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Supplemental Feeding for School Children Launched

About 161 school children from Brgy. Daculang Tubig, San Fernando,Camarines Sur will benefit from the Supplemental Feeding Program  sponsored by the Philippine Goodworks Mission  Foundation in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Local Government Unit of San Fernando, Camarines Sur .

In a simple launching ceremony held at the said barangay, DSWD Director Arnel Garcia in the presence of Mayor Eugenio Lagasca turned-over a check amounting to 163,275.00 to Mrs Vienna Sibulo, the School Head of Malaking Ilog Elementary School. The amount will cover the first three months implementation of the feeding program.

Director Garcia explained that the Supplemental Feeding Program  is the provision of food in addition to the regular meals to  either the day care and school children. It is a six months feeding program whose children beneficiary are from 5 to 12 years of age and are enrolled this coming school year. Each child will be provided with hot meals amounting to P15 per child per day, five times a week and this will be serve during lunch so that the children will not be allowed to go home instead they will have their lunch in the school. The parents will be the one to prepare the food while the recipes or suggested menu for the day will be provided by the Regional Dietary Nutritionist of the DSWD.

The program will likewise be coordinated with the Rural Health Unit who will conduct the regular weighing and deworming of the children and attend to other health concerns.

This program is funded by the Philippine Goodworks Mission Foundation, a Manila-based non –government organizations who caters to the children with nutritional and health problems.                                                                                                                                                # # # # # eejerusalem/smufo5



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PODER 7 Closes with 25 Poverty Reduction Projects Completed

The Poder y Prosperidad de la Comunidad (Empowerment and Development of Communities) or shortly known as PODER project, closes its seventh phase providing 25 basic community facilities and services to two municipalities in Bicol region.

PODER 7 is a special project realized through the convergent partnership of Department of Social Welfare and Development and Agencia Española Cooperacion Internacional para El Desarrollo (AECID). With a total grant of Php18.8 million, it funded the priority needs of the communities in the municipalities of Juban, Sorsogon and San Pascual, Masbate.

The implementation of PODER 7 follows the same principles and processes of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), one of the core poverty programs of DSWD. It strongly advocates Kalahi-CIDSS’ community-driven development strategy wherein

The closing activity of PODER 7 was held at La Roca Veranda Suites and Restaurant, Gogon, Legazpi City last March 20, 2013. Mercedes Cornejo, the Program Manager for Social Development of AECID Philippines, graced the said event and was joined by Edgar G. Pato, the national project manager of PODER and Kalahi-CIDSS with Felix M. Armeña, the Assistant Regional Director of DSWD Field Office V. The local chief executives of San Pascual and Juban were also present together with their barangay councils and community volunteers. The team of AECID Bicol was also present and was represented by Glena Orogo and Lea F. Cea.

“This is not the end but this is only the beginning to work even harder in sustaining these community subprojects,” Mercedes Cornejo said.

The closing activity aimed to showcase the learning of LGUs about PODER 7 and to share their experiences on how they were able to successfully implement the project within the specific timeframe of one year. Dir. Edgar Pato lauded the community volunteers, LGUs and all stakeholders and encouraged them to capitalize on what they have learned during the PODER 7 implementation.

Awards for the Best Subproject and Best Photo Gallery were awarded to San Pascual featuring the daycare center facility constructed in Brgy. Dancalan.

The award for the best subproject was based on the participation rate of the people in the community, the on-time implementation of the project, the mobilization of community volunteers and the availability of operational policies and ordinances to support operation and maintenance activities. On the other hand, the photo gallery depicted the visual presentation of the PODER 7 experiences and showed the perceived impact of the project in the communities.

PODER project commenced in Bicol last 2005 and in addition to the latest 25 community infrastructures, it has already funded 231 poverty reduction projects in the course of its implementation. Moreover, it aided Bicol from the devastation brought about by super typhoon Reming in 2006 under its rehabilitation project.

Other than Juban and San Pascual, PODER has been implemented in Manito, Manlinao, Legazpi, Bacacay, Sto. Domingo, Tabaco, Tiwi, Malilipot, Libon, Aroroy, Claveria, Minalabac, Presentatcion, Paracale and Sta. Elena. Most of these municipalities have previously implemented Kalahi-CIDSS.###jbmarbella

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What’s Keeping James Punctual?

James wakes before his older siblings could get up. He sets off his day by serving as the alarm for his family. As early as seven, he’s ready for another day in school.

James Jerald Balanes of Minalabac, Camarines Sur, is known for his punctuality at school. This was something new to his parents because of his zest to attend his class was something noteworthy.

His mother, Jennlyn, said that after her son transferred to their new classroom last September 2012, it seems that James became more interested and engaged.

“Siya na ang nagsasabi sakin na paliguan at bihisan na siya. Ayaw niya kasing umabsent kahit isang araw [He always reminds me to bathe and dress him up for school. He doesn’t want to be absent even for a single day],” Jennlyn said.

At the age of four, James has developed a strong sense of responsibility. Gina Cilot, James’ teacher, said that he regularly comes to school 30 minutes before their session begins.

“He comes to school early. He would even join his classmate’s parents if his mother is not able to bring him to school,” Gina added.

The advent of the new daycare center to Barangay Irayang Solong paved way for more opportunities not only for James but also for other preschoolers. She said that it is accessible and conducive for learning emphasizing that its location is safe for the pupils to play.

“Hindi na ako nagaalala para kay James kasi alam ko na ligtas siya dun. Malawak ang playground at malinis ang kapaligiran. [I don’t need to worry about James because I know it’s a safe place for him to stay. Its surroundings is clean and there’s a vast area for their playground],”Jenlynn said.

James said that it’s better to study in their new daycare center because it is beautiful. He enjoys the wooden tables and chairs with polychromatic paint and looks forward to the daily feeding program at school.

The daycare center in Irayang Solong is one of the subprojects of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS). It is a multi-funded project of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) covering all provinces in Bicol region.

Kalahi-CIDSS is a community-driven development (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. 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.

Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the core programs of DSWD along with the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). The convergence of the three programs is aimed for a greater impact in reducing poverty.

The Balanes family is part of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, three of Jennlyn’s four children are beneficiaries of the said program.

“Laking pasasalamat naming mga magulang nagkaroong ng ganitong mga proyekto. Isa ang aming barangay na nagkaroon ng magandang proyekto para sa mga bata. Malaki ang tulong ng mga proyektong ito [We are very thankful that we have these kinds of projects which cater to the needs of our children. These projects provide a big help,” Jennlyn said.###jmarbella

James Jerald Balanes (right), four years old, is one of the students of the newly constructed Kalahi-CIDSS daycare center in Barangay Irayang Solong, Camarines Sur.

James Jerald Balanes (right), four years old, is one of the students of the newly constructed Kalahi-CIDSS daycare center in Barangay Irayang Solong, Camarines Sur.

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DSWD Field Office 5 Turns Over NHTS-PR Data to Baras, Catanduanes

The Department of Social Welfare and Development has turned-over the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) data to the municipality of Baras in Catanduanes last March 15, 2013.

Honorable Mayor Chito S. Chi and Municipal Social Welfare & Development Officer Ms. Jean Triumfante received the electronic copy of NHTS-PR data based on its first assessment in 2009.

NHTS-PR is an information management system that identify who and where the poor are in the country. The system makes database of poor households as reference in identifying potential beneficiaries of social protection programs. It aims to establish an objective targeting system and reduce the leakage of social services to non-poor and minimize exclusion of the poor.

The National Household Targeting Unit (NHTU) has identified 461,242 poor households covering the 6 provinces of Bicol region.

Pursuant to Executive Order No. 867 issued in March 2010 has directed all National Government Agencies (NGAs) to adopt the results of NHTS-PR in identifying prospective beneficiaries for their social protection programs nationwide.

A memorandum of agreement has been forged between DSWD Field Office 5 and the municipal government of Baras for the use of NHTS-PR data of poor households.

To date, the municipality of Baras was the first to sign a memorandum of agreement for the use of NHTS-PR data in the province of Catanduanes.

Furthermore, Mr.Abejuro informed the local government unit that in connection with the upcoming election, a moratorium on MOA signing was imposed relative to data sharing which already started from February 12 until May 13, 2013. This is being done to protect the integrity of the NHTS-PR database and to ensure its data utilization. ###crbarrameda

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Believing that every child needs a loving and caring family, the Department of Social Welfare and Development is enhancing public awareness on the growing number of orphaned, abandoned or neglected Filipino children in need of love and permanent families.

The department likewise promote, widens and intensifying adoption and foster care of these children in the absence of their biological parents.

In a Foster Care and Adoption Forum held at DSWD Field Office 5, Buraguis Legazpi City recently, Ms. Arlene Chua, SWO II and Focal Person of the Adoption Resource and Referral Section explained that the department is gender sensitive. Applicants for foster care and adoption will not be judge on his/her sexual representation as long as he/she has shown enthusiasm for wanting to care for a child.

The forum was also a venue for prospective adoptive parents to clarify issues and concern about adoption and foster care. It also encourages couples or parents of right age to legally adopt in order to reduce the rising number of orphaned, neglected and abandoned children in the country.

Foster care is the provision of substitute parental care to a child by licensed foster family when his/her biological parents are unable to care for them while adoption is a socio-legal process of providing a permanent family to a child whose parents have voluntarily or involuntarily relinquished their parental authority over the child.

“Legal adoption is for the best interest of the children. It will provide them with the assurance of the protection provided by the state and will protect them from abuses and harshness”, Mr. Kenjie Andal, an adoptive father of a three year old girl proudly beams that God had made couples like he and his wife Stephanie because there are children who will need them.

Blessing in disguise 

“ I considered my family blessed because after 9 years of marriage….waiting to have a baby, Rain was given to us.

Kenjie also shared that their marriage was almost in a rock. They have very limited time for each other having both busy in their work. She is a dentist here in Albay while he works as a Corporate Planning Head in Manila. “We do not have family which we can call our own, “he added.

Kenjie said that for him a family is composed of a father, mother and children be it natural born or adopted.

The realization of dreams

June 30, 2011 was a lucky day for us. It was a day when I received a call from my wife that there is a baby at home (in Bicol). It was “Rain”. Rain because it was raining hard when a skinny baby about 1 year and 9 months, wrapped in a plastic bag was given to us.

“Having a child of their own is one of the fondest dreams of the couple. According to them having Rain in their lives is a realization of their dream.

Rain is the realization that parenthood is not just bearing a child but it is giving the best love and care to the children.

“The best thing that happened in my life was when I heard Rain called me Papa”Kenjie exclaimed.

As expressed by Stephanie and Kenjie, the best way of really expressing their love for Rain is to ensure that we will be able to provide security blanket that will protect her from any threat or being left abandoned again so that we decided to legalize our parental authority over her.

The long process of legally having Rain is worth it. We are praying hard to have another baby….a natural born, but if we will not be able to have it,” I know that the DSWD is always ready to help us look for another “Rain” in our life.” Kenjie disclosed.###eejerusalem/crbarrameda

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March is Women’s Month

The month of March is special for Filipino women. What makes the month truly special is the country’s observance of Women’s Month. Pursuant to Proclamation no.224 series of 1998 declares the month of March each year as Women’s Month and March 8 as Women’s Rights and International Peace Day. Proclamation no. 227 series of 1998 provided for the observance of the month of March as Women’s Role in the History month and Republic Act 6949 is the National Translation of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) toward achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

In consonance with President Benigno Aquino’s pursuit and vision of “tuwid na daan”, the theme adopted for the 2013 Women’s Month Celebration is “  Kababaihan, Gabay sa Pagtahak sa Tuwid na Daan”. This theme underscores the need to accelerate women’s participation in governance and enhance gender perspective in upholding good governance. It highlights the importance of strengthening the mechanisms and institution that support women and to widen the arena for their participation. This year’s celebration aims to a.) highlight women’s leadership roles, participation in decision-making and participation in the political arena, peace building and conflict resolution b.) to build upon the gains achieved under existing mechanisms and institutions that support women and gender responsive governance and c.) strengthen partnership with media in promoting women’s rights and in advocating to address gender issues.

Led by Legazpi City Mayor Geraldine Rosal and DSWD Assistant Director Felix M. Armeña, the month long celebration was kicked off with a fun walk last March 8, 2013.

Unmindful of drizzle and cold wind, about hundred persons representing 21 member agencies of the RIACAT-VAWC joined the fun walk which started at Embarcadero de Legazpi to the Rock Port of the city. This was followed by a short program and “Hataw” which was led by DOH.

Other lined-up activities are:

Date Activity Lead Agency
March 15, 2013 Orientation on Civil Registration with IRR NSO
March 18, 2013 Installation of Advocacy booth, DepEd
Poster making contest, Pagbigkas ng
Tula, Talumpati & Conscience Theater
March 19, 2013 Buntis Congress DOH
March 19-20, 2013 Symposium/Training on RA 9208 DOJ & DSWD
& Rehabilitation for Traffic persons
March 22, 2013 Symposium on Violence Against Women CSC & GSH
and Forum Gay Bi-Sexual & Trans-Gender

To culminate the month’s activity is the “ Tipon-Tipan on Women, a live forum at the PIA office.###eeferusalem/smu/dswdfo5.

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DSWD Extends Assistance to Bereaved Families of Capsized MV-JOHN ASVEE

Twenty two survivors, mostly teachers were rescued in a passenger pump boat that capsized in the town of Bacacay in Albay late Friday afternoon of March 8, 2013. Four people died in the accident.

The four fatalities were identified as Jeffrey Osorio,a census enumerator of NSO,  Emerlita Barrameda,a teacher, Diego Crisol, the boat captain and a minor Liza Espenisin. All residents of Bacacay.

Report said, just one kilometer off the coast of Poblacion, Bacacay, an engine failure suddenly occurred, causing panic among passengers.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development extends support to the victims of the capsized boat by conducting critical incidence stress debriefing (CISD). They also provided financial assistance as well as food packs to the bereaved families.

Survivors rescued, mostly teachers experienced trauma caused by last Friday’s accident. The DSWD will coordinate with the Department of Education for the conduct of critical incidence stress debriefing (CISD) to the said teachers.

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How Pantawid Pamilya Changed the Lives of an IP Family

Letty and her husband belong to the dark-skinned, short in statue and kinky haired individuals called “ AGTA”. They are settled in a hinterland barangay of San Ramon, Iriga City.

Letty’s family were among the 13 families drifted from the Black Village, in Santiago, Iriga City  by the National Commission for Indigenous People (NCIP).

Their houses are made of wood, most of them out of thin three trunks that are found around the area. Most of these are not separated by rooms and can barely accommodate an average family of eight people. They just have floor spaces where the family does all their activities like sleeping and eating their meals.

Letty and husband depend on the earth for survival. They are farmers by heart because it is the kind of environment they were born into. They produce few crops such as cassava, camote, rice and vegetables. Letty bared that their harvest is just enough for the family consumption. To augment the family income, her husband work as hired laborer for other farmers in the neighboring barangay.

It is an awe inspiring dream for Letty to send her children to school.” Isa sa aking pangarap ay ang makapag-aral ang aking mga anak. Ayaw kong matulad sila sa aming  mag-asawa na hindi nkapag-aral”Letty disclosed. She admits that she cannot give her aspiration outright because of the status she is in.

Children’s education is limited in the tribe. Oftentimes, most children fail to attend sessions due to geographical reasons. The centers and schools are too far for the children to  walk everyday.

Likewise, aside from having proper education, health services are a concept that is not popular to them mainly because they have no access to medication. The hilot or “herbolario” ( Quack Doctors) are the most accessible health service providers because their method of assessment is in accordance to their culture.

These concerns for health and education of Letty’s children were responded. Educational assistance were provided by the National Commission for Indigenous People      ( NCIP) and DSWD through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Letty’s family is one among the Indigenous People families in Barangay San Ramon who became Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries. She was filled with joy and hope because she is now assured of her children’s education.

The family recounts of their life before the Pantawid Pamilya. “ Their life was in extreme poverty”. “ Kahit mahirap, kailangan naming magsikap para maitaguyod ko ang aking mga anak sa kanilang pag-aaral.” Letty recounts.

Seeing her children in school and have a better life in the future is Letty’s big dream.

With the Pantawid Pamilya, Letty became conscious of the family’s health condition. Though there is much to be done, through her and his husband’s attendance to the Family Development Sessions, the health practices and parenting skills of the dela Cruz’ couple will be much improving.

Letty further relates that with the Pantawid Pamilya, she is not only confined at home doing her daily routine and her husband working in the farm. Now, they have learned to integrate with people, join community activities and likewise attend meetings when called.

These IP Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries and the rest in the tribe are now able to correct the common mistake made by outsiders which they think the IP’s still dwell in their primitive world, still dressed in their traditional garb. But now, they have already adapted the fashion in the community.###eejerusalem

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