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Amputee passes DSWD-AVRC’s vocational courses

G-Jay Oandasan, an amputee trainee of the AVRC receiving his award from Asst. Regl. Director Marlene Febes D. Peralta.

G-Jay Oandasan, an amputee trainee of the AVRC receiving his award from Asst. Regl. Director Marlene Febes D. Peralta.

G-Jay Oandasan of Sual Pangasinan, a youth with one leg and without hands or ‘amputee’  is among the 56 persons with disability (PWD)  who passed training courses at DSWD Area-1 Vocational Rehabilitation Center (AVRC) in Dagupan City.

After training for 6 months to 1 year, these PWD-trainees have acquired skills on dress making, tailoring, Massage Therapy, Food and Canteen Management, Beauty Care and Hairdressing, Orientation and Mobility, and Braille Reading.

G-Jay Oandasan is a real inspiration among the PWDs who were confirmed graduates by Asst. Regional Director Marlene Febes D. Peralta during the 50th Graduation Exercises held recently.

Despite G-Jay’s disability, his confidence and self worth is shown in his cheerful  face. Now even more confident because of his acquired skills in Food and Canteen Management.

Apart from mainstreaming in the community and independent living,  70% of the trainees were already employed prior to their graduation. Indeed, employment facilitation is among the concerns of the AVRC to help these  PWD graduates access their right for development and employment at the same time.

True to this remarkable changes in the lives of these PWDs, Center Head Elizabeth C. Manuel reminded them to pursue greater dreams. “After this commencement exercise, you should also graduate from your feelings of pity and hopelessness, to emphasize on abilities rather than disabilities,”  Ms. Manuel further advised.

Also, the AVRC -1 is already an accredited training facility by the Department of Health particularly on massage therapy. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information  Officer II).

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DSWD’s Php 24.7 M goes to Indigent Senior Citizens’ Stipend

Lola Gudelia S. Estrada, a social pensioner in Umingan, Pangasinan who just received her stipend amounting to Php 1,500.00

Lola Gudelia S. Estrada, a social pensioner in Umingan, Pangasinan who just received her stipend amounting to Php 1,500.00

There were 16, 510 indigent senior citizens who received Php 1,500.00 each as stipend for the months of January – March this year. This is through the DSWD’s Social Pension Program which released  a total amount of Php 24.7 million for the first quarter alone.

This was disclosed by DSWD Regional Director Marcelo   Nicomedes J. Castillo as the Agency pushed for the release of these assistance to  indigent senior citizens before the Election Ban on March 29, 2013.

The release of stipend was done for a month only despite the region’s geographical challenges such as mountainous terrain and far flung municipalities along with its few program implementers.

DSWD has maximized its manpower deployed at the provincial offices and the support staff from the Local Government Units greatly helped in the speedy release of stipend, Director Castillo further mentioned.

To promote convenience among the ailing senior citizens, some 687 social pensioners will receive their stipend through Philippine Postal Corporation otherwise known as ‘PhilPhost’. This will be done  by the end of the second quarter to 5% of total beneficiaries.

With this, the PhilPost couriers will deliver the stipend right at  the door steps of the indigent senior citizens in  Malasiqui, Bayambang, and Umingan in Pangasinan that are pilot municipalities.

The Social Pension Program is further promoting the rights and benefits of indigent senior citizens as stipulated in Republic Act No. 9994 or Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2009.  Indigent senior citizens are those at least  77 years old, not receiving any regular pension from private and/or  government institutions, and considered as poor by the NHTS-PR and OSCA-validated senior citizens. This is also DSWD’s contribution in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) particularly on eradicating extreme poverty and hunger around the globe by 2015. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Regional Information Officer)

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NEDA: Pantawid Pamilya gaining ground

Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries regularly access to basic health services, a confirmation of their better performance in terms of health and education as compared to non - beneficiaries.

Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries regularly access to basic health services, a confirmation of their better performance in terms of health and education as compared to non – beneficiaries.

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is gaining results in reaching its desired long-term outcomes of poverty reduction, said the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

In the region, currently there are a total of 159,097compliant 6 -14 years old enrolled in primary and secondary school; 15,309 compliant 3-5 years old enrolled in pre-school and; 56,441 household beneficiaries who access health services.

Based on the Socioeconomic Report (SER) 2010 – 2012, NEDA stated that Pantawid Pamilya has made remarkable progress in terms of achieving the development outcomes for its beneficiaries in the short term.

According to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, as a result of a 2011 impact evaluation, program beneficiaries are more likely to perform better particularly in health and education compared to non – beneficiaries.

At the national level, the report shows that as compared to non-program beneficiaries, Pantawid Pamilya households had higher insurance coverage (10%); schoolchildren had higher enrolment rates for 3-5 years for Day Care (10%) and 6 – 11 years old for basic education (5%); had higher school attendance for 6 – 11 years old (4%) and 12 -14 years old (5%).

Moreover, beneficiaries’ spending patterns shifted as it focused more on education (36%) and basic medical costs (33%) compared to non -beneficiaries.

The report supports the recent findings of the World Bank that Pantawid Pamilya is on the right track to achieving its objectives.

Finally, Sec Balisacan said, “The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is really a long – term investment and the immediate progress we have initially seems affirms the program’s success in the coming years.”

Region  1 presently has 181,439 household beneficiaries being catered by the program experiencing same notable progress.

by: Allan O. Lulu / Information Officer II, Pantawid Pamilya

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DSWD – FO1 initiates dialogue with SGPPA scholars


DSWD – Field Office 1 headed by Pantawid Pamilya Regional Program Coordinator Venus F. Rebuldela hold the Consultation Dialogue with SGPPA scholars to gather their issues in the program implementation in the four provinces of the region.

To identify issues and elicit recommendations from students on the implementation of Students Grants – in – Aide Program for Poverty Alleviation (SGPPA), DSWD – Field Office 1 recently initiated the Consultation Dialogue to Children Enrolled under the SGPPA in the four provinces of the region.

This is to provide necessary attention to the welfare of 143 identified beneficiary – scholars who are currently enrolled in the two Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) identified State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) namely Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) in La Union and Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) in Ilocos Norte.

Various issues on dropped outs, the selection process and compliance to satisfactory grades were raised. For dropped outs, Provincial Links will be visiting these students and convince them to return in school. However, they will be asked to sign a waiver if they decline the opportunity. This is to allow others to benefit from the said opportunity.

For the selection of replacements to these dropped outs,  the students recommended 1.) those who are really willing to study and are currently enrolled to avoid drop outs; 2.) those upcoming graduates with good academic performance; and, 3.) those who were previously assessed and endorsed but not selected by the SGPPA National Steering Committee (SGPPA – NSA).

The students also suggested that the remaining stipend alloted for their tuition will be used for either summer classes, travel allowance or use for other fees in the campus.

These suggestions will be presented to the Regional Oversight Committee (ROC) for discussion and approval.

The DSWD reminded the students, as scholars, to achieve satisfactory grades in order to continue with the program.

SGPPA is a program, in partnership with CHED and Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), that provides scholarship assistance to Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries.

by: Allan O. Lulu / Information Officer II, Pantawid Pamilya

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DSWD Team Reviews Bottom Up Budgeting Projects in Ilocos Norte

dswd-teamLAOAG CITY – DSWD Field Office 1  together with other agencies of  the  Regional Poverty Reduction Action Team (RPRAT) reviewed  and validated  proposed projects of Laoag City, Dingras and Badoc  among other LGUs  for endorsement and funding .

This is among the highlights of the RPRAT Consultative Workshop on Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB)  with DBM, DILG, DSWD, DOH, DA, DOLE, DENR, DAR and TESDA.

For 2013, these  agencies will coordinate with focus LGUs, facilitate completion of requirements, continue to oversee until implementation. Implementing LGUs later on will  report their accomplishments to the respective agencies, while agencies will provide internal guidelines to LGUs to ensure  transparency and accountability.

DBM will release funds directly to the budget of participating agencies and it was reiterated that such fund is already included in the budget of the participating  agencies.

DSWD Team composed of  Planning Officer Cristina Dacanay,  Social Welfare Officer III/ Convergence Focal Person Virginia P. Sesay, SWO II Mary Grace Rendon and Project Development Officer III Agnes Tambalo, reviewed proposed projects of said LGUs.

According to Ms. Virginia P. Sesay, this activity helped LGUs develop appropriate projects under the menu of DSWD which include  community-driven projects, Sustainable Livelihood Program, Services/Programs for the Family, Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities, and Social Pension Program.

Laoag City’s  projects on Core Shelter Program and Livelihood Projects for women and senior citizens were accepted with the amount of Php. 1,600,000.00 and  Php. 400,000.00 LGU counterpart.

In Badoc, Ilocos Norte, the project Upgrading of Day Care Centers in Brgy.  Saud, Badoc, Ilocos Norte was accepted with agreement that the LGU will provide counterpart of Php. 67,500.00.

Moreover, in Dingras, Ilocos Norte, three (3) Skills Trainings  were  accepted with add-on livelihood component  that will come after the conduct of trainings.

For the BUB projects the one-year project implementation can start already, hence, LGUs need to strategize. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, RIO with report from Virginia P. Sesay, SWO III/ Convergence Focal Person).

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DSWD Intensifies Advocacy on Republic Act 9208

advocacyTo maximize resources of the DSWD and the Local Government Units  in helping victims of human trafficking,  series of symposia attended by at least 575 individuals from various  sectors were  held  separately in San Carlos City, Dagupan City and  Calasiao, Pangasinan by the DSWD FO1- Social  Technology Unit (STU).

As revealed by STU Head Virginia P. Sesay,  Region 1 continues to receive increasing numbers of trafficked persons from other nearby regions particularly from the Visayas and Mindanao  regions.

In 2012, there were 136 trafficking-survivors who were served by several Local Government Units (LGU), DSWD community-based services section, and centers and institutions.

On the same year, the Province of Ilocos Sur reported 28 alleged victims who were proven to be victims of human trafficking after series of assessment done by FO1 Social Worker Tess Emock and by the Ilocos Sur Provincial Social Welfare Office.

As of March 2013, there were already fourteen (14) symposia on RA 9208 also known as “Anti-Human Trafficking in Persons”  conducted in LGUs with incidence of trafficking.  To gain better understanding on other cases of Women in Especially Difficult Circumstances of which victims of human trafficking are included, Social Welfare and  Development (SWD) related laws like RA 9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act) , RA 7610 (Special Protection of Child Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act) , RA 9775 (Anti-Child Pornography Act), and the Child Labor Law were included in the topics discussed.

More importantly, these series of symposia will lead to a more tangible and responsive services for the victims which will be carried out by the Local Councils Against Trafficking (LCAT)  established in every municipality.

The LCAT is a local structure that will look into the welfare of Trafficking in Persons (TIPs)  and provide protection from trafficking. “When these local structures are responsive to trafficking issues and problems, incidence of trafficking index will decrease, prosecution of perpetrators will be facilitated, and human sufferings will be mitigated if not eliminated in Region 1,” Ms. Sesay exhorted.

Moreover, Ms. Jean Sesay mentioned that the Recovery and Reintegration Program for Trafficked Persons (RRPTP) serves as eye opener to all concerned  development workers that human trafficking is real, widespread, inhumane, and one of the worst forms of abuse and crime against humanity.

In Dagupan City, the Symposium was graced by City Mayor Benjamin S. Lim who assured of his support to the program for trafficked persons. Participants from different walks of life including several Pantawid Pamilya Parent Leaders and  beneficiaries attended this event.  Atty. Uminga of DOJ discussed RA 9208 (Anti-Human Trafficking in Persons) while the trafficking related laws were discussed by DSWD OIC Asst. Regl. Director for Administration Nora de la Paz. (by Iryn D. Cubangbang, IO II with report from STU Head Virginia P. Sesay).

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Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP)

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Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program

The Program

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (Pantawid Pamilya) is a poverty reduction strategy that provides grants to extremely poor households to improve their health, nutrition and education particularly of children aged 0-14 dual objectives:

  • Social Assistance- to provide cash assistance to the poor to alleviate their needs (short term poverty alleviation); and,
  • Social Development- to break the intergenerational poverty cycle through investments in human capital.

It is patterned after the successful Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Programs in Latin America and Africa. CCT has been cited as one of the key factors behind the positive cosi-economic outcomes achieved by Brazil where 11 million families are currently enrolled in the program, and other countries.

The Beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya

The poorest households in the country selected through a uniform, objective and transparent set of criteria.

Criteria in the Selection of Beneficiaries

There are three (3) steps in identifying the beneficiaries:

Step 1: Provinces were selected using the following criteria:

  1. 20 poorest provinces based on the 2006 Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES);
  2. Poorest provinces in six regions without a province in the list of 20 poorest provinces; and
  3. Five cities in the National Capital Region, two cities in the Visayas, two cities in Mindanao and one in the Cordillera.

Step 2: The selection of the poorest municipalities from the above provinces based on small Area Estimates (SAE) and FIES where saturation surveys of households are being conducted

Step 3: Computerized selection of the poorest households based on a ranking system using Proxy-Means Test (PMT) developed for the program.

The PMT assesses socio-economic characteristics such as: ownership of assets/appliances; type of housing unit; level of educational attainment of household heads; and access to water and sanitation facilities.

Households to Benefit from Pantawid Pamilya

Pantawid Pamilya targets three hundred twenty-one thousand (321,000) households.

Six thousand (6,000) pilot households from he municipalities of Sibagat and Esperanza in Agusan del Sur, Lopez-Jaena and Bonifacio in Misamis Occidental and Pasay and Caloocan cities in the NCR have received cash assistance since January 2008.

Selection Process

The DSWD selects the beneficiaries based on the selection system developed for the program.

The Local Chief Executives or barangay officials are not participants in the selection process. However, concerned LGUs assist DSWD staff in the conduct of community assemblies which are part of the program process and procedures to validate potential and final beneficiaries.

Benefits of the Program

Pantawid Pamilya provides cash grants to the beneficiaries such as:

P6,000 a year or P500 per month per household for health and nutrition expenses; and,

P3,000 for one school year or 10 months or P300/month per child for educational expenses. A maximum of three children per household is allowed.

A household with three qualified children shall have a subsidy of P1,400 per month or P15,000 annually as long as they comply with the conditionalities.

Conditionalities of the Program

To avail of the cash grants, beneficiaries should comply with the following conditions:

  • Pregnant women must get pre- and post-natal care, and be attended during childbirth by a skilled/trained health professional;
  • Parents or guardians must attend responsible parenthood sessions, mother’s classes, and parent effectiveness seminars;
  • Children 0 to 5 years old must receive regular preventive health check-ups and vacancies;
  • Children aged 3-5 years old must attend day care or pre-school classes at least 85% of the time; and,
  • Children 6 to 14 years old must enroll in elementary or high school and attend at least 85 percent of the time.

How Beneficiaries Get their Money

The monthly cash grants shall be received by the most responsible person in the household, usually the mother, through a Landbank cash card.

Each household beneficiary will receive the cash grants for at most, five years.

Measures to Verify Compliance to the Conditions

The DSWD in coordination with the Advisory Council composed of DepEd, DOH, DILG, NAPC andthe LGU representatives at the national, regional and municipal levels will verify compliance every two months using monitoring tools developed for the purpose.

Failure to Meet Conditionalities

Non-compliance to the conditions will result in the suspension of cash grants or dropping from the program.

Budget Alloted for the Program

For 2008, P2.1 Billion has been alloted for the 321,000 household-beneficiaries.

From 2009 to 2013, P5 Billion per year is needed for the same 321,000 household-beneficiaries.

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