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How the ‘lost’ youths in Quezon find new chance at life

Catanauan, Quezon - Out-of-school youths remain one of the most neglected groups until now. Not only are they deprived of educational opportunities, they also are vulnerable to different forms of abuses, whether these are brought about by other people, such as in the case of child labor or being recruited in gangs, or upon themselves, by taking up different vices, including alcohol and drugs.

In Barangay San Vicente Kanluran in this town, a lot of the out-of-school youths got themselves entangled in these situations. Some lost motivation in doing productive activities, believing that their situation is hopeless. As such, they usually just laze around doing nothing.

Others, however, resort to small-scale crimes. More often than not, these out-of-school youths become bugano.

Bugano

Bugano” is a local term used to call those who steal copra.

Twenty year-old Richard Rejano Perlada is one of the youths who admitted to being a bugano, although he explained he only did it so he could have something to eat.

With 11 children in the family, Richard’s parents were unable to feed them all properly because of poverty. As such, Richard resorted to stealing to put food in his belly.

Ginawa ko ‘yon kasi gutom ako (I only did it because I was hungry),” he confessed.

He said that their poverty prevented his parents from sending him to school.

He said, “Hirap na hirap ang mga magulang ko na kumita para sa pagkain namin kaya hindi na nila ako kayang papag-aralin (My parents really struggle to earn a living, so they were unable to send me to school),” he said.

Richard was only able to finish high school.

It took his parents’ intervention to get him to stop stealing.

He said, “Itinigil ko rin kasi sabi ng mga magulang ko baka daw ako makulong. Mas mabuti na daw magutom kaysa makulong (I stopped because my parents told me I might get thrown in prison. They said being hungry is better than being jailed).”

Recruit

Liza Reyes (not her real name), 18, experienced a different dilemma. Like other youths, she likes spending her time with company. Unfortunately, she did not know that making friends would put her at risk.

Sinabihan po ako ng mga kaibigan ko na maglulubak lang sa bahay ng isa kong kaibigan. Pero nang makita ko po na masukal na ‘yong daan at wala na sa direksyon ay kinutuban na po ako. Sabi nila saglit na may gustong kumausap sa amin. Doon po ay alam ko na gusto kami i-recruit kaya tumakbo po ako at tumakas sa kanila (My friends told me that we would be visiting the house of one of our  friends. I began to feel uneasy when I saw that we veered off from, the road. It was then that they told me that there were some people who wanted to talk to us. I realized that they wanted to recruit me, so I fled),” she narrated.

Liza was referring to the New People’s Army (NPA), the revolutionary group of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). Quezon province is one of the areas where the organization is known to operate.

Even though she felt she was followed, Liza was able to escape from them, which she was thankful for.

The parents of Sheila Angelo (not her real name), 20, however, were not as lucky.

Pinatay po ang mga magulang ko. Wala naman nakitang nawala sa bahay. At hanggang ngayon hindi ko pa rin alam kung ano ang rason bakit sila pinatay (My parents were killed. Nothing was missing from our house. Until now, no one knows why they were killed),” she said while crying.

Sheila is also an out-of-school youth. After the death of her parents, her siblings were unable to support her college education. Sheila occasionally did odd jobs. Other than that, she had nothing to keep her busy. 

It took the combined efforts of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), one of the three poverty alleviation programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) in their joint implementation of the PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (PAMANA) to bring hope in the lives of these youths.

Kalahi-CIDSS is a DSWD program that helps alleviate poverty through community-driven development. It has now been scaled up into the KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP (National Community-Driven Development Program), which is targeting the coverage of 847 municipalities, including conflict-affected areas, nationwide.

PAMANA is the Philippine government’s program and framework for peace and development. As the lead agency, OPAPP partners with other national government agencies to reach poor conflict-affected areas to improve their access to basic social services.

New lease on life

Through Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA, vocational courses on welding, food processing, and consumer electronics servicing, provided by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) were offered to 10 out-of-school youths of Barangay San Vicente Kanluran.

Richard, Liza, and Shiela were among the eight consumer electronics servicing trainees, having undergone training for 55 days. The three of them were offered jobs through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), as they are now National Certification (NC) II passers.

Before the training, Richard helped his parents earn money by being involved in the copra industry, albeit no longer as a bugano.

Kargador po ako ng copra. Binubuhat po namin ‘yon papunta ng truck (I haul copra to trucks),” he said.

He earned an average of P300 per day by carrying 3-5 sacks of copra, which he used to help his parents feed their family.

Richard hopes that through the training provided to him through Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA, he will be able to earn even more so he can help his family.

Nagpapasalamat po ako at napasali po ako dito sa training. Ngayon ay may pag-asa na po ako na makahanap ng mas magandang trabaho (I am thankful I was able to become part of this training. I feel hopeful now that I will be able to find a better job)”, Richard said, speaking in behalf of Sheila, Liza, and the other out-of-school youths that have been given a new chance at life through Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA.###

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‘Yolanda’ made Samar community stronger, wiser, through DSWD program

(Left Photo) Gender equality. Women form part of the physical labor force working in the construction of the path walk in Barangay Inobangan in San Sebastian, Samar. (Right Photo) Path to progress. The path walk will be able to help Barangay Inobangan villagers have improved access to and from their farms and the market.

(Left Photo) Gender equality. Women form part of the physical labor force working in the construction of the path walk in Barangay Inobangan in San Sebastian, Samar. (Right Photo) Path to progress. The path walk will be able to help Barangay Inobangan villagers have improved access to and from their farms and the market.

Typhoon Yolanda stories can be depressing, given the level of devastation it brought to the country.

Barangay Inobangan in San Sebastian, Samar, however, is a different case.

Even though it was also hit by ‘Yolanda’ a year ago on November 8, 2013, the residents did not allow the disaster to overwhelm them. Instead, they used it as a springboard to grow stronger as a community, with the help of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), one of the programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in partnership with the Millennium Challenge Account (MCC).

Looking at the face of defeat

After ‘Yolanda’, prices of construction materials skyrocketed, given the high demand for these because of the large-scale repairs and infrastructure recovery works that needed to be done following the disaster.

This was the situation the people of San Sebastian found themselves facing. Implementing a 0.7-km path walk as a government-funded sub-project through Kalahi-CIDSS did not stop their previously contracted supplier from backing out because its stocks ran out.

The Procurement Team volunteers, led by Mario Vinceto, 42, nearly gave up. Canvassing failed several times, almost leading to the volunteer Procurement Team to surrender.

May times na gusto na naming sumuko (There were times when we wanted to give up)”, said Mario.

They were eventually able to find suppliers, but only by January 2014, two months after ‘Yolanda’.

Still, the experience produced a lot of good. Since they have had prior experience in Kalahi-CIDSS, having implemented it the previous year, they were able to further develop their procurement skills. The barangay is now looking into formally adopting the procurement system of Kalahi-CIDSS as they now want to increase the involvement of residents.

The residents also became more confident in their skills in identifying quality in the materials and actual construction of sub-projects, even those that are not under Kalahi-CIDSS.

Antonieta Abaygar, 58, who served as the Barangay Sub-Project Management Chairperson (BSPMC) for their path walk sub-project, said that people are now more confident and stringent about standards of sub-projects.

She shared, “May nakita ang isang volunteer na na-damage ang kalsada. Agad sinabing nasira ang kalsada. Magkaka-findings iyang supplier. Kung Kalahi-CIDSS iyan, blacklisted na iyan (One of the volunteers saw part of the road was damaged. He said that the  road is damaged. There will be findings on the supplier. If this was a Kalahi-CIDSS sub-project, the supplier would already be blacklisted).”

Employment

Residents also gained other things in their involvement in Kalahi-CIDSS.

For instance, women were able to earn as laborers during the construction of their path walk. This was something new for them, as it was more common among them to stay at home instead of work, let alone in construction.

Priscilla Jabonete, 41, who served as one of the laborers, said, “Dati, lalaki lang ang nag-le-labor. Ngayon, diri na… Ang mga babae, puwede na magtrabaho ayon sa kakayanan (Men were the only ones who did construction work before. This is no longer the case. Women can now work based on skill).”

They got the same salary as the men at P210 per day, which they used to help support their families.

Elita Pacayra, 25, and a mother of two said, “Okay ang trabaho kasi nakakadagdag kita para sa pamilya (The work is good because it helps us earn for our families),” adding that she uses the money to buy food for her family.

The job opportunities for women in Barangay Inobangan through KALAHI-CIDSS-MCC will not end there. Earlier this year, the barangay was one of the communities awarded a Gender Incentive Grant (GIG), also through the partnership project.

Through the GIG, interested women can be provided skills trainings in construction work such as welding, plumbing, electricity, masonry, and carpentry.

As a barangay of a 6th class municipality with 57 Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program partner-beneficiaries, the job generation as a result of the trainings will be a big help to these poor families.

More economic opportunities

The path walk itself will lead to greater economic opportunities for the villagers.

Inobangan is primarily a farming community, with 77 of its 108 households involved in this industry. Before the path walk was constructed, farmers had to hire porters to help them bring their crops to the market, at P20 per sack, an already sizeable sum considering the meager earnings they get.

To make matters even more difficult for the farmers, even a little bit of rain makes the path muddy, making it difficult and dangerous for them to traverse the path, especially if they have their crops with them.

With the construction of the path walk, traveling to and from their farms will now be safer and quicker, and they will be able to use the money they previously spent on hiring porters to buy more seeds, put food on the table, and support their children.

Residents from neighboring barangays such as Balugo and Osmeña will also benefit from the path walk, as they can also use it to get to and from their villages and their farms.

Working in the sub-project also made the residents have more ownership of this, pushing them to take good care of it.

Said Priscilla, “Kami ang nag-trabaho diyan. May share kami diyan (We were the ones who worked for that, so we have a share in that).”

According to the Inobangan residents, volunteering in Kalahi-CIDSS helped tie the community closer together.

Barangay Captain Wilma Abaygar, 41, said, “Ang Kalahi-CIDSS ay pakikipagtulungan, kapit-bisig (Kalahi-CIDSS is about helping, linking arms with each other).”

Barangay Inobangan proved that even a disaster as strong as ‘Yolanda’ will not be able to break their spirits as long as they work together as a community.

As Barangay Captain Wilma Abaygar said, “Dati, walang pakialam ang mga tao, lalo na para sa kabilang-barangay. Nagkaroon lang ng ganyan sa Kalahi-CIDSS (People did not care before, especially for other barangays. This only happened as a result of Kalahi-CIDSS).”

Community-driven

Kalahi-CIDSS is a DSWD program that seeks to help alleviate poverty through community-driven development.

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

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is an independent U.S. foreign aid agency created in 2004 to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals by helping countries promote economic growth. ###

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Social Protection Systems Help Mitigate Disaster and Climate Risk Countries can respond to natural disasters better and assist victims faster if robust social protection systems are in place— World Bank Group

MANILA, November 4, 2014 – The Government of the Philippines and the World Bank Group hosted the first regional conference to capture lessons on how countries could better respond to natural disasters through robust social protection systems. The event – which brought together experts and policy makers from 17 countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia and the Pacific regions—concluded that linking social protection and disaster and climate risk management systems is prudent public policy that could lessen the impact of and build resilience to these risks.

“Countries in Asia and the Pacific region are amongst the most prone to disaster and climate risks – and these natural calamities have devastating impact on lives and livelihoods, especially for the poorest and the most vulnerable. However, worldwide experience shows that post-disaster recovery and resilience can be greatly helped if there are robust social protection systems in place,” said Arup Banerji, the World Bank Group’s Senior Director and Head of Global Practice, Social Protection and Labor. The World Bank Group is proud to co-host this conference with the Philippines’ lead social protection agency, the Department of Social Welfare and Development. We learned how the existing Pantawid Conditional Cash Transfer Program, which has become an integral part of the Philippines’ Social Protection Systems, helps the Government respond to victims of last year’s Typhoon Yolanda. With a delivery mechanism already in place, countries can target their post-disaster humanitarian efforts better and channel them faster.”   

Lessons from half a dozen countries around the globe highlight the merits of planning ahead and linking social protection and disaster and climate risk management systems. A better, more rapid and affordable system can help mitigate risk and respond quickly to disasters, thereby preventing increases in poverty, and protecting the government’s fiscal health.

Typhoon Yolanda was recorded to be among the strongest in history to ever make landfall, with over 8000 casualties and close to 200 severely affected municipalities in the Philippines. About 3 million households with almost 13.5 million family members were affected directly. Over a million houses were damaged or destroyed. The total damage and loss has been estimated at almost US$13 billion. The loss of jobs, livelihood, houses and productive assets immediately pushed about half a million households into poverty, while those that were already poor were pushed deeper into destitution.

Before Typhoon Yolanda struck, the Philippine Government had already put in place various social protection programs aimed at empowering the poor. But the typhoon was a gamechanger; it tested the resiliency of our people and stretched government disaster response system and social protection structures to the limit,” said Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, the Philippine Secretary of Social Welfare and Development. “In the first critical days after the disaster, it was the network of implementers of our Pantawid Conditional Cash Transfer Program and the leadership in municipalities that we were able to mobilize. The database of the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction helped us in identifying families that could be enrolled for various rehabilitation programs, such as the cash-for-work and cash-for-asset rebuilding. From our experience with Yolanda, convergence with other programs is real and is a practice implemented at different levels.”

The experts highlighted the following issues in the 3-day workshop:

  • Social protection, disaster risk management and climate change adaptation share the common objectives of reducing risks, lessening the impacts of and building resilience to shocks. There are various tools and instruments available to prepare for and respond to disaster and climate risks, such as through public works programs and benefit transfers which can be adapted and scaled up to respond to disasters.
  • Disaster risk financing and insurance is a key component in building a country’s financial resilience to disaster. A country is financially resilient when its government and people can manage the financial impact of disaster and climate change risk without compromising sustainable development, fiscal stability, or the wellbeing of families and communities.
  • The scaling up of social protection systems will require technical infrastructure, such as the readiness of existing national identification systems, linkages between existing targeting systems and disaster response, data management systems for delivery of cash and kind benefits, and information technology tools to facilitate these processes.

The Philippines provides a rich experience for other countries facing similar challenges with disaster and climate risks. It is encouraging to see the Government’s commitment to this agenda and to continually improve its existing social protection systems by making it resilient to disaster, while ensuring that it responds rapidly to the consequences of disasters,” said Motoo Konishi, World Bank Country Director for the Philippines.To do this, the Department of Social Welfare and Development has converged its three flagship programs –conditional cash transfer, community driven development and livelihood support– to make them an effective tool in making households more resilient to disasters.”

Contacts:
In Manila:
Dave Llorito, +63-2-465-2500, dllorito@worldbank.org
Mohamad Al-Arief, +1-202-458-0119, malarief@worldbank.org

In Washington:
Mehreen Sheikh, +1-202-458-7336, msheikh1@worldbank.org

For more information about the World Bank Group in the Philippines, please visit:
www.worldbank.org/ph

To learn more about the Philippines’ Department of Social Welfare and Development, visit:
www.dswd.gov.ph

 

 

 

 

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One year after ‘Yolanda’: Three mothers give a face to rehab, recovery efforts of public, private sectors

One year after Typhoon Yolanda ripped through the Visayas Region, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman recognizes that much work remains to be done, but expressed confidence that the “Building Back Better” principle of the Aquino Administration is on the right track.

Sec. Soliman believes that efforts to rehabilitate typhoon-ravaged communities may be far from perfect, but she said that the Philippines has made significant strides compared to other countries which were also affected by natural disasters.

“The national and local governments as well as the private sector, local and international non-government organizations continue to join hands to meet the challenge of building back better communities by sharing human and financial resources,” Sec. Soliman said.

She cited that in earthquake-hit Haiti, there are still thousands of people staying in tents after four years.

“To date, there is just one evacuation center in Tacloban City located at the San Fernando Elementary School, serving 48 families,” Sec. Soliman shared.

International organizations have also lauded the recovery and rehabilitation efforts of the government.

In one of his interviews, Javad Amoozegar, Philippine Director of the Action Against Hunger – ACF International said that they have seen so many delays on the ground, but they have also seen how the Philippine government “worked hard to ensure that the needs of the communities are met at the immediate possible time.”

Just yesterday,  the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said that  rehabilitation efforts in Eastern Visayas were  “moving faster” compared to those undertaken during the earthquake and tsunami that struck Aceh, Indonesia, 10 years ago.

But the most important attestations came from the survivors.

Ruth (3rd from left) is engaged with her fellow Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries at the Women-Friendly Space in their village where they are facilitators.

Ruth (3rd from left) is engaged with her fellow Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries at the Women-Friendly Space in their village where they are facilitators.

“Kami po ng pamilya ko, sa palagay ko naman nakabangon na kami mula sa ‘Yolanda’. Sa totoo lang po mas maganda pa nga ang buhay namin ngayon dahil sa dami ng tulong na dumadating. Nasa tao na lang kung hindi pa siya nakabangon (I think that our family has recovered. In fact, our life is better now with the extent of assistance pouring in. It’s already up to the person if he or she has not recovered),” Ruth Parado, 38, of Barangay Cogon, Palo, Leyte, said.

Like Ruth, Ritchel Ripalda, 32, of Brgy. Tagpuro, Tacloban City, said that her family is now leading normal lives.

“Masasabi ko po na kahit papaano ay nakabangon na rin ang aming pamilya dahil may bahay na kami, may pinagkakakitaan, at nakakapasok na rin sa eskuwelahan ang mga bata (I can say that our lives have gone back to normal because we already have a house, a steady source of income,  and our children  have gone back to school),” Ritchel said when asked about their situation one year after ‘Yolanda’.

‘Yolanda’  was the strongest typhoon recorded in recent history with the speed of more than 300 km/h. It ripped through the Visayas region one year ago on November 8, causing widespread death and destruction, particularly in the provinces of Samar, Leyte, Cebu, Capiz, Aklan, and Palawan.

Based on DSWD records, there were 1,472,251 families affected with 918,261 displaced. A total of 1,171,469 houses were damaged.

Shelter

Both Ruth and Ritchel narrated that their houses were washed away by flood waters triggered by the storm surges.

They were able to construct new ones with the help of the government through the DSWD, the private sector, and local and international NGOs.

“Binigyan po kami ng DSWD ng mga yero at ang Leyte Christian College naman ay nagbigay ng mga panghaligi (DSWD gave us galvanized iron sheets for our roofs while Leyte Christian College provided the coco lumber posts),” Ritchel, 32, said.

Ruth’s family received shelter assistance from the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) which they used to build the framework of their house including 20 pieces of GI sheets.

“Lahat po kami dito sa Cogon nabigyan ng first tranche ng shelter assistance mula sa CRS,” Ruth said.

She added that they are still waiting for the second tranche to complete their house structure.

In the meantime, Ruth said that they used old construction materials to cover the sides of their house.

To assist the most vulnerable families whose houses were partially damaged, DSWD distributed 20,334 shelter kits that DPWH procured for priority distribution to families in Tacloban, Palo, and Guiuan in Eastern Visayas, and Capiz and Iloilo in Western Visayas.

In addition, the Shelter Cluster, with the support of more than 70 national and international NGOs and UN Agencies helped 162,492 families repair their damaged homes by providing roofing materials and toolkits.

Some 4,309 families who were unable to construct their houses were transferred by DSWD to the 246 bunkhouses constructed by the DPWH in Western and Eastern Visayas. In partnership with Operation Compassion, the local government of Tacloban City is constructing 60 additional transitional shelter units in Brgy. Caway and Sto. Domingo.

“By year-end, none of the remaining survivors in all ‘Yolanda’-hit areas would be staying in tents and makeshifts,” Sec. Soliman stressed.

In partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), DSWD is constructing an additional 2,700 transitional shelter units for those still living in tents and makeshifts in Leyte and Samar.

Sec. Soliman also said that DSWD has allocated P303.9 million to its Field Offices for the core/modified shelter assistance program intended for the 4,983 families with totally damaged houses in safe zones in Regions IV-B, VI, and VIII. The funds came from the donations it received and from a grant amounting to P131.25 million from the Asian Development Bank.

To date, DSWD already released funding for 250 units in Guiuan, Eastern Samar. Implementation  is ongoing.

Food

Lorna tends her sari-sari store provided by an international NGO.

Lorna tends her sari-sari store provided by an international NGO.

Another survivor, Lorna Letran, 46, of Brgy. Lupok, Poblacion, Guiuan, Eastern Samar,  said that aside from the shelter assistance they received, food aid was also abundant.

“Iyong dapat pambili namin ng pagkain ay ‘di na po namin nagastos dahil madami pong nabibigay na relief sa amin ang DSWD kaya pinandagdag na lang namin sa pagpapagawa ng bahay (We were able to save the money intended for our food because there were a lot of relief goods being provided to us by DSWD and various groups. We used our savings to build our house),” Lorna said.

From November 2013 to the third week of June 2014, DSWD has distributed 4,635,669 family food packs with 3-kg and 6-kg of rice.

On December 16, 2013, DSWD started distributing bigger food packs with 25-kg of rice, 20 packs of canned goods, 20 sachets of coffee, and 20 packs of noodles.

As of September 30, 2014, DSWD with the support of other organizations like the World Food Programme delivered 7,617,827 food packs with 25-kg of rice to survivors in all affected regions.

Livelihood

To help the survivors earn some cash to meet their daily needs, DSWD implemented the Cash-for-work (CFW) program which provided cash to household heads in exchange for rendering an average of ten days of community work in disaster-related operations.

Ruth, Ritchel, and Lorna were among the 90,226 beneficiaries who participated in CFW activities in the affected regions, including the National Capital Region where a number of survivors temporarily migrated in the aftermath of ‘Yolanda’.

From November 2013 to September 2014, total cash payouts for the CFW beneficiaries had amounted to P130,933,308.

The Emergency Employment Program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) also benefited 54,488 individuals.

Cash grants

Ruth, Ritchel, and Lorna are also thankful that they are beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the DSWD.

Pantawid Pamilya  provides monthly cash grants of P500 for health and P300 per child in elementary or P500 per child in high school with a maximum of three qualified children per household for their educational and nutritional needs. They have to comply to program conditions of sending their children to school, bringing them to the health center for check-ups, and attending Family Development Sessions (FDS).

The three are united in saying that the program has not only helped them meet the education and health needs of their children, but also in their darkest moments after ‘Yolanda’.

Ruth said that the cash grants were only the sure money she had after ‘Yolanda’.

“Inipon ko po iyong cash grants at pinambili ng mga damit ng aking mga anak. Talagang wala pong natirang mga damit ng mga bata. Kung wala po yung cash grants, puro relief clothes po ang gamit sana nila (I saved the cash grants and used it to buy new clothes for my children. All their clothes were gone. Without the cash grants, all their clothes would have been donated to us),” Ruth said.

Ritchel, on the other hand, said that the lessons on disaster preparedness given through the FDS played a big role why they were safe amid ‘Yolanda’.

“Sinabi po doon na kapag nandiyan na ang bagyo, lumikas na agad sa pinakamalapit na evacuation center. Dalhin ang mga mahahalagang mga dokumento, gamot, at ilang mga gamit (I learned from the FDS that in times of typhoons, immediately evacuate. Bring important documents, medicines, and some basic needs),” Ritchel said.

For Lorna, being a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary has given her access to other opportunities. She also became a beneficiary of the DSWD-Globe Telecoms partnership which provided her logistics support to start a pre-paid loading business.

Source of income

Ruth, Ritchel, and Lorna expressed that the livelihood assistance from the government and the private sector has also helped them start anew.

Ruth is thankful that she now has a sari-sari store, a livelihood assistance from Red Cross.

“Nakakatulong na rin po ang kaunting kita ng tindahan sa kita ko bilang facilitator sa Women-Friendly Spaces (WFS) at ng asawa ko bilang sand gatherer ( The income of my store is a big add on to my earnings as facilitator of the Women-Friendly Spaces and my husband’s as sand gatherer),” Ruth said.

Couple Elias and Ritchel prepare their yema delicacy.

Couple Elias and Ritchel prepare their yema delicacy.

Aside from her pre-paid loading business, Lorna also has a sari-sari store provided by another international organisation.

Ritchel and her husband, Elias, on the other hand, have a yema-making business which they started out of a P2,000 loan from a relative.

“Eto na po dati ang pinagkakakitaan namin ng asawa ko. Kaya lang kung dati kumikita kami ng P3,000 kada lingo ngayon po P1,000 na lang kasi kakaunti na lang ang order saka maliit po kasi iyong puhunan namin ( Yema-making has been our source of income even before ‘Yolanda’. Before, we were earning P3,000 a week. Now, its only P1,000 because of fewer orders and a meager capital),” Ritchel related.

Even with a slowdown in their yema-business, Ritchel remains thankful for the blessings.  Elias, was also given a machine for his motorized banca by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

“Malaking tulong na rin kasi nakaka pangisda na siya. Hindi na rin namin masyadong problema ang pang-ulam (It is also a big help to us as Elias can go fishing. We no longer have to worry about our food),” Ritchel added.

Though the three expressed satisfaction with the assistance given to them, if they have their way, they want more livelihood support not only for them, but for the many mothers who have no steady sources of income.

Ruth related that as a facilitator, she often gets feedback about the need for livelihood support to mothers.

“Pagkakakitaan po talaga ang kailangan para talagang makabangon na ang mga tao (A source of income is what people need to really bounce back),” Ruth expressed.

“Palagay ko eto rin po ang sagot sa away pamilya dahil pag may trabaho walang oras mag-away ang mag-asawa (I think that this is also the solution to husband and wife rift because if there is work there is no time for quarrel),” Ruth said with a grin.

Way forward

Sec. Soliman said that the signing of the P167.9-billion rehabilitation master plan for the 171 ‘Yolanda’-affected cities and municipalities will boost the multi-stakeholders’ efforts in the response phase.

As chair of the Social Services Cluster, DSWD is tasked to facilitate the delivery of basic services such as education, health, and social protection services, as well as provide healthy environments and strengthen capacity to cope with future hazards and disasters.

“With this plan which we hope to implement on target, there will be more Ruth, Ritchel, and Lorna who will give face to the convergence of our efforts to build back better communities,” Sec. Soliman ended. ###

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DSWD, now ISO-certified

Usec. Medel (4th from left) and Usec. Parisya Taradji (fifth from left) receives the ISO-Certification.

Usec. Medel (4th from left) and Usec. Parisya Taradji (fifth from left) receives the ISO-Certification.

The regulatory services of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recently received its certification from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

The DSWD’s ISO 9001-2008 certification covers the  five regulatory services of Standards Bureau namely: Registration of Auxiliary Social Welfare and Development Agencies, Registration and Licensing of Social Welfare Agencies (SWAs), Accreditation of SWAs’ Programs and Services, Endorsement of Duty-Free Entry, and National Authority to Conduct Fund Drives.

The Standards Bureau is responsible for fulfilling the regulatory and quality assurance roles of the Department

ISO 9001:2008 sets out the criteria for a quality management system.  It can be used by any organization, large or small, regardless of its field of activity.   ISO 9001:2008 is implemented by over one million companies and organizations in over 170 countries.

This standard is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement.

Using ISO 9001:2008 helps ensure that customers get consistent, good quality products, and services.

The certification is valid for three years – from August 3, 2014 to July 19, 2017.

DSWD Undersecretaries Angelita Y. Gregorio-Medel and Parisya H. Taradji, and Standards Bureau Director Marites M. Maristela received the certification from AJA Registrars, Inc. Vice-President Paul Bagatsing on October 24, 2014 at the DSWD Central Office in Batasan, Quezon City.   Other DSWD officials and staff were also present during the awarding ceremony.

“After two rigorous audit stages, we are pleased that  DSWD has successfully completed the requirements for certification,”   DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said.

Sec. Soliman vowed that the DSWD will continue to streamline documentation and processing systems to provide smoother, faster, and more efficient delivery of its frontline services. ###

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Laos dev’t officials study DSWD community-driven development program

KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP Deputy National Program Manager Jojo Aguilar orients the Laos delegation on KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP at the DSWD Central Office in Quezon City

KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP Deputy National Program Manager Jojo Aguilar orients the Laos delegation on KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP at the DSWD Central Office in Quezon City

Twelve development officials from the Lao People’s Democratic Republic recently visited Barangay Paliparan III in Dasmariñas, Cavite and interacted with key officials and staff of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to learn more about the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services-National Community-Driven Development Program (KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP), one of its poverty alleviation programs.

 The learning visit, which was held on October 30, was facilitated by Paibare, Inc., a faith-based organization.

 According to them, KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP was identified as the development program that will be studied by the delegation because of their interest in Philippine social development.

 KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP uses the community-driven development (CDD) strategy to train and empower citizens to become involved in local development through their active participation in the identification of their community’s most pressing problems, as well as in the implementation and management of their chosen solution to their identified concern.

 Primarily reaching rural poor communities, the program began its urban CDD pilot in 2012 through a $3 million grant from the Japan Social Development Fund-Livelihood Opportunities for Vulnerable Urban Communities (JSDF-LVUC).

 The grant is intended to help support the urban poor through the provision of livelihood trainings, as well as in infrastructure sub-projects that would address the most pressing needs of targeted communities.

 Brgy. Paliparan III is one of the 69 communities included in the urban CDD rollout through the partnership between KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP and JSDF-LVUC.

 The Laos delegation expressed surprise that all 78 livelihood training graduates in Barangay Paliparan III were either already working here or abroad, or had jobs awaiting them. The trainings in refrigerator and air conditioner (RAC) servicing, dressmaking, and consumer electronic servicing amounted to P1,199,521 and were conducted by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

 The community is currently preparing for the second set of trainings in RAC servicing and dressmaking, amounting to P1,106,950, also through the partnership between KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP and TESDA.

 Aside from the livelihood trainings, the community was able to de-clog and improve their line canal through KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP, a sub-project that cost P2,055,000. They are also in the process of constructing a barangay health station amounting to P1,140,000.

 According to Charina David, one of the KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP Community Volunteers in the barangay, they chose the construction of a health station because of the high tuberculosis incidence in the community, which is why the said infrastructure came with a sputum.

 The delegation also expressed their interest in the governance and finance aspects of the program.

 According to Saylom Keoviphakones, the group’s interpreter, the Laos delegation hopes to get more information about KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP by contacting the program staff and officials about it.

 For his part, Jojo Aguilar, one of the Deputy National Program Managers of KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP, said that that they are willing to address any inquiries they have about the program. He also expressed his gratitude to the Laos delegation for choosing KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP as one of the programs they studied during their week-long visit to the Philippines.

 KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP is the expansion into a national scale of operations of CDD approach, which was tried and proven effective by Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS). It targets the coverage of 847 of the poorest municipalities in the country.

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

 For more information about KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP, please visit http://ncddp.dswd.gov.ph.###

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Change of mindset

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

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

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

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

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

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

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As of November 21, 2014 (8:00AM)

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USD23,784,482.78 - Foreign Donations


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