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115M worth COVID-19 response projects to benefit 6 towns in Bukidnon from DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS

132 barangays in six municipalities of Bukidnon will implement COVID-19 response projects this year under the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services-National Community-Driven Development Program (Kalahi-CIDSS NCDDP).

Still adopting the Disaster Response Operations Procedure (DROP) to fast-track pandemic response, DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS-X received Php115, 419,950 worth of funding from the World Bank to implement Community-Based Response for COVID (CBRC) projects in Bukidnon.

This includes construction or rehabilitation of isolation facilities/health centers, purchase of medical supplies, tools, and equipment, repair of water systems, and economic recovery efforts such as cash for work projects, construction of roads, pre and post-harvest facilities, along with others.

Five towns are set to implement CBRC first this year, namely: Dangcagan, Maramag (new Kalahi-CIDSS areas), Damulog, Don Carlos, and Kadingilan. While the municipality of Kitaotao will follow on the second semester.

DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS uses the Community-driven development (CDD) approach in empowering the community to identify and implement projects they most need, especially during this pandemic.

Social preparation activities are underway led by the Regional Program Management Office with its Area Coordinating Teams in place for this year’s program implementation.

Besides CBRC projects, DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS-X is also implementing small-scale infrastructure projects using CDD among Indigenous Peoples (IPs) under the PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (PAMANA) IP-CDD modality.

Moreover, the RPMO sets its eyes on implementing CDD projects for the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-Asa (BP2) Program this year under the Kapangyarihan at Kaunlaran sa Barangay (KKB) modality.

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DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS-X closes 2020 with 271 completed sub-projects

Community-driven development efforts in region 10 reached 97.32% accomplishment for 2020, delivering sub-projects that address communities’ most urgent needs during this pandemic.

Earlier in 2020, Kalahi-CIDSS adopted the Disaster Response Operations Procedure (DROP) under the National Community Driven Development Program (NCDDP), allocating more than Php120 million COVID-19 response sub-projects (SPs) in health, sanitation, and economic recovery.

Out of 213 SPs, 206 are completed (96.71%), and seven are still ongoing in towns San Fernando and Quezon, Bukidnon. Covered areas for DROP also include Damulog, Kalilangan, Kibawe, Kitaotao, Malitbog, and Pantar, Lanao del Norte.

Top 10 Kalahi-CIDSS funded SPs for 2020 include: 86 Isolation/Quarantine Facilities, 48 Access Roads, 27 Tribal Halls, 27 Disaster Equipment/Tools, 19 Water System, 18 Barangay Health Stations, 18 Cash for Work, 8 Pre & Post Harvest Facilities, 5 Electrification / Lighting, and 4 Day Care Centers.

Kalahi-CIDSS Regional Program Management Office-X implements other modalities, namely MAKILAHOK (Strengthening Community Participation in Local Development) completing 19 SPs (100% accomplishment), PAMANA IP-CDD (PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn Community-Driven Development Program for Indigenous Peoples) with 29 SPs completed (100% accomplishment), KKB (Kapangyarihan at Kaunlaran sa Barangay) and CCL (Construction of Classrooms for Lumads) totaling 278 SPs carried out in 15 local government units.

DDSWD Kalahi-CIDSS-10 reports 82.74% grant utilization or Php118 million from the Php 142 million released grant. It has a total of Php156 million grant allocation. The program logs 130,040 households benefitting from the completed SPs, exceeding 1.25% from its target . Furthermore, the sub-project implementations promoted income-generating opportunities to 4,029 workers, with 830 women in paid labor.

The Kalahi-CIDSS NCDDP has secured additional funding for 2021 in 6 municipalities, along with IP-CDD in 11 municipalities (39 barangays) and KKB with 11 municipalities/cities.

DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS uses the community-driven development approach, a proven strategy in poverty alleviation that empowers local communities to identify and implement public projects they most need. It puts people at the center of development as key decision-makers and implementers, thereby facilitating empowerment and effective social service delivery.

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Tribal Hall ignites hope to rebuild IP community

“Kato ra gyung naa’y dakong gugma ang maka-ako og-anhi diri” (Only the bighearted will go through great lengths to come all the way here) said one resident.

Not everyone has the chance to visit this village in their lifetime. Either a 4×4 vehicle or a tough motorcycle with an experienced driver is needed to reach this corner of the landlocked province of Bukidnon.

The journey is not for the timid, it is for the bold to voyage through steep mountain slopes and brooks. With rolling hills, panoramic mountain views and overlooking deep valleys, sojourners will surely relish on the beauty of nature, but will also hold their breaths in the course of an exhilarating ride.

The sun must be up to dry out the muddy pathways from the previous day’s afternoon rain. Along the way, road excavation works are done as heavy equipment operators work all day to pave the roads that are once impassable.

Without a compelling cause, one will never bother to travel this remote area.

They call it barangay Kiulom, in Kitaotao, Bukidnon where the Matigsalug tribe lives. They are a distinct sub-group of the indigenous people known as the Manobos. Nestled between the boundary of Davao and Bukidnon, this self-sustaining indigenous community dwells along the banks of the Salug River (now called the Davao River), thus coining their name from the words matig, meaning “from,” and salug, meaning “river.”

But three years ago, the peaceful Matigsalug community faced a great ordeal. The day before Christmas in 2017, Typhoon Vinta, the deadliest tropical cyclone to strike Mindanao, took a heavy toll in barangay Kiulom, destroying homes, properties, livelihood, and all government-initiated projects in the area. They were grateful for reporting no deaths, but they had to rebuild their lives from scratch. 

Rescue came from the local government and other agencies and non-government organizations. Houses were built courtesy of an NGO and community settlements were established. En route to Kiulom, tiny color-coordinated houses of red and white are a common sight.

Reaching the barangay proper, visitors and residents need to cross the Salug river. Children swimming under the nagging heat of the sun pull a “gakit”, a raft made out of bamboo that will transport anyone to the other side of the river as their little bodies navigate the waters. It’s twenty pesos each for that favor, and the children return to bask in the water like there’s no tomorrow.

In sentro Kiulom, less than a hundred households gather in community. They rely on solar power. Access to clean water is at a nearby spring, and farming is their source of livelihood. Corn, rice, squash, banana, and various root crops are grown with the eager expectation of pulling a harvest after a few months. Then it’s time to come down from the mountains. They only do small-scale farming because they can only carry what they can. If not on a horse, it means a half-day’s hike carrying their produce until they reach the nearest marketplace about 30 kilometers from the highland.

The routine is the same every day. They go farming in the morning and come home by the afternoon. But the sense of community among the Matigsalug tribe is deeply embedded in their culture. After a day’s toil, the tribe gathers to settle any disputes and issues led by a Datu and his council. For the IPs, a harmonious community comes first. Live at peace with everyone. Reconcile and be considerate to others. Humble down.

Recently, this ancient customary practice is held comfortably in a Tribal Hall with tulugan that the IPs built with the help of the DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn Indigenous Peoples-Community-driven Development (PAMANA IP-CDD) program.

The IPs manually hauled Lawaan, a type of hardwood, from the mountains. Construction materials from the lowland barangay were transported through the rivers with the gakit. The IPs gave their blood, sweat, and tears for this project.

For what? For their identity. For peace. For community.

“Di gyud mi makatukod og sama niini kung kami lang” (We can never build something like this on our own) said barangay kagawad Manuel Sumaliray. It’s a dream come true to have the tribal hall in their generation today, he said.

The building serves as a trial court, a worship hall, a community center, and an accommodation for visitors. They will no longer gather under a tree, or at someone else’s abode. They now welcome visitors without worrying where they should spend the night.

The construction of 1-unit Tribal hall with tulugan under the DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA IP-CDD is the first government project in barangay Kiulom after Typhoon Vinta.

“Ang DSWD pa gyud ang niantos nga mianhi diri” (It’s only the DSWD who persevered to get here) Tribal secretary Meliton Uban said.

For a long time, the IPs were isolated, ostracized and far removed from societal progress. But if there’s one thing that they’ve learned, it’s realizing that the government is on their side.

“Nakita na gyud sa pangagamhanan nga duna’y mga Indigenous People. (The government has finally recognized the Indigenous Peoples) Tribal Chieftain Datu Berto Andip said.

This recent development gives them hope that more projects will come to aid them in rebuilding their community. Projects that are tailored to their needs, customs, worldview, and value system.

“Kini na ang sinugdanan” (This is the beginning) Datu Andip said with a cheerful tone in his voice.

There are many things to learn from the IPs about keys to life. The value of simple living, the treasure of community, and the virtue of hard work. For the IPs, one cannot eat if he does not work. Faith is indispensable. With it, they are never discouraged. Integrity enhances all other values. Keep this and everything will follow.  

The IPs have also well-understood that careful stewardship of the environment is paramount to their survival and their children’s future.  The land and natural resources on which they depend are inextricably linked to their identity. To them, the spiritual, social, ecological and economic aspects of life go together and not against each other. 

On a typical day, the Philippine flag is seen hanging at the Tribal hall’s balcony. It reminds anyone that despite the peaceful, traditional way of life of the IPs, they are one of the most marginalized populations in the country. Not only access to basic social services remains a challenge in their communities today, they are under a threat because of exploitation and destructive forms of development.

Ms Ma. Shirlene Sario works as the Provincial Officer of the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in Bukidnon. She says that the intangible heritage of the IPs, the wealth of their traditional knowledge is key to solving a myriad of challenges in the country today.

“Government must return to being a true Filipino. If we will just respect our original culture, we will solve a lot of problems”. She said.

Here are the hopes of the Matigsalug IPs. They want a sustainable livelihood earning that can buy coffee, sugar, noodles, soy sauce, salt, cooking oil, garlic and onion to fill their pantry. That’s the ultimate grocery list. They want a better road, better water system, and reliable electricity to charge their handheld radios at night. They wish to have new pairs of their traditional costume, too. They want accessible schools for their children.

When the DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS conquered the distance in barangay Kiulom, it opened a host of possibilities to realize the IPs’ dreams and aspirations. With their unquenchable zeal and resilience to rise from their situation, it pushes others to attempt great things, too.

Together with them, we can be the instrument to realize this.

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Transparency Boards for SLP Association accountability

It is very important to be transparent especially on the financial report aspects in order to sustain an organization. The Project Development Officers of the Sustainable Livelihood Program are responsible within their areas of responsibility to ensure that the association’s livelihood projects are sustained and are functional by introducing social technologies that enable them achieve it. To reach this goal, trust and confidence among its members in the association is an important foundation. With this in mind, SLP association officers of Pantao Ragat create transparency boards in their respective livelihood project sites to showcase the cash flow, projects (proposed/approved), achievements, and other important documentation.

All verifiable information is accessible to all members.

This lessens having to answer many queries, address complaints, and conflicts among members. Any doubts by a member will simply have to verify information posted on the transparency board.

Transparency and accountability should be the culture in every organization especially in all SLPAs. The most important person to lead the organization in setting this culture are our transformational leaders with the guidance of DSWD workers in guiding them towards a sustainable project and self-managing association.

SLPA Officers are tasked to provide updates in posting financial statements and other pertinent documents.

Story and photos contributed by Joanne M. Siete, Project Development Officer II

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DSWD launches ProdukTodo e-Commerce platform

From left to right: Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista, DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) National Program Manager Restituto Macuto, Resellee Chief Executive Officer Marc Concio,and Shopmasy/ RAF International Forwarding Phils. Inc. Marketing Manager Nancy Marquez inspect the featured products of SLP participants during the launching of the e-Commerce platform, “ProdukTodo.”

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), launched its e-Commerce/Online Marketing Platform dubbed as “ProdukTodo” on December 22 at the DSWD Central Office.

ProdukTodo is one of the strategies of SLP to mainstream the products of its participant by providing market linkages and advantageous networks through the application of concepts and principles of social marketing, e-commerce, and other technology-aided methodologies.

Likewise, ProdukTodo serves as the platform, staging area, and market facilitator for eligible and good quality products and services of the SLP Associations and individual program participants.

In his message, DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista highlighted the importance of the initiative to fully support and facilitate the positive changes in the participants’ livelihood development efforts.

Sa pamamagitan ng ProdukTodo, mas malawak ang mararating ng mga produkto ng ating mga participants at magkakaroon sila ng pagkakataon upang mas mapagbuti ang kanilang mga kaalaman, kakayahan, at kasanayan sa mga negosyong kanilang napili at nasimulan,” said the Secretary.

He also congratulated and thanked the implementers of the SLP, together with their partner stakeholders – the Shopmasy and Resellee, for their steadfast efforts in pursuing innovation to address the challenges of translating human capital into gainful financial contributions that will benefit the clients of the Department.

As DSWD’s lead strategy in building capabilities and bridging livelihood opportunities to its target communities and individuals, the SLP has been on a persistent endeavor to further strengthen its network of support and relevant interventions in the context of livelihood development.

As of October 2020, there are 7,778 families provided with assistance under the different modalities of SLP nationwide.

Through SLP, the Department will continue to ensure the provision of gainful livelihood opportunities to members of the poor and marginalized sectors. ###

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DSWD commits continuous aid to informal sector workers in tourism sector

(From left to right) Philippine Tour Operators Association, Inc. President Mr. Cesar Cruz; Light Rail Transit Authority Deputy Administrator Paul Chua; Department of Trade and Industry Small Business Corporation Officer Ms. Grace Dalisay; National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary Rose Edillon; NEDA Undersecretary Mike de la Rosa; Department of Social Welfare and Development Assistant Secretary Rhea Penaflor; Philippine Association of Convention/Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers, Inc. President Joel Pascual; Department of Tourism (DOT) VII Regional Director Shalimar Tamano; DOT-Tourism and Promotion Board Chief Operating Officer Atty. Anthonette Velasco-Allones; and Bohol Governor Arthur Yap pose during a press briefing on December 8, 2020 held at the Bellevue Hotel, Panglao Island, Bohol as part of the Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions, and Exhibitions and Events (MICE+E) Familiarization Trip to Bohol organized by the TBP on December 7 – 10. 

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) committed to continue to assist informal sector workers in the tourism industry whose livelihood have been severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

This was emphasized by DSWD Assistant Secretary for Specialized Programs Rhea B. Peñaflor  during the recently concluded “Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions, and Exhibitions and Events (MICE+E) Familiarization Trip” to Bohol organized by the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) on December 7 – 10, 2020. The activity was attended by the stakeholders and representatives from the member-agencies of the government’s National Task Force on Recovery. 

“Sustainable Tourism is an important driving force, our fuel to socio-economic development and poverty reduction. It generates employment both in formal and informal sectors,” Assistant Secretary Peñaflor said as she discussed the role of sustainable tourism in the country’s way to recovery during a press conference held in Panglao, Bohol on December 8.

According to the Assistant Secretary, eligible families from the informal sectors whose livelihood were affected by the pandemic are given Livelihood Assistance Grants (LAG) under the DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program, one of the agency’s social protection programs.

In Bohol alone, DSWD Field Office VII reported that a total of 2,803 families with grants amounting to P17, 910,000 have been provided with LAG, as of November 4, while an additional 1,206 families with a requested allocation of P18,890,000 are targeted to be served and are awaiting the implementation of the program. 

“We commit to the Department of Tourism – Tourism Promotions Board to provide support through our social protection programs like Livelihood Assistance Grants to these informal sector workers whose livelihood were affected by the pandemic,” Assistant Secretary Peñaflor added.

The MICE+E Familiarization Trip to Bohol aimed to validate and inspect the general preparedness of the tourism industry in the new normal, as part of the government’s recovery efforts.

The National Task Force on Recovery, led by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), is mandated to focus on the development of programs, projects, and innovative delivery mechanisms applicable to the new normal. DSWD is a member of the Task Force and sits as the Chair of the Sub-Task Group on Social Recovery.###

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DSWD Chief, other Cabinet members lead delivery of gov’t services in Lanao del Norte

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista delivers his message for beneficiaries of financial assistance at Kapatagan Public Market. 

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista joined Cabinet members in a series of events held in Lanao del Norte on November 24 to extend social protection services to indigent families in the province.

Upon his arrival, the Secretary graced the launching of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-Asa (BP2) Program in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte wherein the DSWD will extend aid to returning families from the National Capital Region (NCR) and provide assistance in their reintegration and resettlement at their places of origin.

Secretary Bautista also led the provision of financial assistance, under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), to 100 indigent families in Kauswagan and 200 market vendors in Kapatagan who are economically affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the interventions that will be provided by the Department in BP2 Program are transportation assistance, Transitory Family Support Package, Livelihood Settlement Grants, transitory shelter assistance, and psychosocial support. In addition, the beneficiaries will also be involved in building self-sustaining community projects through the community-driven development (CDD) strategy of Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), core program of the DSWD.

Through Kalahi-CIDSS, community members actively participate to identify and prioritize their community’s problems and  allow them to design, implement, and manage solutions to their priority problems. It focuses on providing people-centered development by providing development assistance, capacity-building, and implementation support to poverty-disadvantaged and disaster-affected municipalities

About 10,000 families nationwide are targeted to benefit from the BP2 Program in the coming years.

Meanwhile, the Secretary joined Senator Lawrence “Bong” Go and other Cabinet members including Department of Budget and Management Secretary Wendel Avisado, Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar, Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development Secretary Eduardo D. del Rosario, Presidential Communications Operation Office Secretary Martin Andanar, Mindanao Development Authority Chairman Emmanuel Piñol, and Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission Commissioner Greco Belgica in the launching of the new Malasakit Center in Kapatagan Provincial Hospital. During the event, the Department, through its Field Office X, extended financial assistance worth Php3,000 to 46 patients currently admitted in the said hospital.

As the lead social welfare agency, DSWD remains committed to support the measures of the Duterte administration to ensure balanced regional development through the provision of quality social welfare programs to all Filipinos in need of assistance. ###

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SLP: promoting Swak na Local Products, a webinar

Online selling has been long practiced by businesses in the advent of the internet. Different platforms are available in maximizing reach to potential buyers. With more people having access to social media, it has been the most flexible marketplace for online sellers. Despite its great potential, only few people understand how the social network can work in advantage for micro-entrepreneurs.

The webinar is to capacitate our program participants on better engagement and selling of their products through their own business pages.

It is initiated under the Sustainable Livelihood Program on the conduct of a webinar about online selling through social media entitled “SLP: promoting Swak na Local Products” through Google Meet link. The activity is in line with the week-long Likhang Hiraya celebration of DSWD Field Office 10. Target participants are program participants and field workers in improving product-selling and reaching more potential buyers. Resource person is Ms. Piper Ramboanga, online marketing consultant and founder of a consultancy group that provides technical advises to SMEs.

The activity serves as culminating activity of Likhang Hiraya, the photo exhibit and product display of SLP. Photos are exhibited at Lim Ket Kai Mall and Ayala Centrio Mall. Products are sold online through the Facebook page DSWD Region X to avoid crowding in public places.

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September 2021