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The Ilocos Regional Committee for the Welfare of Children (RCWC) proudly commends one of its Child Representatives, Erson P. Muyalde, for winning 2nd Place during the National Population Quiz (POPQUIZ) Show held on 23-26 January 2017 in Dipolog City, Zamboanga Del Norte.

Erson was the regional champion during the Regional Festival of Talents POPQUIZ category of POPCOM held early this year.

His 2nd year of joining POPQUIZ has been his luck after his first attempt to win the regional contest in 2015. Indeed, his determination and confidence has brought him a remarkable recognition for bringing the emblem of excellence in the region outsmarting other 16 representatives from all over the country.

Having been inducted in 2015 in the elite circle of Gawad Rizal awardees, this young man tagged as a “Math Wizard” for winning various math competitions locally and internationally, stays humble and passionate despite his many achievements as a diligent student, a proactive child advocate, and a responsible community leader.

The RCWC is truly proud of having Erson in the group— a living inspiration not only to every child and youth in the region but to the whole nation as well.  To God be all the glory! (by: Maria Cristina F. Martinez, POPCOM1)          

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AVRC 1 promotes Himig Tanglaw Season 2 for visually-impaired persons

The Area 1 Vocational Rehabilitation Center of DSWD, in partnership with the Philippine Chamber of Massage Industry of Visually Impaired, Inc. (PCMIVI), organized the musical talent showdown among 25 visually- impaired (VI) persons from CAR, Regions 1, II, III held at Robinson’s Calasiao, Pangasinan recently.

Himig Tanglaw Season 2 served as an audition for the national competition in the following categories: Vocal Solo, Chorale/Acapella, and Battle of the Bands that will be held at SM Aura in Taguig City sometime in December this year.

For the Vocal Solo category, the following were selected: Samantha Rylin Caber from Laoag City, Alona Bateg from Baguio City, and Rose Michelle Espiritu, an AVRC client.

For the Chorale/Acapella Group,  Himirana (Baguio City)  and  Candon City Federation of PWDs Choral Group  were selected.

With the Battle of the Bands category, the Ignite Band from Ilocos Sur and DM Band of Dagupan City were chosen.

PCMIVI President Ronnel Del Rio recognized the displayed positivity among the visually-impaired persons, especially witnessed in their showcased abilities and even their deeply-felt motivation to live a normal life despite partial or no vision at all.

“Ensuring that PWDs are given  every chance and opportunity  in the mainstream of the society, more so in the field of performing arts,  is among the noble endeavors of DSWD-AVRC 1 and  PCMIVI, their inclusion and participation matter most,” said  Ms. Elizabeth C. Manuel,  AVRC 1 Training Center Superintendent.  (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II with report from AVRC 1)

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DSWD FO1 has ready goods for Tropical Storm Jolina victims

The DSWD Field Office 1 is ready to augment requests from Local Government Units (LGUs) to support the immediate needs of the victims of Tropical Storm Jolina.

“At present, Php 11.7M worth of food and non-food items stocked at the regional warehouse and satellite warehouses strategically positioned in the provinces are intact and ready to assist the affected families,” Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo said.

The said amount includes 30,596 family food packs (FFPs) and other food items including bottled water and infant dry cereals.

Moreover, non-food items like generator sets, heavy duty batteries, blankets, mats, beddings, body bags, water containers, and kitchen utensils worth Php 7.2M are also ready at any given time.

Repacking of FFPs is done at the regional warehouse to accommodate requests coming from the LGUs, especially for victims still inside evacuation centers in the Province of La Union: Aringay Ampitheater in Aringay, Santiago Norte Barangay Hall in Caba, and San Francisco Day Care Center and San Agustin Elementary School in the City of San Fernando.

DSWD, being the Vice-Chair for the Response Cluster, is now receiving relief augmentation requests and coordinates with the satellite warehouses to release the needed relief particularly the LGUs in the First District of Ilocos Sur to help the families of fisherfolks along coastal barangays. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)

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RCWC confers Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance to 120 LGUs in Region 1

RCWC Chairperson Dir. Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo (2nd fr. left) awards the Seal of Child-Friendly Governance (SCFLG) to LGU- Nueva Era through the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer Paz Acosta at the Crown Regency Hotel on 28 June 2017. Also in the picture are DSWD OPD Chief Benjamin F. Baldo (leftmost) and DILG LGOO V Hope Ordoño.

The outstanding regional passing rate of 96 percent is a remarkable achievement of children advocates and workers in the Local Government Units (LGUs) and their regional counterpart. The region has been a consistent top performer since the mandatory audit in 2014.

“This also shows commitment and adherence to local and national policies protecting the rights of children while the crafting of responsive services to ensure stringent observation of children’s welfare in local communities is also given attention,” Regional Committee for the Welfare of Children (RCWC) Chairperson Dir. Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo said.

The Seal for Child-Friendly Local Governance (SCFLG) is conferred by the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), the national counterpart of RCWC, upon LGUs that passed the mandatory Child-Friendly Local Governance Audit.  The first regional awarding rites coincided with the regional convention of Child Development Workers.  It was graced by Mayors, Local Social Welfare and Development Officers, Local Government Operations Officers, official representatives of municipalities and cities, and the media.

The consistent top performing LGUs were observed to have institutionalized integrated efforts translated into legislations to protect the rights of children, as evidenced by 111 LGUs having a Local Code for Children.

Per information from the CWC, the current 12 indicators will be expanded to include more results-based assessment criteria which will be categorized according to the four categories of the rights of a child — survival, protection, development, and participation.

Accordingly, there are strategies being suggested for implementation such as the expansion of the Interagency Monitoring Task Force (IMTF) that is tasked to monitor and evaluate the functionality of Local Councils for the Protection of Children. From its current membership composed of DILG, DSWD, and DepEd, the following are recommended for inclusion: Department of Health (DOH), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), National Nutrition Council (NNC), and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

To document and share LGUs’ good practices and innovations along the children’s sector, a Knowledge Management System (KMS) shall also be established.  The KMS will serve as repository of data and information through an operational mobile application in smart phones or tablets. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II with report from Ms. Faye Angeli Liwanag)

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DSWD releases Php 41.5M for Region 1 Centenarians

As of first week of August, the DSWD Field Office 1 (FO1) has released a total funding of Php 41.5M for 415 elderlies aged 100 to 114 years old, the latter being recorded the oldest in the region from Sison, Pangasinan. This also included those family members of deceased Centenarians who also received the same   Php 100,000.

Along with families keeping them and taking care of their needs, these centenarians proved longevity in Region 1.

As mentioned by Dir. Marcelo Nicomedes Castillo, this incentive giving is among the strategies of the government to recognize remarkable contributions of these elderlies to their families and communities and keeping healthy living as well which was also stipulated in Republic Act 10868  of 2016.

Accordingly, there are 596 Centenarians initially listed by FO1 submitted to Central Office (CO) for funding.

Of this number, 132 reside in Ilocos Norte, 139 in Ilocos Sur, 100 in La Union, and 225 in Pangasinan. Also, there are 181 deceased Centenarians subject for validation.

Recently, a Centenarian from the City of San Fernando, La Union got her check at Field Office 1 amounting to Php 100,000.00. With her are her children and other family members who are also very thankful to this program of the government. According to the Centenarian, being prayerful and vegetarian helped her reach her current age. The family members were reminded on the proper use of the money and to prioritize the needs of the elderly.

Among those who patiently wait for their turn to be given the Centenarian gift is Lola Tere (alias), 100 years old, from Piddig, Ilocos Norte.  In an interview, she shared her secrets to long life. “Agsingsingpet kayo ngamin ah, mangan nateng, prutas,  haan a sitsirya (Be good and eat fruits and  vegetables and not junk foods),” she narrated.

Odd as it may be, it was also mentioned by the granny that the Centenarian gift will be used to purchase needed materials when her death has come.

“These Centenarians deserve this incentive from our government not just of long life but because in their productive years, they contributed to any form of human development that our generation is now enjoying,” Director Castillo narrated in one Monday Program of DSWD. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)

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Tagudin Dressmakers are DSWD-SLP Products

RPC Agnes Tambalo, CDEDO Maynard Cezar, PC Efren Rafanan (in yellow polos) together with the municipal officials of Tagudin, Ilocos Sur and the 100 program beneficiaries as they proudly wear the black and white t-shirts they personally sew.

Manipod nangrugi daytoy a training agingga itatta, nakitak iti panagbaliw iti kasasaad ko. Day care nak man idi ta awan ti ammok maipanggep iti panagdait, itatta ket kasla grade 6 nakon. (From the start of this training up until now, I have seen change in my status. Before, I consider myself a day care child because I knew nothing about dressmaking, but now it seems like I’m already at Grade 6),” said Flordelina Jimeno, 42, during the Skills Training on Dressmaking graduation at Brgy. Dardarat of Sinait town, Ilocos Sur on 01 August 2017. Flordelina was among the 100 beneficiaries from the four batches who underwent skills training under DSWD through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), in partnership with Amethyst Career Advancement Institute, Inc. The Local Government of Tagudin provided the training venue for the participants.

Gapo pay daytoy a training, no kasano kaado dagiti gagayyem ko idi, ad-ado man tattan. Dayta iti maysa nakitak a pagsayaatan na daytoy a training ta na-socialize nak. (Because of this training, I became sociable and gained more friends),” Flordelina added as she thanks her co-beneficiaries for always extending their hands to any help she needed.

The beneficiaries who organized themselves into Raniag Tagudin Sustainable Livelihood Program Association (SLPA) were able to learn the basics of t-shirt making during the 20-session skills training. In fact, the shirts they wear during the graduation are evident product of their successful training. They also make pot holders, placemats, and rugs which they sell at a very reasonable price. The association received 16 edging machines,16 high-speed sewing machines, 4 piping machines, plus complete set of sewing materials and garments from SLP fund of DSWD, that served as their starter kit for their new source of livelihood income. “Adda aminen a suporta a makitak. Adda laengen kadakayo iti panagballaygi na daytoy. Alwadanyo dagiti makina a naited kadakayo. Agiinnawat kayo no adda problema along the way. Pangaasiyo ta daytoy a biyaya ket pangalagaanyo, ayatenyo, ken iranod tayo dagiti padatayo a tattao. (All the support needed are here. The success of this livelihood program lies within you. Understand each other when problems arise along the way. Please take good care and love this blessing, and may this benefit other people),” said Mayor Roque Verzosa Jr. As a way to support the dressmakers, he added, “Aminen a t-shirt ket ditoyen iti pakaaramidanna. Dagidiay t-shirt ti eskuelaan iti interamente nga ili ti Tagudin ket makisaritan to ni Vice Mayor kadagitoy nga eskuelaan nga agpaaramid. (From now on, all t-shirts will be made here; Tagudin Vice Mayor Bernardo Tovera, Jr. will talk to all school administrators in the town requesting them to have their shirts made by Raniag Tagudin SLPA).”

Driven by optimism and trust for the dressmakers, Mayor Roque even foresee that with their determination, and the support of DSWD and other government and non-government agencies, the first t-shirt factory in town will soon rise. Agnes Tambalo, Regional Program Coordinator, on the other hand, challenged the dressmakers, “Napintas daytoy a programa ta ado iti tumulong kanyayo (beneficiaries), ngem no saantayo a tulungan dagiti bagbagitayo baka awan iti pagmaayan na daydiay a tulong. (This is a good program because many are helping you, but if we do not help ourselves, all these support will be in vain.”

Fernando Lobendino, 45, was among the 3 males in the association who completed and graduated in the said training. He said that gender should never be an issue in any workplace. “Awan pilpliyenna, lalaki man nga agdadait wenno babbai. Basta adda pagtrabahuan a nasiaat. (There is no discrimination, regardless whether a dressmaker is a man or a woman. What matters is we have a decent job),” he said.

One of the Sustainable Livelihood Program’s guiding principles is anchored on gender-sensitivity and gender-responsiveness. The unequal power relations among classes, genders, and across ages prevents equitable development and women’s full participation in social endeavors. The goal is to make equitable, sustainable and participatory development of women and men as decision-makers and planners, which emphasizes the balance and fairness of opportunities for both males and females. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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Santol Volunteers express gratitude to DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS

Community Volunteers and residents were gathered in a Focus Group Discussion where they shared their insights in the implementation of LGU-led projects in their municipality and their experiences in implementing DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS during the Municipal Talakayan held on 24 July 2017.

“Ag-tsinelas dan ti annakmi, dati agsaka-saka da nga mapan agiskwela (Our children need not to walk barefoot anymore, they can already wear slippers when going to school),” said Teresita Opeña, a DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS Community Volunteer from Barangay Lettac Sur in Santol, La Union. She recalls how the children in their barangay prefer to walk barefoot and carry their slippers, afraid it might be ruined by the deep mud they had to walk through on their way to school.

During the Municipal Talakayan recently held in Santol, the community volunteers shared their feelings and experiences on the implementation of programs and projects by the Local Government Unit, including the DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS.

A safer way home ─ footpath concreted by the residents of Lettac Sur to ensure their children can come home safely.

Barangay Lettac Sur prioritized the concreting of various footpaths in all its sitios and was funded by DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS with PhP 934, 854.00.  The 2.4 kilometer footpath now caters to 200 households in Lettac Sur and other neighboring barangays.

12 subprojects amounting to a total of 9.6 Million have been constructed in Santol alone.  DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS has trained 586 community volunteers in different disciplines such as bookkeeping, procurement, handling grievances, among others.

Residents from the 11 barangays saw a significant change in the behavior of the people in Santol, they grew to be more confident in expressing their ideas, “Dati adda pay ti saan na kaya nga ibaga ti nagan na iti publiko, tadta adu pay masaunan nu (Barangay) Assembly (Before, some were even ashamed to introduce themselves in public, but now, they talk a lot during Barangay Assemblies),” said Carolina, another empowered DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS volunteer. (by Helen Veryan C. Valdez, Social Marketing Officer, Kalahi-CIDSS)

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Achieve 2.0 soon to be out

In a three-day writeshop session, 20 selected grantees of the Expanded Students’ Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) who are also beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program wrote their own inspiring stories. These stories will be compiled in the second edition of Coffee Table Book entitled “Achieve”.

Hazel H. Achuela who graduated Magna Cum Laude with the degree Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the Mariano Marcos State University leads the writers in the publication of the “Achieve” Coffee Table Book this year.

With the assistance of the Social Marketing Unit, these grantees were taught on the fundamentals of writing.

Hazel mentioned, “I am grateful with the opportunity and honor I have now. This is due to the ESGP-PA. As a way of giving back, I want to extend my help and encourage other struggling students to have the firm determination, willingness to learn, and work hard for their dreams. Success is to be shared.”

“Achieve” Coffee Table Book tells the personal story of ESGP-PA grantees who have kept on fighting to realize their aspirations in life and holding their head up high after winning every struggle faced as students, children, community members, and Program beneficiaries. It will be launched this year. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/Pantawid Pamilya)

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