DSWD Bicol sends relief augmentation to Mindanao quake-hit areas

The relief augmentation from DSWD Bicol for the Mindanao quake-hit areas is scheduled to depart this Saturday afternoon and expected to arrive Mindanao two or three days after.

The DSWD Bicol relief augmentation will be turned over to DSWD Region XII in Kidapawan City, Cotabato.

The augmentation includes the following:
1. 20,000 blankets
2. 20,000 pieces of malong
3. 300 tents
4. 200 rolls of laminated sacks (good for 2,000 houses -1 roll at 100 meters good for 10 houses at 10 meters per house)

DSWD Bicol coordinated with the Office of Presidential Adviser for Bicol Affairs (OPABA) through Usec. Marvel Clavecilla to request from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Region V for the additional two (2) flatbed trucks together with DSWD Bicol’s winged van to ferry the abovementioned goods.

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DSWD celebrates 27th Family Week

Legazpi City—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office V has commenced with the observance and celebration of the 27th Family Week last September 23, 2019.

As part of the Memorandum from the DSWD Secretary, the DSWD FO V observed two (2) important activities last September 23, 2019 to launch the 27th Family Week Celebration. The DSWD FO V rang the family bells at exactly 12 noon and dismissed work at 3:00 PM to observe the “Kainang Pamilya Mahalaga Day” to allow employees to spend mealtime with their families.

The theme of this year’s family week: “Tungo sa Maginhawa, Matatag at Panatag na Pamilyang Pilipino.” It envisions better initiatives to strengthen the Filipino Family. The theme follows the Ambisyon Natin 2040 set forth by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) representing the collective long-term vision and aspiration of the Filipino people for themselves and for the country.

“We want to strengthen the relationship among family members to lessen social problems. The DSWD has programs including 4Ps to reinforce our values at home,” DSWD Dir. Arnel Garcia said.

DSWD FO V as the lead agency of the Family Week, will conduct threefold events on September 27, 2019 at A & A Bed and Breakfast Inn, Legazpi City in partnership with the Provincial Local Government Unit (LGU) of Albay. Almost 150 participants from families all over the province of Albay will join in the celebration.

There will be a Parents’ Forum in the morning that includes discussions about Positive Parenting by DSWD and Child Safety at Home by the Department of Health (DOH). Moreover, a Family Fun Day which is scheduled in the afternoon is comprised of games and contests that will give time for the families to bond. A total cash prize of PhP63,890 will be given away to the Family Fun Day winners.

Similarly, the Regional Winners of the 2019 Huwarang Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) will be recognized in the afternoon. The Palima Family of Nabua, Camarines Sur is the 2019 Regional Huwarang 4Ps who will receive PhP15,000 and plaque of recognition. The Barceta Family of Catanduanes is the first runner-up with PhP10,000 while the Perez Family of Sorsogon is the second runner-up with PhP5,000.

The Huwarang 4Ps families were judged based on the following criteria:
1. 25%-A family that maintains strong family ties and harmonious relationships and upholds Filipino values despite the challenges that poverty causes/brings.
2. 20%-A family that practices and promotes healthy living and taking care of the environment.
3. 20%-A family that is actively involved in community activities.
4. 20%-A family who inspires other members of the community.
5. 15%-A family who strives to improve living condition amidst difficult situation.

The Palima Family will represent Bicol Region in the National 4Ps Family Day this weekend in Manila.

On September 30, 2019, the members of the media in Albay will visit the Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC) to witness the Family Day for the kids in the said facility. There will also be a forum about Adoption and Foster Care.

As mandated by Executive Order No. 238, the DSWD chairs the Regional Inter-Agency Committee on the Filipino Family (RIAC-FF) with different members from public and private sectors. The committee seeks to strengthen family unity and relationships through meaningful celebration and promotion of Family values. It also aims to implement responsive services and popularize family-centric programs and services at the grassroots level.

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DSWD Sec. Bautista distributes aid to beneficiaries in Bicol; leads first Dengue Food-for-Work in the Philippines

Sec. Bautista went to Tagas, Daraga, Albay last Saturday morning to distribute the relief goods. Daraga was under state of calamity due to Dengue outbreak with 361 cases in its 48 villages.

Daraga, Albay—Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rolando Bautista extended aid to Social Pension beneficiaries in Camalig and families in areas with Dengue outbreak in Albay through Food-for-Work (FFW) program last August 24, 2019.

He went to Brgy. Tagas, Daraga, Albay last Saturday morning to distribute the goods to FFW beneficiaries who were part of the Simultaneous Clean-up Drive in Daraga. Sec. Bautista also engaged in the said clean-up with the residents and local officials. He was also joined by DSWD Usec. Danilo Pamonag and Fernando Trinidad of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) with Col. Nap Peñafiel who was heartily welcomed by Daraga Mayor Victory Perete and his party.

According to Sec. Bautista, he wanted to help the Department of Health (DOH) in its fight to end Dengue through the FFW which is the first time to be implemented in Bicol region and in the country.

“This initiative which was started by Bicol is considered as a model that I will recommend to be adopted by other DSWD regional offices as our response to the rising cases of Dengue in the country,” he added.

The DSWD Region V provided a total of 1,000 family food packs with a total cost of P390,000.00 under its FFW in response to the request of the local government unit (LGU) of Daraga as part of their Emergency Response Contingency Plan through a clean-up drive on Dengue Outbreak that covers 361 families from 48 barangays which started last August 15, 2019 and will continue until October 3, 2019. Each family who participated in the Clean-up Drive will receive two (2) family food packs.

Daraga was under the state of calamity due to dengue outbreak. Based on the DOH data from January to August 24, 2019, Daraga has 343 dengue cases and deaths, considered the greatest number all over the towns and cities in the province of Albay.

The FFW is a temporary intervention implemented during disasters that provides food to individuals in exchange for rendering community work such as declogging of canals, maintaining the cleanliness of evacuation centers, and removing of debris on roads and highways, among others.

One (1) DSWD family food pack contains six (6) kilos of rice, four (4) tin cans of corned beef, four (4) tin cans of sardines and six (6) packs of energy drink or coffee sufficient for five members of a family good for two days.

Sec. Bautista joins Social Pension Payout to 705 elderly in Camalig

DSWD Sec. Rolando Bautista personally handed over the Social Pension stipend to one of the 705 beneficiaries in Camalig, Albay who are scheduled for the payout last Saturday (August 24, 2019). He went straight to the house of a 99-year old beneficiary who is frail to claim the grant from the designated venue.

Sec. Bautista also joined the DSWD Region V employees in the distribution of Social Pension stipend (January-June 2019) to 705 beneficiaries of twelve villages in Camalig, Albay last Saturday afternoon. He also went straight to the house of a 99-year-old senior citizen to personally handover the aid who was seen to be delighted of the official’s presence.

The whole team of Mayor Irwin Baldo received the DSWD key officials and other guests during the Social Pension payout. The LGU of Camalig provided a conducive venue for the payout, amenities and logistical support to conduct the DSWD payout.

DSWD Region V began with the Social Pension payout in Bicol last July. As of August 16, 2019, DSWD released the stipend for 2019 first semester stipend to 100,774 elderly amounting to PhP302,322,000.00 in Bicol region alone.

For the remaining towns and cities, the beneficiaries and their families are advised to coordinate with their Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) or local social welfare and development office (LSWDO) for the payout schedule. DSWD Region V is closely coordinating with these offices for the Social Pension program.

For Social Pension beneficiaries who cannot personally claim during the scheduled payout, an authorized representative identified by the beneficiary and registered with DSWD FO shall be allowed to claim the stipend.

As indicated in the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 or RA 9994, the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens is an additional government assistance which aims to: improve the condition of indigent senior citizens by augmenting their daily subsistence and medical needs; reduce incidence of hunger; and protect them from neglect. abuse, deprivation and natural and man-made disasters.

Pursuant to the eligibility criteria as may be determined by the DSWD, indigent senior citizens shall be entitled to a monthly stipend amounting to Five hundred pesos (Php 500) to augment their daily subsistence and other medical needs.

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DSWD sets release schedule of educational assistance

Legazpi City—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office V has started releasing the schedule of the educational assistance to 28,150 target indigent college and senior high school students all over Bicol region.

The processing and release of the said assistance are being done at various DSWD’s satellite offices with the following addresses and dates:

Province Address Start Date
Camarines Norte Third Floor, Ricario Building, J. Lukban Street, Daet August 1, 2019
Camarines Sur Topaz St., Jacob Extension, Naga City July 8, 2019
Albay Magnolia St., PBN, Buraguis, Legazpi City August 5, 2019
Sorsogon Second floor, Chua Bldg., Quezon St., Polvorista, Sorsogon City August 12, 2019
Catandaunes Brgy. Constantino, Virac August 1, 2019
Masbate Regino B. Tambago Jr., Bldg., Matungao, Tugbo, Masbate City June 17, 2019

The DSWD is now texting the Educational Assistance clients for their designated schedule (Monday to Friday). Also, the DSWD has also sought for the help of the LGUs through local social welfare and development offices (LSWDOs) to disseminate the schedule.

Clients are requested to bring the following documents (photocopy and original) during the scheduled assessment, interview and payout:
1. Certificate of Enrolment/Assessment Form (Certified True Copy)- fully accomplished with complete signatories: student, assessor, verifier and registrar
2. Validated school ID (Certified True Copy)- must bear the student’s signature, validated for currently enrolled school year and semester
3. Original copy of Certificate of Residency/Indigence (the name of the relative or representative should be indicated in this document if client is minor)
a. Includes the relationship between the client-student and representative
b. Erasures are not allowed
c. Duly signed by the Brgy. Captain (original signature only)
d. Bears official Brgy. seal/ Brgy. Captain certifies/attests if there’s no official seal
4. Photocopy of valid IDs of the client-student or relative/representative

Based on the DSWD guidelines, the least amount a client-student can receive is PhP2,000 but will also depend on the social worker’s assessment.

On the other hand, this educational aid will not cover expenses for graduate and postgraduate studies.

DSWD reminds the public that it will no longer accept additional clients for its educational assistance. For the current school year (first and second semester), the enlistment was completed through the local government units (LGUs) last June 2019.

The Educational Assistance under DSWD is an assistance given to eligible students to help defray school expenses and/or cost of sending students/children to school such as school fees, supplies, projects, allowance and other related expenses which will be provided once in a school/academic year for students, with priority shall be given to working students in public high school, vocational/ technological schools, state colleges and universities.

For 2018, DSWD Region V served a total of 20,825 students under the said aid with a total cost of assistance of PhP59,322,000.00.

The educational assistance is one of the forms of financial assistance that DSWD provides under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS). AICS serves as a social safety net or stop-gap measure to support the recovery of individuals and families suffering from unexpected life event or crisis.

Clients who would like to avail of financial assistance such as burial and medical assistance can visit any DSWD office near them to know more about the process and requirements.

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DSWD Bicol assists El Niño-affected Albay farmers

Legazpi City—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bicol provided additional assistance to the local government units (LGUs) in the Albay province whose farmers have been affected by the dry spell brought by the El Niño.

DSWD Bicol distributed family food packs to the farmers in Pioduran, Guinobatan, Manito, Ligao City and Tabaco City who participated in DSWD’s Food-for-Work Program with a total cost of assistance of PhP1,191,762.40.

It was reported that the province of Albay was placed under the state of calamity last April 12, 2019.

Based on the June 11, 2019 DSWD disaster response report, a total of 16 cities/municipalities are affected in Albay.

On the other hand, DSWD Bicol has coordinated with Provincial Agriculture Offices and Municipal Agriculture Offices. It has also monitored disaster relief operations through its DSWD employees deployed at LGUs.

“We will provide relief augmentation to the other areas with dry spell in Bicol. As of now, we have PhP3 million standby funds and 23,274 family food packs in our regional warehouse,” Dir. Arnel Garcia said.

The local government units (LGUs) need to submit a project proposal and official list of El Niño-affected farmers to avail of the DSWD’s Food-for-Work. The DSWD field workers will facilitate the distribution of the relief goods after the proposed community work has been done by the target beneficiaries.

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Latest NEDA report cites DSWD programs complement government to propel 2018 economic growth in Bicol

Legazpi City—Some of the programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Bicol was cited by the latest report of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has contributed to Bicol’s fast economic growth of 8.9% last April 25, 2019 in a press briefing held in Legazpi City.

According to NEDA Regional Director Agnes Tolentino, DSWD Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) and Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan or PAMANA projects contributed to the fastest growth of the industry sector. She said that the industry sector recorded the fastest growth of 14.2 percent from 3.5 percent in 2017.

“In 2019, we expect that domestic demand will pick up as household consumption will likely improve with the Implementation of RA 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law that includes the implementation of the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT),” Dir. Espinas said.

Furthermore, Espinas inferred that improvement of household consumption will improve due to the increased cash receipts of income earners and real incomes of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries with lower personal income tax.

Both 4Ps and UCT are considered as social safety net programs of the DSWD to help eliminate poverty.

“The rest of the DSWS Bicol is happy with the progress we’re making to help the poor. The latest NEDA report affirms that our programs can fortify other government’s measures to uplift our people,” DSWD Dir. Arnel Garcia said.

In Bicol alone, there are 373,853 household beneficiaries under 4Ps in 2018. Under UCT, there 373,853 4Ps household beneficiaries, 195,107 Social Pension beneficiaries and 113,958 poor households (2018). The DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS completed 5,393 community-identified sub-projects from 2012 to present.

The DSWD Bicol was allocated a total budget of P 13.4 billion to implement its programs and services last 2018.

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DSWD Bicol initiates Gender and Development (GAD) training to address workplace issues

Legazpi City—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bicol spearheaded a capacity building activity on Gender Statistics Collection and Identification of Gender Issues in the Workplace in Legazpi City last May 15-16, 2019.

“Aside from client-focused interventions, DSWD Bicol would like to improve more on implementing interventions for our workers and the organization,” DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia said.

Also, the training would like to ensure and sustain gender mainstreaming activities in DSWD.

The 26 members of the DSWD Bicol’s Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Point System underwent a two-day training with Atty. Arlene Alangco, regional director of Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Bicol.

For the first day, she discussed Basic Human Rights Concept, CHR powers and functions, Magna Carta of Women, Anti-Sexual Harassment Act and Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act. On the second day, she talked about Gender Mainstreaming, GAD FPS, gender data disaggregation, workplace issues and the roles of Committee on Decorum and Investigation of sexual harassment

Thus, participants are expected to establish gender statistics and identify gender issues in the workplace to be included in the 2020 GAD Plan and Budget (GPB).

Last 2018, the DSWD Bicol spent P210 million for GAD-related programs and activities. For the same year, DSWD Bicol served 166 women in difficult circumstances and 101 children in need of special protection by providing counselling services, referral for legal, medical, and psychological assistance and helping clients serve barangay/temporary protection order file appropriate charges to perpetrators.

GAD FPS is a group that in DSWD that ensures gender mainstreaming and implement Magna Carta for Women at DSWD Bicol.

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Filling the void with a new family

Katarina Machtemes (lower, center), a Filipina, now living in Germany as a phramacy aide. She was one of the children placed for adoption in 1995 by DSWD from its Reception and Study Center (RSCC).

Katarina Machtemes found the cure to fill the gaps in her life. But she endured the wounds that molded her today.

One of the punitive moments for her was when she was abandoned by her mother in 1994 who left her at a DSWD office in Daet, Camarines Norte. Katarina, who was four at that time, was then brought to DSWD Reception and Study Center (RSCC) in Legazpi City that gave her the temporary care.

In this difficult time, she slowly recovered from the distress because of the people who showed love and compassion.

According to Katarina, the social workers at RSCC described her as a cheerful child who wants to be cuddled all the time. Their arms served as a refuge to a lost child that longed for a family.

After a year of staying in the Center, Katarina was blessed with a family who gave her not only a permanent home but unconditional love. Through intercountry adoption, she met and lived with them in Germany.

“Though I’m not the only child in the family, I experienced being loved and accepted wholeheartedly,” she said.

Katarina also said that she did not feel any hint of pity being an adopted child because her new family nurtured and helped her reach her dreams. Her siblings were ready to help and support her aspirations.

“I never felt scared or doubted my capacity,” she added.

Moreover, she took Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and currently working as a pharmacy aide at one of the drugstores in Germany.

Katarina thought things are working well for her, however, her adoptive parents struggled with their marriage that led to their separation.

Her siblings got their own families as well that incited for Katarina to look for her biological parents in the Philippines.

“I felt the desire to look and meet my family in the Philippines when I started to feel that there’s something missing,” she said.

She started to ask questions like what does her family looks like; are they still looking and thinking of her; what’s their condition now.

Her boyfriend arranged her motherland tour in 2016. Finally, she was able to fly to the Philippines.

Katarina felt a sense of belongingness and extreme joy when she saw her fellow countrymen.

Her adoptive brother who is also a Filipino accompanied her to meet and look for her family.

She met her relatives but not her biological mother. However, she was happy to hear stories about her as a child and her mom.

“For unknown reason, I felt relieved on what I heard from them. I am hopeful to meet my biological mom the very soon I get back again to the Philippines,” Katarina said.

Moreover, she was grateful to meet the people behind RSCC who introduced her to the life she has now.

“They were adorable, accommodating and approachable. They assisted me all throughout my motherland tour and made it a successful one,” she said.

Katarina was more than thankful that she was one of those children placed under the care of the center rather than living on the streets with full of uncertainties.

Despite of the doubt and all the wounds she withstood through time, Katarina was able to find the cure in her emptiness.

“I am more than complete and would always want to thank all the people who helped me to grow into an independent person,” she said.

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