“So, I did not force the issue, all the while praying for her to have a change of heart. In the meantime, I was quietly processing all the documents needed. When I went to out of town ministries, I would give her reading materials on adoption. This went on for months, until one day she realized that adoption must be God’s way of answering our prayer for a son. Finally, Hope agreed that we adopt a child,” he continued.

In March 2011, the couple attended a seminar on adoption, and submitted all the requirements on August of the same year.

On September, they were matched, and the following month, October 24, 2011, they fetched their son, bubbly seven-month old Chosen.

According to Pastor Samuel, “We named him Chosen because we learned that we cannot choose the baby. There is a committee who does the matching.  And so we prayed, ‘God, You choose the baby for us.’  He is chosen by the Lord, at the same time, we are chosen by God to become his parents.”

The couple is currently serving as pastors at a church in Quezon City.

“My story of God’s amazing grace moved me to share His wonderful love by adopting a child which I once was,” Pastor Samuel said.

Advocating for legal adoption

The Carino’s story is just one of the heartwarming stories of childless couples finding fulfillment in becoming loving parents to homeless children.

In providing for a permanent home, however, the Department of Social Welfare and Development  (DSWD) reminds couples to always opt for legal adoption.

“Legal adoption offers security and ensures the best interest of the child. This is why DSWD discourages direct placement and is against simulation of birth certificates,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said.

In the first semester of 2014 alone, a total of 257 children were issued with a DSWD Certification Declaring a Child Legally Available for Adoption (CDCLAA).  Of the said number, 110 children are already under the care of families for trial custody that will eventually lead to possible adoption, 10 children are for foster-adopt cases while 137 children are for local matching process with adoptive parents.

For those interested to know more on how to go about legal adoption procedures, you may call DSWD-Adoption Resource  and Referal Unit (ARRU) at 734 86 22 or contact the accredited DSWD-licensed adoption NGOs such as Kaisahang Buhay Foundation (KBF) at  912 11 60 and Norfil Foundation at 372 3577. ###

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Hardworking mother slowly moves up in life

 Aling Melanie recounts her struggles  during the flag ceremony at DSWD-Central Office, Batasan Hills Quezon City.

Aling Melanie recounts her struggles as she speaks during the flag ceremony at DSWD-Central Office, Batasan Hills Quezon City.

Quezon City – The road to real success is paved with hardships and trials, hence, there are no shortcuts.

The life of Aling Melanie Ocampo, 47,  a wife and mother of three children, exemplifies this.

Aling Melanie, a beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program since 2008 and Self Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA-K) member, recounted her years of hard work and perseverance as she spoke yesterday in front of officials and employees of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Central Office during their flag ceremony.

Aling Melanie has always been good at business. Before she became a member of Pantawid Pamilya, she had a small “buy and sell” business buying biscuits in bulk and selling it to her neighbors. However, it was not enough to support her family.

“Dati po, kahit anong mapagkakakitaan basta marangal ay pinapasok ko, matulungan lamang po ang asawa ko na makapagdala ng pagkain sa hapag.  Makaraos lang sa pang araw-araw ay sapat na po sa akin (Before, I will engage in any income-generating activity as long as its legal, so I can help my husband feed our family. Daily survival is enough for us),” said Aling Melanie.

Aling Melanie also mentioned that there were times that they would skip meals.

“Iyong kita ng asawa ko ay hindi talaga sapat kasi kinakaltasan pa iyon. Naalala ko pa noon, may  isang araw na hindi kami nakakain, itinulog na lang namin kahit walang laman ang aming sikmura  (My husband’s salary is not really enough due to deductions. I can still remember one time, we didn’t eat the whole day, we just went to sleep with an empty stomach),”she said.

Aling Melanie narrated that their lives got better when her family became beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilya in 2008.

In 2011, Aling Melanie also became a member of  Pag-asa ng Taga-Payatas (PAGATAS) SEA-K Association (SKA).

Aling Melanie was given by the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) a P10,000 capital assistance  which she used to begin her sari-sari store. She also joined training on meat processing which later on also became her additional business.

With self-discipline, she was able to repay the capital provided by SLP and, at the same time, expand her business.

From her profits, she can already provide enough food for her family and school supplies for her children. She was also able to buy a flat screen television.

“Gusto ko talaga na makita ang mga anak ko na makapagtapos sa pag-aaral at makahanap ng disenteng trabaho kaya nagsumikap ako na mapalago ang negosyo ko  (I really want my kids to finish college and find a decent job that is why I persevered in expanding my business),” she said.

Furthermore, Aling Melanie’s eldest son Rommel was also given an opportunity to attend food and beverage and bartending training given by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) through SLP.

This paved the way for Rommel to work in a food and beverage company in Buendia, Makati City.

Rommel then earned enough money to put up a small computer and internet shop.

“Natutuwa nga ako kasi kapag nakikita ko si Rommel, naalala ko ang sarili ko sa kanya, namana niya ang abilidad ko sa negosyo (I am happy whenever I watch my son, I can see myself in him, he inherited my business acumen),” she proudly shared.

DSWD Undersecretary Angelita Gregorio Medel commended the courage and determination of the Ocampo Family.

“It takes a lot to develop a successful business and it’s not because of us. It is you, Aling Melanie, who made it happen. DSWD provided you the capital and you really valued the trust and confidence given to you,” Usec. Medel expressed.

“Malayo man ang aking tinahak mula sa kahirapan hanggang sa tagumpay ngunit napatunayan ko sa aking sariling kaya kong harapin ang pagbabago (I may have come a long way from poverty to success but I have proven to myself that I can face change),” Aling Melanie ended. ###

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DSWD preps for Typhoon Jose

Although Typhoon Jose is unlikely to make a landfall in the country, Field Offices of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) ​near the typhoon path are still​ ​on alert status to monitor the situation and to ensure quick provision of augmentation assistance to local government units when necessary.

DSWD assured that prepositioned relief goods are enough in ​those ​areas.

In Ilocos Region, DSWD has prepositioned family food packs worth P1,564,763.60 and non-food items worth P6,082,767.93.

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Regional Center 1 together with the Regional/Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (R/PDRRMC) in Pangasinan is monitoring the situation in low lying areas. Pre-emptive evacuation of families will be undertaken to minimize casualties.

In Cagayan Valley, DSWD-Field Office II prepositioned a total of 13,000 family food packs for the 65 evacuation centers identified. Likewise, the provincial governments of Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and Batanes prepositioned 20,325 family food packs.

In addition, it has available standby fund of P5.18 ​million with 3,660 family food packs, 314 cases of assorted canned goods, 987 cases of bottled water, and 36,000 tins of ready-to-eat-food that are available for distribution as the need arises. ###

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Pantawid Pamilya women train on cookery

Pantawid mothers attend cooking course.

Pantawid mothers attend cooking course.

Kapalong, Davao del Norte  – In an effort to prepare women-beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program for micro-enterprise endeavors,  the Department of Social  Welfare and Development  (DSWD), through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP),  is facilitating vocational and technical enhancement skills training for them.

In this town, 31 Pantawid Pamilya women recently completed Cookery National Certificate II conducted by Endonela Institute of Technology Foundation, Inc. (EITFI).

With this timely opportunity, participants are now equipped with the ability and the confidence to earn as they cook.

With Dante Cadayona as cooking coach, the 345-hour training aimed at generating employment and income for the participants, as well as mobilizing them to engage in micro-enterprise through carinderia management and catering services.

One-fourth of the training cost was sponsored by the partner school while the remaining amount came as a scholarship grant from DSWD.

“Kaya namin ang pagbabago dahil sa tiwala at pagkakataon na ibinibigay ng gobyerno sa amin. Salamat sa DSWD (We can change for the better because of the trust and the opportunity given us to learn and improve our lot. Thanks to DSWD),” the new graduates bellowed in unison.

This is the 3rd batch of Pantawid Pamilya recipients who trained with EITFI.

Earlier, DSWD also facilitated the same training for 77 Pantawid  Pamilya family heads who are also typhoon survivors in Montevista and Compostela towns in Compostela Valley.

After a home visit to these beneficiaries,  social workers noted that some are already starting to accept food orders from neighbors and friends for special events.

One mother even said that she is now able to augment the family income without having to leave their home for a longer period by selling home-cooked food.

“’Di ko na rin iniisip ang pang-araw-araw na pagkain ng aming pamilya, dahil nakakapagtabi ako mula sa itinitinda kong ulam (Our meals are now taken care of since what I cook for selling, I can stash a portion for us),” Aling Imelda said.

DSWD and EITFI will continue assisting disaster victims and other disadvantaged individuals by providing access to quality education and training for non-degree course appropriate to their individual capacities and relevant to the immediate needs of their communities.

Pantawid Pamilya provides cash grants to poor households with children 0-18 years old provided they comply with the conditions of the program such as sending their children to school, bringing them to health centers for check up, and attending the Family Development Sessions.

SLP, on the other hand,  aims to capacitate and develop the entrepreneurial and socio-economic skills of poor households through income-generating opportunities, enhancing their access to basic social services, and employment.  ###

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DSWD-UNWFP project prepares LGUs to deal with hunger during disasters

Barangay Health Workers traverse dangerous and slippery mountain roads on their way to conduct random sampling of households.

Barangay Health Workers traverse dangerous and slippery mountain roads on their way to conduct random sampling of households.

Atok, Benguet – Endless rows of vegetables greet the traveller to this scenic mountain town, located more than 7,000 feet above sea level.

The panoramic scenery of mountains shrouded in thick veils of fog and the piercing cold entice one to pause and bask in the serenity and peaceful ambiance.

Seeing an abundance of vegetables which city dwellers could only dream of, will lead visitors to conclude that the people living here are well-nourished.

However, this is not the case.  A survey conducted by the local government unit (LGU) last March showed that more than 25% of children below five years old are stunted or too short for their age, using the growth standard for Filipinos.

One may wonder, why is this so, when there’s an abundance of sayote tops, pechay, cabbage, potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower, among others, planted in neat rows resembling terraces in the mountain side.

People get tired of eating vegetables. This is according to Dr. Demetria Bongga, former dean of the UP College of Home Economics and a consultant for the Early Warning System on Hunger and Food Insecurity (EWS-HFI), which is a tie-up project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the United Nations-World Food Program.

“Nakakasawa na, nakakaumay kung baga kung puro gulay na lang kakainin namin sa araw-araw  (It gets tiring if vegetables are the only food that we eat everyday),” the Barangay Health Workers (BHWs), Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) and midwives who are part of the project, stated in unison.

“Meat and poultry are expensive here, so our daily menu consists mostly of vegetables,” explained  Sangguniang Barangay (SB) member Franklin Smith in the vernacular.

“For variety, the townsfolk go for labay (rice with sugar),” he added.

“We don’t lack food but we lack the nutrients,” added Dr. Alice Pasking, Municipal Health Officer (MHO).

Capacitating LGUs   

The DSWD and the UN-WFP agreed to pilot test the EWS-HFI project in Atok and in the municipality of Upi, Maguindanao because of their vulnerability to impending disasters.

Atok is prone to landslides during the rainy season, while Upi experiences drought during summer. These towns also have high poverty rates, with more people and children likely to experience hunger and malnutrition.

The project aims to provide information that will contribute to the analysis of causes and associated factors concerning hunger and food insecurity to guide the LGUs in adopting necessary preventive measures.

Likewise, the information generated by the system can help disaster-prone LGUs prioritize their resources and create timely interventions even before a calamity strikes their area.

In preparation for the project’s implementation, the DSWD, UN-WFP and the National Nutrition Council (NNC) conducted a training in September 2013 for municipal level personnel who will implement the EWS-HFI project in the town.

The training is part of a series of activities under the project, which aims to capacitate the Municipal Team on the proper execution and use of the system in their municipality.

The participants include staff from the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO), Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO), Municipal Planning and Development Office (MPDO), Municipal Health Office (MHO), Local Government Unit (LGU) staff and a Sangguniang Bayan member, who is the Chair of the Sangguniang Bayan Health Committee.

The training sessions covered topics from basic concepts of data collection to the development of the implementation plan for the food security early warning system, while the manual used in the project was adopted from the training manual developed for the UN-Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Training Manual prepared by Dr. Bongga and Dr. Celestino Habito.

A BHW weighs a toddler during a monitoring visit to a sample household in Barangay Paoay.

A BHW weighs a toddler during a monitoring visit to a sample household in Barangay Paoay.

According to Dra. Bongga, the project involves two levels of data collection. First is conducted by the Municipal Level team composed of the MHO, MSWDO, MAO, MPDC, MNAO, and an SB member, which is responsible for generating data on climate, food production, and food prices. Second is a a Household Level team composed of the Rural Health Midwives (RHMs), Barangay Health Workers (BHWs) and Barangay Nutrition Scholar (BNS), which collects data on hunger incidence, diet diversity and nutritional status (weight and height) of children 0-59 months of age.

As part of the monitoring, the Municipal teams submit quarterly reports showing the indicator for climate, weather, and environmental factors such as amount of rainfall, temperature, typhoon damage to agriculture and fisheries, effects on food production; and, diet diversity of household as well as nutritional status showing the weight and length of 0 to 59 months old children.

To determine the cut-off levels for food and nutrition security for the municipality, the Municipal teams  utilized color coded data with  90% or higher considered as “normal” with corresponding color code of green, 75% to 89%  indicates “warning” with the color code orange; and less than 75%,  is equivalent to a “critical” level with the color code red.

Dealing with the ‘new normal’

According to studies, climate change has severely affected weather patterns to the extent that natural disasters, such as typhoons, storm surge, earthquakes, and landslides are becoming stronger and more destructive.

As communities become more susceptible to the damaging effects of natural hazards, the LGUs must increase their capability and resiliency to cope with the challenges brought about by climate change.

Hence, LGUs must learn to address situations where the weather patterns have changed and these events are becoming bigger and stronger which is now considered the new normal.

This is where EWS-HFI comes in.

The goals of the project coincides with this year’s Nutrition Month theme: “Kalamidad Paghandaan, Gutom at Malnutrisyon Agapan,” which aims to  promote interventions to address nutritional needs in emergencies and disasters including preparedness, response and recovery;  to mobilize responders particularly the local nutrition clusters and stakeholders to address gaps in nutrition from national to barangay levels; and, to increase awareness among families and individuals on coping and resiliency strategies to prevent malnutrition and worsening of nutritional status in times of emergencies and disasters.

Enhanced awareness

The EWS-HFI project started last year and will run until this year after the four quarters of surveys have been completed and the final results documented.

To ensure the project’s sustainability, the LGU committed to continue its implementation.

“We have learned a lot. Before, we are not aware about the importance of proper nutrition, that there should be variety in our meals,” stated Smith.

Smith added that the LGU has also become more conscious of the fact that they should monitor the hunger and food insecurity of their constituents, so they will be ready when disaster strikes.

Another positive effect of the project is the increased awareness of parents on the nutritional status of their children.

 Maridel Boti,  24,  mother of a 4-year-old boy and a 10-month-old girl, related that her family’s staple menu is sayote tops and rice, since meat and fish are expensive, while sayote sells for only   P2.50/kilo.

Although her son was informed at school that he is too short for his age, Maridel said they were not advised on what to do. It was only recently that the young mother learned about proper nutrition from the barangay health workers doing the surveys.

Maridel admitted that since she and her husband are often out in the fields working, she rarely has time to cook, hence, their son often eats processed food.

With the project, Maridel, her fellow mothers, and even local officials may appreciate their town’s bounty,  using these for their own advantage to ensure both their economic and physical well-being, especially in times of disasters. ###

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UNICEF’s unconditional cash grants to benefit Pantawid Pamilya families in E. Visayas

MANILA, 30 July 2014—The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), will extend financial assistance to beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in Eastern Samar who were worst affected by super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.

UNICEF’s Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) program will benefit 5,801 4Ps households in Eastern Samar, namely the municipalities of Guiuan, Hernani, Mercedes, Balangkayan and Salcedo. The identified beneficiaries come from vulnerable households who are unable to meet their food and essential non-food needs.

Through a Memorandum of Agreement signed by UNICEF and DSWD, each household beneficiary will receive P4,400 monthly, on top of the regular cash grant provided by the 4Ps. The cash distribution will run concurrently with 4Ps pay-outs. The additional cash grant will cover six months starting July until December 2014.

The UNICEF-DSWD partnership expands from the 10,000 households currently supported by UNICEF’s UCT programme in Leyte. Implemented with UNICEF partner, Action Contre La Faim (ACF), it provides a similar cash grant over six months.

“The unconditional transfer of cash to carefully selected families allows them to take a step back from the decisions they have to make after Haiyan/Yolanda, given their loss of property, savings and livelihoods, said Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Philippines Representative.

The UCT programme in Leyte shows that with very low household incomes, half of the transfers are being spent on food, while the rest are spent on shelter, health care, education and savings.

“These efforts complement the recovery efforts of the 4Ps toward improving the country’s human capital by keeping poor children in school, and giving them medical assistance, while extending immediate financial support to their families,” Sylwander said.

“Eight months after Haiyan/Yolanda, we continue to receive support from our partners whose mandate involves empowering children and families. We are grateful to UNICEF for extending assistance to 4Ps beneficiaries in selected areas in Eastern Samar. With our strong partnership with UNICEF, we can significantly contribute to positive changes in the lives of our beneficiaries,” said DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman.

Through the UCT program, UNICEF supports the 4Ps in its current recovery phase activities and remains committed in its work to advance the welfare of children.

“Through our collaboration with DSWD, we demonstrate our commitment to reach more children and families in the most direct way possible, including advancing their rights to determine and fulfill their immediate recovery needs,” said Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Philippines Representative.

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Aussie officials admire DSWD beneficiaries’ efficient use of funds

Australian officials interact with children during their visit to one of the classrooms constructed using Australian grants.

Australian officials interact with children during their visit to one of the classrooms constructed using Australian grants.

Sibagat, Agusan del Sur -  Australian officials expressed their admiration to the beneficiaries of Kapitbisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services-National Community Driven Development Project (KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP) for their judicious use of project funds.

This came after the foreign officials visited earlier this month the KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP project  site in this town and interacted with the beneficiaries.

KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP is the national expansion of Kalahi-CIDSS, which started in 2003 as the flagship poverty alleviation program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

It enables poor and vulnerable communities to identify their own needs to address their common problems. These include local infrastructures such as water system, roads, bridges, health stations, and school buildings, among others

The visiting officials were Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Assistant (DFAT) Secretary for Southeast Asia Maritime Division Allaster Cox, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell, Philippine-Australia Community Assistant Program (PACAP) Counselor Geoff King, and Governance Adviser Paul Hutchcroft.

In CARAGA Region,  about 68 community projects comprising of 18 day care centers and 50 school buildings with 91 classrooms worth P88.4 million were partly funded by the Australian Government shelling out P72.74 million.

Amb. Tweddell said that through the visit, the officials will learn more about Australia’s assistance to the development of the country, specifically to the recipient barangays in the province.

“We want to personally look at the completed classrooms and interact with the community beneficiaries,” he added.

El Rio site visit

Accompanied by DSWD-Field Office CARAGA Director Minda Brigoli, the visiting group proceeded to Barangay El Rio.

Community volunteers here showcased a completed school building with two classrooms and other facilities. This project was funded by a grant from the Australian Aid for Development (AusAid), now DFAT.

Amb. Twedell expressed admiration with the improvements in the barangay.

“I am really impressed with the completed classrooms. The grant was apparently judiciously managed by the community volunteers,”  Amb. Twedell said.

Mayor Thelma Lamanilao also expressed gratitude to the Australian Government for entrusting and giving the grant to the municipality.

“The school building project is indeed the basic social service greatly needed by the residents of El Rio as this will provide an avenue of learning for their children,” said Mayor Lamanilao.

Community volunteer Dolores Padin assured the Australian officials that the community has already organized groups which shall be responsible for maintaining the project.

She said that parents have agreed that they will require a collection of P2 per household which will be used for minor repairs of the school building.

Dir. Brigoli also added that the site visit of the development partners affirms the thrust towards convergence as the beneficiaries of the school building are also grantees of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Seeing the success of Australian funded projects, the Australian Government has provided another AU$12 million to the country for the construction of  day care centers and school buildings through the KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP using the community-driven development approach. ###

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Summary of Foreign and Local Donations
As of September 01, 2014

P97,879,377.44 - Local Donations

USD23,766,111.40 - Foreign Donations

e-AICS Logo

Hunger Project

The Story of Juan


Donate Online

Transparency Seal

Citizen's Charter

The Story of Juan

Pantawid Pamilya Impact Evaluation 2012 Data


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