Archive | August, 2015

Kaya Ko: KC volunteer-turned KC community facilitator

KAYA KO ANG PAGBABAGO. Kalahi-CIDSS community volunteer-turned Kalahi-CIDSS community facilitator Vanessa M. Diez of Pantukan town, Compostela Valley shares her uplifting story at the DSWD Monday convocation. “I never allowed negative vibes to dampen my burning desire to succeed. I persisted and I achieved my goal to help my community. I am very grateful to DSWD for the opportunity to serve as volunteer as I learned a lot from being one. Now, with my employment as Kalahi-CIDSS worker, I hope to pay it forward and help others to rise up as well and change their life for the better.” (DSWD)

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Adoption: A perfect blessing

Royina and daughter Angelica.

Davao City- She is known for her courage and dedication as a policewoman. She has solved a number of high-profile cases which put her in a coveted position as the only female station commander in the city.

But more than the services she has rendered to the people of Davao, she is a superwoman to her adopted child Angelica.

Police Superintendent Royina Garma is a single adoptive mother, having annulled her marriage. She believes that love sees no difference. “There is no measure of being a true parent whether it is your blood or not.”

“Looking back, we never got interested in adoption even after three years of fertility work-up, but I think God really has a plan for us. He planned everything which led us to Angelica,” Garma recalled.

Adoption journey

“Angelica was rescued when our mobile patrol received a call that there was a baby left in the street. My ex-husband and I immediately went to Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) to see the baby. On that same day, we decided to adopt Angelica,” Garma narrated.

The legal adoption process implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) used to be tedious and lengthy, nonetheless we legally underwent the process and complied with the mandates of the law, she stressed.

According to DSWD Adoption Focal Sheryl Anne R. Dumalogdog, the process of legally adopting a child involves several steps such as application of interested parents, preparation of home study report, approval or disapproval of application, matching or family selection, pre-placement and placement of child, supervised trial custody, finalization of adoption, issuance of adoption decree and amendment of birth certificate, and conduct of post-adoptive services.

Fortunately, Angelica’s adoption was finalized 3 days before her birthday, Garma said.

Struggles

“I was with her in her developing years. Angelica has Dyslexia, a learning disability characterized by a trouble in reading despite her normal intelligence. She also has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) which needs therapy,” Garma shared.

Despite Garma’s hectic schedule, she does not let her helper handle her daughter. “Before I go to work, I feed her, bathe her, and give her vitamins.”

Garma grew up with her grandmother and she doesn’t want Angelica to grow up that way.

“When she was 6 years old, she started asking if she came out from my womb. Though I was hesitant to tell the truth with her very young age, I conditioned her mind through bedtime stories which were related to her situation,” she recounted.

Angelica is an intelligent child. She understands the situation even the annulment that happened to her parents. She wants to be successful like the famous adopted dermatologist Vicki Belo and Senator Grace Poe.

Proud to be adopted

“I am proud as an adopted daughter. I am grateful of the kindness that my adoptive parents showed to me. I am thankful that these people treated me as their real daughter and extended their genuine love to me,” Angelica expressed.

Angelica now 14, a Grade 8 student, dreams to be a famous author and travel the world someday. She is very friendly and is never ashamed to tell her classmates that she is adopted.

“I never longed for my biological parents because my adoptive parents never make me feel less loved,” Angelica admitted.

“Sometimes she’s over protective because she wants me to be safe always. I am grateful of her. She managed to take care of me as well as protect her people in Davao,” Angelica proudly expressed referring to her mom.

Realizations

Making a difference in a child’s life brings a wonderful, rewarding, life-changing experience, Garma said.

“Adoption is a blessing. It is just like conceiving a child, the only difference is the process you have to overcome. Those people who adopt are more responsible and those people who let their child be adopted instead of abandoning them are the bravest because they are not selfish and not compromising the welfare of their children.”

For a successful adoption, you have to be whole and ready for responsibilities, Garma added.

Adoption is a socio-legal process of providing a permanent family to a child whose parents have voluntarily or involuntarily relinquished parental authority over the child.

From January to July 2015, DSWD XI was able to place out 20 children both for domestic and inter-country adoption.

Aside from legal adoption, DSWD is also advocating Foster Family Care to enable every homeless child experience a caring and nurturing family life provided by a licensed foster family on a temporary basis.

Under foster care, seven children were placed out from April to June this year.

For Garma, there are still many Angelicas to be loved, nourished and cared for through legal adoption. (DSWD)

 

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LGUs are also major partners in Pantawid Pamilya

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said that local government units (LGUs) are one of the major partners in the implementation of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program by providing the supply-side support, including monitoring, and grievance resolution.

However, the Department’s engagement with LGUs does not include the identification of beneficiaries. This is done to maintain impartiality and to avoid the perception of possible political influence.

This developed as Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos raised that the Pantawid Pamilya would have been less prone to leakage if the DSWD tapped LGUs as partners instead of exclusively implementing it. Sen. Marcos, however, did not elaborate the extent of his proposed DSWD-LGU partnership.

LGU engagement

The entry of the program to an LGU starts with the conduct of the Pre-Supply Side Activity where a Memorandum of Agreement is drawn between DSWD and the LGU to formalize partnership regarding program implementation.

Under the agreement, the LGU will commit to provide infrastructure like health stations and educational facilities, to enable the beneficiaries to comply with the health and education requirements.

Apart from this, advisory committees at the provincial and municipal levels are organized headed by the governor and the town mayor, respectively.

These advisory committees oversee the over-all implementation of Pantawid Pamilya in the Provincial and City/ Municipal. They are also responsible in ensuring that the commitments of the Local Government stipulated in the MOA are fulfilled. In addition, they are also tasked to facilitate and address complaints and requests endorsed to the committees.

Selection of beneficiaries

To explain further why LGUs are not involved in the selection of beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya, DSWD emphasized that the beneficiaries were taken from the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction or Listahanan, a database of poor families.

At present, the Department is now winding up the second assessment of poor families which will update the 2009 database. The updated database will then become the basis for the identification of government social protection programs and services including the Pantawid Pamilya.

For this 2nd assessment, DSWD has enhanced the targeting system and is now implementing quality control measures such as random re-interviews and spot checks, to ensure that the assessment will produce accurate and reliable results.

Among the enhancements made to the targeting system is the development of new proxy means test (PMT) model. The PMT is a statistical model that estimates income of poor households based on household characteristics such as housing materials, education attainment and livelihood of each household member, among others.

Improvements in the new model such as inclusion of barangay characteristics as among the determinants of poverty status and installation of a 2nd stage screener to weed out possible inclusion errors, resulted to the decrease in model-based error rates, from having an inclusion and exclusion error rates of 22-35% in the 2009 model to 6.9-19.3% in the new model.

An inclusion error is when a non-poor family is classified as poor, while an exclusion error is when a true poor family is classified as non-poor.

Resolved issue

With Sen. Marcos bringing up the issue on leakage rate in Pantawid Pamilya, DSWD emphasized that the issue has long been resolved.

The issue of the alleged leakage stemmed from an article published by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) using  2009 data which has been used to incorrectly calculate that P19 billion of current program funds did not go to intended beneficiaries.

The ADB has already clarified this and expressed that it continues to support the DSWD on the implementation of Pantawid Pamilya.

“DSWD has resolved the leakage problem and that this is no longer the current situation of the program,” the ADB press statement said.

DSWD maintains that it continues to address leakages in the program through the Beneficiary Updating System and the Grievance Redress System (GRS).

To date the BUS and the GRS have already delisted more than 77,000 ineligible beneficiaries.

The GRS provides a platform for addressing concerns and complaints.  Majority of the cases recorded and responded were issues on the exclusion of qualified families and the inclusion of ineligible families. Other issues involved erring beneficiaries.

Moreover, the GRS received 51,557 complaints through the GRS. Of this, 30,670 have been resolved as of June 2015. The complaints include issues on eligibility, misdemeanor, and payment, among others.

The GRS also sanitizes the database of beneficiaries by removing cases of double entry or duplication, fraud, missing beneficiaries, waived membership to the program, and unregistered beneficiaries, among others. (DSWD)

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DSWD Home for the Aged: A Kiwanis legacy

Residents at the Home for the Aged.

DSWD Home for the Aged: A Kiwanis legacy

Tagum City –Founded by the Kiwanis Club of Tagum City in 1978, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Home for the Aged here has tremendously evolved from serving less than ten elderly residents to a total of 60 now.

The Home offers services such as social, health, medical, psychological as well as home life and group work sessions. It also facilitates reintegration of older persons to the family.

With its 21 staffs, volunteers and friends, the Home will celebrate its 38th Anniversary this month with a Thanksgiving Mass, Awards Ceremony, Zumba Alay Kay Lolo at Lola, Medical Check-up and also Operation Gupit, Massage, Manicure and Pedicure.

Beginnings

In 1978, Benjamin “Bag” Gonzales, a devoted Kiwanian here, donated his 1,000 square meter-lot in the then secluded area in Brgy. Visayan Village for the establishment of a Center that will render specialized care for the abandoned, neglected and unattached older persons.

It was envisioned that the Home for the Aged shall be a place that could provide a refuge to the disadvantaged and homeless older persons in their twilight years and even when they are still physically-able.

In 1980, following a thorough evaluation and assessment, the Kiwanis Club of Tagum decided to turn over its brainchild project to the proper agency -the then Ministry of   Social   Services and Development (MSSD),   now known as DSWD.

The Kiwanians bequeathed a legacy of an unconditional service which DSWD vowed to develop and sustain.

The Provincial Branch Office of MSSD headed by Melitona V. Boaqueňa, took the helms of the Center operation.

During the transition period, pending the formalization of organizational structuring and policy formulation and with 20 residents to cater, the Center was ably managed by four staffs led by officer-in-charge Esterlina Espiritu.

Following a consultative planning in 1983, Erlinda B. Flordeliz took over as Center Head.

Friends of the Home

The civic-minded individuals who pioneered the institutionalization of the Center never ceased to provide support throughout the years.  In 1981, filled with vigor and commitment, they united to organize the Tagum Friends of the Home, Inc. (TFHI).

The first president of the Tagum Friends of the Home, Inc. (TFHI) was Atty. Jovito Bermudez, who was also president of Kiwanis Club of Tagum.

Upon the demise of Atty. Bermudez, vice-president, Luz T. Pereyras, who was also president of Soroptimist Club of Tagum, took over as president.

Elections were held every two (2) years. Luz T.  Pereyras was elected and subsequently re-elected. Having served close to 10 years, Luz T. Pereyras then relinquished to Pedro B. San Jose the presidency of the foundation.

Moving up

In 2010, TFHI was accredited by the Provincial Government of Davao del Norte.

Since its creation, TFHI has contributed significantly to the general objectives of the DSWD Home for the Aged and has remained a dynamic organization to date.

Heeding the suggestion of then DSWD Assistant Regional Director Ruel G. Lucentales [who rose to become Assistant Secretary], TFHI Board of Directors converted TFHI into a foundation.

Documentations for the TFHI were approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). However, adhering to SEC new rules and policies, TFHFI decided to re-categorize its organization as an Association.

The group finally became Association of the Friends of the Home for the Aged, Inc. (AFHAI) in 2011.

In 2012, AFHAI received its accreditation from the DSWD National Office through the Standards Bureau.

AFHAI constantly supported the Center. From a mere 1,000 square meter-lot in 1978, the Center has progressed into a sprawling 4,106 square meter-complex when adjacent lots were donated by AFHAI members Moises Reyes in 1991 and Sabino Rala in 1997.

To accommodate more disadvantaged older persons and provide ample space for each resident to move about, DSWD acquired a three-hectare property in Barangay San Jose, Monkayo, Compostela Valley Province in 1993.

A  Home for the Aged extension was built shortly with a 10-bed capacity and furnished with complete basic facilities.

Currently, the Home for the Aged also serves as a Social Laboratory where students of Nursing, Physical Therapy, Medicine, and even Caregivers learn proper care and management of older persons as they obtain a more meaningful understanding and handling of the aging process. (DSWD)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Katakus sa Onse Kontra Krisis

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Adoption Forum

ADOPTION FORUM. Prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) attend the Adoption Forum conducted by DSWD every month. Through the Forum, the social worker briefs the parents on legal adoption procedure, orients them on the legal documents required of them as well as responds to their inquiries on legal adoption and other related processes to make the adoption successful.

Adoption is a socio-legal process of providing a permanent family to a child whose parents have voluntarily or involuntarily relinquished parental authority over the child.  From January to July 2015, DSWD XI was able to place out 20 children both for domestic and inter-country adoption. Meanwhile, under the Foster Family Care Program [temporary placement], seven children were placed out from April to June this year. (DSWD)

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Making life easier for senior citizens

In its efforts to make life easier for indigent senior citizens, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has included 481,572 senior citizens in the payroll of the Social Pension Program in 2014, of which 319,425 senior citizens were provided the amount of P2.86 billion.

Likewise, a total of 55,568 social pensioners have been provided with stipend amounting to P83.16 million from January to March 2015. Payout for the 1st quarter to the remaining 884,041 beneficiaries is still ongoing.

The DSWD-Field Offices have conducted simultaneous payouts for the remaining beneficiaries in 2014 and first quarter 2015 beneficiaries through cash payout and fund transfer.

Social Pension provides P500 monthly cash grants to augment the daily subsistence and other medical needs of indigent senior citizens, as stated in Republic Act No. 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

The Department considers the following indigent senior citizens as its priority for inclusion in the program: frail, sickly, or with disability;  without pension from Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), Armed Forces & Police Mutual Benefit Association, Inc. (AFPMBAI), and other insurance companies; and, without any permanent source of income or regular support from his/her relatives.

It is implemented in all regions including the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

From 2011-2014, the Department prioritized senior citizens aged 77 years old and above. For this year, seniors 65 years old and above are covered by the program.

Based on testimonials of beneficiaries, they are happy and thankful for the program because they are able to utilize their stipend to meet their daily basic needs such as food and medicines. Others also claim that they use their stipend as additional capital for small livelihood business and for minor house repair. ###

 

 

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The 10 Kumainments

The National Nutrition Council’s 10 Kumainments for a healthy and active life: 1] eat a variety of foods; 2] breastfeed the baby for the first six months; 3] eat fruits and vegetables every day; 4] eat foods rich in protein; 5] drink milk and take foods high in calcium; 6] take clean food and water; 7] use iodized salt; 8] tone down on salty, oily and sweet foods; 9] keep the right weight; and 10] stay active by avoiding alcohol and cigarette. (DSWD)

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