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DSWD advocates adoption to communities

Cagayan de Oro — As its celebration to February’s Adoption Consciousness Month, the Department of Social Welfare and Development here has lined up activities to share to the communities the benefits of adoption, both to families and to the adoptees.

With this year’s theme as “Legal na Ampon ako, anak na Totoo (A Child finds worth in Legal Adoption),” the DSWD will be showcasing success stories on adoption to the public this month through various adoption dialogues and advocacy activities. This is to encourage potential families to consider adoption, and to orient them on how it is processed.

Because of the lengthy process of adoption in the past years, which becomes an emotional upheaval to interested potential parents and their adoptees, Republic Act 9523 or “An Act Requiring the Certification of DSWD to Declare a ‘Child Legally Available for Adoption (CDCLAA)’ as a Prerequisite for Adoption Proceedings” was implemented by the DSWD to reduce the time period before a child is considered abandoned.

This after several dialogues has been made with potential families, non-government organizations, civil society groups, and government agencies, regarding the issue on the lengthy process of adoption.

DSWD has been the forefront in ensuring that children who are declared as abandoned will find loving and suitable adoptive parents to whom they can legally call “family.”

Written by Charmaine P. Tadlas, DSWD

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FEATURE: Pantawid opens opportunities to grantee, now a teacher

Camiguin — A beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (Pantawid Pamilya) is now a part time teacher of the state-run college in this province.

Maria Melina Rodriguez, 30 of Sitio Tapon, Poblacion, Mambajao here handles Science subjects of Camiguin Polytechnic State College.

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Rodriguez, who has three children, claimed she was unemployed when she and her family where placed under Pantawid Pamilya under Set 7 implementation.

Demolished

Rodriguez used to live in Sitio Balintawak, Poblacion, Mamabajao town. But, in 2004, her house was one of those demolished that drove them away to Sitio Tapon.

At first, she rented a house. Later, she built her own house near to her parents.

As a beneficiary, she learned from the Family Development Session the importance of preparing for the brighter future of her children.

As it is, Rodriguez claimed she exerted more efforts to find a job.

“I was not really concerned before that, but, because of the FDS, I learned the importance of providing their needs, aside from maintaining good relationship with them,” Rodriguez said.

The FDS is a monthly session where the partner-beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilya are required to attend as part of their co-responsibilities. Through the FDS, parent/s or guardians are educated about personality development which includes proper grooming and hygiene; strengthening family relationships; and fostering respect by inculcating one’s rights, roles, and responsibilities within the family and their community. Parents also discuss disaster preparedness, financial literacy, and other topics that may be helpful to the family.

More opportunities

Rodriguez passed the LET examination in 2008 before she became a beneficiary of the program.

Knowing her low self-esteem, Rodriguez decided not to apply at the Department of Education. She focused on rearing her children after her marriage in 2004.

Also, she was closely engaged with activities in her community and availed of the programs and services of DSWD and other national government agencies.

Rodriguez enrolled and finished Front Office Services NC II and Cookery NC II in 2010 at the TESDA-accredited technical institution, Camiguin School of Arts and Trade in 2010.

The free vocational course, she said, had been instrumental in developing her self-confidence.

Through the Sustainbale Livelihood Program, she claimed she was able to hone her skills.

“SLP and Pantawid were a blessing to me. Imagine, I had nothing at first. Now, I survived my family alone because of these programs,” said Rodriguez, who was surviving her children alone until recently when she found her new partner.

“More than the financial help, the program has improved my knowledge and capacitated me to fully develop my potentials through the trainings I attended,” she added.

Health benefits

Rodriguez recalled that bringing her children to the hospital for medication had been a nightmare to her because of the hospital bill and cost of medicines.

Now, she is not afraid of bringing her children to the hospital because it’s free.

“I feel we are loved by the government because of the zero billing policy,” she said in vernacular.

Rodriguez hoped that beneficiaries like her will religiously follow their co-responsibilities of the program.

Pantawid Pamilya is a human development program that invests in the health and education of poor households’ primary of children aged 0-18. It utilizes the conditional cash transfer scheme where the partner-beneficiaries receive their grants provided that they fulfill their co-responsibilities, including sending their children to school, availing of health services, and attending the monthly FDS.

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Written by Oliver Badel Inodeo, DSWD

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DSWD expands coverage of Social Pension

Cagayan de Oro — Indigent senior citizens aged 60 years old and above are now covered under the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Social Pension Program.

This after the budget appropriate for the Social Pension for 2016 was increased to more than P8.7 Billion per General Appropriations Act of Fiscal Year 2016. The Program expanded its coverage from 65 years and above to 60 years old and above.

The Social Pension Program provides cash subsidy of P500 per month to indigent senior citizens for their health needs such as medicines and food. Qualified beneficiaries are those who are certified as “poor” by their local government unit and who are not beneficiaries of any other social pension and social insurances such as those of GSIS, SSS, and AFPSLAI.

The DSWD, City or Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers under the Local Government Units, and Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) validate the qualifications of the senior citizens. Even Barangay Officials, Federation of Senior Citizens Associations of the Philippines (FSCAP), Senior Citizens Organizations, non-government organizations, youth volunteers, barangay health workers, and other groups also assist DSWD in the validation.

Qualified senior citizens may apply at the City or Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office under the local government unit. They can also apply at the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA). They should bring a photocopy of OSCA ID and Proof of Date of Birth.

Beneficiaries of the Social Pension can claim their stipends at the OSCA or City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office

The Social Pension for Filipino Indigent Senior Citizens Program started last January 2011.

Written by Charmaine P. Tadlas, DSWD

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Photo: DSWD, Unifrutti, Hineleban meet to help Lumads

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Unifrutti Foundation Inc, Hineleban Foundation Technical Consultant Raoul Geollegue

FOOD AID RELIEF . Unifrutti Foundation Inc, Hineleban Foundation Technical Consultant Raoul Geollegue presented the emergency food relief project proposal, dubbed as “Pantawid Lumad sa Tagtuyot”, to the different stakeholders and participants during the Whole of Nation Initiative Development & Social Protection Cluster Consultation Meeting for the Lumads, February 6, 2016 at the Pryce Plaza Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City. The objective of this meeting is to consult with different stakeholders in the facilitation and implementation of an emergency food relief program for Lumads in the El Niño affected areas of Bukidnon. Director Ramos, however, stressed that a project of this magnitude should be properly coordinated with the different line agencies and stakeholders and must have a holistic approach.

(Photo by Shaun Alejandrae Yap Uy, DSWD)

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Photo: DSWD Meets with Lumads, Stakeholders

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Nestor B. Ramos DSWD Regional Director Field Office X

COLLABORATION . Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 10 Director Nestor B. Ramos welcome the participants for the Whole of Nation Initiative Development & Social Protection Cluster Consultation Meeting for the Lumads, February 6, 2016 at the Pryce Plaza Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City. This consultation meeting is attended by different regional government agencies, DSWD regional staff, stakeholders and Lumad representatives from Bukidnon and is in partnership with Unifrutti Foundation Inc and Hineleban Foundation and spearheaded by DSWD. The objective of this meeting is to consult with different stakeholders in the facilitation and implementation of an emergency food relief program for Lumads in the El Niño affected areas of Bukidnon. Director Ramos, however, stressed that a project of this magnitude should be properly coordinated with the different line agencies and stakeholders and must have a holistic approach. Present during this meeting is DSWD Undersecretary for Promotive Services Camilo G. Gudmalin who presented the rationale of the said meeting. USEC Gudmalin urged the different stakeholders to iron out some details of this project for fast and efficient implementation.

(Photo by Shaun Alejandrae Yap Uy, DSWD)

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DSWD Spearheads 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women

With this year’s theme, “End VAW Now! It’s Our Duty! Gains and Ways Forward,” the Department of Social Welfare and Development recently spearheaded the 18th Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women and their Children and International Day Against Trafficking.

Some of the activities conducted in line with the celebration included a motorcade, TV guestings, advocacy forums on various Laws related to anti-violence against women and children.

Highlights of the week long celebration were the active participation of members of the Men Opposed to Violence Everywhere and other government member-Agencies of the Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women and their Children.

The event was aimed to promote public awareness in the observance of the event and give emphasis on how far the government agencies and other stakeholders have gone in terms of programs and projects that address violence against women and children.

Protecting and upholding the rights of women and children  has been one of the major initiatives of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

 

Written by Mitzie S. Santiago, DSWD

 

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PHOTO: Volunteerism boosts local economy

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Ms. Jackielyn C. Goc-ong, a resident of Purok 2 Poblacion, Dalamas, Tagoloan,  Lanao del Norte, though not a member of the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) of the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services – National Community Driven Development (Kalahi CIDSS-NCDDP), actively volunteers in their community sub-project which is the Concreting of 100m Farm-to-Market-Road. The community proposed this sub-project for faster and cheaper delivery of their products to the market, also to lessen the road accidents in their area. Efficient delivery of their farm products is essential to avoid spoilage and other damages. Kalahi CIDSS-NCDDP promotes women empowerment, gender equality, and community-driven development among others.

Photos by Maria Arline May Villanueva-Pacudan, Area Coordinator of Kalahi CIDSS, Tagoloan, Lanao del Norte

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FEATURE: Youth gets help from government

Bukidnon — Maisarah Sarosong of Barangay San Miguel in Maramag, this province, has always been grateful for what the government has done for her and her family.

Coming from a poor family, the 18-year-old recalls that attending school was a challenge for her mother who brought her up and her four siblings singlehandedly. Her father died when they were young.

Although her mother could hardly make ends meet for their family, she was still able to attend college with the help of the Socialize Scholarship of Central Mindanao University which gave a “tuition privilege” for her.

Since the scholarship did not include covering miscellaneous fees required for the students by the said university, she became desperate after finding out that she needed to pay for her financial obligation in school . “Naguol gyud kay kinahanglan nako mabayaran akong utang sa eskwelahan para maka-take ko sa akong final exam (I was worried because I needed to pay for the fees before I can take my final exam),” Maisarah recalled.

Desperate to take her exam and completer her college course, she asked the assistance from the local government unit of Maramag and received educational assistance under the UNLAD Kabataan Program so that she can finish her schooling.

UNLAD Kabataan Program, which is implemented by the local government unit of Maramag and under the technical assistance of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, is aimed at providing developmental, remedial, and preventive services for out-of-school, marginalized, and disadvantaged youths. The same youths under the Program shall also become members of the Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippins (PYAP).

Soon after her graduation, Maisarah was then hired by the Local Government Unit of Maramag as an administrative aide.

Today, because of her income, she is now able to help her family financially. Her mother now even owns a karenderya which is now their other source of income.

“Without the government’s help, I would have never finished school, nor would our family be able to have a stable income,” Maisarah said.

Written by Charmaine P. Tadlas, DSWD

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