DSWD 9 acquaints elderly on disaster preparedness

Senior citizens are more likely to be adversely affected during calamities as they account for more than double of the mortality rates during emergencies. This was one of the things that the Department of Science and Technology Resource Persons emphasized during the forum on disaster preparedness yesterday.

The said forum tackled on disaster preparedness for Senior Citizens facilitated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office IX with the help of the Department of Science and Technology, who provided the resource persons during the one-day activity.

Ms. Thelma Diego, focal person for disaster preparedness from DOST pointed out that the older people should be better prepared during any disaster through continuous education and awareness to reduce their vulnerabilities.

The topics discussed include Early Warning Devices, Hydromet Hazards and Geological Hazards presented by Ms. Maribel Enriquez, the PAG-ASA Bureau Chief and Mr. Alan Labayog, Philvocs Zamboanga Officer-in-charge.

DSWD 9 Senior Citizen Focal Person Jamila Arasid said that while a lot has been done for senior citizens in the country, their vulnerabilities during disaster have yet to be addressed, however, accessibility to programs and services and availment to their rights and privileges still remain to be the major concern among the older people.

Meanwhile, DSWD 9 Regional Director Atty. Araceli Solamillo expressed support to the recently signed Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 10868 of the Centenarian Act of 2016 last week. The law states that all Filipinos who have reached 100 years old and above will be honored with a Centenarian gift worth P100,000 which serves as a longevity incentive.

“We are especially excited for the Filipinos centenarians who will be conferred with the recognition that they rightfully deserve and since we believe that one of the signs of a compassionate society is its responsiveness to the needs of its elderly members.” Solamillo said in a statement.

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Elderly people in residential homes receive early Christmas gifts from DSWD9, government agencies


As part of the activities pipelined for the 2016 Elderly Filipino Week celebration, the Department of Social Welfare and Development spearheaded the visit to two of the residential homes in the city yesterday where over 50 elderly are sheltered and taken care of.

DSWD Field Office IX together with Philhealth, Department of Health, Department of Education, Department of Publics Work and Highway, Department of Science and Technology, Commission on Higher Education and Philippine Information Agency, visited Home for the Elderly in Mampang and We Care Nursing Home located in Sta. Maria, Zamboanga City.

In the photos, the members of the Regional Inter-Agency Committee for Senior Citizens are seen handling and distributing food and non-food items such as walker, medical and hygiene kits, biscuits and juices.

The visit aimed to provide opportunities for key NGA partners to show respect, gratitude and tribute to the elders which forms part of the objectives of the annual celebration which is to raise awareness on the rights and privileges of the senior citizens and their significant contribution in nation building.

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A Promising Tomorrow

Alvin Patano was born to a very simple family. Alvin is 37 years old and her husband Arnel is 39. They have 3 children, Arnel Jr. (13 years old), Vinrachi (9 years old), and Shadee Drex (7 years old).

Life for the family was not easy, Alvin was unemployed and dedicated herself to taking care of the family. She didn’t have any source of financial help, while Arnel her husband, was only a “habal-habal” driver.   Even being a “habal-habal” driver, Arnel was not able to earn enough for the family, because there were too many drivers in the area, and only very few passengers to cater to. The only other financial help they have, was a part-time and small time business that Arnel held on to. Arnel took extra effort to buy chicharon products from Zamboanga City and delivered them to his customers. Even this was not enough to get their children to school.

In 2012, Alvin became an SLP participant. She also volunteered for KALAHI-CIDDS, and thought

that this is a way to make herself more productive. Being a participant, somehow, helped her learn things about business and other ways of livelihood.

When skills training was introduced to them by DSWD worker, she realized that this was going to be an opportunity for her and her family to get through their financial difficulties. She immediately proposed that chicharon would be a promising product for their group. She thought that instead of buying chicharon from Zamboanga, why not produce their own chicharon. This seemed to be a good idea, because she already had knowledge about how chicharon is done. This too was not easy since a number of their group’s members were hesitant about the idea, and it looked like she was not getting full support from the group.

Alvin, being positive about the idea, still pushed for the proposal, she also worked and eventually managed to convince members to support her. Fortunately for her and the group, the proposal was approved.

Eventually, the proposed project turned from a dream and slowly became a reality. On the 9th of November of 2015, their chicharon production opened and operation began. They named their business TIPABECPA, which means Tiayon Pantawid Beef Chicharon Producers Association, they started with 86 members, and Alvin became one of the Board of Directors.

When Production started, the group bought 55 to 150 kilos of raw beef skin from the local market of Zamboanga. They clean them well, cut them into desired sizes and cooked the beef skin. There are 3 different stages in cooking, they blanche the raw skin for 8 hours until they become tender, then the skin get seasoned and left   overnight. The next day, the seasoned skin is deep fried, left cool and then packed. Each kilo of beef skin costs ₱55 pesos and produces 20 to 25 packs of cooked chicharon. Each pack sells for ₱4.50, and the group earns not less than ₱10,000 per production. All of the group’s members help in the production while Alvin’s husband, Arnel, delivers their products to their regular customers, who purchase wholesale from them. Some of the other members also sell their products in retail.

However, like any other small time and starting business, struggles are always present. After doing good for several months, sales started to go down, and disposal of products became slow. To add to the trouble, raw beef skin also became scarce. But the group’s positive thinking helped them get back to their feet, they tried a new marketing strategy and soon enough, things were back on track.

TIPABECPAS’s Chicharon eventually reached the shelves of the stores in Zamboanga City and other neighboring areas. The group is convinced that together with Ipil’s fast developing phase, their chicharon will also be known to a wider market.

Today, Alvin and the group believe that this project helped them so much, that they are now able to provide for their family’s needs, “Sauna maglisud jud mi kay usahay mag absent pa akong anak, maglisud pa kanang inadlaw ba, sa pamasahe. Pero karon naa na jud mi makuhaan nga makahatag jud mi sa amoang mga anak ug pangpag adlaw-adlaw nga pangkaon.” (In the past, it was difficult for us to send our children to school and sometimes they have to be absent in class because we could not provide them their fare. But now, we already have a source to pay for our children’s daily expenses, especially for food.) Alvin added.

During an interview with Alvin, saying “thank you” never felt enough for her. As she shared her story, she was genuinely smiling as she was saying “Nagpasalamat jud kaayo ko ani nga project kay tungud niani, dili lang ni sa amoa, kun dili sa amoang miembro pod uban nga kursunada pod kaayo makahatag kini sa ilahang dugang income. Salamat.” (I am very thankful because this project has helped augment our family’s and other interested members’ income. Thank you.)###


Written by:
Bernely Sheilaine L. Nemil

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Sec. Taguiwalo witnesses completion of skills training of Zambo siege survivors

DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo (2nd from left) congratulates and engages in light banter with the graduates who were displaced by the 2013 Zamboanga siege.

DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo (2nd from left) congratulates and engages in light banter with the graduates who were displaced by the 2013 Zamboanga siege.

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo personally congratulated the 320 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Zamboanga City who completed their technical skills training program yesterday which was initiated and funded by the DSWD Regional Office IX in partnership with the Zamboanga City local government, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and Our Lady of Triumph (OLT) Institute of Technology.

Aside from Sec. Taguiwalo, the graduation ceremony, staged at MGM Gymnasium in Ozamis City, was attended by DSWD FO-IX Regional Director Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo, DSWD FO-IX Asst. Regional Director for Operations Consejo H. Usman, and other program partners.

The graduates were the last batch of IDPs affected by the 2013 Zamboanga siege who have undergone carpentry and masonry training, and housekeeping training in state-of-the art facilities offered and provided by the OLT through the Department’s Disaster Rehabilitation Fund worth P17M.

Since July 2016, the technical skills training program has already produced over 500 graduates who were immediately sent to Manila for job placement with the help of the OLT’s national and international employment partners.

In her message for the graduates, Sec. Taguiwalo emphasized that the Department will continue to monitor the progress of the program recipients. She also commended them for their efforts to transition from being mere recipients of assistance to becoming productive members of the society.

“Hindi na lamang tayo mga biktima at survivors ngayon, tayo ay mga victors na ngayon dahil napagtagumpayan natin ang lahat ng mga pagsubok na dumaan sa buhay natin. Naipakita natin na kahit na anong kalamidad ang pinagdaanan natin, mayroon tayong angking kakayahan at dignidad para bumangon (We are no longer victims and survivors. We are victors now because we have won and surpassed life’s challenges. We have proven that despite the unfortunate calamity we have encountered, we still have the capacity and dignity to stand up and achieve triumph)”, Sec. Taguiwalo said.

Meanwhile, the LGU of Zamboanga also provided additional P2,000 financial assistance to each of the families of the graduates for their other expenses.

September 2013 was when the people from Zamboanga witnessed three weeks of intense firefight between the Moro National Liberation Front and the government troops which left hundreds of civilians and soldiers from both sides dead, thousands of homes destroyed and over a hundred thousand people from Zamboanga involuntarily displaced. MNLF members were protesting the failure of the government to implement the provisions of the peace pact signed in 1996.

With President Duterte extending his hand of peace to different Moro groups including the MNLF, hopes are high towards attaining a just and lasting peace in Mindanao and in the whole nation. A just and lasting peace makes it possible for DSWD to deliver its many services to the people and in the long run, a just and lasting peace will improve their quality of life

Secretary Taguiwalo said that all Filipinos should support the peace talks between the government and the MNLF. “We should all work together to bring peace to the Philippines. Ending armed conflict can be done through collective efforts focused on bringing about social justice.” ###

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Saved by the bridge

Life in Barangay Pisa-Puti is simple. Locals’ source of income majority comes from farming.

Amud Yamid, 21 and Walid Tangkian, 20, both grew up in Pisa-Puti and were raised by their parents through farming.

Most of the farm area was located uphill, this is why Amud Yamid lives with his two cousins while his father is taking his time out in the farm for most of the time and would only come home when the harvest reach its fruition.

The same also with Walid, his father would also stay out in the farm together with his brothers while he has to look after his mother and wife and his two-year old child.

Since most of the residents were located at the low-land area, and the municipality is a coastal one, come rainy season, they would experience difficulty in crossing some areas within the barangay proper to their farm.

Iyong nakita nyo na ilog diyan, kapag umuulan ng malakas, umaakyat iyong tubig ay hirap nang makatawid”, Amud explained. (If you have noticed the river right there, when it rain so hard and the water get high, then it cannot be crossed.)

For people who would dare to cross will have to face the hard way. As Amud shared “lumalangoy kami kapag mataas ang tubig, kapag may baha. Tapos kapag naman bumabaha na, iyong iba, mga matatanda na galing sa bukid, hindi na sila nakakatawid”.

(We swim our way to the other side when the water gets too high, when there’s flood. And when it’s flooded, the rest especially the elders who come home from farm will no longer cross.)

This scenarios has been frequent for the people who live in Pisa-Puti, that’s why when they were called to a barangay assembly, they never hesitated to join.

“Noong nagpatawag na ng meeting at nagsasabi na sila kung ano iyong gustong gawin namin, iyon naisipan namin na kailangan talaga ang hanging bridge na project sa amin dito naninirahan para kung mag-ulan, magbaha may madaanan”, Amud said. (When they called a meeting and then everyonediscussing what they wanted to propose, we felt the need to put up a hanging bridge as our sub-project so when it rains, comes flood, we can still cross.)

Walid Tangkian also shared “Sa dalas ng ulan dito, may namatay na nga diyan noong minsan nag-overflow ang tubig sa ilog. Kaya kailangan talaga namin nito”. (Rain occurs most often around here, and it has caused the death of someone during the time when the water in the river overflowed. And this is why we needed this thing up).

The clamor for a hanging bridge was then realized through Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA. Built on April 18, 2015 was completed by September 8, 2015, the sub-project has been accessible not just to the people of Barangay Pisa-Puti, but to its neighboring barangay as well.

The construction of the hanging bridge sub-project has been a big help to community, while rain has been a frequent visitor and flood still get in the way, but people anytime of the day can pass through no matter the weather. And they will no longer get stranded whenever they would go uphill to farm or would bring farm products to home.

Although they’re both too hesitant to talk more on their experiences but they were genuinely happy with having been part with the realization of the sub-project. As Amud expressed, “ang masasabi ko lang salamat talaga kasi may ganitong project binibigay ang DSWD. Kailangan na kailangan namin dito, hindi naman siya basta basta ilalagay dito kung di siya makakatulong”.

(I am thankful to DSWD for it was a big help to us here for giving this kind of project. We badly needed this here. It wouldn’t be built here if it wasn’t helpful).

“Hindi na kame mahirapan pumunta sa bukid kapag bumabaha, mabuti na rin iyon kasi may dumating na proyekto na makakatulong sa mga tao. Para sa akin, nakatulong na rin sa barangay”, Walid added. (We wouldn’t be struggling to go to farm despite the flood, it is really good to have a project that is able to help people. For me, it’s more of helping our barangay).

PAMANA is the Phiippines Government’s program and framework for peace and development. It follows a CDD approach where it allows to put power back in the hands of the people by giving them the opportunity to make informed decisions on locally identified options for develop and manage resources to implement sub-projects that address needs identified by communities themselves.#

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DSWD 9 extends aid to wounded troops in Sulu, Basilan clash

The Department of Social Welfare and Development has started extending assistance to wounded soldiers in the military operations that are being conducted in some parts of Sulu and Basilan against the Abu Sayyaf Group.

Through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program, the department has been able to provide financial, medical and burial assistance to six wounded and two killed soldiers with the total amount of 45,000 pesos.

Aside from the said monetary aid, DSWD has also been conducting hospital visits and counseling/ stress debriefing to the families of these soldiers.

DSWD is also making some necessary assessment on what other suitable services that can be provided to the dependents, such as educational, livelihood, and employment opportunities through skills training.

PHOTO BMeanwhile, the DSWD field office 9 has also been in constant coordination with Provincial Social Welfare and Development Offices of Sulu and Basilan with regards to the relief operations done in some villages and municipalities where evacuees are sheltered temporarily.

Last September 6, the department sent 5,000 family food packs worth P1,800,000.00 for over 4,000 IDPs. As of September 20, 2016, there are already 4,456 families served by DSWD and PLGU. Currently, the available standby funds and stockpile of relief goods is amounting to P1,003,337,662.10###

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DSWD IX sends assistance to families affected in Sulu

DSWD sent five thousand (5000) family food packs to families in Patikul and Maimbung, Sulu last night. This is to aid the 2,329 affected families who fled their homes due to the on-going military operations in the province.

The said assistance worth Php1,800,000.00 was as per request made by the provincial government of Sulu through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Hja. Indun Angsa.

The families are currently sheltered in Barangay Lati, Patikul wherein they were also initially provided with food packs and non-food items such as plastic mats, cooking utensils and first aid kits as per report sent by Angsa.

Atty. Araceli Solamillo, DSWD IX Regional Director said that the office is in close coordination and constant monitoring with PSWDO Sulu in anticipation for possible transport of more assistance when needed.#

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DSWD IX starts enrolment of orphans for Philhealth coverage

Following the MOA signing conducted in the first quarter of the year and in adherence to the Republic Act 10606 or the National Health Insurance Act, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office IX has started the enrolment of orphaned children who are under its custody.

A list containing two hundred ten (210) names of orphans has been submitted for registration in the database of Philhealth Insurance Incorporated so they can be covered by the universal health care program.

The DSWD identified beneficiaries are sheltered in four (4) child-caring institutions such as Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC), Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY), Balay Dangpanan sa Kabataan (BDSK) or the Home for Girls and Haven for Women.

For children who are below 21 years old, they shall be enrolled as a group of three (3), however those who are 21 years old and above shall be enrolled individually. These children shall be entitled to the same benefits as an Indigent Member including Primary Care Benefit 1 (PCB 1) and no Balance Billing (NBB).

DSWD shall remit to PhilHealth the prescribed annual premium contributions of P2,400 per group or individual.

“The orphans are one of the vulnerable sectors whose basic needs have been deliberately unattended or inadequately attended and with this NHIP we can now provide continuous health services for these children.” DSWD IX Regional Director Atty. Araceli Solamillo said in a statement.

Aside from orphans, street children, out-of-school youths, children in conflict with the law and children with special needs who are under the care of social welfare institutions run or accredited by the DSWD are also covered by the program. ###

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