Infra dev’t crucial to 4Ps

DAVAO CITY – Infrastructure development is a crucial component of social protection intervention particularly the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Undersecretary Luzviminda C. Ilagan shared this findings during the recently held Mindanao-Visayas Feedback Forum on the United Nations Commission on Status of Women held at the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU).

She referred this as one of the concerns that emerged in the session among women who attended the Bangkok Conference on Women, that was relayed during the March conference of the UN Conference on the Status of Women (UNCSW63) in New York.

Kasi lumabas sa sharing (It came out during the sharing) of other countries that no matter how good the social protection is, if we do not have the infrastructure to support the program, to support the providers of the benefits, ma-failure din siya (it would still be a failure),” she said.

Citing as specific instance the 4Ps beneficiaries who, she noted, would not be able to line up during cash-out schedules if there would be no good roads and transportation means to take them to town centers where 4Ps cash grants are usually handed out by DSWD with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP).

She also cited instances where presence of Land Bank and other support agencies are needed in isolated far-flung areas.  In these cases, she noted that roads and bridges are crucial to the status of accessibility to the area where 4Ps beneficiaries converge expecting their cash grants.

“Social protection with the policy intentions, goals in place, should be assisted also by infrastructure; Dapat matutukan para ma-access (there has to be focus on this to access) and it is not only access but also accessibility,” she told participants to the feedback conference done to keep the women in the Visayas and Mindanao abreast of the issues and concerns raised, and commitments made by the Philippine delegation to the New York UN Conference on the Status of Women.

Ilagan was also concerned about DSWD service providers sent to far-flung and isolated areas who have to ride on a single motor called “habal-habal”.  Aside from facing possibilities of road accidents, they also are prone to threats of getting waylaid and robbed, she said.

In her presentation to the plenary on Social Protection during the New York UN CSW63, she described 4Ps as the flagship social protection intervention in the Philippines which “provides short-term income support to the poor and breaks the cycle of inter-generational poverty through investments in health and education.”

Though not totally directed at women, 87% of the 4.2 million 4Ps grantees are women who are seen to substantially benefit from efforts to promote women empowerment and gender equality through the 4Ps Family Development Session, Ilagan noted.

“The program’s spread to critical mass of women has a big potential for it to become a platform to reduce incidence of violence against women; present mechanisms to check the existence of gender-based violence within households,” she said in her talk during the UN CSW63.  (PIA XI)

Carmen social pensioners: Happy, thankful

CARMEN, Davao Del Norte – Nearly 2000 social pensioners here expressed happiness and gratefulness following the recent release of their social pension by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Held at the municipal gymnasium last June 28, the payout was led by Protective Services Division chief of DSWD, Ma. Elena S. Labrador.

67 years old Ernesto B. Javier Sr. of Purok 2A, Barangay Ising said, “Dako gyud ni nga tabang. Makapalit nako sa akong gusto. Salamat kaayo (This is a big help. I can now buy what I want. Thank you so much).” A former construction worker, Javier is skilled in electrical, plumbing, masonry and piling. He said he will buy rice and pay his electric bill too.

Ika unom na ni nako nga pagdawat sa social pension. Malipayon mi nga midawat niini. Dako among pasalamat sa mihatag niini (This is my 6th time to receive my social pension. We are happy to get this and we are very grateful),” said Sofronio T. Camacho, 72, of Purok 1, Barangay Salvacion. Camacho has six children who are also tending their own families. He shared about his aching knees, making it difficult for him to move around. From his social pension, he would get milk, medicines, food, viand and rice.

Elenita C. Gavino, 69, eagerly shared that after buying milk, rice and viand, she will use the remaining amount for the education needs of her grandchild. “Magpalit pud ko og medisina para sa akong sakit sa kasingkasing. Lipay gyud mi nga nia na ang hinabang (I will also buy medicines for my heart problem. We feel really joyful that the assistance has arrived).” A resident of Purok 8, Barangay Tuganay, Gavino has five children but she lives with her grandchild. To support their daily food consumption, she grows vegetables, pepper, lemon grass, camote, banana and more.

For Everisto T. Aliviado, 76 years old, “Gamiton nako ni para sa panud-an, bugas ug medisina. Salamat sa paghatag niini (I will use this money to buy my viand, rice and medicines. Thank you for extending this).” From Barangay Ising, Aliviado used to live on fishing until his right leg was afflicted with bone cancer. He started wearing an artificial leg in 1976.

Salamat sa tanan. Maayo unta madugangan ang pension (Thank you everyone. I hope our pension will be increased),” Editha J. Mahumot, 69 eagerly exclaimed. Mahumot lives in Barangay Ising. She said she will purchase rice, medicines, vegetables and viand.

“We completed the payout at one in the afternoon. We commend the beneficiaries, the local government unit and the local social welfare and development office for their support in making the payout orderly, peaceful and smooth. We are hoping for a similar experience in our succeeding payouts in other towns,” said Arris P. Medrano, DSWD head of social pension unit.

“In claiming the pension, personal appearance is required with valid Identification Card and a photocopy of the ID. For those physically unable or bedridden, we need to go to their homes and personally hand in their pension,” Medrano said.

DSWD has been conducting the social pension payout throughout the region Tuesday through Friday beginning last week of June. (DSWD)

Davao Region has 254,526 potential social pensioners in 2019

DAVAO City (DSWD XI) – “We are happy to announce that this year we have more than 200 thousand targeted beneficiaries under the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens Program,” said Arris P. Medrano, head of Social Pension Unit of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Davao Region.

“This figure is way higher than the previous years. In 2016, we posted 85,532 social pensioners, we had 136,067 in 2017 and last year, we covered a total of 254,526, same as this year,” Medrano said.

“Those who have been included in the payroll were subjected to eligibility assessment and validation, for us to ensure that only qualified senior citizens will benefit,” Medrano added.

DSWD XI hopes to complete the social pension payout of PHP 6000 per beneficiary not later than third quarter this year.

To date, there are 3.4 million potential beneficiaries of social pension throughout the country.

The Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens Program or RA 9995 addresses the clamor for social protection to the most vulnerable older persons as well as boosts the full implementation of RA 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

The monthly stipend of P500 which took effect in January 2011, augments the daily subsistence and other medical needs of indigent senior citizens.

Potential recipients are senior citizens (60 years old and above) who are frail, sickly, or have disabilities; not receiving pension from Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) or from the Armed Forces of the Philippines Mutual Benefit Assn.; and do not have a permanent source of income or regular support from family or relatives.

The list of potential social pensioners is based on the results of the DSWD Listahanan national assessment and per endorsement of local government units (LGUs).

Qualified senior citizens who are not included in the DSWD Listahanan data or were not endorsed by their LGUs may go to the nearest DSWD Office and request for a home visit for the conduct of eligibility assessment or on-demand application. 

Under the program, DSWD shall coordinate with LGUs through the City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (C/MSWDO) and conduct orientation, advocacy activities and meetings with the LGU Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA), Federation of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines (FSCAP), and barangay senior citizen associations. (DSWD)

13 centenarians received cash gift

DAVAO City (DSWD XI) – “We recently completed awarding of cash gift to 13 qualified centenarians in the region,” Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) focal for older persons Arris P. Medrano announced during an interview.

He said the centenarians who qualified for the first semester come from the provinces of Davao Del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao Occidental, Compostela Valley, and Davao Del Norte, and from the city of Davao.

Earlier, validation of the centenarians with ages ranging from 100 to 103, was conducted by DSWD staffs to verify the documents submitted such as birth certificate or Philippine passport, senior citizen identification card or any other Philippine government-issued ID which shows age and citizenship.

Other alternative and acceptable documents to prove the claim include marriage certificate, old school documents, baptismal or confirmation records, birth certificate of children, or an affidavit executed by at least two (2) disinterested persons at least 80 years old with personal knowledge of the centenarian’s actual age or birth date.

Republic Act 10868 or An  Act Honoring and Granting Additional Benefits and Privileges to Filipino Centenarians, and for Other Purposes also known as the Centenarians Act of 2016, grants all Filipinos who reach the age of 100, whether residing in the country or abroad, a cash award of Php 100,000.00 as a “centenarian gift.”

Aside from the cash, they will also receive a Letter of Felicitation signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte and a posthumous Plaque of Recognition for deceased centenarians who died upon the effectivity of the Act.

Centenarians are also entitled to awards and incentives from their respective city or municipality to be determined by the local government unit.

President Duterte signed the Act into law on June 23, 2016.  (DSWD)

DSWD’s ‘Yakap Bayan’ inspires Davao City’s rehabilitation, aftercare program for recovering drug personalities

DAVAO City (DSWD) – In support of the Duterte administration’s efforts to combat the proliferation of illegal drugs, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) continues to collaborate with local government units (LGUs) to undertake reformative measures to transform and rebuild the lives of recovering drug personalities (RDPs) around the country with the help of the Yakap Bayan Framework of Intervention.

Initiated and led by DSWD, Yakap Bayan is an inter-agency collaborative framework which weaves together all existing government programs, projects, resources, and activities in order to create a holistic and sustainable approach for the rehabilitation, aftercare, reintegration, and provision of support services for RDPs. It aims to transform them from liabilities into assets, from surrenderers into productive citizens and community leaders.

The Framework was established pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No. 9165 also known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and Executive Order No. 15 signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte which mandated the creation of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) and Anti-Illegal Drugs Task Force.

One of the supportive partners of DSWD in the implementation of Yakap Bayan is Davao City which utilized the framework as a benchmark for its Community-Based Rehabilitation and After Care Program (CBRAP). CBRAP is spearheaded by the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (CADAC) which operates in 182 barangays in the city.

“Our Community-Based Rehabilitation and Aftercare Program or CBRAP was inspired by the Yakap Bayan Framework.  We teach our clients how to access the different programs and services of government institutions and even private organizations and we prod them to really go and get the resources they need,” Ronaldo A. Rivera, CADAC Technical Adviser for Community-Based Organizations, said.

Rivera added, “In 2017, our Barangay Resiliency and Recovery Support Group initiative was complemented with the Yakap Bayan Framework which was introduced by Assistant Secretary of DSWD Jose Antonio R. Hernandez. We prepare our clients for disaster responsiveness and mobilize them especially during disaster occurrences in their communities or in any crisis situation. They become disaster volunteers or responders. This undertaking is part of our treatment plan integrating the Yakap Bayan concept or what we call Motherland’s Embrace which stresses kalinga (care). Ang inyong gabay ay (your guide is) Yakap Bayan because it takes all agencies to solve this problem.”

Through the Yakap Bayan Framework, CADAC also pushes for the TARA NA or Tabangan Atong Reformists Aron Naay Asenso (Help Reformists Towards Progress). At present, 4,154 RDPs are enrolled in TARA NA.

“Through the urging of DSWD, we were able to mobilize the 5% barangay disaster fund in support to our clients who have been hired as disaster volunteers or responders in their barangays. Equipped with motorbikes, they assist in emergency situations like disasters or even escorting pregnant women to birthing facilities. When you change the worth of the person, he sees himself in a better perspective and he becomes a leader,” Rivera continued.

CADAC also works with the Department of Health (DOH) in providing the appropriate treatment for clients, depending on the severity of their cases. DOH handles mild cases while the more severe ones are referred for residential care. CADAC on the other hand, offers physiological, social, psychosocial as well as spiritual interventions.

Other components of CADAC’s CBRAP are orientation, recovery checklist and treatment evaluation, weekly drug screening, early recovery skills, relapse prevention skills, information dissemination, therapeutic recreational activities, family education, client status review, and case transfer conference.

Highlighting the relapse prevention program, Rivera said that CADAC is determined to improve the recovery skills of their clients by modifying their lifestyle and prioritizing healthy living.

“We are the CADAC self-help support group. We were also drug users in the past and we call ourselves recovery coaches. What we are doing is love. What we constantly advocate is the health, education, and training of our clients. We aim for their smooth reintegration and independent functioning with their families and communities,” he explained.

To further show convergence as exemplified by Yakap Bayan, CADAC is presently exploring a project with Ateneo De Davao University on bio-technology fertilizer which will benefit 23 drug surrenderers. 

In addition, 40 drug surrenderers will be trained in sewing and shirt production through One Thread Project (OTP). OTP is a joint undertaking of CADAC and the University of the Immaculate Conception Community Development Services, One Thread Garments Enterprise, and the Therapeutic Community Support Group for Drug Surrenderers.

CADAC also conducts information dissemination campaign against illegal drugs in the city.

In June 2018, CADAC rolled out its Drug Education Module for CBRAP, both in formal and alternative learning systems, in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd), DOH, and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Likewise, CADAC, in partnership with the graduate school of San Pedro College, will soon launch its training on Early Recovery Skills and Relapse Prevention.

With the successful implementation of the Yakap Bayan Framework in Davao City, DSWD continues to engage other localities to collaborate and empower citizens who were once affected by drugs by allowing them to become volunteers and leaders in their communities. -30-

Report-back forum on UN Conference on the Status of Women held in Davao City

DAVAO CITY – The Visayas-Mindanao leg of the Report-back Forum on the United Nations (UN) Commission on the Status of Women (UN CSW63) held on Friday brought together some 120 women from key sectors in the government, private and civil society.

Organized by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU), the forum covered discussion on Beijing Platform for Action 25th Anniversary (BPfA +25) Philippine Progress Report.

In presenting the rationale of the activity, DSWD Undersecretary Luzviminda C. Ilagan said that the event was aimed at sharing the highlights of the Philippine Delegation from national government agencies, civil society organizations and other relevant stakeholders.

The forum also presented the major outcome of the UN CSW63 and gathered support for the implementation of agreed conclusions of CSW63 as well as discussed preparations for the UN CSW64 in 2020 that would focus on review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platforms for action on its 25th Anniversary.

In presenting the overview of the UN CSW63, PCW Executive Director Emmeline L. Versoza said that the New York Conference centered on the theme regarding social protection systems, access to public services, and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.

Among the topics tackled during the report-back forum was on Inclusive Quality Education and Lifelong Learning—Key for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Promotion of Universal Social Protection for Women and Girls that was discussed by Atty. Carmelita Yadao-Sison, officer-in-charge of the Office of the Executive Director of UniFAST of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

Anita E. Baleda, chief of GAD Specialist, Policy Development, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Division (PDPMED) of PCW shared thoughts on a discussion called the “Silver Lining” that dealt on Social Protection and Empowerment of Aging Women while DSWD Usec. Luzviminda Ilagan shared the successes of 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) implementation in discussing Gender-Responsive Social Protection in ASEAN:  Regional Action for equality, sustainability and inclusive growth.  

There was a topic on Advancing Gender Equality and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights: The Role of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) that was discussed by Atty. Leah C. Tanodra-Armamento, commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights.

As the Philippines ranks among the signatory of the Beijing Platform for Action, organizers of the Report-Back forum on UN Women Conference integrated the highlights of the BPfA +25 Philippine Progress Report 2014-2019, and the priorities for Strengthening National Gender Statistics in 2020-2025 together with the top five priorities of BPfA implementation.  (PIA XI/ JMDA)

Over 38-T individuals, families assisted by DSWD in the first half of 2019

DAVAO City (DSWD XI) – From January to June this year, a total of 38,996 individuals- and families-in crisis received assistance through the Crisis Intervention Unit of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Davao Region Office.

“For the first semester this year, we disbursed a total of Ph 132,420,444.44 to cover material assistance like transportation, medical, burial, educational and financial, said Director Mercedita P. Jabagat, DSWD.

Yearlong, the DSWD crisis unit provides integrated services to individuals and families who are indigent, vulnerable, disadvantaged, in crisis or in any difficult situation. Other eligible for the assistance are transients, repatriates, deportees, abandoned, student-in-crisis, former rebels, and families of personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines who were either killed-in-action or wounded-in-action (KIA/WIA).

Apart from financial and material assistance, our crisis unit also provides psychosocial intervention and referrals to other agencies for services not available in DSWD, Director Jabagat said. She added that the assistance extended is based on the assessment and recommendation of social workers.

Financial assistance is a monetary support in the form of outright cash or guarantee letter (GL) addressed to service providers or establishments to augment the client’s resources.

Those seeking assistance should bring any valid Identification Card and Barangay Certification. They must include the following: for medical – Medical Certificate, Hospital Billing, Doctor’s Prescription and Laboratory Request; for burial – Death Certificate and Funeral Contract; and for educational – Enrolment Assessment Form, Validated School Identification Card and Statement of Account.

Each client must undergo screening, verification and assessment prior to provision of his/her requested assistance or service.

The DSWD Memorandum Circular No. 11, Series of 2019 or the Implementation of Assistance to Individuals and Families in Crisis Situation is consistent with Republic Act No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018. (DSWD)

IP woman helps light up her village

Montevista, Compostela Valley (DSWD XI) – In a barangay forum, Heidi Telic, 37 years old, a Kalahi-CIDSS volunteer and a member of Matigsalog tribe, stood in front of local government officials and her fellow community members. She did not have a formal education, but what she had are her dreams, hopes, and aspirations. Little did she know that her determination would lead her to new discoveries and improve the lives of Indigenous People (IP) in their village.

Dark past

Not so long ago, Telic, like other members of her community, found it hard to imagine a brighter future for themselves when their reality was stark. She and her husband are farmers who planted coconut, cacao, and potato for a living. Access to even the most basic social services was a challenge to them: Telic’s family lives in a small village in Barangay Dalaguete, where it takes almost an hour to and from the village center by habal habal (single motorcycle).

Safety was also an issue. For years, residents here worried about their family’s safety returning back home from school or work whenever dusk starts to descend upon the barangay. “Before, there were no lamp posts to light our streets, endangering our lives to vehicular accidents,” Telic shared.

When the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) entered their municipality in 2016, Telic took this as an opportunity to change their situation.

Fulfilling the dream

The most challenging part of Telic’s journey was to convince the IP villagers to participate. Besides the formal assemblies and meetings, she took whatever opportunity was available to explain and educate her tribe on their issues and concerns.

“While it was difficult since most of the rural IPs here are illiterate due mainly to lack of access to basic social services compared to those who live in urban areas, I spent time to make the community understand the process of Kalahi-CIDSS, that this can benefit them,” Telic recounted.

With her leadership skills, Telic became the Kalahi-CIDSS Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) chair, who led the overall implementation of the sub-project in their village.

“After I defended our proposed sub-project for funding, I got nervous and excited at the same time. I couldn’t contain my joy after I presented. I never imagined that Kalahi-CIDSS program would open opportunities for us women to participate in various activities,” said Telic. Telic, with her determination, was able to inspire her community. She helped the tribe in the sub-project implementation, communicated with local leaders, and joined trainings initiated by the program. She was later elected as Barangay Kagawad after the community saw her potential as a leader. 

Since then, the IP communities have been actively involved in all aspects of the process from canvassing, budgeting, milestone monitoring, among others.

Through Telic’s efforts and massive volunteerism of community volunteers, the whole village is now bright and lively because residents were able to put up 195 units low cost solar home lighting at Php 1,711, 452.00 through Kalahi-CIDSS with a Local Counterpart Contribution of Php 129,658.00.

Gains by women

Telic was one of this year’s Kalahi-CIDSS community volunteers recognized during the Gawad Paglilingkod sa Sambayanan (GAPAS) awards at the 68th anniversary celebration of DSWD.

“Kalahi-CIDSS provides opportunity in far-flung areas through basic social services where indigenous people, especially women, are recognized and capacitated,” said DSWD FO XI Director Mercedita P. Jabagat.

As of 2019, 57.71% of Kalahi-CIDSS community volunteers in Region XI are women. About 29.32% of these women volunteers belong to the IP sector.

Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the core programs of DSWD  that aims to empower communities through enhanced participation in local governance and poverty alleviation projects.(DSWD/Julie Ace Brandon F. Ramos)