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DSWD eyes role of LGUs, business sector in success of feeding program for kids

As part of its efforts to keep children well-nourished for the rest of the school year, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)  has started to transfer the more than P3.6 billion budget of the Supplementary Feeding Program  (SFP) for Children to local government units (LGUs) for this  year’s program implementation which kicked-off on July 2.

In just a month’s time, some 341,179 children in day care centers and supervised neighborhood play  (SNP)  have been initially served under the SFP.  For this year, more than 2.05 million children in 1,361 LGUs nationwide will be covered by the program.

SFP augments the feeding program in LGU-managed day care centers and SNP areas using indigenous food and/or locally-produced food equivalent to 1/3 of Recommended Energy and Nutrient Intake (RENI).

Food supplementation comes in the form of hot meals served during a break/snack time in the morning or in the afternoon. The feeding program is being managed by the parents based on a prepared meal cycle.

Children beneficiaries will be weighed at the start of the feeding, three months thereafter, and after the completion of 120 feeding days cycle to determine improvement and sustenance in their nutritional status.

SFP also improves the knowledge, attitude, and practices of children, parents, and caregivers through intensified nutrition and health education.

“Proper nutrition is crucial to the growth and development of children specifically the 0-5 year old age bracket which are the formative years,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said.

LGU, business sector participation

Since SFP was implemented in 2010, the DSWD has noted the important role of LGUs in the program.

Aside from the DSWD funding support,  local officials also find a way to intensify the implementation of the program in their respective jurisdictions like engaging partnerships with the business sector.

In Region I, for example,  the LGU of San Nicolas in Pangasinan led by Municipal Mayor Rebecca Mejica Saldivar implements the feeding program year-round with the support of private individuals, companies and groups.

As part of its corporate social responsibility, the San Roque Power Corporation provided milk, biscuits, cookies, champorado, and noodles, as additional food for the day care children. The corporation also sponsored the construction of some day care centers and donated books for the children.

On the other hand, free transportation is being shouldered by the LGU to deliver goods to all day care centers especially those located in the mountainous areas.

Mayor Saldivar believes that a progressive community starts with healthy, bright, and responsible children.

She believes that the SFP is a strong weapon to fight malnutrition among day care children in their municipality.

Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer (MSWDO) Delia Dalutag narrated that some day care children from far flung areas are now able to eat nutritious meals  through SFP.

This was echoed by Editha Pascua, 52, widow, from Brgy. Malilion, who shared that her youngest son, 3 year-old Akihiro’s nutritional status has greatly improved because of the feeding program.

The Pascua Family is also a beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or the Conditional Cash Transfer Program.

Editha said that because of government programs, such as SFP and Pantawid Pamilya, Akihiro is growing up healthy and active.

Likewise, in CALABARZON, of the 114 LGUs in the region, 22 are already starting with the implementation while the rest are undergoing preparation for the start of the feeding sessions this August.

Mila Española, Batangas City Social Welfare and Development Officer said, “Since the start of SFP, the children are no longer craving for junk food. Their parents also maintain backyard gardening of vegetables and fruit-bearing trees to sustain the nutritional needs of their children.”

Rhoda Bautista, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer of Silang, Cavite pointed out that aside from good nutrition, the program also promotes proper hygiene among children.

“They have developed the habit of washing their hands before and after eating, and brushing their teeth thrice a day,” she said.

In Tagum City, Davao del Norte,  on the other hand, Sally C. Balili, the LGU SFP focal person, shared that the city council has issued City Ordinance No. 647 Series of 2013 known as “The Day Care Teachers Code of Tagum City,” which enforces the on-time submission of weekly and monthly consolidated supplementary feeding reports detailing the daily feeding in their day care centers.

“Ninety percent of day care enters here in Tagum City were also able to put up their own kitchen/cooking and dining area from the savings that they have incurred,” Balili said.

She explained that instead of buying vegetables, the parents now use the  harvest from the vegetable gardens  they have cultivated within the premises of the day care centers.  Maintaining a vegetable garden in all day care centers around the city is mandated by the local government’s program dubbed as Gulayan sa Paaralan at Day Care Centers.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that with the modest gains, SFP is slowly bearing fruits, an indication that the huge budget allotted for the program redound to the benefit of the children. ###

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DSWD assures enough relief to augment LGU resources in Habagat-hit areas

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) continues to assist the local government units (LGUs) affected by the Habagat or the Southwest Monsoon.

As of August 11, 4PM, a total of 2,209 families or 10,025 persons from 18 barangays are affected where 566 families or 2,438 persons are inside three evacuation centers managed by LGUs of Negros Occidental, Bukidnon, and North Cotabato.

The LGU of Kidapawan in North Cotabato provided P86,895 worth of food items, such as 20 sacks of rice, 15 boxes of sardines, 20 boxes of noodles, 15 boxes of corned beef, ½ sack of sugar, ½ sack of mongo, and ½ sack of dilis to 373 families or 1,865 persons affected by floods in Barangay Ilomabis.

Likewise, the LGU of Sultan Kudarat distributed relief aid amounting to P63,750 to affected families.

As heavy rains continue triggering more flooding incidents in the three provinces, concerned DSWD-Field Offices assured that relief supplies are enough to cover all affected LGUs.

To date, DSWD-Field Offices VI, X, and XII have 75,181 family food packs prepositioned in their respective warehouses and ready to be delivered to LGUs when necessary. ###

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Special children from DSWD center win bronze in world Olympics

The Philippine delegates to the Special World Olympics in Los Angeles, USA. Among the delegates are residents of the Elsie Gaches Village, a DSWD-managed center for mentally challenged children.

The Philippine delegates to the Special World Olympics in Los Angeles, USA. Among the delegates are residents of the Elsie Gaches Village, a DSWD-managed center for mentally challenged children.

Four residents of Elsie Gaches Village (EGV) brought joy and pride to the country after excelling in their respective sports and bagging bronze medals at the Special Olympics World Games held in Los Angeles, California from July 25 to August 2, 2015.

EGV is a residential care facility located in Muntinlupa City managed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) for mentally challenged persons. It provides care and rehabilitation to abandoned and neglected children with special needs such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, visual and hearing impairment, mental retardation, autism, and other related illnesses.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman commended Catherine Uy, Michael Jordan, Ryan Ilaya, and Arjay Gala for their accomplishments. She said that these children should serve as inspiration for others as they have proven that through determination and confidence, children with special needs can also excel.

Catherine was 5th place in bowling among eight countries; Michael bagged the bronze medal in the 400 Meter Run; while Ryan and Arjay also got bronze medals after winning over American Samoa in Unified Team, Football 5 A Side competitions.

“These children have shown to the world what they can do. We recognize their capabilities and skills, and we will continue to support their endeavors,” Sec. Soliman said.

The Special Olympics World Games aims to provide year-round sports training and athletic competitions in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adult with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy. They also get to participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympic athletes, and the community.

 The 2015 Games featured competitions in aquatics, gymnastics, track and field, basketball, football (soccer), and many other summer sports involving 6,500 athletes with intellectual disabilities from around the world. ###

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DSWD, LBP release prepaid cards to MCCT beneficiaries

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) together with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) will distribute prepaid cards today to 203 family beneficiaries of the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT).

“It has always been our commitment to ensure that our beneficiaries receive their grants in the most economic and convenient way. Through the prepaid cards, beneficiaries of the MCCT may get their grants at any Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) or they can use it to purchase groceries or medicines through the point-of-sale (POS) system),” shared DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman.

Sec. Soliman further added that the 203 prepaid cards comprise the first batch of the more than 700 prepaid cards, which will be distributed in the succeeding days. Additional 1,400 applications are also currently being processed.

“Land Bank is one with DSWD in making the delivery of government’s financial assistance easier and more accessible to the beneficiaries. It will continue to adopt more innovative channels consistent with our commitment to help promote the government’s financial inclusion program,” Land Bank President and CEO Gilda Pico said.

The initiative of DSWD and LBP to convert MCCT payments to prepaid cards is aligned with United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/E-PESO’s objective to advance financial inclusion by facilitating the rapid adoption of electronic payment use.

The MCCT is an innovation of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or the Conditional Cash Transfer that provides cash grants and social welfare interventions to families not covered by the Pantawid Pamilya.

These families include those who are residing on the street, Indigenous Peoples in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (IP-GIDA), and those with special needs such as families displaced by either natural or man-made disasters.

Apart from grants, street families are also extended rental assistance. We want these families to have decent dwellings and be removed from the possible dangers that they are exposed to while on the streets,” added Sec. Soliman.

To date, there are more than 200,000 households enrolled in the MCCT with more than 2,000 street families in the National Capital Region###

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DSWD in close touch with LGUs affected by Typhoon Hanna

Even as Typhoon Hanna continues to weaken, Field Offices of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)  continue to remain on alert status and to preposition relief supplies to local government units (LGUs) affected by  the typhoon.

In Region II, the DSWD-Field Office has prepositioned 17,495 family food packs in Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino, and Nueva Vizcaya.

In Valencia City, Bukidnon in Region X, where flooding incidents have been reported, DSWD has prepared 314 family food packs, 157 kitchen utensils, hygiene kits, and clothing  ready for transport to the city. The LGU of Valencia continues to distribute goods and to provide medical services to affected families.

Apart from the goods prepositioned to LGUs, a total of 361,122 family food packs are available in all DSWD-Field Offices ready to be delivered to LGUs when necessary, while P58 million standby funds have been earmarked for the purchase of emergency relief supplies.

As of August 6, some 428 families or 1,752 persons are staying in two evacuation centers in Bukidnon in Region X and in North Cotabato in XII, managed by the local government units.

DSWD disaster teams in regions affected by the ‘habagat’ caused by ‘Hanna’ continue to coordinate with the LGUs for the provision of additional resources. ###

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Disadvantaged youth in DSWD center complete skills training

Fifty six residents of Nayon ng Kabataan (NK) recently graduated from various skills training courses provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Nayon ng Kabataan  is a residential care facility managed by the DSWD for abused, orphaned, abandoned, neglected, and exploited children aged 7-17 years old, both male and female.
At the recently held graduation ceremony, with the theme, “Be faithful, Be responsible, Be truthful in fulfilling your dreams,” the youth received certificates for the various skills training courses of their choice.
The livelihood courses which are recognized internationally include baking, beauty care, basic sewing, dress making, hair dressing, carpentry, and information communication and technology (ICT).
The graduates were thankful for the new skills they have gained, saying that these could be their ticket to a brighter future.
Jhomar Dolong said, “Kung anuman ang nakaraan natin, huwag na nating balikan. Tulad ko na isang street child, nakipagsapalaran sa kalsada, tambay, akala ko hanggang doon na lang ako. Nang mapunta ako dito sa Nayon ng Kabataan, nagbago ang lahat. Nakilala ko ang Panginoon. Kaya dapat lahat ng mga problema natin, ipag-pray lang natin. Isuko natin sa Kanya, at maniwala tayo na magiging ayos din ang lahat (Whatever happened in our past, let us put it behind us. Take me as an example.  I was a street child and I thought that I would be living on the streets for the rest of my life.  When I was brought here in Nayon ng Kabataan, everything changed. I came to know about God. We should surrender all our problems to Him and have faith that everything will be alright).”
He also gave a message for his parents saying, “Sa mga magulang ko, patawad po kung sa nakaraan ko ay hindi ako naging magandang ehemplo sa mga kabataan, kaya nagsusumikap ako ngayon para maipagmalaki niyo na ako bilang anak ninyo  (To my parents, I apologize for what I did in the past.  I was not a good model to the youth, that is why I am trying my best now to make you proud of me).”
Jhomar and his family were reunited on his graduation day. His parents, Jun and Marilou, are very proud of his achievement.
DSWD-National Capital Region Regional Director Alicia Bonoan, who attended the graduation on behalf of Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, commended the hard work of the graduates in enhancing their skills and pursuing their dreams.
She added, “Pinupuri namin kayo sa tagumpay na inyong nakamit. Ito ang simula ng pagbabago ng inyong buhay. Maari kayong magkaroon ng mataas na posisyon sa isang kompanya, o di kaya maging may-ari ng sarili ninyong negosyo gamit ang inyong natamong kaalaman at kakayahan. Anuman ang inyong tahakin sa pagtamo ng inyong pangarap, hangad namin ang inyong magandang kinabukasan  (We commend you for this achievement.  This is the start of a life-changing opportunity for you.  It is now possible for you to get employed using your skills, and you can even put up your own small business using what you have learned.  DSWD wishes you success in whatever you want to achieve.)” ###

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DSWD upholds culture-sensitive program implementation through Kalahi-CIDSS

(Left Photo) Kalahi-CIDSS is helping the Bago tribe of Quirino, Ilocos Sur preserve their culture. (Right Photo) According to Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, the MOA signing between DSWD and NCIP on the implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS will  "bring out the power of peace, people, and time."

(Left Photo) Kalahi-CIDSS is helping the Bago tribe of Quirino, Ilocos Sur preserve their culture. (Right Photo) According to Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, the MOA signing between DSWD and NCIP on the implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS will “bring out the power of peace, people, and time.”

MANILA – The   Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to ensure the protection of the rights and welfare of the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) in the implementation of the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS).  The MOA signing was held at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) last July 14.  

Kalahi-CIDSS is a poverty alleviation program that provides citizens the opportunity to identify and implement sub-projects that would address their basic needs. In most cases, the chosen sub-projects of communities come in the form of small-scale infrastructures such as school buildings, day care centers, health stations, pathways, and irrigation systems.

The scale-up of Kalahi-CIDSS led to changes in the design of the program. Part of these changes is the development of a comprehensive Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF), which also covers the engagement of IPs. Under the ESMF, the program commits to ensure the informed participation of IPs so that they are in a position to receive culturally compatible social and economic benefits, and guarantee that they will not be adversely affected throughout the process. 

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said, “Napakahalaga na kilalanin [natin] ang karapatan at dignidad ng ating mga katutubo [It is very important for us to recognize the rights and dignity of the Indigenous Peoples]”. She added that the MOA is intended to bring out the “power of peace, people, and time”, as it symbolizes the bringing together of the national government, the local government, and the IP and non-IP citizens together.

For her part, Atty. Leonor Oralde-Quintayo, the Chairperson of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, said, “We salute each commitment for community-driven development to be implemented in a way that the Indigenous Peoples are protected”, referring to the development strategy employed by Kalahi-CIDSS.  She also thanked the DSWD for the continuous support it provides the Commission.

As a program that promotes social inclusion, Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS)pays close attention to the inclusion of the Indigenous Peoples’ (IPs) and their improvement of well-being.

Protection of IP rights

As early as now, IPs feel that they are included in Kalahi-CIDSS activities, such as the case of the Bago tribe of Quirino, Ilocos Sur.

The municipality, which consists almost exclusively of IPs, is a first-time implementer of Kalahi-CIDSS. According to the residents, the program has helped strengthen their cultural practices, which was in danger of dying down.

Ang proseso ng Kalahi-CIDSS ay lalong nagpatatag sa aming mga IPs dito sa Quirino dahil ibinalik nito ang maganda naming kaugalian (The Kalahi-CIDSS processes strengthened the IPs in Quirino because the Program has reinstated our old traditions)”, Hon. Artemio Marvil, Quirino Municipal Council Indigenous People’s Representative said.

Aside from the restoration of their culture, unity, and participation, the program has become a venue for the residents to connect with each other again and work hand in hand towards progress.

Hangga’t nananalaytay sa ugat namin ang pagiging IP, pananatilihin namin ang kulturang aming kinalakihan. Nagpapasalamat ako sa Kalahi-CIDSS sa pagpapaalala sa aking mga kapwa IP sa kahalagahan ng pagkakaisa at ng aming kultura (As long as being an IP flows in our blood, we shall keep this culture that we grew up with. I am thankful to Kalahi-CIDSS for reminding us on the importance of unity among IPs and and culture)”, Hon. Marvil said.###

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Education: The real gold in Mt. Diwata

Villagers of Upper Ulip, Mt. Diwata produced a gem costlier that gold - this classroom building - through their own effort with a little help from the government, which will ensure their children's journey to education.

Villagers of Upper Ulip, Mt. Diwata produced a gem costlier that gold – this classroom building – through their own effort with a little help from the government, which will ensure their children’s journey to education.

Monkayo, Compostela Valley – “Ang edukasyon ang isa ka bahandi nga among maikahatag sa among mga anak. Mao kini ang ilang bulawan nga dili makuha sa ilaha (Education is an invaluable treasure that we can give our children. This is their brand of gold that could not be taken away from them),” shared Elenita P. Lampera, 43, a mother of three.

Hence, it was a dream come true for Elenita and the rest of the residents of Sitio Upper Ulip, Barangay Mt. Diwata, a remote village in this town, when a one-classroom high school building rose through the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) – PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (PAMANA) program.

Kalahi-CIDSS is a community-driven development (CDD) program, which aims to empower ordinary citizens to directly participate in local governance by identifying their own community needs and collectively responding to these. One of the modalities of this program is PAMANA which provides conflict-affected barangays access to basic social services.

A village of gold without a classroom

Brgy. Mt. Diwata is a relatively cold and quiet mountain village with 1,000-meter high range. Known for its rich gold ore deposits, Mt. Diwata has an estimated population of 40,000 people based on data of the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB).

“Pagmimina ng ginto ang ikinabubuhay ng aming komunidad mula pa noong 1980s (Our community here is dependent on gold. Small-scale mining has been our major industry since the 1980s),” Elenita said.

A 45-minute rough ride away from the town’s poblacion, the community identified that one of their pressing needs was a decent classroom building to accommodate the increasing number of high school enrollees.

In the absence of a classroom, high school students used the barangay gymnasium for their classes. However, a low-hanging makeshift ceiling made from recycled tarpaulins can hardly protect the students from the elements since the gym is not covered.

For a long time, the residents did not really care much about the situation of the children as they were more focused on earning more and managing their livelihood as small scale miners.

“Pag umuulan, nag-uunahan ang mga bata para sumilong hanggang tumila na ang ulan (When the rain pours, students race to a dry corner and huddle until the rain stops),” Mt. Diwata Barangay Captain Pedro J. Samillano, Jr. said.

He stressed that the makeshift classrooms, divided by thin plywood, do not make learning conducive.

Brgy. Capt. Samillano disclosed that one of the reasons why people devote themselves into mining instead of aspiring to provide education to their children stemmed from the belief that the government neglected them.

“Daghan naabot nga mga proyekto diri, pero dili kini mahuman-human tungod sa kalisud sa sitwasyon sa amoang barangay. Layo kini ug dakong kwarta ang kailanganon sa pagpadala sa mga materyales sa konstruksyon (There were a number of projects which were started here, but were never completed. Accordingly, our village is far and hard-to-reach, and that the hauling cost of construction materials is apparently expensive),” he said.

Realizing the importance of education

All this changed when Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA reached this mountain village.

With assured funding support for the construction of a classroom from Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA amounting to P679,175,  the residents became  motivated to work together for the benefit of their children. They volunteered to help in the construction of the classroom.

Capt. Samillano shared that the residents learned to prioritize their children’s education, thanks to Kalahi-CIDSS.  They realized that having an education is a treasure worth more than gold, which can’t be taken away from their children.

Kalahi-CIDSS community facilitator George Nasula agreed, saying that parents no longer wish for their children to work in tunnels to dig for gold anymore. They would rather see their children work in the city one day.

“And since the sub-project implementation is directly carried out by the community as volunteers, working without remuneration, they feel that they own it,” Nasula said.

Nasula also shared that the villagers were amazed that the grant is released directly to the community account and managed by community volunteers themselves, a far cry from other government projects in the past where beneficiaries have no say on project implementation.

Kalahi-CIDSS volunteer Danny Banares, Sr, reported, “Daghan na nga pagsulay ang among naagihan.  Kabahin na ini ang kalayo sa among lugar, ang bagyong Pablo, ug daghan pang kalamidad. Pero sa among pagtinabangay, nahuman gyud namo ang sub-proyekto nga mas sayo pa sa gitakda nga petsa (We have experienced a lot of trials in our area. These include the remote location of our place, Typhoon Pablo, and other calamities. But with everyone’s cooperation, we completed our sub-project earlier than the due date).”

Now, the children have a safe classroom conducive for learning with its walls painted brightly and furnished with armchairs and blackboards.

A collective effort of community, civil society, and government

The classroom now serves as a testament to the hard work of the community, as well as the partnership of the national and local governments, and the civil society organizations (CSOs) in initiating change in Mt. Diwata.

Showing their full support, the LGU and some CSOs extended their help in the difficult task of hauling the construction materials to the mountain village.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said, “Partnership of different sectors and community empowerment are the driving principles of Kalahi-CIDSS.”

Secretary Soliman said that the Kalahi-CIDSS program is truly a model of “matuwid na daan” (straight path) in government project implementation.

“With the construction of the classroom managed by the community, the project is protected from corruption,” she emphasized.

This was affirmed by the villagers who expressed their gratitude for the government program.

They said that through Kalahi-CIDSS, they also realized that they too could contribute to their community’s development.

Further, they realized the importance of always working for the best future for their children.

Presently, there are around 4,429 Kalahi-CIDSS household-beneficiaries and 832 Pantawid Pamilyang Pilpino households in the barangay who are benefiting from the classroom project.  But more importantly, the number of enrollees has recently increased by 25% which means more children are now in school as a result of the classroom built through Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA. ###

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