DSWD marks 66 years of ‘Maagap at Mapagkalingang Serbisyo’

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is celebrating its 66th year anniversary this January.

The beginning of a new year brings in a replenished driving-force for the entire department and its workforce to work harder, reach farther and continue upholding its legacy that started sixty six years back.

Founded on 1951, the commemoration aims to celebrate the genuine service of the department to its clientele in over six decades. The department, being the lead agency in promoting and protecting the rights and welfare of the poor, marginalized and the disadvantaged individuals have been in the forefront in bringing positive changes and progress in the lives of its beneficiaries.

This year’s celebration is anchored on the theme, “Sama-samang Paglilingkod Na May Malasakit”.

“DSWD is not just an agency. It is an entity that resembles your loved ones. It cares for you, it protects you, it gives you the priority that you deserve. Sabi nga sa ating slogan, ‘Maagap at Mapagkalingang Serbisyo.” That kind of public service is imbued in the core of our call as social workers,” said Atty. Araceli F. Sollamillo, DSWD Regional Director.

The department also wishes to honor its workforce for its contribution in the delivery of service and implementation of its mandate.

In line with the celebration of its anniversary, the department has prepared several activities to create an avenue for its employees to build and strengthen camaraderie, solidarity and promote sportsmanship through the annual sports fest.

“This has been the tradition of the department. We organize sports events, games, to give our employees the opportunity to have fun amidst the deliverables.” Assistant Regional Director Riduan P. Hadjimuddin said.

From January 9-13, the department has prepared wellness-promotion activities for its employees such as blood–letting, dental check-up, blood sugar testing, dietary counseling, massage and reflexology services

This will be followed by the Open-Tiangge week which will showcase various products of the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) participants and Sheltered workshop of Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center (AVRC).

The product display hopes to promote home/handmade products of its own clients and beneficiaries which forms part of the agency’s mission to help these people improve their social condition through entrepreneurship.

A garage sale will also be organized by the department from which a part of the profit will be used for a special cause.###


DSWD cares for its clientele as well as its internal workforce hence a week-long wellness-promotion activity is being conducted in the regional office from January 10-13 as part of its 66th anniversary celebration.
In this photo: DSWD Resident Doctor, Dr. Gracia Gacrama checks total body fat or the Body Mass Index (BMI) of DSWD staff. A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fatness. BMI can be used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems but it is not diagnostic of the body fatness or health of an individual.

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DSWD concludes children’s month celebration

The Department of Social Welfare and Development field office IX, as the lead agency that protects the welfare of the children, celebrated the culminating activity of the children’s month with an advocacy campaign.

Prior to the culmination of the celebration, several activities were initiated by the department to advocate the protection of the rights and welfare of the children particularly against child pornography.

The department recently had its soft-launching of the #StopChildPornPH campaign, an online platform which aims to promote and strengthen public awareness on child pornography in the country.

Activities that are targeted to the young audiences were also conducted such as story-telling and film-viewing for grade school pupils of Tetuan Central School, on-the-spot poster-making contest for secondary and tertiary levels, info-graphics lay-outing contest and bite-sized video-making contest.

DSWD National Focal Person, Sayna Darwin, said that these endeavors involve the youth and children in this campaign for them to be able to protect themselves from threat and abuse of perpetrators.

This advocacy is getting a very positive response from the stakeholders particularly on the education sector that showed support in the different activities initiated by the department.

The culmination was held at the Tetuan Central School and was graced by various social protection advocates. Winners of the different competitions are as follows:

Poster-making Contest: Jena Criselle F. Baliton from STI College Senior High School (1st place), Aldrin A. Pantilanan from Ayala National High School (2nd place), Al-zhahid I. Puntukan from Talon-Talon National High School (3rd place);
Infograhics Lay-outing Contest: Ruiz B. Delos Santos and Rosette I. Paragas from WMSU (1st place);
Bite-sized video-making contest: “Jorgesa” by Charisse Macaso and Ruiz Delos Santos from WMSU (1st place), “Bintana” by Jean Patrick F. Gonzales and Judith C. Francisco from WMSU (2nd place).

#StopChildPornPH campaign is being pilot-tested in 5 regions to include regions 9, 3, 7, 10 and NCR.

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DSWD-9 supports insurance coverage for indigent families

The Department of Social Welfare and Development backs health insurance coverage of identified poor families in the region who are enrolled in PhilHealth insurance program.

This is in line with the convergence strategy of the department with its partner-stakeholders to bring together social protection interventions to intensify the poverty-reduction programs of the government.

The subsidy covers the health insurance premiums of all identified poor households by the Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction.

“PhilHealth, as DSWD’s partner in promoting the welfare of the people, have requested for the Listahanan database be shared with them to ensure that the resources of the government is given to rightful beneficiaries. This way we can maximize our resources for those who really need them the most,” said DSWD-9 Regional Director Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo in a statement.

PhilHealth beneficiaries need to secure certification from the DSWD Listahanan, a project that identifies names and locations of poor families, in availing the former’s services.

Beneficiaries are advised to update their Member Data Report (MDR) with PhilHealth prior to requesting certification from DSWD.

For Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries, however, their respective city links are responsible for the certification.

1.9 million Listahanan-identified poor individuals are currently enrolled in PhilHealth since 2010.

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PWD-manned spa receives livelihood support through DSWD-DOLE tie-up

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During the ceremonial turn-over: (From L-R) Engr. Wesley Tan, AVRC staff Jojo Maraguinot, PWD ZC Ass. President Teddy Kahil, DOLE Asst. Reg’l Director Yaya Centi, DSWD IX Operations Chief Josefina Reyes, AVRC Head Leila Awis

A turn-over ceremony on Wednesday was conducted at the Massage center of the Visually Impaired Society Towards Advancement (VISTA) Inc. on June 8, 2016. The turn-over of livelihood equipment was made possible through the proposal submitted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development IX (DSWD) and funded of the Department of Labor and Employment IX (DOLE).

Present during the ceremony were DOLE-IX Assistant Regional Director Yaya Centi, Chief Labor and Employment Officer Engr. Wesley Tan, VISTA President Teddy Kahil, DSWD focal for Sectoral Ma. Socorro Macaso, Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center Head Leila Awis and Operations Chief Josie Reyes representing DSWD regional director Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo.

P204,000-worth of livelihood equipment which includes massage beds, massage chair, towels, air-conditioner, computer unit, water dispenser and generator set were turned-over to the VISTA to help them improve their services to clients, thereby generate much bigger income for the workers.

DSWD together with the DOLE believes that the convergence effort of all social protection stakeholders will yield an empowered community especially among vulnerable and disadvantaged sectors.

DSWD regional director Atty. Solamillo also extended her deepest gratitude to the department’s partner-stakeholders for upholding a coordinated and responsive delivery of social services especially to their partner-beneficiaries, the VISTA.

“DSWD continues to partner with various entities because we recognize that none of us can reach our goals alone, especially if we talk about ensuring sustainable livelihood for the PWD community,” Atty. Solamillo said in a statement.

 “We are deeply committed to support your vision of a better society. VISTA can dream and VISTA can change the world with their skills. We are always behind you, supporting your endeavors,” says DOLE Assist. RD Yaya Centi.

VISTA was established in 2009 and has since served 47 PWDs in the region through skills training and employment-generation. Currently, it provides stable income for 8 individuals who are beneficiaries of the project.

Meanwhile, 19,362 PWDs in the entire region were identified as poor by the Listahanan project under the DSWD.

The department hopes that the VISTA project will be able to reach and serve more clients from all over the region in the days to come.###

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PHOTO RELEASE: Meeting with ICRC

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Officials of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Wednesday visited the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office IX to meet with Regional Director Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo and discuss about the processes of interventions and services being provided to Pinoy deportees coming from Malaysia.

ICRC Zamboanga Head Marcel Gayoneche and ICRC Kota Kinabalo Head Mao Sato spearheaded the visit to find out the policies along provision of immediate aid to IDPs such as hygiene kit and medical kit since ICRC has been regularly donating in-kind assistance to Processing Center for Displaced Persons (PCDP), a center operated by the DSWD.

The meeting allowed a rich exchange of perceptions between DSWD and ICRC to further enhance the services and assistance given to the repatriates. It also became an opportunity for both parties to work on strengthening the coordination with DSWD provincial office in Tawi-Tawi as far as reporting the number of clients served is concerned to avoid double counting.

PCDP is mandated to respond to the needs of the increasing number of Filipino deportees/ repatriates from Sabah, Malaysia as well as other locally-displaced persons e.g. victims of trafficking in persons/ illegal recruitment, etc. needing temporary shelter and emergency relief assistance. It provides social support services and intervention to which include temporary shelter/ care, food Assistance, clothing assistance, psycho-social services, medical assistance, burial assistance, transportation assistance, literacy/ awareness session, livelihood/ skills training and referral services.

Last night, June 8, 193 Pinoy deportees arrive in Zamboanga at around ten o’clock and were immediately brought to the PCDP wherein they were properly documented, assessed and provided with necessary assistance.###

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DSWD starts distributing rice to Zambo City farmers

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 9 (DSWD 9) on Wednesday started distributing rice to 466 farmers in Zamboanga City who have been severely affected by El Niño.

DSWD thru the Crisis Intervention Unit conducted rice distribution in the barangays of Bunguiao (238 farmers), Sangali (49 farmers) and Dulian (179 farmers) as part of the department’s intervention, the Food-for-Work program (FFW).

Each of the beneficiaries received 25 kilos of rice in exchange for ten (10) days of work doing community projects, such as repair and reconstruction of community facilities, clean-up and garbage collection, among others.

Rodora Santos

Rodora Santos gladly claims her share of 25 kilos rice after rendering her services for 10 days under DSWD’s Food-for-Work project

“Nagpapasalamat talaga ako sa DSWD dahil napakalaking tulong nitong bigas sa amin. Wala kaming ani at income mula nung nagsimula ang El Niño. (We are grateful to the DSWD because this sack of rice is really a big help to us since we did not have any harvest and income since the drought started.)” says Rodora Santos upon receiving the temporary aid.

A total of 1.5 million pesos is allotted for the Food-for-Work program that will benefit around 2,000 farmers in the city.

The agency is set to complete distribution of rice within this month as augmentation assistance to drought-stricken families. Beneficiaries of the said program were identified by the Office of the City Agriculture (OCA).

Meanwhile, the other 3,000 identified farmers in the city will be recipients of the Cash-for-Work program.

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Paluwas Min Tahik (Rise from the Sea)

They have always been regarded as the people who jump in the waters of the sea for some coins. But beyond their knowledge and expertise in the command of the waves is a community struggling to rise from the tides of poverty. They are Bajaus.

In the coastal road of Barangay Caragasan, Zamboanga City, there live a community of indigenous people known to us as Bajau. Fishing is their main source of livelihood as they are experts in deep sea diving and fishing. In fact, they are widely known as “Sea Gypsies.” But they are also known for their unique culture that is reflected in their music, fashion and lifestyle.

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Sama-Bajau claims her grant for her mat-weaving livelihood at the DSWD 9 regional office

During the payout conducted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development IX (DSWD) thru the Social Technology Unit-Comprehensive Program for Sama Bajau on Monday, we have met Basaria J. Tahaji, 32, a volunteer who selflessly give her service for the good of her community in the Ayuda Badjao.

Basaria narrates how she has personally seen the changes in the lives of her fellow Bajaus. She tells us how DSWD interventions particularly the Empowering Learning System and Values Formation provide an avenue of self-development among these Indigenous People (IP).

“Dati kung makikita mo ang mga Bajau walang tsinelas, karamihan sa kanila walang birth certificate tapos iniisip ng mga tao panggulo sila sa kalsada. Pero ngayon iba na.  makikita mo na talagang gusto nilang matuto. (Bajau before do not wear slippers, most of them do not have birth certificates and people think that they are a nuisance on the streets. But things have changed. You will notice that they are very much eager to learn this time.)” Basaria recounts her observations as volunteer.

Basaria attributes these changes to the learning assistance and self-development approach extended to the IP community. The 15-year volunteer says that her family and the entire Ayuda Badjao community are grateful that the DSWD protects and promotes the welfare of their tribe.

To express her profound gratitude to the department, she initiated a project that will help the adults and elders in their community learn basic education such as familiarizing the alphabet, write and pronounce letters and words and even read or formulate a sentence. Her Adult-Literacy-Program is conducted twice a week from 2 to 3 in the afternoon.

“Eto yung paraan ko para masuklian ko ang DSWD sa tulong nila. Tutulungan ko rin yung mga kapwa ko Bajau lalo na yung mga matatanda na hindi nabigyan ng pagkakataon mag-aral dahil sa hirap ng buhay. Meron nga kameng estudyante 72 years old. (This is my way to give back to the assistance provided by the DSWD. I will do my part to help my fellow Bajaus especially the elders who were not given the opportunity to study because of poverty. In fact, we have a 72-year old student.)” Basaria added.

On the other hand, aside from the educational learning system, the Bajaus also receive livelihood grants from the department. Most of which will be used to finance their livelihood in mat-weaving which is another thing that the Bajaus are known for. Others will put up sari-sari store.

Basaria is among the 2,430 Bajaus who were identified poor by the Listahanan. A total of 113,644 IPs are found to be poor in the entire Zamboanga Peninsula based on the recent household assessment conducted by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR).

In 2015, 1,305 Bajau families were served by the department providing various assistance in education, livelihood and even in live birth registration.

The tide of poverty may have been high but evidently it becomes lower as interventions are directly felt by the beneficiaries themselves just like the accounts shared by Basaria. With such perseverance and compassion in hand, we can truly ascend from the waters of paucity.

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15-yr volunteer, Basaria J. Tahaji accompanies beneficiaries of the livelihood grant for Sama-Bajau

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DSWD 9 urges newly-elected officials to prioritize poor households in the region

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) urges newly-elected Local Chief Executives (LCEs) to utilize the national household targeting system in determining potential beneficiaries of the latters’ projects, programs and services. This is to ensure that identified poor families are prioritized in the provision of social protection services.

Through the Listahanan project, an information management system under the DSWD, the LCEs would be able to cluster their beneficiaries according to its specific target sector, age, location, etc. This means interventions will be more responsive and effective to the disadvantaged and vulnerable sectors who in need the most.

In Region 9, out of the 704,872 households that were assessed, 1.9 million individuals were identified as poor by the Listahanan. Zamboanga del Sur was noted with the highest number peaking at 881,189 which includes the poor individuals in Zamboanga City. This is followed by Zamboanga del Norte with 620,678 poor individuals and Zamboanga Sibugay having 364,491. Meanwhile, Isabela City has 58,478 poor individuals as shown in the Listahanan database.

LCEs are encouraged to enter into memorandum of agreement with the DSWD-Listahanan for data-sharing. The database of poor families/individuals makes available to stakeholders such as the Local Government Units as reference in developing social protection programs and identifying its beneficiaries.

The regional profile of the poor households will officially be launched in Zamboanga City next month.

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