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DSWD FO IX celebrates 2019 Adoption Consciousness Week

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office IX kicks-off its 2019 Adoption Consciousness Celebration at City Mall, Tetuan, Zamboanga City with theme “Pagmamahal Palaganapin, Legal na Pag-aampon Ating Gawin” (Spread Unconditional Love through Legal Adoption).

This is in line with the department’s advocacy on promoting legal adoption. Yearly, the Adoption Resource Referral Section of the department invites local adoptive families to join the celebration and share testimonies on their experiences as adoptive parents.

OIC-Chief of Protective Services Division Ms. Marilyn Fabian welcomed the adoptive families, children from Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC) and guests from participating agencies. “We hope that through this activity we can advocate more families to share their homes and welcome our abandoned, neglected and surrendered children who are temporarily placed in RSCC at Barangay Talon-talon, Zamboanga City”, she said.

The RSCC serves 0-6 year old children. Custodial care and other services are provided to the residents to protect them from further neglect, maltreatment and exploitation and to prepare them for the most suitable and permanent placement.

As per report of 2018, DSWD was able to place out 22 for domestic adoption, 15 of which are Male and 7 female. While 6 others for inter-country adoption with 4 Male and 2 female children, respectively.

The kick-off activity highlighted testimonial sharing of adoptive families, entertainment, zumba and fun games.

Meanwhile, DSWD invites the public to visit the Adoption Help Desk on February 13, 2019 at City Mall Tetuan and on February 14, 2019 at KCC Mall de Zamboanga.

The Adoption Consciousness Celebration is in pursuant to Proclamation No. 72 series of 1999 Annual observance of Adoption Consciousness every 1st Saturday of the month of February.### JGA

OIC Chief of Protective Services Division welcomed the Adoptive Families present, guests and staff during the Adoption Consciousness Celebration at City Mall, Tetuan, Zamboanga City.

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DSWD: Don’t use 4Ps for political gains

In reference to the upcoming national elections, the Department of Social Welfare and Development warns government officials on using the country’s conditional cash transfer program as propaganda to gain supporters.

The department sees that since the program covers 4.4 million households nationwide, it might be used by public officials for their own political interests.

DSWD-9 Regional Director Nestor B. Ramos emphasized that no politician can remove nor include beneficiaries from and in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

“The delisting of beneficiaries is based on the incompliance and disqualification of the beneficiaries to the program conditionalities. No one has the power to take any beneficiary out of the program. The same is true with adding beneficiaries in the program. The inclusion is based on the targeting system of the department,” Regional Director Ramos said.

To combat being politically influenced, the DSWD Pantawid Pamilya promotes active citizenship among its beneficiaries anchored by the tagline Aktibong Mamamayan: Magbantay, Makilahok, at Makialam sa Eleksyon!

The objective is to protect the program and its beneficiaries from undue politicking by providing avenue and opportunity for empowerment through the monthly Family Development Sessions (FDS).

The program provides cash grants to beneficiaries to support the educational and health needs of the poor households.

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PWDs graduate from short-term courses

A total of 55 Persons with Disability have graduated today from various short-term courses/training under the Area Vocational and Rehabilitation Center (AVRC) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The courses that were offered are Agriculture, Beauty Care, Commercial Arts, Garments Technology, Industrial Arts, Massage Therapy, Pre-vocational services, and Online Livelihood Computer Program in partnership with the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

The theme for this year’s graduation and recognition ceremony is PWDs: Eliminating barriers by building capabilities while disregarding disabilities.

DSWD’s Assistant Regional Director for Operations, Carmencita D. Luna, expressed her admiration to the PWD clients of the department in her inspirational message.

“How can I inspire you when it is you, our PWD clients, who inspire us? Your dedication and perseverance continuously  drive our passion to serve more clients. May you always keep the knowledge that these trainings have taught you and may this help you achieve your goals in life,” ARD Luna said.

The graduates were also given employment facilitation through the job placement services that is offered by the center. Majority of the graduates are now ready for their deployment.

The Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center III is a facility under the DSWD that is mandated to implement program and services for Persons with Disability (PWD). The center assists persons with disabilities in achieving the highest level of physical, social and economic adjustment by maximizing their residual capacities through a wide range of social and vocational activities.

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4Ps children gather for 7th National Children’s Congress

In line with the celebration of National Children’s Month, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is holding the 7th National Children’s Congress (NCC) from November 26-December 02, 2018 in San Juan City, Manila.

About 85 children-beneficiaries of 4Ps representing the different provinces and cities in the country are participating in the congress including regional representatives from Zamboanga Peninsula.

The theme for this year is “Bata, Magkaisa Tungo sa Bayang Mapagkalinga”, focusing on children beneficiaries defining a “safe space” for children in the community. This is in line with the CWC’s (Council for the Welfare of Children) theme, “Isulong: Tamang Pag-aaruga para sa Lahat ng Bata” with a call on children’s participation and unity by using the word magkaisa, and widening our perspective on tamang pag-aaruga through incorporating bayang mapagkalinga.

The NCC is programmed to develop and strengthen positive values amongst the children and youth through personality-development workshops in partnership with Stairway Foundation and Make Believe Foundation. The congress will also be conducted along with the national search for Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya Children 2018.

A 15-year old exemplary Pantawid child from the municipality of Gutalac, Zamboanga del Norte, Jane Marian R. Alberastine, is representing region IX along with two other exemplary children from Zamboanga del Sur (Lovely Cris E. Cagas) and Zamboanga City (Angeline M. Esteban).

Through the NCC, participants identify pressing issues which they believe affect them, and they then provide policy recommendations on the same.

In 2013, the results of the NCC led to the expansion of the program; one of the recommendations was for the 4Ps program to cover children up until they finish high school or reach the age of 18, whichever comes first.

The culmination of the congress which is dubbed as “Araw ng Kabataan” will happen on December 01 at SM North EDSA Skydome.

Pantawid Pamilya is a social protection program of the national government that invests in the health and education of poor households primarily of children aged 0-18 and pregnant women. Program beneficiaries receive cash grants as they comply with the program conditions applicable to their households. The conditions are: pregnant women must avail pre and post-natal care and be attended during childbirth by a trained health professional; parents must attend Family Development Sessions (FDS); 0-5 years old children must receive regular preventive health check-ups and vaccines; 6-14 years old children must receive deworming pills twice a year; and children beneficiaries (0-18 years old) must enroll in school and maintain a class attendance of at least 85% per month. As of May 2018, there are 4.39 million active households in the program nationwide.

Delegates from Region IX: (from left) Lovely Cris E. Cagas from Zambo del Sur, Angeline M. Esteban from Zamboanga City, and Jane Marian R. Alberastine from Zambo del Norte

Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya children from various cities and municipalities
during their first activity in the NCC 2018

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The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is a platform of the government to uplift the living condition of disadvantaged people. The Department of Social Welfare and Development is the sole agency which is responsible in implementing the said program.

In 2017, the DSWD revived and encouraged the Pantawid beneficiaries to resort to Bio-Intensive Gardening for the nutritional needs of their families.

Beneficiaries from barangay LUZVILLA, Municipality of Piñan, Zamboanga del Norte formed a group communal garden headed by the parent leader, Ms. Elizar Cabilao, as part of their efforts to supplement nutrition for Pantawid beneficiaries and start a possible augmentation in their income.

Luzvilla IP communal Garden was one of the entries in the fruits and vegetables festival in Piñan festival last August 2018. The festival was spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture and Municipal Mayor Ms. Ceily Carreon who presented the prizes to the group with the most beautiful, creative, and clean garden. The Luzvilla group IP communal was composed of 16 members of Indigenous People in the barangay.

Communal Garden started last MAY 2018 after the Pantawid Day
Area: Barangay LUZVILLA near barangay HALL.

Variety of vegetables: Pechay, tanglad (lemon grass), malunggay, kamatis, String Onio, bawing, bitter gourd, eggplant, okra, string beans, chili, and other herbal plants.

Communal garden validators check the fruits and vegetable during festival contest for modelong gulayan ng barangay.

During the Piñan Fruits and Vegetable festival 2018, IP Luzvilla Communal Garden won 3rd place with three thousand pesos as cash prize. The Luzvilla Communal Garden also won the biggest plants for kalabasa (squash), pipino (cucumber), and marang.

Community Facilitator

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“Realizing Dreams, Building Future”

“Mahirap talaga ang buhay lalo na kapag wala kang maayos na trabaho sa lipunan.”

This is how Felicitas M. Nonong, 37 years old describes how her life runs every day. She and her husband and four children live in Sitio Asinan, Brgy. Kasayangan, Zamboanga City.

“Naglalako at nagbebenta ako ng gulay dati. Nagigising ako ng alas dos ng umaga para mamalengke tapos wala na akong pahinga hanggang gumabi. Alas sais ng umaga magluluto na ako ng gulay para ibenta. Tapos pagdating ng alas tres ng hapon maglalako ako ng gulay.” She said.

Exhaustion and fatigue was expressed through Felicitas’ eyes as she shared the story of her everyday life. Doing this for a year to be able to provide for the family, she earns Php800 out of her Php300 capital a day. However, just like everybody else, she has her physical limits. It came to a point where she had to be hospitalized due to lack of sleep, fatigue and high blood pressure. Felicitas pushed herself too much to provide for her family, and stress caught up with her.

“Masakit sa loob ko kapag humihingi ang mga bata ng kailangan nila lalo na sa eskwelahan tapos wala kang maibigay.” She sadly said.

Felicitas’ husband, Roland 40 years old, works as a security guard. He earns 4,500 pesos per month which apparently cannot suffice their needs. Aside from the basic needs at home, and the needs of the children at school, they had to pay for their rent.

Felicitas made sure that her children had money in their pockets to be able to commute to and from school. She wants her children to experience the exact opposite of what she’s going through every day just to earn for a living. Life was never easy for them, since they had to take care of one of their children who had “special needs”. However, they never saw him as a burden, but a blessing. She makes sure that her son is settled before she leaves home for work. That’s why Felicitas was thankful when she became a Pantawid beneficiary in the year 2013. The educational assistance she received was really huge relief for her children.

One day, their parent leader in Pantawid announced that Skills Training will be offered by the Sustainable Livelihood Program of DSWD. She felt lucky when she was included in the list because one of the beneficiaries backed out, and she felt that this would become a very good opportunity for her and her family.

They were 25 of them who trained under Housekeeping for 15-days held at the Barangay Hall in partnership with the Barangay of Kasanyangan. After the training they received starter kits which included a pair of shoes, apron and a shirt. After the training’s culmination they immediately went to Ozamis City for the assessment with 3,000 pesos in their pockets and free accommodation.

Through Felicitas’ effort and hardwork, she passed the assessment and acquired a National Certificate II in Housekeeping.

“Masaya talaga ako kase nakapasa ako. Habol ko talaga tong certificate kase para maka-apply ako ng trabaho.” Felicitas Said happily.

A clever Felicitas applied for work while on training. A week after her assessment in Ozamis she was hired in a known hotel in Zamboanga City, the LM Hotel.

She now earns minimum wage by working 6 days a week cleaning function rooms in a hotel in the city.

Felicitas and her family were able to acquire a house through the help of her sibling. It was a secondhand house sold by the government which they renovated from their own money. They are now able to set aside a little amount since they no longer have to pay for rent. Even now that Felicitas is employed, she still walks 45 minutes to and from work every day, just to be able to save a little bit more.

“Sayang kung ipamasahe ko pa ang pera, sanay naman din ako. Yung 30 pesos na pamasahe pwede pang pandagdag yun sa baon ng mga anak ko. Masakit sa loob ko kapag humihingi ang mga bata sakin tapos wala akong maibigay.” Said Felicitas emotionally.

It really shows how Felicitas values every penny that she earns.

“Dati nung hindi pa ako nakapagtrabaho naglalako at nagbebenta ako ng gulay. Dahil sa SLP na binigay ng DSWD nakapagtrabaho ako. Nakakatulong na din ako sa asawa at mga anak ko. Kung ano yung mga pangangailangan nila naibibigay ko na. Natutulungan ko na ang pamilya ko, at nagkaroon ng kahit konti pero pagbabago ang buhay namin. Maraming salamat!” – Felicitas

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DSWD holds media forum on voluntarily-waived Pantawid households

A synchronized media forum is set to be conducted across the country on October 19, Friday. This is relative to the household beneficiaries who have voluntarily waived or exited from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program under the DSWD in Region IX.

The forum will focus on the gains and current situation of the program particularly on its beneficiaries and their reasons for waiving their membership and grants from the country’s conditional cash transfer program.

This year’s theme is Pagpapakilala at Pagkilala sa Natatanging Benepisyaryo ng Pantawid Pamilya.

DSWD, in coordination with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), invited approximately 30 media men in various platforms (print, radio, television, and internet) to attend the said forum. Waived households are also invited to provide testimonials and answer questions from the media pertaining to their experience as beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilya program.

“We are providing an avenue where our media partners can directly communicate with our beneficiaries and become witness of how the program has contributed to the transformation in the lives of the Pantawid households in the region,” DSWD-IX Regional Information Officer, Mr. Ivan Salvador said.

As of today, the department has accounted a total of 414 households in the region that have waived from the program since January 2018 up until October this year.

The media forum is in line with the observance of the International Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty.

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4Ps parent leaders become program champions

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office IX recently convened the Parent Leader-beneficiaries of the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) program under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program to train them as advocates that will promote the gains and successes of the program based on their personal experience as beneficiaries.

The training was conducted last October 09 to 12 at Astoria Hotel, Sucabon, Zamboanga and was attended by 80 parent leaders from Zamboanga City and Isabela City who also attended the Level I of the said training.

The objective of the training is to provide in-depth knowledge of the Pantawid Pamilya program implementation, strengthen the participants’ public speaking and writing skills, community volunteerism and convergence.

“Sa training na ito naramdaman namin na mas may karapatan kame ngayon hindi lang bilang mga parent leaders kundi bilang partner ng Pantawid MCCT. Yung tulong na naibibigay namin ngayon hindi na lang sa payout kundi pati na rin sa pag-advice at pagbigay kaalaman sa mga kapwa naming beneficiaries. (We have felt that we are empowered with our rights not just as parent leaders but as partners of the Pantawid MCCT program. The assistance that we provide to the program is not anymore confined to facilitation during payout but even extends to giving advices and sharing of knowledge with our co-beneficiaries),” Geoliza Abdulla, 29, Sama from Barangay Mampang, Zamboanga City said in an interview.

Conduct of the same training in other provinces in Zamboanga Peninsula will follow. October 16-19 in Dapitan City for Zamboanga del Norte cluster, October 23-26 in Pagadian City for Zamboanga del Sur cluster, and November 6-9 in Ipil for Zamboanga Sibugay cluster. A total of 385 IP parent leaders from across the region are expected to undergo the training and become champions of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

As champions, their roles will mainly be as information disseminators, spokespersons, and source of inspiration to other beneficiaries. The department believes that the beneficiaries are the best people to communicate and relate the gains as experienced while under the program.

Furthermore, the training also became an avenue to orient the participants on Gender Sensitivity which will help the IP Parent Leaders to appreciate the equal roles played by men and women in nurturing their families and communities.

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