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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DSWD calls for internship program applications

Legazpi City—DSWD FO V is now accepting application for its Government Internship Program (GIP) with 80 available slots until March 13, 2019.

The selection of the qualified applicants will be based on the following: a) 18-25 years old; b) Educational background (High School graduates, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Certificate holders, Alternative Learning System (ALS) certificate holders, incoming first to fourth year college students for school year 2019-2020; c) in good health condition; d) monthly family income not more than Php8,022.00; e) Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippines (PYAP) member; f) Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiary or Listahanan-identified poor.

Listahanan is an information management system that aims to establish a database of poor households that serve as basis in prioritizing the poor as beneficiaries of social protection programs while 4Ps is a human development measure of national government providing conditional cash grants to poor families to improve the health, nutrition and education of children aged 0-18.

Interested persons must fill-out the GIP application form available at Protective Services Unit (PSU) of DSWD Field Office V or coordinate with the Youth Service Provider at the Local Social Welfare and Development Offices (LSWDOs). They must submit photocopy of birth certificate, most recent school registration form or certification from the school indicating the recent year/semester of the applicant’s school attendance, photocopy of income tax return (ITR) of parent/guardian or Barangay Certificate of Indigence and medical certificate indicating that the applicant is fit to work.

All requirements must be submitted before March 13, 2019 to the Protective Services Unit (PSU) personnel at DSWD Field Office V, Buraguis, Legazpi City or look for the PYAP Youth Service Provider at LSWDOs.

Incomplete documents will be disqualified. Only applicants who passed the screening process will be notified through text or phone call.

Moreover, there will be an orientation to GIP qualifiers on April 5, 2019 in Legazpi City (venue to be determined).

Each GIP beneficiary will receive a total stipend of PhP6,862.50 or 75% of the regional daily minimum wage rate of PhP228.27.

The duration of GIP is good for 30 working days only. It will begin on April 15, 2019 until May 29, 2019 but may be extended if there are official holidays or celebrations. The GIP evaluation is scheduled on June 5, 2019.

The GIP’s will be deployed at the DSWD Field Office V and local government units (LGUs) implementing PYAP.

Queries can be sent to the DSWD Youth Focal Person Ms. Kathe Sabdao through her mobile number: 09121160438.

The GIP is implemented by the DSWD in its regional offices. It is one of the components of the Kabataan 2000 program of the government. It aims to provide in-school youths and out-of-school youths an opportunity to learn about the government and develop skills with hands-on experience to work in the government, which they can use if they decide to join public service in the future.

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New DSWD rehab center for boys starts construction in its new location

DSWD Field Office V Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia with the Provincial Local Government of Albay joins the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY) Building in Oas, Albay.

The Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY) was conducted yesterday with key officials from the Albay local governments and DSWD Field Office V.

The RRCY of DSWD Field Office V will transfer to a bigger facility at Brgy. San Vicente, Oas, Albay once the new building is completed. This is through the partnership of the Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) of Albay and DSWD.

“We would like to thank the PLGU of Albay through the leadership of Gov. Al Francis Bichara because we will transfer the RRCY to a convenient location,” DSWD Dir. Arnel Garcia said.

Furthermore, Gov. Bichara said that the PLGU is open to any future partnerships with DSWD to support the enhanced delivery of social services to its target clientele.

The new RRCY building under phase 1 construction is expected to be completed in one year based on the technical plan with Delpar Construction and Supplies as its contractor.

DSWD allocated a total of P150 million to construct the new RRCY building in the two-hectare land property of PLGU-Albay under Usufruct Agreement with DSWD. The new bilding will include the following amenities and facilities: two-storey administrative building, two-storey boys quarter building, road network, parking and drainage, perimeter fence and entrance gate, water facilities (water tank and accessories), electrical facilities (power house, electric post and accessories), clinic/infirmary building, guardhouse with receiving and inspection area, drying and laundry room, productivity building, staff house, receiving area with cottage for visitors, multi-purpose covered court, motor pool and landscape.

The new RRCY will feature a rain collector system and will also have an agricultural and gardening area.

DSWD’s RRCY is currently located at a residential area in Brgy. Pangpang, Sorsogon City with only 45 bed capacity.

The relocation to a new site was prompted by complaints received from the homeowners and residents at Brgy. Pangpang due to the observed behavior by the boys undergoing rehabilitation.

With the ongoing construction of its new building, the RRCY in Oas will have an increased bed capacity good for 150 clients with ameliorated facilities to help the children in conflict with the law (CICL) in a non-residential area.

The RRCY provides 24-hour care, treatment and rehabilitation services under the guidance of trained staff where residents are cared for under structured therapeutic environment with the end view of reintegrating them into their families and communities as well as to help them become socially functioning individuals.

It provides the following services: Social Services, Home Life Services/Group, Living Environment, Educational Services, Productivity Livelihood Services, Socio-Cultural and Recreational Services, Spiritual Enhancement Services, Medical/health/Psychological and Dental Services, Legal Services and Other Therapeutic Services.

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Adoption Consciousness Week Celebration commences; DSWD Field Office V urges legal adoption

Various government agencies join the official kickoff event of the Adoption Consciousness Week Celebration at Puro, Legazpi City.

Legazpi City-The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office V has officially commenced with its annual celebration of the Adoption Consciousness Week yesterday at Puro, Legazpi City.

The theme of this year’s celebration is “Pagmamahal palaganapin, legal na pag-aampon ating gawin (Spread unconditional love through legal adoption)”.

Different government agencies were present yesterday who joined the foot parade and Zumba as part of the opening program. Local officials from National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Educo, National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), Civil Service Commission (CSC), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Commission on Population (POPCOM) were present.

“We would like to inform the public that DSWD will guide you with the legal adoption process. Consultation with us is free of service,” DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia said.

As part of the weeklong celebration, the DSWD will put up inquiry desks at SM Legazpi and SM Naga on February 14-15, 2019, 10:00AM-5:30 PM to respond to queries about adoption and foster care.

Also, a poster contest is scheduled at DSWD Field Office V, Legazpi City on February 19, 2019.

The Adoption Consciousness Week Celebration will culminate on February 21, 2019, 1:00-5:00 PM with a forum about foster care and legal adoption at PNP Regional Office V, Camp Simeon Ola, Legazpi City. Admission is free and snacks will be served to first 50 guests. Interested individuals or parties may contact 09171426963 to confirm attendance or send queries about the said forum.

Moreover, DSWD Field Office V has its own adoption text lines: 09475854675 or 09171426963.

Any interested individuals may seek DSWD’s free services. For those who want to adopt, they can visit DSWD Region V ARRS located at Buraguis, Legazpi City or may call (052) 8201309. However, applicants are advised that they need to spend a considerable amount on legal services and documentary requirements in line with the adoption and foster care process.

Adoption as an alternative parental care program is one of the statutory programs of the DSWD for abandoned and neglected children as guided by Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8552 known as the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998 and R.A. No.9523, also known as an Act Authorizing the Secretary of DSWD to issue a Certification Declaring a Child Legally Available for Adoption (CDCLAA).

Adoption is a socio-legal process of providing a permanent family to a child who is legally available for adoption while foster care refers to the provision of planned temporary substitute parental care to a child by a foster parent.

A Foster Parent/Family is issued a license by the DSWD after a favorable assessment and recommendation. A Foster Placement Authority is also issued by the Department to authorize the placement of a child/children to a licensed foster parent/family.
In 2018, DSWD Field Office V was able to place 11 children for adoption, 25 children for foster care and 13 children were endorsed for inter-country adoption.

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