Archive | April, 2014

DSWD continues Supplementary Feeding Program on summer season

Summer time is said to be relaxation time but in some areas of Region X it is also the best time for children to learn. Despite the summer heat, parents and children still go to day care centers to learn and involve themselves in good nutrition habits through the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Supplementary Feeding Program.

Ms. Ester Y. Cornilla, a teacher for 13 years at P2 – North Poblacion Day Care Center Maramag, Bukidnon, said that parents and teachers of the said school decided to continue the supplementary feeding.  According to her, the said initiative was done when they saw that the nutritional status of their children has greatly improved. Ms Cornilla believes that because of the feeding program, children became more mentally alert and active.

80% of the Local Government Units in Northern Mindanao has completed the 120-day feeding of Supplementary Feeding Program, particularly in its 3rd Cycle Implementation. The 20% remaining Local Government Units are still undergoing the feeding program for the children, even on a summer season, just to complete the 120-day feeding program.

DSWD reveals that for the school year 2014-2015, there are now 25 local government units that have received the allocation for the fourth cycle particularly in Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte and Misamis Oriental the implementation which will start on June 2014.

By: Juvy AnneC. Pimentel, RND and Charmaine P. Tadlas

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Young juveniles develop character through sports with DSWD

Gingoog City – Residents of the Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY), a facility run by the Department of Social Welfare and Development here, specifically for children in conflict with the law (CICL) has learned the value of sportsmanship and teamwork during the RRCY’s annual Summer Sports Fest conducted last April 22-24, 2014.

The 3-day Sports Fest was participated by 39 male minors and young people from various neighboring barangays and faith-based organizations that has been providing moral and spiritual support to the young residents during their stay with the social welfare department.

Mr. Roy G. Ortizo, houseparent of RRCY, says that the said activity helps the youth to develop their character which can be associated with a host of sport values such as teamwork, loyalty, self sacrifice, perseverance, work ethic, and mental toughness.

RRCY was established by the DSWD for youthful offenders from ages 9 to below 18 years old who must undergo institutional rehabilitation instead of being mixed with hardened criminals in jails. The general objective of the facility is to enable boys to resolve their problems and restore their normal functioning, thus regaining self-esteem and dignity through rehabilitative services.

The said facility is said to be in accordance to Republic Act 9344 also known as the “Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 and Republic Act 10630, an act strengthening the juvenile justice system in the Philippines.

Written by Charmaine P. Tadlas (as reported by Mr. Roy G. Ortizo)

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DSWD Field Office 10 Holds One Day Staff Recollection

Cagayan de Oro – In line with the celebration of the Holy Week, the Institutional Development Division (IDD), headed by Ms. Portia G. Roldan, OIC – Division Chief, conducted a one day Field Office Staff Recollection held at the DSWD FO 10, 2nd Level Conference Room last April 15, 2014.

The IDD saw the importance of the activity since the management has acknowledged the importance of a holistic personal growth of all employees to be effective advocates of the thrusts of the Department. The IDD has been providing career improvement activities/trainings to the field office staff, but has also considered providing spiritual reinforcement as an important thrust of the Department.

122 Field Office staff refreshed their religious commitments and spiritual rehabilitation through the activity, which was facilitated by Rev. Father Servillano Laurente-Sinoy III, SSP.

The field staff recognized the importance of the recollection as an essential activity they have participated on prior to celebrating the Holy week (April 17-20, 2014) with their respective family.

The Field Office Management, headed by Regional Director, Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo has commended the IDD for coming up with such an activity, and has ensured support for upcoming activities that would further improve the performance of the regional staff, and encouraged the IDD to come up with more unique trainings and activities.

Written by Marko Davey D. Reyes and Christine Z. Leyva, DSWD

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Listahanan Meets Information Officers of Data users

As part of Advocating Listahanan ,the Department of Social Welfare and Development recently conducted a meeting with the information Officers of National Government Agencies and Civil Society Organizations who have entered into a Memorandum of Agreeement with DSWD relative to the utilization of the Listahanan data.
The meeting was aimed to encourage NGA/CSO Partners to submit feedback Reports relative to their utilization of the Listahanan data as stipulated in the signed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) forged between DSWD and the data user – who shall accomplish and provide a feedback report and updates on the data utilization . It was also aimed to encourage the data users to integrate Listahanan data in all its social marketing activities,highlighting and emphasizing the use of the targeting system in identifying beneficiaries of social protection programs and/or projects .
The feedback of the data users can help in the promotion and advocacy of the Listahanan /NHTS-PR since this serves as reference in coming up with articles and press releases that would show a viable impact on how credible the Listahanan data is to the data users.
During the said meeting,the participants agreed to regularly submit their feedback reports and advocacy activities relating to how they utilized the Listahanan on a quarterly basis.
Advocacy Activities for Listahanan was also discussed by Ms.Charmaine Tadlas, the Regional Information Officer .Issues and concerns were also discussed and facilitated by the Regional Field Coordinator, Mr.Ian Putong. Also present during the activity was the focal person for Pantawid Pamilya ,Ms.Kenneth Haze Sanchez.
Another meeting will be set to Information Officers of Local Government Units who also have entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Social Welfare and Development on the utilization of the Listahanan data.
The NHTS-PR or Listahanan 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.
Written by Mitzie Santiago,DSWD

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Listahanan conducts Orientation and Training for Social Pension Validation

The Department of Social Welfare and Development conducted a three-day training for enumerators, area supervisors, and area coordinators for the conduct of the social pension validation within the whole region.
Forty seven enumerators, 10 Area Supervisors, and nine encoders participated in the said training. These 66 trained field workers will be deployed for the validation of social pensioners not included in the Listahanan database for indigent senior citizens within the region.
Social pension is one of the core programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and is the government’s additional assistance to 77 years old and above indigent senior citizens who will regularly receive a monthly stipend of P500 a month to augment their daily subsistence and other medical needs. Eligible to receive the monthly stipend are those who are frail,sickly or those with disabilities, those without pension, and those without permanent source of income,compensation or financial assistance from his/her relatives to support his/her basic needs. Mode of payment for the social pensioners is on a quarterly basis .
Presently a total of 15,392 indigent senior ctiizens have availed of the social pension . Unfortunately, after a cross matching by the National Household Targeting Unit and the Social Pension Unit, it was found out that only 4, 068 were included in the Listahanan database, thus, the need to validate the 11,324 .
The Listahanan or the NHTS-PR or Listahanan is an information management system that the government uses in identifying who and where the poor are in the country 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.
Listahanan encourages National Government Agencies and other stakeholders to utilize the Listahanan data in targeting the beneficiaries of their social protection program. This can be onlybe done through an engagement with the Department of Social Welfare and Development by entering into a Memorandum of Agreement. Once a MOA has been executed, stakeholders will have access to the Listahanan data and utilize it in identifying their beneficiaries for their various programs and services.
On the said training, Ms.Morena Fernandez, Regional Head of the Policy and Plans Division of the DSWD, reminded the participants to focus and do their jobs by heart. A thorough orientation on the Family Assessment Forms (FAF) which will be used during the validation was done by the Regional Field Coordinator , Mr. Ian Putong and Ms. April Mendoza , one of the Project Coordinators from the National Listahanan Office.
The trained field workers will be deployed for the validation of Social Pensioners within the quarter.
Written by Mitzie S.Santiago ,DSWD

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THREATENED NO MORE: A story of a community’s resiliency against disaster

With the effects of climate change intensifying day by day, the challenge Filipino families’ face nowadays is how to be resilient amidst uncertain times. There is no way anyone could predict what heavy rains and strong tropical storms may bring; when landslides and flooding would hit ones neighborhood. The best way to face threats brought about by these phenomenon are by being informed with the necessary facts on Disaster Risk Reduction Management.

Since no one has control over the elements of nature, individuals and communities are better off preparing for the worst case scenarios. Communities must capitalize on whatever is available and workable; what is doable, that even simple folks in the community may be able to do to lower the effects of calamity.

Experience Dictates Need

Sarah Bihag, a resident of Brgy. Rupagan, Bacolod, Lanao del Norte, still remembers how Typhoon Sendong damaged homes and destroyed livelihood in their barangay. The small creek right around their homes was flooded in just a few hours of rain, leveling anything that is on its path.

“It is just a small creek but since Typhoon Sendong happened, it easily overflows. Storms right now are very different; very strong. Because of that, we have sleepless nights when there is bad weather because we fear that flooding will again hit our houses, even putting our families in danger,” Sarah shares.

Since Sendong happened, low pressure rainstorms and usual thunder storms would bring flooding in their barangay, even affecting neighboring communities. Residents now wanted to do something about it, but there was not enough convincing that would encourage everyone to do something about it.

Kalahi-CIDDS in Bacolod

Bacolod has been one of the municipalities in Northern Mindanao qualified for the Community-Driven Development Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirpan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS). Communities have previously availed of 5 cycles of the Kalahi-CIDSS Program (3 Cycles under the Kalahi-CIDSS and 2 Cycles under the Makamasang Tugon), blessing them with various sub-projects that has proven to be effective in answering to pressing issues of poverty in their communities.

Barangay Councilor Yvonne C. Lacia recalls how two (2) sub-projects were successfully implemented in their barangays because of Kalahi-CIDSS. Barangay Rupagan was prioritized during the 3rd Cycle for KC:KKB implementing a Road Gravelling sub-project for their barangay access road and a Barangay Health Station for their KC:Makamasang Tugon 1st Cycle; 2 sub-projects that have since been favorable to the community.

Councilor Yvonne recalls her ordeals and lessons as part of the Kalahi-CIDSS Project. She even credits her being the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) Chairperson as one of the reasons people trusted in her capacity to lead, ensuring her of a spot in the Barangay Council.

Another Cycle for a Good Performer

Life went on for the people of Bacolod post Kalahi-CIDSS and residents in the different communities in Bacolod were more than thankful for the sub-projects they received in the 5 cycles of Kalahi-CIDSS in their municipality.

But there was something brewing. During the second half of 2013, Bacolod was identified to pilot the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Modality for Kalahi-CIDSS. With high regard from the DSWD for being a good performer in their previous cycles, Bacolod was highly endorsed for the said pilot implementation.

With the thrusts of the Department in promoting resilience against the tests of climate change, Kalahi-CIDSS promotes Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) through Community-Driven Development. Communities are oriented about DRRM and apply it in proposing and implementing community sub-projects. Through this, communities living in disaster-prone areas will be able to be prepared for the trials of nature.

The communities in Bacolod are already well versed with the Kalahi-CIDSS implementation, so the pilot implementation was smooth-sailing. Communities were able to finish their sub-projects in the allotted time. Now, communities are ready to face the uncertain. They are already capable of facing calamities with little reluctance.

“Three strong downpours have already happened since we have completed the canal. Water directly went straight to the sea, and we no longer had flooding in our house. Now we can sleep peacefully at night even if there is a storm, thanks to Kalahi-CIDSS,” Sarah shared.

“I am just proud that we CAN make a difference in our community by just sharing our time to community works,” she added.

The Disaster Risk Reduction Management Modality of Kalahi-CIDSS has aided communities in Bacolod prepare for the worst trials nature may bring. With so many lives and properties lost during unpredictable weather disturbances the country is facing nowadays, it is comforting to be prepared of the worst that could happen.

Written by Marko Davey D. Reyes, DSWD

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From Rubbish to Works of Art

The Filipino creativity is among the best there is. Through time, Filipinos have captured the attention of the world for their limitless imaginations and originality. The Filipino has been admired in the field of the arts and crafts for coming up with extraordinary works, using simple yet interesting mediums/materials.

Imagine having to come up with great pieces of art using trash; materials one would consider already useless. In a world where people waste more than what is required for sustenance, having to come up with ways to dispose them is quite difficult, especially disposing waste properly.

But how about using trash and turning it to something useful? It would be great not just for the people who throw away the waste, but also for Mother Nature. This was what Mrs. Tomasa Baptista Galbinez has come to perfect.

Mrs. Tomasa Baptista Galbinez or Nana, as what she is fondly called in their community, is a retired teacher, and a community volunteer for the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS Project) in Poblacion, Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte. At 83, she is among the oldest community volunteers for Kalahi-CIDSS. She has been a volunteer for Kalahi-CIDDS for 3 years, but not even once has age been a problem for her even if being a volunteer requires ones presence in the field; eating up time and energy.

Nana has found passion in volunteering. She said that it was in volunteering that she has found her purpose since she believes that one’s existence is given meaning by what one does. It was also in Kalahi-CIDSS that she got to do another thing that she was very passionate about, and this was being artistic.

“When we were doing our Drainage Canal sub-project for cycle 2, I noticed we were using up a lot of cement. Since I was monitoring the project daily, I had some ideas on how to minimize the trash we had in the area”, Nana said.

There were between 40-70 sacks used per day, and what others would see as garbage, she saw something else. She noticed that the yarn used in sewing the cement sacks close were similar to the twine she used in knitting, something she loves doing. What she did was collect all the sacks used. She then collected all the yarn from the sacks and kept them until they were enough for a piece of knitted masterpiece.

Soon enough, she was able to collect enough, and right after she finished her job on the field volunteering, she would work on her masterpieces at home. During the 2nd cycle of implementation alone, she was able to make four (4) knitted table covers and three (3) scarfs made out of intricate designs.

During the 3rd cycle implementation, she was able to do more, even Kapatagan municipal mayor, Atty. Benjie Y. Baguio was ordering table covers from her, because he found the designs unique.

“I was doing it as my hobby, and never did I ever imagined people to buy my work, and what was amazing was no less than Mayor Baguio bought some of my work”, Nana shared happily.

But she did not stop there. She noticed that the inner covering of the cement sacks was made of material similar to that used in making brown envelopes but were sturdier. She made use of the material, making envelopes out of them, using it in filing Kalahi-CIDSS documents. She even shared the envelops to other barangays implementing the project.

Other volunteers in their community were amazed of how Nana was able to do all those things at her age. They were inspired of how resourceful she was. “I am doing all of these because I believe our community will benefit from Kalahi. I can do what I love with Kalahi, and I get materials from the garbage in the project”, Nana jokingly shares.

Indeed Nana was able to do things she definitely loves while volunteering for Kalahi-CIDSS. It is amazing how an old lady would be able to stay under the heat of the sun all day, monitoring progress of their sub-project, and right after that still has the energy to do what she does best; knit. Her contribution to Kalahi-CIDSS is priceless.

Nana has ensured that sub-project implementation was kept environmental friendly by limiting waste materials in the area. But above all, she made the most of her significance in the project by simply being an inspiration to everyone. Just like her masterpieces, she leaves people in awe of how well she has lived her life; in service.

Written by Marko Davey D. Reyes, DSWD

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Higaonon Tribe to try turning aquatic weeds to revenue resources

Cagayan de Oro City — In a serene and interior village of Pagalungan, some 45 minutes ride from downtown here, cradles a Higaonon Tribe community of this city.

The tribal community relies on corn, rice, root crops, bananas, among others for their staple food and from a small lake for tilapia and carp fish supply and a freshwater lobster locally known as ulang.

Datu Rosalino Aguio Manlinombay, the tribal leader of the community, disclosed that the small lake is important to their community because it is the breeding place of thousands of tilapia and carp fingerlings he cultured this year.

It also becomes the source of tap water for washing and bathing of some households living near the lake.

Not only that, the lake in this mining village also grows water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), a free-floating perennial plant with dark green leave blades which varies from circular to elliptical in shape attached to a spongy, inflated petiole.

The lake is one of the two bodies of fresh water in this city that grows mats of water hyacinth. The other is in urban area of this city; along the silted river bank of Cagayan de Oro River located in Balacanas, Consolacion village.

Threats of water hyacinth

The tribal community did not recognize the imminent threat of the water hyacinth that abound in their lake.

Unknown to the community, the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources has considered the aquatic plant as pest and water pollutant as it invades and chokes up waterways causing flood and problems to the locals and the environment.

Further, it provides a growing field for mosquitoes and screens off sunlight that is required by aquatic flora and fauna. Recently, a tribe member who is a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary disclosed that he has a low catch for months now compared to several years before. However, he attributed the low catch from the siltation and shallowing of the lake, and not to the spread of mats of water hyacinth over the lake. Studies show that water hyacinth is a very aggressive invader and can form thick mats. If these mats cover the entire surface of the rivers they can cause oxygen depletion and fish kills. Besides, water hyacinth has no known direct food value to wildlife and is considered a pest species.

Studies also revealed that water loss can be as much as 1.8 times that of evaporation from waterways free of these plants; access to sites becomes difficult when weed infestation is present; fish populations decrease as water begins to lose oxygen and sunlight; populations of crocodiles and snakes increase; and in areas where fishermen are barely able to sustain themselves from this industry, this is an economic disaster.

Also, when water hyacinth thrives, it will compete with other aquatic plants. This causes an imbalance in the micro‐ecosystem resulting in reduced flora and the fauna that depend on it. Localized water quality also deteriorates which may be harmful to people who rely on the waterway for drinking water.

Making water hyacinth beneficial

Recently, the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Northern Mindanao through the Sustainable Livelihood Program and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program; in coordination with the City Social Welfare and Development of Cagayan de Oro; Department of Tourism; Villar Foundation; Cagayan de Oro Hotel and Restaurant Association; and the barangay council of Pagalungan made an ocular inspection at the lake to identify a processing site for dried petioles of water hyacinth which will be waved into mats, bags, slippers, and other products.

Nathaniel Palalay II of Villar Foundation promised to Datu Rosalino Aguio Manlinombay that they will provide trainings for production and marketing of the finished products of water hyacinth.

The foundation will also provide to the tribal community machines for the processing of dried stalks of water hyacinth for production of baskets, bags, mats, among others.

The Villar Foundation is committed to the preservation and conservation of the environment and ensuring the sustainability of its environmental programs through the establishment of social enterprises that will lead the path towards economic independence for every Filipino.

Datu Aguio Manlinombay said he is happy with the proposed project because women, mostly Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, will no longer be idle and be engaged illegally in panning for gold in his village.

For her part, Project Officer Charlita Ladera of the Department of Tourism of Northern Mindanao said DOT will help the promotion of the finish product of the Higaonon Tribe.

Nollie Arguelles of COHARA promised to the community that restaurants and hotels in this city will patronize the product of the community and promote these to their clients.

The community has 119 Pantawid Pamilya households under Set 5, 6, and 7 respectively. It has an additional 19 households for validation this coming April 24 under Set 7 Batch C.

Village chief Rene Oporto, during the ocular inspection, expressed his gratefulness to DSWD Northern Mindanao for implementing Pantawid Pamilya and SLP programs in his barangay.

A literature from the International Development Research Center (IDRC) said water hyacinths have been used as raw material for agricultural fertilizers, animal feeds, biogas, paper, board, and even construction materials.

The plant can also be used in controlling water pollution because it is capable of quickly absorbing heavy metals in water.

Written by Oliver Badel Inodeo, DSWD


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April 2014