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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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Kalahi-CIDSS to put up School for Lumads

In partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) and National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) will spearhead the Establishment of New Public Schools for Indigenous Peoples in Mindanao by September, 2016.
The School for Lumads project will be given to Indigenous Peoples in the pre-identified communities in Mindanao. The project specifically aims to improve access of indigenous communities in Mindanao to learning and development activities through the construction of classrooms by the Kalahi-CIDSS.

One of the 3 core programs of the department, Kalahi-CIDSS is a poverty alleviation project that uses the community-driven development (CDD) approach. The project aims to reduce poverty by empowering communities and promoting good governance, through provision of support for community projects and activities, and encouraging local government responsiveness to community-identified development projects.

The Establishment of New Public Schools for Indigenous Peoples in Mindanao project will be implemented in 18 barangays in 10 Municipalities in Region IX to include the barangays of Labuan, where the conduct of on-site validation started and the other one is in Rio Hondo in Zamboanga City, 5 barangays in Zamboanga del Norte, 6 in Zamboanga del Sur, and 5 in Zamboanga Sibugay as among the areas identified by DepEd for the said project.
The construction of 1-unit-classroom is expected to end by December 2016 with a budget allocation of more or less than Php800,000.00 per structure.###

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SLP assessment on Regional Mid-Year Program Review and Evaluation Workshop

The Sustainable Livelihood Program of the Department of Social and Welfare Development conducted its Regional Mid-Year Program Review and Evaluation Workshop last August 16-18, 2016 at Cecile’s Catering and Restaurant, Zamboanga City.

Vigorously attended by seventy four (74) Project Development Officers and five (5) Provincial Coordinators of various municipalities in the region. The activity was purposely held to evaluate the program implementation for the past six months, and to reinforce and enrich the competencies of PCs and PDOs to become more efficient as individuals.

The RPMO headed the activity with close supervision from Vianca Sarahil, Alice Balacaoc, David Pagulayan and Michael Abaya, all members of the National Program Management Office. Also present were Regional Director Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo and Assitant Regional Director of Operations Consejo H. Usman.

During the 3-day event, assessment of current status of program implementation and identification of key issues were discussed and addressed.

The workshop culminated with action planning and proposals for upcoming projects.


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Solve the problem of landlessness in the provinces so Filipinos won’t migrate to the cities to look for Jobs

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo today issued a comment regarding the recent  editorial of the People’s Journal (dated August 14, 2016, titled  “A Bottomless Pit) criticizing the program began by the previous administration called the Informal Settler Families (ISF) Program or “Oplan Likas” or Lumikas para Iwas Kalamidad at Sakit.

The People’s Journal argued that the efforts of the government to provide funds to Filipinos who live in unsafe areas so they can transfer somewhere else safer. It argued that the program contributed to an “endless cycle of government dependency”.

As one of the implementing agencies of the program, DSWD is tasked to validate and assess the beneficiaries of the program, and to disburse the Interim Shelter Fund worth P18,000 to each of the family-beneficiaries which they can use to find safe residency and livelihood to support their families.

The DILG appropriated a total of P509,606,000 for the Interim Shelter Fund and downloaded the fund to DSWD for the disbursement of the financial assistance to beneficiaries and for administrative operations.

Secretary Taguiwalo said that the P18,000 per family that the government provided urban poor residents living in danger zones  is not an exorbitant amount considering how expensive it is to rent houses much less to own one. She said giving funds to   Filipinos affected by demolitions and relocation programs  is the least the government can do to help them. She said that it was the responsibility of government to ensure that its citizens live in danger-free areas.

“But it has to be said that Filipinos would not have to leave their original communities to find work in the cities of the National Capital Region (NCR) if they had sufficient means of livelihood in the provinces. Many informal settlers are originally farmers, farmworkers and fisherfolk from the poorest provinces such as Bicol and Samar, and they took their chances to move to the NCR in the hopes of finding better employment and means of livelihood there. They end up moving in empty government lots or establishing makeshift houses in communities in danger zones in near waterways and canals because they could not afford to pay rent for houses or apartments,” she said.

The recently conducted nationwide assessment under the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS PR) showed that there are 5.1 million poor households with the following conditions: Fisherfolk, farmers, and foresters comprise about 2.8 million of 17.9 percent of the 15.5 million targeted poor individuals belonging to the labor force or those aged 15 years old and above. The majority of (53 percent or 8.2 million) reported having no occupation at the time of the assessment. In the meantime, eight out of 10 and 76.6 percent of the targeted poor households reside in rural areas, while two out 10 or 23.4 percent live.

“There will be no need for programs such Oplan Likas if there were many viable and secure employment opportunities in the provinces. For instance, if there was genuine agrarian reform, our impoverished farmers would have the means to produce food crops such as rice not only to   for their own consumption but also to sell for good prices,” she said. “Solve the problem of landlessness, the cycle of poverty and exploitation it creates, and the lack of basic support services for our farmers and there will be less poor migration from the provinces to the cities.” #

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DSWD reminds TV programs to be mindful of children’s rights

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo reminded all television and radio stations to be mindful of children’s rights when casting them in any kind of program or when putting them in situations that make them vulnerable.

This is in reaction to the current issue involving Badjao teenager who felt ridiculed by her housemates in the Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) reality program produced by the ABS-CBN tv network.

“Ang mga nagpapatakbo ng programa ay may responsibilidad na tiyakin ang kaliktasan ng kabaataang bahagi ng show laban sa pang-aabuso at exploitation. Dapat maging gabay nila ang Republic Act 7610, na nagtatakda ng mga karapatan ng mga bata na dapat pangalagaan. Although reality show ang PBB at hindi hawak ng programa ang magiging reaksyon ng mga kabataan sa loob ng bahay, dapat masiguro na ang kagandahang asal ay malaking bahagi ng mensahe ng programang ito (The production staff has the responsibility to ensure that the teenagers in their show are protected from abuse and exploitation, especially as we have a law, Republic Act (RA) 7610, which provides for their rights. Although PBB is a reality show and the staff does not have a hold over the reactions of the youth real time, they should ensure that the program imparts positive messages),” Sec. Taguiwalo stressed.

RA 7610 or the “Act Providing for Stronger Deterrence and Special Protection against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination, and for other Purposes” stipulates that child abuse includes words, action, deed, or any condition prejudicial to the child’s development.

The same law specifically notes that the children who are employed must be protected from any form of abuse and exploitation which may affect or degrade the child’s development . The same law also has clear stipulations against children being exploited in programs.

Sec. Taguiwalo said that the other children who made fun of the Badjao girl’s clothing must also be made aware of the consequences of their action, which can already be considered to be a form of bullying. They should be made to realize that their actions were disrespectful and hurtful,” she said.

The Secretary also expressed caution against what she said was the tendency of the show to create situations that will prompt emotional – good or bad – responses from the “housemates” who happen to be, in this latest installment of the show – minors.

The Secretary emphasized, “Youth-oriented programs must impart positive messages that encourage viewers to be more socially aware and compassionate towards others. We are against censorship and we fully support freedom of speech and expression, but the television networks must also exercise responsibility in the exercise of these rights. It would be better if they do not create situations which make the youth emotionally vulnerable to make their actions in the show more “ratings friendly” and to have them “trend” on social media. They should instead, produce programs that help young audiences find effective role models they can emulate.” #

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DSWD-FDCI partnership reaches 37 years, inducts new set of officers

DSWD 9 Regional Director Atty. Araceli Solamillo expressed gratitude and commendation to the Foundation of Development for Children Incorporated as she inducted its newly elected officers on Tuesday at DSWD 9 Conference hall.

The FDCI that is now under the leadership of the new board president Dr. Victor Liozo, manages the Reception and Study Center for Youth (RSCC) in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-9) and gives assistance thru donations from government and non-government agencies including generous individuals to usher refuge and temporary shelter for orphans until their eventual adoption by foster parents.

“Children, who are considered one of the most vulnerable groups, are given preferential attention by the State and DSWD is given a tremendous task to ensure their protection. It is for this reason that DSWD and FDCI joined forces in 1979 to establishment the Reception and Study Center for Children. Through the years, the solid partnership of these two organizations contributed to the development and successes of our children.” Solamillo said in her message.

Newly elected officers include Nida Tan as the Vice President, Mrs. Rufina Cruz, Secretary, Ma. Corazon Motomal as Treasurer and Dr. Ma. Cecilia May Gonzales as Asst. Treasurer. Meanwhile Mr. Atilano Alaba is elected Auditor while Ms. Lulu Gerolaga is the PIO. The member of the board includes Dra. Milagros Fernandez, Atty. Dorothy Cajayon, Councilor Myra Abubakar, Ms. Jhoy Liong, Ms. Tranquilina Raz, Mr. Edwin Caliolio and Ms. Gloria Abendan. The former president Engr. Efren Arañez is now serving as the Chairman Emeritus.

Since 1979, the DSWD and FDCI collaborated in providing temporary shelter for neglected, abandoned, abused and orphaned children through the Reception and Study Center for Children. The said institution has assisted thousands of clients, most of whom are now living normal lives. Based on records, over 100 abandoned children are housed year round.###

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Kalahi-CIDSS NCDDP conducts first Regional Performance Review with MLGU partners

Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) one of the three core programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development together with Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4PS) and the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) had its first Performance Review with LGU Stakeholders on August 4, 2016 at Garden Orchid Hotel, in Zamboanga City.

Participated by 20 Municipal Mayors, 9 Municipal Vice-Mayors, 45 Sangguniang Bayan Chair for Social Services, Municipal Planning and Development Coordinators, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers, Kalahi-CIDSS Area Coordinators, Sub-Regional Project Management and Regional Project Management Personnel and Staff.

KC-NCDDP recognizes the role of the stakeholders and LGU partners in harnessing potential resources in order to meet deliverables. The LGU partners complement the efforts of DSWD program field implementers-Area Coordinating Teams on their sub-projects implementation, as well as other community development activities.

As highlighted in the statement given by the Regional Director Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo, successful partnership can only be achieved through and through cooperation, communication and coordination among and between Kalahi-CIDSS stakeholders.

Thus the activity aims to present the status of the Regional Program Performance, to identify best practices and strategies during the implementation in relevance to community participation, empowerment and involvement. This is also an opportunity to revisit the engagement, impacts and commitments of Municipal Local Government Units and also to recognize the valuable efforts of LGU Partners in the implementation.#

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DSWD lowers age requirement for pension program

Starting this year, the minimum required age for social pension has been lowered from the original 65 years old to 60 years old.

IMG_1461Aside from the age requirement, qualified to be beneficiaries of the said program are those frail, sickly, or have disabilities, those not receiving pension from the Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), or Veterans Pension and do not have permanent source of income or regular support from relatives.

Potential beneficiaries may register through their Local Social Welfare and Development Office or at the Office of Senior Citizens Affair for appropriate assessment and recommendation to DSWD Regional Office.

However, applicants will not automatically become beneficiaries, instead they will be included first in the waitlist since the number of slots given to the region is only good for senior citizens who have been identified last 2015, before the directive on lowering of age requirement was given.

Slots of beneficiaries who are delisted due to ineligibility, failure to claim pension and demise, can be given to waitlisted applicants.

DSWD 9 Regional Director Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo said that with the new provision, more indigent elderlies will benefit 6,000 stipend every year, which is given on a quarterly basis.

“We hope that this time we can help more senior citizens who can hardly provide for their basic needs, such as food and medicines.” Solamillo said in a statement.

Currently, the program is serving 81,251 beneficiaries in the region, allocated with Php487, 506,000 for fiscal year 2016.

The social pension is one of the social protection programs of DSWD that provides P500 monthly stipends for eligible indigent senior citizens under Republic Act 9994 otherwise known as Expanded Senior Citizens Act.###

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