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DSWD and partners launch SHIELD project against child labor in Bicol

Daet, Camarines Norte—DSWD leads in the launching of the Strategic Helpdesk for Information, Education, Livelihood and other Developmental Interventions (SHIELD) project against child labor in Bicol together with three pilot municipalities last June 6, 2017 at Calaguas Gateway, Hotel.

DSWD Regional Dir. Arnel Garcia, Dir. Thelsa P. Biolena of DSWD Central Office, Jose Panganiban Mayor Ricarte Padilla, Paracale Mayor Lourdes Villamonte-Briguera and Labo Vice-Mayor Severino Francisco Jr. officially accepted the SHIELD project implementation by forging the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). Subsequently, a planning session commenced in the afternoon.

Representatives from International Labor Organization (ILO), Ban Toxics and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) were also present to support the said project launch.

The SHIELD project aims to help eliminate child labor, particularly its worst forms and those in the blanket ban (below 15 years old). This project will utilize approaches and strategies through the its three components namely: Child Labor Local Registry (CLLR), Barangay Help Desk on Child Labor and Organizing, Advocacy, and Capacity Building.

According to Dir. Biolena, the pilot areas in the Philippines are in Region IV-A, V and VIII. Specifically, the pilot communities in Bicol include: Brgys. Malaya and Dalas in Labo, Brgys. Sta. Rosa Sur and Luklukan Sur in Jose Panganiban and Brgys. Palanas and Tawig in Paracale.

“Poverty is still the main reason for allowing children to engage in hazardous work. DSWD does not have the monopoly to address poverty, we need to involve everyone and converge with different agencies to uplift the lives of the poor,” Dir. Garcia said.

Participating LGUs shall adopt, establish and maintain Child Labor Local Registry System, Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (CLLR) and help desks; allocate funds to immediately provide necessary services to child laborers and their families. The LGUs will also provide other support services such as counseling, medical, crisis intervention and educational assistance while DSWD will monitor and allocate funds for the said implementation.

“This project is heaven sent. Malaking bagay po sa amin ang SHIELD project. Sisiguraduhin namin na hindi ito magiging ningas kugon sa bayan ng Jose Panganiban,” Mayor Padilla said.

Based on the Philippines Statistics Authority 2011 Survey on Children, 10.4% or 218,400 of the 2.1 million child laborers in the Philippines are in Region V.

“There is a need to support the Philippine Program against Child Labor 2017-2022 to withdraw one million children from child labor and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which calls to end child labor in all its forms by 2025,” Dir. Biolena said.

Dir. Garcia hopes that the LGUs adopt the project as their regular program by way of a local resolution/ordinance after the project pilot implementation closes.

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DSWD helps OSY return school

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office V in partnership with the Local Government Unit recently conducted a 4-day session on Youth Personality Development to increase the number of enrollees of Out-of-School Youth (OSY) in Barangay San Jose, Pilar Sorsogon.

The session aims to help the OSYs and other disadvantaged youth to become inspired in going to class, self-reliant, economically productive and socially responsible citizens enabling to contribute to the development of their family and community.

According to Seychelle Jessa Mirabel, Social Welfare Officer III, the said activity is helpful to guide and inspire the OSYs to participate actively in school and in their respective communities.

“It is also our way of addressing the habitual absentees of Pantawid Pamilya children beneficiaries in attending classes in school,” she added.

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is a human development measure of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to the poorest of the poor, to improve the health, nutrition, and the education of children aged 0-18. It is patterned after the conditional cash transfer (CCT) schemes in Latin American and African countries, which have lifted millions of people around the world from poverty.

The session includes workshops, lectures on youth involvement in community development, and focus group discussions that talks about their struggles and problems being faced in the family or in the community.

On the last day of the activity, the parents were invited to ask for their commitment and support in providing the needs of their children in school.

Leslie M. Mallorca,  18, a beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilya and participant, said, the activity motivated her to enroll this school year. “Iniisip ko po na dapat hindi ako tumigil sa pag-aaral kahit walang wala kami pera na pang-gastos sa mga projects. Magtitinda ako sari-saring kakanin para kumita, [I am thinking that I should have not stop attending class although, we do not have enough money to finance my projects, I will sell various native foods to earn],” she said.

Leslie is only one of the OSYs who stopped attending classes due to financial constraints. For almost two years, Leslie worked as a sales lady in various stores in the Municipality and was able to save a small amount of money for her enrollment this year.

Nagpapasalamat po ako sa 4Ps kasi hindi po sila tumitigil na tulungan kami para makatapos kami ng pag-aaral, [I am thankful to the program because they never stop to help us to be able to attain our dream of finishing our studies],” Leslie ended. ***G.A.N.Lindio,4Ps-IO

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DSWD Region V continues distribution of emergency shelter assistance to Typhoon Nina-hit households

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Region V continues the distribution of the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) to households in Bicol ravaged by Typhoon Nina in December 2016.

As of May 16, DSWD Region V had already distributed an initial payment of P5,000.00 each to 27,257 of the 53,244 totally damaged households.

ESA is the provision of emergency “self-build” shelter assistance through limited financial assistance in order to augment the resources of families affected by disasters. In particular, it enables them to purchase shelter materials required in constructing or repairing their damaged houses as a result of disasters.

Totally damaged households receive PhP30,000.00 each­ while those with partial or minor damages are given P10,000.00 each.

Dir. Arnel Garcia appeals to the public and to the ESA beneficiaries to stay patient and understand that DSWD is doing its best to extend aid to the affected families by ensuring that only legitimate beneficiaries receive the said funds.

The list of the ESA recipients was based on the terminal report submitted by the Local Government Units (LGUs) which was validated by the DSWD field workers in January and February this year.

The DSWD Region V is still waiting for the remaining balance to be downloaded from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). As soon as funds become available, the remaining P25,000.00 per totally damaged household and P10,000.00 assistance to each partially damaged household will be distributed.

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Tent woman builds classrooms for village

Anyone on earth wants to own a safe home with a happy family inside. But fate never seems to favor everyone.

The Soquino family used to live in a makeshift house made out of anahaw roof and plywood walls before Typhoon Glenda reduced this flimsy abode into rubbles in 2014. Consequently, they received a tent or shelter box from a foreign donor as an aid to the homeless victims of the said typhoon.

This tent turns into a bedroom or a living room where its meager space can hardly accommodate six members of the Soquino family plus their personal belongings. They would complain of the extreme temperature inside: the blistering hotness or the freezing coldness.

Marites Soquino, 42, a solo parent with five sons, is one of the poor residents of Brgy. San Isidro Iraya in Malilipot, Albay. Two of her children in elementary are Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who regularly receive education and health grants.

Her husband abandoned Soquino and their children in March 2012 whom she assumed to elope with another woman, a punitive incident that still brings back the tears in her eyes.

Though circumstances must have taken away a beautiful life for this woman but her strong character remains.

She barely provides the needs of her family in the absence of a partner who is supposed to share the responsibility of rearing their children.

Nagtinda ako dati ning kakanin para mataguyod ko ang pamilya ko,” she added.

She takes home at least PhP3,000 a month as a clerk in a direct selling company in Tabaco City, another town next to Malilipot. Her mother taught her to sew clothes and gets an extra profit as a seamstress at home.

Soquino is fortunate to have diligent sons who share household tasks whenever she’s gone for work. She always reminds them: “Kung muya nindo makatapos mageskwela, magtarabangan kita.”

Volunteerism and the classrooms

In 2014, the same year when Typhoon Glenda dismantled the house of Soquino, she was elected by her neighbors to lead the group of volunteers who will manage the construction of additional elementary and high school classrooms in their village. It was an offer Soquino never refused despite of the ordeal she carries.

On top of her regular loads at home, she also allocates a considerable portion of her time and effort as a volunteer. As the head of the group, she is responsible for the overall management of the classroom implementation and construction. Their group complied with all the documents required to avail of the funding and support from the government.

Her dedication for the community was evident. According to Kristine Rozen, the Area Coordinator of the classroom project, Soquino did not miss any trainings and seminars relative to the implementation. It was inevitable that she skipped work just to attend to their classroom project. She was even aware that her take home pay will decrease because of this attrition.

Just like any other government projects, the villagers doubted the completion of their classrooms when its construction was put on hold because of the discrepancy with the documentary requirements submitted by the community in 2015. Residents accused Soquino of corruption because of the extended period of interval between the submission of requirements and downloading of funds that will eventually catapult the start of construction.

But she was unfazed and relentless to keep the spirits of her co-volunteers high despite of the tirades and bashings of their neighbors. She would candidly respond to queries by others to invalidate suspicion and malfeasance. Soquino who claimed to be innocent, kept her calm and remained focused on their primary goal—to erect the additional classrooms.

After the long anticipation in the village, the construction finally began in June 2016 and was finished seven months later, a clear vindication for the wrongfully imputed Soquino.

After all these difficult undertakings, she did not renounce her duty in the village. Until now, Soquino remains a volunteer for an upcoming project, a livelihood training center.

Very proud po ako na makitang natapos ang aming proyekto. Masaya po ako na nakakatulong sa barangay. Sa ngayon ay ako pa din ay isang volunteer sa amin,” she said.

Life afresh with the neighbors’ aid

Shooting stars do really work for Soquino who aspires to have a safe dwelling when the construction of her house commenced last February 10, 2017 with the support of her neighbors, friends and relatives.

To those people who witnessed how a destitute woman living in a tent worked her fingers to the bone for the common good of the village, they accorded her of the aid she deserves to receive.

According to Soquino, there are certain individuals who donated cash and cement. She also received some construction materials from the barangay council and her neighbors.

Now, she and her children have temporarily used the galvanized metal roofs donated by the church for their tent while their house is undergoing construction.

Moreover, two of the laborers of their classrooms rendered free service during the first two days of her house’s construction. A colleague from another community was also present to assist during the first day of construction while her co-volunteers in Brgy. San Isidro Iraya sponsored the meals and snacks for the laborers.

Maraming salamat po at nakatayo na po ang anim na poste ng aming bahay. Napaluha ako sa saya dahil ramdam ko ang tulong niyo,” she said.

Though the construction only ensues when she has excess money to purchase cement and pay for the laborers, hope never fizzles for Soquino. She believes that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Sigurado ako na kahit pahinto-hinto ay matatapos din ang pangarap namin na bahay,” she added.

For her, the classrooms and her house undergoing construction symbolize unity. That at a certain moment in her life, the villagers who are fueled with compassion have enliven the bayanihan spirit.

What compels a woman who spent two years of her life living in a tent build classrooms for her village?

According to Soquino: “Bako hadlang ang pagtios para makatabang sa kapwa.”

Her genuine concern and sincere intention for her community have sparked inspiration to others and reciprocated her with a tangible effort to at least uplift her from the needy situation.

About DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS

Kalahi-CIDSS- Kapit- Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) is a DSWD program that seeks to help alleviate poverty through community-driven development (CDD).

The operations of the community-driven development (CDD) approach expanded into a national scale, which was tried and proven effective by DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS. There are 101 poor municipalities in Bicol under its expansion from 2014 to 2019 with a total of grant of Php4,497,448,178.

Community-driven development (CDD) puts power back in the hands of the people by giving them the opportunity to make informed decisions on locally identified options for development and manage resources to implement sub-projects that address needs identified by communities themselves.

Albay has implemented Kalahi-CIDSS in 15 municipalities and one city with a total implementation grant of PhP474,787,911.4 and local counterpart contribution of PhP80,461,154.1 from barangay and municipal local government units (LGUs) to fund community-managed sub-projects.

DSWD had allocated Malilipot with PhP56,782,655.28 with a counterpart from the LGU of PhP562,888.3.

The construction of one (1) unit- two (2) classroom elementary and one (1) unit- one (1) classroom secondary School Building in Barangay San Isidro Iraya serves 1,212 beneficiaries with a total project cost of PhP4,126,249.92

Similarly, the village will have one(1) unit livelihood training center targeted to help 200 household beneficiaries with a total amount of PhP2,493,179.04.

For more details about DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS, follow this link:


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DSWD Bicol celebrates its 66th foundation anniversary

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office V recently celebrates its’ 66th foundation anniversary with theme: “DSWD@66th: May Malasakit” held at Legazpi City Convention Center.

The anniversary underscore’s the DSWD’s commitment to render social services to the marginalized sectors of the society regardless of political or religious beliefs and gender orientation.

Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia expressed his thanks to all the DSWD staff present and participating government agencies.

He said during the activity that DSWD started in delivering social services since 1951. “DSWD alone is not a monopoly to address poverty reflecting on its logo—the heart means the Department’s service of love to the poor. Its left hand is our clients and the other hand is our partner agencies rendering public service. Simply means we have to unite together to continue giving commitment and service to the poor underlying our mandate of “Maagap at Mapagkalingang Serbisyo,” he said.

The activity started with a motorcade and mass celebration in the morning attended by almost 1,500 DSWD field staff from various programs, centers and institutions and attached agency.

Product display of various handicrafts and native food delicacies, massage and cosmetic treatment such as pedicure and manicure services was also offered during the anniversary by the beneficiaries of Sustainable Livelihood Program-A program that aims to improve the socioeconomic capacity of the participants through micro-enterprise development and employment facilitation activities that shall ultimately provide a sustainable income source.

Also, said activity, highlights the recognition to partner government agencies and Praise and Loyalty awards to outstanding and loyal employees.

The Praise awards comes with individual, group and special awards which are the Gawad Huwaran–given to a DSWD employee who are able to render extraordinary work performance or service and exemplary demonstration of DSWD’s three (3) core competencies in work execution, thereby significantly contributing to the achievement of the strategic goals  as well as the tunay na malasakit, maagap at mapagkalingang serbisyo sa mamamayan; and the Gawad Kalihim which is given to employees who serve as an inspiration and motivation to other employees to emulate.

Director Garcia said the anniversary is a timely occasion to enjoin DSWD family to walk the extra mile to serve others with commitment and dedication.

“We will continue doing this kind of activities to carry on the spirit of team work, bring the different programs and services, not only the DSWD, but other agencies of the government together to continue to fulfill our mandate to serve and help the poor especially the hard to reach places,” he said.

He added that one demonstration of dedicated service of the field office is the recent awards it received from the national level which are first place in Best in Crisis Intervention Unit and Tatak Maagap at Mapagkalingang Serbisyo sa Larangan ng Disaster Response.

More so, the employees who received the awards are the following:

Gawad Huwaran

  1. Racquel P. Borromeo

Gawad Kalihim

  1. Gloria F. Rempillo
  2. Imelda C. Oro
  3. Leonor P. Loneza
  4. Nilo B. Mendoza
  5. Randy L.Macinas
  6. Rene D. Despabiladero
  7. Rosario N. Arcena

Group Award

  • 1stPlace:  Best in Crisis Intervention Unit – recognition to the delivery of timely and appropriate direct financial benefits to indigent people including hospitalization bills, burials and transportation for those who wish to return to their provices.
  • 1stPlace: Tatak Maagap at Mapagkalingang Serbisyo sa Larangan ng Disaster Response – given to recognize the responses team’s delivery of effective and efficient operations along disaster preparedness and response.

Loyalty Award

Ten years in service

  1. Cristina S. Bellen
  2. Azucena B. Bodino
  3. Maria Linda  S. Nolso
  4. Liodivina L. Abion
  5. Henry A. Abion
  6. Avita L. Garlando
  7. Maria Robelie C, Rabulan
  8. Lilibeth E. Gargante
  9. Jonathan  B. Penaflor
  10. Cecille E. Jetajobe

Eleven years in service

  1. Arnel A. Avila
  2. Jerome G. Canaveral
  3. Eugene L. Socito
  4. Joel A. Abocado
  5. Coleta R. Roaring
  6. George P. Borja

Twelve years in service

  1. Russel R. Malejana
  2. Fe Balute
  3. Aladin L.Naje

Thirteen years in service

  1. Cherelyn  B. Bahoy
  2. Marilou N. Loma
  3. Jonathan M. Basilla
  4. Juan C. Oliver

Fourteen years in service

  1. Nely C. Totanes
  2. Edsel A. Tiansay Jr

Fifteen years in service

  1. Myra F.Siddayao

Sixteen years in service

  1. Cecille G. Mapa

Twenty years in service

  1. Marilyn  B. Marano
  2. Sammie B. Buenconsejo
  3. Elena B. Mateo
  4. Flora N. Ruivivar

Twenty five years in service

  1. Rose Marie S. Baldon

Thirty years in service

  1. Gilberto R. Logronio
  2. Corazon A. Pitero
  3. Ramon C. Rosales

Thirty five years in service

  1. Asuncion M. Guerina
  2. Nida M. Tiansay
  3. Nancy R. Basallo

Other activities that marked the Department’s 66th celebration are modern folk dance, your face sound’s familiar and missed universe.***G.A.N.L-4PsIO

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DSWD kicks off Adoption Consciousness Week Celebration in Bicol

The Department of Social Welfare and Development spearheads the observance of 2017 Adoption and Consciousness Week Celebration from February 11-19, 2017.

As a kick-off activity, a launching program was conducted earlier today at DILG Hall, Legazpi City which was participated by member agencies of Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children (RSCWC), Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s), adoptive parents and DSWD staff.

According to DSWD Bicol Assistant Regional Director Arwin O. Razo, this years’ theme dubbed “Pagmamahal Palaganapin, Legal na Pag-aampon Ating Gawin! (Spread Unconditional love through legal Adoption) intends to strongly advocate legal adoption of children temporarily cared in residential facilities-those who have been abandoned, neglected and surrendered and even those who have been directly entrusted to married couples by the children’s biological parent/s who are not related to them by blood or those beyond the fourth degree of consanguinity.

Razo urged the public to disseminate information regarding legal adoption and support the departments’ advocacy.

Moreover, several activities have been lined-up for the week’s event which includes Adoption Inquiry Desk at Ayala Mall, Gaisano Mall and SM Naga, Symposium on Adoption at BUCCSP, Social Work Department, Adoption Forum at DILG, DEPED, DOH, DOLE, NHA, DTI, DOST etc. and Forum on Alternative Parental Care in Iriga City.

Media guesting will also form part of the activities to educate and inform the public on legal adoption.

Adoption Consciousness Week is observed annually based on presidential Proclamation 72, dated Feb. 3, 1999. During Adoption Consciousness Week, the DSWD disseminates basic information about adoption, including the processes, requirements and its benefits and effects.

Meanwhile, according to Ms. Marissa Paeste, Social Welfare Officer IV and Adoption Resource and Referral Section head, the DSWD Bicol has issued 31 Certification Declaring the Child Legally Available for Adoption (CDCLAA), of whom 6 children were placed for local adoption and 20 for Inter-Country Adoption while 21 foster families were issued with Foster Family Care License.

Republic Act 9523 issued on March 12, 2009, states that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is the agency charged to implement the provisions and shall have the sole authority to issue the certification declaring a child legally available for adoption.###

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UK Space Agency launches pioneer communications satellite project in Bicol

Legazpi City—The DSWD Regional Office was selected as the pioneer testing ground for a communications satellite project made possible through the partnership of the Philippine Government and the United Kingdom Space Agency to establish a reliable and stable mobile and data connection within the first 24 hours after disasters.

The said project will be implemented for two years that will officially start this coming April. The DSWD Regional Office that also serves as the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management (RDRRM) Deputy on Response Cluster will receive five units of communications satellites which will be installed in its main office and provincial offices. After eight months, four out of the five units will be redistributed to other DSWD regional offices. Inmarsat will donate the said equipment to DSWD once the project ends in 2019.

An initial dialogue was conducted last January 13, 2017 in Legazpi City with the project team from Inmarsat, a British mobile satellite company, and DSWD, the lead agency on disaster response.

During the said dialogue, Disaster Response Assistance and Management Bureau Head Felino Castro said that the Department has been bolstering its efforts to improve its operations systems during disaster response and has reassured that the stewardship of these communication equipment is its prime lookout.

“The facility is valuable to the uninterrupted communication between the Disaster Quick Response Teams (QRT) reporting at the regional office and provincial offices to ensure that affected local government units (LGUs) will receive prompt relief augmentation,” DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia said.

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Kalahi-CIDSS aids Typhoon Nina early recovery efforts in Bicol

Aside from relief augmentation and technical assistance to local government units during disaster operations, DSWD will also augment in a form of funding support to all municipalities with existing Kalahi-CIDSS program in line with the early recovery efforts in Bicol to areas damaged by Typhoon Nina.

From 2014 to 2019, Bicol has been allocated 4.1 billion and 2.27 billion of which has been utilized by poor villages for the implementation of the community-driven development (CDD) program or Kapit- Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS).

Qualified municipalities can access their available Kalahi-CIDSS funds waiving the mandatory LGU counterpart for the restoration of basic services and livelihoods in affected villages.

Eligible municipalities must be currently implementing Kalahi-CIDSS and have declared state of calamity supported by Sangguniang Bayan (SB) Resolution.

As of the writing, the Kalahi-CIDSS Regional Project Management Office (RPMO) has the initial list of eligible municipalities which are all subject to the validation of the Sub-Regional Project Management Office (SRPMO), the Kalahi-CIDSS provincial extension office, and approval of the RPMO.

There will be a shift from the standard Kalahi-CIDSS processes and operations into the use of Disaster Response Operations Procedures (DROP) or the Kalahi-CIDSS disaster response modality using CDD.


Eligible villages

The funds for the early recovery efforts will be directly downloaded to the villages with the following fixed criteria for targeting disaster-affected areas:

  1. Population of the barangay (using the results of the latest census – 20%
  2. Poverty incidence (to be generated from the DSWD National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) – 30%, and;
  3. Extent of damage as measured by the % of damaged HHs (or other available data that allows comparison across all barangays) – 50%.

Moreover, grants are allocated based on severity of damage, thus, barangays will be categorized into three groups:

  1. severely damaged/affected
  2. moderately damaged
  3. least affected

With the limitation of funds, there will be a prioritization and ranking of all villages in a municipality based on the abovementioned criteria. Non-prioritized villages will be referred to their local government unit or other national government agencies. Kalahi-CIDSS will help these municipalities to prepare project proposals and other technical documents to help them access government and non-government aids.


Damage Assessment to Kalahi-CIDSS sub-projects

The Kalahi-CIDSS Engineering Unit has been visiting random municipalities and villages in Camarines Sur, Catanduanes and Albay to assess the extent of damages to sub-projects and gather relevant data to enhance the design of future sub-projects.

As of January 5, 2017, there are 2, 806 funded sub-projects under Kalahi-CIDSS from 2002 to present. Based on the initial data gathered last January 11, 2017, there were 118 damaged subprojects.


CDD in Bicol

The operations of the community-driven development (CDD) approach expanded into a national scale, which was tried and proven effective by Kalahi-CIDSS. 101 poor municipalities in Bicol are under its expansion from 2014 to 2019 with a total of grant of Php4,497,448,178.

CDD puts power back in the hands of the people by giving them the opportunity to make informed decisions on locally identified options for development and manage resources to implement sub-projects that address needs identified by communities themselves.

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