From Arms to Farms: Former rebel puts faith back in government

“Aduna gihapoy pag-asa para sa mga komunidad nga anaay kagubot (there is still hope for armed-conflict communities),” says Malik Macabato, barangay chairman of Tingintingin, Kauswagan, this province.

In 2008, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front attacked the 4th class municipality that affected hundreds of families in various barangays, inclu ing Tingintingin, a community 12 kilometers away from the municipal proper  –  with an impossible terrain that public transportation is made avail able only once a day.

Malik – a husband and a father – is also a former rebel and known to be influential by his neighbours who also held defiance and dis trust against government interventions.

Malik and the rest of the community used to think that going against the government is the only solution to solving poverty, a belief assumed by their group for generations.

“Ang akong huna-huna sa una, sirado na gyud, nagtu-o ko nga ang pag gamit sa armas mao ra gyud ang rason nga mahimo kita nga gamhanan isip usa ka lider (I was closed-minded, and I believed that the use of arms or guns makes you a powerful leader),” Malik said.

People in the community think the same way as Malik. Sarah, one of the volunteers, says that many of them believed that there is no more chance for peace and development in their community.

However, this started to change when the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services Payapa at  Masaganang  Pamayanan (Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA) was introduced to their community.

Shifting Paradigms

When Malik was elected as the barangay chairman in Tingintingin, he was able to attend capability building trainings related to community development and genuine peace and development facilitated by the Department of Interior and Local Development (DILG). These sessions eventually gave him a different perspective

Malik recalled that he learned a lot about good governance and how a community can attain genuine peace and order. “Ug ang pinaka importante sa tanan, nahibaw-an nako nga ang gobyerno naglihok lang man diay para sa among kaayuhan (and most importantly, I realized that the government was only doing its job to the best interest of our welfare), he says.

Confidence in government

When Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA was presented to their community in 2013, Malik led the community by personally adopting and conveying to his neighbors the concepts and strategies of Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA, particularly in guiding the community to development.

Through the modality using the Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach, the community started to participate in barangay activities and increased their knowledge in poverty alleviation in their society.

“Tungod sa Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA daghan mi nahimo nga mga proyekto sama nalang sa dalan gikan sa umahan paingon sa merkado, panubig, bularanan sa mga produkto, ug para pud sa lugar sa panglawas ug kahusay ug kalinaw (Because of Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA, we were able to construct several sub-projects such as Farm to Market Roads, Water Systems, Solar Driers, Health and Peace Centers),” according to one of the volunteers who work closely with Malik.

Further, Malik managed to convince his constituents to practice organic farming since he himself practice the same. And because his neighbours saw the positive side of the technology, the people willingly accepted the system.

“Nalipay gyud mi nga gitudlu-an ug gi ingganyo mi ni Kapitan mag tanom pina-agi sa maluntarong agrikultura, nga diin daghan ug mas dako among kita ug dili lang ana, labaw na gayud dili siya maka daut sa atong kinaiyahan (we are happy that Barangay Captain Malik taught and encouraged us to do organic farming. The technology has helped us to have better income. Not only that, it has a great impact to our environment),” shared by Noreen, one of the volunteers.

Malik says that the community is thankful to the government because their programs have made them realize that insurgency is not the solution to their community problems.  Instead, he added, they have learned that by just cooperating and involving themselves in community activities, peace and development is attainable.

“Gikan sa pakig batok paingon sa pagpalambo sa umahan (from arms to farms),” Malik added.

written by: Luis T. Arquiza, dswd

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Second Chance

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Road to Diversion

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Batang May Sala

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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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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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DSWD clarifies issues on distribution of Emergency Shelter Assistance

Cagayan de Oro City – To answer queries made by Sendong survivors of Barangay Consolacion, this City, on the selection of beneficiaries and distribution of the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA), the Department of Social Welfare and Development clarifies the assistance can only be provided through certain qualifications.

Under Administrative Order No. 17, Series of 2010, which is the Omnibus Guideline on Shelter Assistance, the Emergency Shelter Assistance is only applicable to those families who are not recipients of any other housing assistance from any other agency.

“Based on our assessment and validation through the families’ access cards in Barangay Consolacion, a number of them have already received housing assistance from other sources such as International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Red Cross, thus, are not qualified for the ESA,” Ms. Daisy Ramos, a DSWD social worker, said.

Among the qualifications to receive ESA as well include families that have limited resources that prevent them from repairing or reconstructing their permanent shelter units. The monthly income of a family of six in an urban area, which is in this case – Cagayan de Oro – should also be below P10,000.00, depending on the National Statistics Coordination Board’s statistic report on food threshold.

Moreover, the Omnibus Guideline also highlights that the families who can benefit from the assistance are those with or without land ownership property but situated in safe areas, and those who are not willing to be resettled and opt to stay in the same location but compliant with the safety requirements.

The amount of the ESA can only be determined upon the assessment of the DSWD social workers. They base their assessment on the qualifications and their living conditions.

The DSWD emphasizes that only a maximum of P5,000.00 shall be given to those families whose houses were assessed as partially damaged, and a maximum of P10,000.00 for families whose houses were assessed as totally damaged.

The DSWD however clarifies that some may receive an amount lesser than P5,000.00 or P10,000.00 depending on the need and living condition of the families.

“As much as we want to accommodate all the communities’ demand, we are still bound by the policies and guidelines of the ESA. Rest assured, there are still other DSWD social services and social protection programs available to the communities of which they can avail,” Ms. Ramos said.

 

Written by Charmaine P. Tadlas, Regional Information Officer

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139 youths graduate from Cash for Training

139 youths from the towns of Tagoloan, Villanueva, Jasaan, Claveria, Balingasag, and Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental recently graduated from the Cash for Training, a joint program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

Training courses completed by the students included Shielded Metal Arc Welding, Electrical Installation and Maintenance and Computer Hardware Servicing.

The Cash for Training Program aims to help the youth, including the out-of-school, to have a decent job of their own in the future. The DSWD provides allowance while on training at TESDA Regional Training Center at Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

After the students’ graduation, they were also provided with tool kits to be used in their respective field of endeavor.

Students gave their testimonies by expressing their thanks to DSWD and TESDA for helping them and those who cannot afford to go to school to pursue vocational courses. The municipal officials also gave their kudos to DSWD and TESDA and expressed their hope that the program will continue in order to help more out-of-school youths in the region.

Written by Manuel M. Borres, Chief Administrative Officer, and Charmaine P. Tadlas, Regional Information Officer

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