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DSWD, City gov’t and partners dialogue with IDPs

Zamboanga City – With the aim of bridging communication gaps between service providers and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Zamboanga City, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 9 (DSWD) with the City Government of Zamboanga and other organizations conducted series of information caravan (Infocar) in evacuations centers.

Said caravan is an initiative of the Communications Working Group (CWG) to further bring together the IDPs and all agencies involved in the recovery and rehabilitation effort in one forum where all issues and concerns will be properly ventilated.

Majority of the IDPs’ issues were on food, shelter and relocation, livelihood and other assistance.

DSWD Regional Director Zenaida Arevalo, who spoke personally to the IDPs, clarified that assistance by the department were not discontinued but  have been regulated as other non-government organizations have assured to implement programs such as Cash-for-Work (CFW) and Food-for-Work as (FFW).

Ang DSWD ay naka-focus ngayon sa mga transitory sites, dahil aming inaasam na mabawasan ang mga nakatira sa JFE Sports Complex nang matugunan at mapabuti ang kondisyon ng paninirahan doon.”  (Currently, DSWD is focused on the transitory sites as we are hoping to decongest the JFE Sports Complex to improve the living conditions in this area.)  Dir. Arevalo said, during the infocaravan at Talon-talon Elementary School last Saturday (March 14).

Zamboanga City Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco gave a brief background on the Z3R efforts of the government.  It basically underscores the goal of building a better place for those affected by the crisis.

The Roadmap to recovery and rehabilitation (Z3R), approved by President Aquino last December 2013, aims for better housing and better communities for a better Zamboanga.

Planned house structures and services were presented by the City’s Planning Office and National Housing Authority. These include the Home Materials Assistance (HMA) program where clients can avail of construction materials of up to P30,000.  Said assistance shall be through a voucher that can be claimed at a local hardware.


No build zone

According to Col. Andrelino Colina of the Task Force Zamboanga, residents from Leja-leja, Layag-layag and Sumatra will no longer be allowed to reside in the said areas as these are being closely monitored by the authorities.

The officer appealed to the residents for their understanding on this matter saying that the ‘people’s safety is our priority’.  However, these residents are permitted to tend to their ‘seaweed farming’ during the day but will be asked to leave when nighttime comes.
An open forum at the end of the program, provided an opportunity for the IDPs to air more of their concerns which are being responded outrightly by the resource persons.

The CWG initiated the first infocar at JFE Sports Complex.  Same activity will also be done in other evacuation centers soon.

CWG is composed of DSWD, PIA, City Information Office, International Organization for Migration and other humanitarian organizations.###

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Preggies’ Day Out

Zamboanga City- Around 264 pregnant women, those with big bellies and those with hardly-noticeable ones,  started lining up for registration at the lobby of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Field Office here.

Aside from being heavy with babies in their wombs, another thing they have in common is being  ‘IDPs’ (Internally Displaced Persons).

These women were all victims of the Zamboanga crisis last year and who are all housed at the JFE Sports Complex.

DSWD, in line with the observance of the Women’s Month, invited these women for an activity dubbed as “Buntis Congress”.

With the theme, “Juana: Ang Tatag mo ay Tatag natin sa Pagbangon at Pagsulong”,  the month long celebration aims to highlight the strength and resilience of Filipino women who have shown courage and support after surpassing trials and difficulties brought about by the numerous calamities recently.

The Buntis Congress, held at Field Office’s conference room, aims to orient the participants on women’s health and other concerns related to childbirth and childcare.

Dr. Gracia Gacrama, in-house medical officer, discussed these topics.

An open forum, after the lecture, allowed for clarifications and sharing of pregnancy tips.

Participants who have prior experiences in childbirth identified must-dos for pregnant women.  These include good hygiene, eating a well-balanced-diet and ensuring daily light exercises.  Some of the women revealed that they have not availed of pre-natal consultations but promised to do so upon their return to the evacuation site.

Free medical services

Free medical services is assured for IDPs as mentioned by DSWD-FO IX Director Zenaida Arevalo, in her talk with the participants.

Libre po ang serbisyo para sa inyo ng ating Zamboanga City Medical Center.  Dalhin nyo po ang inyong access card na nagpapatunay na kayo po ay isang IDP” (Services at the Zamboanga City Medical Center are free for IDPs, just bring your access cards to prove that you are an IDP), Dir. Arevalo told the women.

Gift packs 

Gift packs containing baby/infant wear, a ‘malong’, canned goods, energy biscuits, a pair of slippers, sleeping mats and a hygiene kit were given to the participants.

Tzu-Chi Foundation also donated rice for these women with each bringing home with them 25 kilos of rice.

Eight-months pregnant Baraya Ismael, who is having her 16th child, appreciates much the gift.

“Malaking tulong talaga sa amin yung bigas, kaya masaya talaga ako na may iuuwi kami (This is a big help for us and I am happy to bring something home) Baraya said.

Zamboanga City Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco, who paid a brief visit, led the women in a prayer for their babies.   She encouraged the women to regularly talk to their babies and to take good care of them as they are gifts from the Almighty.

We want you to have healthy babies and please take care of yourselves, too” the ladymayor said.###

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DSWD IX bares stories of Tatsulo beneficiaries

The actual copies of Pagbangon book being distributed to guests and attendees during the book launch.

The actual copies of Pagbangon book being distributed to guests and attendees during the book launch.

Following its 63rd anniversary celebration, the Department of Social Welfare and Development has finally launched the second sequel of its official book on success stories on February 7, 2014 at one of the hotels in Zamboanga City. The Pagbangon (Rise) is the sequel to Paglaom (Hope) which was produced by the Regional Social Marketing Unit in 2012. While Paglaom centered on how the featured subjects find hope to endure and fight the ruthlessness of poverty, Pagbangon on the other hand pivots around how the subjects act on and fight back against life’s adversities through the intervention of DSWD’s programs and services. “This book shares how ordinary people have become the hope of the family, the source of faith of the society and a hero of their own community with the help of the Convergence strategy of DSWD through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Kalahi-CIDSS and Sustainable Livelihood Program.” adds Narrabelle Bue, Regional Information Unit Head.

(From L-R) SLP RPC Elizabeth Saavedra, Kalahi-CIDSS RPC Marilyn Fabian and ARDO Consejo H. Usman pose shortly after unveiling the life-size Pagbangon Book Cover.

(From L-R) SLP RPC Elizabeth Saavedra, Kalahi-CIDSS RPC Marilyn Fabian and ARDO Consejo H. Usman pose shortly after unveiling the life-size Pagbangon Book Cover.

The unveiling of the life-size Pagbangon Book cover highlighted the event, which was led by DSWD IX Assistant Regional Director for Operations Consejo H. Usman, Kalahi-CIDSS Regional Program Coordinator Marilyn Fabian and Sustainable Livelihood Program Regional Program Coordinator Elizabeth Saavedra. The Pagbangon book features nine (9) stories depicting the plight of the selected DSWD beneficiaries, how they cope up with shortage, famine and deprivation to basic social service facilities and eventually rise from poverty.



DSWD Tatsulo beneficiaries featured in the said book were also invited to attend the event and to speak up during the Press Conference which followed after the unveiling ceremony.

Johanna Lerona and family from Salug, Zamboanga del Norte, Rhea Lyka Bacang from Malangas, Zamboanga Sibugay and Ma. Lourdes Carumba, a resident of Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay expressed how grateful they for being part of the book and for the assistance that they have been receiving from the institution.

(From L-R) Lyka Bacang, Johanna Lerona, SLP RPC Elizabeth Saavedra, ARDO Consejo H. Usman, KC RPC Marilyn Fabian, 4Ps RITO Karen Ann Site and Lourdes Carumba during the Press Conference.

(From L-R) Lyka Bacang, Johanna Lerona, SLP RPC Elizabeth Saavedra, ARDO Consejo H. Usman, KC RPC Marilyn Fabian, 4Ps RITO Karen Ann Site and Lourdes Carumba during the Press Conference.

“Sa una, dili kaayu ku ka-join sa mga activities sa school kay kinahanglan man magbayad, then wala man gyud extra akung parents para sa pambayad sa mga extra curriculars, para lang gyud sa mga needs. Pero karun kay gitabangan na mi sa Pantawid pamilya, ka-join na jud ko and daku man gyud ang tabang sa pagtaas sa akung grado. So nagpasalamat gud mi sa DSWD.” (Before, I could hardly join extra-curricular activities at school since our money is only enough to suffice our needs. But when Pantawid came and helped us, my grades went high

because of the extra-curricular activities I joined in school. So we really are thankful to DSWD.) shares Lyka, a high school student who is one of the featured pantawid beneficiaries.

While Johanna Lerona expressed how SLP improved her living condition when she was granted a capital seed fund and was able to start off her business in poultry and hog-raising. “SLP ang nagtabang sa aku nga ipahuman ug skwela ang akung anak. Salamat sa TATSULO.” (SLP sustained my eldest son’s education. All my efforts were paid off. Thank you to TATSULO.)

On the other hand, Lourdes, as an active Kalahi-CIDSS volunteer, is also thankful of the things that DSWD has brought to their community. “Kabataan ang among gi-una. Kabaw mi kay importante jud and edukasyon sa mga kabataan. Salamat kaayu sa KC ug DSWD sa tabang na ilang gihatag sa amu.” (We prioritized the youth. We were aware that education is very important to them. Thank you very much to KC and DSWD for the help that they have given us.) Lourdes states.

While serving as an inspiration to the readers, Regional Director Zenaida Arevalo also considers communication materials such as the Pagbangon book as an aid to DSWD Convergence beneficiaries. “We congratulate the people behind the production of the Pagbangon. This book serves as a vehicle to let the public and government entities know the condition of the people who have less and so as to solicit help or intervention from those people who have more, both in resources and power.”

The success of the event was manifested by the presence of the different guests coming from other National Government Agencies such as DA, DOLE, DOST, DPWH, NFA, DTI, NSO, TESDA, PIA, and DILG, guests from the academes like WMSU and Pilar College and also from the media arena such as Zamboanga Today, DXAS and GBPI TV 11.

DSWD senior officials, Tatsulo beneficiaries and guests from participating agencies toast for a commitment to continuously fight against poverty.

DSWD senior officials, Tatsulo beneficiaries and guests from participating agencies toast for a commitment to continuously fight against poverty.

“We welcome and as well as thank all the stakeholders and partner agencies who came here today to  grace the occasion. May we continue to be partners and strengthen more our network to provide a quality public service.” ARDO Consejo H. Usman states during a TV interview. Usman also proposed a toast of commitment to continuously fight against poverty as the event’s finale.

The said activity also includes launching of the new brand name of National household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction, which is now dubbed as Listahanan, a moniker for the DSWD information management system that identifies who and where the poor are nationwide. The re-branding effort is to mainly create a brand name which is easier to recall for the stakeholders and general public.

The Regional Social Marketing Unit of DSWD IX composed of Reg’l Information Unit Head Narrabelle Z. Bue, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Reg’l Information Officer Jayson Elias, Social Marketing Officer of Kalahi-CIDSS Lei Madeline Mohammad and Listahanan Information Officer Ivan Eric Salvador also distributed advocacy materials such as mugs, calendars, lanyards, infokits, folders, briefers and notepads as tokens of appreciation to the attendees.###

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DSWD, SM launch farmers training program for Tigbalabag Pantawid benes

IMG_6502Some 50 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in Zamboanga City were identified as recipients of SM Foundation’s Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Farmers Training Program.  The program, which was launched yesterday in Barangay Tigbalabag, this city aims to help families sustain their needs by educating small-time farmers on new effective technologies  that could help them grow organic fruits and vegetables in their own backyard.

DSWD IX Regional Director Zenaida L. Arevalo said that the project is one of the government’s public-private partnership (PPP) efforts.  “Considering the need for income-sustaining programs for our poor households, we believe that this is a good opportunity for our Pantawid benefiaries to learn something that would help them come up with earnings for their daily needs”.

Cristie Angeles, Asst. Vice President for SM Foundation said, “We want to help these families sustain their food and (to earn) a little money to alleviate themselves out of poverty”.  She added that this is the first time that SM Foundation has linked with a group from Zamboanga City, a non-SM area.  “But realizing the need of the people, we pursued with this effort”, Angeles explained.

“Scholars” as they are called, the program recipients were identified on the condition that they have an existing vacant lot measuring to at least 200 square meters where they could plant and apply what they have learned from their once-a-week meeting with their trainor.

A vacant lot adjacent to the Barangay Hall of Tigbalabag was turned into a Demo Farm where the scholars shall convene every Wednesday for the lecture and application.

The training, which started yesterday (Feb. 26), will extend for 13 weeks.  Sweet corn, honey dew and melons and common vegetables are some of the produce that they hope to harvest after the training program.

“There will be a mini-fair where the scholars will display their harvest on the day of the graduation and we have encouraged these scholars to complete their 13 sessions for them to receive a certificate from SM”, Arevalo said.  She added that those participants with more than 2 absences with no valid reason will be automatically excluded from the training program.

The Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan project is a joint effort of DSWD, DAR, SM Foundation and Harbest Agribusiness Corp. and the local government of Zamboanga City### (NZB)

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DSWD IX launches Targeting System’s new brand name ‘LISTAHANAN’

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office IX officially launched “LISTAHANAN (Talaan ng Pamilyang Nangangailangan) as the new brand name of the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) on February 7, 2014 at Marcian Garden Hotel, Zamboanga City.

 As a Nationwide information system that identifies who and where the poor are, The birth of Listahanan is a result of the branding workshop conducted last May 2013 which aimed to create a new name, logo and tagline for NHTS-PR for easier recall  and improved appeal to the public. The system makes available to national agencies and other social protection stakeholders a database of poor families as basis in identifying potential beneficiaries of social protection programs and services.

In the presence of the guests from National Government Agencies, Local Media, Academes and Regional Staff, The official logo was introduced in an unveiling ceremony led by  DSWD Assistant Regional Director for Operations Consejo H. Usman and Regional Focal  Person for Listahanan Mr. Hasan Alfad. A short video presentation on the process and overview of the Project was presented together with the rationale of the new brand name.

Listahanan’s new brand name is a combination of LISTAHAN (list) and TAHANAN (house/home) with the tagline “Talaan ng Pamilyang Nangangailangan”. It define the project’s initiative to establish a list of poor families in need of assistance from social protection programs. While the graphics in the Listahanan logo emphasizes the role of the project as a targeting tool for social protection.

Since the inception of NHTS project, it has tremendously helped Philhealth achieved our corporate mandate for universal coverage under the Aquino Health Agenda’s Kalusugan Pangkalahatan” said Mrs. Maria Venus B. Giroy, Chief Insurance Officer of  Philhealth IX as she shared their agency’s testimony on how the database have became very useful in the implementation of their programs and services. “The NHTS-PR  which is now branded as Listahanan, has facilitated easy enrollment for the poorest sector of our society. With the list available, Philhealth were able to minimize the duplicity of enrollment in the sponsored program of the Congressional, Provincial, City or Municipal, hence expanding to a greater number of beneficiaries to the NHIP ” she added.  She even lauded the certified list shared by Listahanan of the DSWD to their agency for it has increased the number of NHTS beneficiaries in 2012 from 337,900 to 505,208 last year which included the beneficiaries from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. PhilHealth  is looking forward for the sustainability of the project and for more fruitful partnership with DSWD.

 Assistant Regional Director Usman led the toast of commitment with the guests’ present with their Listahanan Mugs as a sign of the continuous support in the project as everyone is looking forward for the conduct of the Nationwide 2nd Household Assesment this year. A Press Conference followed after the ceremony.

Meanwhile, Pre-Assesment advocacy activities are set to be conducted in the latter part of February to orient Local Government Units on the new brand name and assessment processes all over Zamboanga Del Norte and Zamboanga Del Sur to include areas of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi Tawi. #IES#

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A time well spent is a life well meant

IMG_9950“Time is Gold, so it should not be wasted.” Evelyn spoke in affirmation when asked about the secret of her successful story as a beneficiary of the Convergence Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Situated in an interior purok of Barangay Maragang in Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur, Evelyn Atis’ house looks like a 2-storey house when seen from outside but it’s actually a one-storey mixed wood and bamboo home built with a mezzanine where she and her husband together with their five children share an average size of a bedroom. She met us halfway to the house with a grin stretched wide across her face. She seemed so comfortable as she started telling their story. “We have just moved here a few years ago. Our house before was only made of nipa. We had to leave the place because the lot owner was already driving us away. Good thing that I was able to save a little amount of money from my small business then to start a small house here.” Due to financial constraint, Evelyn and her husband had collected a few used and leftover lumbers from their neighbours. They started building a temporary shelter at least with a roof on it for them not to get wet whenever rain comes. Despite the discomforts, Evelyn continued with her small business. “I continued selling yema while my husband also continued working in the farm but eventually he had to stop because he got sick. His eyes got swollen and became partially blind. So I had to double my effort in working and even tried to double my time earning for his medicine and school expenses of our children. The yema business became our primary source of income.” Evelyn sends yema to elementary students to let them sell inside their classroom and pay them 10% of their total earning in a day. For three months she did this as a vending strategy as she didn’t have enough time to sell because she was attending to his husband’s needs who was then sick. With nothing left as an option, she tried asking help from her mother, an option which was neither a success. “I attempted to approach her and ask for a financial assistance, but she refused to give me. She has always been against of our marriage. She didn’t want us to get married because we were too young then. I was 17 and my husaband was 19 when we settled down. Even before, she really told us not to ask for her help if we encounter problems.” Evelyn and her husband didn’t finish schooling. She only reached 2nd year in secondary while her husband stopped at the fourth grade. But amidst all the difficulties encountered at that time, Evelyn had only gotten stronger and more determined to survive. “I can’t do anything but use what was available at that time. So I used our savings from the yema business to have my husband checked. So I was left with so little amount. And I told myself that I should really maximize the only money we had.” Evelyn used a portion of the money as a capital to peddle fried banana. “At first I was so ashamed to peddle. Before going out of the house, I used to peek outside to check if there were people. It was so ironic that I should be looking for customers to buy my goods and yet I was also trying to avoid them.” Shared Evelyn. Evelyn admitted that their life turned180 degree when they became Pantawid pamilya beneficiaries. “It was such a relief on my part when we found out that we were qualified as beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya. I even told myself that it was the solution to our problems. That I need not to get a portion from the business I had that time to spend for their education because Pantawid can shoulder it anyway.” And so Evelyn started to save more than the usual. They were even able to buy a plow for farming and as well as spend for the medication of her husband regularly. “The 300 pesos medication for my husband every week was not anymore that difficult to comply. Eventhough I was the only one who was working at that time and the only one who was supporting the financial necessities of our children. We also established a sari-sari store. And little by little, we were able to build our house, a more decent and comfortable house.” Inspite the improvement in the economic condition, Evelyn never felt complacent about it. But instead, she looked for some other means to continuously improve their living condition. True enough, after long years of fervent prayers, a life-changing opportunity knocked on their door. “In February 2013, I became a beneficiary of SLP (Sustainable Livelihood Program). They lent me 10,000 Pesos seed fund which I used to construct a small canteen inside the school campus where I can bring in and place my goods without carrying a table everyday.” Said Evelyn. As a gift to herself and a reward for all the hardworks she has done, she also bought some appliances like refrigerator for her new ice candy business, television and component. “This house and everything inside it, these will always remind me of how blessed I am to be part of Pantawid Pamilya and SLP. But of course, more than all the materialistic things we got, it is the moral and the technical lessons we have learned from Pantawid as we attend series of Family Development Sessions that really contributed to a kind of mother and wife I am today and to the trainings conducted by SLP which really taught me the principles of managing a business.” Evelyn happily narrated. Though not an active Kalahi-CIDSS volunteer, Evelyn was one of the beneficiaries of KC’s sub-project Day Care Center in Maragang since the first group of customers who would buy in her canteen is a bunch of Day Care schoolers in their village. “Before we didn’t have a Day Care center here in our barangay, so the children had to be brought by their parents to the other Day Care Center in the next barangay. So now through the Kalahi-CIDSS, the parents can now send their children to Day Care even without close supervision as it is only located near their houses.”Evelyn shares how Kalahi-CIDSS has done its part on improving the situation of their community. Evelyn is only one of the millions of Filipinos who have once faced life’s bitterness, endured it and wrestled against it. And when asked about the lesson she has learned from all her experiences with Tatsulo, she only has this to say, “Time is Gold. That’s the most precious lesson I have learned in attending our FDS (Family Development Session). Responsibilities had to be made in the fastest way for us not to be left behind.”

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A Story of Hope

IMG_0044This is the story of a mother who discovered her strength in one of life’s weakest moments. Neri Grano Carumba has always been an honest woman. At 49 years old, she anchored her values and her beliefs on honesty foremost, among all the other virtues. Little did she know that in one eventful point in her life, honesty could give her opportunities she never even dreamed of.

Needing Help, Needing Hope

Neri is married to Ireneo Caritatibo Carumba, a 58-year-old farmer. The Carumba family established their home and their life in Purok Goma, Bgy. Masao, Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay. Neri and Irineo have been blessed with 5 children: Irene (25), Airol (23), Irone (22), Ian (13) and Aiza (7). The Carumbas rely on farming their land, a quarter of a hectare, to sustain the family’s needs. However, the little income from the rice field and rubber farm could never hold up, and they always find themselves frustrating over the puzzle of where to get the meal, or how to get through the day.

Thankfully, the Carumbas were chosen to be a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilya Set 2 in 2009. With the Department of Social Welfare and Development program as their formidable support system, life for the Carumbas began to change drastically. The children could now hold their head high in school, as tuition and small contributions are no longer a problem; Neri no longer had to plea and beg off financial obligations because they could finally afford to hand over what is expected of them. The family now had the opportunity to look for other means of income, as they already had the financial power to explore peso-generating projects. Most importantly though, the Carumbas, especially Neri, gradually gained confidence in their worth and value as members of the community.

Neri loved attending the Family Development sessions. It gave her new perspectives on marital relations and motherhood, and gradually, Neri eschewed traditional beliefs and made room for new ones, particularly on household management, strengthening family relationship and disaster preparedness. As her confidence continued to grow, so did her responsibilities, not just at home but in her community as well. She slipped into leadership roles with ease; she became a Catechist Coordinator, a Barangay Health Worker and a Community Health Team-navigator.

The Carumbas live in a humble home. Constructed with light materials, their house has no concrete flooring, and half of the roofing is thatched with nipa. There is little furniture inside the home. Despite the austerity, the Carumbas boast that they have a happy home, and that one could never meet a more contented family than their own, especially now that the DSWD has given them a new chapter in life.

A Test of Strength

Fired up to take on new and more responsibilities, it was no surprise that Neri became a volunteer of KALAHI CIDSS, PAMANA CYCLE 3 in 2010. She became a member of the Monitoring Implementation Team (MIT),which gave her the substantial role of checking whether KALAHI CIDSS projects are being handled well. One incident tested her mettle, when she had been forced to sign a delivery receipt when no materials were provided for a project. Disturbed about the scenario, she immediately coordinated with fellow volunteers, and the KC-MT personnel. Neri then initiated a meeting with the Barangay Captain and with all others concerned, and successfully resolved the issue at hand. After 2 days, the materials for the project were promptly delivered, and as Neri watched the men unload the delivery, she was greatly thankful she had been honest, and that she dared assert her conviction to stay that way.

Neri’s quick response to solve the dilemma earned her the trust and confidence of barangay officials and of her fellow community members. Because of her honesty, she earned numerous rewards, including the awarding of a Municipal Agriculture Office project a Masao Farmers Association (MAFA) initiative that provided financial assistance for Hog Fattening; she also received financial aid for another project that involved poultry rising and goat raising. Being a Catechist Coordinator, Neri also took on an Income Generating project (IGP) that allowed her to do some hog raising. In addition, Neri also became one of the recipients of the Coconut, Cacao and Palay (COCOPAL) under the project of the MAFA. The TATSULO programs helped empower Neri, turning her into an organic fertilizer advocate (vermicasting) and a supporter of the Municipal Demo Farm, wherein she takes care of on-going preparation for broccoli, cabbage and ginger seedling production. Apart from the grants and projects, Neri also became a Sustainable Livelihood Program-Mauswagon SKA member. This entitled her a grant of                     Php 8,000.00 per month, which she used in her food vending project.

When Neri talks about the DSWD, she brightens up with love and gratitude. She is grateful that the TATSULO programs changed her family’s life. The TATSULO planted the seeds of change in each of her children, in her husband and in herself. These seeds continue to germinate, and as the Carumbas spend more years in the TATSULO programs, they are sure to develop and to grow into strong members of the community, empowered and virtuous.

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Sec. Soliman leads turnover of bunkhouses to Zambo evacuees

Zamboanga City – Department of Social Welfare and Development  (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman led the turnover ceremony yesterday of  five bunkhouses at Barangay Taluksangay for the families whose houses were burned at the height of the clash between government troops and the Moro National Liberation Front-Misuari Faction in September.

Together with Sec. Soliman were Habitat for Humanity Managing Head Charlito Ayco, Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar,  and 2nd District Congresswoman Lilia Nuno.

Representatives of International Organization for Migration (IOM) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) also joined the turnover.

The five bunkhouses with 54 rooms are part of the 21 to be constructed in the area through the partneship of the Department with Habitat. As of today, eight bunkhouses have been completed.

Witnessing the turnover were the beneficiaries  who transferred there on the same day.

 Starter kits and food packs were also provided to them upon their relocation.

 In her message during the program, Sec. Soliman thanked the partners for their support to the national government in assisting the victims.

She also emphasized that the bunkhouses are only temporary as  President Benigno S. Aquino III has committed to provide better communities after the reconstruction and development of the affected areas.


“Hindi bahay ang mahirap gawin, ang kailangang pagtuunan ng pansin ay ang pagkakaisa natin kahit iba-iba ang ating kultura.  Tayo ay isang komunidad, isang Zamboanga City at isang bansa (It is not difficult to construct houses, what we need to focus on is our unity amid our different cultures. We are one community, one Zamboanga City, one nation),”  Sec. Soliman remarked.

For her part, Mayor Salazar reiterated  President Aquino’s plans for the affected areas.

Ayco, on the other hand, assured their organization’s support to DSWD in providing decent homes to the families.  While DSWD provides the chunk of the budget, Habitat will cover 20% of the costs as their counterpart. They also supervise the actual construction of the houses

Habitat has an existing agreement with DSWD for the construction of the bunkhouses.  Taluksangay Barangay Chair Abdurahman Nuno vowed to ensure cleanliness and peace and order in the area.

“We will take care of these houses,” he swore.

To date, there are still 4,691 families who are in evacuation centers and temporary shelters around the city. ###

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