Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC)

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Pantawid Pamilya children-grantees at the Children’s Congress.

Almost 400,000 children in Davao Region are in school and kept healthy because of the cash assistance provided by the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

An identified poor household with three qualified children is entitled to receive P 1,400 a month provided they comply with the conditions on health, education and attendance to the Family Development Sessions.

Pantawid Pamilya started in Davao Region in the fourth quarter of 2008. In its almost five years of implementation in the region, over 190,000 are now benefitting from the program.

Conditional Cash Transfers have been a trend in other countries and have been proven to be very effective in reducing poverty. The Social Weather Station study on Pantawid Pamilya last 2010 show improvements in school attendance, use of health services, immunization coverage, child nutrition, and knowledge of maternal health services.

The SWS assessment also revealed that more students and parents attend extra-curricular activities; students come to school with better clothing, project materials, and food making them more active in classrooms. It is also noteworthy that Pantawid Pamilya plays a major role in reducing child labor especially rural areas because many poor parents are now able to send their children to school.

Furthermore, a Qualitative Impact Evaluation on Pantawid Pamilya done by the Institute of Philippine Culture of the Ateneo de Manila University concluded that the program has a lot of potential in improving people’s lives.

The program was conceived for the betterment of the quality of lives of poor families. Its main objective is to keep children in school and keep them healthy.

These children beneficiaries have a lot to say yet their timid voices are often left unheard. Today, we will put the limelight to six children beneficiaries from Compostela Valley to give a montage of ‘thank yous’ to the program.
“Thank you kay dako kaayo og natabang ang Pantawid Pamilya sa amoang pamilya. Unta ipadayon nila og pagpanghatag og ayuda sa amoang mga pobre (Thank you because Pamilya Pamilya has been a huge help to our family. We hope that they will continue to provide assistance to poor families).” – Angelie Joy Lagarde, 15, Brgy. Linoan, Montevista, Compostela Valley.

“Sa una kay saging lang amoang pamahaw ug baunon padulong eskwelahan pero karon nga naa na ang Pantawid Pamilya makakaon nami og pamahaw unya naa pa gyud mi balon ihatag ni mama para pampalit og pagkaon sa school (Before, we only have boiled bananas for breakfast and baons. But now, with Pantawid Pamilya, we are now able to eat a good breakfast. Our mother is also able to give us baon so we can buy food at school).” – Juvy Panal, 13, Brgy. San Jose, Montevista.

“Ganahan mi moadto sa school kay mapalitan nami ni mama og bag-o nga notebooks ug sapatos. Makabayad na si mama sa amoang bayrunon sa eskwelahan. Dako kaayo nga tabang kay ang mga labaw nga nanginahanglan natabangan gyud og dako (We are inspired to go to school because our mom can now buy us new notebooks and shoes. Our mom can now pay our school obligations. The program has been a big help especially to the poor).” – Arnell John Ramirez, 12, Brgy. San Jose, Montevista.

“Nakatabang gyud sa amoang pag-eskwela ug sa amoang panlawas ang Pantawid Pamilya . Ganahan na mi moeskwela kay naa na man pambayad si mama sa eskwelahan (Pantawid Pamilya has helped us in our school and health needs. We are inspired to go to school because mom can now pay our school fees).” – Kezie Abucayon, 10, Brgy. Mapaca, Compostela.

“Tungod sa Pantawid Pamilya nakalampos ko sa akoang pag-eskwela sa secondary level. Daghan kaayong salamat sa pagtabang sa amoa makab-ot namo amoang pangandoy! (Because of Pantawid Pamilya, I was able to finish my secondary level. Thank you for helping us make our dreams a reality!)” – Normalia Cabugatan, 15, Brgy. Osmena, Compostela.

“Unta ipadayon pa ang programa sa gobyerno kay dako kaayo kini nga tabang sa susama sa amoang mga kabos. Kay maski luyo sa amoang kalisod anaa ang Pantawid Pamilya nga moagay sa amoa para maka-eskwela mi ug makabayad sa tuition ug mga projects ug makapalit sa ubang panginahanglanon sa school (We hope that the government will continue the program because it has been a big help to poor families like us. Despite the hardships, we can still go to school, pay for our projects and buy other school needs because of Pantawid Pamilya). – Gelliane Faith Ligasan, 13, Brgy. Poblacion, Compostela.

Pantawid Pamilya has its share of ups and downs, of losses and successes, yet in the end the smiles on each of the faces of the beneficiaries are proof that it is all worth it in the end. DSWD

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Bottom row, from L-R Congresswoman Maria Carmen Zamora, Kalahi-CIDSS National Project Manager Edgar Pato, ComVal Governor Arturo Uy, and DILG Undersecretary Francisco Fernandez sign the Memorandum of Agreement.

The provincial local government unit (PLGU) of Compostela Valley recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for the pilot testing of the enhancement of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) at the provincial level.

According to Director Pato, Compostela Valley was chosen as one of the three pilot sites because of its active participation in the implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS, by providing PhP 4.29 M counterpart fund since 2011.

The PLGU also developed the Assistance Towards Unity for Progress thru Empowerment, Accountability, Cooperation, and Efficiency (ATU-PEACE) initiative, which was patterned after Kalahi-CIDSS and also uses the community-driven development (CDD) as a strategy in poverty alleviation.

CDD is a poverty alleviation strategy which gives citizens the power and the responsibility to analyze and address local issues that impede their development through participatory decision-making. It is the principal strategy of Kalahi-CIDSS, one of the three core programs under the DSWD, alongside the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (Pantawid) and the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

“Here truly lies the heart of community empowerment; communities are part of the project every step of the way,” said Director Pato, describing the strategy of Kalahi-CIDSS. “We are helping communities help themselves move toward development,” he added.

Director Pato also discussed the National Community Driven-Development Program (NCDDP), the scaling up of Kalahi-CIDSS into a nationwide strategy for poverty alleviation. He explained that the NCDDP will be three times the coverage of Kalahi-CIDSS and will be geared toward development at both the local and national levels. However, he cautioned that there should be tighter relationship between the DSWD and the LGUs to effectively implement the program. “The successful execution of NCDDP calls for an increased focus on governance,” he said.

This was supported by Undersecretary Fernandez, who said that the National Government should pay close attention to its poverty-alleviation programs by facilitating collaboration between the different national government agencies and the LGUs. He narrated a discussion with President Benigno Aquino III where they discussed how they can make the economic growth of the Philippines inclusive to everyone. “Dapat walang iwanan [No one should be left behind],” he said. “Pobre man ngayon, pero dapat hindi mamamatay na pobre [Poor people need not die still poor],” he added.

For his part, Governor Uy is thankful for the inclusion of Compostela Valley as one of the chosen sites for the engagement. “Compostela Valley is honored and fortunate as one of the three provinces chosen to be the pilot areas,” he said.

Governor Uy also praised the CDD strategy of Kalahi-CIDSS, saying that the project’s focus on improving governance was actually one of the reasons why he adopted the system in ATU-PEACE. Describing his early years in government as an “eye opener”, he narrated how he saw for himself how difficult it was for the communities to be excluded in deciding what projects will be implemented in their areas.

The arrival of Kalahi-CIDSS in Compostela Valley provided the vehicle for Governor Uy to initiate change in the province. “I saw the importance of participation in governance,” he said. The pilot study, according to Governor Uy, will help in the development of transparency, unity, and good governance. He reiterated the importance of working together with various agencies such as the DSWD and the DILG to push for development. “With constant partnership, better lives with Comvaleños will not be too far ahead,” Governor Uy ended. DSWD

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MONKAYO, Compostela Valley – Recipients of livelihood programs here appealed to government workers to sustain implementation of existing programs and even expand these programs to benefit more. They believe the programs really help the poor households.

“Gusto kong ipadayon ang programa aron usab magpadayon kami sa nasugdan namong panginabuhian ug unta madungagan ang among financial nga suporta gikan sa gobyerno (I want the programs to go on so we can engage in livelihood still and also we’re hoping for an increase in our financial assistance from the government),” clamored Juvy G. Pueblas, 33, of Barangay Baylo. Juvy has four children. Her husband works as labourer. Her family is a recipient of the DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). Of her situation following ‘Pablo’, she said, “Kalooy sa Diyos nakabarog mi og hinay-hinay. Nanghurnal mi aron duna mi kapalit bugas (With God’s mercy, we have gradually recovered. We worked as weed cutters so we can buy rice).”

Cristina M. Ulgasan, 58, a housekeeper and whose husband is a farmer said she wants the programs to continue so that more people can avail. “Nindot nga ipadayon aron dugang makatabang sa mga tao ilabina kung moabot ang mga kalamidad sa maong lugar. Nag struggle mi aron makabangon pag-usab. Pero sa pagkakaron wala pa mi maayong panginabuhian tungod nadaot tanan ang among mga pananom. Nanginahanglan unta mi og financing para makabangon pag-usab. Nagbuhi ko’g baboy, manok ug nagtanom og mga lagutmon (It would be good to continue [the programs] to help people especially when disaster strikes. We are struggling to be able to rise up again. We are financially unstable as all our crops are gone. We need financing to move on. Now, I am rasing hogs, chicken and also cultivating root crops).” Cristina has three children and lives in Purok 8 Poblacion.

The DSWD Sustainable Livelihood is a capability building program that enhances and promotes self-sufficiency of poor Filipino families by developing their socio-economic skills with the help of local government units. This credit facility is interest-free and is payable in two years.

It consists of two tracks: [1] Resource-Based and Market-Driven Sustainable Microenterprise Development through Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran Program; and  [2]  Employable Individuals with Access to Locally-Available Jobs through Guaranteed Employment and Job Network Service.

Carmelita A. Capuyan, 49, of Barangay Poblacion said they need the programs to help the unemployed like her start a business. “Aron matagaan og dugang pagtagad ang mga unang panginahanglan namo, sama sa pagpahulam unta ug dugang capital nga walay enterest aron maka move on name sa among mga panginabuhian labi na sa pag human sa Bagyong Pablo. Kung mag 5 six dako kaayo ang interest (To respond to our basic needs, like access to a capital sans interest so we can move on especially after Typhoon Pablo. Interest is so high if we rely on ‘5-6’).”

A housekeeper Leanisa M. Jimenez from Purok 4, Barangay San Jose said programs of government are a big help to farmers like them. “Makatabang usab sa mga kababayen-an makatabang og panginabuhi sa bana. Kinahanglan usab maningkamot ang tanan aron molambo (The program also helps wives earn and be of help to their husband. Everyone must also work hard to improve their lives).”

Five months past ‘Pablo’,  Monkayo residents have started rebuilding their lives by planting coconut, corn, vegetables, fruits and other root crops. Along with their request to pursue government programs, residents as well call for cooperation of government leaders. “Kinahanglang magtinabangay ang matag pamunuan sa gobyerno aron dili maundang ang mga project nga gilunsad (Government leaders need to work together so that projects are sustained),” urged Cristina Ulgasan and 63-year old widow Nenita D. Orpina of Purok 8 Poblacion. DSWD

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TALAINGOD, Davao del Norte -The Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA project in this municipality has constructed four units of solar-led streetlights and 24 units of solar home lightings for the residents of Barangay Sto. Niño.

Antonio Villanueva, community sub-project management committee (CSPMC) chair, said the lighting sub-project will help the village in allaying the fears of its residents.

“Kining among napili nga project gumikan kay kana among lugar diha sa Upper Nanaga, hilit gani (We chose this sub-project because our place in Upper Nanaga is very remote),” he said, pointing out that just recently there was even a ‘pangayaw,’ a traditional war of vengeance.

‘Pangayaw’ has become a big problem for the people in the community.

“Kasagaran sa mga trahedya sa mga lumad, kining pangayaw. Kung naa’y makasala sa ilang paryente, mopataka lang og patay. Tanan makit-an patyon (The usual tragedy for the lumads happens during pangayaw. The aggrieved party will not stop seeking revenge until they kill somebody. Anyone who crosses their path will also be killed),” Roger Son, Bids and Awards Committee chair, said.

The P360,075-sub-project, the villagers added, will not only provide light to the villagers but will deter crimes, too.

“Tungod sa kangitngit, daghan ang kawat. Dili pud namo makita kung kinsa ang mangagi tunga sa kagabhion (Burglary and theft are usually committed as it used to be very dark at night. We also could not see those people who pass by our village in the middle of the night),” Perla Villanueva, Audit and Inventory Committee chairman, said.

“Naay mga tao nga moagi nga dili namo ma-ilhan (People we do not know also pass by the village),” she said.

“Karon nga naa na’y solar, mawala gyud ang kagubot kay maalanganin na sila moduol kay hayag na man (Now that we have solar panels, we can now prevent crimes from happening. People with ill intentions will be hesitant to go near us since our surroundings are now well-lighted),” Villanueva added.

Kalahi-CIDSS or Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services is a community-driven development (CDD) project of the Philippine Government that aims to empower communities through their enhanced participation in local governance and poverty alleviation projects.

PAMANA or PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn is a KALAHI-CIDSS modality that aims to improve access of conflict-affected barangays (CABs) to quality basic social services and responsive, transparent and accountable local governments. DSWD

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Social pensioner Jacobina Dadong, 77, claims her pension.

BAGANGA, Davao Oriental -“Presently, there are 223 senior citizens here who are qualified and are receiving the P500 monthly Social Pension from DSWD,” said Gemma Dela Cruz, DSWD Team Leader of Davao Oriental.

Recently, DSWD released the social pension here for 27 senior citizens. “We are conducting today’s payout for the 27 grantees who failed to claim their pension during the last scheduled payout,” Dela Cruz said.

Despite the rain, they came, hailing from different barangays via tricycle which is the most common form of shuttle for villagers here. Some were escorted by their children, others by their granddaughters, the rest by friends and neighbors.

From Barangay Mahan-ub, Jacobina Dadong, 77, is still able to support herself by cultivating camote and corn.

Crispiniano Dela Salde, 78, of Barangay Lucod, is luckier as he got the support of his children when his coconut trees were felled by ‘Pablo’.

For Teodita Ongod, 86, from Barangay Poblacion, she uses her pension to buy milk. “Maayo man akong panglawas. Wala koy maintenance nga tambal (My health is fine. I don’t take maintenance medicine).”

Eighty-one year-old Lucia Alfonso of Barangay Lucod buys biscuits and milk out of her monthly pension.

“In Baganga, we have 2445 senior citizens who are members of the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) but we only have 233 with ages 77 and above who qualify for the social pension program,” revealed Emda B. Batingana who heads the OSCA here since November 2012.

Batingana of Barangay Lambajon is 66 years old and a retired teacher of Baganga National High School. She lost her two-storey house to ‘Pablo’.

As OSCA head, Batingana calls for meetings every two months with the 24 chapter presidents for the 18 barangays in Baganga. “I also convene chapter presidents after every Board Meeting in Mati to share updates and inform them of latest developments relative to the welfare of older persons. Board meetings are attended by municipal OSCA Heads and municipal federation presidents. Eleynor Mulato is our federation president here.”

“Just recently I made a proposal for the 500 new applicants for the social pension program. It’s a P2 million proposal for the Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) which I submitted to the Municipal Development Council. The P2 million would be the counterpart contribution of the municipal local government,” Batingana explained.

She said, “senior citizens here usually buy medicine, milk, rice and other basic needs out of their social pension.”

The Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens Program addresses the clamor for social protection to the most vulnerable as well as backs the full implementation of RA 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010. The monthly stipend of P500 which took effect January 2011, augments the daily subsistence and other medical needs of indigent senior citizens.

Potential recipients of the Social Pension Program or RA 9995 are non-pensioners who are 77 years old and up, with no regular support from the family. For 2013, Davao Region has 13251 total beneficiaries. DSWD

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ComVal Governor Arturo T. Uy [center] signs the memorandum of agreement for the pilot testing of the enhancement of the provincial local government unit (PLGU) engagement in Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) Project. With him are Kalahi-CIDSS National Project Manager Edgar G. Pato [left], representing DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, and Undersecretary Francisco I. Fernandez [right], representing DILG Secretary Manuel A. Roxas II.

NABUNTURAN, Compostela Valey — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) signed on Thursday a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Compostela Valley Governor Arturo T. Uy for the pilot testing of the enhancement of the provincial local government unit (PLGU) engagement in Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS).

Edgar G. Pato, Kalahi-CIDSS National Project Manager, urged the residents of the province to help ensure the success of the endeavor which will run until end of 2014.

“You are, after all, the driving force of your own progress and you have a vital part in the building of our nation,” Pato said, emphasizing that the communities are “ important participants in the planning and the design of their development strategies.”

The engagement with the provincial government was adopted 10 years after the Kalahi-CIDSS project implementation as the strategy has become successful particularly in increasing the per capita consumption by 5%, improvement in the delivery of basic services, heightened participation of residents in barangay assemblies and increasing the social capital through the strengthening of their membership in association as they have also exhibited higher trust levels on government-initiated projects.

In response, Compostela Valley First District Representative Maria Carmen Zamora called the engagement the “sunshine” as the province was among the two provinces in the region that were battered by Typhoon Pablo on December 4, the other being Davao Oriental.

“If only we give respect to the barangay development plans and we adhere to them nothing could go wrong,” Zamora said, giving credits to the officials of the province.

The Asian Development Bank, the funding institution of the project, decided to choose the province as it has supported the community-driven development (CDD) implementation since the start of the Kalahi-CIDSS in the province.

Since 2011, the provincial government already set aside 4.295 million as counterpart contrbution for Kalahi-CIDSS implementation. It has also become the beneficiary of the Kalahi-CIDSS-PAMANA with an investment of P16.71 million.

The provincial government has also adopted the CDD concept in its planning and budgeting processes through its Assistance Towards Unity for Progress thru Empowerment, Accountability, Cooperation, and Efficiency (ATU-PEACE) program.

The two agencies also saw in the province the presence of institutional capacity to lead a participatory process of planning, budgeting, execution, and monitoring and evaluation. DSWD

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DAVAO City -“In coordination with the local government units, we will continue to look into the status or conditions of the typhoon-affected families in camps or evacuation centers and those who are back in their communities,” said Raquel E. Nunez, Policy and Plans Division Chief of DSWD and Head of TS Pablo Protection Cluster.

Nunez said the Cluster will sustain the child- and women-friendly spaces and will continue to build the capacity of local structures like the councils for the protection of children and anti-trafficking in persons.

The TS Pablo Protection Cluster is tasked to ensure access of typhoon-affected communities to basic social services and assistance. It also supports these communities in preventing and responding to violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect.

Further, it conducts systematic monitoring and reporting of protection issues especially among persons requiring special attention and persons with specific needs through community-based, gender-responsive, age-appropriate and culture-sensitive mechanisms.

The Cluster is composed of children and women-centered agencies like Save the Children, United Nations Population Fund, Plan International, local government units, UNICEF, DSWD, DOJ, PNP, Hope Worldwide, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and Community and Family Services International.

Nunez said the Cluster was able to install 44 Child-Friendly Spaces and 3 Women-Friendly Spaces and a Referral Pathway System for Child Protection and Gender-Based Violence, and provided as well Child-Friendly Kits and Psychosocial Support to 499 children and 700 adults.

“We have trained 100 Caregivers and Service Providers on Psychosocial Support, 44 Local Facilitators on Child-Friendly Space, 40 Local Implementers on Gender Sensitivity, and over 20 LGU Social Workers and Facilitators on Women-Friendly Space.”

Further, the Cluster conducted Child Protection Rapid Assessment, Data Monitoring on Protection Concerns, Launch of Municipal Protection Profile and Free Registration for Civil Documentations. It has also published Protection Advisories which focused on Children Begging along highways, Indigenous Communities, and Anti-Trafficking in Persons.

Also vital is the organization of Protection Cluster at the provincial and municipal levels and the organization of 10 Disaster Coordinating Teams focused on Child Protection and Gender-Based Violence, Nunez added.

Meanwhile, according to Anna Charis Galaraga of the International Organization for Migration and TS Pablo Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster, they were able to organize 88 camps and CCCM Clusters at the provincial and municipal levels in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley.

“We deployed 47 camp management support staff, installed Displacement Tracking Matrix, conducted CCCM training for 210 LGU personnel as we continue coordinating with the local government units and with other TS Pablo Clusters especially with the Shelter Cluster for families in need of either shelter materials, transitional shelter or permanent shelter,” Galaraga said. DSWD

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