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Feeding program hopes to make 1.7-M kids healthier, brighter

Children sit in groups in small tables, writing and coloring, while their mothers are busy preparing their lunch for the day.

This was the scene at Franvile Day Care Center, Barangay 177 in Camarin, North Caloocan one bright morning, where 137 day care children, three to five years old,  are beneficiaries of the Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the local government unit (LGU) of Caloocan City.

SFP, which started in 2011, is a major anti-hunger program of DSWD that provides food supplementation in the form of hot meals to be served during snack and meal time to children enrolled in LGU-managed day care centers and supervised neighborhood play groups, five days a week for 120 days.

The program beneficiaries are three- and four-year-old children, and five-year-old children not included in the Department of Education (DepEd) pre-school curriculum, but enrolled in day care.

This program is implemented in response to the 2006 Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), which showed that 11 percent of Filipino families are “food poor” which means that  their income is not sufficient to buy the food needed by family members for nutritional well-being and health.

Meal time

According to Marilyn Calitoy, Caloocan City SFP and Day Care Service Focal Person, the LGU, through the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), has been conducting its school feeding program for almost three years now.

The feeding session continues even during the summer break. Some Grade 1 pupils who graduated from the day care center also continue to benefit from the program.

“Franville DCC holds three sessions for each batch of pre-schoolers. Each session, including lessons, play time and meal time, lasts for three hours”, explained Erlyn Alcantara, a day care worker.

The children are weighed monthly. Out of the 137 enrolled pre-schoolers, 127 are normal, six are below normal (BN) and four are below normal very low level (BNVL).

“We are very happy with the very obvious improvements in the health of our students,” Erlyn enthused. “For instance, Ericka, 5, weighs only 12.5 pounds when she entered Franville DCC last year. As of April this year, she now weighs 15.5 pounds.”

To enforce the gains of the program, the children are not allowed to bring junk food and soft drinks as snacks.

“We also encourage the parents to set a good example, when the kids see them eating nutritious food, such as vegetables, they will follow,” Erlyn affirmed.

Aside from the nutritional benefit of SFP, it also aims to improve the knowledge, attitude and practices of children, parents and caregivers through intensified nutrition and health education, which will lead to improved and sustained nutritional status of the target beneficiaries.

Complementary activities are also undertaken to fully maximize SFP’s impact. These include biannual deworming, micronutrient supplementation specifically provision of vitamin A, growth monitoring, conduct of Parent Effectiveness Seminars (PES) and Family Development Sessions (FDS), and Pabasa sa Nutrisyon, among others.

Parents’ role

“Parents play a pivotal role in the growth and development of their children. They are the first teachers and our partners, hence they should actively participate in the activities at the DCC,” Erlyn stated.

Part of their commitment when they enrol their children is to help in the preparation of meals, attend the PES sessions, and maintain the cleanliness in the day care center.

“If they cannot attend the sessions, a caregiver or a member of the family should be there,” she explained.

Erlyn narrated that PES sessions are very helpful in changing the mind set of parents regarding disciplining their children. The modules cover the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD), Family Development, and Disaster Preparedness.

Volunteer-mothers prepare nutritious meals for their children.

Volunteer-mothers prepare nutritious meals for their children.

Marigel Mariano, a single mother to five-year-old Sophia tearfully related her experience in the positive discipline sessions.

“Aminin ko na dati, sinisigawan ko ang anak ko, at nasasaktan ko rin minsan gawa nga ng kakulitan niya. Ngunit nang dumalo ako ng PES ay naliwanagan ako na hindi ko dapat sinasaktan at sinisigawan ang bata. Hindi ko dapat ginagawa ang mga bagay na eto dahil may masamang epekto ito sa bata (I admit that before, I shout at and physically hurt my child. But when I attended the PES sessions, it became clear to me that I should not do these things because of the negative effects).”

Marigel, who works as a house helper, finds time to assist in the preparation of meals and participates in PES sessions and other activities.

Nagpapasalamat ako sa DSWD at LGU ng Caloocan sa pagpapatupad ng programang ito. Dahil sa SFP, hindi lang kalusugan ng anak ko ang  napabuti kung ‘di pati na ang pananaw ko sa pagdidisiplina at pagpapalaki sa aking anak. (I am thankful to the DSWD and the Caloocan LGU for implementing this program. Because of SFP, it’s not only my child’s health which improved, but also my viewpoint on disciplining and nurturing my daughter).


To fully implement the SFP, DSWD downloads the funds to each recipient LGU, which shall procure the needed goods with proper supporting documents as required under the existing budgeting, accounting and auditing rules and regulations.

The LGUs shall take full responsibility in the proper disbursement and liquidation of funds for the program’s implementation.

Strong LGU support

Caloocan City is an example of an LGU which fully supports the SFP.

According to Calitoy, their mayor is very supportive of the program.

“We hold monthly meetings of day care workers in all barangays, and we also conduct trainings to capacitate them,” Calitoy expounded.

She added, “We hope SFP will continue because we can really see the improvement in the children.”

The strong LGU support to the program is evident down to the barangay level.

“The Barangay Council shoulders the costs of water and electricity so the parents would not have to pay for them,” Erlyn expounded.

LGU initiatives

Aside from the SFP, LGUs have their own feeding programs, such as the one in Naga City.

On August 20, 2013, Mayor John Bonggat and DepEd-Region V launched the “Taranoman para sa Tamang Nutrisyon” project participated in by 29 selected public elementary schools in the city.

Mayor Bongat encouraged the concerned city offices and DepEd to grow nutritious plants that can be used as ingredients for the school feeding menu given to children under the Nutri-Dunong program of the City Population and Nutrition Office.

Under the project “Backyard Gardening”, they planted vegetables, such as pechay, squash, tomatoes, cassava, kangkong, carrots, cabbage, malunggay, monggo, beans, corn, camote, ginger, pepper (for its leaves), gabi, upo, sayote, raddish, Baguio beans, and eggplant   in school gardens. The harvested vegetables are used as ingredients in the school feeding program to improve the nutrition level among public school children.

The project is also aimed at allowing school personnel and the children to appreciate gardening as a means of producing healthy food for the home and community.

Nationwide implementation

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman with pre-school beneficiaries of the Supplementary Feeding program in Laua-an, Antique.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman with pre-school beneficiaries of the Supplementary Feeding program in Laua-an, Antique.

About 1,755,034 children in 45,389 day care centers nationwide benefitted from the SFP for school year 2013-2014.

In the 2013 DSWD budget, it has allocated more than P2.9 billion for the program covering all 17 regions including the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

“With this program we are helping solve hunger among young children,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said. Likewise, this is part of government’s efforts to capacitate program beneficiaries instilling in them the willingness to change for the better.

As Marigel enthused after looking back at how the program helped them, “Kaya ko pala ang pagbabago.” ###

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World Bank Group head hails Pinoys’ resiliency to cope with disasters

Tanauan, Leyte –Filipinos are known to be resilient, possessing the ability to readily bounce back after experiencing disasters.

This was affirmed by World Bank Group (WBG) President Jim Yong Kim during the meeting of various civil society organizations (CSOs), international humanitarian organizations, non-government organizations (NGOs), and local stakeholders held recently in this town.

The WBG head, who was joined by Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman to the gathering, also committed the support of his organization to the rehabilitation efforts for Typhoon Yolanda survivors.

“The Philippines can be the next economic miracle in Asia,” he said, emphasizing that “all of us have the responsibility to make sure that the Philippines lives up to that great promise that many developing countries saw in the country many years ago. “

The WBG has been a development partner of DSWD through the KapitBisig Laban sa Kahirapan–Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), now known as KALAHI CIDSS-National Community-Driven Development Program (KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP).

Using the Community Driven Development (CDD) approach, KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP is the national expansion of Kalahi- CIDSS, which started in 2003 as the flagship poverty alleviation program of the DSWD.

It enables poor and vulnerable communities to identify their own needs to address their common problems.

These include local infrastructures such as water system, roads, bridges, health stations, and school buildings, among others.

WBG pledged to provide US$479 million for KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP, which will benefit 571 municipalities including five million individuals living in Yolanda-affected communities.

For her part, Sec. Soliman underscored the importance of CDD, especially in disaster-hit areas, such as Region VIII, to speed up their recovery.

“President Kim’s visit reinforces World Bank’s long-term commitment and support to our rehabilitation efforts. This is a testament to their continued trust in our Department and our government,” Sec. Soliman said. ###

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DSWD continues rapid assessment in ‘Glenda’-hit areas

Over the last five days of continuous relief operations in areas devastated by Typhoon Glenda, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has already provided 41, 642 food packs, 18, 725 additional food items, and 6,345 non-food items in Regions I, III, IV-A, IV-B, V, VIII, and the National Capital Region (NCR).

Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) Teams continue to conduct rapid assessment in typhoon-hit areas to determine the extent of damage and to identify appropriate interventions to be provided to the affected families.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman assured that there are enough relief goods to augment the resources of the local government units of affected areas.

DSWD Field Offices were provided a total of P56,603,712.11 standby funds which can be used in the purchase of other emergency relief supplies that may be needed by the affected families.

In NCR, the DSWD has turned GRACES,  a center for abandoned older persons, as a temporary warehouse where additional goods are stored.

As of 4 am today,1,243 evacuation centers remain open providing temporary shelter to 104,607 families or 520,323 individuals.

DSWD said that majority of the evacuees who remain in the evacuation centers are those whose houses were heavily damaged by the typhoon.

To date, totally damaged houses has reached 51,199 while those partially damaged houses has totaled to 181,596 with Southern Luzon reporting the most number. These houses were mostly situated along coastal barangays. ###

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We pray for the safety of our staff — DSWD

We are saddened by the abduction yesterday of our three staff who were validating families of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries and coordinating for the PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (PAMANA) Program in Barangay Upper Sinumaan, Talipao, Sulu in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

They were abducted at around 2 p.m. while on their way to validate family-beneficiaries to be added to Pantawid Pamilya and to monitor the PAMANA project in the said community.

We are now closely coordinating with ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman, Sulu Vice Governor Abdusakur Tan and Talipao Mayor Sitti Raya Tulawie for appropriate actions to be taken and to ensure their safety.

“We are praying earnestly in this Holy Month of Ramadan for compassion. Our colleagues from DSWD-ARMM are only doing their duty to help the poor people of Talipao – their brothers and sisters in Islam,” said Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman.

To their families and loved ones, we pray for their continued strength. Rest assured that the Department is ready to support and provide them the necessary assistance.  ###

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DSWD assists affected LGUs in Region V

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)  announced today that it has provided a total of  2,400 food packs  to local government units in the Bicol Region devastated by Typhoon Glenda, to augment the resources of the hardest hit cities and municipalities.

As of 4 pm today, 809 evacuation centers in the region remain open housing 79, 294 families or 182, 823 persons while 18,828 families or 92,292 persons outside the evacuation centers are also being assisted.

Meanwhile, the number of totally damaged houses reached 7,993 while partially damaged houses numbered 27,802.

While the damage to property and agricultural crops was massive, the DSWD lauded the affected LGUs for achieving practically zero casualty in the provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon. To date, only one casualty was reported in Libmanan, Camarines Sur, an elderly woman hit by a falling tree, while three were injured.

The small number of casualty proved that the LGUs’ disaster preparedness measures, such as pre-emptive evacuation and information dissemination was effective.

The DSWD assured the affected LGUs that it will continue to assist them as the need arises.

Currently, DSWD Field Office V has available 3,780 family food packs at the regional warehouse and in Albay Astrodome, Legazpi City.  ###

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DSWD continues to assist typhoon ‘Glenda’-affected families in evacuation centers

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) assures that it will continue to provide assistance to the 96,740 families composed of 512,007 individuals still staying at the 1,158 evacuation centers that remain open in Regions I, III, IV-A, IV-B, V, VIII, and NCR, which were all affected by Typhoon Glenda.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that a number of the families have returned to their houses since they are pre-emptively evacuated in coastal areas or danger zones.

“We expect some families to remain in the evacuation centers, especially those whose houses were heavily damaged,” said Sec. Soliman.

To date, a total of 7,044 houses were totally damaged and 19,869 houses were partially damaged. These houses were mostly situated along coastal barangays in the affected regions.

Accurate and speedy information

Meanwhile, aside from the relief goods being distributed, DSWD Field Office VIII has also provided non-food items such as tarpaulin and blankets to affected municipalities in Northern Samar and Western Samar.

Five evacuation centers in Tacloban City are now closed, and the 997 families who were evacuated are back in their homes.

In Region IV-B, the local government units (LGUs)  provided food packs, organized community kitchens and distributed assorted food and non-food items to the affected families.

Moreover, the DSWD’s Quick Response Team (QRT) is on a 24-hour operation. The QRT coordinates with the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Offices (PSWDO) and Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) Team Leaders for continuous assessment and needs of affected LGUs.

The Local Chief Executives of the affected LGUs stated that aside from pre-emptive evacuation of the families residing in coastal areas and danger zones, what prevented the loss of lives is the speedy and accurate information relayed to the communities.

Relief and Standby Funds

To date, the DSWD has already distributed a total of 135,508 food packs, 1,924,405 assorted food items and 541,185 non-food items to families in the affected regions.

DSWD Field Offices along the typhoon path were also provided standby funds amounting to 57,463,712.11 that can be used to purchase emergency relief supplies to augment the resources of the LGUs.

As of now, they are conducting rapid assessment, especially in the most affected regions.###

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DSWD lauds LGUs for their disaster preparedness measures

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) today said that local government units (LGUs) are now more prepared in dealing with disasters.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman commended how the affected LGUs, such as those in the Bicol Region, implemented pre-emptive evacuation, hence, they achieved zero casualty in the provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur, and Camarines Norte.

Sec. Soliman said that pre-emptive evacuation is the key to preventing loss of lives, and 95% of the affected LGUs were able to do this.

She cited that in Region V and the National Capital Region (NCR), 77,000 families immediately went to the different evacuation centers prior to the landfall of the typhoon.

Pre-emptive evacuation means that the LGUs evacuated the families in coastal areas and danger zones even before Typhoon Glenda hit their areas.

Evacuation centers

As of 4 p.m. today, 1,255 evacuation centers remain open housing 100,942 families or 531,282 individuals. At the height of ‘Glenda’, some 1,422 evacuation centers were opened to accommodate the evacuees.

Meanwhile, all five evacuation centers in Tacloban City have been closed including the one in the Astrodome.

Food packs

To date, DSWD has provided a total of 29,880 food packs to augment the relief resources of LGUs affected by ‘Glenda’ for the evacuees and families staying in their relatives’ or friends’ houses.

The Department has also prepositioned a total of 135,508 food packs in NCR, Regions III, IVA, IV-B, V, VII, VIII, and at the National Resource Operations Center (NROC).

Moreover, 1,924,405 pieces of assorted food items such as, noodles, bottled water, biscuits, sugar, coffee and canned goods in packs, pieces, and boxes, and 541,185 non-food items, like clothes, blankets, sleeping and plastic mats, water jugs, raincoats, tarpaulins, hygiene kits, and folding beds are available in the regions and in NROC.

DSWD said that it is not yet calling for volunteers since the relief goods have already been repacked in the different regions and at NROC.

Sec. Soliman also said that those who would want to donate can just forge partnership with the LGUs since they are the first responders.

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DSWD provides 30,000 food packs to ‘Glenda’-hit LGUs

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said that as of 10 a.m. today,  it has provided 29,880 food packs to augment relief resources of local government units (LGUs) affected by Typhoon Glenda for evacuees and families staying in their relatives’ or friends’ houses.

Of this number, 6, 850 food packs were given in National Capital Region (NCR), 7,000 in Central Luzon, 9,000 in Southern Luzon, 2,400 in Bicol Region, and 4,630 in Eastern Visayas.

In Bicol Region, a total of 590 bags of rice were distributed while Eastern Visayas got 3,880 pieces of packed noodles, 2,500 pieces of bottled water, tarpaulins, and 500 pieces of blankets.

In Bicol Region, a total of 590 bags of rice were distributed while Eastern Visayas got 3,880 pieces of packed noodles, 2,500 pieces of bottled water, tarpaulins, and 500 pieces of blankets.

Some 1,457 mats and blankets were also given out to LGUs in NCR.

Evacuation centers

The Department added that 1,200 evacuation centers  remain open in the affected regions providing temporary shelter to  99,548  families or  525,791 persons.

The number of evacuation centers is down by 140 as evacuees have started to go home after their communities have been declared safe by authorities.

As of 10 a.m., in Bicol Region, 77,654 families or 423,538 individuals continue to stay in 778 evacuation centers.

In Metro Manila, a total of 5,016 families or 23,820 individuals were displaced and are now temporarily staying in 106 evacuation centers. The City of Manila provided food to some 780 families or 3,818 families presently staying in the evacuation centers in Baseco Compound, Delpan Sports Complex, Tondo and Port Area covered courts.

In Central Luzon, 1,805 families or 7,695 individuals are now staying in 46 evacuation centers.

In Southern Luzon, a total of 162 evacuation centers are still open  presently providing shelter to some 8,575 families or 40,080 individuals.

In Eastern Visayas, a total of 6,147 families or 29,079 individuals are presently staying in 97 evacuation centers.

The Office of the Secretary-Disaster Response Operations and Monitoring Information Center (OSEC-DROMIC), said that some 167,293 families or 881,826 persons from seven regions are projected to be affected by the typhoon. DSWD is currently validating this figure through its Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) Teams which are on the ground to monitor the extent of the disaster.

Damaged houses

Due to strong winds and heavy rains, a total of 7,002 houses were totally damaged and 19,204 houses were partially destroyed. These houses were mostly situated along coastal barangays.

Enough relief

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman assured that there are enough relief goods to augment resources of affected LGUs.

“As of this time, we are not calling for donations since prepositioned goods of DSWD and concerned LGUs are enough. But if there are kind-hearted individuals, they can share clothes and blankets. They can proceed to the nearest DSWD office in their areas,” Sec. Soliman said.

To date, DSWD has prepositioned a total of 114,667 food packs in NCR and Regions III, IV-A and B, V, VII, VIII and at the National Resource Operations Center (NROC) in Pasay City.

There are also 934,501 pieces of assorted items such as noodles, bottled water, biscuits, sugar, coffee and canned goods available.

Likewise, 541,332 pieces of non-food items such as clothes, blanket, sleeping and plastic mats, water JUGS, raincoats, tarpaulins, hygiene kits, and folding beds are ready for distribution as the need arises.

The Department also has standby funds amounting to P56,603,712.11 which can be used to purchase emergency relief supplies that may be needed by the affected families.

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Summary of Foreign and Local Donations
As of July 30, 2014

P97,879,377.44 - Local Donations

USD24,563,379.80 - Foreign Donations

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