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Disbelief ends with trust

Disbelief ends with trust

Abello Frias of Brgy, Dacu, Mobo, Masbate convenes a meeting to resolve issues in the community. He is Kalahi-CIDSS volunteer for almost seven years now.

Abello Frias is an Industrial Engineering graduate. He has four children with his wife, Novelita Frias, a school teacher in Masbate. He was previously employed in Manila but decided to finally join his family in the coastal village of Dacu in Mobo, Masbate after he was diagnosed with diabetes. Subsequent to his return, his remarkable chronicle as a volunteer began.

Abello is a community volunteer in Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), a poverty reduction program of the government, for almost seven years, however, he was indifferent to government programs at the beginning.

He was elected as a community volunteer in Kalahi-CIDSS Cycle 1 in 2009 and was forced to assume the responsibilities required from an elected resident. Onset, he was hesitant because he believes that government programs and projects are futile and getting involved is also a waste of time. Contrary to this, his neighbor convinced him to dispose his apprehension and said to him that he can give it a try.

Later on, he appreciated the process in and principles of Kalahi-CIDSS that refuted his pre-conceived opinions through the explanations from the Area Coordinating Team (ACT) and by getting directly involved in the project.

“Nabago ang paniniwala ko dati dahil sa Kalahi-CIDSS dahil tao pala ang magsasagawa ng proyekto (My perspectives was changed because in Kalahi-CIDSS the people will implement the project),” Frias said.

Just like him at the beginning, the residents were also doubtful to Kalahi-CIDSS and generally, apathetic, which resulted to poor community involvement. The following year, the community failed to get the Kalahi-CIDSS funding for the construction of their riprap due to lack of people’s participation, a major requirement to avail of Kalahi-CIDSS funds. From that point and onwards, Frias promised to himself and to the people of Dacu that he will do anything to get a subproject from Kalahi-CIDSS to help his neighbors get a better life.

He, then, realized that he can help the DSWD field workers to negate the popular notion of indifference among the residents and get them involved by explaining the benefits they will reap out of sheer participation in community assemblies. It took about three months to persuade some residents but it yielded a better result because Dacu was prioritized in the next cycle for the construction of their health center. The health center provides an easy access for the residents to health who previously travel to town to get medical intervention.

“Kaya ko pala makumbinse ang barangay na makilahok, makiisa and makibayanihan para sa aming proyekto (I realized that I can persuade the community to participate and ),” he said.

Until now, Frias is still the Barangay Sub-Project Management Chairman (BSPMC), the head of the volunteers who take the lead in the implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS subprojects. The people of this village was impressed by his unwavering diligence, innate intelligence, flawless sincerity and pure dedication. As a result, he gained the people’s trust and seamlessly mobilized them to partake in any community endeavor, even beyond Kalahi-CIDSS activities.

A true bayani in the community

Frias is truly selfless to serve the people.

“Ang isang volunteer ay nasa puso ang kagustuhang makatulong (A volunteer has the heart and desire to help),” Frias said.

In 2012, two days before the deadline of submission of their documents needed for the construction of their health center, he forced his way into a storm (Public Storm Warning Signal No. 2 was raised) in a late evening to get their lot document notarized in Masbate City even if he is suffering from flu. It took about two hours to get to town from a 30-minute ride because the way was already flooded.

“Ok lang na ako ang mabasa huwag lang ang mga dockumento. Prinotektahan ko ang papeles. (I don’t mind to get drenched but not the documents. I protected the papers from getting wet),” he said.

He also takes an active role in inculcating the bayanihan spirit in their village. He ensures that the residents are informed with the schedule of meetings and community assemblies, both important activities in Kalahi-CIDSS.

“Pinapaalam niya kami kung may patawag na meeting (He informs us if there are meetings),” Nestor Almiñe, a resident of Dacu, said.

With the regular communication to the residents, Dacu’s community participation rate to community assemblies increased from 21% in 2010 to 92% in 2012 and 97% in 2014.

He also teaches his co-volunteers in Kalahi-CIDSS with what he knows to encourage them to perform their functions well in Kalahi-CIDSS.

“Tinuruan niya ako sa pagaayos ng mga papel na kailangan sa Kalahi-CIDSS (He taught me to fix the documentary requirements for Kalahi-CIDSS),” Karen Tamayo, a volunteer, said.

Abello Frias exemplifies a real community hero. His story can inspire current volunteers to work even harder and inspire volunteers-to-be to shove their reservations towards Kalahi-CIDSS and join the road to development.

In addition to the health center constructed through Kalahi-CIDSS, Dacu finished the concreting of their pathways and will also receive funds for their seawall.

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DSWD Bicol hosts skills enhancement training on sheltered workshop for Social Workers

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 5 led by the Social Technology Unit conducted skills enhancement training for LGU social workers on sheltered workshop for Persons with Disabilities and Senior Citizens held at Pepperland Hotel recently.

Sheltered Workshop for Persons with Disabilities (PWD’s) and Senior Citizens (SC’s) provide a wide range of opportunities for elderly persons and the PWD’s to realize their aspirations to achieve economic self-sufficiency, live a full life and contribute to the progress and development of our country. It also allows them to participate in meaningful work or training activities in a safe environment. The program provides a venue for the development of residual capacities and learning of positive attitudes toward the work elderly persons and PWD’s.

Ms. Nida Macinas, Social Welfare Officer III and the head of the Social Technology Unit shared that the three days training is a venue where the LGU social workers and key players were trained along the implementation of the sheltered workshop for senior citizens and persons with disability.

Thirty four (34) LGU social workers from the different provinces of the region were the participants. Technical staff from TESDA, DOLE and DTI were the resource persons.###eejerusalem

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DSWD’s Listahanan Bicol completed the household assessment

Legazpi City- The Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Bicol announced the completion of the second round of household assessment in the region last September 15.

According to DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia, a total of 1,056,722 households was assessed out of the 1,087, 720 target for Bicol region.

The result of the assessment per province is as follows, Albay 244,245, Camarines Norte 107,549, Camarines Sur 339,860, Catanduanes 47,682, Masbate 166,790 , Sorsogon 150,596 households.

“This does not include households visited, which have no qualified respondents, no respondent, or vacant at the time of visit” Garcia added

Meanwhile, for households not assessed during the regular enumeration shall be given a chance to appeal and be assessed during the validation.

This will be scheduled in October until November before the finalization of the database.

It is in validation phase where the initial list of poor is posted in strategic places in the barangays. This is to let the community validate the list since they more know their neighbors.

A Local Verification Committee (LVC) will be organized to resolve complaints and appeal received during the validation period.
The members of the LVC will include the Local Chief Executive, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer, Municipal Planning & Development Officer, Civil Society Organization representative and the Listahanan Area Supervisor.

Queries, appeals and complaints will be entertained 5 days after posting of the initial list of poor and will last for 15 days while resolving of complaints will be conducted in 20 days.

The agency encourages everyone to participate in the upcoming validation of poor households before they finalize the list.

“The validation is our mechanism to minimize the inclusion and exclusion error of the Proxy Means Test (PMT) that is why we need the involvement of the community because this phase is very crucial “said Garcia.

Proxy Means Test is a statistical model that approximates family income based on the observable and verifiable non-income indicators of the family’s income.

It has been found to be a good way of targeting the in large informal sectors where actual incomes are difficult to be verified.

It has been proven to be an effective targeting mechanism in countries like Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Mexico where the informal labor market is large.

Moreover, inclusion error refers to the error when a non-poor family was classified as poor whereas exclusion error happens when a true poor household was classified as non-poor using the PMT.

Implemented regionwide, Listahanan is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are. It aims to establish a database of poor households that will become beneficiaries of social protection programs. ###

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Poor village in Cam Sur receives Kalahi-CIDSS subproject

Poor families will soon benefit the fish processing facility in San Juan, Del Gallego, Camarines Sur through Kapit- Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), a DSWD program that seeks to help alleviate poverty through community-driven development (CDD).

The construction of one (1) unit 180.0 sq. m. fish processing facility, amounting to P2,209,000.00, is expected to be completed this 2015 and will provide an alternative . 75 out 100 its family beneficiaries are also Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries.

“Napagkaisahan po ng barangay na magkaroon nito dahil meron kaming 80 hectares na Bangus fishpond na pwede namin pagkakitaan araw-araw,” Maria Asila Cabangon, a resident, said.

Cabangon also added that the facility will employ women of the target household beneficiaries to augment their daily income.

On the other hand, the residents of San Juan yield poor income especially after typhoons where their crops are destroyed. As a result, they decided to focus on Bangus production and propose the construction of a fish processing facility to Kalahi-CIDSS.

The LGU of Del Gallego, DSWD, DOST and DAR forged the Memorandum of Agreement to support Brgy. San Juan for their Bangus processing center. DOST will provide the equipment and DAR will provide the training to its beneficiaries.

“We would like to break the cycle of poverty with the support of the people to the national agencies’ programs,” Dir. Arnel Garcia said.

The same village also received farm-to-market road and water system subprojects through Kalahi-CIDSS.

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Salome, a woman to emulate

Getting involved in community activities or joining a group is difficult for Salome. She never wanted to be known in the community and always walk away from responsibility. Perhaps she is just too shy and never has courage to do so.

Salome Prila, 48 years old is a residence of Barangay Loob, Gainza, Camarines Sur. She has a nine year old son by his common law husband, a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at Central Bicol State University for Agriculture (CBSUA). “Even in school my lips is always zipped. I only talk when ask to recite.” shared Salome

In 1998, after her graduation from college, Salome was employed at the Department of Agriculture where she worked for two years. Then was able to land a job in a private firm where she was connected for 13 years. Salome gladly shared that her employment helped her life long struggle to break free from insecurity and low self-esteem after being employed for years. Salome was forced to stay home to take care of his only son. The family’s source of income is derived from farming by her husband for which he earns a monthly income of P 5,000 which is barely enough for them. To keep herself busy, Salome tried to join both community and church activities. She started working with people and public service is not anymore new to her.

Salome became a grantee of the Pantawid Pamilya in 2011. For her it was a blessing that she cherished the most “ Dahil sa Pantawid, gumaan ang buhay naming, may pinag kukunan na ako ng pambili ng gamit sa eskwela ng anak ko, baon at pambili ng bitamina. Salome claims that because of pantawid she can now provide the school and the health needs of their child without taking the amount from her husband’s income.

Aside from receiving the cash grant, Salome said that she has learned much from the Family Development Session which she regularly attends. At times when my husband has no farm work, I used to let him join me in attending the Family Development Session.

Not only Salome became a grantee of the Pantawid Pamilya but she was also a parent leader. According to her group she was chosen because of her kindness, passionate and patience. As a parent leader she shared the lesson she learned from the role that was bestowed to her. Salome also proudly shares that she is able to teach other members who does not know how to write the basic of writing. This is to help the beneficiaries find ease in writing their names.

Salome did not stop her involvement in community activities. When the KALAHI-CIDSS was introduced in the municipality of Gainza in 2012, Salome eagerly participated in its activities. The KALAHI-CIDSS or Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive And Integrated Delivery of Social Services is a program that seeks to help alleviate poverty through community driven development.

She chaired the Barangay Project Management Committee. Salome claims that one of the accomplishments as KC volunteer is when she was able to get other members in the community who are adamant of the project to get involve.

When the LGU of Gainza, organized the Municipal Coordinating Tam (MCT), the counterpart of the Area Coordinating Team (ACT), Salome was hired and occupied the post of a Community Empowerment Facilitator.

Salome as an empowered and courageous woman, she has proven that one’s journey matter when you’re honest purpose is to help uplift the lives of others. Her adventures were combination of challenges, disappointments and success. Salome is a woman to emulate.###

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Residents of Cam Norte town win first DSWD flash drama contest

Residents representing San Vicente, Camarines Norte topped the other four (4) groups and were declared as the grand winner of DSWD’s first-ever flash drama contest, dubbed as Teatro ng Pagbabago, last September 4, 2015 at Pacific Mall, Legazpi City.

The five artists from San Vicente comprised of Elenita Orbista, Cristina Robles, Caselyn Peralta, Ruel Peralta and Jobert Robles, impressed the judges with their amazing performance matched with their true story on how Kapit- Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) program helped a family and the community transcend poverty through a skills development training and a sea wall project, both funded through Kalahi-CIDSS. The said group also received a cash prize of P15,000.

The towns of Caramoan and Magallanes were the first runner-up and second runner-up and received P10,000 and P5,000, respectively. The other participating groups were from municipalities of Bula and Viga.

San Vicente also received special awards namely, best stage presentation, best story, best actor for Ruel Peralta and best actress for Elenita Orbista.

The Teatro ng Pababago Contest is part of DSWD’s advocacy efforts to promote the gains of Kalahi-CIDSS beneficiaries through a ten-minute play with five characters. It aims to laymanize the program in a theater play.

“We will mobilize these groups to take part in our advocacy efforts to promote the stories of communities empowered by Kalahi-CIDSS and make others appreciate the program,” Dir. Garcia said.

Kalahi-CIDSS is a DSWD program that seeks to help alleviate poverty through community-driven development (CDD).

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The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office V warns the public against text scams using Pantawid Pamilya

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office V warns the public against text scams using the name of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program

Pantawid Pamilya is a program of the national government that aims to improve the education and health of children aged 0-18.
Under Pantawid Pamilya, family beneficiaries received assistance of P500 grant in health; and P300 (elementary) or P500 (high school) grant in education with a maximum of three children per household.

The text message is sent by certain Hydee Gomez.

It states “Congrats, from: President Noy Noy Aquino Foundation. 4PS Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. Your sim # won P950,000.00 2nd prize winner, handog pangkabuhayan raffle promo! DTI P#9513,S’15, pls. text complete NAME/ADDRESS/OCCUPATION.”

The DSWD Field Office V denied holding such promo.

The Department urges all those who will receive this text message not to respond, instead, immediately report to the nearest DSWD office or text to the Pantawid Pamilya Grievance Text Hotline 0918-912-2813.

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Household assessment in Bicol nears completion- DSWD

Legazpi City- The Department of Social Welfare and Development Bicol through the Listahanan is about to end the second round of household assessment this week.

“A total of 1,050,656 or 97% households were already assessed by the agency,” said DSWD Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia.

This is out of the region’s target of 1, 087, 720 households comprised of 767,252 rural and 320, 468 urban.

According to Garcia, the provinces of Catanduanes, Albay, Camarines Sur,Sorsogon and Camarines Norte were completed except for Masbate.

Listahanan is being implemented in the 107 municipalities, 7 cities and 3,471 barangays in Bicol region.

The validation and finalization phase will start this October wherein the initial list of poor families will be posted in conspicuous places in the community.

A local verification committee will be formed to receive and act on complaints and grievances relating to the issue of household eligibility.

Households not assessed during the regular enumeration shall be given a chance to appeal and be assessed during the validation.

The first round of household assessment was conducted in 2009 which resulted to the identification of 461, 242 poor households.

Meanwhile, the department clarifies misconception between the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program and the Listahanan.

“Being interviewed by an enumerator does not guarantee that the household will be automatically become beneficiary of any social protection program especially the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program,” stressed Garcia

The Listahanan identifies who and where the poor are. The identification uses specific means called the Proxy Means Test which calculates the income of households based on the verifiable and observable variables such as access to basic services and facilities like water and electricity, ownership of assets as well as materials used in housing structure.

The Listahanan’s database will be the basis of government agencies and stakeholders in identifying potential beneficiaries for their various social protection programs and services.

“The Listahanan only provides the data to the program implementers like the Pantawid Pamilya based on the requested information. “clarifies Garcia

The qualification and criteria in identifying beneficiaries is set by the program implementers. For example, to qualify for the Pantawid Pamilya, the following criteria must be satisfied to become eligible for the program:

• Must be identified as poor based on the database of the Listahanan
• Households must have children 0-18 years old and/or have a pregnant woman at the time of enumeration.
• And must be willing and able to comply with the conditionalities of the program as part of their co-responsiblities¬

Furthermore, data to be generated in Listahanan includes list of poor families segregate¬¬d by region, province, municipality/city and barangay, disaggregated data on families such as family identification, socio-economic information and family roster.###

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