City Government of San Carlos, Pangasinan adopts ReSPPEC

A resident of Brgy. Caoayan-Kiling reads the IEC material of ResPPEC posted in a shanty.

The City Government of San Carlos, Pangasinan, through a Memorandum of Agreement with DSWD Field Office (FO) 1, adopted the Reporting System and Prevention Program for Elder Abuse Cases (ReSPPEC), a community-based project initiated by DSWD through the Social Technology Bureau to protect the rights of older persons against all forms of abuse by establishing a local reporting mechanism and referral system.

In March 2016, the project was initially piloted in Barangays Bacnar and Caoayan-Kiling, San Carlos City because of the large number of older person population based on Listahanan data. After more than two years of project implementation, the City Government recognized the importance of ReSPPEC and its relevance in promoting senior citizen-friendly community.

To ensure project sustainability, the City has allocated PhP1 Million included in its Annual Budget for CY 2019 to further reinforce mechanisms, procedures, and protocols to formally report, investigate, intervene, document, monitor, and provide follow-up services to victims of elderly abuse and elder at-risk in the communities.

“Dapat maipalaganap ang ReSPPEC para magkaroon ng tamang pag-intindi, pagtrato, at pag-aaruga sa mga nakatatanda. Huwag nating antayin na mas marami pang maisuplong na kaso ng pang-aabuso. Makialam at labanan ang pang-aabuso sa mga nakatatanda (ReSPPEC must be promoted to provide the right information in understanding, treating, and taking care of the elderly. Let us not wait for more cases of abuse. Be involved and fight elderly abuse),” shared Social Technology Unit Head Mary Grace Rendon. She also disclosed that everyone is accountable for protecting the older persons to promote their well-being, and all must work together to eradicate this societal challenge.

The Philippine government has initiated proactive measures to combat violence on elderly by empowering the sector and providing adequate social services through the implementation of Republic Act 9257 “An Act Granting Additional Benefits and Privileges to Senior Citizens” and Republic Act 7876 “An Act Establishing a Senior Citizens Center in All Cities and Municipalities of the Philippines, and Appropriating Funds Therefor.” # By: Darwin T. Chan, Social Marketing Unit

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DSWD FO 1 on full alert for Typhoon Rosita

30 October 2018 – Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO 1) is on full alert due to Typhoon Rosita’s landfall at 5:00 o’clock in the morning.

Volunteers from the City of San Fernando, La Union have already arrived to assist the Field Office in repacking and transporting food and non-food items to local government units (LGUs) that need relief supply augmentation.

Volunteers from the City of San Fernando, La Union assist the DSWD staff in hauling the relief supplies.

Sa mga katulad ko na walang trabaho, maaari po kayong pumunta sa DSWD para mag-volunteer at makatulong sa mga biktima ng bagyo (To those individuals who do not have work like me, you may go to DSWD to be a volunteer to help the typhoon victims),” shared 26-year-old Arnel Padua, a volunteer coordinator from Brgy. Bato, City of San Fernando, La Union. As of 30 October 2018, the regional and satellite warehouses of the Field Office have 10,574 family food packs, 4,100 family kits, 10,245 hygiene kits, 6,117 sleeping kits, 4,000 kitchen kits, 220 family tents, and 2,004 collapsible jugs with water purifier ready for distribution.

On 29 October 2018, the Department headed the Response Cluster Meeting wherein Regional Line Agencies presented disaster preparedness plans. To reinforce the agreements of yesterday’s meeting, the Field Office conducted Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment (PDRA) Meeting today to determine the potential hazards, affected areas, potential impacts, safe areas for evacuation, and the appropriate actions to be undertaken during and after the onslaught of Typhoon Rosita. Assistant Regional Director for Operations (ARDO) Marlene Febes D. Peralta sought the cooperation of all employees to immediately respond to the needs of the typhoon victims. ARDO Peralta also emphasized that LGUs should ensure sufficient relief supplies to guarantee the general welfare of their constituents. The Department only augments relief supplies to LGUs once their stockpiles are already depleted.

The Field Office has already activated its Quick Response Team (QRT) since yesterday to proactively perform disaster-related activities. Further, Provincial and City/Municipal Operations Offices throughout the Region are currently assisting LGUs to ensure zero casualty.

DSWD FO 1 has an existing quick response fund amounting to PhP4,879,581.40 ready for disaster operations use. (by: Darwin T. Chan, Social Marketing Unit)

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DSWD FO 1 recognizes employees with outstanding character

The DSWD FO 1 through its Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE) Committee has designed a Character of the Month Award to fully acknowledge employees who have displayed outstanding work performance, demonstrated commitment in his / her job, and consistently foster good relationships with co-employees, intermediaries, and clients.

To recognize employees fairly and equitably in correlation to the value of these individuals to the organization, each division / center / institution / program nominates one staff regardless of rank, position, and employment status who best depicts the character of the month. The awardee, to be featured on DSWD Ilocandia Facebook Page, is acknowledged on the 1st Monday / working day of the following month and receives a token.

Ms. Lera De Vera (right) receives Certificate of Recognition and token awarded by ARDO Marlene Febes D. Peralta (left) during the awarding ceremony.

“Our gratitude is to be pervasive. Let us be thankful not of some things, but of all things. There is so much to be thankful for,” shared Lera De Vera, the character awardee in September 2018. Lera, an SLP PDO II, exhibited her utmost Gratefulness by reciprocating kindness by giving a hand to a co-worker, recognizing the efforts of her colleagues during program implementation, providing free snacks to Parent Leaders during project monitoring activities, and rendering volunteer service with her family after the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong. The former Listahanan area coordinator encouraged all employees to put their best efforts and give gratitude to their work as a reflection of the values of the Agency in providing compassionate and prompt service.

For the month of October 2018, Honor takes the spotlight.

The Character of the Month Award started in January 2018 with the prime objective of retaining and motivating employees to work towards achieving the strategic goals of the Department. It also seeks to increase employees’ performance. All 2018 character awardees will be presented during the 2019 DSWD FO 1 Anniversary Celebration. (by: Darwin T. Chan, Social Marketing Unit)

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Older persons shine during 2018 Elderly Filipino Week

To promote the older persons’ rights and recognize these rights as a factor for just society, DSWD Field Office (FO) 1 led the celebration of the 2018 Elderly Filipino Week (EFW) with the theme: “Kilalanin at Parangalan: Tagasulong ng Karapatan ng Nakatatanda Tungo sa Lipunang Mapagkalinga.”

In celebration of the EFW, the Department conducted a three-day activity on 3-5 October 2018 to exhibit the talents, skills, wit, and beauty of the older persons from the four provinces of the region. Senior citizens participated in individual and group singing contests to showcase their unique and dynamic vocal prowess. Likewise, a competition tagged as “Senior Citizens’ Got Talent” was facilitated to underscore their extraordinary acting competencies, dancing abilities, and dramatic monologue skills.

Newly crowned 2018 Ambassadress and Ambassador (center, seated). Both winners are 64 years old who hail from Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.

This year’s Search for 2018 Ambassador and Ambassadress had eight beautiful female and eight debonair male senior citizens vying for the titles. During the pageant, the contestants answered questions related to the promotion of their rights and wellness, the advancement of their social functioning, and the elimination of elderly abuse.  When asked how to prevent elderly abuse, Mr. Victor Respicio responded that we should actively raise awareness of this issue to help curb neglect or abuse occurring to elders. Mr. Respicio took home the crown for 2018 Ambassador while Ms. Esperanza Cachatero was crowned as 2018 Ambassadress. The winners who were both delegates from Laoag City, Ilocos Norte received PhP10,000.00 cash each. Laoag City has been winning the title for Ambassadress for three consecutive years now.

Mr. John Hilary Magsaysay graced the celebration on behalf of Senior Citizen Partylist Representative Milagros Aquino-Magsaysay and served as the keynote speaker of the activity. Mr. Magsaysay said that “For our elderly to be accorded a life of decency and dignity, they must be assured of health, opportunities, protection, and empowerment.” Senior Citizen Partylist envisions an equitable and healthy society for senior citizens in Ilocos Region and the rest of the 8.7 million senior citizens in the country.

DSWD FO 1 Assistant Regional Director for Operations (ARDO) Marlene Febes D. Peralta shared with the participants that “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”. ARDO Peralta, a senior citizen herself, encouraged the older persons to try out and explore new things and to always remember that their small acts toward the good of humanity can create a ripple and a huge impact to the society.

The ARDO further revealed that with the increasing number of abused, neglected, and abandoned senior citizens in Region 1, DSWD FO 1 Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo initiated a successful dialogue with the Provincial Government of La Union (PGLU) relative to the transitioning of Home for the Aged in San Juan, La Union to provide a free and decent home to indigent and unattached senior citizens. The lot and construction for the Home were funded by DSWD while operations and management will be the counterpart of the PGLU.

Region 1 has a total of 373,400 senior citizens with 44,078 (20,163 males and 23,915 females) belonging to the poor. In 2018, 167 centenarians throughout the region were eligible to receive PhP100,000.00 under Republic Act 10868 or the “Centenarians Act of 2016.” (by: Darwin T. Chan, Social Marketing Unit)

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DSWD FO 1 assesses houses damaged by TY Ompong

DSWD FO 1 staff joins the rapid damage assessment and needs analysis after the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong.

Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO 1) continuously conducts assessment to partially- and totally-damaged houses after the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong. As of 25 September 2018, 16,808 partially- and 800 totally-damaged houses were reported throughout the region.

SWO II Greta Mae Lazo who was part of the team that conducted rapid damage assessment and needs analysis (RDANA) in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte said that local government units (LGUs) should finalize the list of damaged houses to accelerate the provision of cash assistance.

Thus, the Field Office is currently prioritizing the assessment of damaged houses to immediately rebuild the houses of the typhoon victims. Damaged houses that were assessed will be included under the Department’s Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) program wherein households with partially-damaged houses receive PhP10,000.00 while those with totally-damaged houses are granted PhP30,000.00 cash assistance. Ms. Lazo also assured their intensified monitoring on the use of ESA to ensure proper fund utilization.

Meanwhile, LGU San Juan in La Union already submitted a project proposal for ESA augmentation in the municipality. They will be granting PhP5,000.00 to 28 households with totally-damaged houses while 483 individuals with partially-damaged houses will be receiving PhP2,000.00. (by: Darwin T. Chan, Social Marketing Unit)

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DSWD FO 1 releases 48,072 family food packs to TY Ompong victims

A girl happily goes home after receiving a family food pack from DSWD.

As of 24 September 2018, DSWD Field Office 1 (FO 1) has augmented 48,072 family food packs (FFPs) amounting to PhP17,305,920.00 to the victims of Typhoon Ompong in Region 1. Further, 3,414 hygiene kits, 6,967 family kits, and 6,725 sleeping kits worth PhP27,223,347.25 were distributed to various cities and municipalities.

FFPs are composed of six (6) kilos of rice, four (4) cans of sardines, four (4) cans of corned beef, and six (6) sachets of coffee while hygiene kits are comprised of five (5) pieces assorted toothbrush, 500mL toothpaste, 1,250mL shampoo, 1,250g bath soap, four (4) rolls of tissue, eight (8) sanitary napkins, two (2) combs, one (1) disposable shaving razor, and one (1) nail cutter. Family kits include five (5) bath towels, 15 undergarments, 10 pairs of shirts and shorts, and five (5) pairs of slippers while sleeping kits contain two (2) blankets, one (1) plastic mat, one (1) mosquito net, and one (1) malong.

DSWD FO 1 maintains sufficient stockpiles of these food and non-food items prepositioned at the regional and satellite warehouses throughout the Region. The Department has a temporary regional warehouse located at Brgy. Biday, City of San Fernando, La Union. Seven satellite warehouses are located in the Province of Pangasinan, three in Ilocos Norte, and one in Ilocos Sur to ensure that immediate relief augmentation is provided to local government units (LGUs).

DSWD FO 1 Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo underscored the importance of satellite warehouses to promptly respond to the needs of individuals affected by a calamity. Director Castillo also highlighted that relief supplies about to expire are optimized through food-for-work activities. (by: Darwin T. Chan, Social Marketing Unit)

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DSWD FO 1 prioritizes persons with special concerns during disaster response

Ramon Puzon, a stroke victim, smiles when he receives DSWD family food packs and sleeping kit.

The DSWD Field Office 1 (FO 1), in coordination with local government units (LGUs), simultaneously conducts relief augmentation and distribution to Typhoon Ompong victims throughout the four provinces of Region 1. High priority is given by the Department to persons with disabilities (PWDs), pregnant women, older persons, and other persons with special concerns during disaster response, conduct of early recovery operations as well as when preparing calamity resiliency plans.

In Calasiao, Pangasinan, Mayor Joseph Arman C. Bauzon shared that PWDs, older persons, and pregnant women should be prioritized during relief distribution to ensure their special needs and welfare. Mayor Bauzon disclosed that the LGU always observes the provision of special mechanisms to these individuals to preserve their access to equal opportunities.

Lala Badayos, 22-year-old evacuee who gave birth to a baby boy during the height of Typhoon Ompong, narrated that the barangay council of Brgy. Lumbang, Calasiao provided her sufficient space during her stay at the barangay hall. “Kung may miting ang Barangay Council, sila ang nag-aadjust, sa labas ng barangay hall na sila nagmimiting (The Barangay Council adjusts during its meetings, they conduct it outside the barangay hall),” Lala said. During the relief distribution, Lala received a DSWD family food pack (FFP) and underwent a counseling session by SWO II Juliet Sicat, SWAD Team Leader – Central Pangasinan.

Meanwhile, DSWD FO 1 and LGU Calasiao conducted a rapid damage assessment and needs analysis (RDANA) in Brgy. Dinalaoan to determine the type and extent of damages brought about by Typhoon Ompong. It was ascertained that a 71-year-old stroke victim Ramon Puzon who lives in a shanty was heavily affected by the typhoon. FFPs and sleeping kit were immediately provided. He was assessed for possible provision of Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA).

Further, PWDs from various barangays received food and non-food items at the Regional Evacuation Center in Calasiao. David Bulario, President of Federation of PWDs in Region 1, commended the government, DSWD in particular, for giving full attention and protection to their needs during calamities.

Calasiao Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer (MSWDO) Editha Gorospe assured that equitable access to social services is provided to victims regardless of physical features or affiliation. The LGU gives prime support to PWDs in compliance with RA 7277 or “Magna Carta for Disabled Persons” which states that PWDs have the same rights as other people to take their proper place in society. (by: Darwin T. Chan, PDO III)

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DSWD FO 1 to augment PhP20M Cash-for-Work for typhoon victims in Ilocos Norte

Photo by: Ms. Maricel Caleja
DSWD Field Office 1 Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo (in yellow shirt) together with DRMD OIC – Chief Maricel Caleja (leftmost) attend an early recovery and rehabilitation plan meeting spearheaded by Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos (rightmost).

Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO 1) will provide PhP20 million cash-for-work (CFW) project to high risk and vulnerable individuals affected by Typhoon Ompong as part of the early recovery and rehabilitation plan of the Province of Ilocos Norte.

During the meeting on 18 September 2018 with Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, together with other government offices, one of the urgent actions of the Province is to conduct CFW to generate temporary employment and provide income augmentation to affected families and individuals.

Disaster Response Management Division (DRMD) OIC – Chief Maricel S. Caleja shared that the CFW, in relation with DSWD’s Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (CCAM) projects, is a 10-day undertaking wherein recipients will receive 75% of the prevailing daily wage rate set by the National Wages and Productivity Commission. In the case of Region 1, the minimum regional wage rate is PhP280.00, thus, the individuals who will be participating in the temporary work such as rehabilitation of denuded watershed areas, establishment of green walls, and establishment and maintenance of mangrove plantation site will receive PhP210.00 daily.

The Provincial Government also prioritizes the housing reconstruction and rehabilitation of calamity stricken families. To expedite the implementation of the housing program, the DSWD FO 1 requested a validated list of damaged houses to be included under the Department’s Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA). Under ESA, households with partially- and totally-damaged houses will receive PhP10,000.00 and PhP30,000.00 cash assistance, respectively. (by: Darwin T. Chan, PDO III)

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