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BaSulTa Region to officially conclude household validation this week

The National Household Targeting Unit (NHTU) will officially conclude the conduct of Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) validation in the Province of Sulu on or before Friday.  “We expect to finish on June 8 with our validation activity in the remaining municipalities of Sulu,” said Ben Nasser B. Isnain, Regional Field Coordinator of NHTU-BaSulTa.

The BaSulTa Region with three island provinces has a total target of approximately 141,000 poor households for validation. Sulu has the biggest target at 96,063 households, followed by Basilan (27,123) and Tawi-Tawi (18,288) respectively. “We started last April 15 in Tawi-Tawi and April 17 in Basilan. Both provinces were able to complete the validation last May 15, while the Province of Sulu began its validation last May 5,” added Isnain.

Moreover, a total of 471 validators and 42 administrative aides were deployed in the said provinces. Based on the partial report dated June 1, 2018, there were 25,773 and 17,082 households validated in Basilan and Tawi-Tawi respectively, while 68,258 were validated in Sulu. On the contrary, 982 households were not validated excluding those from the latter.

According to Isnain, some of the target households had already migrated to other places such as Malaysia, neighboring provinces, municipalities, and even cities due to “financial and economic reasons.” Furthermore, he also noted that others were displaced or forced to transfer because of the peace and order situation and other similar concerns.

During the whole duration of the activity, the RFC mentioned that they “…encountered a series of problems such as the presence of Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA), unpredictable weather conditions, no regular transportation, and pre and post-election tensions, among others.”

Right after all forms are encoded, a final list will be recommended to the Central Office. “By following the process flow of the validation, a final list will be recommended afterwards to the UCT National Program Management Office (UCT-NPMO) who shall identify the potential beneficiaries of UCT Program,” ended Isnain.

The payout for 2018 is expected to happen on the 3rd quarter of the year after the Data Collection and Analysis Phase.

Following the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, to reduce the impact of increase in prices of products affected by the tax reform, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is mandated to provide social mitigating measures to protect the poor and vulnerable who will not benefit from the lower income taxes but accordingly will be adversely affected by the rising prices. The UCT Program is one of those identified mitigating measures. Meanwhile, the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) shall determine the remaining 2.8 million potential beneficiaries (out of 10 million) by conducting a validation activity to ensure that only the poorest of the poor will be part of the program. ###


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Listahanan bares plan to produce IEC material on regional profile of the poor

The National Household Targeting Unit (NHTU) is expected to come up with an information, education and communication (IEC) material on the regional profile of the poor based on the data generated from the second round of Listahanan assessment in 2015.

“As of now, we’re just awaiting for the final version of Listahanan 2 database to be released this year by Central Office. The said IEC material in the form of magazine is a statistical report… of poor families from a bird’s eye view level,” said Al-Nahda Nandu, Regional Associate Statistician of NHTU.

In 2016, the regional profile of the poor was officially launched in Zamboanga City. Nandu added that the IEC material will further advocate and promote the utilization of the database. The regional profile of the poor “can be used as reference by different social protection stakeholders in planning, policy and/or program crafting, and research, among others.”

Moreover, the profile will summarize and describe the poverty situation of Region IX. “At household level, we can determine the socio-economic information of the poor households such as but not limited to roster composition, type of housing unit (and construction materials used) and access to basic services, while based on an individual level, we can determine the sex, age, marital status, educational status, and employment status of the regional poor,” she added.

In terms of the Listahanan data to be incorporated in the IEC material, the National Household Targeting Office (NHTO) will be giving the official guidelines to all its regional counterparts anytime soon. Meanwhile, Nandu revealed that during the 2015 assessment, out of the 704,870 households assessed, 364,750 (or 1,924,318 individuals) are identified as poor.

The results also showed that 50% of the identified poor are children while majority or approx. 83% of them can be located in rural areas. Furthermore, 40% do not have access to safe main water and 46% likewise do not have access to electricity.

NHTU continues to invite stakeholders to enter into MOA on data sharing

“As of now, we continue to encourage our partners to utilize Listahanan 2. By having them peeked into our data, they may explore the idea of having a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with us for them to be able to access our database or at least request statistics from us. In fact, a number of LGUs and NGAs have already requested from us earlier this year,” said Nandu.

She also emphasized that the data can be requested for free. “Albeit limited only to poor households, our data are comprehensive. The technical experts who crafted the tool used to measure whether a certain household is poor or not is composed of the social welfare agency, NSO (now Philippine Statistics Authority), National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), University of the Philippines- Diliman, Pulse Asia, and Social Weather Stations (SWS).”

The National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) or commonly known as Listahanan, is a database of poor families and/or households consisting of their identification, socio-economic information, and household rosters. These are gathered by the Proxy Means Test (PMT), a statistical model that estimates household income using proxy variables or income predictors. ###


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Roughly 116,000 households validated in Zamboanga Peninsula

The household validation for the potential beneficiaries of the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) Program officially concluded in Zamboanga Peninsula on May 19 with more than 116,000 validated households.

“Out of the 147,498 target households for validation, 116,291 were accomplished while 6,753 (as of June 5) were not validated,” said Michael DS. Mustafa, Regional Field Coordinator of NHTU- IX.

Accordingly, many of those households not validated had no qualified respondents. “A number of those we visited either did not have members who are at least 15 years old (minimum age requirement for respondents), family members already transferred to different locations or houses were still vacant even after three visits were already conducted,” he added.

He also mentioned that all Household Validation Forms (HVFs) used during the validation activity were already encoded in the Regional Office.

Right now, “the data are being run through the Proxy Means Test (PMT), a statistical model that measures household income and socio-economic information using proxy variables. After that, the registration of beneficiaries of the UCT Program shall follow.”

Furthermore, the social welfare agency is looking forward to conduct the first payout for the beneficiaries of the said program by August this year. “For Region IX, we expect that 80% of the households validated will benefit from the program.”

The UCT Program refers to the social mitigating measure under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last year. Identified beneficiaries will be receiving P200 per month in 2018 and P300 per month in 2019 and 2020, respectively. ###



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Meaningful Smiles

Maglisod mi og come up sa among daily nga panginahanglanon. Dili jud mi makahatag sa among mga anak og 3 times ka meal sa usa ka adlaw.

This is how Vilma A. Tandus, 33 years old recounted her early struggles in life before she became a beneficiary of DSWD programs. She lived with her husband and two children together with her parents for 5 years in Sanito, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Mangaon ra mi og alternatibo nga pagkaon mga root crops, kamanting, saging. Dili permanente ang kan.on. Sauna akong bana walay klaro nga trabaho, usahay magpa labor sa copra, kung naa maka apply sa construction didto pod sya magtrabaho. Ako that time wala koy income sa akoang kaugalingon.” She added.

Through her eyes and smiles, she clearly manifest a resilient woman inside who have battled the tests of time. Every day, she needs to gather these strength to overcome her fears and to start stronger for her family.

She narrated how her children had to walk to and from school every day at times even with an empty stomach. Vilma could not take the situation seeing her family suffer this much. After she tried her luck in Manila being a house helper, she made her quit the job after a year of work due to the difficulty of distance and communication. She became saleslady by then and peddled banana cue in the community when she decided to come back. She almost narrated all possible means to earn to augment and suffice the daily needs of their family along with his husbdand who is also trying his best to sustain everything. Giving up for both of them became not an option, they were even optimistic to survive these challenges.

In 2012, Vilma became a Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiary, She admitted that in the past she never pays attention to the activities conduted in their barangay. But, her neighbour consistently tried to persuade her to come, and that eventually changed her perception along with the guidance and help by her Municipal Link. She became active and was even nominated as parent leader. A change that she always been thankful for. The trust and confidence given by her co-beneficiaries challenged her to be empowered not only for the beneficiaries but also for her family. Though a bit challenged but no can ever replace the fact that change is truly happening even within.

Dili diay dapat ang pobre magpakahilom hilom, kay ang usa ka tawo wala’y ma-gain nga mga knowledge og skills nga gihatag sa barangay og di ka manggilabot. Kinahanglan ikaw mismo sa imong kaogalingon maningkamot ka.” She expressed.

Vilma and her husband slowly managed to acquire their own house, this was because their family was growing, and a better environment for their children was needed. Vilma religiously sets aside the money she receives from the pantawid program for her children’s education, since this is everything that she want for them.

In 2016, she eventually became a member of the Sanito Motherhood Pantawid SKA under the Sustainable Livelihood Program’s Micro-Enterprise Track, where it provides seed capital assistance to beneficiaries to start and engage themselves to economic activities through the CDED process.  The association she is part of produces wide array of food products and catering services depending on the market’s demand. As a member she helps in packing their products on banana chips, peanut butter, and sweet coated peanuts. They also earn through their catering by providing quality food service in the community. The LGU also assisted them by providing referrals to their products and services. Through the said association, an assisted project with SLP, She was able to earn not only extra income and but also worthwhile experience she can always takes pride.

As of the moment, Vilma and her family are now living in their own simple abode, a dream that has truly

came true. They have 6 children who are now confident to socialize with their classmates and friends because of the new hope and opportunities provided by the DSWD.

“Sauna manilingan mi mag tan-aw salida sa TV. Karon sa balay dili na sila mohawa, karon dili na sila mag hike kay naa na mi kaugalingon nga sakyanan maskin hulugan okay ra.” She said.

Sa SLP og DSWD, pasalamat ko og dako nga ang ilahang pagtabang sa amoa na palambo namo. Naan a mi dugang income para sa among panimalay para maabot dyud namo among kinahanglan.” She added.

In behalf of her family, Vilma expressed how truly grateful and blessed she was with the brand new hope and experiences the DSWD have given them. She prayed hard to God to help them uplift their condition and she never ceased to be thankful for the new tomorrow.


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Barangay Canaan’s Fountain of Inspiration

 When he was younger, Dioscoro Igcalinas was not aware of his physical condition, instead he focused his attention on his studies until he reached grade six. Growing up his age, he eventually realized that he has a disability.

“Kahit na meron akong kapansanan ay patuloy kong ipinaglaban ang aking sarili upang makamit ko ang aking pangarap sa buhay na makatulong sa aking mga magulang”, he said.

He was made to understand that what he lacks is not something he has to be ashamed of. He continued his studies, he learned how to read and write using his feet at first, later he learned writing with his arms until he finished high school, related by his brother Liberato Igcalinas.

Dioscoro, now 29 years old recalled how he was back then. He used to be so quiet and shy because of the thought that he is different and he felt that people was unsure about his capabilities and that he could not be able to contribute much in terms of the activities in their barangay.

Which is why when Kalahi-CIDSS was introduced in Barangay Canaan, Liloy in 2014 he didn’t take part of the program yet. He was merely a spectator, he was observing how the program was implemented and while doing so he got interested.

Sa aking pag-oobserve noong may mga dumating sa aming barangay na nag-orientation kabahin sa Kalahi, nindot og maayo ang tumong sa kalahi kay kining makatabang sa komunidad sa among barangay, sa 2nd cycle, doon na ako nag-isip na hindi mag-alinlangang na sumali as Kalahi volunteer”, he furthered.

Kalahi-CIDSS NCDDP is one of the poverty-alleviation programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development which uses community-driven development (CDD) approach, a globally recognized strategy for achieving service delivery, poverty reduction, and good governance outcomes.

Despite his condition, he really wanted to help their barangay and to make sense in the community. He wanted the people to realize what they can do for the community because there is so much that Canaan needs in terms of the services from the government.

Just like their old day care center, the foundation wasn’t as solid as they’ve expected and they also lacked health station. With this, they had a hard time accessing health services from the local government. Barangay Canaan is quiet far, atleast 7 kilometers from Poblacion Liloy, which would take them awhile before they could avail of the medical services in town.

Driven with all these in mind, Dioscoro put aside his shyness and earned the trust of his fellow volunteers by putting him in charge as the Project Preparation Team Chair.

He couldn’t help it, said he was so nervous while campaigning for their proposed sub-project during the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum.

What they went through wasn’t easy for anyone, from the beginning when they were attending Barangay Assembly, “kinailangan na 100% ang serbisyo namin sa Kalahi dahil sa napakaraming proseso na kailangan naming tugunan”, shared by Dioscoro.

“Tinuruan kaming mag-analyze sa problema sa komunidad tuwing PSA at hindi naman po nagkalisod dahil suportado naman kami ng barangay officials, at nang lahat ng mga volunteers dito”, he added.

 The people did not disappoint them when they got their sub-project prioritized. The construction of Day Care Center was completed on May 29, 2016 under cycle 2, while the Barangay Health Station was completed on November 8, 2015 under cycle 1 KC-NCDDP implementation.

With the efforts poured by Dioscoro together with his fellow volunteers in Canaan, their barangay was hailed as the Bayani Ka! Awardee for the category “Person with Disability”, for ensuring  a  reasonable accommodation, which encourages resident PWDs to not only surpass his/her disability and people’s expectations but also to participate in compassionate, collective action in the community during the 4th Regional Bayani Ka! Awards.

This award seeks to recognize exemplary communities that are engaged in DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS.

Diocoro credits his fellow volunteers for helping him out because he knew that he could not do this on his own, saying “tayo po ay may tagsa-tagsang talento na maipakita o magawa sa komunidad, hindi tayo dapat mag-alinlangan sa pagtulong”.

He is grateful to the program as well for acknowledging him and the community and more importantly he is grateful to the positive changes it has brought him and to the Barangay Canaan as a whole.

Although the program may come to an end in the Municipality of Liloy, but he vows to continue to be an inspiration to other PWDs just like what he did with the program and also his service to the community as a matter of fact he is a Youth Leader in their barangay. They actively conduct seminars on religious teachings and sports activities to ensure values-formation and direction among their youth. ### JGA


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Over 1,000 Pantawid Senior High School and College graduates recognized in nationwide Recognition Day

More than 1,000 Senior High School and College graduates attended the recently concluded recognition day for Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who finished secondary and tertiary education this year. These graduates mainly come from the National Capital Region and representatives from the other 16 regions across the country.

The event was dubbed as “Araw ng Pagkilala 2018” was held on May 07, 2018 at SM City North EDSA Skydome, Quezon City, Metro Manila. The objective of the activity aims to celebrate the milestones of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in its education component by highlighting the accomplishments of its graduates.

Anchored by the theme “Itawid ang kabataan sa mas maunlad na kinabukasan,” the activity provided an avenue where graduates shared their stories of inspiration in their journey to success. Moreover, the activity also provided the participants technical know-how to secure an employment and introduced them to various opportunities to sustain their gains.

Aside from the DSWD dignitaries, also present during the event were CHED Commissioner Ronald L. Adamat, Ph. D., Unifast Deputy Executive Director Nicholas Tenazas, TESDA Supervising TES Specialist Juan Asuncion, DOLE’s Career Guidance Advocacy Program (CGAP) Mr. Nick D. Romano, and beauty queens/social welfare advocates Ms. Nicole Cordoves and Ms. Catriona Gray.

Region IX was represented by Senior High School graduate Marie Therese V. Medallo (With Honors) from Regional Science High School and ESGP-PA grantee Eujean F. Dotusme (Academic Awardee) from Western Mindanao State University.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to represent our Region for “Araw ng Pagkilala 2018”. It was a noble history for the DSWD as they successfully fulfilled the aim of providing education for poor Filipino students. Kaya laking pasasalamat ko po sa programang hatid ng DSWD at maging ang mga partner agencies nito upang ituwid ang mga kabataan tungo sa maunlad na kinabukasan. Ang mga kwento ng buhay ng mga representatives ng bawat rehiyon ay isang inspirasyon sa bawat isa,” Eujean Dotusme, ESGP-PA grantee, said.

Dotusme led the ceremonial pledge entitled Panunumpa sa Pangarap together with the regional representative of Region 10 during the event.

Medallo and Dotusme are both academically outstanding in their respective alma maters. Medallo graduated with honours while  Dotusme was a Dean’s

Lister and a recipient of several awards such as Proficiency in Student Teaching (Gold), Leadership Award (Gold), and Service Award-Gold.

This year, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program will have the first batch of Senior High graduates under the K-12 Program and the last batch of college graduates under the Expanded Students’ Grant-in Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA). More or less 200,000 program beneficiaries graduated in Senior High School and 30,000 ESGP-PA grantees finished a college degree.

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Perseverance Paid-off

Vilma Bitcher, thirty-five year old and a mother of two is an active volunteer for barangay San Isidro, Liloy Zamboanga del Norte. She works as a Barangay Nutrition Scholar and is also a parent-leader of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), treasurer of Damayan-SLPA Finance Credit and the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee Chairperson for Kalahi-CIDSS since 2016.

But before becoming a part of Kalahi-CIDSS, Vilma recalled how passive the community was. They pay little attention interms of the activities in their locality and participation is hardly felt. This is partly because of the difficulty of their living condition, Vilma shared that majority of the people in this barangay are indeed very poor.

Kalahi-CIDSS NCDDP is one of the poverty-alleviation programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development which uses community-driven development (CDD) approach, a globally recognized strategy for achieving service delivery, poverty reduction, and good governance outcomes.

When the programs and services of the department entered San Isidro, they knew it would be an opportunity for the community to propose for the construction of water system since water has been scarce in this part of Liloy. Their only source used to be an open well which dries up during summer and is not safe for drinking. As a matter of fact they had experienced high cases of diarrhea with their children before.

And through a series of barangay assembly being called upon as required by the Kalahi-CIDSS, they were able to identify who were willing to provide their services as Community Volunteers and with that they were armed with trainings in terms of budgeting, procurement process, project proposals preparation and the implementation process of the sub-project in general.

But the implementation has been very challenging to the people, “noong una noong hindi pa nila naiintindihan iyong Kalahi-CIDSS, parang walang may interesado. Pero noong unti-unti na naming napapaliwanag sa mga mamamayan, unti-unting naliliwanagan ang mga isip nila… ay ang ganda pala ng layunin ng Kalahi, isa pala iyong programa na makakatulong sa pangangailangan namin sa barangay”, shared by Vilma.

Even she, herself was unsure of the turn-out of the program, she started observing and at that time during Cycle 1 despite the efforts done they weren’t prioritized. That frustration has challenged them to mobilize the community once again. With better understanding on the objectives of the program, she earned the trust of the people and that’s when she started taking charge as the BSPMC Chairperson.

“Bilang isang BSPMC Chair, naramdaman ko ang malaking responsibilidad, ikaw ang nagsisilbing pinaka-leader ng Kalahi dito sa barangay. Alam ko na kaakibat ng tungkuling ito ay kailangan maging isang mabuting huwaran ako sa lahat, na may maipagmamalaki hindi lamang sa  salita, kung hindi meron din sa gawa”, these are the words of Vilma when asked about how she carried her role in the implementation.

 True enough, during the planning process, the people came in unity in identifying what’s truly needed in the community, thus the construction of water system in barangay San Isidro has been prioritized under cycle 2 of Kalahi-CIDSS NCDDP.

Their efforts were paid off as they got lucky to be prioritized during the 3rd Cycle of KC-NCDDP. It was during the MIBF when they show how much they needed a school building for their elementary kids. Vilma’s child is among the students who take classes in the makeshift mini-gym. It wasn’t as comfortable as it can be, the makeshift classroom holds their classes on three grade levels with noises overpowering one another which is truly not conducive for learning.

With all the implementation happening in their barangay, the people felt great about the objectives of the program, they saw the intention of involving the people in project implementation and they also felt the importance of their involvement, their contribution to the community and the learning they’ve received.

They were simply grateful that through the program, even those coming from distant Puroks have access now to water supply, and with the completion of the 1 unit- 2 classroom school building, students will no longer suffer from its inconveniences.

Vilma admitted that everything she had experienced with Kalahi-CIDSS has only developed her into a more confident person despite all the struggles that came along. Although there remains to be more issues needed action in the community but they are hopeful that they can eventually find ways on how to address them.  ### JGA

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DSWD, DOLE forge partnership for 4Ps beneficiaries

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) forged partnership to provide employment assistance to the beneficiaries of the government’s conditional cash transfer program, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, during the celebration of the Labor Day 2018. This provision is also offered to newly-graduated grantees of the Expanded Students Grant-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) for possible immediate hiring.

The Bureau of Local Employment proposed to provide employment assistance to 4Ps and ESGP-PA grantees by setting express lanes at job fair areas in Zamboanga Ecozone on April 30 and May 1 and KCC Mall de Zamboanga on May 2.

All 4Ps beneficiaries and ESGP-PA grantees who have internet access were advised to sign in and pre-register on PhilJobNet online while beneficiaries who do not have access to the internet were asked to accomplish the National Skills Registration Form (NSRP) Form 1 or “Jobseekers Registration Form” and present said document during the jobs fair activity.

Prior to the event, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, through the convergence initiative of District 1 program implementers and the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), conducted a 2-day pre-employment orientation amongst 4Ps beneficiaries to prepare them for the recruitment processes.

Omar Sharif Mohammad, a 23 years old Pantawid member, tried his luck after attending the orientation. Mohammad is on for his final interview during the jobs fair and he was referred to a Housekeeping position in one of the biggest business establishments in Zamboanga City.

The pre-employment orientation has helped Mohammad organize a good resumé for a higher chance of getting employed during the jobs fair.

The same jobs fair event is held in other regions in the country and likewise, 4Ps beneficiaries are accommodated and encouraged to apply.

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