Archive | June, 2013

MALNOURISHED NO MORE: CHILDREN’S NUTRITION STATUS IN NORMIN IMPROVED

10,361 children in Northern Mindanao are now reported healthy again by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Previously reported as “malnourished” by the DSWD a year ago through its health assessment, the nutrition status of these children, coming from the five provinces of the region, has now normalized at present.

DSWD’s report revealed that in 2012 about 18.59% of the 94,829 children found in Northern Mindanao were malnourished, and this raised a great concern for the social welfare department.

The Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) was then implemented by the DSWD to provide food to children, particularly those found in the Day Care Centers, in addition to their regular meals.

The DSWD provides augmentation support for feeding programs implemented by the local government units in Day Care Centers through delivery of indigenous foods and/or locally produced foods equivalent to 1/3 recommended energy nutrient intake (RENI).

In addition, the parents, children, and including the caregivers are also given support by improving their knowledge, attitude and practices by educating them on proper nutrition and health education. This way, according to DSWD, will improve and sustain the nutrition status of the children.

The SFP is currently being implemented in all the provinces in Northern Mindanao and the nutrition status of the children in the region has been constantly monitored by the DSWD and the local government units.

Written by Charmaine P. Tadlas, Regional Information Officer

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RRCY CELEBRATES INDEPENDENCE DAY

The Regional Reception Center for the Youth (RRCY) celebrated Independence Day with the theme “KALAYAAN 2013: Ambagan Tungo sa Malawakang Kaunlaran” last June 11, 2013.  Various activities were conducted some of which included a lecture given by SPO2 Loudivina A. Fuentes from the  Philippine  National Police of Gingoog City which was participated in by 54  residents and staff from the Center  .

SPO2 Fuentes stressed to the Center residents that independence can  be achieved not only for  a country but more so individually.  She also encouraged the residents to finish their studies in order for them to become professionals someday.

Requirements for interested aplicants to the Philippine National Police was also discussed.  The residents were refreshed on the importance of celebrating Independence Day as they were also participative and attentive during the discussions. (Marivel T. Oyan/Mitzie Santiago)

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ILIGANONS CONSTRUCT OWN HOMES THROUGH COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

One can see that Norminda and Merlyn’s smiles evidently reflected a sense of relief, peace, and deep appreciation to the government as they showed off their newly constructed houses that were funded through a shelter assistance provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

According to Norminda and Merlyn, it took perseverance, patience, and faith to finally put up their houses and get back to their feet. They said that they have learned the value of working with other people in the community and essence of unity itself.

Norminda Bado and Merlyn Malasado were two of those affected by Tropical Storm Sendong that hit Iligan City in the early morning of December 17, 2011.

Their families had to suffer the effects of the storm like having to lose their home which is located just at meters away from the river bank and had to stay in a nearby evacuation center that accommodated hundreds of families that survived the calamity. Having lost all their possessions, their livelihood has been disrupted and their children had to go through an emotional recovery from the trauma.

Like all other hundreds of families that evidently underwent the same bitter experience, Norminda’s family and that of Merlyn’s were desperate for assistance from the government. Eventually, they were introduced to the Neighborhood Association for Shelter Assistance (NASA) implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

NASA is a shelter assistance that is meant to assist family victims of disaster to acquire decent shelters. It is made available to family-victims whose houses were totally or partially destroyed by either natural or man-made disasters.

Unlike other shelter assistance provided by the government, the NASA, strengthens community organization and encourages community-building. With the help of the local government, the beneficiary-families are organized into an “association” with a maximum of 30 members living in proximity with each other to promote collective action in realizing goals of the project.

In the group, they are mobilized to elect their own officers and identify their own committee that shall canvass, market, and purchase their construction materials for their homes, and monitor their shelter construction. They shall also hold regular meetings to identify and discuss issues and concerns and difficulties encountered in the implementation of the shelter project and work out solutions for these at their level.

Moreover, the association is also encouraged to put up Shelter Maintenance Fund to which they can contribute for a member’s need for house repair due to subsequent disasters through a form of loan as agreed by the other members of the association.

Each family that is a member of the association is provided with P50,000.00 for the construction of their houses and is paid P215.00 daily by the DSWD as they construct their own houses.

All of these features were gone through by Norminda and Merly’s association and it proved a sense of “bayanihan” for all of them.

Grabe gyud akong kalipay. Nakabalik mi sa among mga tiil, nakatukod mi sa among balay, ug nakahimo kami ug asosasyon nga makatabang kanamo isip usa ka komunidad. Salamat sa programa nga NASA. (I am overjoyed. We are now back on our feet, we now have a house of our own, and we even have an association that can help us as a community. My thanks for NASA.),” says Merlyn.

Today, Norminda and Merlyn’s families along 533 other families are now living in comfortable homes in Iligan City constructed through community participation, unity, and group determination.

Written by Charmaine P. Tadlas, Regional Information Officer

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We ask for our Rights (Children’s Rights to Education and Health)

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Kalahi-CIDSS PROVIDING PROMISING FUTURE FOR THE YOUTH OF TOMORROW

“Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan.” (The youth is the hope of the nation.) A cliché of sorts that has been used again and again for generations to emphasize the important role of the youth in nation building. Well, who else would inherit the future? Certainly the youth of today. But the question looming in the horizon is, would the future be bright and prosperous with what the youth of today possess? Are they capable of facing the challenges the future brings?

Northern Mindanao is among the many provinces in the country facing problems with basic education. Every year, prior to the start of the school year, local and national news agencies banner headlines of the government’s incapability of addressing problems such as shortage of classrooms that would cater the growing number of students per year, enough number of teachers to captain the classrooms, and even question the elementary and high school curriculum; whether it fits the perfect educational needs of the students.

With the ballooning of the population to a whopping 100 million plus, and the still prevalent problem of the lack of resources to maintain a sustainable education program, the future of the present generation’s youth seems bleak. Now, how could the country’s future be positive if the youth that are depended on already has an uncertain present situation?

The Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), the country’s premiere anti-poverty portfolio of the Department of Social Welfare and Development geared at alleviating the poverty situation through multi-stakeholder participatory project implementation approach, in its 10 years of existence, has aided in the thrust to answer glitches related to shortages in infrastructure (classrooms). For 10 years, barangays of the municipalities in Northern Mindanao under the Kalahi-CIDSS have been blessed with school buildings and daycare centers that until now has been catering to a lot of children in the communities.

Barangays who have determined the need for school classrooms through their barangay assembly or the Participatory Situational Analysis activity were given the opportunity to be prioritized for funding of their sub-projects through the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum prioritization process. With Kalahi-CIDSS, communities now had the opportunity to be the answer to their own problems; the force to lead them to progress with the Community-Driven Development strategy it utilizes.

Kalahi-CIDSS could only do so much to provide for the needs of the communities. There are those barangays, who even though exhibited the dire need for such services/infrastructure, still fall short of the prioritization process. It still boils down to who gets to be prioritized depending on the criteria set by the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum (MIBF) comprised of the representatives from all the barangays in a certain municipality.

Good thing is, hope has been restored. Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), has tapped DSWD (Kalahi-CIDSS) to aid in funding classrooms and daycare centers as long as project documents are complete. Now hope is restored for those barangays who were not prioritized during the Kalahi-CIDSS cycle. The project proposals they have prepared before and are already available could now be used for proposal for the AusAID funding.

To date there are already 2 completed sub-projects in the municipalities of Calamba, Misamis Occidental (Daycare Center), and in Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte (1 unit – 3 Classroom building). 18 more are on-going (Kapatagn, Lala – LDN, and Calamba Mis. Occ.), and 26 are on the process of approval for fund release (Kapataga, Lala, Bacolod, Sapad, Magsaysay – LDN, and Calamba and Lopez Jaena – Misamis Occ.). As much as possible, these Day Care Centers and classrooms will answer the shortage of school buildings the region is facing right now. In no time, there will be enough classrooms to cater to every student in the region.

It is still a long way to go but the people’s perseverance and enthusiasm is the key factor at the success of the project. “We are glad that we have good partners in advancing our fight to end poverty with the partnership of DSWD and AusAID. But we must also put into consideration the commitment of other stakeholders just like the Provincial Government Units, Local Government Units, the Department of Education, NGO’s, various school organization (Parents-Teachers Organizations), last but not least our community volunteers. They are well as important as the DSWD and the AusAID,” Engr. Abobacar Tocalo (DSWD FO X Project Development Officer – AusAID) said.

Indeed this endeavor will only be achieved with the participation and service of every stakeholder. Nothing is impossible as long as everyone shoots for the same goals. The Kalahi-CIDSS has proven that it is possible for communities to be empowered and be able to face their own problems. With Kalahi-CIDSS, communities were able to build a strong foundation, one that is rooted on unity and convergence.

The CDD strategy has indeed built the confidence of communities to face different challenges. The KC-AusAID implementation is no less different. Communities will strive to ensure that their efforts ensure the future of their children; the future of our country.

Article by Marko Davey D. Reyes – Social Marketing Officer (Kalahi-CIDSS)

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MALITBOG SOCIAL PROTECTION PROGRAMS STRENGTHENED, NHTS-PR USED

nhts-pr malitbog studentsDubbed as the “Home of Future Millionaires,” the municipality of Malitbog certainly has a lot to boost of.  Located 40 kilometers from the regional capital-Cagayan de Oro City, Malitbog is home to a number of residents most of whom are actively engaged in agriculture.

Along with its rich agricultural produce, it also has in its bosom the cleanest river in region 10: the Siloo River. Despite its remote topographical location, the people of Malitbog, particularly the Local Government unit of Malitbog, has always been receptive to change and development.  It has opened its doors to new ideas, strategies, and systems of the government. One of which is the utilization of the NHTS-PR data for the implementation of various social protection programs and services in their locality.

The NHTS-PR or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction is an information management system that the government uses in identifying who and where the poor are and is being spearheaded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.  It aims to address poverty reduction through a scientific and target- focused strategy.

After it has executed a Memorandum of Agreement with the DSWD, the municipality of Malitbog used the NHTS-PR data that has been shared to them particularly in the updating of their Comprehensive Land Use Plan for 2012-2013.

The Municipal Comprehensive Land Use Plan (MCLUP) is an authoritative and legitimate document projecting a better quality of life for the people through its various programs, projects, and activities designed for local governance, socio-economic, and infrastructure.  Through the NHTS-PR database utilization, they are assured to have an adequate and accurate land use data.

The NHTS-PR data also ensured that they have the updated data needed for allocation of national and local funds in the local government unit.

The data was also utilized to identify their beneficiaries for the Livelihood Assistance under Community Fund for Agricultural Development (CFAD).  This is a component project under the Mindanao Rural Development Program of the Department of Agriculture with the World Bank as the donor entity.

The World Bank has extended a total funding allocation of 7.5 million wherein 10 associations with 448 member beneficiaries were  organized,  listing of which were based on the NHTS-PR data shared to the Local Government Unit of Malitbog.

These beneficiaries are presently engaged in draft animal dispersal, banana production, post-harvest facility, goat production, cassava production, chicken production and corn production.  The municipality was also a recipient of three farm-to-market roads under the Municipal Rural Development Plan.

Another significant use of the NHTS-PR data was in the identification of 50 families for the socialized housing project of the National Housing Authority.  This project was designed for the homeless/landless giving priority to families living in hazard prone areas.

The data was also the basis for replacement of senior citizens availing social pension as well those beneficiaries qualified for livelihood assistance such as the Sustainable Livelihood Program (formerly SEA-K) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Forty out-of-School Youths, who were identified from the list, have also availed the Cash for Training Program of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and DSWD as well as the endorsement of four family heads for employment to the Department Of Public Works and Highways.  In addition to this, the LGU of Malitbog was also able to recommend 63 students for scholarhship grants  under the Priority Development Fund.

As Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer of Malitbog, Ms. Norma Mabatid considers the data as very useful and informative as far as identifying deserving beneficiaries is concerned.

This is a clear manifestation of how the NHTS-PR data can be very useful and significant in addressing the needs of the locality through its various programs and services.  Through the utilization of the data, Local Government Units can assure to the constituents that programs and services are being rendered to those deserving poor households.

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7.2 M CCT children enrolled this school year

 

MANILA, Philippines – About 7.2 million children benefitting from the government’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program were among the 21 million preschoolers, elementary and high school students who trooped to public schools during the opening of classes last week.

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said the number of enrollees under the CCT program has increased by 200,000 from 7 million in 2012.

Soliman said these children now have higher chances of having a better future.

“I hope they remain compliant to the conditions of the program to avail themselves of the benefits and be able to continue their studies,” she said.

The program provides educational grants of P900 monthly to poor families with three qualified children, provided they attend school and incur only three absences per month.

 

For school year 2012-2013, approximately 98 percent of the beneficiaries attended school at least 85 percent of the time.

 

“It is important that the household-beneficiaries stay in the program by continuing to comply with its conditions, otherwise they will be removed as beneficiaries. We do not want them to waste the opportunity to have proper education, improved health and better quality of life,” Soliman said.

As of May 29 this year, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is being implemented in 1,627 cities and municipalities in 79 provinces in all 17 regions where a total of 3,912,718 households are already enrolled, exceeding the target of 3,809,769 for 2013.

Of the total households, 41.75 percent or 1,633,712 come from Luzon, while 37.81 percent or 1,479,399 are from Mindanao and 20.44 percent or 799,607 from the Visayas.

By Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 11, 2013 – 12:00am

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Dialogue on DSWD’s Supplementary Feeding and Social Pension conducted

Cagayan de Oro City – 204 representatives from various towns in Northern Mindanao joined in the consultation dialogue held here last May 23-24, 2013, where the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office X presented the updates of its Supplementary Feeding Program and Social Pension Program.

Composed of 71 municipal accountants, 40 Local State Auditors and 93 local social welfare officers, the dialogue was also attended by a representative of Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost) in which the Social Pension Program will enter into agreements with them along Door-to Door delivery scheme for the Senior Citizens to be piloted in Gingoog City and El Salvador City starting June 3, 2013.

The activity was highlighted with the discussions on the Omnibus Guidelines in the Implementation of Supplementary Feeding Program, Administrative Order No.03 Series of 2011 “Operational Procedure in the Implementation of the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens, and Administrative Order No. 4 series of 2012 “Procedure in Processing Replacements for Beneficiaries of Social Pension” (Addendum of AO No.3).

The said guidelines were presented to trace out gaps, hindering factors, strengths to gauge further improvement of the program implementation likewise to fast track the prompt liquidation of transferred funds to the Local Government Units for a better and smoother operation of the program.

Written by Rechel Grace Ceniza, Nutritionist / Dietician (posted 5/31/2013)

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