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Uplifting people through convergence of programs

Ave Ibañez explains the community’s plan for the operation and maintenance of their evacuation center project to the DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS staff.

“Para sa akin ang DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) ay isang paru-paro na naguumpisa siya bilang uod pero habang tumatagal ang proseso dito makikita yung ganda niya hanggang sa paglipad niya (For me, DSWD is like a butterfly that started as caterpillar but as the process goes we can see the beauty until it flies).”

This is what Ave Ibañez, 35, a mother of three (3) children of Barangay Balocawe, Dimasalang, Masbate said when comparing DSWD to a butterfly on the beauty of the social welfare programs.

Usually, people misinterpret poverty equals laziness but it’s not the case. This is the lack of opportunities and connections that poor people cannot grasp.

Seeing this as a challenge to resolve, the national government through the DSWD implements the three (3) Promotive Programs namely, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) and Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) focusing on the upliftment of the well-being of poor families.

Pantawid Pamilya is a conditional cash transfer program that invests in the health and education of poor households while the Kalahi-CIDSS uses the Community-Driven Development (CDD), an approach that helps communities to achieve improved access to services and to participate in more inclusive local planning, budgeting and implementation.

Moreover, the SLP is capacity building program that provides access to opportunities that increase the productivity of the livelihood assets of poor, vulnerable and marginalized communities.

Many people have benefitted from these programs and one of them is Ave Ibañez.

Ave described Barangay Balocawe as a peaceful community with people helping each other to transcend from the abyss of poverty.

She also recounted that Barangay Balocawe before was not yet reached by the government and its programs and services.

Noon, mahirap ang Balocawe pero sa ngayon, medyo nakikita ko na may kaunlaran na (Before, Balocawe is poverty-stricken but as of now, I can see developments here),” she explained.

She also furthered that when Pantawid Pamilya entered their community, other programs followed including the non-government organizations (NGOs).

PANTAWID PAMILYA

As of May 30, 2019, there are 195 beneficiaries of the program Pantawid Pamilya in which 163 are females while 32 are males.

According to Ave who is also a parent leader of Pantawid Pamilya, other than the cash grant being received by beneficiaries, the Family Development Session (FDS) implemented by Pantawid Pamilya also molded the beneficiaries into good parents and citizens.

A parent leader of 4Ps serves as a link of the program and beneficiaries and assists in the updating and monitoring fellow recipients.

Ang tulong hindi lang yung cash grant pati rin yung Family Development Session ng 4Ps kasi mino-mold kaming mga beneficiaries bilang isang magulang, kung paano ka huwamak ng pera at maging involved sa komunidad (Other than the cash grant, the Family Development Session of 4Ps is also a great help because it molds us beneficiaries as parents, budget our finances and how to be more involved in the community),” she said.

Pinakanapulot ko kung paano i-develop ang sarili ko, tingnan ang future ng aking pamilya (I learned self-development and plan the future of my family),” she continued.

SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOOD

In line with this, the community has also observed great improvements in the livelihood aspect. The sources of livelihood are coconut production, farming and fishing.

To create more employment opportunities in the barangay, SLP assisted in the implementation of communal piggery cum hog fattening benefitting 38 participants with project cost of Php570,000.00 and Sikap Community Store benefitting 14 participants with a project cost of 210,000.00

Malaki ang tulong ng SLP katulad ng community store kasi sa halip na itatakbo pa namin sa bayan dito na mismo sa barangay kami nakakabili ng aming mga pangangailangan (SLP helped a lot especially the community store. Instead of buying goods at downtown Dimasalang, our basic needs are already made available in the barangay,” Ave expressed.

Operating a community store and hog fattening also built rapport among the group particularly on using the capital fund.

Mas nagiging kilala yung mga kahinaan ng bawat isa kaya tulong-tulong. Ano man ang kalakasan ng isa, pupunan niya kung anuman ang kahinaan ng iba (Since people know each other’s weaknesses, they help each other. Whatever abilities the person may have, he or she will supplement the shortcomings of others),” she stated.

KAPIT-BISIG LABAN SA KAHIRAPAN

The community also had trouble in finding a safe place to stay in times of disasters particularly during the typhoon Yolanda.

Ave who serves as community volunteer recounted that the community saw this a top need to resolve so they have decided the construction of evacuation center under DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS.

The construction of the project amounting to Php2,259,490.00 also functions as a day care center, training center and venue during the FDS.

According to Ave, she will never forget what the staff of DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS said to her about community volunteerism.

Sa DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS, hindi mo mapapansin ang pagod mo bilang isang volunteer kundi tingnan mo yung ibinigay sayo na training yung kaalaman na hindi na mananakaw sayo kailanman (In DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS, you wouldn’t care the weariness as a volunteer but consider the training provided as an opportunity for knowledge won’t be stolen from you),” she stated.

To date, Ave is also part of the operation and maintenance of the community project in which the barangay allocated Php10,000.00 for the sustainability of the evacuation center.

It is not an easy task for Ave as a parent leader, SLP member and community volunteer of the three (3) programs, despite the benefits she is also part of uplifting the lives of her community from poverty.

Ave also thanked the government on creating programs that will benefit the communities.

“Lubos akong nagpapasalamat sa pamahalaan kasi tiningnan nila yung kakulangan ng komunidad hindi sila nagdalawang isip na maiangat at maimulat ang tao sa kahirapan. Hindi habambuhay na mahirap (I am gratefully thankful to the government because they saw what the community needs and never doubted on uplifting and awakening people from poverty. Being poor is not for a lifetime),” she added.

Not only DSWD can be a butterfly but also a person’s life. Undergoing metamorphosis is the best process to learn, experience and fulfill our human existence. /ramsertan/

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