Permanent shelters handed over to survivors to mark ‘Yolanda’ anniversary

Tacloban City, Leyte – As part of the activities to commemorate the first year anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda, several cabinet secretaries were here on Saturday, November 8, to lead the turnover of completed permanent shelter units to typhoon survivors.

Some 122 housing units in Ridge View Park, Barangay Cabalawan and 28 units in Villa Sofia, Barangay Tagpuro were distributed to survivors who were drawn at random.

These permanent houses, which also have complete electri

A ‘Yolanda’ survivor receives his Certificate of Occupancy.

A ‘Yolanda’ survivor receives his Certificate of Occupancy.

Sec. Soliman takes a look at a housing unit at Ridge View

Sec. Soliman takes a look at a housing unit at Ridge View

c and water facilities, are part of a tie-up project of the National Housing Authority (NHA) and the city government.

It was initially agreed that the certificates of occupancy will be handed over by Mayor Alfred Romualdez and NHA General Manager Chito Cruz to the beneficiaries as part of the partnership of the local government unit (LGU) and NHA, with Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Secretary Panfilo Lacson of the Office of Presidential Assistant for Recovery and Rehabilitation (OPARR), and Secretary Rogelio Singson of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) witnessing the distribution.

However, Mayor Romualdez was not able to attend the 1:30 pm event so he sent City Administrator Atty. Jenny Lyn Polistico-Manibay and Maria Lagman, the head of the Shelter Cluster of the LGU, instead.

Sec. Soliman observed that the event exuded a positive atmosphere with the survivors looking forward to live in their new houses.

Marissa Abraham, 40, one of the beneficiaries of a unit in Ridge View said, “Safe na kami sa baha. Salamat sa tulong na pabahay ng gobyerno (We are now safe from floods. Thanks to the shelter assistance of the government).”

Another beneficiary, Emma Tambulungan, also expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to start anew.

Salamat sa gobyerno sa panibagong bahay at buhay na matatamasa namin (Thank you to the government for this house that will help us start anew),” she shared.

Sec. Soliman encouraged the survivors saying, “Patuloy po kaming tutulong at sasabay sa inyo sa pag-unlad.  Tayo ay sama-samang tatawid palagpas sa kahirapan (We will continue to help and walk with you towards development. Together, we will fight poverty).”

For his part, Sec. Lacson reminded the beneficiaries to value what have been given them.

Tuloy pa rin ang tulong na ibibigay ng gobyerno sa hanapbuhay bukod sa pabahay. Kaya tulong-tulong tayong mahalin natin itong pabahay (Aside from shelter assistance, livelihood assistance will continue to be provided. So, let’s take care of these houses),” he said. ###

Posted in newsComments (0)

Cabinet execs visit Ormoc on ‘Yolanda’ anniv, laud progresses there

Ormoc City, Leyte – One year after Typhoon Yolanda ravaged this city, Department of Social Welfare and Development  (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman expressed her admiration for the continued rehabilitation here.

Sec. Soliman and Sec. Mar Roxas lead groundbreaking for the community evacuation center.

Sec. Soliman and Sec. Mar Roxas lead groundbreaking for the community evacuation center.

‘Yolanda’ survivors visit the Tzu Chi Great Love Village where shelter units are being constructed.

‘Yolanda’ survivors visit the Tzu Chi Great Love Village where shelter units are being constructed.

Sec. Soliman together with Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Secretary Panfilo Lacson, and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin were here on  Saturday, November 8, to attend activities commemorating the first year anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda.

“I can see that all repairs on major buildings are done, more restaurants have opened, and commerce has increased,” Sec. Soliman remarked.

She commended City Mayor Edward C. Codilla for his leadership in bringing normalcy back to the locality.

The cabinet officials sat as panelists during a media forum where they gave updates on rehabilitation efforts and responded to questions.

Sec. Soliman was asked to explain about the Disaster Assistance and Family Access Card (DAFAC) and Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA).

She explained that the Disaster Assistance and Family Access Card (DAFAC) was implemented in cooperation with the City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Offices to ensure the equal food distribution to ‘Yolanda’-affected provinces in Eastern Visayas. It aims to monitor the status of affected families and whether a family is underserved or overserved though the logs in the cards they hold.

For the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA), Sec. Soliman explained that the certificate of occupancy is needed to ensure that the recipients of the assistance will not be evicted from their house.

She added that typhoon victims with totally damaged houses will receive P70,000 cash assistance each and those with partially damaged houses will receive P30,000 cash assistance each.

After the forum, the executives participated in the groundbreaking of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Community Evacuation Center.

Then, they proceeded to the Tzu Chi Great Love Village in Barangay Lilo-Ann which can accommodate 2,000 housing units.

As of November 3, some 37 units have already been completed.  The beneficiaries of this housing village will come from 12 barangays of the city.

Mayor Codilla entered into a usufruct agreement with Tzu Chi Foundation for the use of the 50-hectares land.

To lighten the day’s event, officials and staff of Tzu Chi Foundation led the presentation of the “One Family Song”, which talks about the value of unity, through sign language.

The national agency heads and other guests gladly participated. ###

Posted in newsComments (0)

A dream come true for a ‘Yolanda’ survivor

Guiuan, Eastern Samar“Grabe! Sobra-sobra akong nagpapasalamat sa Panginoon at sa gobyerno dahil sa paggawad sa amin ng pabahay dito sa Cogon Resettlement Site  (I am extr

emely grateful to God and to the government for giving us shelter here in Cogon Resettlement Site).”

Olivia Fuentes waiting for the arrival of Pres. Benigno Aquino III during the turn over ceremony of the certificate of occupancy.

Olivia Fuentes waiting for the arrival of Pres. Benigno Aquino III during the turn over ceremony of the certificate of occupancy.

Shelter units at the Cogon Rettlement Site in Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

Shelter units at the Cogon Rettlement Site in Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

Typhoon Yolanda survivor Olivia Fuentes, 40, could not contain her happiness after receiving a certificate of occupancy to their new house from President Benigno Aquino III during the turn over ceremony at the Cogon Resettlement Site on Friday, November 7, a day before the first year anniversary of ‘Yolanda’.

Olivia is one of the 44 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who are among the 132 families who have moved to the transitional shelters from tents after the typhoon wrecked their houses.

In his message, Pres. Aquino stressed that although the houses are transitional, they are sturdy, still in accordance with the “building back better” principle used to guide reconstruction and recovery efforts in disaster-hit areas.

 “Gaya po ninyo, naiinip din ako. Pero kailangan po natin idiin na hindi p’wedeng idaan sa bara-bara ang ating ‘build back better’ (Like you, I also become impatient. But we need to emphasize that we cannot be lax in implementing our ‘build back better’),” Pres. Aquino said.

With the President were Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman,  Presidential Adviser on Rehabilitation and Recovery Secretary Panfilo Lacson, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson,  Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Executive Director Alexander Pama, and National Housing Authority General Manager Chito Cruz.


Olivia recounted the times when she dreamt of having her own house.

 “Pangarap ko talaga ang magkabahay para sa pamilya ko kahit noong hindi pa dumadating ang Bagyong Yolanda. Kaya noong nagkaroon ng shelter assistance mula sa DSWD at lokal na pamahalaan, natuwa talaga ako  (It is my dream to have a house for my family even before Typhoon Yolanda came. So I was very glad when DSWD and the local government offered shelter assistance),” she said.

Every morning, Olivia holds the picture of the shelter units mounted on the wall of her small tent, which has been her home together with her six children and her husband after the typhoon destroyed their house.

“Kapag hinahawakan ko ‘yong picture ng shelter units, nagdadasal ako nang taimtim. Sinasabi kong magkakaroon ako nito at lahat ng pangarap ko matutupad sa loob ng bahay na ito (While holding the picture of the shelter units, I am praying deeply that I will have this and all my dreams will come true in this house),” she added.

When Olivia finally received the news that she will be a recipient of the shelter unit at the Cogon Resettlement Site, her heart was suddenly filled with greatest happiness and relief.

In her head, she saw a montage of scenes revealing her family’s pains and struggles in surmounting the challenges brought by the wrath of ‘Yolanda’.

With her voice slowly breaking she said, “Iba talaga ang tinuro sa amin ng Bagyong Yolanda at ang experience namin sa pagtira sa tent. ‘Yung pinagdaanan namin na hirap ang sumukat ng aming katatagan bilang pamilya. Kaya palagi akong nagdadasal at nagpapasalamat sa mga tulong na dumadating sa amin tulad ng Pantawid Pamilya[ng Pilipino Program] at ng pabahay na ito (The lesson brought by Typhoon Yolanda and our experience in leaving in tent is unparalleled. The adversities we went through measured the resilience of our family. Thus, I always pray and I am always thankful for the assistance given to us like Pantawid Pamilya and this shelter assistance).”

Pantawid Pamilya is one of the programs of the national government being implemented by the DSWD that provides cash grants to poor Filipino families in exchange of education and health conditions. The objective of the program is to keep children aged 0-18 years old healthy and in school.

“Malaking tulong ang cash grants na nakukuha ko sa Pantawid Pamilya lalo na noong pagkatapos ng ‘Yolanda’. Ibinibili ko ng gamit sa eskwela at pamasahe ng anak ko sa pagpasok sa school. Kaya nagpapasalamat ako na may Pantawid Pamilya (The cash grants that I receive in Pantawid Pamilya are great help especially after Typhoon Yolanda.  I use the grants to buy school supplies and for the transportation allowance of my children in going to school. That is why I am thankful that there is Pantawid Pamilya),” Olivia proudly said.

Aside from the shelter units, the 132 families also received Pabaon Packs containing 25 kilos of rice, canned goods, cereal drinks, coffee, family kits (kitchen utensils, blanket, plastic sheet and jerrycans), and a hygiene pack composed of bath soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste.

“Masaya ako sa mga tulong na ito ng gobyerno. At sigurado akong tuloy-tuloy na ang aming pagbangon dahil kaya na namin ang pagbabago (I am happy with the help given by the government. And now I am certain that we will have a continuous recovery because we can face the challenges of change),” she concluded.

Now, with ticket number 18 in her hands, the lot number of her new abode and her lucky number, she is joyfully preparing her family for their occupancy of their new home, where she will rebuild her life and fulfill her aspirations for her family.

Indeed, a dream come true for Olivia and for the rest of the 132 families. ###

Posted in newsComments (0)

Region IX exemplary kids join DSWD National Children’s Congress

Around fifty children from the seventeen (17) regions nationwide attended this year’s National Children’s Congress at Sequoia Hotel, Quezon City last October 22-26 in line with the annual Children’s Month Celebration

Children-participants to the National Children’s Congress dressed in superhero costumes strike a wacky pose with Senator Bam Aquino.

Children-participants to the National Children’s Congress dressed in superhero costumes strike a wacky pose with Senator Bam Aquino.

The Top 3 Regional winners namely: Denzer Tuague (Zamboanga City); Lovely Rose Hechanova (Zamboanga Sibugay) and Diana Rose Gasque (Zamboanga del Sur) were the delegates of Region 9 and were sent to Manila to participate in the congress. They were chosen after being hailed as Provincial winners and pronounced as top winners during the Regional Desk Validation search conducted earlier this month. The delegates are Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program beneficiaries who manifested good scholastic ratings, compliance in the program especially in attendance to school and active community involvements and extra-curricular participation.

The highlights of congress focused mainly on their role in their family, community and how it generated positive changes in their lives. There were series of fun-filled workshops and cluster presentations conducted to jive this year’s NCC theme which is “Bata, kaya mo ang Pagbabago!”

As part of the congress, DSWD also awarded Jemuel Mago of Region IV-B as this year’s National winner of the 2014 Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya Children Search. The award is given to a child-beneficiary who showed admirable accomplishments in his /her home, school and community. This year’s national top winners are the following: Region XII (1st Runner up); Region IV-A (2nd Runner up); Region VIII (3rd Runner up) and Region VII (4th runner up).

The congress was also graced by Senator Bam Aquino who gave an inspiring message before the participants. Other artists who also joined the kids are: Tropang potchi artists who facilitated a workshop and fun-filled games to the children; Batang Yagit stars of GMA-7; Jairus Aquino of ABS-CBN and National Youth Commissioner Dingdong Dantes who expressed his gratitude for having been invited to witness the children’s celebration. He further encouraged the participants to really pursue their education amid their difficult situation. The children performed a one-act skit presentation during the awarding ceremony as an output of the congress.

A Press conference followed after the awarding ceremony led by DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman together with Council for Welfare of Children Executive Director Patricia Luna and Exemplary Children National Winner Jemuel Mago. The congress capped off with a study tour at the Mind Museum in Taguig City.

The National Children’s Congress is an annual activity conducted by DSWD to gather model kids in one fitting venue to celebrate childhood, positive changes and dreams in a form of talks, workshops and interactions.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is a human development program of the national government that invests in health and education of children. The expansion of age coverage from 0-14 to 0-18 will ensure that school-aged children will be given financial assistance until they reach 18 years old or finish high school, whichever comes first. ##

Posted in newsComments (0)

AVRC- Rehabilitation Sheltered Workshop joins ZAMPEX 2014

The Department of Trade and Industries Region IX organized a Regional Trade Exposition dubbed as Zamboanga Peninsula Exposition (ZamPex) 2014”.

The product display of AVRC III during the ZAMPEX 2014.

The product display of AVRC III during the ZAMPEX 2014.

The week-long affair took off last October 8-11, 2014 at the convention center of Garden Orchid Hotel, this city. The said event was participated by exhibitors from the Zamboanga Peninsula and the five regions in Mindanao which includes ARMM, Regions 10,11,12 and CARAGA. The exposition is in line with the month long celebration of the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival.

The Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center (AVRC) III, Rehabilitation Sheltered Workshop of DSWD was invited to be one of the participating exhibitors to showcase the products of the Persons With Disabilities (PWD’s) of the center. The ZamPex experience provided a venue for PWD products to be notable to the general public and an opportunity to meet new buyers for the expansion of the said workshop market base.

Among the products displayed during the trade fair were bags with batik ensembles and canvas bags which were designed by the DTI’s designer. Slippers, throw pillows, wallets and cellphone cases were also salable. There were various commendations from spectators on the craftsmanship of the center’s PWD’s regarding the details of sewing despite the disabilities. Ms Rose Garcia from DTI, one of the focal persons who spearheaded the occasion expressed their intention to invite DSWD AVRC III for another trade fair next year.

For future participation of PWD’s in this kind of activity, DSWD-AVRC III management plans to explore the members/production worker to undergo skills enhancement on their craft to attain quality products at the satisfaction of the patronizing market.

The trade fair

was considered a timely venue where the PWD workers could increase their imaginative creativity and elicit their motivation to perform exceptionally as this was the first time that AVRC III Rehab Sheltered Workshop was invited to showcase its products. In due time, products made by PWD shall be at par with the national or even global competitions. ###Jayson Elias


Posted in newsComments (0)

DSWD-SLP organizes jobfair, draw thousand jobseekers

More or less one thousand one hundred (1,100) jobseekers flocked for a Job Fair initiated by Sustainable Livelihood Program of Department of Social Welfare and Development held on September 26, 2014 at Zamboanga del Norte Convention and Sports Center, Dipolog City.

The said affair is in collaboration with the Public Employment and Service Office (PESO) of the Provicial Government of Zamboanga del Norte in Partnership with Department of Labor and Employment.

With an overwhelming number of job aspirants, there are also Eight Hundred Twenty Four 824 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who attended and applied for Job posts in the said fair.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was conducted to officially open the activity led by DOLE’s Assistant Regional Director, Mr. Albert Gutib. An Opening program followed after where Mr.Ryan Victor Miranda of PESO inspires the job seekers with his message.

Various participating employers and existing SLP partners actively supported the activity which aims to look potential employees belonging to the poor bracket. Some of the participating companies are: Paglaum; Vicente Lao Construction; Katipunan Bank; Dipolog Trusted Employment Agency; Philippine Call Center Institute and among others.

Project Development Officers of Dipolog City serves as facilitators of the event. The Dipolog Cluster is looking forward for a plan to include those who were not qualified on their skills training activities to increase or enhance program participant’s acquired skills.##

Posted in newsComments (1)

Family-beneficiaries gather for ‘Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya’ regional search

Four families across Zamboanga Peninsula have gathered in one fitting event to vie for this year’s Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya search.

The families of Mr. and Mrs. Renato Gituayan from Labangan,Zamboanga Del Sur; Mr. and Mrs. DarioPonce from Rizal, Zamboanga del Norte; Mr. and Mrs. Ereneo Carumba from Zamboanga Sibugay and Mr. and Mrs.Ruben Abdurasid from District I-Recodo, this city, were the finalist for the regional search held on August 8, 2014 at Cecille’s Poolside Dining Hall, Tumaga Porcentro, Zamboanga City.

Gituayan Family, Regional Winner to the Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya, show off their dance moves during the official presentation of families.

Gituayan Family, Regional Winner to the Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya, show off their dance moves during the official presentation of families.

This year’s regional search aims to recognize family-beneficiaries of Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program who maintain strong family ties, demonstrate positive Filipino values and have a positive impact in the community where they reside.

The whole day affair kicked-off with a radio guesting at DXAS and Brigada News FM followed by a City tour that included courtesy visits to DSWD Field Office IX and Department of Health Regional Office IX. The afternoon activity was slated for the actual search where families were formally presented and interviewed.

In the regional level search, the families were judged through Desk Validation and Panel Interviews. The desk validation allows the judge to scrutinize and review the packaged documentations submitted based on their activities at home and participation in the community. The Panel Interviews will allow the beneficiary-families to express their thoughts and insights based on the questions given by the judges.

After careful deliberation, Mr. and Mrs. Renato Gituayan and family from Municipality of Labangan, Zamboanga Del Sur emerged as this year’s Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya 2014.The family was enrolled in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program during the Set-4 registration. They have been 100% compliant in its conditionalities having a perfect attendance during Family Development Sessions. Blessed with seven children, three of them have already finished college and the youngest sibling is the remaining pantawid beneficiary of the family who have also exhibited good compliance rate in her health and education conditions.

The Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya is an annual search which was launched in 2012 by National Program Management Office (NPMO) and the National Committee on the Filipino Families. The Provincial and Regional Searches are conducted in all DSWD Field Offices and winners will automatically represent their region to the national level search.

The winning family received 2,000 pesos in cash, Certificate of Recognition and Mixed Goods from DSWD. They were followed by Carumba Family of Zamboanga Sibugay as 2nd Placer, Abdurasid Family of Zamboanga and Ponce Family of Zamboanga del Norte as 3rd and 4th placer respectively. Gituayan Family will compete with the rest of the regional winners nationwide for the National Search. The awarding is expected to take place in September in line with National Family Week Celebration.

The event were graced by Edward Gonzales, MPD chief under Social Marketing Services-Central Office; Consejo H. Usman, Assistant Regional Director for Operations; Fatima Caminan, Protective Services Unit Chief ; Narrabelle Z. Bue, DSWD Regional Program Coordinator for Pantawid Pamilya; Provincial Links; Municipal Links; Media and Guests.

Posted in newsComments (0)

Emergency drills equip DSWD staff on disaster preparedness, awareness

In celebration of the National Disaster Consciousness Month, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office IX conducted a month-long activities on disaster preparedness and awareness with this year’s theme: “Kahandaan at Kaligtasan ng Pamayanan, Pundasyon ng Kaunlaran.

(Top Photo) DSWD staff  evacuate office's premises during the conduct of earthquake drill. (Photo Below) A A DSWD staff  puts off  the fire using the Fire Extinguisher.

(Top Photo) DSWD staff evacuate office’s premises during the conduct of earthquake drill. (Photo Below) A DSWD staff puts off the fire using the Fire Extinguisher.

The essence of the month-long observance is to promote awareness on natural hazards and disseminate information on the steps to be undertaken to mitigate the adverse effects of hazards during disaster emergencies.

As front line agency during disasters, it is imperative for all internal staff of DSWD to be equipped with knowledge especially in intensifying themselves to learn the key strategies to reduce risks when disaster strikes anytime. The proper capacity to respond to emergency situation calls for an importance for the agency to avoid casualties and carefully plan out things according to the standard procedures.

Said celebration allowed every staff to be informed during monday’s convocation for the whole month of July where there were invited speakers and experts from Bureau of Fire and Protection and Office of the Civil Defense to brief the attendees.

Simulations were conducted every week to address different types of emergencies such as Fire , Earthquake and Tsunami drills. Mr. Roel Pioquinto of the Bureau of Fire and Protection discussed comprehensively the dangers of fire and factors that may trigger it to spread out. Aside from orderly evacuation fire drills conducted, an exercise on the proper handling of Fire Extinguisher was done to equip staff to put off fire in case of breakout. An evaluation followed after the drill which was facilitated by the team from the BFP.

Moreover, an Earthquake awareness orientation was also conducted to discuss earthquake situations and safety procedures to be undertaken during and after its occurence. Mr Casmar Pajiji of the Office of the Civil Defense clearly underscored the importance of the proper evacuation plan during this disaster and the possible hazards that may cause obstruction and casualties especially during the presence of movement and during evacuation of the area.

Following the ‘Duck, Cover and Hold’ as safety measures during earthquake, a simulation was also conducted to execute the evacuation plan and to observe safety procedures and hazards. Through the presence of the Civil Defense Action Group (CDAG) of the Office of the Civil Defense, an evaluation on the conduct of the drill was also observed to address certain hazards identified in all corners of the office. The group reiterated the need to take serious in all the necessary information they have provided as they quote saying “There’s no substitute for preparation”.

Earlier this month, an orientation on Family Preparedness during disasters was also given by the Office of Civil Defense as part of the continuous advocacy and call to capacitate all members of the family to be knowledgeable in times of disaster emergencies.

The celebration of National Disaster Consciousness Month is in pursuant to Executive Order No. 137, s.1999. ##


Posted in newsComments (0)

No to Tobacco Industry

Transparency Seal

Citizen’s Charter



GAD Corner


Related Sites