PHOTO: Media Orientation on Juvenile Justice & Welfare Act

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DSWD 9 conducts orientation on RA 9344 as amended by 10630 an act ‘Establishing a Comprehensive Juvenile Justice and Welfare System’ in celebration of the 10th year anniversary of the said law. Staff from City Social Welfare and Development Office of Zamboanga, police personnel from Women and Child Protection Desk of Philippine National Police and members from local media are present during the said activity.

The activity aimed to raise awareness on the salient features of the law and adopt system/s as mandated in the revised implementing rules and regulations.

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80 youths hired for summer job in DSWD IX

 

Zamboanga City – The Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Office IX has accommodated 80 out-of-school, undergraduates, and graduates who are unemployed for the Government Internship Program (GIP).

These interns have been deployed in DSWD Regional Office, provincial offices and centers and institutions for 22 days which started last April 29, 2016. They will be paid Php210 pesos, which is 75% of the prevailing regional wage rate.

These GIP interns were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Applicants should be 18-24 years old;
  • College level or high school graduate;
  • Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) certificate holders;
  • For out-of-school youth, they should not have stopped school for more than two years;
  • Good health condition;
  • Monthly income of the family shall not be more than the existing poverty threshold; and
  • Youth who belongs to a household-beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
Ma. Socorro Macaso, Regional Focal Person for youth sector, orients the 80 GIP interns before they are deployed in their assigned work places

Ma. Socorro Macaso, Regional Focal Person for youth sector, orients the 80 GIP interns before they are deployed in their assigned work places

According Regional Focal Person for youth sector, Maria Socorro Macaso, GIP does not merely provide the youth with financial aid for their enrollment in the next school year, but it is also a way of honing their skills and potentials and introducing the young people to public service.

“The GIP aims to empower and equip the youth by exposing them to various aspects of government operations and for them to acquire adequate knowledge and develop right attitude in preparation for their chosen future careers.” Macaso said in her statement.

The GIP is one of the services offered for young people under the Unlad Kabataan Program (UKP) of the DSWD. The UKP is geared towards the total development of disadvantaged youth in terms of spiritual, economic, physical, psychological, cultural and social development. The GIP is part of the government’s efforts to strengthen youth participation in nation-building by exposing them to government service and training them on life skills. It also serves as recruitment mechanism for potential public employees, and provides financial assistance for school enrollment.###

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PHOTO: IOM, DSWD partner for a research

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IOM Representatives from Geneva, David Preux and Caroline Masboungi visited DSWD FO IX to coordinate and partner for the conduct of research on Women’s Participation in camps as global initiative for Camp Management.

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In photos: Conrado Natividad,Marilou Sese, David Preux, ARDO COnsejo Usman, Caroline Masboungi, Ingrid Daba, Rosalie Casimillo and Brian Lustre.

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DSWD appeals to LGUs to utilize 1% of IRA for child protection programs

Zamboanga City – The Department of Social Welfare and Development is prodding the Local Government Units to put children’s concerns on top of their agenda through utilizing the allocated 1% of their Internal Revenue Allotment for the implementation of programs and projects for the children.

This is pursuant to Republic Act 9344 as amended by RA 10630 mandating all LGUs to allocate 1% of their IRA to institutionalize programs, projects and activities of the Local Council for Protection of Children (LCPC). The same law also calls on the establishment of a functional LCPC, a council that shall advocate the rights, plans and initiate interventions and monitor children’s programs and projects in the locality.

Regional Director Atty. Araceli Solamillo giving her welcome remarks during the conduct of Workshop on the crafting of JJWA Situational Analysis

Regional Director Atty. Araceli Solamillo giving her welcome remarks during the conduct of Workshop on the crafting of JJWA Situational Analysis

During the Writeshop on developing and crafting of Regional Situational Analysis for Juvenile Justice and Welfare Progrogram on May 17, 2016 organized by the Regional Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council through DSWD Regional Office, DSWD IX Regional Director Atty. Araceli Solamillo emphasized that when it comes to the welfare of the children, it needs coordination and collaboration among multiple agencies.

“Children’s welfare is not only a Social Worker’s responsibility. It should also be the concern of other government agencies and institutions. And through this activity, all stakeholders can plan and work together to address the gaps and issues related to child protection.” Solamillo said in her opening message.

The preparation of the Local Development Plan for children can also be funded by the 1% IRA to ensure that interventions and programs provided to children are responsive and effective. Aside from this RJJWC Focal Person Criselda Palomo said that LGUs can also look into how they can provide assistance to children in need of special protection, support the development of advocacy materials on children and as well as putting up a local information system on children’s situation and in monitoring and ensuring that national and local laws on children are properly enforced in their respective localities.

This call is in support to the advocacy of institutionalizing the amended Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act that mandates to strengthen the Juvenile Justice System in the Philippines which will be celebrating its 10th year anniversary on May 20, 2016.

Part of the commemoration is the workshop on crafting the regional situational analysis which is attended by the Regional Inter-Agency Committee for Children. The said activity which will run from May 17-18, 2016 aims to conduct rapid assessment of Situational Analysis of Children At Risk (CAR) and Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL) in Zamboanga Peninsula. The participants shall also identify the shortfalls and inequities in existing policies, programs and services, thereby, provide set of recommendations for child protection interventions.###

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In diaspora, Bajaus find hope in mainland

The Bajaus or the sea gypsies as they are universally known for were historically a seafaring nomadic tribe of hunter-gatherers who lived in the waters of the Southern Philippines. They handcraft wooden boats to serve as their home, their workplace and their life. They were born out at sea, lived out at sea and they died out at sea.

But this traditional life has changed for some Bajaus, after countless generations at sea, some are now settling on land.

Forty (40) minutes from the Zamboanga City mainland, a small community of Bajaus inhabits a section of the barangay Sangali. Adapting to life on land, this is how they make a living.

Based on the barangay profile, 10% of their population is Bajau. Like most of them, Bajaus in Sangali are migrants who came from different parts of Mindanao, and who are continuously finding a place where they can sustain themselves and their families’ needs.

Sangali Barangay Chairperson Daud Bakil disclosed that Bajaus used to sail day and night with the currents, counting only on their fishing gear to make a living. He added that ironically, they survive the deadly waves for them to save their lives from hunger and poverty.

“Noon kasi, pangingisda lang ang source of living nila. Mahirap din para sa kanila tuwing may bagyo, wala silang huli, walang kita, at wala din makakain ang Pamilya nila.” Bakil opened up.

IMG_20160407_111543The people who once led nomadic lives navigating the seas have now increasingly adopted new livelihood opportunities on the mainland.

In November 2015, the Department of Social Welfare and Development through its Comprehensive Program for Sama-Bajau identified Sangali as one of its pilot areas for Cash-for-work implementation.

The cash-for-work was conceptualized after thorough assessment and coordination with key stakeholders were conducted to choose and implement interventions that will not only address the economic conditions of Bajaus but will allow them to become more adaptive in all types of environments.

DSWD Regional Office IX thought of introducing and transferring knowledge on crops planting to Bajaus to enable them, especially women, to earn additional income for their family. This will also help them survive whether they choose to live in coastal community or in mainland area.

IMG_20140308_150013-1In cash-for-work program, identified beneficiaries are required to plant vegetables and other related activities for 10 days in exchange of 1,500 pesos. Aside from this, beneficiaries get to bring home the produce. Some sold them; some are brought home for their own consumption.

DSWD Regional Focal Person for Sama-Bajau Program Balma Sali shared that they needed to partner with different stakeholders to realize the said initiative.

“Of course aside from continuous coordination with the LGU, BLGU, we also partnered with the Department of Agriculture for the technical assistance. They taught and trained our beneficiaries to plant properly.” Sali recalled.

Georgina Ruiz, one of the beneficiaries of the Cash-for-work program narrated their experiences and the things they learned from the series of trainings organized by DSWD that help them understand the program and the process of planting crops.

“Dimungug kami marayaw para makahati kami, byariin magtanum. Na imingat da kami Bukun da tuwi isab mahunit, pasal hinduan da kami. Na byaun awun na sin namu, iban mga sayul dahun pa bay. Magsukul tuud ha DSWD, ha barangay, pasal nagsupport sila kamu.” (We listened carefully to learn how to plant. It wasn’t that hard, after all. Now, we do not just earn money, we also get to bring home some food for our children. We are thankful to DSWD and to Barangay officials) Georgina shared.

Meanwhile, Hermela Mosqueda, a Barangay Councilor witnessed how Bajaus were so enthusiastic to participate in the project. She further said that they were a revelation to her since she didn’t expect that they were that interested to learn new things, especially planting.

“Nung nainform na namin sila na may paparating na tulong galing sa DSWD, palagi na silang nagfofollow-up dito sa Barangay Hall. Interesado talaga sila. Kaya nasabi ko talaga sa sarili ko na hindi pala totoo na mga tamad ang mga Bajau, na very dependent. Narealize namin na talagang hindi lang sila nabibigyan ng opportunity para tulungan ang mga sarili nila.” Hermela related.

Georgina and her co-Bajaus’ new learned skill has boosted both their status and of their family as the cash-for-work project did not only provide them with livelihood opportunity, but it also motivated them to fully participate in the training and proved that fishing is not the only option there is to live.

“Makug kami kasi awun na kami dugaing usaha. Misan kami pakain yatu, misan ha mga bud yatu, mabuhi na kami, ba’t maingat na kami magtanum, awun kame makaun, iban hika-buhianan ha mga anak. Oo, Bajau kami sah, kaya na namu mangusaha.” (We are happy that we now have other means to earn. Even if we live in mountains, we can already survive, because we already know how to plant so we’ll have something to put on the table. Yes, we may be Bajau, but we are capable to live a decent and good life.) Georgina added.

Georgina also shared her plans of sending her children back to school this year since was also able to put up a small sari-sari store using the money she earned from the cash-for-work and from the vegetables sold. Aside from this, her husband was also one of the beneficiaries of livelihood assistance given by the same program of DSWD.

Since the start of the program, DSWD was able to serve 238 Sama-Bajaus in Sangali and 1,231 beneficiaries in other Barangays in Zamboanga City.

The Comprehensive Program for Sama-Bajau is on its 4th year pilot implementation in Barangays Sangali, Tulungatong, Arena Blanco, Bolong, Mampang, Mulu-Muluan, Muti, Maasin, Sinunuc, Sangali, Baliwasan, Campo Islam and Taluksangay. This aims to enhance the potential or the capacities of Sama-Bajau so they will not resort to their negative practices, particularly begging. The program offers Educational Assistance, Livelihood, Cash-for-Work, skills training and learning sessions focused on parenting skills and values re-orientation.

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DSWD cautions parents against possible exploitation of children on Election Day

The Department of Social Welfare and Development cautions parents about the possible risks that their children can possibly get into during election.

This is after the agency has received reports that allegedly some minors are tapped to serve as “liners” on the day of the election.

“We caution the parents about the vulnerability of their children to this kind of exploitation because we don’t want them to be affected by any conflict or unpleasant incidents that may occur during the day.” Protective Services Unit Head Josefina Reyes said during a media interview.

Reyes added that children are too young to be participating in such activity because they are unaware of the risk that they may be exposed to in chaotic situations that election may bring.

However, DSWD acknowledges the importance of engaging the youth in the electoral process but only to observe and help in ensuring that there are no irregularities happening, because it somehow empowers them to participate in civic life.

Reyes also urged the Barangay Council for Protection of Children (BCPC) to ensure the safeguards of children and to initiate prohibiting measures so that children may not be used for election purposes.

“We have the BCPCs and we hope that they take appropriate actions on this. It is better if we have existing barangay resolution that will support our advocacy in promoting the rights and welfare of the children in their community.” Reyes added.

Under the Presidential Decree No. 603 article 87, every barangay council shall encourage the organization of a local Council for the Protection of Children and shall coordinate with the Council for the Welfare of Children and Youth in drawing and implementing plans for the promotion of child and youth welfare.

Moreover, DSWD iterates that voters, to include parents should educate the minors in the family, to instead make sure that the candidates they are supporting are the ones who commit to make protection of children a priority in their plans and platforms.###

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INFOGRAPHIC: Cash for work program for farmers affected by El Niño

INFOGRAPHICS EL NINO

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Kalahi-CIDSS spearheads Bridging Leadership Training for LGUs

The Department of Social Welfare and Development through the Kalahi-CIDSS conducted the Bridging Leadership Training on April 26-29, 2016 at Roderics Resort in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Participated by the local government unit of different municipalities in the region, the purpose of the three-day training is to build the character and competence of the LGU. This is also the opportunity to reflect on where they are now in terms of local leadership so that they’ll become more supportive and they’ll become more committed to developing their municipalities.

This is also an avenue to strengthen the partnership of the program to the respective LGUs, as noted previously by the Deputy Regional Project Manager Elpidio Lapad, “there have been many issues experienced by Kalahi-CIDSS team like for the past three years there have been poor LGU support, and delay in the delivery of local counterpart, limited technical assistance from the LGUs to the ACTs and to the communities”.

The challenge remains despite the numerous sub-projects that have already been implemented in some municipalities within the region.

“The poor ownership of the LGU is partly the reason why we are conducting this Bridging Leadership Training”, DRPM Lapad added.

At the end of this training, the most important output is for the LGU to determine new relationships, new arrangements in local governance that are reinforcing what Kalahi-CIDSS is doing in municipalities.#

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