Archive | January 10th, 2014

HAPPIER AND YOUNGER: AT 83, RETIREE FINDS PURPOSE IN VOLUNTEERISM

“My life has but one purpose; I was born to CARE, SHARE and SERVE.”

– Mrs. Tomasa Baptista Galbinez

“The greatest heart is that of a volunteer.” Often times, people seldom overlook gallant acts of kindness and selflessness. There are dire times that people step up and accept challenges without having to be recognized for deeds of such great heights. These people get to do the job without being compensated; all because they have the heart to serve.  Indeed a heart of a volunteer is unique especially if their intentions for volunteering are noble.

Mrs. Tomasa B. Galbinez wakes up at 4:30 AM, prepares breakfast for her husband and son, freshens up, and by 7:00 AM goes to the Kapit-Bisig Laban Sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) sub-project site at Barangay Poblacion, Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte. This is her daily routine from Monday to Friday, a common day for her, and definitely for a majority of working wives all over the country.  But what is unique about what she does is that she is working as a volunteer for the Kalahi-CIDSS Project, and wait, here comes the unique part – she is an 83 year-old retired teacher. Now, could anyone say that her daily routine is a typical day, just like everybody else’s day?

Nana, as she is fondly called in their barangay, started volunteering for Kalahi-CIDSS in 2010 (Kapatagan’s first cycle implementation of the program), and has since been a volunteer for three cycles for three years. “When I first heard of the project during the municipal orientation in 2010, I was excited to be part of it. It was unique. At my age, I was hoping that there was something I would be able to do. When I was asked to be part of the volunteer’s pool, without any hesitation I said YES,” Nana said.

The Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the banner projects of the Department of Social Welfare and Development that utilizes the Community-Driven Development strategy in implementing sub-projects in the community. Through the project, the community is given an opportunity to address their most pressing needs and problems with a solution that they themselves would work on. The project allows communities to handle the funds for the project that would solve their problems and community volunteers are utilized to have a hands-on experience in implementing the sub-projects.

“I could still remember how people told me that volunteering would be a bad idea since I am already old. I could still remember how our neighbor, who was also our schools superintendent before I retired, told me – Tomasa, are you really serious with your decision on volunteering for the project? Maybe you would be the cause why the project won’t work out for our barangay. When he passed away, while looking at him on his coffin, I jokingly told him, – look who’s still up and at it, superintendent,” Nana shared.

Nana was chosen as the Monitoring and Inspection Team head for the first cycle.  It was something she was comfortable with. The members of her team respect her, this is why even at her age, members of her team still look up to her capacity to lead.  “I spent my days monitoring work in the field. Amidst the hot rays of the sun and cold pouring rain, we endured it just so we could finish our job on time. They called me the team janitor because I spent a lot of time cleaning up the mess we left behind while working on the field, Nana said.

It was fulfilling on the part of Nana to be part of the program. For her, service was a way of life. After spending more than 37 years in teaching, she said that she has never felt more important than serving as a volunteer for Kalahi-CIDSS.  “My life has but one purpose; I was born to CARE, SHARE and SERVE other people.  That is why I loved teaching so much, because I get to be part of the lives of my students. Now, Kalahi has paved another way for me to share my life for an important purpose and this is to help our barangay,” Nana added.

Through the Kalahi-CIDSS project, volunteers are exposed to different trainings to capacitate them in carrying out the job needed in the project implementation. One funny thing Nana shared was that because of the engineering seminars she had with the project, she was turned into an overnight engineer.  “I would remember meddling with the laborers in the field working with our Drainage Canal Sub-Project. I would tell them to place the bigger rocks on the base to strengthen the canal.  They would just laugh and say yes, Madam Engineer,” Nana shared.

“Kalahi-CIDSS was really important to us. It provided a solution to our worsening flooding problems. But more than that, it gave each and every one of us something life-changing. It showed us that we had something more than what we had; that we possessed something special, and that what we really needed was to trust ourselves that we are capable of doing incredible things,” Nana said.

During the three cycles of Kalahi-CIDSS in the municipality, Barangay Poblacion has been prioritized all because the volunteers believed that they were capable of handling a multi-million project; regardless of their age, sex, educational background, and religion.  In all 3 cycles, Nana led the Project Implementation Team in ensuring that the quality of work provided by every laborer and volunteer was close to perfection.

“I maybe old but I never gave in to the notion that old people are incapable of doing amazing things. 83 is just a number, I never feel that I am old. In fact, I feel happier and younger with what I do. I am 83 and I love every bit of it. What matters is that I have a young heart and a young mind that keeps me going.  I am proud to be a volunteer. At least I get to have the chance to impart my life to something significant not just for me, but for other people,” Nana said.

Volunteers are supposed to be young and agile. Volunteers are supposed to be strong and fast. Nana discredits these notions. What she says is critical is one’s heart. “A TRUE VOLUNTEER IS SOMEONE WHO IS WILLING TO SERVE REGARDLESS OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES.”

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Lanao del Norte shares Utilization of Listahanan Data

The Provincial government of Lanao del Norte was one of the provincial government in   region 10 who  engaged into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Social Welfare and Development last year.

Upon executing a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the province of Lanao del Norte made full use of the Listahanan data entrusted to them.

Based on Administrative Order No. 2 series of 2009 and prior to the access and utilization of the Listahanan data by various LGUs, NGAs, CSOs, and various stakeholders, a Memorandum of Agreement should be made and undertaken between DSWD and the data user supported with an approved Sangguniang Bayan (SB) Resolution in order to ensure the confidentiality and usability of the requested data for the purposes agreed upon and between DSWD.

Listahananor what was formerly known as the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) 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.

Lanao del Norte,known to be the “Land of Beauty and Bounty” boosts not only of its vast, arable agricultural lands but also of its fast- phased progress.

Utilization of the Listahanan data in the province of Lanao del Norte was manifested in the implementation of various programs and services in the province.  One of which is in the Provincial  Comprehensive Health Sector Reform Program whose main goal is that of ensuring the constituents access to quality health care as well as in the upgrading of health facilities all throughout the province.

Health programs included the expanded program on immunization,maternal and childcare, family planning/reproductive Health program,nutrition program, breastfeeding program, national tuberculosis program,rabies control program,malaria control program and environmental sanitation program.

In the conduct of outreach medical mission and free clinics in far flung areas in the province,the Listahanan data was also used as basis in identifying the areas and beneficiaries.

A total of 61, 406 indigent families also benefited from the Provincial Health Indigency Program, in which, basis in identifying beneficiaries was the Listahanan data.

In addition, the provincial government created the One Town One Program (OTOP) which is aimed towards enterprise development and product promotion of every town in Lanao del Norte. It is also used the Listahanan data in identifying the families who were prioritized for the capability building for enterprise and product development program.

Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo, Regional Director of DSWD Field Office X said this manifests that “the Listahanan data is more than just statistics and figures,  if utilized  accurately, could be very useful and significant as far as implementation of target-focused programs and services is concerned.”

Written by Mitzie S. Santiago, DSWD 10

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DSWD Field Office 10 tops in FDS conduct

Cagayan de Oro City — Beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (Pantawid Pamilya) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office 10 here continue to comply with the conditionalities of the program.

This is manifested on the latest national turn-out of the Family Development Session (FDS) in the Compliance Verification System of Pantawid Pamilya where Northern Mindanao occupied the number one post, leading 16 other regions.

The turn-out revealed that 98.84 percent of the total household beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya religiously attended the conduct of FDS. As of today, Northern Mindanao has 246, 677 active beneficiaries.

Lawyer Araceli F. Solamillo, Regional Director of DSWD Field Office 10, reiterated that FDS is one of the conditions that the beneficiaries should fulfill in order to continuously receive cash grants.

Solamillo reminded beneficiaries that the session’s attendance reflects the performance of the parents as the program’s main receivers of the program’s financial support.

FDS focal person Jerome Humawan disclosed that the highest attendance to FDS of parents in Northern Mindanao is the result of close coordination among DSWD, civil society organizations, local government units and other national government agencies.

The turn-out covers September to October last year.

However, Humawan said the parent beneficiaries sustained the highest attendance until the last week of December last year to this early week of this month.

The FDS serves as a venue where topics on effective parenting, husband and wife relationships, child development, laws affecting the Filipino family, gender and development and home management are being discussed.

Through the FDS, parents are also informed of their rights as individuals as well as their obligations that they need to fulfil not only as husband and wife but also as parents. Attendance in the FDS is part of the conditionalities of the program to receive cash grants.

This month, FDS module focuses on responsible parenthood and livelihood while measles prevention this February.

Pantawid Pamilya is the conditional cash transfer (CCT) of the national government. CCT programs were first demonstrated successful in Latin American countries two decades ago.  As one of the pioneering CCT programs in Asia, the Pantawid Pamilya is a human capital investment program of the national government which ensures the health and education of poor children ages 0-14. This year, age coverage will be extended, from 0-14 to 0-18.

By providing opportunity for the development of the young, it envisions to prevent the vicious transmission of the cycle of poverty. (Written by  Oliver Badel Inodeo, Pantawid Pamilya Information Officer)

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