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Change beyond vision –Empowerment

Aida presents an oration piece and her drawings depicting their barangay’s need for an access road during the sub-project prioritization in Bagulin, La Union.

Aida presents an oration piece and her drawings depicting their barangay’s need for an access road during the sub-project prioritization in Bagulin, La Union.

Sacrificing her time for Kalahi-CIDSS, Aida G. Sagayo, 41 years old, a Project Preparation Team (PPT) member from Barangay Wallayan, Bagulin, La Union is not disheartened even if their barangay was not prioritized in the recently conducted Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum-Participatory Resource Allocation (MIBF-PRA).

A farmer, wife, and mother of four, Aida does not count what she has done for her barangay but what more she can do.  As a PPT volunteer in Wallayan, she gave her best effort prioritizing the interest of her community first before herself. She happily shared experiences of trekking roads, walking distances and getting wet under the rain to fulfill her responsibilities as a Kalahi-CIDSS community volunteer.

“Noong dumating kasi ang Kalahi-CIDSS dito sa Wallayan nakita ko kaagad ang benepisyong makukuha namin sa Programa at ito nga po ‘yong kasagutan sa pangangailangan namin ng kalsada  (When Kalahi-CIDSS came to Wallayan, I immediately saw what we can benefit from the Program, and that is the answer to our need of an access road),” Aida recalled.  What was unexpected however was when Aida herself realized the equal importance of an access road and the knowledge she has acquired from the Program being a PPT volunteer. She later understood the importance of community empowerment that provided her with the right knowledge and skills on how to process and act accordingly to the needs of her barangay. The workshops she had undergone under Kalahi-CIDSS and the hands-on experience in preparing a project proposal have made her a better and empowered Wallayan resident, believing that with the help of Kalahi-CIDSS, she can do more for her community.

With optimism, even if Wallayan’s proposed sub-project was not prioritized, Aida still feels she  personally benefited from the Program. With all the experience and new knowledge she has come across and learned, her being a Kalahi-CIDSS volunteer makes her manifest the real project of the Program, an empowered citizen.

“Pagkatapos nito, ipagpapatuloy ng Brgy. Wallayan ang suporta sa Kalahi-CIDSS. Mas gagalingan namin sa second cycle, baka palarin na kaming ma-prioritize. Tuluy- tuloy lang ang kapit sa Kalahi-CIDSS (After this, Brgy. Wallayan will continue its support for Kalahi-CIDSS. We will do better in the second cycle, we might be prioritized by then. We will continue to link arms with Kalahi-CIDSS),”Aida said.

Kalahi-CIDSS is a four-cycle program currently on its first cycle in the 11 municipalities of Region 1. The second cycle of the Program processes to achieve community empowerment, good governance through the practice of transparency, and poverty reduction in the 11 identified Kalahi-CIDSS areas will roll out in September 2015. (by: Jomara S. Chan, Kalahi-CIDSS Social Marketing Officer)

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Dir. Castillo reports DSWD’s poverty reduction results to La Union media men

SFCPressConThe poverty reduction programs handled by DSWD Field Office 1 continue to expand with the addition of KALAHI-CIDSS Program and the widening reach of clients and sectors being served.

Thus was highlighted by DSWD Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo to local and national media correspondents during the recently held Press Conference at the Senior Citizens Center, City of San Fernando, La Union.

The previous school year featured the graduation of 18,527 Pantawid Pamilya high school beneficiaries where 1,244 were awarded either valedictorian or salutatorian.

The second round of household assessment reports that 848,598 or 91% of the target households has undergone assessment in Region 1.

“We reform as we perform. We improve our standards in providing the quality service to clientele groups,” Director Castillo said.

This is through faster delivery of services and better strategies parallel to the demands of sectoral clients and beneficiaries in congruence to performance excellence by the Agency.
Director Castillo also mentioned the convergence of DSWD’s institutionalized poverty reduction programs with the Sustainable Livelihood Program assisting the beneficiaries to access microenterprise seed capital and employment facilitation.

Moreover, Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries form part during KALAHI-CIDSS Barangay Assembly where needs identification and prioritization of sub-projects are conducted. During the KALAHI-CIDSS sub-project implementation, Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries are also the prioritized laborers.

For poor senior citizens, the quarterly stipend of Php 1,500 is provided to social pensioners. As clarified by Director Castillo, the amount of stipend was not increased as clamored by many. Instead, the government expanded the program scope by lowering the age cut off from 77 to 65 years old which increased the number of pensioners in the Region from last year’s 39,763 to 64,379.

During the media forum, critic turned avid supporter of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Romy Acosta of Amianan Tribune mentioned the observable positive results among the beneficiaries. In response to his question on continuity of these positive changes, all will depend on the right decision to continue the journey towards development as started by this administration.

The media persons represented the following media outlets during the Press Conference: Rock City FM, Public Eye, The Amianan Tribune, Manila Bulletin, DZAG- Radyo ng Bayan, PIA-1 Regional Office, DZNL-Aksyon Radyo, DZSO- Bombo Radyo, The Weekly City Bulletin, and Hot FM-Agoo. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)

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Piddig Organic Coffee Production Project unites Gov’t Agencies

Department of Agriculture Usec. Emerson U. Palad, together with DA-RO1 Dir. Valentino C. Perdido, DSWD-FO1 Dir. Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo, and Piddig Mayor Eddie Guillen, answers queries during the open forum.

Department of Agriculture Usec. Emerson U. Palad, together with DA-RO1 Dir. Valentino C. Perdido, DSWD-FO1 Dir. Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo, and Piddig Mayor Eddie Guillen, answers queries during the open forum.

Initiated by the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Piddig headed by Mayor Eddie Guillen, the convergence of Government Agencies was seen through the Piddig Organic Coffee Production Project in Ilocos Norte (IN).

Said project is a pilot Convergence Area Development Project of the Regional Convergence Initiative for Sustainable Rural Development (RCI-SRD) in Region I as an improvement strategy to effectively utilize the untapped land and generate a wide scale employment for the people in the area.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development – Field Office 1 (DSWD-FO1) together with other 16 government agencies [Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Education (DepEd), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), and Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA)] and two (2) private sectors contribute to the advance progress of the coffee project that was designed towards the realization of inclusive growth in the agriculture sector in Piddig where majority of poor are situated.

DSWD-FO1 Dir. Castillo, together with the DSWD employees from IN, joins the tree planting activity.

DSWD-FO1 Dir. Castillo, together with the DSWD employees from IN, joins the tree planting activity.

As part of the convergence, DSWD provided Php3.5 million seed capital assistance to the 700 beneficiary families of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in Piddig as starting capital for vermicomposting production. They are now paid for producing vermi fertilizer which they supply to the LGU of Piddig. The vermicompost that they produce is used in fertilizing the coffee seedlings upon planting it in the ground.

Last 23 July 2015, the Department of Social Welfare and Development – Field Office 1 (DSWD-FO1) Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo attended the Coffee project ceremonial planting activity held at the project site in Brgy. Lammin, Piddig, IN. Dir. Castillo later on visited the Cabaroan Organic Demo Farm where vermicompost is produced by 4Ps beneficiaries.

Seeing the benefits of vermicomposting, Dir. Castillo advised Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) Provincial Coordinator Chad Everett Llanes and Provincial Link Ronald Punio to also learn the process of vermicomposting, so they can disseminate the livelihood learning to other 4Ps beneficiaries. (by: Jaymante Pearl B. Apilado, Administrative Assistant III, NHTS-PR/Listahanan)

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Listahanan Enumerator helps his respondent

Aside from providing groceries, EN Neil together with his friends also donates clothes for Lolo Teodoro.

Aside from providing groceries, EN Neil together with his friends also donates clothes for Lolo Teodoro.

A first time Listahanan Enumerator (EN) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development – Field Office I (DSWD FO1), Neil Manangan did not just assess the household of Mr.Teodoro Dancel of Brgy. Colo, Batac City, Ilocos Norte. He also paved the way for Lolo Teodoro, living alone in his small house, to receive additional help and food assistance.

During the assessment, EN Neil learned that Lolo Teodoro can no longer work since he had stroke and has asthma. He only eats when some of his neighbors give him food or if there is any feast in their barangay or nearby barangay. Lolo Teodoro said he has relatives in the area but they don’t seem to care.

Seeing and witnessing the real situation of poor households, EN Neil having only 200 pesos that time in his pocket gave Lolo Teodoro 150 pesos for his dinner and promised to return to provide more help in any possible way he can.

He asked help from his skateboard group, Thirty Five Krew (TFK), and organized a skateboard event where the money earned from the event was spent in buying groceries for Lolo Teodoro.

Additional grocery supplies were also handed by the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) of Batac City to EN Neil as a support for his lifetime advocacy to assist Lolo Teodoro.

Further, Lolo Teodoro is now a Social Pension beneficiary of DSWD-FO1 and received his first pension amounting to Php1,500.00 last 3 July 2015.

“That’s not the end of it. We will continue helping Lolo Teodoro,” EN Neil said. (by: Jaymante Pearl B. Apilado, Administrative Assistant III, NHTS-PR/Listahanan)

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Tubao, La Union gets Php 6.2 M Evacuation Center from DSWD’s Bottom-Up Budgeting

BUB_Tubao 2The newly built 2-storey evacuation center of Tubao, La Union is among the results of the careful planning and prioritization done by community leaders and officials under the processes of the Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) sponsored by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Catering to five hazard-prone barangays, this center increases the disaster preparedness of the municipality for any eventuality while minimizing the impact on the lives of families residing along the mountains and riverbanks needing refuge. The center hopes to effectively implement disaster operation from preemptive evacuation to relief operations.

ARD Marlene Febes D. Peralta encouraged the active participation of Barangay Captains as responders during preemptive evacuation. She also recognized the Php 600,000.00 counterpart of Tubao LGU as display of readiness to implement the project.

Also, ARD Peralta reminded that the best preparation is being prepared to any eventuality as disaster responders. The maximized use of the building as refuge of disaster victims while there is still threat in their communities, the importance of disaster responders, and the availability of stockpile were also emphasized.

With this structure, Acting Mayor Dante Garcia requested DSWD to provide technical assistance on camp management and disaster operations to complete the readiness of Tubao residents to any eventualities.

The weekly monitoring of Architect Domingo Tambalo Jr. of the BUB Project and active participation and good coordination among the key implementers of the LGU officials, Municipal Action Team (MAT), and Regional Focal led to the early completion of this project. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)

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ESGPPA graduate gears up for work

pio“I am expecting for the best, but I am also prepared for the worst,” 20-year old Pio Angelo Ballesteros courageously claimed as he starts establishing his career path after his graduation this year from the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University-South La Union Campus.

Second child to an unemployed father and a barangay secretary mother, Pio recognizes the Expanded Students’ Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGPPA) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). “Napakalaki po nitong tulong (It is really a big help), he said.

Pio believes that graduating Cum Laude with the degree of BS Biology is his gateway to realize his dream of becoming a successful medical doctor someday.

Target aimed

In his quest for his dream, he plans to work in the meantime to earn for his future medical studies. He is in the process of qualifying for a research assistant post in a reputable university.

To beef up his credentials and increase probability of landing a better-paying job, he plans to take a Master’s Degree next year. Setting aside financial constraints, he is still determined to triumph over his career challenges.

Sure hit

According to Pio, he will not waste this chance because he considers this job opportunity as his stepping stone to reach his ultimate dream to be part of the medical field. He added, “I do not have to be afraid to do things just because of financial constraints; I visualize a secured future for me and my family.”

A proud product of ESGPPA, Pio is leaving a mark on the government’s effort to provide access to quality education to poor but deserving students. With bright perspectives brought by values gained by the family, indeed, great changes can happen through Pantawid Pamilya. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/Pantawid Pamilya)

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Kalahi-CIDSS funded infrastructure projects in Pangasinan identified.

Brgy. Sapa Pequeña community volunteers, headed by their Brgy. Captain (in yellow), and Kalahi-CIDSS facilitators give their thumbs-up to Kalahi-CIDSS sub-project prioritization process

Brgy. Sapa Pequeña community volunteers, headed by their Brgy. Captain (in yellow), and Kalahi-CIDSS facilitators give their thumbs-up to Kalahi-CIDSS sub-project prioritization process

Bringing development to the communities of Burgos, Pangasinan through Community – Driven Development (CDD), the Municipality, with a total grant of P7,326,000 for development projects, has identified five infrastructure sub-projects benefiting five of the 14 barangays in Burgos.

One deep well water system and four access roads were prioritized by the Kalahi-CIDSS community volunteers to address the challenges hindering the progress in the lives of Burgos residents.

Expressing deepest sentiment on poverty and hardships experienced in Sapa Pequeña, one of the prioritized barangays, Brgy. Capt. Nolito C. Bustamante said that the scarcity of water has been the main struggle in their community affecting their economic status as crops are not sufficiently tended leading to loss of income, poor hygiene causing sickness, and added burden on mineral water expenses.

With the support of other empowered communities in Burgos, the prioritization of infrastructure sub-projects has resulted to the identification of the need of Brgy. Sapa Pequeña for a potable water system that would solve their problem in farming, poor sanitation, and income loss, and access roads for Barangays Papallasen, San Miguel, San Vicente, and San Pascual.

Kalahi-CIDSS’ distinct process in introducing development to the poor communities is not confined to the provision of infrastructure projects to improve the community residents’ way of life, but more importantly, the Program empowers and capacitates the community members with knowledge and skills to initiate and sustain responsive development. (by Jomara S. Chan, Kalahi-CIDSS Social Marketing Officer).

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First Kalahi-CIDSS sub-project prioritization conducted in Pugo, La Union

Pugo Mayor Balloguing recognizes the mark of community empowerment in Pugo through people participation during the Kalahi-CIDSS sub-project prioritization.

Pugo Mayor Balloguing recognizes the mark of community empowerment in Pugo through people participation during the Kalahi-CIDSS sub-project prioritization.

Five infrastructure sub-project proposals from the empowered communities of the Municipality of Pugo, La Union were recently prioritized to be funded by DSWD’s Kalahi-CIDSS’ Program. With a total of P6.6M municipal grant allocation for Pugo for 2015, a Barangay Health Station, Day Care Center,2 School Buildings, and an access road will be constructed in Pugo.

Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the three pro-poor program of the Philippine government implemented through the DSWD to empower communities in the 11 Kalahi-CIDSS municipalities in Region 1 to have access to social services and participate in the identification, decision-making, and implementation of projects that will address the communities’ needs to uplift their way of living, through a transparent planning, budgeting, and implementation of projects to uphold development.

Attended by community volunteers from the 14 barangays of Pugo, the Kalahi-CIDSS Program of the DSWD conducted the pilot of one of Kalahi-CIDSS program implementation highlights which is the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum-Participatory Resource Allocation (MIBF-PRA). It is an activity where Kalahi-CIDSS Barangay Representation Teams (BRTs) gather to prioritize, by voting, proposed infrastructure projects by the barangays to be funded by Kalahi-CIDSS.

In partnership with the Municipal local government unit of Pugo, Mayor Orlando B. Balloguing expressed his support for the Program after witnessing the demonstration of empowerment by his constituents which he sees as an advantage for Pugo to move forward towards development. Mayor Balloguing’s commitment to the Program has been felt through his participation in Kalahi-CIDSS Municipal activities and his openhanded provision of counterparts to ensure smooth operation of the Program in his area.

On the other hand, Manolito, T. Abellera, 49 years old, a Kalahi-CIDSS Project Preparation Team (PPT) volunteer from Brgy Maoasoas Sur, the first of the 5 prioritized barangays in Pugo, said he felt the importance of Kalahi-CIDSS in Pugo because it is the only Program he knows that implements projects that are community-based. “Masaya kami ng mga ka-bvarangay ko kasi naprioritize na mapondohan ng Kalahi-CIDSS ang barangay health station na penropose namin. Nakikita ko na ang katuparan ng matagal na naming pangarap sa aming barangay na magkaroon ng malulusog na mamamayan kasi naniniwala kaming iyon ang sagot sa aming kahirapan (My barangay coonstituents and I are happy that our proposed barangay health station has been prioritized to be funded by Kalahi-CIDSS. I am seeing the realization of our dream for our barangay that is to have healthy people because we believe that it is the answer to our hardships.)” (by: Jomara S. Chan, Kalahi-CIDSS Social Marketing Officer)

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