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Permanent shelters handed over to survivors to mark ‘Yolanda’ anniversary

Tacloban City, Leyte – As part of the activities to commemorate the first year anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda, several cabinet secretaries were here on Saturday, November 8, to lead the turnover of completed permanent shelter units to typhoon survivors.

Some 122 housing units in Ridge View Park, Barangay Cabalawan and 28 units in Villa Sofia, Barangay Tagpuro were distributed to survivors who were drawn at random.

These permanent houses, which also have complete electric and water facilities, are part of a tie-up project of the National Housing Authority (NHA) and the city government.

It was initially agreed that the certificates of occupancy will be handed over by Mayor Alfred Romualdez and NHA General Manager Chito Cruz to the beneficiaries as part of the partnership of the local government unit (LGU) and NHA, with Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Secretary PanfiloLacson of the Office of Presidential Assistant for Recovery and Rehabilitation (OPARR), and Secretary Rogelio Singson of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) witnessing the distribution.

However, Mayor Romualdez was not able to attend the 1:30 pm event so he sent City Administrator Atty. Jenny Lyn Polistico-Manibay and Maria Lagman, the head of the Shelter Cluster of the LGU, instead.

Sec. Soliman observed that the event exuded a positive atmosphere with the survivors looking forward to live in their new houses.

Marissa Abraham, 40, one of the beneficiaries of a unit in Ridge View said, “Safe na kami sabaha. Salamatsatulongnapabahay ng gobyerno (We are now safe from floods. Thanks to the shelter assistance of the government).”

Another beneficiary, Emma Tambulungan, also expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to start anew.

Salamatsagobyernosapanibagongbahay at buhaynamatatamasanamin(Thank you to the government for this house that will help us start anew),” she shared.

Sec. Soliman encouraged the survivors saying, “Patuloypokamingtutulong at sasabaysainyosapag-unlad.  Tayo ay sama-samangtatawidpalagpassakahirapan (We will continue to help and walk with you towards development. Together, we will fight poverty).”

For his part, Sec. Lacson reminded the beneficiaries to value what have been given them.

Tuloy pa rinangtulongnaibibigay ng gobyernosahanapbuhaybukodsapabahay. Kaya tulong-tulongtayongmahalinnatinitongpabahay (Aside from shelter assistance, livelihood assistance will continue to be provided. So, let’s take care of these houses),” he said. ###

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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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Homemaker speaks for Pantawid Pamilya and how it changed her family and community

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Resiliency and Diligence in Livelihood Boost Norhaya’s Faith in Herself

Norhaya Toma has always believed that resiliency and diligence are two important pillars to success. Having nine children, she knows how bitter life could be, especially when finances are not enough to provide their basic needs. Living in a small village in Barangay Piraka, Sultan Naga Dimaporo, in the province of Lanao del Norte, Norhaya had little opportunities to improve their way of life. Even chances to make ends meet were slim, she recalled.

Like any other mothers who only want to provide for her children, the 53-year old searched daily for ways to be able to bring food on their family table. At one point, because of her resourcefulness, she was able to open her own sari-sari store but because of the lack of capital and the lack of knowledge in managing her business effectively, it eventually closed down.

“I felt like I was in a dark room, not knowing what to do to see that light I needed. I was actually at that point of questioning myself as a person. Why can’t I provide a good life for my family?” Norhaya says.

The day Norhaya was introduced to the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, she felt that this was an opportunity for her to get back on her feet. She eagerly made herself available to capability building workshops the Program provided.

The SLP is a DSWD intervention that aims to improve the standard of living of poor households such as that of Norhaya’s. Through the community-driven enterprise development approach, participants like her undergo workshops and skills training in order to determine the most suitable market-driven and resource-based livelihoods to engage in.

“It was in these workshops where I saw the mistakes I did in the Sari-sari store that I managed. It was in these workshops where I learned how to manage a small-scale business, how to get more customers, and to sustain it even with the little that I have,” Norhaya says.

Thankful for the financial support of the Hanapbuhay Piraka 4P’s SEA-K Association – an association established through the DSWD’s Micro-Enterprise Track of the SLP, Norhaya rebuilt her Sari-sari store, this time armed with knowledge and strategies in managing the business.

Today, she prides herself because of her resiliency and diligence in putting up her business. The store became a source of income for her and her nine children. It has brought food on their table and has provided for their basic needs. “I can now even bring my children to the market to buy them toys,” she smiles.

Although there were times that the business came to a low point, she did not mind. “I think it is part of the business, but I do not let it bother me. I am pretty much sure that with just a little faith in myself, I can get back on my feet.”

Norhaya is a Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipno Program beneficiary who is also identified under Listahanan – the national household targeting system used by the DSWD and other social protection providers for poverty reduction.

Written by Charmaine Tadlas, DSWD

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Baybay City thanks DSWD in Normin through Resolution

The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Baybay City, Leyte released City Resolution No. 254 s. 2013 thanking the Department of Social Welfare and Development, particularly in Region 10, for its delivery of relief goods given to the city for the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda that hit the area last 2013.

According the resolution, the province of Leyte suffered so much damage due to the typhoon and that many victims, especially the indigent families, needed the immediate relief for their basic needs “as they have nothing left.”

It also said that the DSWD was one of the first organizations that have responded to the call for help by delivering goods to alleviate the needs of the victims.

DSWD is mandated to assist local government units through augmentation of resources during disasters and to make immediate response to relief, early recovery and rehabilitation for victims of the calamities.

Written by Charmaine P. Tadlas, DSWD

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DSWD joins Alaga Ka Launching of PhilHealth

The Department of Social Welfare and Development recently participated in the Alaga Ka Launching of PhilHealth held at Brgy.Nazareth Covered Court.
Headed by Assistant Regional Director for Operations ,Aldersey de la Cruz, staffs from the Listahanan Unit and the Social Marketing Unit , were able to showcase advocacy materials for Listahanan . Queries relative to the project as well as to the other programs and services of the Department were welcomed and accomodated.
Highlights of the activity included the distribution of Member’s Data Record (MDR) to PhilHealth members , signing of the Commitment Wall by representatives from partner Agencies and the city government and the messsage of President Aquino via live streaming.
Alaga Ka is an integtrated marketing scheme of PhilHealth, the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of Health. It was specifically aimed to keep the PhilHealth members informed of their PhilHealth coverage,benefits and the other programs of the Department of Health.
PhilHealth is one of the active partners of the Department of Social Welfare and Development who have entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Agency and have utilized the Listahanan data in identifying their potential members .
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.
Written by Mitzie S. Santiago,DSWD

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Poor households have at least 2 social welfare and dev’t programs

Cagayan de Oro City – 266,011 poor households in Northern Mindanao were revealed to have been served with at least two social welfare and development (SWD) programs. This is according to the name-matching of program beneficiaries conducted recently by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

This number of households were higher than the expected target of 260,739 households identified through the DSWD’s Listahanan – the national targeting system utilized by the national government in identifying who and where the poor are in the Philippines.

The data shows that about 102.02% of the expected target is enjoying various social protection programs coming from DSWD, other national government agencies, and local government units. As per data generation, among the top social protection programs and services being enjoyed by the households are Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Philhealth, Cash for Training, Sustainable Livelihood Program, Supplementary Feeding Program, Community-Driven Development, Cash for Work, and Government Internship Program (GIP).

The conduct of the name-matching was done as a step in attaining one of the strategic goals of the DSWD which is to ensure that there will be an increase of poor households identified by Listahanan by 2016. This number then should reflect that these households are enjoying the benefits of at least two social protection programs.

Written by Charmaine Tadlas, DSWD

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DSWD to Conduct Orientation to 2014 GPBP Implementing Municipalities

Cagayan de Oro – Three teams will be fast tracking the conduct of the Grassroots Participatory Budgeting Process (GPBP) Project Orientation for 2014 implementing municipalities/cities under the Community-Driven Development (CDD) modality. This is the first activity to signal the implementation proper of the GPBP project in new municipalities and cities in Northern Mindanao.

Three (3) Teams composed of Regional Project Management Office staff from the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) will be conducting the Orientation in municipalities/cities in Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental and Lanao de Norte.

Topics to be discussed during the said orientation covers the roles of the different stakeholders (eg. Local Government Units, Barangay LGU, Civil Society Organizations, etc.) during the project implementation.

Another topic covers the Modified Community Empowerment Activity Cycle (CEAC), the activities that comprise the implementation of the CDD, which covers activities from social preparation stage, volunteer pool capacity trainings, implementation proper of funded sub-projects and preparation of the Operations and Maintenance plan.

Also included in the orientation are the Engineering and Financial systems, which has a unique set-up because of its community participation/multi-stakeholder approach which ensures transparency and accountability among those part of the project implementation.

Bukidnon areas include the municipalities of Kalilangan, Kibawe, Kitaotao, Pangantucan, Libona, San Fernando and Sumilao. Misamis Oriental areas include Cagayan de Oro City, Claveria, Gitagum, Medina, Opol and Talisayan, while Lanao del Norte areas include Kauswagan, Lala, and Poona Piagapo.

GPBP, formerly known as the Bottom Up Budgeting Process (BUB) has been entrusted to the DSWD’s CDD Program for the 2nd straight year. 2013 implementation includes municipalities of Kalilangan, Kitaotao, Malitbog – (Bukidnon), Mahinog – (Camiguin), Bonifacio, Oroquieta City, Tangub City – (Misamis Occidental), Poona Piagapo and Salvador – (Lanao del Norte). Twenty two (22) sub-projects are being implemented for the 2013 cycle, which will almost triple in the 2014 cycle.

Written by Marko Davey D. Reyes, DSWD

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November 2021