Champion of Kaya Ko ang Pagbabago Dance Contest

Cagayan de Oro City National High School takes home the grand prize of the Kaya Ko ang Pagbabago Dance Contest, an inter-secondary public high school of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Northern Mindanao at Centrio, Ayala Mall, Cagayan de Oro City. Other winners are: Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High School (second) and Bugo National High School (third). Bulua National High School; Puntod National High School; Consolacion National High School; Carmen National High School; Macabalan National High School; and Agusan National High School also receive consolation prizes.

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Winner Takes All

Puntod National High School (PNHS) bested other eight public secondary schools of Cagayan de Oro City, taking the grand prize of the Kaya Ko ang Pagbabago Educational Contest at Centrio Ayala Mall recently. PNHS receives PhP9,000 cash prize and a trophy. Other winners are: Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High School (Second Prize) and Cagayan de Oro City National High School (Third Prize).

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NGO builds free loft for Sendong survivors

Cagayan de Oro City — A non-government organization here has built loft for free to the housing units given by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to survivors of Tropical Storm Sendong.

Pastor Alex Eduave, executive director of the Kagayan Evangelical Disaster Response Network, disclosed that his faith-based organization feel the responsibility of transforming the lives of Sendong survivors better by providing the needs of the internally displaced families.

The loft, a space directly under the roof of the house which may be used as a space for sleeping or storage, costs P15,000 each.

“We learn from DSWD that we will transform the lives of the Sendong survivors by not just providing relief goods, but, holistically,” said Pastor Eduave.

He added that, like DSWD and other national government agencies, “we are building better lives for the needy.”

The Christian minister stressed that his organization, a newly accredited civil society organization of DSWD Northern Mindanao, “only responded to God’s commandment.

“Life is simple. Love God and love others,” he said.

Built through the DSWD’s Core Shelter Assistance Program (CSAP), and in cooperation with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the Cagayan de Oro Local Government Unit (CDO LGU), and Habitat for Humanity (HFH),  structurally strong and indigenous shelter units were constructed in disaster safe relocation/resettlement areas and the families are assured that their new homes can withstand wind velocities of up to 220 kilometers per hour and earthquakes up to intensity four (4).

The KEDRN has finished constructing 500 lofts to houses in Calaanan Phase III inside the 9.5-hectare Calaanan Ressetlement Site in Barangay Canitoan this city. Calaaanan Phase III has 1,262 houses.

The organization has also given free double-deck beds to survivors who are living inside the housing units donated by the Filipino-Chinese community.

Typhoon Sendong hit the city last December 2011 leaving nearly 400,000 homeless and more than 1,200 dead in Northern Mindanao.###smu

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Restoring peace via organic farming in Lanao

Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte — Tingintingin, a hinterland barangay seven kilometers south of this municipality, is the home to farmers who devote to organic farming in Northern Mindanao.

This village is used as a war field between government troopers and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Years of armed conflicts pummeled this community, especially during the all-out war declaration against MILF of former President Joseph Estrada in March 2000.

But, this war-torn village has evolved into a vast plantation of rice, corn, and peanuts.

Christians and Muslims alike agreed to till their lands using techniques to achieve good crop yields without harming the natural by not using synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. As such, they recycled and composted crop wastes and animal manures, employ crop rotation, used green manures and legumes, observe careful use of water resources and good animal husbandry.

Malic O. Macabato, village chief, said he and the rest of barangay council members adopted organic farming to sustainably support their farmers.

Macabato emphasized that farming is the first step to combat hunger and to achieve a peaceful community.

He noted that conflict will not erupt if hunger is addressed, especially now that convergence efforts among national and local government agencies and civil society organizations are underway.

Tingintingin, with 204 registered household wherein 132 are Pantawid Pamilya members, has celebrated its first festival dubbed as Organic Upland Rice Harvest Festival on July 22 this year.

 

Convergence efforts underway

DSWD is one of various national agencies who poured assistance to this village.

Aside from Pantawid Pamilya that serves most of the population, the Sustainable Livelihood Program under the Grassroots Participatory Budgeting Process (GPBP) modality extended loans with zero interest rate to at least 25 members of Tingintingin Upland Rice Growers SKA on September 6, 2013.
Each of the members received P10,000, said Maria Lani Bularon, former project development officer of SLP in Kauswagan. According to her, they used the money in growing upland rice in which they harvested it during the village’s harvest festival last month.

Aside from upland rice, farmers also grow corns, peanuts, coconuts, and mung beans. The Department of Agriculture provided the seeds while the local government unit provided a mobile rice mill.

Farmers need not to rent and go down as far as seven kilometers for a dryer in the Poblacion area here. World Food Programme, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and a non-governmental organization constructed a solar dryer while the local government unit constructed the storage facilities for the farmers’ produce.
Meanwhile, DSWD’s KALAHI CIDSS – National Community Driven Development, under the PAMANA modality constructed a peace center, health center, and day care center.

 

War no more

 

Macabato is optimistic that arm conflict will erupt no longer.

“I can assure that no one among us here will rebel against the government,” he said, adding that rebels have started to lay down arms and embrace the development because of each in the community are given importance.

“Makakasabi talaga ako na kaya namin talaga ang pagbabago dahil sa tulong ng DSWD at iba’t-ibang ahensiya ng gobyerno. Ngayon, talagang nasa matuwid na daan kami,” said Macabato. (I can prove to everyone that we can make a difference because of DSWD and other national government agencies’ intervention. Now, we are on the right path)
He disclosed that two former MILF commanders and an MNLF commander have been actively involved in organic farming.

The former rebels were engaged in numerous skirmishes and encounters against the military before that took a toll on their lives and those of their families. Now, they live peacefully as they are reintegrated to the mainstream society.

Recently, this town through Mayor Rommel Arnado received the Galing Pook Award for its ‘From Arms to Farms’ program.###smu

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‘Gambler’ rebuilds life with DSWD

Cagayan de Oro City — A beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) here revealed that she was engaged in illegal gambling that almost ruin her family life.

Now she says she has turned her life around and is advocating for reform, helping other beneficiary use cash grants prudently.

Marjorie Yecyec, a parent advocate of DSWD Northern Mindanao, said her life changes when her family becomes beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilya in 2008 under Set 1.

Marjorie, who lives in Macabalan in this city, believes that the DSWD has taught her to work harder, to be diligent in what she does, and to be participative in community works.

“The Family Development Session has changed my life dramatically,” said Yecyec, who also disclosed that she used to drink alcohol before with her neighbors.

“The FDS teaches us on how we can improve our lives and protect ourselves from risks, especially when our City Link Majalalil Flores and other resource speakers discussed on various topics like disaster preparedness, family relationships and marriage, good and effective parenting, community participation, health, among others,” she said.

Marjorie, a barangay police officer and community health navigator of the Department of Health, claimed that she has more time now with her four daughters despite her hectic schedule.

Marjorie, along with her neighbor and fellow parent advocate, Elsa Sabellana, is a regular resource person for DSWD during interviews with media practitioners.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is a human development program of the national government that invests in the health and education of poor households, particularly of children aged 0-18 years old. It provides a monthly cash grant of a maximum of P1,400 for qualified households provided that they comply with the conditions set by the program. Families who fail to comply with certain conditions will not receive the benefit corresponding to the conditions and are given reminders by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the implementing agency of the Program.

“With the Pantawid Pamilya cash grants, I am no longer worried about whether I can send my children to school and provide for their health needs. I can now save some of our money, find more ways to earn more,” said Yecyec.

She added that “with Pantawid Pamilya, I can make a difference in my home and in my community!”

###smu

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Village officials help DSWD in monitoring compliance of beneficiaries

Bukidnon — A hinterland village in Impasug-ong, this province, has started to help the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office 10 in monitoring the compliance of beneficiaries to the agency’s programs and services.

Hagpa village chief Alberto H. Suday Sr. said the move will assist workers of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and other programs of DSWD here in checking compliance of the beneficiaries in his barangay.
Suday and other members of Barangay Hagpa, a far flung village that takes more than two hours motorcycle ride from the municipality proper, passed and approved a resolution creating a barangay monitoring team.
The team is composed of the Municipal Links of Pantawid Pamilya; Suday who is representing the barangay council; Sebastian Tulod who is the principal of Hagpa Elementary School, health workers of Barangay Hagpa, parent leaders of various clusters of Pantawid Pamilya, among others.
Suday disclosed that the team will call the attention of beneficiaries whose children incurred absences in classes, whose family members of beneficiaries failed to visit and to have medical check-up regularly in barangay health center, and those household head who will use the money for gambling and drinking spree and those who failed to attend the Family Development Session.
The team, he added, will also receive and facilitate resolution of grievances filed by DSWD clients and non-clients.
Jed Ocay, team leader of municipal links here said the team has helped the Municipal Action Team in advocating for compliance to DSWD program conditions since its creation last January this year.
Ocay has observed an increase of compliance among beneficiaries in village.  He cited that in Family Development Session alone in January 2013, Impasug-ong reached 90.21 percent of compliance rate. After the establishment of the monitoring team this year, Impasug-ong got 97.30 percent compliance rate or a seven percent increase compared to last year’s rate of the same period.
With that, the 12 remaining barangays of Impasug-ong will follow Hagpa’s move, said Ocay.
The measure to encourage compliance to conditions stemmed from Suday’s concern over the big amount of budget set for the program’s beneficiaries. Last year, P62 billion out of the P84 billion of the 2014 DSWD budget goes to the Pantawid Pamilyang Pili­pino Program.
“We want to safeguard the money of the government and we want to ensure that beneficiaries will not cheat the government by not complying with the conditions,” said Suday.
LGUs replicate barangay monitoring
Seeing the worth and success of the creation of barangay monitoring team, at least two local government units in Bukidnon province have replicated it.
Christopher Capinpin, Provincial Link of Pantawid Pamilya in Bukidnon, disclosed that several barangays of Quezon town and and Malaybalay City have already set up its respective team to help DSWD in monitoring the implementation of Pantawid Pamilya and other programs and services while all other locality of the province are still in the process of putting up barangay team.
Lawyer Araceli F. Solamillo, Regional Director of DSWD Field Office 10 welcomed the development and commended the efforts of barangay officials in helping DSWD monitor its programs and services in the field.
This way, Solamillo said, barangay officials and municipal links can really make a difference through their job so that no one will be left behind towards development.###smu

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Weak Signal

A Pantawid Pamilya worker of DSWD Northern Mindanao tries to put his mobile phone inside a plastic and hung it outside a house of a beneficiary in a hinterland village of Impasug-ong, Bukidnon during a visit, to receive signal from a mobile network, despite the fact that more and more cell phone towers are built in the province. DSWD workers in Northern Mindanao continuously deliver social protection services in the region even in geographically challenged areas such as this.  (Photo by Jed Ocay, DSWD Northern Mindanao)

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Organic Farming for Resiliency

DSWD Northern Mindanao taps Municipal Agriculture Officer Leonora Butaya (first from left) of Catarman, Camiguin province to lecture on organic farming and backyard gardening to Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries during a Family Development Session in Barangay Bonbon, Catarman, Camiguin province. The Pantawid Pamilya Compliance Verification System focal Buena Rafer (sixth from left), together with representatives of the National Project Management Office of Pantawid Pamilya of DSWD Central Office, also observes Municipal Link Alex Cervantes (second from left) in explaining the end-to-end retropayment, the process of paying unpaid, active, and registered beneficiaries who are actually compliant to the conditions of education under Pantawid Pamilya, during the session. (File photo of Buena Rafer, DSWD Northern Mindanao)

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