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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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Zambo Siege Survivors return to school for Solidarity

Three years after the tragic dawn of September 9, still visible are the ruins of struck bullets and the dilapidated classrooms that are ready for renovation and re-construction.

The memories of the past have flashed back. Through the painful scenarios that have captured right before them, a resilient community has emerged and triumphed through the challenging years.

The teachers and parents who came back as the gates have finally opened to begin the 6-day Brigada Eskwela 2016 truly made them more ready enough to move forward and begin anew.

After more than a year of enduring the makeshift classrooms in Zamboanga City East Central School, finally, the students from Sta.Barbara Central School can once again enjoy the comforts of having their classrooms in the learning corners of their original school.

Sitti Nurhiya Alih, a Pantawid Parent Leader from Sta.Barbara whose family has been displaced due to the conflict, was forced to stay at the Grandstand Evacuation Center when their humble abode was swallowed by a huge fire and razed down to the grounds at the height of the crisis. “Tupok na tupok ang bahay namin, hindi namin inaasahan na aabot sa ganon dahil akala namin sa loob ng tatlong araw matatapos na”

With high hopes, she only wished that they can go back to their home to begin a better life but she’s grateful enough to know that finally her 4 children won’t be spending too much in order to reach their school from the Asinan Transitory Site where they were temporarily stayed for refuge. “Ang mga anak ko tuwang tuwa dahil dati rati kailangan nilang gumising ng alas singko ng umaga kung saan kailangan ng dalawang sakayan para makarating sa paraalan. Kapag dito na silang muli, malapit na at  malalakad na lamang ito mula sa Transitory Site”

The school which was under the conflict area was one of the greatly affected during the first few weeks of heavy exchange of fires between the armed groups and the military forces in the 21-day Zamboanga Siege.

Armed with broomsticks and cleaning paraphernalia, Pantawid Pamilya including MCCT Beneficiaries of Sta.Barbara and Zone 4 joined the Brigada Eskwela kick-off with an overwhelming presence together with other stakeholders.

Sitti Nurhiya together with other 17 Parent Leaders and members of the program actively submitted themselves to participate in this nationwide school maintenance week. “Bilang constituent ng Sta.Barbara dapat namin ito muling itayo, laking pasasalamat na makakabalik na ang mga anak namin dito. Ito po ay taus puso naming inihahandog para sa aming mga anak at sa ikakaunlad ng paaralang ito”

The activity is a heart-warming comeback where beneficiaries have played great roles in the significant re-opening of the campus. Prior to the kick-off activity, School Principal Ms.Daisy Ebrada recognized the presence and help of the beneficiaries especially in the detachment of makeshift classrooms and the immediate transfer of school properties from the Zamboanga City East Central School to Sta.Barbara Central School. “Simula nung kame ay nagkaroon Pre-Brigada Eskwela, naging malaki na ang kontribusyon ng mga beneficiaries lalong lalo na mabilis na pagtransfer.Kahit mga babae ay nagagawa nilang magbuhat ng mga upuan at libro. Araw araw sila ang katuwang namin dito” She added.

The school principal said that the classrooms may not be enough to accommodate the standard proportion student size since there are only twenty two available classrooms including the two newly constructed rooms for all grade levels. The rest of the school buildings that are still under construction are part of the Zamboanga Z3R project plan. She knew that the pressing challenge might be the increase of enrolees during the enrolment period, but she’s certain enough that this can be managed.

The activity has once again recorded its success as different stakeholders expressed their contribution for the school through their commitment to contribute in the renovation works.

The Brigada Skwela has indeed enforced solidarity among stakeholders in all walks of life whose goal is to provide the students with safe, clean and conducive facilities in order to facilitate better learning experiences in preparation for the opening of classes on June 13. It is a proof how possible community involvement participated by the different partners can be fostered through remarkable volunteerism and upholding Bayanihan spirit.

This year was anchored on the theme: “Tayo para sa Paaralang Ligtas, Maayos at Handa mula Kindergarten Hanggang Senior High School” ##

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DSWD IX prepares relief plans for La Niña

During the conduct of payout for Cash-for-work and distribution of 25 kilos rice through Food-for-work scheme in different barangays of Zamboanga City last May 2016. Payout is still on-going in some barangays in the city.

The Regional Office IX of Department of Social Welfare and Development bares its plan in preparation for the onset of the rainy season.

In its La Niña preparedness plan, it targets 3,000 families to be potentially provided with family food packs and non-food items such as sleeping mats and blankets.

Currently, the department has a total of P8,265,800.00 worth of emergency relief supplies such as 22,000 Family Food Packs worth P7,920,000.00, 700 pcs sleeping mats worth P175,000.00 and 976 pcs blankets worth P170,800.00

Regional Director Atty. Araceli Solamillo said that these goods are prepositioned in case LGUs request for relief augmentation support.

“DSWD is ready to assist or augment the resources of LGUs during calamities or disaster in case their supplies or funds are exhausted. They just have to send us a request letter and incident report that includes number of families or individuals affected and the needed interventions so we can provide them with adequate relief items.” Solamillo said in a statement.

El Niño Assistance

Worth P6,300,000.00 has been utilized to pay 3,000 farmers in Zamboanga City under the Cash-for-work scheme which was implemented for 10 days. Meanwhile, another group of 3,000 farmers in Zamboanga City also received 25 kilos of rice each, worth P2,250,000.00 in total.

Moreover, 3 municipalities in the region have just completed the implementation of CFW and FFW and are just waiting for the payment to be processed, while 17 others are still under implementation.

The DSWD Regional Office IX allocated a total of P80,132,980.00 for the cash and food for work project to aid the El Niño stricken families in the region.

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DSWD begins search for Pantawid model Families, Exemplary kids in Zampen

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office IX has once again opened its doors for the annual Regional Search for Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya and Exemplary Child.

Now on its 3rd year, the Regional Program Management Office of Pantawid Pamilya through the Social Marketing Unit significantly recognizes the achievement and contribution of beneficiaries in the region who are role models in their manifestation of change.

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development is a human development program of the Philippine government that invests in the health and education of poor households particularly of children 0-18 years old. It is a developmental program that uses conditional cash transfers to poor households based on their compliance with verifiable conditions that have been identified and agreed upon by the beneficiaries.

The family as the primary beneficiaries of the program plays a vital role in its success. The children on the other hand, are actors towards emphasizing the importance of their role in the Filipino Family, Community and Nation-Building. In order to document the impact of the Family Development Sessions and the benefits of the program specifically in the strengthening of family relations and children empowerment as young advocates of the program, The Search for Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya and Exemplary Children are being conducted. It aims to encourage the partner-beneficiaries to maintain a good standing in the community serving as an inspiration and encourage other families and children to exercise positive values and productivity

The said search went through layers of selection process in the provinces of Zamboanga City-Isabela Cluster, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga Del Sur and Zamboanga Del Norte through the conduct of Municipal, Cluster and Provincial Searches. The winners will be officially endorsed and shall be the provincial nominees to vie for the Regional Search competition.

The winning beneficiaries will be honoured during the Regional Search proper on July in Zamboanga City and shall become Zamboanga Peninsula’s entry for the National Level Search.

Last year, the family from Municipality of Aurora, Zamboanga Del Sur who manifested resiliency after raising 5 children and survived the fire that razed their house in ashes emerged as the Regional Winner. On the other hand, a female kid from Tictapul, Zamboanga City who have been very active in community initiatives and activities was recognized and hailed as the Regional winner.

The regional search this year will employ field validation as tool to improve the validation process as reflected in the submitted packaged documentation from the Provincial Operations Offices of Pantawid Pamilya.

The said search is in line with the nation’s celebration of National Family week every September and National Children’s Month in November.

The winning beneficiaries shall become program ambassadors and will be part in all advocacy efforts of the Department. ##











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


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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