Utilize Grievance System for Pantawid complaints-DSWD

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office IX urges the concerning public and partners to utilize and file complaints through the Grievance Redress System should there be any Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program issues that they wish to be acted upon.

The department ensures that there will be a systematic procedure for handling grievances and appeals which was integrated in the program to minimize and manage risks. The Pantawid Pamilya grievance redress system (GRS) was designed to facilitate due process in resolving the complaints of beneficiary households and citizens at large.

DSWD also recognizes the expansion of the program in terms of its scale and scope which led to an increase in queries, clarifications and problems related to program policies and procedures. To date, the program covers 4.4 Million households nationwide.

Among the common complaints were issues revolving inclusion errors among the members of Pantawid Pamilya. These errors happen when a certain household has been classified in the database as poor and later found out to be over qualified to be part of the program due to some instances like having stable income and have acquired huge properties.

The Grievance Officer on field however, investigates and validates all recorded complaints for the veracity and truthfulness of all information. There are different categories of common complaints that can be addressed and resolved through employing the process.

DSWD Regional Director Atty. Araceli Solamillo said, “Any allegations must not create public opinion without providing valid facts. Come to the office, bring it to our attention and let us work collectively to bring proper concerns on the rightful venue to resolve the issues.”

“We acknowledge all grievances that come to your knowledge and we enforce everyone to partner with us to validate these allegations not to create misinformation” Solamillo added.

The city links who are front liners and workers on the field individually manage 800-1000 household beneficiaries of the program. The workers on the ground are performing all their duties to provide the beneficiaries not only right to receive their grants but also social interventions through Family Development Sessions and Convergence Inter-agency efforts that normally addresses pressing needs such as livelihood, trainings and community involvement.

Should there be grievances filed against the beneficiaries, the fieldworkers conduct case management to assess and manage the prevailing complaints. On the other hand, beneficiaries themselves can also utilize the said system to raise personal complaints and appeals.

From January-December 2015, DSWD Field Office IX has recorded 15,208 filed grievances with 97.5% resolution rate. It has already delisted 2,071 households on Misdemeanour and Waived cases on the said period. ##

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Pantawid staff attend Capbuild on Technical Writing, Public Speaking

The Regional Program Management Office and Provincial Operations Office staff of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program successfully attended the 3-day Capability Building on Technical Writing and Public Speaking held on April 27-29, 2016 (1st Batch) and May 4-6, 2016 (2nd Batch) at Roderics Resort, Zamboanga Sibugay Province.13166082_10154811455743662_259275058188626715_n

The activity sought to capacitate and improve the skills of the staff on these areas which are essential to boost quality and efficiency in their line of work in the agency. The basic approaches in written and oral communication were discussed to basically revisit some of committed errors in preparation of basic letters and proposals. While the public speaking lectures enabled them also to strengthen their language and further improve confidence while speaking in front of a crowd or in public.

Ms.Frencie Carreon served as the main resource speaker during the 1st batch while Ms. Alma Tingcang and Ms.Grace Laplana of the Philippine Information Agency on the 2nd batch, respectively. The speakers provided the participants with series of lectures and workshops to generate understanding and instil the learning process while on actual application.  Some of the topics discussed were on Business Correspondence, Documentation, and Proposal Writing. There were also drills on speech, pronunciation and public speaking.

The activity highlighted the proposal presentation to the panel and the delivery of extemporaneous speeches on some relevant social issues and topics. There were thorough review and comments provided on their outputs which notified them on the improvements that need enhancement and fine tuning.13151957_1102366589827785_4352988769987129090_n

Meanwhile, the participants were also equipped in defining the brand of DSWD as an agency where Pantawid Pamilya Information Officer Mr.Ivan Eric Salvador shared to them the Branding Guidelines of DSWD. The said talk aimed to regulate the incorrect usage of the Age ncy’s logo in application to any Marketing and Office collaterals. The said branding guideline is in pursuant to the DSWD Memorandum Circular No.9, series of 2015 which enforced all field offices to adopt the said branding guide.

The management was pleased to provide the kind of training to its office staff and shall look forward to expand and replicate to the Municipal and City Links of Pantawid Pamilya on field.##

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Beneficiaries express Pantawid gains in Dialogue

Partner-beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program expressed elation on the gains and impacts of the program during the DSWD Dialogue with Parent Leaders held on April 18-21, 2016 region-wide.

The said gathering served as an opportunity to share the social, economic and personal improvements realized and felt by the beneficiaries after being part of the government’s strategy and efforts in Poverty Alleviation.

DSWD being the frontline agency in delivering basic social services to the poor, marginalized and disadvantaged has implemented several Core Programs such as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, KC-NCDDP and Sustainable Livelihood Program. These programs sought to strategically converge to effectively penetrate and address problems pertaining to poverty.

Beneficiaries shared the participants in the plenary session some of the highlights in their workshop outputs which gathered identified significant past challenging situations and essential transformation which they have observed as a result of the implementation DSWD poverty reduction programs.

The participants also expressed concerns on sustaining the program which reiterated a collective effort in pushing for Institutionalization of the CCT bill.

Meanwhile, DSWD Field Office IX Regional Director, Atty.Araceli F.Solamillo motivated the participants of the said dialogue to begin manifesting their empowerment by voicing out their appreciation towards the program, for it will be a rightful opportunity for them to be heard and be acknowledged for the changes they have achieved being a beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilya and other programs of DSWD.

The dialogue with parent leaders is being conducted regularly to have an inclusive voice among the beneficiaries that will help improve and develop mechanisms to address their felt needs and concerns. It will also serve as tool to strengthen the program implementation.

More than 500 parent leaders in the four provinces of Zamboanga Peninsula were gathered and have actively listened to Undersecretary for Promotive Programs, Mr.Camilo Gudmalin who inspired the participants with the significant gains achieved by the program which drove to the success of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program on its 8th year implementation with more than 4.6 Million beneficiaries recorded to date. The talk also presented important improvements that shall take effect immediately such as shift of cash cards to pre-paid cards.

DSWD provides capability building activities to Pantawid Parent Leaders who act as coordinators of the Municipal/City Links among members of the program during the conduct of Monthly Family Development Sessions and other relevant activities in the community.

The series of dialogue were held in Grand Astoria Hotel for Zamboanga City, Roderics Resort for Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga Del Norte Sports Complex in Dipolog City and Chandler Suites in Pagadian City for provinces of Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur, respectively. ##

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DSWD clarifies election-related misinformation, allegations

The Department of Social Welfare and Development reiterates that only the DSWD has the right to remove a beneficiary from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and no political candidates can use that claim.

The beneficiaries are reminded and assured that only non-compliance to the conditions of the program such as non-attendance to monthly Family Development Sessions, Failure to attend school,  health center visits including failure to meet eligibility requirement are the grounds for delisting a certain household. However, delisting will still undergo thorough process and validation.

The department refuted the issue on the alleged use of Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in favor of electoral candidates which simmered issues on removal to the program once not voted.

The DSWD, as part of the government remains apolitical and is not indorsing any political candidate nor involved in any political activity.

Pantawid Pamilya is an empowering program that enables our partner-beneficiaries to stand and speak for their rights and actively participate in community activities in support of fostering good governance.

As citizens, the partner-beneficiaries are not prohibited and are in fact encouraged to be involved in the entire electoral process. They are, however, barred from using the program activities and its beneficiaries to promote certain candidates or political party.

DSWD has geared the beneficiaries to be equipped with their rights for them not to be harassed nor deceived especially during campaign period. Pantawid Pamilya has included the Active Citizenship module in their monthly Family Development Sessions (FDS) which sought to educate the beneficiaries on their responsibility and role in participating the electoral process. Being the direct recipients of the program, the sessions helped them to understand the election as another transition period which may also affect their current status considering the program is only a policy and at risk of losing its sustainability thus, choosing a right leader plays a crucial role for them.

The beneficiaries also expressed their concerns as it calls for support on the approval of the CCT bill to formally institutionalize it as a Poverty Alleviation strategy.

The beneficiaries are already empowered enough to be critical in their own preferences by exercising their freedom to choose and elect the official whom they think worthy of their trust.

The agency has employed the Grievance Redress System as a mechanism to receive any election related complaints or concerns pertaining to Pantawid Pamilya.

Should you know a staff/ official or beneficiaries who are using the program for personal or political gains, you may submit your complaints through the Grievance Help Desk at DSWD Field Office IX. ##

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DSWD urges Pantawid G10 completers to register SH voucher program online

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office IX urged all Pantawid Pamilya grade 10 completers to avail the Senior High voucher program of the Department of Education thru online registration.

Based on the generated results of Compliance Verification System in Region IX, there are more than 23,000 monitored children who have completed their junior high school education in 655 high school facilities region wide.

The registration in the said program will ensure educational financial support for senior high school. Qualified recipients who came from Public JHS and SUC/LUC Junior High Schools are entitled for 100% voucher value. Meanwhile, 80% full voucher value shall be given to Grade 10 ESC grantees who have completed their Junior High School in ESC participating schools.

The SHS VP is a mechanism to provide financial assistance to senior high school students in line with Deped Order no. 11 series of 2015. It envisions to be a long-term program of the government that will empower students with choice to pursue their desired senior high school education. This form of public-private partnership is expected to enhance dynamism and diversity in the education system and to provide private schools with financial resources needed to transition to a 12-year basic education system.

DSWD Regional Director, Atty.Araceli F. Solamillo encouraged all Pantawid Pamilya high school beneficiaries to apply and grab the opportunity to get the educational support through the voucher program and enroll in Senior High School ready facilities nearest to their area. She stressed out that the upcoming senior high beneficiaries will still be monitored and education compliance shall have a great effect once they failed to enroll considering the limited senior high ready facilities in the region.

DSWD has already enforced all municipal and city links to assist the Pantawid children in their online application. These beneficiaries are reminded that the deadline for application shall only be until May 6, 2016.

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program has expanded its coverage for children beneficiaries until 18 years of age or until it finishes high school. The said expansion sought to prepare the beneficiaries to be equipped in the future by acquiring skills which complemented in the Kto12 program of DepEd. ##


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218 ESGPPA grantees in ZamPen now college grads

Batch of student grantees under the Expanded Students Grant-In aid program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGPPA) have already graduated in college, school authorities confirmed.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office IX recognized the Two Hundred Eighteen graduates of the ESGPPA in Zamboanga Peninsula who have dedicated their efforts to finish the tertiary level education.

The graduates who are also Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program partner-beneficiaries will soon become instruments in assisting their families to alleviate its social and economic conditions through engaging in the employment opportunities that await them.

The Student Grants-in-aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) is a government program that aims to contribute to the National Government’s thrusts in effectively addressing poverty alleviation by increasing the number of graduates in higher education among indigent households and to get these graduates employed in high-value added occupations in order to lift their families out of poverty and to contribute to national development.

Strengthening this goal, as a long term instrument and commitment to break the vicious poverty cycle afflicting the poor but deserving students, a creation of partnership under Joint Memorandum Circular No.2014-1 among different government agencies like Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and Philippine Association of State Colleges and Universities (PASUC) was made.

The recipients were comprised of the different State Colleges and Universities who have partnered the agencies involved in the implementation of the program.  The graduates came from the following schools: Western Mindanao State University- Main/ESU campus (106 graduates); Jose Rizal Memorial State University (34 graduates); JH Cerilles State College (10 graduates); Zamboanga City State Polytechnic College (39 graduates) and Zamboanga City State of Marine Sciences and Technology (29 graduates).

Among them, the top Bachelor degree courses were: Education, Computer Science and Agriculture.

To date, the program currently covers 2,078 grantees enrolled in the partner SUCs around the region which are entitled to a maximum of Thirty Thousand Pesos per semester. The grant is intended to cover the costs for tuition and other school fees, academic and extracurricular expenses, purchase of text books, board and lodging, transportation, clothing, admission/entrance fees, health and other valid related education expenses and support services to complete the student-grantee’s degree program. ##

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From baby-sitting to teaching

ESGPPA PHOTOThe sleepless nights were not dedicated to books and pens, but to cradle a baby in order to support her dreams fastened.

The story of Melona Dumayon of Barangay Tiogan, Leon Postigo, Zamboanga Del Norte ironically tells us her struggle before a college diploma has landed in her grip.

She was 4th among the 9 children of Esperedon and Anecita Dumayon who both earn a living from farming and peddling snacks. With more than nine mouths to feed, she knew life was not easy to survive due to a minimal income of the family. She once recalled the days when her mother reminded her on the importance of education for it is the only way she can break the chains of the family to be freed from the hard life. Her mother wanted them to taste the sweetness of life by becoming successful person and that should not deprive them to achieve the best.

The struggles of Melona in her younger years recounted the days when she had to travel in kilometres in order for her to reach school. Being a consistent achiever, she was always driven on her purpose on why she had to study hard for the family. In 2006, she started to support herself by being a working student to a teacher which helped her to eventually finish it well. Amid the efforts she manifested, her parents never allowed her to work so much, they still support their child by augmenting her finances especially in projects required in school.

On her way to tertiary education, the family could no longer support her because the livelihood of her parents were minimal and just enough for basic needs at home. With this, she had to stop schooling.

May 2010, she worked again to help sustain the needs of the family. She decided to apply as a Baby sitter to a relative of a school teacher whom she worked before. With a salary of Php 1,500 a month, she knew that it could help her this time to pursue what has been idle for quite some time —to pursue a college education. However, this option was not supported by her mother.

Her dream once again was on hold due to some circumstances yet she still decided to pursue what she thought would help her gain employment in the shortest time. She enrolled in TESDA for 5 months and successfully passed the assessment in 2011 with National Certificate II in Computer Hardware. This made her more inspired to enrol in College to take an Information Technology course, but two years after, she wasn’t able to finish it again due to financial constraints.

At that time that she felt things won’t be possible as they may seem, until the Student Grants-in Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation or SGP-PA came to lit spark in her dream. She enrolled herself in Western Mindanao State University-External Campus in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay with a course on Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Her optimistic disposition had brightened up the dark portions of her life. She strived hard to manifest the best effort that she can give with the support of the program. There was a time when she was diagnosed with Urinary Tract Infection which affected her practice teaching.

The grants truly helped her to sustain the right education her mother always reminded her to have. The dreams are far more secured this time than being a baby sitter with an income that would not guarantee full coverage of her school fees. She’s very grateful for the program as it opened doors of opportunity for students like her whose dreams are just floating to be realized.

On April 7, 2016, Melona finally graduated in her degree with so much pride and gratefulness, that above all the struggles and dreams that have been long overdue, it never shaken her indomitable faith. With the program’s aim to assist the Pantawid families whose children are in tertiary education, ESGPP-PA has truly marked a significant milestone in the pages of history as once a dreamer, whose only music was the cry of a baby, now has finally changed into a resounding march of hymns. Currently, she’s taking up review classes in preparation for the Licensure Examination for teachers. In God’s perfect time, she’s ready to glide the chalks on the blackboards of a learning institution and repay the education that the government has given her. ##


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DSWD trains Parent Leaders on Leadership and Advocacy

Pantawid Parent Leaders across the region gathered in two-day training on Leadership and Advocacy for the Institutionalization of the Conditional Cash Transfer on April 5-7,2016 at Roderics Resort, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay Province.12931008_1715875501957543_5377177696549893865_n

The activity sought to capacitate Parent Leaders to build up leadership skills and to connect their roles in the advocacy works which are the primary needs in their clamour towards the Institutionalization of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Bill.

The participants were equally represented by municipalities and cities across the region and underwent the regular Parent Leaders training on Level 1 (program review) and  Level 2 (program advocates) respectively.

The said training also served as a workroom to apply the capacities of each Parent Leader on how to take the lead and to bridge their voices through communication messages in order for them to effectively communicate the gains of the program. This will reinforce the call for the approval of the bill as a strategy of the government in breaking the Intergenerational Cycle of Poverty through human capital investments.

A review on the proposed House and Senate bills was presented by Mr.Thicks Gapor, a Civil Society Organization partner from Kalambuan Project in Zamboanga Del Sur which followed by a facilitated workshop to solicit and gather their position towards the provision of each versions of the bill.

Meanwhile, a Leadership module session was facilitated by Capability Building Head from National Program Management Office, Ms. Ritchel Bernardo together with Social Marketing Division Head for Pantawid Pamilya, Ms.Ofelia Escauriaga who also discussed the session on Communication as tool for Advocacy. These sessions strengthened the capacity of participants as actors in the advocacy works since they are the direct recipients of program who can guarantee its effectiveness and the changes manifested.

All workshop outputs were consolidated including the crafting of the re-entry plan of the parent leaders in four provinces of Zamboanga Peninsula which aims to have concrete action plan among participants towards the institutionalization of the bill to be implemented in their respective areas.

Both houses of Congress will reconvene on May 23 for a three-week session until June 10, 2016 where a window to discuss and pass the proposed bill is a possibility. ##

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