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Cabinet execs visit Ormoc on ‘Yolanda’ anniv, laud progresses there

Ormoc City, Leyte – One year after Typhoon Yolanda ravaged this city, Department of Social Welfare and Development  (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman expressed her admiration for the continued rehabilitation here.

Sec. Soliman together with Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Secretary PanfiloLacson, and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin were here on  Saturday, November 8, to attend activities commemorating the first year anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda.

“I can see that all repairs on major buildings are done, more restaurants have opened, and commerce has increased,” Sec. Soliman remarked.

She commended City Mayor Edward C. Codilla for his leadership in bringing normalcy back to the locality.

The cabinet officials sat as panelists during a media forum where they gave updates on rehabilitation efforts and responded to questions.

Sec. Soliman was asked to explain about the Disaster Assistance and Family Access Card (DAFAC) and Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA).

She explained that the Disaster Assistance and Family Access Card (DAFAC) was implemented in cooperation with the City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Offices to ensure the equal food distribution to ‘Yolanda’-affected provinces in Eastern Visayas. It aims to monitor the status of affected families and whether a family is underserved or overserved though the logs in the cards they hold.

For the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA), Sec. Soliman explained that the certificate of occupancy is needed to ensure that the recipients of the assistance will not be evicted from their house.

She added that typhoon victims with totally damaged houses will receive P70,000 cash assistance each and those with partially damaged houses will receive P30,000 cash assistance each.

After the forum, the executives participated in the groundbreaking of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Community Evacuation Center.

Then, they proceeded to the Tzu Chi Great Love Village in Barangay Lilo-Ann which can accommodate 2,000 housing units.

As of November 3, some 37 units have already been completed.  The beneficiaries of this housing village will come from 12 barangays of the city.

Mayor Codilla entered into a usufruct agreement with Tzu Chi Foundation for the use of the 50-hectares land.

To lighten the day’s event, officials and staff of Tzu Chi Foundation led the presentation of the “One Family Song”, which talks about the value of unity, through sign language.

The national agency heads and other guests gladly participated. ###

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A dream come true for a ‘Yolanda’ survivor

Guiuan, Eastern Samar“Grabe! Sobra-sobra akong nagpapasalamat sa Panginoon at sa gobyerno dahil sa paggawad sa amin ng pabahay dito sa Cogon Resettlement Site  (I am extremely grateful to God and to the government for giving us shelter here in Cogon Resettlement Site).”

Typhoon Yolanda survivor Olivia Fuentes, 40, could not contain her happiness after receiving a certificate of occupancy to their new house from President Benigno Aquino III during the turn over ceremony at the Cogon Resettlement Site on Friday, November 7, a day before the first year anniversary of ‘Yolanda’.

Olivia is one of the 44 PantawidPamilya beneficiaries who are among the 132 families who have moved to the transitional shelters from tents after the typhoon wrecked their houses.

In his message, Pres. Aquino stressed that although the houses are transitional, they are sturdy, still in accordance with the “building back better” principle used to guide reconstruction and recovery efforts in disaster-hit areas.

“Gaya po ninyo, naiinip din ako. Pero kailangan po natin idiin nahindi p’wedeng idaan sa bara-bara ang ating ‘build back better’ (Like you, I also become impatient. But we need to emphasize that we cannot be lax in implementing our ‘build back better’),” Pres. Aquino said.

With the President were Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman,  Presidential Adviser on Rehabilitation and Recovery Secretary PanfiloLacson, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson,  Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Executive Director Alexander Pama, and National Housing Authority General Manager Chito Cruz.


Olivia recounted the times when she dreamt of having her own house.

“Pangarap ko talaga ang magkabahay para sa pamilya ko kahit noong hindi pa dumadating ang Bagyong Yolanda. Kaya noong nagkaroon ng shelter assistance mula sa DSWD at local na pamahalaan, natuwa talaga ako  (It is my dream to have a house for my family even before Typhoon Yolanda came. So I was very glad when DSWD and the local government offered shelter assistance),” she said.

Every morning, Olivia holds the picture of the shelter units mounted on the wall of her small tent, which has been her home together with her six children and her husband after the typhoon destroyed their house.

“Kapag hinahawakan ko ‘yong picture ng shelter units, nagdadasal ako nangtaimtim. Sinasabi kong magkakaroon ako nito at lahat ng pangarap ko matutupad sa loob ng bahay na ito (While holding the picture of the shelter units, I am praying deeply that I will have this and all my dreams will come true in this house),” she added.

When Olivia finally received the news that she will be a recipient of the shelter unit at the Cogon Resettlement Site, her heart was suddenly filled with greatest happiness and relief.

In her head, she saw a montage of scenes revealing her family’s pains and struggles in surmounting the challenges brought by the wrath of ‘Yolanda’.

With her voice slowly breaking she said, “Iba talaga ang tinuro sa amin ng Bagyong Yolanda at ang experience namin sa pagtira sa tent. ‘Yung pinagdaanan namin na hirap ang sumukat ng aming katatagan bilang pamilya. Kaya palagi akong nagdadasal at nagpapasalamat sa mga tulong na dumadating sa amin tulad ng Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program at ng pabahay na ito (The lesson brought by Typhoon Yolanda and our experience in leaving in tent is unparalleled. The adversities we went through measured the resilience of our family. Thus, I always pray and I am always thankful for the assistance given to us like Pantawid Pamilya and this shelter assistance).”

PantawidPamilya is one of the programs of the national government being implemented by the DSWD that provides cash grants to poor Filipino families in exchange of education and health conditions. The objective of the program is to keep children aged 0-18 years old healthy and in school.

“Malaking tulong ang cash grants na nakukuha ko sa PantawidPamilyalalo na noong pagkatapos ng ‘Yolanda’. Ibinibiliko ng gamit sa eskwela at pamasahe ng anak ko sap agpasok sa school. Kaya nagpapasalamat ako na may Pantawid Pamilya (The cash grants that I receive in Pantawid Pamilya are great help especially after Typhoon Yolanda.  I use the grants to buy school supplies and for the transportation allowance of my children in going to school. That is why I am thankful that there is Pantawid Pamilya),” Olivia proudly said.

Aside from the shelter units, the 132 families also received Pabaon Packs containing 25 kilos of rice, canned goods, cereal drinks, coffee, family kits (kitchen utensils, blanket, plastic sheet and jerrycans), and a hygiene pack composed of bath soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste.

“Masaya ako sa mga tulong na ito ng gobyerno. At sigurado akong tuloy-tuloy na ang aming pagbangon dahil kaya na namin ang pagbabago (I am happy with the help given by the government. And now I am certain that we will have a continuous recovery because we can face the challenges of change),” she concluded.

Now, with ticket number 18 in her hands, the lot number of her new abode and her lucky number, she is joyfully preparing her family for their occupancy of their new home, where she will rebuild her life and fulfill her aspirations for her family.

Indeed, a dream come true for Olivia and for the rest of the 132 families. ###


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Haven celebrates National Children’s Month

CAGAYAN DE ORO – In line with the celebration of the NatIonal Children’s Month,the Regional Haven celebrated the month long celebration with a series of activities.

With this year’s theme, “Bata Kasali Ka,Ikaw ay Mahalaga”, the social workers of haven together with the Lourdes College interns conducted a lecture on the rights of children and protective behavior . This was aimed to educate the women and children residents on how to protect themselves from any form of abuse .

The center residents also had the opportunity to go malling which enabled them to experience a new environment and make them feel that as person they have the right to play and integrate with other people as part of their personality development and socialization. They also had the chance to dine in one of the fast foods and were given budget for buying tokens of their choice.

The experience gave the clients the avenue to feel that despite of what ever circumstances they have and are undergoing, they can still live a normal life as this will also prepare them for their eventual re-integration in the community.

Written by Jasmine Mercado-Ranao/Mitzie Santiago,DSWD

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Listahanan Data Users and Partners Continue to Increase

Northern Mindanao- As of October this year, a total of seventy-eight Local Government Units covering the 5 provinces and nine cities in the region have engaged with the Department of Social Welfare and Development through a Memorandum of Agreement relative to the utilization of the Listahanan/NHTS-PR data (National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction(NHTS-PR) .

Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) 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.

With the increasing number of data users, more programs and services are assured to benefit those who need them the most.

Aside from the Local Government Units, nine Civil Society organizations (CSOs) have been added to the growing list of groups who wanted to advocate and help reduce the problem of poverty.

As Regional Director stressed during the recently conducted Listahanan Advocacy Summit, the Department cannot do it all alone without the support , participation and involvement of these organizations who are willing to impart their programs and services to the identified poor households in the region.

These Civil Society Organizations have specific programs and services for the disadvantaged and vulnerable sectors in society.

For most of these partner organizations , the Listahanan data paved the way for them to have a focused group of individuals and families who are worthy to be recipients of their programs and services.

It is hoped that with the target-focused Listahanan data, more lives,more families will be motivated to help uplift their lives and state from that of being able to survive to that of becoming sufficient on their own.

Written by Mitzie S. Santiago, DSWD

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Listahanan Partners

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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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828 individuals in Lanao del Norte gained jobs through PAMANA

LANAO DEL NORTE – 828 individuals from various communities in this province has gained decent jobs through “Payapa ang Masaganang Pamayanan” (PAMANA) of the KALAHI CIDSS – National Community Driven Development (KC-NCDDP) implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

According to Teofreda Dingal, Regional Deputy Program Manager of the DSWD, said that these individuals are now working for the construction of sub-projects in their communities, like hauling and time-keeping, and are compensated by the said Department.

As of October 2014, over Php1.3 Million has been used to pay the said individuals for their services.

PAMANA is the government’s framework for peace and development in conflict-affected communities. It is aimed at reducing poverty and vulnerability through community infrastructure and focused delivery of social services.

It is also implemented by the government to improve governance through partnerships with national and local institutions, building capacities for governance, and enhancement of transparency and accountability mechanisms.

According to Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo, Regional Director of the DSWD, said that PAMANA also empowers communities and strengthens their capacities to address issues of vulnerability and peace through activities that promote social cohesion.

Written by Charmaine P. Tadlas, DSWD

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June 2020