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BRAZIL, DSWD, DA, and DAR partnership to fight against poverty and hunger

In order to address the issues relating to poverty and hunger, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Bicol forge partnership with the Brazilian Government, Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to provide essential social services directly benefiting the poor in rural areas.

Minister Milton Rhondo Filho and Engr. Israel Leoname Frolich Klug of Brazil, World Food Dipayan Bhattaccharrya recently visit some areas in Bicol Region for the social development projects to be implemented and poor households in rural communities.

According to Minister Filho the visit aims to assess the area where they can provide technical assistance and services to assist small scale farmer’s increase their products; and to strengthen and secure the future and health of the children by providing them a good quality of food products.

He added that the Brazilian government will be sending their consultant for 7 months to stay in the Region to study, assess and carefully plan out the projects to be implemented.

Famers organized by DAR, day care children and beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of DSWD, and community residents in the provinces of Sorsogon, Camarines Sur and Camaries Norte will be the recipients of the project.

Also present during the visit was Agrarian Reform National Project Director Hernan Ongkiko, DSWD Director Dulfie Tobia-Shalim, DSWD-Bicol Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia, DSWD-Bicol Assistant Regional Corazon B. Mina, and DAR-Bicol Assistant Regional Director Rodrigo O. Realubit and other DAR, DA, and DSWD staff.

Establishment of Community Food Hub

A plan to put up a community food hub project will be implemented. This will be jointly established by DSWD, DAR and DA. The hub will serve as service facility where farmers specifically the beneficiaries of DAR will have a venue to market their produce.

It will also ensure the supply of food needed by the feeding program in day care centers. “This food hub will also encourage the residents in the community to patronize their local products. It will be cost efficient as the farmers will limit their expenses in transporting their goods. Residents will no longer go to other neighboring municipalities or provinces to buy food products,” said Minister Filho.

In addition, he said the products that are sold to the community are of quality, as the residents themselves will take into consideration that the products they sold will be fed to their children.

According to Engr. Klug the food hub should be put up in area that is accessible to day care centers, with land area of 500 sq. m. and should not be situated in disaster prone areas.

Additional Support

DAR will also provide technical assistance to farmers and beneficiary families of Pantawid Pamilya who will be engaging in communal and backyard gardening for vegetables livestock and poultry.

Financial assistance or capital assistance will also be provided to farmers to ensure on time delivery of products which will be processed and packaged for the needed supply in the feeding program of DSWD.

Along infrastructure and facilities for the food hub, funding support will be sought from World Food Program. These facilities are rice milling, sold storage, processing, packaging and warehousing.

Local government units will also provide their counterpart contribution for the establishment of building that will be used as a food hub.

Hunger Mitigation in Brazil

Brazil has been known for being the Center of Excellence against Hunger. The country has been successful in tackling poverty and hunger on its own with their “Hunger Zero” program which greatly contributes to lessen malnutrition and rural poverty by supporting local farmers and locally sourced consumption.

At present, Brazilian government has been feeding almost 46M students in school.

According to Director Arnel B. Garcia collaborative effort of the various government agencies would create a greater synergy in engaging the poor households work closely with rural communities to improve social capital while addressing hunger and poverty reduction.

A hope to the people

In Barangay Mayon, Castilla Sorsogon, which is one of the barangay’s to pilot the implementation of the project, Lonito Mendez, president of the Mayon Farmer’s Association expressed his deepest thank to the Brazilian Government and the various government agencies  included in the project. “Salamat po sa indo asin makakaasa man po kamo na kami po ay gigibuhon mi man an samuyang parte sa pag-implementa kan project,” he said.

Barangay Captain Freddi Ballatan said he hopes that the project will materialized. “Dahil sa totoo lang po ay kapag kami nagsasaka, sarong sako pa lang kan fertilizer duwang sakong aning palay na ang pinangbabayad mi duman na kung minsan ay lugi na ang kinikita at baon pa kami sa utang,” he added.

A pantawid beneficiary Viginia P. Perez also thank the participating agencies, WFP and brazil for the project. “Ako po ay may limang anak at sa totoo lang po ay malaki po ang matitipid naming kun sakaling may food hub na, dahil bukod sa mura na ang magiging produkto ay sigurado pa kami sa pipakaon mi sa mga aki mi,” she said.

She added that her husband was also a farmer and it will be a great help to them to improve their living.***Glorei Allelu N. Lindio, Information Officer

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Foreign-Funder Conducts a Study Visit on Kalahi-CIDSS in Bicol

Through Millennium Challenge Account – Philippines (MCA-P) and Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a study visit is currently being conducted nationwide to simplify the implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS (Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services) in terms of community procurement and finance last December 2-6, 2013.

In Bicol region alone, nine barangays in the municipalities of Bombon, Bula and Baao in Camarines Sur were visited by finance and procurement consultants from International Business and Technical Consultants, Inc (IBTCI) which has been hired by MCA-P and MCC.

The study aims to validate the current gaps encountered by the community-implementers of Kalahi-CIDSS as they are directly involved in the project. The team of the study group is composed of Kamal Altafullah, Roosevelt Holt, Franklin Ibemessie who are the Procurement Specialist, Finance Specialist and Senior Procurement Specialist, respectively. The trio consultants from the United States of America (USA) were escorted by Rogelio Borbon and Samo Tucpi of MCA-P.

According to Javier Bersabal, one of the community volunteers interviewed in Baao, the study visit was an opportunity to share his learning and address bottlenecks of the project.

“Maganda na kami mismo ang kinukunsulta nila kasi kami ang nagpapatakbo ng proyekto sa barangay [It’s a good thing they consulted us because we manage the project in the community],” he said.

The study visit was also conducted in Regions I, IV-B, VI and VII with 30 barangays to be assessed in total. It is expected to end by January next year.

MCC is one of the foreign donors of Kalahi-CIDSSS which provides grants to 15 municipalities in Bicol region from 2012-2014. Moreover, MCA-P is the monitoring body of MCC which provides technical supervision to ensure that Kalahi-CIDSS to meet the standards in successfully completing development interventions in the communities.

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DSWD Sets up Reception and Recovery Desk for Yolanda Survivors at Matnog Port

Left: Marissa Paeste, one of the Social Workers of DSWD, hands down financial assistance to Diorico Family from Maya, MacArthur Leyte. Right: The Diorico Family who arrived at Matnog Port last November 25, 2013.

Yolanda victims crossing from Eastern Visayas to Bicol receive assistance from DSWD upon reaching Matnog Port in Sorsogon.

In responding to basic subsistence needs of affected individuals, the DSWD Reception, Recovery Processing Center (RRPC) is open almost 24 hours to provide counseling, psychosocial support for internally displaced persons (IDPs), relief distribution and financial assistance to those Yolanda survivors arriving at Matnog Port.

Herminia Diorico of Maya, MacArthur, Leyte together with six other members of her family left their house in full wreck, has reached Matnog Port last November 25 through a beaten-up tricycle. Her family received DSWD family food packs and a transportation assistance amounting to Php4, 800 and left Matnog last night.

“Gusto lang namin mapuntahan ang anak ko sa Silang, Cavite pero balak din namin na umuwi pag nakabalik na ang lahat sa normal,” she said.

DSWD provides counseling to assess their needs. Once families expressed that they have nowhere to go, DSWD in partnership with local government units (LGUs) will give them a temporary shelter. However, if they opt to be in a relative’s care and have no capacity to spend for their fare to travel, DSWD will also give them transportation assistance or refer them to the LGU or Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board’s “Libreng Sakay” to avail of the free fare.

On the other hand, Reymart Lagarto, a neighbor of Herminia, has also received Php800.00 from DSWD for his transportation going to Angeles, Pampanga to ask help from his sister.

DSWD prepared a holding area for the evacuees at Matnog specifically at Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Caloocan Barangay Council and Day Care Center. DSWD also takes them to Daraga Evacuation Center for further processing.

The Albay Public Safety & Emergency Management Office APSEMO has arranged with the LGUs of Camalig, Guinobatan and Libon to accommodate possible evacuees from Eastern Visayas in their respective evacuation centers.

The Crisis Intervention Section (CIS) of DSWD Field Office V in coordination with the Provincial Government of Albay (PGA) assist and validate the referred survivors of LGUs in the holding areas, evacuation centers and private residents.

The RRPC is part of DSWD’s continuous disaster response efforts in cooperation with the LGU of Matnog which has started its operation last November 20.

As of November 25, there were 21 families and 69 individuals who received aid from DSWD through the Public Assistance Desk.

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Yolanda Victims Flee to Bicol, Receive Aid from DSWD

Eight families who fled from Leyte quickly received assistance from DSWD Field Office V as soon as they arrived in Legazpi City last November 16.

Leo Cuevas of Kawit-East Washington Drive, rescued his 52 relatives from Tanauan, Leyte with the support of his employer, Nonita Regalado, who volunteered to lend her car to fetch them to Legazpi City.

On the other hand, DSWD provided Cuevas’ family with 15 pieces of sleeping mats, 15 pieces of blankets, 15 pieces of mosquito nets, three pieces of water jugs, 10 packs (30 kilos) of used clothing and DSWD Family Food Packs sufficient for a week’s consumption.

DSWD proposed that they can stay at the evacuation center but they opted to take Regalado’s offer to live temporarily in her apartment for the duration of their recovery.

Help started to pour into Cueva’s relatives from Albay wherein his neighbors also donated cash, food items and clothing.

The local government of Legazpi referred the other members of the clan to Bicol Regional Teaching and Training Hospital (BRTTH) for medical assistance and health care. DSWD has also coordinated with Legazpi City’s social worker to facilitate stress debriefing.

In the meantime, preschoolers and elementary children were coordinated with the nearest daycare center and Albay Central School, respectively.

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Citizen-led DSWD Project Kick-starts in Legazpi City

During the community volunteers (CVs) meeting with DSWD staff at Rawis Barangay Hall last November 20, 2013. The meeting focused on the pre-procurement activities, plans of actions and project updates.

After trainings and seminars conducted for citizen-implementers, the DSWD community-led project in Legazpi City is set to start its implementation by late December this year.

The local government of Legazpi City pilots the urban version of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) in Rawis and Bitano which was officially launched last year.

Kalahi-CIDSS, one of the core poverty-reduction programs by DSWD, which has originally engaged poor rural communities in the region has scaled-up its operations to reach even the poverty-stricken areas in the urban setting.

Series of consultation meetings and community investigation were conducted by the citizen-implementers or the community volunteers (CVs) as what they are called in Kalahi-CIDSS, to identify the most pressing need in their locality.

Bitano has proposed the construction of community development center, skills training on dress making and human resource development which all focuses on improving the income of the unemployed. Similarly, the people of Rawis would like to construct a livelihood center with skills training component and provision of two non-motorized boats with fishing net and six “padyak” or pedicab tricycles.

A range of capability building activities were conducted for 60 CVs from both barangays this year to prepare them for the upcoming implementation this December. The latest training conducted last September was about community finance. Subsequently, the operations and maintenance training is scheduled in December to ensure the sustainability of the community subprojects.

Josefina Radike, a store owner in Rawis and also the head of the CVs, said that the trainings were very beneficial.

“I was able to apply the basic principles of finance when handling my mini-store and I was able to value my money more because the training made me realize its importance,” she said.

Kalahi-CIDSS is not only an infrastructure-based project but the process undertaken by the CVs in honing their capacities to become productive members of the community is its primary purpose. It employs the community-driven development (CDD) approach to promote a more inclusive and participatory development to address poverty.

Currently, the CVs, barangay officials and the local government of Legazpi City have prepared pertinent documents to comply with the project’s requirements to download the funds directly to the community accounts.

The grant from World Bank for each barangay is one million pesos and the total counterpart form the local government units (community and city) amounts to Php927,500.

What is Kalahi-CIDSS?

Kalahi-CIDSS is a CDD project in the Philippines which strongly advocates the involvement of local communities in the design and implementation of development projects to address the issue of poverty in the country. CDD is a globally recognized strategy for achieving service delivery, poverty reduction, and good governance outcomes. It aims to improve local governance by employing the participation of the people in the communities in the development process.

Community residents consensually decide on what type of poverty-reduction projects they prioritize for funding based from the collective analysis of their needs. Community proposals can vary from public goods/access projects, enterprise or livelihood projects or human development projects.

According to Arnel Manongsong, a community volunteer in Rawis, he advocates the same cause of the project.

“I personally support the three main objectives of Kalahi-CIDSS: improving local governance, empowerment and poverty-reduction,” Arnel said.

Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the core social protection programs of DSWD along with Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

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DSWD 5 Extends Assistance to Yolanda victims

Eighteen survivors from Sta.Fe,Leyte came here at the DSWD Field Office mid afternoon today. The said families were escorted by radio reporter Jose Lazado of Bombo Radyo Legazpi.

The four families who were victims of the super typhoon Yolanda were immediately interviewed by Social Workers for their personal circumstances.

“Ang hirap ng sitwasyon nila, walang makain, kawawa lalo na ang mga bata. Hindi na rin sila inaabot ng relief goods” bared Romeo Lianza,the relative who rescued the families using his car.

Meanwhile, 4 of them were immediately brought to the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) in Legazpi City for medical intervention.

They will be traveling tonight to Metro Manila where they will temporarily stay in their relatives.

DSWD 5 provided cash assistance worth 2,000 for the gasoline expenses and 10 family food packs to the said families.###crbarrameda


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DSWD 5 Holds Advocacy Forum for Listahanan

An advocacy forum was conducted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development through Listahanan last November 15, 2013 at AVP Hall, Legazpi City.

Regional Field Coordinator Joy Belen III, in a statement, said that the forum aims to provide better appreciation and promote the data utilization of Listahanan.

Through the advocacy forum, DSWD was able to reach out to non-government/civil society organizations and the academe. This also served as a venue to have an orientation about the project.

In the event, the participants expressed their eagerness to support the project and to enter to a memorandum of agreement with the department.

An open forum was done at the end of the activity where issues and concerns were tackled.

At present, DSWD 5 has a total of 16 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with various organizations; 7 Local Government Units (LGU’s), 2 Provincial Government, 1 Congressional District, 2 Non-Government Organizations (NGO’s), and 4 National Government Agencies (NGA’s)

Listahanan is the country’s information management system that identifies WHO and WHERE the poor are.

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DSWD Field Office 5 Continues Relief Distribution in Eastern Samar

DSWD Field Office 5, today, has an ongoing distribution of relief goods to the victims of super typhoon Yolanda in nine municipalities plus Borongan City in Eastern Samar.

These municipalities are Quinapondan, Balangiga, Lawaan, General Macarthur, Giporlos, Salcedo, Hernani, Llorente and Maydolong.

Twenty-two (22) DSWD workers have now reached the abovementioned areas to hand out 24, 664 DSWD Family Food Packs to affected families. Each pack contains three (3) kilos of rice, four (4) tins of sardines, two (2) tins of corned beef, one (1) tin of Vienna sausage and 10 pieces of coffee with a total cost of Php257.30. These were hauled by 17 military and private trucks which departed last November 17 (Sunday).

“The relief distribution in these areas will continue for five days to assure that the goods will reach the distressed families,” Dir. Arnel Garcia said.

Currently, DSWD Field Office V has now sent a total of 78 employees to aid in the disaster operations and will continue to deploy more staff to aid the victims of the super typhoon.

There were 11,296 DSWD Family Food Packs shipped last week to Guiuan, Taft and Balangiga still in Eastern Visayas.

“We will produce more Family Food Packs out of 10,000 sacks of NFA rice for the coming days,” he added.

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