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DSWD continues to augment LGUs affected by ‘Habagat’

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) continues to augment the resources of Local Government Units (LGUs) affected by heavy rains and flooding brought about by ‘Habagat.’

To date, the Department has provided a total of P3,347,378 worth of relief assistance to affected families.  The DSWD has also prepositioned 417,704 family food packs at the regional offices ready for distribution by the LGUs.

In addition, the Department has P50,025,129.69 standby funds as well as food and non-food items amounting to P474,800,041.21 located in all regions and at the National Resource and Operations Center (NROC) in Pasay City.

Based on the 10 am July 14 report, 28,317 families or 139,613 persons were affected in 153 barangays, where 43 families or 166 persons are still inside six evacuation centers in the provinces of Bataan and Bulacan in Central Luzon, Batangas in Calabarzon, and Benguet in CAR.

The DSWD disaster teams are on alert and continuously monitoring the situations in the different regions affected by ‘Habagat’.

To date, DSWD is also closely coordinating with the LGUs in assessing other needs of affected families. ###

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DSWD disaster teams remain on alert for ‘Habagat’

A total of 20,449 families or 101,360 persons from the National Capital Region (NCR), Central Luzon, and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) have been affected by heavy rains and flooding brought about by ‘Habagat’ or the southwest monsoon triggered by Typhoon Falcon, as of 8 am today.

Of this, 659 families or 2,424 persons are still staying in 29 evacuation centers opened and managed by local government units (LGUs) in the three regions.

NCR, which is the most affected, has 11 evacuation centers providing temporary shelter to 431 families or 1,405 persons.

The evacuation centers are located in the following areas:

  • Caloocan: Barangays 171,175, and 176
  • Quezon City : Batasan Hill, Novaliches Proper (Novaliches Bayan),  Dona Imelda, and Roxas
  • Valenzuela : Colong, Vicente Reales, and Marulas

To date, concerned local government units in NCR have distributed 3,502 family food packs worth around P1.3 million to affected families.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that relief supplies have already been prepositioned at the LGUs to augment their resources.

DSWD disaster teams continue to be on alert to provide immediate assistance to the LGUs and to assess the impact of the weather disturbance. ###

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DSWD enumerates households in urban barangays using tablet devices

DSWD enumerator conducts family assessment using a tablet device.

DSWD enumerator conducts family assessment using a tablet device.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) or Listahanan is currently conducting tablet-aided enumeration in identified pockets of poverty in 9,997 urban barangays nationwide.

The use of the mobile device as a data collection tool is among the Department’s innovations for the 2nd round of assessment.

“These tablet devices will expedite the assessment process in urban areas since they can automatically sync accomplished electronic family assessment forms (FAF) directly to the server,” Secretary Soliman said.

To ensure the quality of data that will be synced to the server, the Listahanan installed validation routines to its mobile application, causing error messages to appear whenever enumerators encode inconsistent and incomplete data.

Aside from that, quality-control measures are also being implemented at the field level.

Area supervisors re-interview households whose names appear in a system-generated list of those assessed using mobile devices. This is to check the consistency and accuracy of the data gathered by enumerators.

The DSWD also conducts unannounced spot checks to ensure the compliance of the field staff to the assessment protocols and guidelines.

Around 11,000 enumerators are being hired and deployed to cover the target of 5.6 million families in urban areas.

Listahanan is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are. It makes available to national government agencies and other social protection stakeholders a socio-economic database as basis for identifying beneficiaries of their programs and services. ###

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DSWD’s Kalahi-CIDSS the featured Philippine program in a World Bank Asia Pacific publication

MANILA – The Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) is one of the programs featured in the World Bank publication entitled “I’d Like You to Know” which shows the different stories of people from across the East Asia and Pacific region whose lives changed because of development projects.

The publication highlighted how the residents of the town of Balangiga, Eastern Samar took advantage of the lessons they learned in implementing Kalahi-CIDSS to follow a community-driven development (CDD) strategy. Balangiga has been implementing the program since 2003.

Community empowerment important in post-disaster recovery

Balangiga’s experience with implementing Kalahi-CIDSS helped them recover in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda, said to be one of the strongest typhoons to make landfall in the world. Mayor De Lira was quoted, “The CDD setup made it easier to get reliable information on the ground that was important for making decisions… Here in Balangiga, our experience is different because the people are empowered. The community is empowered. People here are involved – something we learned in Kalahi-CIDSS”.

Balangiga was along the direct path of Typhoon Yolanda when it hit the country on November 8, 2013. Even so, it was also one of the quickest to begin post-disaster relief and recovery operations.

The value of CDD in helping citizens in disaster risk reduction and management has now been recognized because of the experiences of towns such as Balangiga. Upon the scale-up of Kalahi-CIDSS into a national CDD program, it was redesigned to support post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation, a move brought about by the impact of Typhoon Yolanda. Of its target coverage of 847 municipalities, 554 are Yolanda-affected, one of which is the town of Balangiga.

Beyond the numbers

“I’d Like You to Know” recognized CDD as an important development strategy, which discussed how the strategy was used in the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Indonesia.

However, Kalahi-CIDSS is  the only program in this country showcased in the publication. Other programs that were featured included the Solomon Islands Rural Development Program, the electrification programs of Mongolia and Lao PDR, the Health Equity Fund of Cambodia, and the Papua New Guinea Business Coalition for Women.

In his message in the book, Axel von Trotsenberg, the Vice President of the East Asia and Pacific Region of the World Bank, said that the publication showed the stories behind the numbers and statistics on people affected by poverty.

He said, “At the end of the day, the work we do in development is not about numbers; it’s about supporting people to change their own lives for the better, to build a future for their children, and with a little help, to pull themselves out of poverty”.

He continued, “I hope you remember the people you will meet in the pages of this book. They put a human face on development statistics”.

The World Bank has been a partner of Kalahi-CIDSS since the program was piloted in 2002. ###

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30 evacuation centers open for ‘Habagat’ evacuees

As heavy rains spawned by ‘Habagat’ or the southwest monsoon continue to prevail, a total of 20,243   families or 101,032 persons, as of 4pm today,  from 91 barangays in the National Capital Region (NCR), Central Luzon, and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) have been affected by the weather disturbance.

Of this, 377 families composed of 1,810 persons are now in 30 evacuation centers located in the cities of Quezon, Caloocan, and Valenzuela in NCR with 12, Central Luzon with 10; and, Maguindanao in ARMM with eight.

DSWD disaster teams from the DSWD-Field Offices in the three regions are now in the affected areas to assist the local government units (LGUs) in relief operations and in managing the evacuation centers. The LGUs are providing the evacuees with hot meals and family food packs.

To date, DSWD-Field Office NCR has a stockpile of 21,290 family food packs, 2,449 pieces of mats, 589 blankets, and 6,467 hygiene kits ready to augment the resources of LGUs.  Mandaluyong City Congressman Neptali Gonzales has requested 3,000 family food packs for his constituents who were affected by the heavy rains and flooding.

Relief ops for ‘Egay’

Meanwhile, DSWD disaster teams in areas hit by Tropical Storm Egay continue to assist LGUs in relief operations.

As of July 8, a total of  P2.85 million worth of relief supplies has been provided to affected families in Region I, IV-B,  and the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR), coming from the combined resources of DSWD which provided P2.05 million worth of aid, LGUs which poured in P795,634.20, and non-government organizations which provided P1,000.

To date, a total of 13,280 families or 55,567 persons coming from 269 barangays in 43 cities and municipalities were affected by ‘Egay’. Of this number, some 139 families or 414 persons are still staying in three evacuation centers in Ilocos Norte, Benguet, and Palawan.

Likewise, DSWD disaster teams continue with the rapid assessment to determine the extent of the tropical storm and to identify other social services that may be needed by the affected families. ###

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DSWD bares response efforts for rainy season

With the onset of the rainy season, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as vice-chair of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), assures that response measures are in place to ensure provision of timely and appropriate interventions to disaster-affected families in an orderly and coordinated manner.

During the recently concluded full-council meeting of the NDRRMC, DSWD Assistant Secretary Vilma Cabrera shared that the Department has upgraded the operational capacity of the National Resource Operations Center (NROC), its central warehouse located in Pasay City.

The upgrading includes the advanced stocking and piling of relief supplies through pallet racking system, mechanized production of 50,000 food packs per day, and maintenance of 100,000 family food packs (FFPs) at any given time.

Aside from this, each of the 16 DSWD-Field Offices will also maintain 30,000 food packs at any given time ready for prepositioning at the local government units.

Asec. Cabrera also shared that there is an ongoing discussion with the United Nations-World Food Programme (UN-WFP) for the construction of regional island warehouses in Cebu for Visayas, Davao for Mindanao, and Clark for Luzon for easier accessibility and response during disasters.

To complement these, regional field warehouses in all DSWD-Field Offices will also be constructed in partnership with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Asec. Cabrera added that DSWD in partnership with LGUs also completed the construction of pilot evacuations centers in Pangasinan, Pampanga, Laguna, Albay, Iloilo, and Butuan. Similar structures are also under construction in Isabela and Iloilo.

DSWD is also in close coordination with the other lead agencies in the Response Cluster such as the Department of National Defense for telecommunications and logistics, Department of Health for medical and health emergency services, Department of Education on safety plans and alternative learning spaces for students during disasters, and Armed Forces of the Philippines for search, rescue, and retrieval operations. ###

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Pantawid’s promise to reduce poverty

‘Does Pantawid deliver the intended results? The evidence says yes,’ writes the country director of the Asian Development Bank

Richard Bolt

Richard Bolt

It’s time to set the record straight on the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino conditional cash transfer program – one of the biggest of its kind in the world, and an increasingly effective weapon in the fight against poverty in the Philippines.

Recent media reports have created false impressions of Pantawid “leakages,” despite evidence that it is achieving its goals – improving health, education and job opportunities for poor households. The Philippines has pioneered the development of conditional cash transfers (CCT) in Asia, largely through Pantawid, and should be proud of its achievements.

Unfortunately, old data – dating back six years – has been used to incorrectly calculate that 19 billion pesos of current program funds did not go to intended beneficiaries. ADB has responded to these assertions so I won’t go over that ground again. Suffice to say that this figure overlooks work and improvements in beneficiary targeting of Pantawid, which is acknowledged as among the best in the world.

So, what is the real story behind Pantawid?

Launched in 2008 at 380,000 poor households, Pantawid had reached more than 4.4 million poor households by the end of 2014, making it the world’s third largest CCT program in terms of people reached, after Brazil (8.8 million) and Mexico (6.5 million).

Much more than a cash handout, this program seeks to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty by encouraging parents to invest in the improvement of their children’s health, nutrition, and education. The program provides regular cash grants to poor households, which are identified by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction or Listahanan.

In return, the households must meet obligations on regular school attendance and health clinic check-ups, as well as participation in family development sessions in which households learn a range of important skills such as how to manage their finances. By early 2015, DSWD reported compliance of beneficiaries with conditions to be high: 93% for health, 98% for education, 96% for family development services.

After obligations are verified, households receive their grants every two months through Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) cash cards or through other conduits authorized by LBP.

Pantawid delivers

Does Pantawid deliver the intended results? The evidence says “yes.” The Listahanan targeting system has steadily improved. The latest rigorous impact evaluation in 2014 shows Pantawid is on track to make children of poor families healthier and keep them in school for longer.

Cash grants have helped to bring about near-universal enrolment of elementary age children (6–11 years old). Pantawid mothers are more likely to seek pre-and-post-natal care and deliver babies in health facilities. Child labor among participating households has decreased by an average of 7 days per month.

In 2014, Pantawid benefits were extended to high schools students aged 15-18. This is an important measure, as the Philippines has a major gap in high school completion rates between children of the poorest income quintile and the richest. By 17 years of age, 9 out of 10 of the richest children have completed high school, compared with just 3 in 10 of the poorest. Early results show the enrolment rate for children aged 12–15 was 6 percentage points higher among Pantawid households than non-Pantawid ones.

These evaluations are independently scrutinized. The evidence also shows that the grants do not encourage dependency; there is no evidence of a work disincentive among adults in Pantawid families. Self-rated poverty is lower by 7 percentage points. Also, Pantawid parents express more optimism about their children’s future.

Pantawid is helping to close the gaps in access to social services, helping young people maximize their potential, which in turn will help the country prosper. And, Listahanan is being used by 14 other national programs and more than 1,000 local government units throughout the country.

No one is saying there aren’t challenges in Pantawid’s implementation. A margin of error in targeting the poorest households is inevitable in any large CCT program. There are cases where households that should have been included are excluded from the program, and there are also cases where households that should have been excluded are included. This is a survey and targeting system issue rather than one of funds misappropriation.

DSWD, ADB and other partners are working continuously to improve its targeting and delivery systems, and accountability. Better means testing has reduced targeting errors together with public validation by communities themselves that the poor household lists are accurate. Importantly the grievance redress system enables feedback on the program, and better tracking of complaints and their resolution, including issues of beneficiary identification.

Multiple and widespread payment and verification systems are in place, with local government units encouraged to support payment of beneficiaries in remote areas. Biometric systems using fingerprints for identification are being piloted for payments, and fiduciary management strengthened as the program expands. The targeting efficiency of the Philippines CCT makes it one of the top-ranked among comparable programs in other countries.

We look forward to the day when there will be no need for programs like Pantawid in the Philippines. Until then, the fight against poverty will continue – with the strong support of ADB. –

Richard Bolt is the Country Director of ADB’s Philippines Country Office

 Reprinted from:

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Sec. Soliman checks on situation of families hit by ‘Egay’ in La Union

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano- Soliman, together with Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas, was in La Union yesterday  to check on the status of families affected by Tropical Storm Egay.

Local government executives of San Juan, Bacnotan, and Bauang briefed the two secretaries on the on-going disaster operations in their respective areas.  The two secretaries subsequently provided recommendations on how to go about rescue, relief, recovery, and rehabilitation of the affected families.

After the briefing, the team proceeded to San Fernando North Central School to meet the affected families and to distribute relief goods.

Sec. Soliman assured  the availability of  30,000 family food packs to be distributed to affected families in the region.

The relief goods will help the typhoon victims meet their basic needs since regular income-earning activities were disrupted and they are still recovering from the effects of the storm.

Within the week, DSWD will also be coordinating with its local counterparts to prepare project proposals for the implementation of Cash for Work projects  to  clean up affected communities.

The local chief executives also requested for the restoration of eroded slopes, desiltation of water tributaries, purchase of generator sets, and the availability of  vehicles from the Philippine National Police.

DSWD-Field Office I Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo said that members of the Quick Response Team (QRT) will continue to coordinate with the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) on distribution of relief augmentation and assessment of needs of affected families.

He added that volunteers continue to flock to the Field Office warehouse to help in the repacking of food packs. ###

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