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PWDs trained under DSWD center excel in nat’l sports competition

Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) trained under the National Vocational Rehabilitation Center (NVRC) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) won seven medals for their excellent performance in various sports during the recently-concluded Philippine Paralympic National Games (PPNG) at the Marikina Sports Complex.

The gold medalist were Augusto Hernandez, wheelchair user, who won in the Discus Throw competition; Romeo Tayama and Christine Potot, who topped the powerlifting competition, exceling in their respective divisions, 125-kg and 40-kg categories, respectively.

On the other hand, Carlo John Nuyda brought pride to the center when he garnered two silver medals for the Shot Put and Long Jump competitions despite being a left leg amputee.

Likewise, despite having an intellectual disability, Christian R. Casipit showed his competence in the Ten Pin Bowling category bagging a silver medal.

Meanwhile, Marlon Merencillo, orthopaedically impaired, got a bronze medal in the Single Standing Table Tennis competition.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that the players once again proved that disabilities are not obstacle to success.

“DSWD will continue to support PWDs through developmental programs and services aimed at improving their physical and psycho-social functioning for them to be productive citizens,” Sec. Soliman added.

The PPNG is a yearly event of the Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled-National Paralympic Committee of the Philippines (PHILSPADA-NPC Philippines). It aims to discover national athlete that can compete in the ASEAN Sports competition, which will be held in Malaysia in 2017.

NVRC is a non- residential facility that implements programs and provides services to PWDs and other special groups particularly on vocational, social rehabilitation, and skills training for their socio-economic independence and productivity. It also assists PWDs in finding jobs suited to their skills, interest and qualifications.

To date, a total of 110 male and female PWDs are being served by the center. ###

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DSWD assures funds to help LGUs respond to El Nino

Amid escalating impact of El Nino in the country, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) assured that it has sufficient funds to fulfill its mandate of providing resource augmentation to
local government units (LGUs) that are affected by drought.

The assurance was made following the warning of Senator Ralph Recto that a national crisis looms unless the P3.9 billion Calamity Fund and P6.7 billion Quick Response Fund (QRF) are released to help several provinces affected by El Nino.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman clarified that the P6.7 billion QRF mentioned by Sen. Recto is not a QRF but was the amount proposed by DSWD for the implementation of Cash-for-Work and livelihood assistance for families affected by El Nino.

“What we have is the P1.32 billion QRF for 2016. The Department of Budget and Management has authorized the DSWD to utilize this amount to respond to El Nino requirements,” Sec. Soliman added.

In addition to the QRF, DSWD also draws funds from the Climate Change Adaption and Mitigation (CCAM) fund to augment its support to El Nino affected local government units (LGUs).

Of the P1.32 billion, DSWD has released P384,642,494.13, as of April 10,  to cover the worth of assistance for  El Nino affected families nationwide through the LGUs.  The amount includes the cost of food assistance and the implementation of Cash-for-Work (CFW).

Another P447,320,350 is being processed for downloading  to Region XII and ARMM.

Furthermore, the Department is helping other LGUs in assessing the extent of the drought especially in regions with areas that have been declared under a state of calamity.

“Along with the rest of the government, DSWD recognizes the urgency of responding to the situation of hunger affecting the poor in many parts of the country,” Sec. Soliman ended. ###

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DSWD taps Pantawid Pamilya parent leaders to reach out to families in drought-hit villages

As drought due to El Nino phenomenon continues to affect the country, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has mobilized the provincial and municipal links and parent leaders of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program to reach out to those needing help in their areas.

“Ang DSWD ay handa, at katunayan ay tuloy-tuloy kami sa pagtulong. Kung sino pa ang hindi nakatanggap ng tulong, maaring ipagbigay-alam sa mga parent leaders ng Pantawid Pamilya sa inyong  mga barangay at sitio para mapadalhan namin ng tulong  (The DSWD is ready and continues to extend assistance. If there are families that have not received help, please inform the Pantawid Pamilya parent leaders in your barangays and sitios so we can send the needed assistance),” DSWD Undersecretary Vilma Cabrera said.

USec. Cabrera also cited that every family should know where to ask for help, thus, she explained the process flow of providing assistance.

She said that under the Local Government Code, the first responders are the local government units (LGUs), these include the barangay, municipal/city and provincial loca governments.

Republic Act 10121 or An Act Strengthening the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Systems, also states that it is the LGUs responsibility to immediately address the needs of their constituents in the event of disasters.

If the local government units have already exhausted their calamity fund, a request maybe submitted for augmentation to the higher level Disaster Risk Reduction Council which in turn will provide the needed assistance.

The municipal government provides the support in the event that two or more barangays are affected by disaster. The provincial government augments if two or more municipalities are affected.

The national government, through the concerned government agencies, provides augmentation support when the provincial government can no longer provide for the needs of its affected populace.

However, in anticipation of the extensive impact of the El Nino, DSWD has provided assistance to the hard hit areas in Region XII and ARMM as early as October 2015. Assistance provided includes Cash for Work and family food packs.

“We have adequate funds since we have been authorized by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to utilize our 2016 Quick Response Funds (QRF),” she added.

USec. Cabrera also said that in addition to QRF, another source of fund is the Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (CCAM) for the DSWD support to El Nino affected LGUs in 2015.

To date, DSWD has provided a total of ₱609,285,277 intended for the CFW and rice assistance for the 279,965 El Niño-affected families in Region XII and ARMM. ###

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DSWD, LGU facilitate release of detained Kidapawan rallyists

The Department of Social Welfare and Development-Field Office XII (DSWD-FO XII) and the Kidapawan City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) are now jointly working out for the release of the 82 individuals, composed of 30 women and 52 men, who were involved in the Kidapawan rally.

DSWD-FO XII reported that according to the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) of North Cotabato, kind-hearted individuals have contributed to raise the amount needed for the bail of all those who were taken to the provincial jail.  Each had to post P12,500 bail, while each pregnant woman and senior citizens had to post P6,000 bail.

Yesterday, a pregnant woman and a senior citizen were among the 10 rallyists who were released.

This morning, nine rallyists were released including a 5-month pregnant woman.

As of presstime, DSWD and Kidapawan City social workers are still at the provincial jail waiting for the release order of the remaining rallyists.

Priority for release today are two more pregnant women and two senior citizens.

DSWD-FO XII shall provide follow-through services to the rallyists who have been released.  They shall be given one Pabaon Pack each consisting of 12-kilos of rice, six pieces canned goods, and six packs of noodles.

The pregnant women shall also be assisted during their childbirth in hospitals. For the senior citizens, the FO shall determine if they are beneficiaries of the Social Pension Program.  If they are not yet beneficiaries of the Social Pension, the FO shall coordinate with the concerned LGUs for processing of their registration.

Also, the FO shall conduct assessment of their livelihood skills to determine the type of livelihood assistance to be provided to them.###

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CCT programs help address child labor

Implementers of the biggest cash transfer programs, such as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the Philippines, Program Keluarga Harapan (PKH) of Indonesia, Bolsa Familia (BF) of Brazil, and Prospera of Mexico, gathered earlier this week at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) in Makati City, to share how their respective CCT programs are addressing child labor in their own countries.

The gathering of implementers, dubbed, “International Workshop on Conditional Cash Transfers as Tools to Address Child Labor”, was organized by the International Labor Organization (ILO) through its Understanding Children’s Work (UCW) program, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).  It brought to light the different cash transfer programs’ characteristics, including targeting of beneficiaries and amount of cash grants, and how these impact on child labor.

It is also served as a venue to generate new ways to improve the programs’ effectiveness in removing children from labor.

In her message during the event, DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that “in extreme cases of poverty, children are made to work to augment the family income, hence, they are denied the space needed to grow up in a normal, happy environment.”

Child-labor free PH

To decrease the incidence of child labor in the country, Sec. Soliman said that the DSWD is strengthening its partnership with DOLE through the provision of employment opportunities to parent-beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya to ensure that they will not force their children to work.

Likewise, DSWD, through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), provides technical and capital assistance to beneficiaries who want to build their own entreprenurial activities, while it facilitates employment for those who want to have jobs by accessing them to different public and private agencies.

Sec. Soliman further said that through the Family Development Sessions (FDS), parents are educated on raising their children properly encouraging them to go to school rather than forcing them to work. Attendance to FDS is one of the program conditionalities.

FDS is conducted monthly by DSWD and partner-NGOs in coordination with the private sector and civil society organizations. It is a venue where topics on effective parenting, husband and wife relationships, child development, laws affecting the Filipino family, gender and development, home management, active citizenship, and electoral education are discussed.

“We can continue working together to fight child labor and build a brighter future for children.  Our aim is to have child labor-free barangays,” Sec. Soliman said.

Impact evaluation

Sec. Soliman added that the result of the 2nd round of impact evaluation on Pantawid Pamilya is leading toward the goal of child labor-free barangays.

It showed that the program has allowed children to prioritize education.

“The results of the impact evaluation also gave us a glimmer of hope, since it showed that Pantawid Pamilya children, 10-14 years old, work seven days less in a month compared to non-Pantawid Pamilya children,” Sec. Soliman said.

She explained that while the program cash grants are not enough to completely keep children from working, it has made beneficiary-children spend less time working compared to their non-beneficiary counterparts, presumably due to increased time spent in schooling.

Cash transfers: key to eliminating child labor in other countries

Presenting the salient features of their respective countries’ CCT programs were Director Leonardo Reynoso, National Program Manager of Pantawid Pamilya; Paula Montagner of the Department of Evaluation and Information Management, Brazil; Josue Vargas, Chief Information, Analysis and Evaluation Officer, Prospera; and Oktia Dwi Permana of Indonesia’s PKH.

Montagner reported that the Brazilian Constitution adopted in 1988 prohibits any form of work up to the age of 13 years old while 14 to 15-year-old adolescents are allowed to participate in formal apprenticeship programs, as long as they keep attending school, while those between the ages of 16 and 17 years can work but still are subject to restrictions.

Since the start of the Bolsa Familia program in 2004, the number of child- laborers aged 5 to 15 years decreased from 3.1 million to 1.36 million in 2014, while those aged 5 to 17 years decreased from 5 million to 2.83 million from 2004 to 2014.

This showed that the program has been effective in increasing school enrollment and decreasing dropout rates, and has improved the prospects for generations of children.

On the other hand, Vargas said that in their country, the Federal Labour Law strictly prohibits minors under 15 years of age to engage in economic work and establishes the conditions under which those between 15 and 18 years of age may work.

According to his report, child labor rate in Mexico had constantly decreased since 1996. From 2011 to 2013 the number of working minors from 5 to 17 years old decreased by 17.6%.

The decrease in child labor is related to the demographic transition, which is changing the population structure, and the outcomes of public policies, particularly scholarships granted to minors for them to remain in school.

Prospera offers scholarships for basic education, senior high school, higher education, technical, non-formal education and training for work, and support for school supplies.

On the other hand, according to Oktia, the government has responded to the problem of child labor through regulation, social protection system, and implementation of integrated programs such as PKH, Kartu Indonesia Pintar/ Indonesian Smart Program (KIP), Withdrawal of Child Labor Program (PPA PKH), School Operational Assistance and Skills Courses (in Shelter).

Oktia said that PKH CCT has been found to have a significant impact on reducing the working hours of school children. It has also improved access to outpatient health services.

DOLE Undersecretary Ciriaco A. Lagunzad III and Furio Rosati, UCW Program Coordinator both emphasized that CCT programs hold a lot of potential in combating child labor in the countries where these are implemented. ###

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New homes, renewed life for ‘Yolanda’ survivors

Two young girls beam as they pedal around their new community in Ridgeview Park 1. They and the other 'Yolanda' survivors who have transferred to the permanent relocation site are grateful for their new homes where they can have better opportunities for a brighter future.

Two young girls beam as they pedal around their new community in Ridgeview Park 1. They and the other ‘Yolanda’ survivors who have transferred to the permanent relocation site are grateful for their new homes where they can have better opportunities for a brighter future.

For the 306  families from Tacloban City who suffered the brunt of Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ when it struck almost three years ago, having a new home is heaven sent.

Since March 29, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), National Housing Authority (NHA), and the local government unit (LGU) of Tacloban City have been moving families from the three bunkhouses located in IPI, Abucay, and NHA compound to the permanent relocation site in Ridgeview Park 1. The houses were built by NHA.

The 306 families comprised the first batch that were transferred.  The three agencies hope to finish transferring the remaining 491 families within this month.

To help the families in their new homes, DSWD-Field Office VIII provided them with Pabaon Packs that consisted of 25-kilos of rice, plastic mats, mosquito nets, blankets, and cooking pots.

The families expressed their joy for having new and safe homes and were excited to share their plans.

Gina, 45, married with five children related her plans to engage in buy and sell of baked products.

Another beneficiary, Mana Tale Penaranda, said that she would plant okra, ampalaya, string beans and malunggay in her backyard garden as a source of food and extra income. She expressed her appreciation for her new house saying that it is well-ventilated with high ceilings.

Likewise, couple Rodrigo and Michelle Cannecer narrated that they will set up a sari-sari store as their extra source of income.

Michelle is also thankful for her family’s new home saying, “Malipay kami nga after three years may balay na kami, salamat hin madamo  (We are happy that after three years, we already have a house, thank you so much).”

Even the children are happy to have transferred to their new community.

Princess Michaela Cinco and Annjannes Separa, 12 and 13, respectively, excitedly exclaimed that Ridgeview Park is far better than the IPI bunkhouse where they stayed for two years.

“Diri na malubak it karsada, sementado na. Diri na kahoy it am balay, semento na gihap (The roads are cemented, not bumpy or rocky. Our houses are concrete).”

Edgar Salentes and wife, Rutchie, proudly showed their newly-opened sari-sari store and said, “Ginpalago gud namon an kwarta nga ginhatag ha amon han gobyerno ngan mga NGOs. Parag-pedicab la ako ngan an akon padis nag-skills training man hin cooking. An iba nga cash nga panhatag, amon gin capital hini nga sari-sari store  (We have invested here the amount given to us by the government and the NGOs. I am a pedicab driver and my wife was one of those trained in cooking. We used some of the cash given to us as capital for this sari-sari store).”

The residents said that the memories of the devastation that ‘Yolanda’ brought to their lives remains but they have to move on.

“For ‘Yolanda’-affected families, starting a new life is neither easy nor fast, but  with determination, perseverance, and hard work, they now have a chance for a better life in their new homes,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman stated. ###

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Aetas help bring clean water to their community

For Victoria Rejano-Organo, 49, Aeta tribal chieftain in Barangay del Rosario, Buenavista, Quezon Province, gone are the days when members of her tribe felt left out in community affairs or community-building.

Nowadays, Victoria is proud to share that the Aeta tribe in Barangay del Rosario enjoys the admiration and respect of the local villagers.

Thanks to the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), a community-driven development (CDD) project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which gave them the chance to prove their worth.

Through CDD, Kalahi-CIDSS seeks to empower citizens by training them so they can develop, implement, and maintain projects that would address their most pressing needs.

In Buenavista town, there are 126 Aeta households, with half of them residing in Brgy. del Rosario.“Noong bata pa ako, tinatawag ako ng mga kaklase ko na bagnot na ang ibig-sabihin ay maitim at madumi (When I was a kid, my classmates called me “bagnot” which means dark and filthy),”shared Victoria.

As the tribal chieftain, Victoria wants what is best for her tribe. She wants to give them opportunities to improve their living condition. She realized that for this to happen, they need to cooperate with local officials and the other residents to lobby for their concerns and needs.

Ang pag-unlad ng aming tribo ay nakasalalay din sa pag-unlad ng buong barangay. Kailangan namin matutong makisalamuha at makiisa sa ibang ka-barangay para maisakatuparan ito (Our tribe will succeed if our entire barangay is progressive. We need to learn to cooperate with our fellow residents to achieve progress),” said Victoria.

The introduction of Kalahi-CIDSS to their barangay in 2013 gave the Aetas the chance to work hand in hand with the locals.

As part of the empowerment component of Kalahi-CIDSS, Victoria and the rest of the Aetas worked with the locals in analyzing the pressing problems of their community and in coming up with possible projects that can address these.

Potable water for all

After a series of discussions within the barangay, the community decided that constructing a water system must be prioritized to bring potable water to Brgy. del Rosario.

According to Victoria, the Aetas got their main water supply for drinking and general use from the river, which gets muddy when it rains.

It was not just the Aetas who were affected by the problem. Even the locals also had problems accessing clean and potable water.

Sanilyn Balonso, one of the locals, shared that several children have suffered from diarrhea because of the lack of clean water.

Marami na ang namatay dahil sa diarrhea. Kaya naman ginusto namin na magkaroon ng malinis na patubig para masiguro ang kaligtasan at kalusugan ng mga tao dito (Many have died due to diarrhea. This is why we want to have a potable water system to ensure a safe and clean source of water),” Sanilyn added.

Through Kalahi-CIDSS, residents served as community volunteers and were trained on proposal development, construction estimation, financial management and procurement.

With both the Aetas and the locals working together, the community of del Rosario was able to get a P700,000 grant from Kalahi-CIDSS to implement the water system project.

Sanilyn became the head of the community volunteers while Victoria led her fellow Aetas.

Victoria admitted that, at first,  it was hard to bring the Aetas and the locals together. But she kept convincing her fellow Aetas that their participation will be of great help in the whole community.

Sinasabi ko sa kanila na tulungan nila akong ipakita na kaming mga Aeta ay hindi dapat minamaliit dahil may magagawa din kami sa komunidad. Ako ang nangunguna sa pagtatrabaho para sila ay sumunod (I kept on telling my fellow Aetas to help me show the locals that we can do something for the community.  I set an example for them to follow),” Victoria said.

During the construction of the water system, the Aetas worked for free.  This was greatly appreciated by the locals, especially Sanilyn.

Napadali ang trabaho dahil sa tulong ng mga Aetas dito sa amin. Lubos ang pasasalamat namin sa kanila (The work was made easier with the Aetas’ help.  I am deeply grateful to them),” Sanilyn expressed.

Shared community

As a result of their hard work, the residents of Brgy. del Rosario now enjoy a regular supply of potable water. Their water system includes a water reservoir, distribution lines, and 11 tap stands installed around the village.

The residents also formed the Del Rosario Water System Association (DELROWASA) to manage the operations and maintenance of the water system. Caretakers are assigned to each tap stand to oversee the water distribution and collect a maintenance fee of P50 per month.

The Aetas are in charge of cleaning the main reservoir since it is located near their area.

Napakaganda ng proyekto dahil lahat ay nagtulungan at nakikinabang na. Nagkaisa ang mamamayan (The project is indeed beneficial to all. The villagers became united and worked for a common cause),” Sanilyn said with a smile.


Seeing the positive change brought by her tribe’s exposure to community and development work, Victoria became more inspired to push for their empowerment.

Victoria worked for her tribe to have access to education.

She said that most of the Aetas are insecure because they do not know how to read and write. Thus, she lobbied this concern to their local government and was able to bring the Alternative Learning System (ALS) to their community, which will start this June 2016.

Furthermore, the Aetas are now implementing their tribal hall sub-project which received a funding of P697,292 from  Kalahi-CIDSS.

Some 30 Aetas are now managing the implementation of the community project, which will also serve as their classroom for their ALS.

Filled with pride and joy, Victoria is thankful for all the opportunities.

Unti-unti, kinakaya na naming lumaban sa mga hamon ng buhay. Naipapakita na namin na kaming mga indigenous people ay may kakayahan ding umunlad. Salamat sa Kalahi-CIDSS (Slowly, we are able to face all the struggles in life.  We were able to show that indigenous people have the capacity to achieve progress.  We are grateful to Kalahi-CIDSS),” Victoria proudly said. ###

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Sama-Bajau mom aspires to create change in her tribe

At first glance, Maribel Rebadio, 36, a Sama-Bajau, looks without any trace of her tribe.

What she may have lost in her physical attributes, she has not lost inside her. For Maribel, what she is doing right now is borne out of her dream for her tribe to be free from poverty.

At present, Maribel has been tasked by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as a facilitator in Barangay Malitam in Batangas City, where other Sama-Bajau families are also residing. Maribel chose to start a family of her own in this small village away from poverty and conflict in their native land in Mindanao.

Maribel trained under the Empowering Learning Sessions for Indigenous Peoples Initiatives (ELIPI) and she was given the opportunity to apply her newly gained skills by becoming a facilitator.

ELIPI is one of the components of the DSWD Comprehensive Program for Street Children and Sama-Bajaus. It aims to build the inherent potentials and capabilities of the Sama-Bajaus by teaching them about their rights and responsibilities and capacitating them to preserve their culture and develop self-reliance. ELIPI is jointly implemented by DSWD, the local government units (LGUs), and non-government organizations (NGOs).

“Bilang facilitator ng ELIPI, nagagamit ko ang aking mga natutunan. Natututo na ako, nakakatulong pa ako sa aking mga kasamang Sama-Bajaus (As a facilitator of ELIPI, I can utilize what I have learned. As I learn, I also am able to  help my fellow Sama-Bajaus),” Maribel shared.

Maribel admitted that it is hard to introduce new concepts and values to Sama-Bajau parents. However, she learned to be patient with them.

“Halos lahat dito ay hindi nakapag-aral, kaya nilalawakan ko ang pang-unawa sa kanila at ipinapaintindi ang mga gustong iparating ng ELIPI (Almost all of us here did not go to school so I continue to be patient with them and make them understand what ELIPI wants to impart),” she said.

For Maribel,  encouraging the parents to value the education of their children is the most important teaching of ELIPI.

“Mas malayo ang mararating ng bawat Sama-Bajau kung lahat kami ay nakapag-aral. Sa kultura namin, sa edad na 14, puwede nang mag-asawa ang mga kabataan kaya hindi na nakakatapos ng pag-aaral. Natatalo ng kultura naming ito ang kahalagahan ng edukasyon (We can have better opportunities if we are able to go to school. In our culture, young people can marry at the age of 14 so they are not able to finish their studies. Our culture overshadows the importance of education),” Maribel emphasized.

“Pinapaintindi ko din sa kanila na may pagkakataon na kailangang isipin kung ang pagsunod sa kultura ay makakasama o makakabuti sa amin. Ang pag-aaral kasi ang tulay sa mas magandang buhay (I try to make them understand that there are times when they need to think if following our culture will bring good or bad result. I believe that  education is the key to a better life),” she added.

Setting the example

As Maribel continues to share her learnings from ELIPI, she also sets the example for her fellow Sama-Bajaus by practicing what she teaches.

She makes sure to prioritize the schooling of her three children.

Maribel is thankful that her family became a beneficiary of the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) Program for Families in Need of Special Protection. Among the target beneficiaries of the MCCT are indigenous people like the Sama-Bajaus.

With the cash grants provided by the program, sending her children to school is no longer a big problem.

“Malaking bagay sa aming pamilya na may tumutulong sa pagsagot sa pangangailangan namin sa araw-araw lalo na ‘yung P2,800 na suporta para sa pag-aaral ng tatlo kong anak (The P2,800 cash grant from the program is a huge help for our daily needs, especially the school needs of my children),” Maribel continued.

After two years of faithfully complying with all the conditionalities of the MCCT like having a permanent home, Maribel’s family has been absorbed in the regular Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.  This increases her children’s chance of finishing high school and getting a better employment in the future.

Like Maribel, some 611 Sama-Bajau families in their community are now also beneficiaries of the regular Pantawid Pamilya.

Her role as ELIPI facilitator extends to providing advice to her fellow Sama-Bajau beneficiaries to comply with the program conditionalities of sending their children to school, bringing them to health centers, and attending the Family Development Sessions (FDS).

Maribel shared that through the FDS, her fellow Sama-Bajau mothers have become more receptive to changes on how they perform their parental roles.

“Natutunan namin sa FDS ang tamang pag-aaruga sa aming mga anak. Marami sa amin ang madalas may problema at dahil doon, napapabayaan na namin ang mga bata. Sa FDS, natuto rin kaming magpasensya (We learned from the FDS the proper way of caring for our children. Many of us have problems, and because of these, we have neglected our children. In the FDS, we also learned how to be patient),” Maribel explained.

FDS is conducted monthly by DSWD and partners-NGOs in coordination with the private sector and civil society organizations. It serves as a venue where topics on effective parenting, husband and wife relationships, child development, laws affecting the Filipino family, gender and development, home management, active citizenship, and electoral education are discussed.

Maribel admitted that more work need to be done to achieve the desired change for her tribe.  As facilitator, she will continue to work with the government to pursue her aspiration of making a difference in her tribe, starting with her fellow Sama-Bajaus in her community. ###

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