DSWD head highlights men’s role to end VAW in Men’s Summit

DSWD Dir. Arnel Garcia emphasized that the family can break the cycle of violence by expressing love. This is part of his message during the Men’s Summit yesterday at La Edley Event Place, Legazpi City.

Legazpi City—Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Dir. Arnel Garcia shared an inspirational message during the Men’s Summit at La Edley Event Place yesterday (November 28) in connection with the 18-Day Campaign to end violence against women.

He addressed the male participants by saying: “You breed violence at home. Sasabihin mo na sinasaktan mo ang iyong anak dahil mahal mo sila and by the time na magkapamilya sila, gagawin din nila ito dahil sa kanilang karanasan. Ngunit mga tatay, subukan niyong yakapin ang inyong mga anak at sabihin: ayaw kitang saktan at hindi na kita muling sasaktan dahil mahal kita (You say that you hurt your child because you love them and by the time they are married, they will do the same because of their past experience. But to the fathers, try to embrace your children and say: I do not want to hurt you and I’ll never hurt again because I love you).”

“You break the cycle of violence,” Dir. Garcia added.

The said summit serves as a platform to promote men’s significant role to free families and communities from violence and tackle relevant issues concerning men.

The male participants came from various government offices and men’s organizations namely, Pag Asa Youth Association of the Philippines (PYAP), Simon of Cyrene, Philippine National Police (PNP), Albay Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM), Department of Justice (DOJ), DSWD and Solo Fathers Leaders of Daraga and Legazpi City.

The following topics were discussed: Understanding Violence Against Women, Men’s Involvement in Reproductive Health Law, Men’s Mental Health, Men in the Prevention of HIV-AIDS and Building Lasting Relationships with your Partner.

The DSWD in collaboration with other government offices spearheaded the said summit.

The Men’s Summit is one of the activities in line with the 8-Day Campaign to end violence against women.

Proclamation 1172 s. 2006 – Declaring 25 November to 12 December as the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW) and Republic Act 10398 (2013) – Declaring November 25 of Every Year as National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Children In Support of the Worldwide Campaign to End VAW support the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW) which is observed annually from November 25 to December 12 to raise awareness among all stakeholders that violence against women (VAW) as a public issue of national concern.

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DSWD trains 98 employees as GAD advocates through GST

One of the participants discussing about gender issues during the second and final day of the Gender Sensitivity Training (GST) for DSWD Field Office V employees at Sarung Banggui Resort, Sto. Domingo, Albay last November 7, 2018.

Legazpi City-The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office V provided a Gender Sensitivity Training (GST) to its 98 internal staff in three batches this year.

The two-day crash course about gender aims to teach the DSWD employees to fully understand the importance of legal mandates and laws in creating a gender-fair community.

According to DSWD Dir. Arnel Garcia the training will also increase the attendees’ knowledge about gender sensitivity principles that they can apply in the workplace such as gender-sensitive language and remarks, provision of equal access to opportunities, informed decision-making for both sexes and gender-specific data collection and analysis.

“I encourage all DSWD employees to undergo this capacity building activity because we want to have a pool of gender advocates who will push for an enabling environment for all,” Dir. Garcia added.

After the training they are expected to come up with a Gender Action Plan based on the identified gender issues and provide their commitments to promote gender equality and create a gender-fair community.

The GST comprise of seven salient sessions about the following topics: Why We Advocate GAD?; Sex and Gender; Sex, Orientation, Gender identity and Expression; Institutions that Promote Gender Bias; Manifestations of Gender Bias; Gender Division of Labor; and Power.

The first group of DSWD employees who attended the GST was conducted last April 12-13, 2018, the second group was trained last April 24-25, 2018 while the recent training for the last batch was completed last November 6-7, 2018.

The total number of participants reached a total of 98 employees. Some participants are also members of the DSWD Region V Gender and Development (GAD) Technical Working Group (TWG) chaired by Assistant Regional Director for Operations Arwin Razo.

The GAD TWG is responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the gender mainstreaming efforts through GAD planning and budgeting process.

Based on the Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta for Women, the government offices shall ensure that all members of the GAD TWG must undergo capacity building programs on gender and development which shall include but not be limited to: gender sensitivity training (GST), gender analysis, GAD planning and budgeting, and gender audit.

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96 LGUs receive 2017 Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance, Palace recognizes two regional winners

The LGU officials of Ligao City received the 2016 Presidential Award as the Regional Winner for the Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance handed over by DSWD Dir. Arnel Garcia and DSWD Asec. Anton Hernandez at La Edley, Legazpi City last November 9, 2018.

Legazpi City-The Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children (RSCWC)-Region V awarded the Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance (SCFLG) to 96 of the total 114 local government units (LGUs) in the region last November 9, 2018 at La Edley, Legazpi City.

“The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) prioritizes the vulnerable sectors specially the children. The SCFLG is not only for recognition and gratitude; our aim is to showcase LGUs as models for replication in terms of promoting programs and services for the children,” Dir. Arnel B. Garcia, the RSCWC Chairperson said.

Moreover, Ligao City, Albay and Castilla, Sorsogon were both honored as the 2016 Regional Awardees qualifying for the Presidential Award for Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities.

Special awards were also given to the following LGUs:

  • Naga City-LGU with Remarkable Investment for Children for 2016 (independent city category), Most Innovative LGU on Children’s Welfare Programs
  • Canaman-First Place: LGU with Highest Investment for Children for 2016 (4th-6th income class category)
  • Sagnay-Second Place: LGU with Highest Investment for Children for 2016 (4th-6th income class category)
  • Daet-First Place: LGU with Highest Investment for Children for 2016 (1st-3rd income class category)
  • Labo-Second Place: LGU with Highest Investment for Children for 2016 (1st-3rd income class category)
  • Legazpi City-First Place: LGU with Highest Investment for Children for 2016 (component City category)
  • Ligao City-Second Place: LGU with Highest Investment for Children for 2016 (component city category), Regional Winner for three consecutive years (2015-2017) as regional winner under Presidential Award for Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities

The Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) launched the Child-Friendly Philippines framework last 2014 that included the SCFLG which is a recognition system for LGUs that deliver positive results for children’s through planning, budgeting, legislation and delivery of services.

The SCFLG is complemented by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular of 2014-80 endorsing the Child Friendly Local Governance Audit (CFLGA) to all Provincial Governors, City and Municipal Mayors, the ARMM Regional Governor, DILG Regional Directors, and other concerned parties.

Likewise, the DSWD and the Department of Education (DepEd) are member of the CFLG Audit Team.

LGUs that will pass the CFLGA will be conferred the Seal of Child Friendly Local Governance by the CWC. The LGUs shall be audited based on the following twelve (12) criteria:

1. Percentage reduction in the deaths among children below five years old or under-five mortality rate.

2. Percentage reduction in the number of children under-six with below normal weight.

3. Percentage increase in the number of 3-4 year-old children attending center-based day care services.

4. Completion rate for elementary schooling.

5. Absence of child labor or percentage reduction in child labor cases.

6. Percentage reduction in the number of children victims of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation (all forms, including physical violence, sexual abuse and exploitation, and trafficking in persons).

7. Safety measures for children in the community and schools.

8. Extent of mainstreaming of children’s rights to survival, development, protection and participation in the core development agenda of LGUs (this includes LCPC functionality and child participation).

9. An ordinance establishing Barangay Violence Against Women and their Children (VAWC) Desks.

10. Philhealth accreditation in its main health facility or rural health unit for the Maternal Care Services and Primary Care.

11. A Local School Board (LSB) Plan that is aligned with the School Improvement Plan (SIP).

12. Completed at least 70% of its LSB Plan.

Conferees of the SCFLG are shortlisted and validated for the Presidential Award for Child Friendly Municipalities and Cities.

Furthermore, Ms. Conifer Codia, the focal person of the CFLG from the DILG Region V, said that the all cities and municipalities in the provinces of Albay and Camarines Norte received the Seal of CFLG. Furthermore, the town of Libon will vie for the Presidential Award next year.

Codia was also honored by Dir. Garcia during the event for her invaluable efforts in the successful activity.(with reports from cwc.gov.ph)

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The pillar of strength in a house of the elderly

Age can endure the test of time but the physical features that comes with it can change.

Visually, Ulysis Lubiano is described as severely thin wearing a wrinkled and leathery face due to overexposure to sun and extra hollow cheeks with puffiness under the eyes.

His appearance might pose that he is old and weak but he is strong enough to carry diverse loads in life.

Originally from a remote village in Monreal, Masbate, Ulysis and his family moved to the agricultural and fishing town of Pilar in Sorsogon province after he brought Esperanza, his spouse, to Manila to get medical attention for Myoma in 2004.

Esperanza has hard stomach lumps and experiences vomiting as an effect of her current health condition. She also deals with asthma.

Because of old age, she can no longer undergo a major operation for her Myoma.

Just like his ill wife, Ulysis has also an eye disease called Glaucoma that can lead to vision loss if left untreated but he dreads to seek for cure.

On the other hand, Ulysis is grasping at straws for their daily sustenance.

Three out of his eight children are residing nearby, however, all of them have their own families who cannot regularly support the frail couple.

“Wara man makakatabang ta puros man nagatios (No one can help because they are also poor)” he said.

Ulysis and his wife are now confined within the wooden walls of a run-down stilt house found in the squalid part of the town for almost 14 years.

But the physical and mental acuity of the 84-year old Ulysis is quite impressive who can manage to carry about 25 kilos of used cardboard boxes.

Evidently, dirt had already accumulated underneath his nails with the frequent contact with trash. He walks on bare feet and its skin had already hardened and soiled.

He is unschooled that is why he resorted to garbage collection and brushes off the threat of sustaining injuries whenever he manually handles heavy loads.

He rises at four in the morning with a cup of coffee for breakfast and departs their small abode to recover garbage in their village.

The first meal he eats is lunch after a laborious work at dawn.

He can vividly recall the moment when he collapsed because of an empty stomach.

Ulysis was immediately rushed to the hospital after he lost his consciousness because of fatigue.

On the other hand, the recycled items are sold to his distant relative in exchange for a meager amount.

According to him, he takes home an estimated income of PhP2,400 monthly.

He allocates the budget for food and medicines but barely affords to purchase antibiotics for his wife because of its costly price of PhP1,200 apiece.

But his income varies so they incur debt from a neighbor’s store for them to eat.

His youngest daughter, Rosie, a solo parent of five, gives them a minimal aid from her income as laundress.

She is also a Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Rosie said that the 4Ps grant support her three children to buy rice and augments to their education, thus, gives assistance to her parents if she has extra money.

“Ang bunso ko iyo nadadalaganan ko ta iyo ini ang arani samuya dae kami pipabayaan kung wara kami (We can turn to our youngest child if we don’t have money because she is reliable and she only lives near us),” Ulysis said.

Moreover, the employer of Ulysis gave him three carts as a form of help, however, these carts were damaged that led him to the manual handling of the trash again.

Both Ulysis and Esperanza became recipients of the monthly stipend of PhP500 each for indigent senior citizens under the Social Pension Program implemented by the DSWD. Ulysis was enrolled in 2016 while his wife got in last year. To date, there are 195,107 Social Pension beneficiaries in Bicol while 33, 571 of which are in Sorsogon.

“Sa pension namun, ang sobra sa bulong; nakakaipon man kami; nakakabakal kami, sa diit-diit, makakabakal man ako sarong orig. Dakula baga ang tabang arog kaan sa origan (We buy medicines if we have excess from our pension. We also save the money and use it to buy a pig. The piggery is a huge healp),”

From 2016 to present, the couple bought four pigs from the grant they received from the government. The estimated profit from each pig is Php 5,000 to PhP7,000.

Back then, Ulysis prioritized his wife’s health so he decided to sell their livestock to cover the hospital bills.

At present, he plans to buy another hog to raise.

“Dae kami nahahalean ning orig para sa emergency (We cannot miss to take care of a pig because of we can rely on this in case of emergencies),” Ulysis explained.

Ulysis is weak but needs to work for his sick wife. He has Glaucoma while his wife has asthma and Myoma. Medicines and hospitalization for his wife are expensive. They cannot even afford to repair their dilapidated house.

But in the midst of this plight, Ulysis remains steadfast for his wife and children.

He wants to acquire another female swine and repair their dilapidated house.

“Sagkod su mga aki ko pag nagugbon iyan, makatabang man ako (I can even help my children if the pig farrows),” he added.

Ulysis’ will to conquer great challenges manifests bravery even at an old age who is supposed to receive utmost care and attention from their family.

But every person should remember that the elderly members of the society should be given the caregiving they deserve. However, it is the other way for Ulysis Lubiano who ignores his aged physique to salvage his family from the verge of hunger and poverty.

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DSWD and partners host 26th Family Week Celebration

More than 100 individuals joined the kickoff event of the Family Week Celebration today at Albay Astrodome. This aims to emphasize the appreciation and development of the family as the cornerstone of our country. Likewise, it wants to communicate the importance of having quality time with the family.

Legazpi City— The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region V and its partners celebrate the 26th Family Week by hosting series of activities this month of September adopting the theme: “Tungo sa Maginhawa, Matatag at Panatag na Pamilyang Pilipino”.

The said theme follows the Ambisyon Natin 2040 of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) that embodies the ambitions of the Filipino families for the next 25 years.

Earlier, the Regional Inter-Agency Committee (RIAC) on Filipino Family members officially launched the Family Week with a fun walk from Bicol University grounds to Albay Astrodome followed by a Zumba for the participants.

Dir. Arnel Garcia who joined the kickoff event today emphasized that any family can withstand shifting environments if they have built strong foundations.

He said that DSWD alone cannot eliminate poverty without the help of the poor families who are willing to make their lives better.

“We need to muster our efforts, the government agencies, private organizations and the people, to break the inter-generational cycle of poverty,” Dir. Garcia said.

On the other hand, he also thanked the RIAC member-agencies for their efforts to organize the Family Week events.

The national government agencies that are present earlier in the opening program were Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Audit (COA), NEDA, National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM), Population Commission (POPCOM), Philippine National Police (PNP) and two faith-based organizations, namely, Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, Seventh Day Adventist.

Also, a Family Forum is scheduled on September 27, 2018 at FICC Amphitheatre, BU East Campus, Legazpi City with 200 individuals who will receive lectures and discussions about the following topics: Addiction Recovery for Families, Migration and Families, Issues in Families with Aging Members, Child Safety at Home and in the Community and Family Friendly Laws.

The Dionisio Family of Labo, Camarines Norte will be awrded during the said forum as the Regional Winner for this year’s Search for Huwarang Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). They will receive a plaque and PhP15,000.00 cash prize.

Every year, the Family Week is celebrated every fourth week of September. This is based on Presidential Proclamation No. 60 signed by former president, Fidel V. Ramos on September 28, 1992. It aims to emphasize the appreciation and development of the family as the cornerstone of our country. Likewise, it wants to communicate the importance of having quality time with our family.

The RIAC on Filipino Family was formed as the regional counterpart of the National Steering Committee chaired by DSWD. The steering committee develops plan and implements programs and activities in public and private sectors for Family Week observance. The committee is also tasked to raise the awareness of every Filipino in the issues facing the Filipino family and its effect on each member.

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DSWD Region V readies for Typhoon Ompong

Legazpi City— DSWD Region V is ready to provide relief augmentation to local government units (LGUs) that will be affected by Typhoon Ompong which entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) yesterday.

Signal No. 1 is now raised in five provinces (except for Masbate) in Bicol based on the 5 am weather bulletin of Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

“We are ready to provide additional aid to the affected LGUs as soon as we receive their disaster report and letter request,” DSWD Regional Dir. Arnel Garcia added.

The available standby funds at the DSWD Region V amounts to Php3,229,182.32 that can be used anytime a disaster hits the region

Currently, the warehouse stock of DSWD Region V which is located in Legazpi City contains the following items: 11,360 family food packs (FFPs), 376 tents, 9,066 sleeping kits, 623 dignity kits, 1,998 family kits, 2,297 hygiene kits, 115,296 malong, 327 laminated sacks and 46,350 blankets.

A DSWD FFP 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.

The LGUs also provide relief supplies to affected families but the packaging and content may vary.

The DSWD provided a total of 21,837 FFPs and 32,600 malong which were prepositioned to all provinces in Bicol except for Masbate.

Emergency Management Team (EMT) activated
DSWD activated its Emergency Management Team (EMT) in each province yesterday that will coordinate and monitor the humanitarian relief assistance to affected areas.

The teams are closely working with the LGUs through the Provincial or Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (P/MDRRMO) to gather disaster reports and updates.

Also, the EMT at the Regional Office has started its duty today to consolidate disaster reports coming from LGUs that will serve as the basis if the affected LGU needs an augmentation from DSWD.

As of the writing, there are no evacuees recorded. Based on the DSWD Disaster Report, there are 157 stranded individuals at Tabaco and Pioduran ports in Albay province while there are 30 strandees at Pasacao Port in Camarines Sur. There are also 458 stranded passengers in Sorsogon (Pilar and Matnog ports).

Selling of relief goods prohibited
“We do not tolerate the selling and buying of the Department’s relief goods. Kindly report to our DSWD staff deployed at the city or municipal hall if they encountered this,” Dir. Garcia said.

Those who commit any of the prohibited acts face a fine ranging from P50,000 – P500,000 or imprisonment of six years up to 12 years
Section 19 of RA10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 prohibits the selling of relief goods, equipment, or other aid commodities intended for distribution to disaster victims. It also prohibits buying, either for consumption or resale, of relief supplies both from disaster relief agencies and from the recipient disaster-affected persons.

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DSWD: Beware of fake Dir. Garcia as text scammer

Legazpi City- DSWD warns the public against text messages circulating from an impostor of Regional Director Arnel Garcia asking for cellphone load, money and booking hotels and catering services.

The first case was reported directly to Dir. Garcia last August 11, 2018 by his colleague, Regional Director Evelyn Macapobre of DSWD Central Visayas who clarified a query sent from another government official if he has transacted with a caterer. According to her, his impostor arrived with other guests requesting for PhP500.00 load cards for 11 persons.

Dir. Garcia immediately debunked these false requests by posting on his personal Facebook account claiming that he has never asked any favor from anyone.

“Do not entertain the scammers and individuals with doubtful identities who use my name to contact other government officials for their ulterior motives,” he said.

The DSWD Region V already reported the scammer’s details to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) who used the following mobile numbers: 0999 693 8760‬, 09274267919.

The impostor almost victimized the Local Social Welfare and Development Offices (LSWDOs) and other public officials of Bohol, Bukidnon, Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, Romblon, Benguet, Ilocos Norte, Nueva Vizcaya, Bacolod, Pampanga, Palawan, Quezon and Dumaguete City.

Dir. Garcia apologized to the victims of the scam and requested public’s vigilance to validate and immediately report if there are similar occurrences.

“You can reach our Official Facebook Fan Page: @dswdfo5 or call: (052) 820-1309,” he said.

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DSWD consults family court judges on adoption

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Asst. Regional Director for Administration Lorna Rebanal welcomes the participants of the two-day consultation dialogue with family court judges on adoption at Casablanca Hotel, Legazpi City last August 8, 2018. She emphasized that the result of this is for the best interest and welfare of the adoptees.

Legazpi City—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region V conducted a two-day dialogue with family court judges in Bicol about adoption last August 8-9, 2018 at Casablanca Hotel.

The Protective Services Division through the Adoption Resource and Referral Section (ARRS) discussed the domestic and inter-country adoption process to the court social workers, clerk of court and Regional Trial Court judges.

A workshop ensued thereafter to gather agreements and recommendations to address issues on adoption cases. This meeting also wanted to strengthen partnerships with courts handling the adoption process and align these procedures in accordance to rules and guidelines.

Assistant Regional Director for Administration Lorna Rebanal said that the results reaped from the consultation are for the best interest and welfare of the children subject for adoption.

“We will also use the family courts’ recommendations to ensure speedy adoption process because we want these children in need to have proper and permanent parental care and entitle them with rights similar to the biological children,” Rebanal added.

The DSWD Central Office representatives were also present to document policy recommendations with Dir. Bernadette Abejo of Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICAB).

Moreover, Secretary Virginia N. Orogo reiterated that the importance of legal adoption is to prevent birth simulation that deprives adopted children to know their identity and to break the stigma that legal adoption is only for people who can afford the process.

Based on the ARRS data, 178 children were declared legally available for adoption in Bicol from 2009 to present; 42 of which are placed for domestic adoption while 117 children are cleared for inter-country adoption.

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, the Domestic Adoption Act; R.A. No. An Act Authorizing the Secretary of DSWD to issue a Certification Declaring a Child Legally Available for Adoption (CDCLAA).

Recently, the DSWD Regional Directors have the authority to issue Pre-Adoption Placement Authority, Affidavit of Consent to Adoption and Inter-Country Adoption Matching Clearance

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 process.

DSWD Social workers attend to local adoption cases either through walk-in applicants or courts order received from the Regional Trial Courts and referrals from local social welfare and development offices (LSWDOs) for technical assistance.

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