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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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Typhoon Ompong victims receive relief supplies

(Photo by: DSWD SWAD Team – Eastern Pangasinan) Municipal Mayor Susan P. Casareno of Rosales, Pangasinan (in blue shirt beside the woman in red vest) has distributed a family food pack to Ms. Tessie Macaraeg (center, holding a family food pack)

Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO 1) has released a total amount of PhP14,601,751 of relief supplies for families in the municipalities and cities throughout Region 1 affected by Typhoon Ompong.

11,560 family food packs (FFPs) composed of 6 kilos of rice, 4 cans of sardines, 4 cans of corned beef, and 6 sachets of coffee were immediately distributed to affected families and individuals. Further, 6,796 non-food items comprised of sleeping kits, hygiene kits, and family kits were also distributed.

“Dakkel ti panagyaman mi ti DSWD datoy a tulong nga inted da” (We are very grateful to DSWD for the help they have given to us) shared by 65-year old Tessie Macaraeg from Brgy. Camangaan, Rosales, Pangasinan when she received the FFP.

Municipal Mayor Susan P. Casareno of Rosales, Pangasinan lauds DSWD FO 1 for the immediate delivery of 1,500 FFP augmentation in their municipality. Prior to the delivery of the said FFPs, the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Rosales has quickly responded to the food and non-food requirements of the typhoon victims.

DSWD Field Office 1 Regional Warehouse maintains a standby stockpile of 30,000 FFPs for any disaster. Further, the 11 satellite warehouses in the Region ensures that the minimum stockpiles are readily available to accommodate the requests of all LGUs. Trading or resale of relief supplies that are intended for distribution to disaster victims is prohibited by Republic Act No. 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010. (by: Darwin T. Chan, PDO III)

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DSWD FO 1 continuously augments relief supplies to areas affected by Ompong

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) helps in the repacking of DSWD family food packs (FFPs) for augmentation to affected LGUs.

After the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong, DSWD Field Office 1 (FO 1) continuously provides relief supply augmentation to affected families and individuals in various municipalities and cities throughout Region 1.

As of 18 September 2018, DSWD FO 1 has provided 11,560 family food packs amounting to PhP4,161,600.00 and 6,796 non-food items comprised of sleeping kits, hygiene kits, and family kits amounting to PhP10,440,151. In addition, local government units (LGUs) have extended a total assistance of PhP158,300.00 while non-government organizations (NGOs) augmented PhP1,950.00.

A total of 262,385 individuals or 62,647 families from 921 barangays of the four (4) provinces of the Region were affected by the typhoon. Likewise, 394 evacuation centers are currently catering to 49,864 individuals from 12,963 families in 88 cities / municipalities. According to official reports, due to landslide and flash floods, there were 87 totally and 1,947 partially-damaged houses.

Assistant Regional Director for Operations Marlene Febes D. Peralta shared that continuous manual repacking, with the support of community volunteers and other government agencies, is being conducted to facilitate all requests from the LGUs. She also emphasized that the DSWD family food packs should not be altered and must be directly given to affected families and individuals to address their immediate needs.

The Department, in coordination with other government offices, is simultaneously conducting rapid damage assessment and needs analysis (RDANA) to determine the type and extent of damages brought about by Typhoon Ompong, including its secondary threats, the critical needs of the affected population, and the local response capacities. (by: Darwin T. Chan, PDO III)

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Helping is giving hope says active DSWD volunteer

“Ang pagtulong sa kapwa ay hindi nasusukat ng kahit anong halaga. Masarap sa pakiramdamdam na nakakatulong sa iba lalo na kung sa panahon ng sakuna (No amount of money can measure helping others. It feels good to be of help to others especially during disaster),” shared Eduard C. Vilog, 28, from Brgy. Biday, City of San Fernando, La Union.

Eduard is one of the 165 volunteers in La Union in repacking Family Food Packs (FFPs) at the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO 1) Regional Warehouse in Brgy. Biday, City of San Fernando, La Union. He consistently and selflessly offers his time for DSWD Relief Operations since the past typhoons in the last two months.

“Iniisip ko ang kapakanan ng mga taong nasalanta ng bagyo kaya naman hindi ako naghihintay ng anumang kapalit (I think of the welfare of the typhoon victims, so I do not expect something in return),” he added.

Though DSWD gives one FFP in exchange of the eight hour disaster duty of the volunteers, Eduard insisted not to receive his and even exceeded the required number of hours.

DSWD FO 1 considers volunteers as partners in responding to typhoon victims.  Eduard satisfies such as he chose to exhaust his energy for those who are weary and weakened because of the wrath of Typhoon Ompong. Thus, DSWD considers him as a trusted volunteer who delivers with minimal supervision and makes sure that all FFPs are complete and packed with quality.

Before being a certified volunteer, Eduard underwent a two-day training. This training equips the volunteers with skills for them to become responsive. It also serves as their orientation on DSWD Mandates on Disaster Relief Operations. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Pantawid Pamilya Information Officer)

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Former bangus deboner in Dagupan City now a business proprietor through DSWD-SLP

Emelyn Jimenez prepares her marinated bangus orders bound to Laoag City and Manila.

From a bangus production worker to owning her own Daing na Bangus business, Emelyn Jimenez is grateful of the assistance given to her by the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office I (DSWD FO 1).

Emelyn from Dagupan City was one of the identified SLP participants in the city in 2016. Along with 142 more Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, she underwent a 3-day Skills Training on  Enhanced Business Management for Sari-sari Store and received starter kits worth PhP10,400.00 each to operate their own sari-sari stores. Prior to DSWD intervention, she used to work as a Daing na Bangus production worker earning PhP500.00 daily.

Since Emelyn resides in a densely populated barangay where sari-sari stores are in every corner, she decided to shift her business into Daing na Bangus. Her income from the sold starter kits was utilized as her start-up capital. Together with her husband, they sell marinated boneless bangus at PhP75.000 to PhP90.00 per pack at the City’s public market.

After months of being a retailer, she was able to gain bulk buyers from Laoag City and Metro Manila ordering an average of 150-600 kilos of bangus at least twice a week.

She now earns a net income of PhP1,000.00 to PhP3,000.00 daily. A part of her profit was utilized in the renovation of their house from sawali to concrete. Each of  her  worker  earns PhP200-PhP340 daily from repacking,  marinating, and garlic peeling. Other workers are paid  PhP2.00 for every deboned milkfish.

All SLP-served participants shall undergo an incubation period of one year and three quarters where a monitoring Project Development Officer deployed in the area provides continuous technical assitance to the said program participants.  (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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From retailer to reseller: A popcorn business out of curiosity

Every week, Betty cooks 2 sacks of popcorn.

As cheap as PhP5.00 per pack, Betty Cruz’ popcorn business now supplies canteens and sari-sari stores in the different towns of Ilocos Sur and Abra.

With no formal training and background on the business, Betty used to sell snacks in an elementary school near their home and worked as a seasonal farm tenant in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur earning a rough PhP150.00 to PhP200.00 per day. This is to augment the PhP200.00 daily income of her husband who used to be a roving delivery man/driver for a snack business in the same town.

An unexpected business out of curiosity, she tried to experiment cooking popcorn for her family. Considering the easy preparation of the popcorn and the cheap market value of it that suit students’ budget, she tried to repack some and sold it to the school where she also sells kakanin. Getting a good income out of the small supply, she expanded her market to nearby schools and sari-sari stores in Narvacan.

However, due to her limited capital, Betty was not able to regularly supply popcorns to her growing market.

Her family with two kids being a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program requires regular attendance to the program’s Family Development Sessions (FDS). Through the FDS, Betty was able to learn about the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the Department and was later identified as one of the recipients of the Seed Capital Fund amounting to PhP5,000.00 in November 2016 to augment her limited capital. She was then able to continue expanding her business with the assistance given to her.

Because of the growing business, her husband decided to quit his job, loaned a motorcycle and supplied popcorns to nearby towns of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur and some towns of Abra. She now hires two neighbors who work 3-4 days a week as repackers. Each of them are being paid PhP150.00 daily with free meals.

She also cooks and sells peanuts in addition to the popcorns. Good market strategy developed along the way, her husband buys and sells other snacks such as pastillas, hopia, and fish crackers.

Adda sarili na a kita ni lakayko a PhP300.00 inaldaw, sabali met jay kitak nga PhP500.00. Ag-business partners kami. Bahala isona nga mangpatong ti presyo jay ited ko nga presyo kanyana (My husband has his own income of PhP300.00 daily while I also earn PhP500.00. We are business partners. I let him decide how much profit he’ll add up to the products he delivers)”, said Betty.

With hardwork and determination as the main ingredients of Betty’s popcorn, her production area of sawali walls which was attached to their house was renovated into concrete walls with window screens and door screen for sanitary compliance. The family was also able to invest on wooden cabinets as storage area for their product, and two electric sealers. “Dati ket manu-mano ti panang-seal mi iso nga inggana 3 days lang ti sarangsang dagiti popcorn, itan ket umaboten iti 5 days (We used to seal the packaging manually that crispiness of our popcorns only lasted for 3 days. Now it can last up to 5 days)”, she said.

Dagitoy bassit nga appliances mi ti in-inot a napondarmi. Mapmapan ngamin ti inaldaw a kasapulan ken pinagbasa dagiti ubbing ti mapaglaklakuanmi (We have invested on a few appliances now. Most of our combined income are allotted for our daily needs and our children’s school expenses)”, she added. Her parents are living with them, too.

Their family business is being monitored regularly by the SLP staff for technical assistance. “Dakkel a tulong ti maaw-awatmi manipod ti Pantawid Pamilya Program ken iti puhunan nga naited ti SLP (The assistance from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and SLP are big help to us).” (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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Former on-call laborer now heads a hotel security service through DSWD-SLP

Maysa nak dati a karpintero ngem saan a regular iti trabahok. Dakkel ti pagyamanan ti pamilyak ta nakastrekak a Security Guard iti maysa a first-class hotel babaen iti DSWD-SLP (I used to work as an on-call laborer. My family is grateful that I am now working in a first-class hotel as a security guard through the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1).”

Gerald Suero, 46, a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary from Vigan City, used to work 3-4 days a week as an on-call laborer earning PhP250.00 per day to provide for his family’s needs. Because of his rough income, he also worked as the barangay garbage truck driver earning an additional Php1,800.00 per month while his wife is a beauty and wellness products dealer.

Poor but not in spirit

Through the Family Development Session of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Gerald and 34 other 4Ps beneficiaries in the city were oriented on the SLP process and immediately showed interest in being part of the program in 2016. Based from the assessment and validation of the staff, they underwent Skills Training on Pre-Licensing Course for Security Guards and had successfully obtained their licenses.

This DSWD-SLP project which amounted to PhP486,500.00 from the DSWD-SLP Regular GAA 2016 fund is implemented in partnership with the City Government of Vigan and Vigan Skills Training Institute who shouldered PhP35,000.00 of the training cost.

As a way to conveniently start their career as security implementers, each SLP participant was given a set of complete uniform with prescribed pair of shoes.

Welcoming opportunities 

The Heritage City of Vigan being one of the most famous tourist destinations in the country opensb many job opportunities for security guards as establishments sprouted in all of the city premises. Gerald was successfully hired as a security guard at Vigan City’s only first-class museum hotel in February 2017.

After 6 months of quality security service, he was promoted as the team leader of the hotel’s security force. Apart from his 13th month pay, SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-ibig benefits, he is also entitled of a Team Leader monthly allowance.

Proud nak diay dati a trabahok ngem maragsakanak met ta dakkel ti limmag-anan ti ubrak tatta. Saanak a main-initan ken matudtudwanen (I am proud of my previous job but I am more comfortable with my job now. I am no longer working under the sun or rain),” he said.

Self-determination towards sustainable livelihood

Recognizing the great impact of DSWD-SLP to their family’s well-being, he shared that one’s determination is still the deciding factor in life. “Uray kasano kaado a tulong nga ited ti gobyerno, masapol a siak mismo ket kayat ko a tulungan sa numam-ay ti bagik uray kaskasano (Regardless of the many interventions from the government, I make sure that I am determined to help my self live a fuller life no matter what),” he added.

Most of his training batch mates are also employed as security guards in Ilocos Sur. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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