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Amazing Story of DSWD FO 5 Staff, Surviving a Chopper Crash: A Second Life

 

Around four in the afternoon of December 6, 2013 (Friday), on our way to La Paz, Leyte, to distribute relief goods for the victims of typhoon Yolanda, we are about to land in the said area, when, without warning the pilot forced to land for the second time, it was shaking violently, and there was panic inside the chopper.

I was seating near the area where the gunman was situated and suddenly I heard an incredibly loud cracking sound from the back of the chopper, it was probably the elisi that was smashed and there was a strong vibration. I did not think that we will going to crash or die. I was just all the time praying to God to calm myself. Then, I rolled out of the chopper and people came to help us.

This is how Danny Franco Bitara, 29, a Municipal Link of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office 5 Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program relate his story, surviving the recently Huey chopper crashed together with his co-DSWD staff Naome Mongaya, two pilots and two gunman of Air Force of the Philippines named Staff Sgt. Cristobal Amorin, Sgt. Quirubin Perez, Sgt. Angelito Anterola and Sgt. Henry Roque and two loader.

“It was my two little sons David Jofen, 3, Danielle Joseph, 3 months old, and my wife Julma, 27, that was in my mind,” he said in a low tone of voice seemingly very emotional recalling of what had happen.

Before the Crash

Daniel voluntarily joins the team in assisting the relief distribution in going to the Province of Borangan in Eastern Samar. Then, on December 3, 2013 he was tasked to go to Tacloban, Leyte to be the person in-charge of dispatching and sending DSWD staff to distribute relief goods to respective municipalities greatly hit by said typhoon.

For his last day in Tacloban, Leyte, having enjoyed of what he is doing, he was tasked in assisting and facilitating the relief distribution in La Paz, Leyte. “Masaya ako dahil, nakakatulong ako sa mga tao dahil wala naman ako pinansiyal na maibibigay sa kapwa ko kaya pinagbubutihan ko ang trabaho ko para sa mga nangangailangan,” he said.

He added that he was also overwhelmed of meeting new people with higher position. “Hindi ko man lang nga na foresee na mangyayari yun sa akin. Naiisip ko lang when I was in the air, what if the plane crash? What will happen to my family?” But he said it was just at the back of his head. He was more focused in looking the area and extent of damage brought by the said typhoon.

A Second Life

Pangalawang buhay ko na po ito,” he added. When he got out of the chopper, he was still conscious and terrified. He said everything was in pieces all around him. He saw the pilot and his companions hurt. People dragged them away from the chopper.

“I couldn’t feel any pain. I was lying under the shades of the tree, and I heard people’s voices around and they help me go to the nearest hospital using a motorcycle,” he stated. In his way to Burawin District Hospital for first aid, he said it was still a hard thing for him as he still needed to cross a river and walk.

Grabe ang experience ko pero pasalamat po ako at nabuhay pa ako,” he stated.

Assistance Provided

Having heard about the situation, the DSWD immediately provided assistance to its staff. According to Danny, Secretary Corazon Juliano – Soliman, Assistant Secretary Vilma Cabrera two other companions immediately went to the hospital where Danny was confined to provide assistance.

Danny felt severe stomach pain, and it was suggested to transfer him to Tacloban for further check-up. On the following day (December 7, 2013), there he undergone physical examination and find out an internal bleeding.

“I was operated but now I am fine,” he added.

The DSWD Field Office 5 provided financial assistance to Danny and immediately contact his family. “Nagpapasalamat po ako kay Director Arnel B. Garcia and Sec. Soliman and the people who help me dahil hindi po nila ako pinabayaan,” he said.

His Maxicare which is also one of the benefits provided to DSWD staff under contract was also utilized as assistance to such this kind of emergency cases.

 

His Realization

The pain and injuries Danny felt was a thing that makes him realize that life is beautiful and God loves him and his family.

He added that his cut in his stomach may have faded over time but it will always remind him, his lucky escape. He has no regrets only happiness and thankfulness for those who saved him.

My experience made me stronger. I love my job, and I felt it was my mission to help the people. I was even more committed now to continue what I am doing. I hope he could be able to inspire others to love their work, would not lose hope, trust God, and would not stop from helping the people who are in need,” he ended. ***G.A.N. Lindio

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Residents of the Home for Girls and Women Trained on Baking

Culminating Activity on the Thee-day Training on Baking in Home for Women and Girls at DSWD complex, Barangay Nasisi, Ligao City.

Culminating Activity on the Thee-day Training on Baking in Home for Women and Girls at DSWD complex, Barangay Nasisi, Ligao City.

Thirty Seven residents and staff from the Home Women and Girls at DSWD Complex, Nasisi, Ligao City has completed a three day skills training on Baking.  This was held at the center in coordination with TESDA, Albay Provincial Office who provided the trainer and the Philippine Good Work Mission Foundation, Inc who provided for the funding.

The training aims to equip the center residents with livelihood skills in order to prepare them for a gainful employment the moment they leave the center for an independent living. This is also form part of their therapeutic activity for them to be able to overcome their emotional and psychological problems.

With the assistance of Ms. Teresita Caceres, Project Development Officer III and other center staff, a bakery will be open in the center following the sustainable livelihood scheme. The residents will also be trained on Basic Business Management. # # # eejerusalem

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DSWD Forged MOA with 13 National Government Agency and the Bicol Recovery and Economic Development for the Implementation of Bagwis Bicol

The Field Office V entered into a Memorandum of Understanding between and among 13 national government agencies and the Committee on Bicol Recovery and Economic Development (CBRED) for the launching of a convergence program called “Banig at Walis Tingtingng Pamilyang Bicolnon.”

The agencies involved are; DA,ATI,FIDA,PCA,DTI,CDA,DAR,TESDA,DENR,DOST,CBRED with the DSWD as the chairperson of the Bagwis Bicol Inter-agency Committee. These agencies agreed to launch a convergence program called “Banig at Walis Tingting ng Bicolnon –BAGWIS Bicol” which aims at recognizing the need for the provision of ethical financial and non-financial services to advocate poverty reduction.

Likewise the purpose of the MOU is to provide a framework for a partnership arrangement among the partner agencies to capacitate the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program beneficiaries , Rural Women Organizations, Farmer’s Organization and other marginalized and vulnerable sector of society and empower them for a long-term livelihood opportunity using a  sustainable livelihood framework.

Director Arnel Garcia shared that Bagwis Bicol will focus more on the production of mats (banig) and hard brooms (walis tingting)It is envisioned that this project will be in full operation by 2014 .# # # #eejerusalem

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DSWD –RSCC Launched the I’ll Be Home for Christmas Program

Christmas is a season for giving and sharing joy especially among children.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development, Field Office V (DSWD)– Reception and Study Children for Children (RSCC) recently launched the I’ll Be Home for Christmas Program.. DSWD Director Arnel Garcia explained that this program was conceptualized with a purpose of providing the RSCC children an experience of a family home life this holiday season. “There is no place like Home” although it cannot be avoided that there are infants and children who have to settle for an alternative home for the reason that there had been a dysfunction on the part of their biological parents and other immediate family members. RSCC children whose age ranges from 0-6 are either surrendered, abandoned, neglected and abused who are in need of temporary shelter or alternative foster families.

With the “I”ll Be Home for Christmas Program, the DSWD invited couples families and single individuals to bring home an RSCC child and share with them the joy of the holidays. A child can stay with a family with the foster family for a duration of two days to two weeks depending on the discretion of the foster family.

Under this program, before a child is released, the center nurse orients  the prospective foster family on the child’s  health condition, the food preferences and other informations like thmood and the child’s behavior. The family shall sign the child protection policy and discharge slip upon the child’s release to their care for the holidays.

In a simple ceremony, Director Garcia turned-over the children to their respective foster family/parents. He was assisted by Ms. Marissa Paeste , the RSCC center head. # # #eejerusalem

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DSWD Provides P1M Capital Assistance for Senior Citizens

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office V has released the amount of P1M to the Local Government of Calabanga, Camarines sur. The P1M worth of check funded under the Bottoms-Up Budgeting  was received by Mayor Eduardo Severo from Director Honorita Bayudan of the Poverty Reduction Programs Buresu, DSWD, Central Office.

According to Mayor Severo the amount will be used as capital assistance to be invested in the opening of a Drug Store, a livelihood project   of  the Senior citizens Municipal Federation of Calabanga. The LGU will provide a stall at the town’s public market for the purpose.

Bottoms-up Budgeting is an approach to preparing the budget proposal of agencies taking into consideration the development needs of the poor cities/municipalities as identified in their respective local poverty reduction action plans that shall be formulated with strong participation of basic sector organization and other civil society organization.

The management and operation of the drug store will be manage by the officers of the Senior Citizens and in coordination with the MSWDO of Calabanga, the DSWD will closely monitor the project since this is under the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the department.

Present during the simple turn-over ceremony were Director Paz Sarino of DSWD, Central Office, Sanggunian Bayan members and representative of the Senior Citizens Association headed by Mrs Josefina Parde, the Federation’s President.     # # # #eejerusalem

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DSWD updates LGU’s on Listahanan

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 5 through Listahanan conducted a one-day orientation to Local Chief Executives, Municipal Social Welfare Officers and Municipal Planning and Development Officers. This was simultaneously done last December 16-19, 2013 in the provinces of Masbate, Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Albay and Sorsogon.

The activity aims to give updates on the upcoming 2nd round of household assessment and promotion of the Listahanan’s database.

Listahanan is the country’s information system that identifies who and where are.It makes available to the national government agencies and social protection stakeholders a pioneer database consisting of comprehensive information about poor families nationwide.

It can be recalled that DSWD conducted the first assessment in 2009 where 461, 242 poor households were identified in Bicol region out of 775, 014 households assessed region wide.

The 2nd round of household assessment will be held 1st -2nd quarter of next year and will cover 1.08 million households in both rural and pockets of poverty in urban areas in Bicol region.

Pockets of poverty refers to areas  where the cluster of poor households reside.

Enhancements for the 2014 assessment

Regional Field Coordinator Joy Belen III said that for next year’s assessment, DSWD will use android tablets instead of paper and pencil for urban areas as the primary data collection tool in urban areas. However, due to the absence of a reliable internet connection, enumerators assigned in rural areas will continue to use paper and pencil.

Another enhancement is the inclusion of the barangay community characteristics derived from the 2009 Census of Population and Housing (CPH). The barangay profiling will serve as determinants of poverty status in the new PMT model.

Listahanan will also be able to classify occupation of family members into 431 specific categories consistent with the Philippine Standard Occupation Classification (PSOC).

The new PMT model will also use the non-income variables such as housing features, family assets and access to water and sanitation facilities, among others which were sourced out from 2009 Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) and Labor Force Survey (LFS) as income predictors.

The result of the 2nd nationwide assessment is expected to become available in 10-12 months, after the data has been finalized with the results of validation.

Local Government Unit Engagement

Participation of LGUs in the household assessment process is highly encouraged.
Likewise, in assisting the field staff in assessment of households in hard-to-reach areas, providing information and acting as members of Local Verification Committees (LVC’s) in their respective municipalities.

“That is why as early as now we are coordinating with the LGU’s to have proper coordination before the conduct of household assessment and also to get recommendations/suggestions from the ground on how we can be more effective in the next implementation” said Razo, Policy & Plans Division head.

In the forum, the LGU’s showed their support and cooperation to the program. In fact some LGU’s wanted to give their counterpart field staff to accompany the enumerators to ensure that all of their constituents be assessed.
They also appreciated the DSWD’s effort in strengthening the partnership to the LGU’s and welcomes whatever involvement they can extend in the next assessment.

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DSWD inks MOA with NGAs to provide support services for recovering drug dependents

Legazpi City-Last December 18, 2013, DSWD inks MOA with national government agencies (NGAs) to extend inter-agency support services for recovering drug dependents under the pilot program dubbed as Strategies Toward Acceptance, Reintegration & Transformation (START) led by DSWD in Bicol region.

The pilot implementation of START will be done in Malinao Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (MTRC) along with government-owned centers in Central Visayas (Region VII), Northern Mindanao (Region X), and National Capital Region (NCR). The program will be pilot tested within eighteen (18) months from October 2013- April 2015.

According to Dir. Arnel Garcia, all the government agencies will provide complete support services to facilitate total family and community approach for the rehabilitation of recovering drug dependents to promote prevention and protection of the families and communities from the harmful effects of drug abuse.

During the orientation of Eden Marino, a Registered Social Worker and START focal person, said that the program will engage different government agencies in the provision of existing basic, economic and psychosocial services and shall utilize existing inter-agency mechanisms to maximize the community-based programs and services already being provided by government agencies and non-government organizations, CSOs, Academe and Faith-Based Organizations.

START is a community-based intervention strategy particularly for recovering drug dependents that have undergone treatment, rehabilitation and after-care program in various government-owned centers that are being prepared for discharge and reintegration to their families and communities. The strategy shall focus on the organization of recovering drug dependents who will later become the advocacy arm at the community level.

The target beneficiaries of START are clients who are admitted with an average of five (5) years drug history with no psychological disorder and age ranging from 18-50 years old (employable age).

The pilot implementation shall also lead to a research study that will test the effectiveness of the inter-agency mechanism when applied among the recovering drug users as basis for broader if not nationwide implementation.

Present during the ceremonial MOA signing are DSWD Regional Dir. Arnel Garcia, Dra. Ma. Teresa Iñigo of MTRC, Parole & Probations Administration (PPA) Assistant Regional Director (ARD) Amy Sarmiento, TESDA Technical Director Conrad Bares, DOLE ARD Exequel Guzman and other representatives of provincial and municipal local government units (LGUs).

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DSWD Provides P1M Capital Assistance for Senior Citizens

Calabanga Mayor Eduardo Severo receives the P1M check from Director Honorita Bayudan

Calabanga Mayor Eduardo Severo receives the P1M check from Director Honorita Bayudan

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office V has released the amount of P1M to the Local Government of Calabanga, Camarines sur. The P1M worth of check funded under the Bottoms-Up Budgeting  was received by Mayor Eduardo Severo from Director Honorita Bayudan of the Poverty Reduction Programs Buresu, DSWD, Central Office.

According to Mayor Severo the amount will be used as capital assistance to be invested in the opening of a Drug Store, a livelihood project   of  the Senior citizens Municipal Federation of Calabanga. The LGU will provide a stall at the town’s public market for the purpose.

Bottoms-up Budgeting is an approach to preparing the budget proposal of agencies taking into consideration the development needs of the poor cities/municipalities as identified in their respective local poverty reduction action plans that shall be formulated with strong participation of basic sector organization and other civil society organization.

The management and operation of the drug store will be manage by the officers of the Senior Citizens and in coordination with the MSWDO of Calabanga, the DSWD will closely monitor the project since this is under the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the department.

Present during the simple turn-over ceremony were Director Paz Sarino of DSWD, Central Office, Sanggunian Bayan members and representative of the Senior Citizens Association headed by Mrs Josefina Parde, the Federation’s President.     # # # #eejerusalem

 

 

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