Archive | April 15th, 2013

DSWD DISTRIBUTES WOMEN’S NEEDS IN COMVAL

Alicia Balbin, wife of Mayor Balbin [center] leads the distribution of women’s undergarments and other needs in New Bataan, Compostela Valley.

COMPOSTELA VALLEY PROVINCE — The regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development recently distributed undergarments and other needs to more than 500 women who were affected by typhoon Pablo in the municipalities of New Bataan, Compostela and Monkayo.

In New Bataan, the distribution was done in the grandstand near the women-friendly space where more than 80 women converged to get their share of the goods.

Marlith Balbin, women-friendly space facilitator, said the women who received the goods were internally-displaced persons temporarily living in evacuation centers or relocation sites.

The women-friendly space is a concept of international relief agencies implemented in the aftermath of disasters to provide a venue where women can be helped with their special needs, like breastfeeding their children, providing women with the necessary knowledge on proper nutrition and human trafficking, and even providing them inputs on livelihood.

“Kung magsession mi, diri namo sila tapokon. Kanang maghatag mi og health sessions, stress debriefing, ug uban pa (During sessions, we gather the women inside the women-friendly space. Activities like health sessions, stress debriefing, etc. are also conducted here),” Balbin said.

The space also allows the direct responders to provide immediate assistance especially in cases of violence against women.

Nolibelyn Macagdal, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) project officer who is currently detailed at DSWD Social Technology Bureau, said the setting up of women-friendly spaces in evacuation camps is necessary because women are vulnerable to abuse.

Macagdal said that based on the collated report of her organization, there have been 71 cases of violence against women monitored in the three municipalities in the province since the typhoon landed on December 4. These cases have already been looked into and are being monitored especially by the TS Pablo Protection Cluster led by DSWD. DSWD

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FOOD DISTRIBUTION FOR ‘PABLO’ FAMILIES EXTENDED

[from left] Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon of Davao Oriental, Usec. Lesley Jeanne Y. Cordero of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman and Governor Arturo T. Uy of Compostela Valley are all ears to the points raised concerning coverage of all affected population and shelter response during the recent Inter-Cluster Meeting for Typhoon Pablo.

DAVAO CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other international and national humanitarian organizations have decided to extend the relief operations for typhoon Pablo victims until June 30 this year.

In a meeting held at the Grand Regal Hotel recently, the provincial local governments of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental revealed that relief assistance is still needed by those affected.

“Governor Uy and I share the same thought…we are still hoping that [the Department] would extend the food and cash assistance until June,” Davao Oriental Corazon N. Malanyaon said.

Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said, “At some point, we cannot continue providing for the 200,000 plus families. What we will do is identify the families with senior citizens, persons with disabilities, chronically-ill persons, pregnant and lactating women, and child-headed households.” These are considered vulnerable groups.

“Right now it is being referred as unconditional food and cash assistance, which really means we will continue providing the food packs,” the Secretary added.

Rory Villaluna of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also proposed for the inclusion of malnourished children in the unconditional food and cash assistance.

“Concern has been raised that the malnutrition rates is getting higher at this time. UNICEF is creating awareness because we still need support along these lines. We were thinking that until there is a time when families have sustainable livelihoods that will actually ensure that they can afford to buy food or produce food from gardening then there is still some subsidies that have to be provided,” Villaluna said.

Secretary Soliman assures the continuous delivery of the much-needed services, especially to the identified vulnerable groups.

“The commitment of the President is to continue to provide with whatever is needed at the early recovery stage,” she added.

After June 30, the government and the organizations will focus on livelihood programs and other rehabilitation efforts like the continued repair of infrastructures and permanent shelter construction.

To successfully implement this, Secretary Soliman reiterated her call for a strong TS Pablo inter-cluster coordination especially at the provincial and municipal levels, adding, “There’s much more to be done, so padayon tang tanan (together let’s continue moving forward).”

Discussed at the meeting were initiatives and plans of TS Pablo Clusters on Food and Non-Food, Camp Coordination and Camp Management, Protection, Livelihood and Shelter. Provincial response and plans of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley were likewise presented. DSWD

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