Archive | October, 2020

DSWD welcomes new IT equipment from IOM

(Left) Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista extends his message of gratitude to the International Organization for Migration and the United States Agency for International Development for their donation of distance learning IT equipment to help sustain the capacity building initiatives of the agency.

(Right) Ultra-HD conference camera, omnidirectional microphone pods, and speakers are among the IT equipment received by DSWD. 

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista received 21 units of Distance Learning Information Technology (IT) equipment from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

In a ceremonial turnover on October 22 at the DSWD Auditorium, Secretary Bautista expressed his gratitude to the international partners.

“This donation, will go a long way in intensifying DSWD’s disaster preparedness and response activities. Specifically, with the new IT equipment, the Department will be able to implement high quality and effective distance learning activities to ensure that our Field Office staff, local government units, and other partner stakeholders stay current with the new policies and guidelines in disaster response operations,” the Secretary said.

The gadgets valued at P3.066 million include premium ultra-HD conference camera, omnidirectional microphone pods, and speakers. They will be distributed to all DSWD Field Offices (FOs) to further augment the employment of digital solutions of the Department in sustaining capacity building initiatives among the disaster response personnel around the country.

The donation was made possible through the DSWD and IOM partnership project Empowering National Government Agencies in Emergencies (ENGAGE) formalized through a Cooperation Agreement signed in 2018 and supported by USAID. ###

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DSWD welcomes announcement on 4Ps beneficiaries on top list for COVID-19 vaccine

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) welcomed the announcement of  Malacanang that beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)  shall be among the priorities to get the COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available in the country.

The Department said that this development is definitely a good news especially that beneficiaries of the 4Ps are among the most vulnerable sectors in terms of health and economic aspects.

DSWD, however, clarified that it has yet to receive the policy governing this. The Department will be making the necessary preparations as soon as the guidelines are in place and the vaccine has been cleared for public use by the appropriate and authorized governing agencies. 

DSWD added that from its end, the priority of the agency is to ensure the utmost care and safety of its beneficiaries.  

Meanwhile, DSWD calls on the 4PS beneficiaries to wait for further announcement through its various social media platforms.

4Ps is the national poverty reduction strategy of the national government with DSWD as the lead agency. It invests in the health, nutrition, and education of poor households for an improved well-being.  It is implemented nationwide with more than 4 million household beneficiaries. ###

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Feature Story – A journey to self-sufficiency

Former Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiary Ritchel Demetrio and her family holds a birthday celebration for her daughter from the money that they earned from her hard work and dedication to become self-sufficient.

For Ritchel Demetrio, a former resident of Taguig City, living in a squatter’s area was never easy. Without a permanent home and a source of livelihood, she and her husband had to accept any job available to be able to provide for their family.

Kayod kalabaw kaming mag asawa. Kahit hanggang gabi nagtatrabaho kami kung kinakailangan para matugunan ang pangangailangan namin sa pang araw-araw. Kailangang doble kayod talaga para maitaguyod namin yung pamilya namin at pangangailangan ng aming mga anak. Kaya ang masasabi ko lamang, noon, ang mahalaga sa amin ay makakain lang kami ng tatlong beses sa isang araw; almusal, tanghalian, at hapunan” (My husband and I worked extra hours until the evening just to meet our family’s daily needs. Before, we already considered it a blessing if we could eat three times a day), she shared.

In 2009, Ritchel became a beneficiary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). With the cash grant from 4Ps, she was able to send her children to school and meet her family’s daily needs, however, she wanted to become self-sufficient.

4Ps is a human development program that invests in the health and education of poor families, primarily those with children aged 0-18. It provides monthly cash grants to beneficiaries who comply with the conditions of sending their children to school, bringing them to health centers, and attending the Family Development Sessions (FDS).

Meanwhile, it was in 2015, when another opportunity knocked on her doors. One of the 4Ps parent leaders approached her and asked if she was interested to avail of the free training offered by the DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

SLP is a capacity building program which provides opportunities to the vulnerable, marginalized, and disadvantaged individuals, families, and communities to enhance their livelihood assets and capacity to utilize their resources more productively. Participants of the program can either choose one of its two tracks: the Micro-enterprise Development Track or the Employment Facilitation Track.

For Ritchel, she chose the Employment Facilitation track because she wanted to enhance her skills and knowledge through the training programs offered by SLP.

Nagpalista po ako kaagad, hindi ako nagdalawang isip kasi naniniwala ako na yung SLP, parang binuksan nya yung pinto sa pangarap ko na matuto pa. Tinuring ko yung pagkakataon na yun na parang stepping stone ko. Kasi naniniwala po ako na makakatulong yung training ng SLP para malabanan natin ang kahirapan ng buhay” (After finding out about SLP, I immediately signed up to join because I believe that it will open doors for me to continue to learn new skills. I considered the opportunity as a stepping stone to help me to move away from poverty), Ritchel said.

Napakasaya ko po talaga kahit alam ko na medyo mahihirapan po ako kasi meron akong isasabay na trabaho sa pinapasukan ko noon at dagdag pa yung tungkulin ko sa bahay bilang isang ina kasi may mga anak din po ako. Nanibago talaga ako noon, para akong nagback-to-school tapos di ko alam paano ako makikipagsabayan kasi ang dami kong mga kaklase na mga bata. Pero gaya nga ng sinabi ko, naniwala talaga ako na stepping stone ko yun kaya tinuloy ko kahit mahirap” (I was happy to join the training despite having difficulty of juggling the training, work, and my responsibilities as a mother. At first, it was challenging for me because of the unfamiliar back-to-school setting. I also have younger classmates who were more enthusiastic during class, but as I said, I really believed that it was my stepping stone so I continued despite the difficulties), she added.

Through SLP, Ritchel was able to finish National Certification III (NCIII) Bookkeeping in 2015 under the International Electronics and Technical Institute, Inc (IETI) in Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Aside from the Bookkeeping course, she also finished Reflexology Training and Language Proficiency for American Accent to help her find work in a call center.

Marami akong natutunan nung pumasok ako sa SLP. Unang-una na dun yung lumawak lalo yung pangarap ko sa buhay. Alam ko na marami akong magagawa dahil sa programang ito. Dahil sa bookkeeping na kinuha ko, alam ko na hindi ko lang ito magagamit bilang empleyado kasi nagtatrabaho na ako noon hanggang ngayon. Bagkus, alam ko na magagamit ko din sya sa pagnenegosyo ko kasi naniniwala po ako na mas aasenso ako kung may kasabay na negosyo” (When I entered SLP, my dreams expanded because of the things that I learned from the program. I knew that the skills that I learned will be able to help me find work in a company as an employee, and also in starting my own business), Ritchel shared.

In 2017, she was able to enter the sales and marketing industry as a real estate agent. She utilized the skills she learned from SLP to engage with clients and sell properties.

After years of perseverance, Ritchel was able to finally waive her 4Ps membership as she felt that she and her husband can now sustain their family’s needs because of her work and RTW business.

The Demetrio family was able to acquire their own dream house and residential lot in Naic, Cavite. Ritchel was also able to send her kids to a private school.

From a simple family living in a shanty area to acquiring their own property, Ritchel has been proud of her family’s journey towards self-sufficiency. Currently, she is actively engaged in different organizations, cooperative, charity works, hosting gigs, among others. She also managed to purchase a car and motorcycle which is currently used for their RTW business.

Lastly, when asked about her advice to her fellow beneficiaries, she said, “Naniniwala po ako na lahat ng bagay, kung may kasamang panalangin at pagsusumikap, may katumbas po ito na pag-asenso” (I believe that anything is possible, if you prayed and worked hard to achieve it). ###

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DSWD continues to enjoy high approval ratings amid pandemic

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) welcomes the latest results of Pulse Asia’s Ulat ng Bayan Nationwide Survey, which shows that the DSWD continues to enjoy high approval ratings amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Results from the survey fieldwork, which was conducted from September 14 to 20, 2020 using face-to-face interviews, showed a 77 percent nationwide approval rating on the performance of the Department. The survey covered 1,200 nationally representative respondents.

Meanwhile, DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista scored a 63 percent nationwide approval rating, an increase by 2 percentage points from the 61 percent rating recorded during the last survey conducted in December 2019.

DSWD attributed majority of Filipinos’ continuous trust on its performance to its prompt and compassionate delivery of social protection programs, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the Emergency Cash Subsidy (ESP) under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

The survey revealed that a majority of all respondents or 65 percent said that they or a member of their household benefitted from the SAP-ESP implemented by DSWD. The percentage saying that they received the assistance is higher among socio-economic class E, but lower among socio-economic class ABC.

Meanwhile, according to the findings of the September 2020 Nationwide Survey on the National Administration and the President’s Handling of the COVID-19 Pandemic, 84 percent approved of the overall performance of the national government when it comes to providing assistance/subsidy to those who lost their livelihood and jobs due to the pandemic.

In addition to the cash subsidy, DSWD delivers family food packs and other food and non-food items to augment the resources of local government units and to help them respond to the food needs of their constituents. The Department also continues to implement its regular programs aimed at helping poor families cope with their day-to-day lives, including the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation, the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens, Supplementary Feeding for children, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Sustainable Livelihood Program, and Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services.

DSWD emphasized that the result of the survey affirmed that the Department and other national government agencies have been very responsive to the basic needs of the Filipino people in the midst of the pandemic, especially that a large majority (82%) of the respondents said they need financial help given their current situation as a result of the pandemic. Other services needed that were cited by a majority of the respondents (57% to 60%) include livelihood program, relief assistance, and free medical help. The percentage citing financial help is essentially the same across geographic areas but is higher for Classes D1, D2 and E than Class ABC.

The Department also stated that the result of the survey serves as a motivation for its personnel to continue to work tirelessly, despite the threat of COVID-19, to support and improve the lives of the poor, marginalized, and vulnerable Filipinos.

Pulse Asia’s Ulat ng Bayan survey for this year probed the quality of life of Filipinos, the performance of selected public officials and government agencies, and other relevant national concerns. ###Attachments area

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DSWD 8888 hotline responds to public concerns amid COVID-19 crisis

In an effort to bring the government closer to the people and to ensure unhampered public service despite the pandemic, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) emphasized that, together with its Field Offices, it will continue to effectively address the concerns of the public through  its 8888 Citizens’ Complaint Center.

8888 is a 24/7 public service hotline to allow the citizens to report poor frontline service delivery and corrupt practices in all government agencies.

DSWD disclosed that from March to September 2020, the Department processed 12,905 tickets for various requests, inquiries, and complaints from the public.

Of this number, 7,600 tickets were all related to the emergency cash subsidy under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) which ranked as the top concern every month during the period. Among the issues raised were inclusion and exclusion in the SAP, complaints about irregularities in the local government units, and inquiries regarding the release of the subsidy for waitlisted beneficiaries.

Despite the pandemic, the Center maintained a hundred percent referral rate from March up to the succeeding months.

Apart from continuously managing the 8888 hotline, the Citizens’ Complaint Center also responds to phone calls and attends to walk-in clients.

DSWD encouraged the public to continue to use the 8888 hotline, as well as its other grievance platforms, to ensure prompt resolutions to public grievances and to provide feedback on the actions taken on citizens’ concerns. ###

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DSWD extends help to 4Ps workers in shooting incident in Tawi-tawi

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has assisted the two program implementers who were attacked by gunmen in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS).

AICS is the provision of integrated services to individuals and families in difficult situations. These services include financial, material, and medical assistance, among others, based on the assessment of social workers.

According to reports,  Niezel Ladjauddin Asakil,  Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) OIC Provincial Link in Tawi-Tawi, and Kevin Pon,  4Ps Municipal Link, were attacked by gunmen along the highway of Barangay Lapid-Lapid while on their way home following a 5-day payout in Panglima Sugala on October 12, 2020. The two field workers were wounded.

DSWD recognizes the efforts of field workers to deliver the necessary assistance to 4Ps and other program beneficiaries despite the many threats to their health and safety,  thus, the Department vows to institute better mechanisms and to strengthen coordination with the government of BARMM to ensure their protection and to prevent the repeat of similar incidents. ### 

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DSWD to receive new Distance Learning IT equipment from IOM

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), through its Disaster Response Management Group (DRMG), will receive new Distance Learning Information Technology (IT) equipment from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in a ceremonial turnover on October 22 at the DSWD Auditorium.

Around 21 IT equipment worth P3.3 million, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through IOM, will be accepted by DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista from IOM Philippines Chief of Mission Kristin Marie Dadey.

The IT equipment will further boost the Department’s capability building initiatives in disaster preparedness and response by ensuring the continuity of effective distance learning activities among disaster response personnel in the local and national levels given the limitations set by the current COVID-19 pandemic. The donated IT equipment will be distributed to all DSWD Field Offices (FOs).

Moreover, the new equipment will also be used in developing, implementing, and delivering coordinated disaster response management programs for sectors vulnerable to hazards, as well as providing timely disaster response information to the public.

The turnover ceremony will also be graced by DSWD Undersecretary Felicisimo C. Budiongan, DSWD Assistant Secretary Rodolfo M. Encabo, IOM Philippines Country Office Program Manager Troy Dooley, IOM Philippines Country Office National Program Coordinator Conrad Navidad, USAID Deputy Mission Director Patrick Wesner, and USAID Regional Advisor Joe Curry.

With the new equipment, the Department vows to continue to brave the threats of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and stay true to its commitment of delivering unhampered public service in conducting disaster preparedness, response, and early recovery and rehabilitation efforts. ###

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DSWD chief hails cooperatives as development partners

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista acknowledged the significant contribution of cooperatives as development partners in uplifting the economic situation of poor and marginalized groups during an online Cooperative Forum on October 8.

The online forum was attended by different cooperative leaders and was spearheaded by Congressman Ben S. Canama of Coop NATCCO Party-list. It aimed to gather recommendations from cooperative leaders to address issues concerning the sector especially during this pandemic.

In his speech, Secretary Bautista emphasized the important role of cooperatives in empowering its members and in building a strong community.

Ang mga kooperatiba ay isa sa mga aktibong katuwang ng ating pamahalaan sa pag-abot ng tunay na kaunlaran at pagbabago. Ang mga kooperatiba rin ay tumutulong mabigyan ng sapat na kasanaya at kaalaman sa mga mamamayan, umaagapay sa pag buo ng matatag na pamayanan sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng trabaho at iba pang pagkakakitaan sa mga miyembro ng komunidad; nagbibigay ng abot-kaya at de kalidad na mga produkto at serbisyo; at higit sa lahat ay tumutulong upang makamit ang lubos na pag-unlad sa mga kanayunan,” Secretary Bautista said.

The Secretary also noted that the Department promotes the creation of cooperatives through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) Associations.  To date, DSWD has 51 SLP Associations nationwide  that are federated  as cooperatives.

SLP is a capacity building program which provides opportunities to the vulnerable, marginalized, and disadvantaged individuals, families, and communities to enhance their livelihood assets and capacity to utilize their resources more productively.

Through SLP, DSWD guarantees support to cooperatives around the country, especially in the provision of technical assistance and promotion of economic opportunities for the self-sufficiency of poor and marginalized groups around the country, in partnership with other concerned agencies. ###

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October 2020

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