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Buug Subanen Workers Association (BSWA) placed 3rd in the Sulong Bayanihan 2019

The Department of Social Welfare and Development-National Program Management Office conducted Sulong Bayanihan 2019: Solidarity and Innovations in Bridging Opportunities for Livelihoods (SIBOL) in Sequoia Hotel, Quezon City, Metro Manila.

The 3-day activity was attended by beneficiaries coming from the different regions of the Philippines wherein they showcased and competed through various kinds of micro-enterprises and employment opportunities. Together with them also are the regional staff of each regions who are the Regional Director, Regional Program Coordinator, Social Marketing Officer, Provincial Coordinator and Project Development Officer.

Buug Subanen Workers Association (BSWA) is the finalist under transform category which is Technology, Resources and Nutrition for Sustainable Food Reserves and Manufacturing. Their association was represented by Ms. Rosel Alolor who is their auditor. The association produces rice wine and organic coconut vinegar that is very popular and always present especially during weddings and subanen rituals. The BSWA placed 3rd and won a certificate and cash prize amounting to php5,000.00.

Engr. Allan T. Bacatan Provincial Director of TESDA was also present during the activity. He was nominated by DSWD-SLP Dipolog as Outstanding Regional Partner. He received certificate of recognition during the Awarding of Outstanding Regional Partners together with the other partners from the different regions.

The award is given for extensively contributing and exerting great efforts for the implementation, resource mobilization, provision of support and technical assistance, strengthening of market linkages and network, and partaking in the success of the Sustainable Livelihood Program in the region.

During the awarding ceremony everyone, especially the program participants, were attractively dressed with their different cultural representation.

Sulong Bayanihan 2019: Solidarity and Innovations in Bridging Opportunities for Livelihoods (SIBOL) is an annual activity. It aims to deliver services more effectively and efficiently by gathering insights from field implementation through the (1) showcasing of leadership and good practices of SLP Associations (SLPAs) in enterprise and organizational management across different industries; (2) synthesizing experiences in matching labor market supply and demand through employment facilitation; and (3) presenting partnership models to various stakeholders.

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Chef Masiba

Food is one of the biggest aspects of a culture, and cooking is one of the greatest skills a person can ever have. That is why Edna G. Masiba, a Pantawid beneficiary grabbed the opportunity given by Sustainable Livelihood Program through Skills Training.

Edna, married to Edilberto, has five children. Edilberto farms for a living while Edna works as a day care worker at the barangay office of Muyo in Buug. Edilberto could only harvest every after three (3) months and would earn at least P5,000.00per month while Edna earns P5,000.00 from her job as well. As estimated for a family of 7, the daily expenses may amount to at least P500.00 a day for food alone. It was truly a struggle since all of their children are attending school, two of them were in college, one in high school, and two in grade school.

                As described by Edna, they did not have furniture at home, since it was the least of their concerns, they prioritized the welfare and academics of their children. Since their home was far from the schools in the area, the children going to college had to spend P50.00-100.00 for fare alone.  They were lucky enough if their father could take them and fetch them from school, but this was not a regular thing since their father usually starts at the farm early, living them to commute to school themselves. Life is tough for them during those times despite of their parents’ sacrifices and efforts to earn a decent living. The other children were forced to walk from their residence to school and end up having their shoes torn. Living in a far-flung barangay in the municipality was such a struggle because children, or students, needed to wake up early and get home late, since they need to walk to and from school. Fortunately, there are times when good Samaritans allow them to hitch on their habal habal.

                Providing adequate allowance for her children was not easy, as she had other expenses they had to spend on. To make things worse, the El Niño Phenomenon took a hard blow on them, when they were not able to harvest goods from their farm, and they did not earn anything for 3 months.

                Fortunately for the family, DSWD became an opportunity for improvement for them, as Edna was given a slot to be a Pantawid beneficiary.  She decided to be a full-time housewife since her husband needs more of her help in attending to the children. Edna was also chosen to be one of the beneficiaries of the Sustainable Livelihood Program projects on Seed Capital Fund for barangay Muyo and was elected as president of their association. Aside from this, she was also given the opportunity to be one of the participants of the Skills Training in Cookery National Certificate II on November 2017 since this was the most relevant training for their skills. Edna as a pantawid beneficiary said she used part of the financial assistance with the approval of her children to cook viands and sell it to the people in the neighborhood so that she could contribute and assist to the needs of their family.

                Through the training on Cookery NC II, Edna was able to widen her knowledge on cooking and was able to use or apply her learning on the training in their SLP Food House. She is currently working as a full time Head Cook of the SLP Food House which of course adds to their family’s income. She is also cooking pre-ordered meals from significant personalities like the Mayor of the Municipality and other LGU workers since she was able to establish a good impression on her cooking.Slowly she was able to provide enough baon for her children; and is also able to reward them with their wants. Also she was able to acquire furnitures and appliances to improve the comfort of the family at home.  Moreover, she could now send her three (3) remaining children to school without being frustrated with all the dilemmas that they will encounter along the way.

Unang-unasa ating PoongMaykapal, I’m so thankful na ganito ang narrating ko, mga taong naging instrument niya tulad ng mga sa government agencies na nag-facilitate sa mga projects, sa DSWD mismo dahil sakanila man itong under na programa and then, sa mga workers nito at lahat. So, nagpapasalamat din talaga ako dahil naibigay nila kung ano talaga ang nararapat sa mga tulad namin. Wala man akong masabi dahil hindi ko ma-measure kung gaano ako nagpapasalamat sa kanilang lahat.”

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Subanen Community received Day Care Center funded by Kalahi

A Construction of Day Care Center (DCC) to Subanen Community was inaugurated last June 18, 2019 at Sitio Tilling, Purok Gemelina, Malubal in R.T. Lim, Zamboanga Sibugay.

The turn-over ceremony was graced by the Local Government Unit of R.T. Lim headed by the outgoing Mayor Michael Piodena, Vice-Mayor Danilo Piodena and some Sangguniang members, together with the Barangay officials and Kalahi-CIDSS field staff.

The DCC with a total cost of Php1,152,067.25, is the 3rd of the 13 Sub-projects of R.T. Lim under LGU-led implementation that has been turned-over to the community.

According to BSPMC Chairperson Maria Teresa G. Dolendo, the old structure was no longer safe to the kids. The foundation of the old structure is too frail and the materials covering the old day care were all products of donation to the community.

Although there is another structure within the barangay, but it is too costly for the parents to send their kids to the next purok, which is too far away. To reach Sitio Tilling, one has to commute about 6 kilometers on a rough road from the barangay center of Malubal alone.

Maria Teresa Dolendo, BSPMC Chair with MLGU and BLGU Officials during the inauguration of the newly constructed day care center in Malubal, RT Lim.

The road is not too friendly to the children during rainy season. There are portions where it gets too slippery and it tends to drag a person or even a motorcycle down into the mud and people experience difficulty in getting their farm produce out every time.

This is the reason why most of the Subanen in this area could not afford to send their children to school given all the struggles that they have to endure from poor facilities, to limited access and resources.

The volunteers of Malubal who are mostly not from Sitio Tilling felt the need to help send these Subanen children to school by providing them a convenient facility within their vicinity. This will help their children learn and create brighter future ahead of them.

The construction of Day Care Center is a good development to their place since they’ve been feeling like they were forgotten in terms of services from the government since they’re so far from poblacion.

The community volunteers are also grateful to the support provided by the Municipal Local Government of R.T. Lim and the Barangay officials as well.

With this, Barangay Chairperson Gilbert Salazar continuously encourages his Subanen constituents to come out and keep the participation going as this is the key to having their voices heard and knowing what they’ve wanted and needed. The construction of day care center is the second sub-project funded by Kalahi-CIDSS in Malubal. They were also a recipient of Road Concreting project under 1st Cycle NCDDP implementation.

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DSWD readies for Listahanan 3 assessment

The DSWD Field Office 9 through the National Household Targeting Unit (NHTU) is currently preparing for the upcoming Listahanan 3 assessment to be conducted later this year pursuant to the Executive Order 867, series of 2010 which requires the updating of the Listahanan database every four years. 

“Right now, we are doing some preparatory activities in line with the forthcoming assessment in October this year,” said Michael DS. Mustafa, head of NHTU.

According to Mustafa, a four-phase project cycle will be observed to guide the process of identifying the poor. These phases include Preparatory Phase, Data Collection and Analysis Phase, Validation and Finalization Phase, and Reports Generation Phase.

Listahanan field worker together with one of the identified poor                        
   families at Brgy. Candelaria, Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte

For Listahanan 3, the project cycle will run for 1 year and 2 months. “Since May 2019, we have already been working on with the first cycle.  The areas to be assessed and the data-collection strategy appropriate for those areas were already identified,” he added.

Furthermore, all provinces, municipalities, and cities across the region will be covered by the assessment. Apart from the identification of the areas, also included in the present phase are the updating of the Proxy Means Test (PMT) model, enhancement of the Listahanan information technology systems, hiring and training of field staff, and orientation of local government units (LGUs) and other project partners on the implementation of the L3 assessment.

“We will be deploying 1,247 field workers during the data-collection activity. They will be responsible for conducting house-to-house interviews to more than 700,000 target households,” he said. However, at present, the field office has yet to wait for the authority to hire before filling in the positions needed.

The Listahanan is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are nationwide. It aims to establish a socio-economic database of poor households to serve as a reference in the formulation of programs and policies along with social protection. More importantly, it seeks to reduce the problems of leakage or inclusion of non-poor and at the same time, lessen exclusion or under-coverage of the poor, particularly in social protection programs. ###

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No more OTC Payout for 4Ps

With the distribution of EMV-enabled cash cards to Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) anticipates that there will no longer be OTC or Over-The-Counter payouts for Pantawid beneficiaries.

The grants of the beneficiaries will automatically be downloaded in their cash cards which can be used for withdrawal or swipe in stores.

As of May 31, the DSWD has already distributed a total of 140,958 EMV-enabled cash cards out of the 307,833 beneficiaries in region 9. The remaining 166,875 beneficiaries are to be scheduled to claim their cash cards in the next weekends.

Pantawid Pamilya Regional Program Coordinator, Ms. Flordeliza Alar-Atuy, said that the conversion of the payout scheme from OTC to cash cards will hasten the payout system and make it more convenient for beneficiaries to claim their grants from the bank.

“They can now withdraw their grants in their convenient time. If they have ATM near their area, they need not go to payout venues and spend extra money for fare,” Atuy said.

The conversion of beneficiaries to cash card holders is expected to be completed by 3rd quarter of this year.

With this payout scheme, the department also advises the beneficiaries to withdraw their grants in full amount as the cash cards do not serve in the same purpose as a savings account.

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.

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4Ps to distribute cash cards on weekend

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the DSWD is scheduled to conduct the last leg of distribution of EMV-enabled cash cards to its beneficiaries on June 15 and 16.

This is following the order of the program management that by June 30 all beneficiaries will be converted into cash-card holders from the previous over-the-counter payment scheme.

The schedule is made and agreed between DSWD and Landbank so as not to hamper the regular activities and transactions of the bank during weekdays.

More than 6,000 EMV cards will be distributed on the said dates including those who have not claimed their cash cards yet on the previous distribution schedule.

A total of 5,290 cash cards will be released on June 15 (Saturday) at Sangali and Culianan Covered Court that would cater to barangays Bolong, Bunguiao, Dulian, Lamisahan, Sangali, Cabaluay, Cacao, Culianan, Guisao, Lanzones, Lapakan, Manicahan, Mercedes, Pasobolong, Salaan, Talabaan, Taluksangay, Tolosa, Victoria, and Zambowood. Landbank will only conduct distribution of cash cards on the mentioned date. Activation of such will follow on a later schedule.

Meanwhile, 1,304 cash cards will be distributed and activated on June 16 (Sunday) at Landbank Main Branch in Pettit Barracks. This will cater the island barangays such as Busay (Sacol Island), Landang Gua, Landang Laum, Manalipa, Pasilmanta (Sacol Island), Tumalutab, Tigtabon, and Pangapuyan.

Beneficiaries are advised to bring their own medical and health maintenance, container for their trash, and if possible, not bring their children so as to avoid influx of people at the venue.

The conversion of beneficiaries to cash card holders will hasten and make payout transactions easier and more convenient for the recipients in the withdrawal of their grants from the program.

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.

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4Ps launches Bata: Balik Eskwela Campaign

The DSWD Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program will launch a new campaign dubbed as Bata: Balik Eskwela (BBE) that aims to encourage children beneficiaries to enroll and maintain their attendance to school.

This campaign is anchored on the mandate of the program to keep children healthy and in school.

The BBE Campaign will be launched in partnership with the Department of Education’s Brigada Eskwela 2019 on the following dates: May 20 in Kumalarang, Zamboanga del Sur, May 23 in Titay, Zamboanga Sibugay, May 24 in Katipunan, Zamboanga del Norte, and June 03 in Barangay Sam Roque, Zamboanga City.

Moreover, this endeavor aims to address the issue on children who are consistently not attending school as monitored by the program.

“Isa ako sa mga pumunta noong nagkaroon ng orientation tungkol sa BBE. Doon ko nalaman na puede pala akong mag-aral sa Alternative Learning System kaya ngayong pasukan mag-eenroll na ako ulit,” Sitti Norhaya Madjid, Pantawid Pamilya monitored child in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.

In a compliance analysis as of November 2018, the department has identified 1,125,293 children beneficiaries nationwide who were not attending school out of the overall 7,954,905 children (3-18 years old) beneficiaries.

As of to date, there is a total of 413,047 eligible Pantawid children in the entire Region IX of which 370,441 are monitored by the program.

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.

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A Faith Believer

“Knock and shall be open unto you”. These verse mirror a woman who begs to God and seek for help. Blessed with abundance and love with the help of organization, her determination and faith were rewarded.

     Jenny Geliciano Bermudez is a resident of Balabay Bato at Brgy, SAnito, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. In 2007, they decided to settle down and were blessed with 2 children who ages 10 and 5 years old, respectively. Living in a province gives Jenny with mixed feelings because her children needed to walk to school which is 500 meters away from theirhome. There are rocks and footbridge ahead which makes her feel bad seeing their ripped shoes and feet with callouses. Happy at the same time because her children are contented on what they have.

Jenny’s husband, Feliciano, works in a bakery shop for 17 years.He started as a janitor and dishwasher at the same time with a monthly salary of php3,000 pesos. Seeing how hardworking Feliciano is, he was then promoted as a cook. Aside from working in a bakery shop on daylight, he also drives a habal-habal at night to augment their income. Jenny on the other hand is a housewife and is responsible to look after her children. When Jenny finds vacant time, she gleaned for shellfish in a coveand cook some viands to sell in the neighbourhood. By this, she can contribute to her family even with meagre income. .

During the time when Jenny delivered her first child, Eizel, his husband started to experience difficulty on earning money. When Eizel got sick he could no longer afford to bring her to the hospital for check-ups. Jenny realized how hard life is but she never felt discouraged even though their primary problem is insufficient to put food on table. This resulted even todiscover that her daughter is malnourished as declared by the Barangay Household Worker. She continued further the simple earning she does to ensure her family won’t suffer from these struggles.

     In the year 2013, the Department of Health launched a Feeding Program for malnourished children where her daughter became a recipient. All the mothers with malnourished children decided to create a group named “Sanito Motherhood Association”. This association is composed of mothers with malnourished children which aim is to help and assist the agency in the feeding program during the activity

After the creation of the said association, some opportunities and blessings from other agencies were poured out to them. Jenny and the rest of the mothers were given the Skills Training on on Meat and Fish Food Processing given by the BFAR to includethe askills training on bread and pastry given by TESDA. Another skills training on banana chips making, peanut butter, peanut brittle, sweet coated and salty peanuts with starter kits was also given by the DOST. DSWD KALAHI-CIDDS on the other hand shared physical resources like the training centre, electric fans and others.

On 2014, Ms. Jenny and her husband decided to acquire a house to live.  They were able to acquire a simple house, the floor is made of bamboo, while the roof is made of half nipa and half plain sheet.

Jenny alsoplants vegetables in their vacant lotto augmentin their family’s food consumption. She also raised some chickens. On August 11, 2015, Ms. Jenny was hired and served as (BHW) Barangay Household Worker in their barangay.

On March 2016, the DSWD-Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) came in to give opportunities to the “Sanito Motherhood Association”, After the training, they were granted a financial assistance throughSeed Capital Fund project amounting to Php390,000.00. Their group name now became “Sanito Motherhood Pantawid SKA”. Their association serves catering services and food processing. Coming from their funds, they were also able to acquire a small vehicle to carry and transport their equipment during caterings.

Jenny said that after the implementation of SLP, aside from their earnings in banana chips and other products, each member is given a chance to earn extra money through rendering their services during the catering activity. She earns at Php200.00 in every catering service. Their association caters public and private sectors, with at least 2-3 clients on average every month.

Jenny is overwhelmed even after joining the SLPof DSWD. Shebecame known in the community and got a chance to become a temporary MLGU enumerator for the census. This means she will be paid for the services rendered as an enumerator. She is gratefulon the changes brought by these blessings in their life now. The health of their children isnow in good condition, they have convenient shelter to live, a little vegetable garden for consumption and some chickens for selling in due time. Above all, they can already to afford to eat regular nutritious meals,buy new clothes for her children and other important things.

Having a better life now, Jenny and her husband talked about having their own little fast food store. All her dreams for her family slowly came true.

Jenny is thankful to all the agencies that one way or another helped her and the association to make their lives better. She is also thankful to the people behind the SLP-DSWD who continuously give their untiring services to the poor and vulnerable.

“Daghang salamat sa tabang gikan sa SLP-DSWD, kaning gihatag ninyo sa amoa makatabang dyud og dako labi na sa akong pamilya”.- Jenny Bermudez###

Carolyn Baylon/Sheilaine De Leon

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