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DSWD forms more anti-trafficking and VAWC Advocates

With the heightened information dissemination on RA 9208 Anti Human Trafficking Act and RA 9262 Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children (VAWC) Act, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO1) served 50 victim survivors of trafficking for the first six months this year.

 From the total served clients, 29 of whom were provided with livelihood assistance, 10 were recipients of Balik Probinsiya and the rest were provided with counseling and referred for other support services.

 Among the 10 recipients of Balik Probinsiya are Mr. Bernardito C. Jimenez, 36 and his common-law wife, Ailene, 35 from Brgy. Calepaan, Asingan, Pangasinan. The couple successfully went back home last June through the close coordination being done by the concerned field offices of DSWD.

 Bernardito shared their experience while at the verge of being trafficked for 5 months in Malaysia during a Symposium conducted by the DSWD FO1 regarding RA 9208 and RA 9262 and other related child welfare laws at the Francisco A. Sapigao Cultural Sports Complex in Asingan, Pangasinan.

 “This symposium served as an eye opener to everyone in the proliferation of human trafficking and to avoid being a victim. Nevertheless, DSWD is always on red alert to render appropriate services or assistance to the victims”, said Social Welfare Officer I (SWO I) Teresita J. Emock.

 The Municipal Government Operations Officer V (MGOO V) Mrs. Marivic Q. Guerrero gave emphasis on the functions and active involvement of all barangay officials through the Local Committee on Anti-Trafficking (LCAT). She encouraged the establishment of a VAW Desk in the barangays.

 Aside from that, the participants were urged by the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer Mrs. Teresita Mamalio to intensify their commitment in the implementation of the laws discussed.

 Salient provisions regarding Anti Human Trafficking Act and VAWC Act and other related laws such as RA 7610 and RA 9775 Anti-Child Pornography Law were rigidly articulated to all the 200 individuals who attended the said symposium.

 Among the participants were Municipal Officials, Asingan Day Care Workers and Day Care Parent Leaders, Pantawid Pamilya Parent Leaders, selected Tricycle and Jeepney Drivers and Operators Association Leaders, Business/Vendors Association Representatives, Barangay Officials, Women Leaders, LGU MIACAT-VAWC Leaders, OFW Association Leaders, Senior Citizen Leaders, Department of Education (DepEd) Elementary and High School Heads, Midwives and Inter-faith Pastoral Groups. (By Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Administrative Assistant V, NHTS-PR )

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ABSNet ILOCANDIA: On Its 1st Sportsfest

Employees and beneficiaries from eight (8) Social Welfare and Development Agencies (SWDAs) composing four (4) Local Government Units (LGUs) from the City Social Welfare and Development Offices (CSWDO), Vigan City, the Province of Ilocos Sur, Laoag City, and the Province of Ilocos Norte held the first ever Sports Festival of the Area-Based Standards Network (ABSNet) Ilocandia at the Great Heights Learning Center in Bantay, Ilocos Sur.

 With the theme “Pigsa ken Panagkaykaysa, Bileg ti Ilocandia” (“Strength and Unity, Power of Ilocandia”), all the participants were able to strengthen their camaraderie and relationship among the SWDAs. This also had provided venue for socialization activities of the clients which is contributory to achieve their rehabilitation goals.

 Participating SWDAs strongly   believe that with strengthened bonding better implementation of programs and services are provided to clients.

 The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer of Ilocos Sur Mr. Ferdinand R. Concepcion showed his all-out support to the Sports Festival through the preparation of the venue and his presence in all the activities.

 Among the sports that were played and enjoyed by the participants were Basketball (boys), Chess (PWDs), Volley ball (Girls), Slogan and Poster Making Contest and Ballroom Dancing (Senior Citizens).

 Winners (in proper order) in the different events brought home 1st prize (P1,500.00), 2nd prize (P1,000.00), and 3rd prize (P500.00) respectively: Basketball-Spirit and Life Mission House and Great Heights Learning Center; Chess (1 entry only)-Spirit and Life Mission House; Volley ball-Caritas Nueva Segovia, Tahanang Carmela D’ Amore, and Spirit and Life Mission House; Poster Making Contest-Spirit and Life Mission House, Great Heights Learning Center and Shekinah Homes; and Ballroom Dancing (2 pairs only from Vigan City, Ilocos Sur).

 Aside from the rivalry in the scores which created a lively atmosphere during the outdoor and indoor games, all the participants got more excited to receive cash prizes that are at stake in the raffle draw initiated by the ABSNet Ilocandia Cluster with Solicitation Permit No. DSWD FO1-SP-00016-2012.

 The winners of the raffle draw are as follows: 1st prize (P5,000.00)-Vigan Christian Capitol Learning Center;  2nd prize (P3,000.00)-City Government of Vigan; 3rd prize (P2,000.00)-Mr. Amado Pascua from the CSWDO Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. Ten consolation prizes were also given away to lucky ticket owners. One of whom was the ABSNet-La Union Cluster.

 Proceeds from this Sports Festival amounting to approximately P21,655.00 will be utilized for the better implementation and delivery of various programs and services of the Cluster.(By Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Administrative Assistant V, NHTS-PR)

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Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya 2013 winner named

To recognize families who have religiously followed the program conditions and embodied Filipino values and strong family ties, DSWD – Field Office 1 recently named the regional family-winner for the Search for Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya 2013.

This is to encourage Filipino families maintain a good standing in the community and serve as inspiration to others.

Meeting the criteria with high remarks, the Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya award was brought home by the family of Juanito and Evelyn Daniel of Suyo, Ilocos Sur. A hardworking and contented couple focusing on providing best for their two children despite their physical disabilities. They are also members of the Bago Indigenous Peoples Community and are active in community activities, compliant to program conditions and promotes healthy living.

DSWD- FO1 Assistant Regional Director Marlene Febes D. Peralta emphasized that poverty is never a hindrance to attain success and fulfillment of one’s dream and that the families’ social standing did not keep them from being good examples to other families.

Other regional finalists include families from Dingras, Ilocos Norte; Tubao, La Union and Bolinao, Pangasinan. All family entries were validated by a team from the Department of Education; Civil Society Organization (CSO) and media partners.

The search was opened to all program beneficiaries in the region and were judged based on 25% compliance to conditions; 20% healthy living promotion; 20% active involvement in community and environmental activities; 20% demonstration of love and respect to the community and environment and; 15% proper utilization of cash grants.

According to Evelyn Daniel, she is very thankful with the recognition which they did not expect since all entries were equally deserving model families.

 Likewise, one of the judges, DepEd District Supervisor Dr. Feliciano Tumacdang said that the search made him a better person as he appreciated the effects of the program to the family-beneficiaries.

The Daniel Family will be the region’s official entry to the National Search for Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya who will eventually serve as family ambassadors of the program.

Pantawid Pamilya is a conditional cash transfer program of the Philippine government which invests in human capital through health and education by providing cash grants to extremely poor households with children ages 0 – 14 years old. (by: Allan O. Lulu / Information Officer II, Pantawid Pamilya)

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DSWD clarifies issues on possible lowered cash grants

DSWD-FO1 announces that deducted cash grants received by Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries on February/March 2013 was due to the advanced payment of one payment period. An activity held due to the impelementation of election ban.

 The said advance payment was composed of grants for the months of January – February 2013 (Period 1) which were supposed to be released by April/May.

For Period 1, beneficiaries’ compliance were initially based on Period 6 since compliance results were not yet due at the time. Because of this, cash grants of non compliant beneficiaries for the said period  will be deducted for March and April (Period 2)  grants which were distributed on June/July.

Likewise, Period 2 grants will automatically decrease since education grants will not be given for the months of April and May where there are no classes.

DSWD – FO1 Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo reminded that beneficiaries’ cash grants are based on compliance to program conditions Further, he emphasized that beneficiaries must focus on the essence of their compliance to  conditions and not solely on cash grants.

For more information, Pantawid Pamilya City/Municipal Links in the locality are ready to respond. Also, DSWD encourages everyone to text queries and concerns to Pantawid Pamilya Grievance Redress System (GRS) hotline by texting the numbers 09189122813.

Pantawid Pamilya is a conditional cash transfer program of the Philippine government which invests in human capital through health and education by providing cash grants to extremely poor households with children ages 0 – 14 years old. (by: Allan O. Lulu / Information Officer II, Pantawid Pamilya)

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DSWD announces second cycle of Household Assessment

For four consecutive years, the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development DSWD has been trusted in providing complete, accurate, and reliable data to all its stakeholders in rendering services for the poor and the needy. The number of data users keeps on rising as they recognize the profound integrity of its database in identifying who and where the poor, who are potential beneficiaries of social protection programs that may lead them to an improved quality of life.

In Ilocos Norte, there are five municipalities with existing Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department such as Dumalneg, Bangui, Nueva Era, Pinili, and Marcos. Meanwhile, there are also six municipalities in Ilocos Sur to include Cervantes, San Vicente, Santa Cruz, Sugpon, Tagudin, and Alilem which currently utilizing the NHTS-PR database. Three municipalities in La Union such as Agoo, Bangar, and Pugo and five in Pangasinan namely Asingan, Bugallon, Laoac, Manaoag, and Urbiztondo are also among the data users.

The Provincial Governments of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and La Union are still supporting the utilization of the database up to now through a MOA by the Provincial Governors.

All these years, more data users are encouraged to enter into a MOA with DSWD for them to have a focused and efficient targeting of potential beneficiaries of social protection programs and services.

On its second cycle of household assessment this coming September, NHTS-PR ensures that the identified poor will benefit from social protection programs. Coupled with this commitment is a new brand and logo of the project, called Listahanan which will be launched in October.

Colony Arises

 “Thousands of work forces to include Area Coordinators, Area Supervisors, Enumerators, and Encoders/Verifiers are needed to conduct the household assessment in over 900,000 households (HHs) in the entire Region 1”, said Regional Field Coordinator Joan M. Nuesca. Saturation approach will be employed in collecting needed data for all rural barangays while pockets of poverty will be identified for urban barangays, she further added.

All of the hired Field Support Staff will be deployed in all the barangays in the four provinces (Ilocos Norte-111,464 HHs, Ilocos Sur-138,769 HHs, La Union-143,262 HHs and Pangasinan-535,138 HHs) to conduct household assessment. Prior to their deployment, they will undergo intense training for necessary data collection skills in the field.

With these plenty of households to be assessed, all field support staff only carry with them Household Assessment Forms (HAF) which now have 41 observable variables to estimate a household’s income as against the provincial poverty threshold to classify them as poor or non-poor after the Proxy Means Test (PMT) run.

Trek for the Poor    

Once deployed, mountainous terrains, winding, rocky and rough roads, risky bridges over deep rivers and the scorching heat of the sun are along the way to reach the most remote and depressed areas of the region just to conduct household assessment.

Reaching a household located in a far flung area means bringing hope as they will get close to the government and helping them realize that they are still part of a growing community.

Visits to distant barangays are opportunities to meet the poor and able to see with the naked eye their present situation and this could be the start of something new for them when they become part of the NHTS-PR database.

By Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Administrative Assistant V, NHTS-PR

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Microenterprise builders rise in Santiago Island, Bolinao, Pangasinan – DSWD

Bolinao, Pangasinan – ‘Cash grants recipients’ turned  microentrepreneurs in this tourist destination town famous with its ivory-sand coastline,  coral cave formations, and  ‘danggit’ production.

 In Santiago Island,  the Sustainable Livelihood Program of DSWD Field Office 1 paved the way to further their product development strategies and increase market linkage, thus encouraged higher income among 390 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who were  provided with capital assistance (Php 5,000.00 each) over the last three years.

 From Cash Grant recipients to Cash Builders

 Rochelle Pardon, a 35 year-old mother of 5 children is earning at least Php 920.00 for  10.5 kilos of ‘danggit’ produced in a day. This is  sold at Php 280.00 per kilo or  Php 2,940.00 as her gross sales. The production cost include  Php 1,650.00 for the 30-kilo fresh ‘Barangen’ and Php 370.00 labor cost for cleaning, salting and deboning.

 On shellcraft, Nory Lalaguna, 49 year-old mother of 8 children is earning an average of Php 500.00 a week for shellcraft making (necklaces, curtains, novelty items). Recently, she produced 500 pieces of necklace bought at Php 15.00 each by the Department of Tourism.

 Capital assistance  grantees now  organized

 A bigger group of ‘danggit’ producers composed of 20 Self Employment Assistance Kaunlaran (SEA-K) Association and   1 SEA-K group were organized as Santiago Island SEA-K Workers Association of Bolinao (SISWAB).

 The SISWAB has collected Php 34,000.00 as share capital and membership fee from its member-associations. This will serve as revolving capital upon the establishment of the Sheltered Processing of ‘danggit’ at Barangay Goyoden, Bolinao.

 With this federation, the group of ‘danggit’ makers among Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries are also awaiting for more government agencies services and intervention tapped by  DSWD.

 Government Agencies Services to Unload

 The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources   (BFAR) will initiate a capability training to ‘danggit’ producers for faster production  and more enticing product packaging.  Also, additional skills training on fish processing for standard salting, drying and storage using the appropriate technology are already scheduled.

 With the Department of Trade and Industry, participation to trade fairs will give the product a bundle of opportunity to penetrate wider and more stable market.

 The group will also be registered with DOLE for them to access needed equipment or raw materials for greater production.

 Furthermore, the DOST will provide assistance on packaging and labeling for the overall appearance of the product, hence, maintaining its good quality over a period of time. (Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)

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82, 701 Day Care Children in Region 1 to Receive Supplementary Feeding Program

SFPOn its third (3rd) year of implementation,  the Supplementary Feeding Program of DSWD starts with  Php 129,013,560 overall  funding for 82,701 Day Care Children in Region 1.

 As to funds allocation share,  Pangasinan has Php 66,443,784; Ilocos Sur, Php 26,793,480; Ilocos Norte, Php 20,242,820; and La Union, 20,070,960.00.

 For 120 days, the  provision of one additional ‘hot meal’ is expected to showcase vegetable viands which will be prepared by organized Day Care Service Parents group in all Day Care Centers. This component of the Feeding Program encourages more  children to eat delicious vegetable viands and minimize if not eliminate ‘junk foods’ served to children during recess.

 Recently, the awarding of checks to the implementing Local Government Units  was done in the four provinces of Region 1. Monitoring a rigorous financial transparency on its implementation was emphasized by OIC Assistant Regional Director for Administration Nora D. De la Paz. Hence, the  submission of on-time liquidation reports from implementing LGUs is strictly observed.

 “The Supplementary Feeding Program is expected to improve the health status of children from being malnourished to normal health status and improve parenting role performance  among the  organized parents who will be hands-on in the preparation of  ‘hot meals’ and  attend Parents Effectiveness Sessions,” De la Paz further  mentioned.  (Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)

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DSWD invites more NHTS-PR data users

Top: Regional Focal Person Cristina A. Dacanay synthesizes all the discussions and answers the queries of the MPDCs while the Regional Deputy Project Manager Anniely J. Ferrer discusses the project’s background. Below: Regional Information Technology Officer Aristedeo V. Tinol demonstrates the database online access while the Regional Associate Statistician Glynnis S. Casuga presents the statistical data of the project.

Top: Regional Focal Person Cristina A. Dacanay synthesizes all the discussions and answers the queries of the MPDCs while the Regional Deputy Project Manager Anniely J. Ferrer discusses the project’s background. Below: Regional Information Technology Officer Aristedeo V. Tinol demonstrates the database online access while the Regional Associate Statistician Glynnis S. Casuga presents the statistical data of the project.

The database of poor households of the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is now readily available for the utilization of data users.

This is for the National Government Agencies (NGAs), Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), private organizations and other groups to have a more efficient, faster, and focused targeting of potential beneficiaries of their different social protection programs as being mandated by Executive Order 867.

It is the reason why the National Household Targeting Unit (NHTU) of the DSWD Field Office 1 keeps on soliciting the support of different organizations in the whole region to utilize the NHTS-PR database and eventually say “yes” and enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the DSWD.

Through the conduct of Consultation Dialogues with all the Municipal Planning and Development Coordinators (MPDCs) in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur held recently, the importance of the NHTS-PR database, data sharing and utilization guidelines, and statistical data were rigidly presented. Online access to the database was also accurately demonstrated.

Disagree to Agree

MPDCs are considered to be the databank of the municipality they belong that is why the NHTS-PR database is beneficial to them for easier identification of their potential beneficiaries of their social protection services in their own locality according to the Provincial Social Welfare Officer of Ilocos Norte Lilian Celia Rin. She further added that NHTS-PR database is a helpful tool in planning social protection programs and services to be implemented. But entering into a MOA is a big question to them.

The Regional Field Coordinator Joan M. Nuesca explained that sets of data being requested by data users are indicated and specified in the MOA. From this, the NHTU will have a basis in monitoring and making sure that the appropriate social protection services were properly delivered to their target poor households, she further added.

Sets of data in the database are considered to be confidential in nature because aside from statistics, names and other details of poor households are specified.

Despite of gray areas regarding entering into a MOA, MPDCs were enlightened after the guidelines of data sharing were clearly articulated.

Partnership Starts

The NHTU looks forward for more MPDCs to enter into MOA thru their Municipal Mayor and eventually become one of the data users of NHTS-PR.

The interest of the MPDCs to utilize the soonest possible time is implied by their eagerness to access the database and they even tend to refuse in entering into a MOA but it is the requirement of the Department.

In just one strike of a pen, many poor households will receive social protection services that may lead to the upliftment of their quality of life. (By Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Administrative Assistant V, NHTS-PR)

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