Archive | April, 2017

More than just moving up

MACO, Compostela Valley  -THE heat was scorching, even those who do not fear the sun will scramble for cover. There was barely any breeze, and the little breeze there was blocked by a school building on the right.

There was but tarpaulin stretched on bamboo poles as cover for the students, parents, teachers, and guests attending the Second Graduation and Moving Up Rites last April 10, 2017 at the Community Technical College of Southeastern Mindanao Inc. (CTCSMI) at barangay Lapu-lapu in Maco, Compostela Valley.

The night before, school administrator Sophia Perez-Garduce and the parents started coming in.

A couple whose son was moving up to senior high did not make it to the 9 p.m. curfew where the school locks its gates and so opted to just sleep in the open. The school only realized that upon the reopening of the gates in the morning.

Among the guests who were squinting through the heat were Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, ACT Party List Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro, and former Gabriela Party-list Representative Luz Ilagan.

The guest list shows the school’s origins and desire to provide the highest possible education to the often marginalized lumads.

Also with them were Maco Mayor Alvera Veronica Rimando, DSWD Regional Director Mercedita Jabagat, singer/composer Maan Chua who rendered two songs for the children, Davao artist Kublai Millan, who committed to help perk up the campus for the students, and barangay captain Edgardo Barriga Sr.

Ilagan only has high praises for the students and the school itself for being able to hold its second graduation and moving up ceremonies.

“This time we see that despite all odds, despite the difficulties they encountered, makapa-graduate na sila (they will graduate). So it is a model, pwede naman (they can) mag-succeed. And it’s a reminder to government: this is where you failed to provide services,” she said.

Ilagan said that it is government responsibility to provide education, but since time immemorial, the Indigenous People’s population has been the least served especially in terms of education. Initiatives by the communities themselves and some partners among the militant groups have been accused as communist fronts and administrators, faculty, and students are always threatened.

“During the last years of my term in Congress I joined all dialogues, yung campaign natin sa (our campaign in) Save Our Schools, we would go to Deped (Department of Education), we would go saan-saan, maghangyo, pabayaan na ninyo ang mga lumad, nag-initiative na nga eh, pinabayaan natin in terms of services, ngayon nag-effort sila, sisirain pa natin, hindi yun tama (anywhere, plead to people to leave the lumads alone, they are already initiating, but we left them in terms of services. Now they are making an effort and we are ruining it. It’s not right),” she said of these threats against lumad schools.

But with this moving up and graduation ceremonies by the most comprehensive ever lumad school in Mindanao, Ilagan said, “It is a reminder to government especially that here we have a sector, indigenous people, who have long been clamoring for services coming from government, especially education — very crucial, and for the longest time they have not received these services. Here is an activity that shows despite all the difficulties naka-succeed, they are still able to push through.”

Taguiwalo, meanwhile, said there are social welfare programs that stand to benefit the lumads, especially with the marching order of President Rodrigo Duterte to the DSWD to ensure that the lumads are served especially those who at the time Duterte took over as President were living in dire conditions at the Haran House in Davao City because of militarization in their communities.

“Meron kaming Kalahi-Cidss na ang community ang naga suggest kung anong project ang kailangang-kailangan (We have Kalahi-Cidss which suggests what projects have to be done),” Taguiwalo said.

Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan–Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Service (Kalahi-Cidss) is a community-driven development project under which communities and Local Government Units (LGUs) are trained to choose, design and implement sub-projects that address their most pressing need.

But specific for the school and the community, she said, they can assist in looking into the potable water problem there, a situation that was raised by the barangay captain during the program.

“Meron namang scholarships ang mga bata through 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program), meron tayong modified conditional cash transfer para sa mga katutubo (The children have scholarship from 4Ps and we have modified cash transfer for the indigents),” she added.

CTCSMI or better known as the Lumad School in Mindanao is made up of around 70 percent lumad student population coming from ten tribes from all over Mindanao. It opened last June 2015 with only 37 elementary, 77 high school, and 184 college students. Now they have 223 in preschool to grade 10, 42 in senior high, and 182 in college.

Sitting on a 2.5 hectare campus, the school has one facility that is very important to lumad schools — a dormitory.

Students are provided not just with board and lodging, the college students also have bus services.

CTCSMI itself does not have college classes and faculty, rather, it is in a partnership with the Liceo de Davao Tagum College, where the college students taking up education courses are actually attending classes, brought there from the CTCSMI campus every school day on their buses.

Only 179 are studying there as three opted to take up engineering courses, thus, CTCSMI is sending them to St. Mary’s Academy of Tagum.

In one of the classrooms is an exhibit of the children’s art works, which include hand-made toy trucks painted with familiar words like, “Not for hire”, “No Smoking”, and “Flammable” (sic), pieces of their realities manifested in their works.

Several containers decorated with epoxy carvings are for sale, to raise funds for the school as initiative by the industrial arts teacher, Perez-Garduce said.

Donations and scholarships dominate the operations of this school as it is an initiative by those who have long struggled to provide education for IPs but are oftentimes thwarted by accusations of being communists.

Even within campus, it is a small community effort. Students have responsibilities beyond just attending their classes and passing their subjects. Wake-up time starts at dawn where the students have to fix their sleeping quarters, clean the facilities, and cook, depending on their assignments.

The school maintains an organic farm, the produce of which are either sold or prepared as food for the scholars. These are also tended to by the scholars and the school faculty. All these work, however, is much less than from where the children came from, some of whom were once child laborers in banana plantations and mining, and many of whom can only help their parents tend their plots of land but not go to school. The school has donors but is also tasked to raise their own funds to provide for the children.

What was quaint in the program was that the students tasked to deliver their speeches, both elementary and high school, only had words of thanks, no other.

There were no declarations of lofty dreams nor stories of how they were brought up by their parents, not even worn-out quotations from heroes or statesmen, just, thank you, a lot of thank yous. That by itself speaks a lot about what this school is all about and who it serves, and how the students feel as they step up closer to their dreams. (by Stella A. Estremera, Sun Star Davao Editor)

 

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Multi purpose pavement completed in Bolila, Malita

MULTI PURPOSE PAVEMENT. [from left] Municipal Area Coordinator for Kalahi-CIDSS Jean S. Bautista, Barangay Captain Noli S. Uy, Barangay Sub-project Management Committee Chairman (BSPMC) Danilo O. Palaruan and Kalahi-CIDSS Area Coordinator Francis B. Pineda cut the ceremonial ribbon during the blessing and inauguration of Kalahi-CIDSS Php 793,480.00 Two Units Multi-Purpose Pavement in Sitio Kilongag, Barangay Bolila, Malita, Davao Occidental. The newly inaugurated sub-project will benefit 217 households in the barangay.

Kalahi-CIDSS or Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services, one of the core programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is a community-driven development (CDD) program of the Philippine Government aiming to empower people through sustainable development, enhanced participation in local governance, and management of poverty alleviation projects. (DSWD/ Photos by Francis B. Pineda) 

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Starter kits for ComVal beneficiaries released

STARTER KITS. 102 residents of the municipalities of Laak, Pantukan, and Nabunturan of Compostela Valley Province receive their respective starter kits following the various livelihood skills training such as Heavy Equipment Operation, Corn Production, and Coffee Production conducted through the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). (DSWD)

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Brand new classrooms to welcome 219 students in DavSur village

VILLAGE CLASSROOMS.  [from left, first row] Barangay Manual Chair Ricardo C. Saplagio, Kiblawan Mayor Carl Jason Rama, DSWD Undersecretary Mae Fe Ancheta-Templa, Kalahi-CIDSS Regional Program Coordinator Ma. Elena S. Labrador, and Kalahi-CIDSS Area Coordinator Robert Kenly A. Sta. Maria lead the ceremonial ribbon cutting and unveiling of brass marker of One Unit Building with Three Classrooms which was completed through Kalahi-CIDSS of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The brand new classrooms will be a most welcome treat to some 219 high school students expected to enrol in Manual High School in June. (DSWD)

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Tribal hall up soon in New Corella

TRIBAL HALL. Municipal Mayor Rhodora S. Alcoran [in red shirt] leads the ground breaking ceremony to mark the construction of Togan Center, a tribal center in Barangay Suawon, New Corella, Davao del Norte. Some 249 IP (indigenous peoples) households will benefit from this community project worth Php 363,236.00.

On the same day, a concrete 100 Linear-Meter Barangay Road with Single Barrel Box Culvert project was inaugurated and handed over to the barangay.

The projects were intiated by DSWD Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) under the PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (PAMANA) modality.

PAMANA, one of the modalities of Kalahi-CIDSS, aims at strengthening people’s capacities in order to address issues of vulnerability and peace through activities that promote social cohesion. (DSWD)

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Starter kits for ComVal beneficiaries released

STARTER KITS. 102 residents of the municipalities of Laak, Pantukan, and Nabunturan of Compostela Valley Province receive their respective starter kits following the various livelihood skills training such as Heavy Equipment Operation, Corn Production, and Coffee Production conducted through the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). (DSWD)

 

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300 households in Kapalong to benefit from potable water, day care projects

Kapalong, Davao del Norte –Some 300 households in Barangay Katipunan here can now look forward to happier and healthier days as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) recently ushered in water system and day care center in the village.

Handed over to the barangay are Construction of Potable Water System Level II with grant allocation of 2,150, 218.00 plus local government counterpart contribution worth Php 368,893.00, and Improvement of Day Care Center worth Php 346,400.00 under Kalahi-CIDSS PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (PAMANA).

Present during the blessing and turnover were Mayor Maria Teresa Timbol, Vice Mayor Edgardo Timbol, Kalahi-CIDSS staffs and community volunteers.

“This is an important milestone in Barangay Katipunan. Having reached four years implementing Kalahi-CIDSS is no easy feat. When the community started to work together, they gradually built various successful community sub-projects.  More than the sub-project, this opened opportunities that made them better contributors in the development of the community,” said Nick Elvi D. Digol, Kalahi-CIDSS Deputy Regional Program Manager.

Sa Kalahi-CIDSS, gitagaan ang katawhan og oportunidad nga magpaluyo sa pag implementar aron padayon nga matabangan ang mga lugar nga kinahanglan og pag tagad. Hagit kini karon sa amo, nga makapangita og mga estratehiya nga palambuon pa ang among mga hinaguan nga proyekto pinaagi sa programa (Through Kalahi-CIDSS, ordinary citizens are given the opportunity as key implementers so that sustained assistance are extended to areas needing most. This is a challenge for us to explore strategies to enhance further our community projects), said Michelle Lagarto, a Kalahi-CIDSS Community Volunteer for four years.

‘‘The successful implementation of community volunteers is fruit of their compassionate, collective action or Sama-samang Pagkilos ng may Malasakit,” said Mercedita P. Jabagat, DSWD XI Regional Director.

She added, development has a long way to go, but DSWD will continue to provide opportunities that will help the volunteers improve their knowledge and gain new experiences. When the program ends, the community will still engage in the process of development in their municipality.

To date, Kapalong has a total grant allocation of P60M.

Kalahi-CIDSS is a Community-Driven Development (CDD) program of the Philippine Government aiming to empower people through sustainable development, enhanced participation in local governance, and management of poverty alleviation projects.

PAMANA, one of the modalities of Kalahi-CIDSS, focuses at strengthening people’s capacities in order to address issues of vulnerability and peace through activities that promote social cohesion. (DSWD)

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From amakan to concrete classrooms

Kiblawan, Davao del Sur (DSWD XI) – For high school students of Barangay Manual here, nothing could inspire more than sitting in a brand new concrete classroom this coming school year, a far cry from the amakan structure they’ve been used to.

Thanks to Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), one of the core programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which has formally turned over a newly built One Unit High School Building with Three Classrooms worth Php 2,750,635.00 in Barangay Manual.

A ceremony attended by parents, students, and school officials was held to formalize the turnover of the new school building to the school administration.

The ceremonial cutting of ribbon was led by Hon. Mayor Carl Jason Rama, DSWD Undersecretary Mae Fe Ancheta-Templa, and Kalahi-CIDSS Regional Program Coordinator Ma. Elena S. Labrador.

“We’ve been using our previous classrooms since 2013. The structure does not have solid walls as it is made of amakan or bamboo matting. The teachers have to somehow speak way beyond the normal to the point of almost shouting just for students to hear them. And with several classes going at that rate at the same time, just imagine how hard it is for everyone,” said Rosalita A. Estropia, principal.

The new school one unit building with three classrooms comes with brand new armchairs and blackboards. It has concrete walls and painted inside out.

“The additional rooms will improve on former classroom conditions,” noted Estropia, who further stressed that the rooms will no longer be overcrowded, making it more conducive to learning.

“These new classrooms are slated to be used by 219 students from the high school level,” shared Robert Kenly A. Sta. Maria, Kalahi-CIDSS Area Coordinator in Kiblawan.

Mae Fe Ancheta-Templa, Undersecretary of DSWD, expressed her heartfelt acknowledgment to teachers, parents, Local Government Unit (LGU), and community volunteers for their unwavering endeavor in prioritizing education for the students.

“I am thankful because the community chose to prioritize a social production project such as a school building. Students have a significant role in the community. The classroom is our mirror in seeing a student’s potential. The classrooms are the factories where a student’s ideals and ideas are formed, after all.”

Templa’s remarks and statements emphasized DSWD’s commitment of Maagap at Mapagkalingang Serbisyo to communities, further reinforcing that providing better facilities to students towards quality education  is one of the best ways to achieve this.

She also underlined the agency’s advocacy of continued support to education.

Importante sa DSWD ang kalambuan sa katawhan, ug magsugod kini sa mga kabatan-onan. Maayo gyud nga giduso sa komunidad nga mao kini ang ilang priority (DSWD recognizes the importance of development of people which begins with the youth. It is good that the community pushed this).

To date, Kiblawan has nine completed sub-projects and three on-going construction, covering the first cycle of implementation with a total grant allocation of Php P17,847,200.00.

Kalahi-CIDSS is a community-driven development (CDD) program of the Philippine Government aiming to empower people through sustainable development, enhanced participation in local governance, and management of poverty alleviation projects. (DSWD)

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