DAVAO City  -The Philippine Association of Social Workers, Inc. (PASWI)- Davao City Chapter will hold its Annual General Assembly Friday at the 3rd Floor, Jubilee Building, Ateneo de Davao University, Roxas Avenue, Davao City.  Over a hundred professional social workers are expected to attend the said assembly.  This year’s theme is “Strengthening Professional Commitment for Organizational Enhancement.”

This activity is spearheaded by PASWI Officers, headed by its President Estrella D. Brigole of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Field Office XI.  This year’s invited guest speaker is Professor Alejandro W. Apit, a part- time professor of the Ateneo de Davao University Graduate Studies on Social Work.

For this year, PASWI Davao will elect its officers for CY 2013 – 2015.  Social Workers from the different National Government Agencies (NGAs), Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), whether in Medical, Court of Justice, Industry, Academe, or private practitioners are enjoined to attend.

PASWI is the only accredited professional organization (APO) for social work, as recognized by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

“We are counting on all professional social workers and all PASWI Davao members to participate and continue learning more from our resource person as well as from the other experts in the field who are attending,” Brigole urged. DSWD

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Participants and organizers of the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Farmers’ Training Program at the demonstration farm in Brgy. Olaycon.

MONKAYO, Compostela Valley – “Itong programa ay tamang proseso sa pag-debrief. Mao ni ang sinugdanan sa akong bag-ong bidlisiw sa akong kinabuhi. Sa paglabay sa panahon sulod sa training center, hinayhinay na nakong nadawat ang epekto sa bagyo. Puring-puri ko po. Natulungan po ako na makabangon. Muling nanumbalik ang aking lakas at tiwala sa sarili (This program is a right process of debriefing. This is the beginning of the new sunrise in my life. At the training center, I have learned to accept my fate. I am impressed. I have been helped and I regained my strength and self-confidence),” revealed Louie James Espanola, a farmer.

Pasalamat gyud mi naa nami idea sa backyard gardening. Ang inputs sa lecturer nindot jud kaayo  –from land preparation to post harvest. Item per item pag explain, morag nag thesis writing. Nag prepare mi og ROI. Fortunate kaayo mi (We are thankful to have learned about backyard gardening. The inputs are valuable and were explained thoroughly. We prepared ROI. We are fortunate),” Pancracio T. Visaya, a principal in Barangay Poblacion gratefully shared.

“Buong init na tinanggap ng mag participants ang programa, ang teknolohiya ng pagsasaka lalo na sa gulay. Sila ay naging tulay at sila rin ang nagturo sa ibang barangay para mabigyan ng panibagong buhay at saya ang mga taga Monkayo (The participants eagerly welcomed the technology. The organizers became our link and they also taught others to start anew),” shared Olaycon Barangay Chair and ABC President Janet B. Diel.

Espanola, Visaya and Diel are part of 154 professional and non-professional farmer-beneficiaries from 16 barangays here who recently graduated from SM Foundation’s Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan  (KSK) Farmers’ Training Program. This program has been initiated by SM Foundation, Inc. in partnership with DA, DSWD, LGU Monkayo and Harbest Agri-business Corp. All participants are typhoon victims whose livelihood was heavily affected.

According to SM Foundation Assistant Vice President for Livelihood Outreach Program Cristie S. Angeles, the program is implemented throughout the country in regions with SM Malls. She said this is the 48th batch and they have selected Monkayo to help out farmers recover from the devastation brought by Typhoon Pablo by learning new skills for high-value crop production.

From February to May, the vegetable production course ran for 12 Tuesdays and covered one module per meeting. Celestino Alla of Harbest Agri-business Corp. conducted the lectures in the morning while afternoons were slated for hands on sessions. Among the topics discussed were Nursery Preparation, Seed Sowing, Land Preparation, Caring & Nursing of Seedling, Pruning, Trellis Preparation, Fruit Selection and Fruit Thinning, Pest and Disease Control, Irrigation & Drainage, and Postharvest Technology.

Arlene L. Morpus, Regional Coordinator of DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program explained, “Integrated in the training course is the orientation on the DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) focused on Community Driven Enterprise Development approach which covers Self Awareness, Time Management, Financial Literacy, Product Management, Participatory Livelihood Issue Analysis, and Value Chain Analysis. DSWD and DA also taught participants Cost Analysis and Return of Investment Analysis.”

She said this is the first time that DSWD-SLP engages with Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan of SM Foundation, Department of Agriculture and Harbest Agri-business Corp.

Visaya said Monkayo is the first municipality in ComVal to have undergone such training. Participants who are Pantawid Pamilya and non-Pantawid Pamilya grantees, and mostly non-professionals were all enthusiastic as they really wanted to learn, Visaya said.

Former ComVal Board Member and now Monkayo Mayor-elect Joselito Brillantes has lent his one hectare lot in Brgy. Olaycon as demonstration farm for the vegetable production.

Having completed the 12-day course, participants received their certificates at SM Lanang Premier, bringing along with them their first class produce and their infectious optimism. They grow vegetables and fruits like cucumber, tomato, squash, ampalaya, honeydew and Ilocos gourd. They consume their produce at home while the rest they sell to neighbors and in the local market. Once production is heightened, this will then be marketed at SM malls through existing SM vegetables and fruits suppliers.

After the typhoon, Diel recalled their lives were so murky but it became brighter because of the donors and supporters.  She said what they learned will be replicated in other barangays.

Espanola admitted they called on God and they have overcome the tragedy. He thought it was the end of the world but they made it alive. He is grateful to the organizers of the program who have helped them rise up again. “Tungod sa ilaha, dali ta nakabakod, dali ta nakalihok (Through them, we recovered fast).”

SM Foundation’s Angeles stressed to the graduates, “When you said yes to the opportunity, you said yes to a new life. Keep that cooperation among your group. You are blessed with a prosperous area and good health.”

Morpus urged them, “With your active participation, we can do a lot more. This training is very useful. With this technology, we can do it. Let’s plant good variety of vegetables. We have a sure market with SM. This could not have happened without hard work and discipline.”

The group’s wish is to be able to live again with respect and dignity after Typhoon Pablo. To date, the group has already been organized to undertake the DSWD-SLP.

DSWD Project Development Officer Rene Villafuerte said they are now preparing the documents for the livelihood assistance to be extended by the department in collaboration with DA and LGU Monkayo. Meantime, graduates are now cultivating their own backyard garden they could sustain. DSWD



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Amelia showing off her ‘Kasabotan’ document as MCCT beneficiary.

“Choose not to place ‘dis’ in your ‘ability’,” said disability activist, American poet & two times World Record holder, Robert M. Hensel. Some differently-abled people may opt to just stop living because of their disability, some may feel pity on themselves and dwell on the burdens of their present condition, but there are some that choose to take on the challenge and rise from the situation.

Forty-six year old Amelita Vidal opted for the latter. Amelita was born with polio. She has never been to school. Amelita only learned how to write her name and signature because her husband, Victor, 52, taught her. Victor only finished Grade 4.

In 2005, Victor suffered from a stroke that left him paralyzed. Since then, Amelita had to strive hard to feed her family. Amelita and Victor have three kids: Mary Ann, 20 years old; Rosebellyn, 15 years old; and Cherry Mae, 11 years old.

Amelita and her family lives in Pogi Lawis, Barangay Daliao, Toril, Davao City. In the morning, she and her eldest daughter roam around Toril to buy recyclable plastics and iron. They sell it in the nearby junk shop and earn at most P 250/day. After lunch, Amelita sells cigarettes and candies along the sidewalk.

Amelita found a renewed sense of hope when she learned that her family was one of the few who were chosen as beneficiary for the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT).

“In 2012, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) introduced the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Families in Need of Special Protection (MCCT-FNSP). The target beneficiaries for MCCT-FNSP are families who have children with disabilities; families of child laborers; street/homeless families; IP migrant families; displaced families due to manmade and natural disasters and other environmental factors; and other families in need of special protection. Thus, it caters to families that were not catered by the regular Conditional Cash Transfer or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program,” said DSWD XI OIC Regional Director Priscilla N. Razon.

“The MCCT-FNSP strengthens and provides safety, protection and development of children in difficult situations and helps families overcome their present difficult situation. MCCT-FNSP hopes to mainstream these families in the regular CCT,” she added.

Eligible beneficiaries for MCCT-FNSP are families with children age 0 to 14 years old. Family beneficiaries must comply with the sets of conditions on attendance to Family Development Sessions (FDS), education and health to receive the cash grants.

Dako kaayo ang akong pasalamat kay dako kaayo ang matabang sa MCCT sa amoang pamilya! Kini pa gyud ang unang higayon nga nahiapil mi og programa gikan sa gobyerno (MCCT is a huge help to our family! This is the first time that I became a beneficiary of a government program),” shared Amelita.

MCCT started in Davao Region on September 2012. At present, MCCT has 3,334 total number of family beneficiaries with 6,082 total number of children assisted.

There may still be many other Amelitas that are yet to be helped. However, through MCCT and the differently-abled person’s positive outlook in life, change and success are just a stone’s throw away. DSWD


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April 2021

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