Archive | May, 2013

DSWD Denies Issuing Registration Forms, Recruiting And Conducting Payouts For Alleged New Pantawid Pamilya Beneficiaries

The DSWD Regional Office No. V has denied issuing registration forms, recruiting, conducting community assemblies and announcing payouts for the alleged new Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries in the fourth district of Camarines Sur.

In a statement released to the media, DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia said that the registration forms that were reportedly circulated in the municipalities of the fourth district of Camarines Sur did not come from the DSWD. Garcia emphasized that the identification of qualified beneficiaries for Pantawid Pamilya is generated solely through the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTSPR) and payouts are only done through the schedules and modes approved by the Department. “For the record the DSWD is not the source of the alleged registration forms, we are not conducting community assemblies to recruit new beneficiaries for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in the Partido area or anywhere else in the Region at the moment and no payouts are being conducted since March 29, 2013”, Garcia stressed.

The circulation of registration forms and the conduct of community assemblies to recruit new beneficiaries for the program in the Partido area of Camarines Sur were reported on Saturday, May 11, 2013, two days before the midterm elections.

It was also reported that on May 15, 2013 a group of persons converged at the town hall of Sagnay, Camarines Sur to “collect their grants” as “newly registered” Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries.

Director Garcia said that such activities are being responded to by the DSWD through its “Bawal ang EPAL Dito” campaign which was launched and intensified during the election period to protect the Pantawid PamilyangPilipino Program, its beneficiaries and implementers against partisan political activities. The campaign also prescribed rules and norms in the conduct of activities and transactions that guided the Department’s workers. The data and information generated by the Department’s campaign revealed that political “epals” used the poverty reduction program to promote their political interests. Some used threats to gain votes by falsely informing the beneficiaries that they will be excluded from the program and lose their grants if they do not vote in their favor. Others promised to work for and deliver more benefits to Pantawid households if elected. A candidate for councilor even used “4Ps” as his nickname to generate more votes. All these “epal” acts were responded to by the DSWD and its field workers to prevent and mitigate the effects and influence of partisan politics.

“The DSWD is committed to protect the integrity of its poverty reduction programs and the safety and independence of its workers for the best interests of the poor and marginalized”, Garcia added. ###

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Construction Safety Training Boosts Safety and Health Education in CDD Projects

Emphasizing on preventive measures during the construction of community infrastructures under the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) project, a training on Construction Safety Training was conducted last May 6-10, 2013 in Sto. Domingo, Albay.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has partnered with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for a 40-hour training in educating the staff to protect the welfare of the project’s laborers.

The most common dangers during construction are falls from working at height, crush injuries in excavation work, being struck by falling objects, moving heavy loads, bad working positions, inhalation of dust, handling of rough materials, exposure to dangerous substances (chemical and biological), working near, in, or over water, exposure to radiation, loud noise, vibration from tools or vibrating machinery.

Armand Mikhail Templado, the Kalahi-CIDSS Regional Engineer, said that it is necessary to observe a hazard-free construction site to safeguard the health and the lives of the laborers.

“At the end of the training, we expect that they can now submit a Construction Safety and Health Program (CSHP) which mitigates identified hazards during the construction period,”he said.

The five-day training included topics on environmental safety; handling of construction machinery; excavation safety; personal protective equipment; occupational health and safety; health legislation; and safety and health practices. It was attended by the DSWD-hired engineers or deputy area coordinators (DAC) and municipal engineers from different municipalities implementing Kalahi-CIDSS project.

“Our [DSWD] staff will be the ones who will provide the technical assistance (TA) to the communities who will implement the infrastructures in observing protective measures during construction,” Templado added.

Suncris Cadiz, a DAC assigned in Bula, Camarines Sur, said that all of them are accountable in terms of managing hazards in the construction sites.

“This training is an essential component of the project,” she added.

Kalahi-CIDSS is a community-driven development (CDD) project in the Philippines which strongly advocates the involvement of local communities in the design and implementation of development projects to address the issue of poverty in the country. It aims to improve local governance by employing the participation of the people in the communities in the development process

Community residents consensually decide on what type of poverty-reduction projects they will prioritize for funding based from the collective analysis of their needs. Community proposals can vary from public goods/access projects, enterprise or livelihood projects or human development projects.

The laborers of these small-scale infrastructures are also taken from the members of the community. DACs will educate these people on how they can avoid accidents and sickness acquired during construction.

Engr. Alex Marlo Sacado of Safety Control Division of DOLE, said that the health and safety of the construction workers is one of the project’s concerns.

“Without our laborers, our project will be a failure so it is necessary to ensure a safe working environment for them,” he said.

Kalahi-CIDSS, a multi-funded project of DSWD, aids 2,051 communities with P1.07 billion for continued implementation this 2013. ###jmarbella

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A Katutubo caravan was held recently in a tribal community at Barangay Osmeña, Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte where hundreds of “Kabihugs” unmindful of the strong summer heat trek the hills of Barangay Osmeña in order to join the activity.

These “Kabihugs” belong to the “Agta”, the generic term used in Bicol to refer to the 40,000 natives with dark colored skin, short statue and kinky hair. In order to preserve the culture of the katutubo in Camarines Norte, they called themselves “ Kabihugs”. There are 19 Kabihugs tribes in Camarines Norte. They are from the towns of Basud, San Lorenzo Ruiz, Capalonga, Paracale, Labo and Jose Panganiban. The Kabihugs who joined the event are from Guisican, Labo(also a tribal community), Paracale and Jose Panganiban.

As explained by DSWD Director Arnel B. Garcia, the katutubo caravan aims to provide with the basic social services and other entitlement from the government.

Since some of the Kabihugs are Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, the day’s event also served as a venue for the beneficiaries and stakeholders to express the importance of the conditional cash transfer in their lives and personally respond to the issues raised against the program.

As shared by Dr.Vincent Asis, the Municipal Health Officer of Jose Panganiban, the Pantawid Pamilya contributed much in their journey toward the attainment of better health services for these sector.

According to Dr. Asis, there is a notable increase in the number of people availing the health services and a larger portion of these are the “ Kabihugs”. There are already Kabihug pregnant mothers who avail the services of the birthing facilities.

The pre-school children are now brought to the health center for regular check up, deworming and other health services. The mothers are now aware of proper health and sanitation.”Malilinis na sila, Dr. Asis said.

Ms. Merly Bubuyo happily shared on her experiences when the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program was brought to the IP community. There is an increase in enrollment among the Kabihugs. There are Kabihug children who excel academically in class. Their parents have already seen the value of education and actively participate in meetings and other activities of the school.

Julie Acula and Leoniza Noblezala, two Kabihug beneficiaries likewise shared that the Pantawid Pamilya has brought too much changes in their lives. They are now able to send their children to school, avail health services and we are now able to provide them with their health and school needs.”Lahat ng bayarin sa eskwela ay amin ng naibibigay at natuto na rin kaming painumin ng bitamina ang aming mga anak”

The government agencies who participated and extended their services are:

  • Medical Services by the Municipal Health Office and the Philippine Army
  • Philhealth Registration by the Philhealth
  • Free birth registration by the office of the Local Civil Registrar of Labo, Paracale and Jose Panganiban
  • ALS Registration by the DepEd

The Philippine Army likewise distributed used clothing.

The Katutubo Caravan was jointly sponsored by the DSWD, the Local Government of Jose Panganiban and the National Commission for Indigenous People.  # ##eejerusalem.



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DSWD Field Office V Update on Volcanic Eruption

Mt.Mayon erupted which PHIVOLCS described as steam driven ash explosion 8:OO in the morning of May 7, 2013 , no reported tremors declaring volcanic activity as alert level zero. The explosion affected three groups of mountaineers totaling to 27 persons who were on the volcano at the time of the explosion.

There were reported 5 dead casualties-4 Indonesian tourist and 1 Filipino tour guide. 15 persons await rescue at Camp 2. PDRRMC called for a meeting at 9:30am for media briefing on the incident.The PDRRMC alerted response agencies for assistance of the injured. Rescue efforts had been organized and on its way. Furthermore, advisory was released enforcing no human activities within 6 km permanent danger zone. PNP to reinforce.

As part of its preparation, DSWD Field Office 5 is ready with its 2,000 dust masks in case needed by population affected by ash fall in the 3rd district of Albay. We also have sufficient food on standby for possible resource augmentation-2,000 food packs and 5,000 rice credit sales agreement with National Food Authority(NFA) available for withdrawal anytime.

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The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Juliano-Soliman strongly emphasized that the citizens are crucial to the pursuit of progress. She made this point as she talked about how the Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach can operationalize “inclusive growth” during the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Francisco Fernandez for the pilot testing of the enhancement of the Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) engagement with Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS).

“The communities are key to development”, said Secretary Soliman. She cited how the community-driven development (CDD) approach of Kalahi-CIDSS builds up on the Aquino administration’s thrust of “the people as the bosses”.

CDD is a poverty alleviation strategy which gives citizens the power and the responsibility to analyze and address local issues that impede their development through participatory decision-making. It is the principal strategy of Kalahi-CIDSS, one of the projects under the DSWD.

Secretary Soliman said that Albay was chosen as one of the two pilot sites for PLGU engagement because its PLGU showed consistent support to the implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS in its constituent municipalities. Furthermore, it has proven its expertise in addressing provincial concerns, including disaster risk management.

While she praised Governor Salceda for his active involvement in Kalahi-CIDSS implementation, she also issued him a challenge. “You have tried [CDD implementation] in either Kalahi-CIDSS or PODER. Let us try this now at the provincial level.”

PODER, or Poder Y Prosperidad de la Comunidad (Empowerment and Development of Communities) is a project also implemented by the Kalahi-CIDSS with funding support from the Agencia Española Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarollo (AECID). It also uses the CDD strategy utilized by Kalahi-CIDSS. It is implemented in the Bicol region, Region III, and CARAGA.

The pilot testing is expected to provide insights on the roles of the PLGU in the implementation of CDD. The information will be used to identify the engagement of the PLGU in the National Community-Driven Development Program (NCDDP), the scaling up of Kalahi-CIDSS.

For his part, Governor Salceda welcomed Secretary Soliman’s challenge, saying that he believes in the systems employed by Kalahi-CIDSS, particularly in its thrust of empowering people. “Ang CDD ang paraan sa pag-solve ng poverty, at ang magsasagot ay ang tao mismo [CDD provides the means to solve poverty, and the ones who will solve poverty are the people themselves].”

He also cited the Kalahi-CIDSS’ system of going directly to the people to ask for their feedback. “I always insist that we follow the format of the Kalahi-CIDSS’ voice and vote,” he said.

He added that it is his desire for everyone to become involved in the development process. “It has been my dream for the barangay residents to go to their barangay captains and say, ‘This is the project that we need’. The barangay captain will then tell his mayor, and then his mayor will go to the governor. In this sense, democracy becomes equality, where the budgetary buttons of the government will be dictated by the people.”

He ended his talk by aiddressing the Albay mayors. “We have gotten our marching orders. Let us continue our practice of working together.”

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Legazpeños Attend First Kalahi-CIDSS Community Assembly

IMG_75562After the barangay assembly, chosen volunteers from Brgy. Bitano, Legazpi City were oriented about Kalahi-CIDSS last April 18, 2013 at the Ibalong Centrum for Recreation. Donna Osial [left], a DSWD staff, discusses their roles and responsibilities as volunteers in the project.

From the coverage of rural barangays, Kalahi-CIDSS has now expanded to the urban setting with its pilot implementation in Legazpi City wherein residents of Bitano and Rawis attended the first barangay assembly (BA) for the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) project.

The BA was conducted in Bitano and Rawis last April 19 and 20, respectively. The staff from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) oriented the crowd about different aspect of Kalahi-CIDSS project.

World Bank (WB) has granted P1 million each for Bitano and Rawis as part of the pilot implementation of urban Kalahi-CIDSS in Luzon. It started last January and will end March 2014.

What is Kalahi-CIDSS?

Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the poverty reduction programs implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). It stands for Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services.

Employing “Community-Driven Development” as a primary strategy, Kalahi-CIDSS trains communities together with their local governments (barangay and municipal) to choose, design, and implement development projects to address their most pressing needs.  Through the Project, communities and local government units have built school buildings, farm to market roads and bridges, health stations, day care centers, post-harvest facilities, and implemented capacity building and projects that address poverty needs.

On the other hand, the first set of volunteers was elected wherein there were two representatives for each purok. Through this, CDD is operationalized by involving the residents in the decision-making process of the government.

Alfonso Bantigui, Jr. of Zone 4, Bitano, was one of the chosen community volunteers who will study their local situation and conduct a community research.

He is one of those who will identify the key problems in their community that causes poverty, and identify the range of possible solutions to address these problems.

“Magayon po na naghahale sa tawo su consultation ta kaipuhan talaga hapotun ang tao dahil dakol ang saindang mga pangangaipo. Sa paagi ning Kalahi-CIDSS, nahihiling man na may magayon pa na programa ang gobyerno [It’s better that the people is consulted because they what are their needs. Through Kalahi-CIDSS, it is seen that government has good programs for the people],” he said.

Barangay Assembly Defined

As defined in the Local Government Code, R.A. 7160, BA is a gathering of barangay residents who are Filipino, at least 15 years old and above, and listed in the records as members of the barangay assembly. It is conducted at least twice a year.

In Kalahi-CIDSS, community consultations are done through BAs by providing updates and feedbacks to the people about the project and are conducted with a minimum of five (5) BAs in a cycle (year).

Other groups of volunteers formed during the course of Kalahi-CIDSS implementation include the Barangay Representation Teams (BRT), Project Preparation Teams (PPT), Community-Based Monitoring Team (CBMT) and Barangay Sub-Project Management Committees (BSPMCs). All volunteers are elected during BAs. ###jmarbella

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