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DOTA no more for a Pantawid Pamilya youth

In front of almost 700 Pantawid Pamilya Parent Leaders from Manila City who gathered at a forum on April 24, 2015 which was led by International Holistic Engagement for Life and Progress (I-HELP), a CSO partner of DSWD-NCR in conducting Family Development Session (FDS) to Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, Emmanuel confidently shared his story of change.

“Dati akong laman ng kalsada o computer shop at laging kasama ang barkada sa paghahamon ng away at pustahan pagdating sa paglalaro ng Defense of the Ancient (DOTA),” said Emmanuel.

The 16-year old incoming college freshman testified how the Pantawid Pamilya program of DSWD in partnership with a Civil Society Organization (CSO) named as I-HELP brought remarkable values formation to him personally.

As a youth of the computer age, it is really hard for Emmanuel John P. Ilagan to prevent himself from engaging in said activities which he first thought was good for him. Fortunantely, the time came that he lost interest in playing DOTA and putting up a fight with his friends.

“Isang beses ay nag-invite po ang Filipino Christian Church sa mga umaattend ng FDS na yung anak daw nila ay maaaring sumama sa kanilang Youth Fellowship at ayun po ang nagdulot ng magandang pagababago sa aking buhay; napakalaking pagbabago po sa aking pagkatao,” he emphasized.

Emmanuel also shared how their cash grants from Pantawid Pamilya program helped him and his siblings on health and education. Further, he pointed out that the attendance of her mother in FDS encouraged him to be a youth leader now in their church and he is currently handling three (3) disciples.

Now, Emmanuel will study in Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) and will take up Bachelor of Arts in Filipinology.

Aside from the financial aspect of his family, Emmanuel recognized how the DSWD and I-HELP developed andno more dota 2 facilitated his family to change holistically. As to him, “maganda talaga ang FDS dahil yun po ang nagdadala ng kaalamang ‘di nauubos… bukod po dito, kapag ugali at pananaw sa buhay ang nagbago, mas makakayanan po ng Filipino ang tumawid sa kaunlaran.”

Meanwhile, CSO focal person Director Roy Calfoforo in the Office of the DSWD Secretary encourages the Parent Leaders during theforum to further show to the public how the program works in their lives, as they are the living testimony of the benefits of the program.

Emmanuel’s family was included in the program in 2011 and is among the 234, 836 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries as of April 24, 2015 in Metro Manila, who are receiving cash grants based on their compliance to health and education conditionalities.###

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Sanctuary Center celebrates its 27th year of providing rehabilitative care for women

The Sanctuary Center in Mandaluyong recently held their 27th anniversary. Under the management of the Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR), it carried the theme “Sama-sama, tulong-tulong sa Ikadalawamput-pitong taon ng pagtataguyod sa karapatan ng mga kababaihang may kapansanan”. It was a month-long celebration of the importance of the center as the only government rehabilitation center and residential care facility mandated to the rehabilitation of female with improved mental condition and their eventual reintegration to the community.

Ms. Margarita J. Ortega, Officer-In-Charge for the center, led the opening ceremony for the Sports fest, where banners representing each service/unit together and their selected clients as their members were paraded within the vicinity. Clients and staff participated in a variety of traditional Filipino games; such as luksong tinik, patintero, pabitin and hatawang palayok, volleyball, sack race, tug-of-war, among others.

A grand celebration was held on April 24, 2015, which began with a thanks giving mass in the morning officiated by Fr. Wilmer Rosario. The mass was participated by residents, staff, Government Internship Program (GIP) beneficiaries and Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries from neighboring barangays. In the afternoon, a simple culminating activity in the quadrangle ensued, where Ms. Gloria Regala, Nurse II and Dra. Elma Tolentino, Dentist played as the Masters of the Ceremony.
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Dra. Venus Sierra-Arain from National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) gave her inspirational message.  She commended the Sanctuary Center staff for their dedication in providing rehabilitation and improving the mental condition of its clientele and their eventual mainstreaming to the society.  She also emphasized the importance of giving prescribed medicine for the clients thru the provision of Medical Access Program by NCMH, which paved the way for their fast recovery.

Ms. Wennah Marquez of Office of the Disability Affairs in Mandaluyong is one of the donors who signify their continuous support on the operations of the center specifically on the interests of the residents.

DSC_4961 editedMs. Mae Serrano, a former client of the Center also expressed her deepest gratitude to all the staff and co-clients in her immediate recovery and reintegration to her family. Prior to her admission to the center, she was working in Malaysia as a domestic helper. Upon her arrival in the Philippines, immigration officers found her in a state of shock, resulting to her entry to the center. In her six months of stay at the Sanctuary Center, she displayed remarkable recovery from her acute mental disorder.

Located in Welfareville Compound in Mandaluyong City, Sanctuary Center is one of the residential care facilities under the management of Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) which provides custodial care and rehabilitative programs and services to improved female mental patients, who are mainstreamed to their respective communities upon full recovery.

The various programs and services provided by the center become opportunities for the clients to harness their dormant potentials and regain their self-esteem. These opportunities also teach them to become productive and self-reliant individuals should the time come that they will be mainstreamed to the community. ###

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Son of a jeepney driver delivers a valedictory speech to 10k Pantawid Pamilya high school graduates

10kThe determined voice of a 16-year old valedictorian student echoed around the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City, in front of more than 10,000 Pantawid Pamilya students and guests during the celebration for the Pantawid Pamilya high school graduates of 2015 dubbed as “Pagtatapos Niyo, Tagumpay ng Pilipino.”

10k_PNoyIn front of the President of the Philippines, Benigno Simeon Aquino III, DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman and the other cabinet secretaries, David Manansala, from Quezon City shared during the said event how poverty and other challenges molded him to be the person he is right now.

“Akala ng iba napakalaking pasakit ang ating kinahaharap dahil sa lugar na ating kinasasadlakan. Ngunit lingid sa kanilang kaalaman, ang ating kalagayan ang lubos na nagpapatatag ng ating mga puso at nagpapatibay ng ating pagkatao,“ David enthused.

10k_AOrganized by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) central and field office –NCR, the event celebrated the first batch of high school graduates of the Pantawid Pamilya program wherein, more than 330,000 students graduated nationwide. Of this, more than 16,000 came from Metro Manila.

Other guests include DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, NYC Commissioner Gio Tingson, DepEd Sec. Bro. Armin Luistro, TESDA Sec. Joel Villanueva, DOLE Sec. Rosalinda Baldoz, and CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan.

As a son of a jeepney driver, David bragged how his father works hard in order for their family to meet their ends as he said, “Mag-isa niyang iniraraos ang aming pamilya at pilit itinatawid ang aming pag-aaral. Hindi alintana ang init, usok, at alikabok sa lansangan at handang ipaglaban ang piso para matustusan lamang ang aming mga pangangailangan. Minsan dumaraing na sa sobrang hirap ngunit hindi kailanman naisip na sumuko. Nagsisilbi niya kaming lakas at siya naman ang aming matibay na sandigan sa pagharap sa pagsubok.”

David is the third of the six (6) children of his parents. With his two (2) eldest siblings who are now in 4th and 3rd year in college, David experienced selling of gelatin at Maligaya High School when his father suffered from nervous breakdown in 2013.

The child shared how the cash grants from Pantawid Pamilya program helped his family especially in supporting his education in terms of complying with the submission of their projects and assignments.

At their community which David described as “Sa isang lugar kung saan dikit-dikit ang mga bahay, maingay at kitang kita ang bahid ng kahirapan, nakatira ang aking pamilya. Lugar kung saan mailap ang kaginhawaan at ang karangyaan,”his faith in God gives him strength to stand.

At the last part of his speech, David said, “Ang buhay ay parang rosas, makikita mo lamang ang tunay na halimuyak at ganda nito kung handa kang masaktan ng mga tinik nito.”

Just like what he did, he never loses hope… instead; challenges equipped him to become a resilient person. He proudly encouraged his fellow graduates to continue the positive changes in their lives because there is a government that is willing to assist families like them.

Now, David will enroll at the University of the Philippines – Los Baños and will take up Civil Engineering to make his dream success come true.

David gives extra value to his education as for him, “talagang mahirap ang mag aral pero mas mahirap ang walang pinag-aralan.”

Among the awards and academic achievement that David received were best in MAPEH, Filipino and Journalism, 4th Place sa pagsulat ng balitang sports in National School Press Conference, 2nd place district school press con in sports writing, 2nd place in tagisan ng talino Pilipino quiz bee District level, 2nd Place Collaborative Publishing district, Most Outstanding Journalist in Quezon City awarded by QC School Paper Adviser Associations, 2nd Most Outstanding Journalist in NCR awarded by Regional School Paper Adviser Associations, 1st place pagsulat ng balitang sports (2014) in (seminar-contest), 1st Place The blisters (seminar-contest), Treasurer of SSG.

High school graduates with academic awards from other regions of the country were also among the participants of the event.

Also, celebrities graced the activity including Bianca Gonzales, Robie Domingo, Jairus Aquino, Sharlene San Pedro, Lyka Gairanod, Darlene Vibares and Teejay Marquez.

A dance number from Gintong Lahi Dance Troupe of St. Francis of Assisi College in Las Piñas City likewise, entertained the attendees by their performance of various Filipino cultural dances.###

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Convergence in action in Islamic center community in Manila for medical mission and service caravan

convergence2015A total of 802 residents in Brgy.648, Islamic Center in Manila availed medical and other social services which were jointly initiated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR), District VI Representative Hon., Rosenda Ann Ocampo, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), and the barangay and local government of the said area.

The Medical Mission cum Service Caravan is a convergence initiative among different service providers from NGAs and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) including Civil Military Affairs Brigade (CMAB) of AFP, Serbisyong Bayani, Manila Medical Society and Philippine Pharmaceutical Companies and Health Care Foundation (PHAPCares).

convergence2015_aHeld today at the Manila Grand Mosque in San Miguel Manila, where majority of the residents are Muslim, the services offered during the activity include medical, dental, and eye check-ups, birth registration, legal and marriage counselling, issuance of Senior Citizen, PWD and solo parent IDs, Sustainable Livelihood and Social Pension program orientations and feeding program.

Among the said services, medical check-up and birth registration has the most number of clients served with a total of 519 residents benefited.

This initiative will serve as the model approach in bringing services to Muslim communities in urban areas which is a realization of partnership among DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, NCMF Secretary Yasmin Busran-Lao, OPAPP Secretary Teresita Deles and Congresswoman Ocampo.

In his welcome remarks, Brgy. 648 Chairman Faiz A. Macabato expressed gratefulness for the preferential attention of the government and other CSOs that services were finally brought to their community.

DSWD-NCR OIC-Assistant Regional Director Jacel J.Paguio in her message, acknowledges the volunteers from public and private sectors who responded to the call in conducting the medical cum service caravan in the area as an initial engagement with barangay 648.

convergence2015_bThis is part of the quick response of the government on the identified needs of the community based on the Socio-Economic and Health Assistance assessment conducted by NCMF in Brgy. 648, Manila on March 2015 wherein the community was found to be vulnerable and underserved with 88% of the 1, 052 respondents are suffering from extreme poverty.

The second leg of the activity will be held in May 31, 2015 to continuously serve the residents of the area especially those who were not able to participate in today’s event. ###

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DSWD-NCR strengthens its capacity building efforts through the Institutional Development and Capability Building (IDCB) pool of facilitators

Considered as a successful venture in capacity building, the Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) through the Capacity Building Unit (CBU) has established a pool of facilitators to augment IDCB activities anchored on the DSWD Reform Agenda core theme. It is expected to improve the delivery of services through innovative systems and capacities. This is being done to continuously improve existing systems and capacities to maintain the Department’s role as the leader in the implementation of the social protection program.

To achieve this, at least a minimum of 24 training hours is provided for each staff per year on all levels to ensure equal opportunity for professional and personal development, in support to the Career Development and Management System of the Department. For their part, the CBU-NCR is the clearing house for all IDCB activities and handles the overall training management for the Field Office and provides technical assistance in the implementation of IDCB activities.

One of the challenges seen prior to the creation of the pool of facilitators is the disparity in the number of CBU staff with the entire workforce of the Field Office that needs to be capacitated for them to perform their functions to the best of their abilities. Another factor is the growing demand on effective management of the training phases, especially the big ticket projects, such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and the Listahanan, implementation of which started in September 2010, where some activities involve capability building activities for Parent Leaders, LGU Links and newly hired project staff, in addition to the emerging training needs of the organic staff.

As a response to this, the DSWD-NCR through the CBU identified focal persons from centers and residential care facilities and divisions in the Field Office who will serve as the focal person of the CBU in managing the capability building activities of their respective offices. Other key staff, such as the heads of centers and units, division chiefs, social welfare specialists and the centers/residential care facility (C/RCF) coordinator also provided technical inputs and recommendation on their respective areas of specialization.

Through this initiative, capability building activities were managed and implemented following the prescribed timelines. Within three (3) years, there has been an increase in the number of trained staff and those staff capacitated through external training invitations.

Furthermore, the IDCB focal persons and their alternates contributed to the monitoring and implementation of trainings such as: timely submission of reportorial requirements, increased partnership through the pool of experts from the Social Welfare and Development Learning Network (SWD L-Net) which provides quality and effective resource persons that meets the training demands, C/RCFs prioritized the inclusion of initiated trainings in their respective Work and Financial Plan based on training needs assessment (TNA) results, preparation of training documents namely: modules, syllabi and training design are facilitated promptly.

Focal persons were also mobilized and they facilitated the conduct of regional activities such as stakeholder’s fora, convergence caravans and sectoral program celebrations. In 2012, implementing guidelines stating the functions of IDCB focal persons as part of the institutionalization efforts, resulting to better performance of their roles which affects the identification of training needs of the staff from their respective offices, following the thrusts and directions of the Department.

One distinct characteristic of this effort is the succession from one focal person to another, as the preservation of knowledge is ensured. An IDCB focal person has a two-year term, after which his/her alternate shall assume the position and another alternate shall be identified. Both the IDCB focal person and alternate are assessed based on the evaluation of their performance on the two-year term. Focal persons are required to provide sufficient coaching opportunities to their alternates to ensure the transfer of knowledge will also serve as skills enhancement for the staff. ###

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DSWD-NCR to launch the Oplan Balik Bahay, Sagip Buhay project

In line with the provision of basic social services to address the prevalence of children and families at-risk on the streets, the Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD – NCR) will launch the Oplan Balik Bahay, Sagip Buhay (OBBSB) project.

“Preparations are underway for the holding of the summit with stakeholders, because there is a call for a need-based program design and multi stakeholder’s mechanism to address the influx of children, unattached adults and families at-risk on the streets and to sustain intervention, social responsibility and community participation.” said DSWD-NCR OIC – Regional Director Jacel J. Paguio about the OBBSB project, a comprehensive program for individuals and families at-risk on the streets.

Through the summit, the participants will have an overview of the current situation of homeless families in the national and the local government unit level and determine the efforts done regarding the issue. Also, the roles of the various stakeholders will be expounded to give them a clear understanding of their functions in the implementation. The summit aims to gather ideas and concepts on how to mitigate the growing number of children and families at-risk on the streets.

The summit aims to gather 250 participants from different sectors, namely: the local chief executives, barangay officials, other national government agencies, CSOs and other stakeholders in the implementation of the project to discuss further measures to complement the OBBSB project.

The project is a combination of modified programs and services leading to the empowerment of families, unattached adults and children at-risks on the streets. It will integrate all strategies and interventions in preventing the influx of children, unattached adults and families at-risk on the streets. Moreover, it involves developmental, therapeutic and income generating services that will contribute to their eventual reintegration to the community.

This project does not limit the capacity of the national and local government in the exercise of their roles and responsibilities; rather, it is community-driven which aims to boost responsible individuals/officials in the community to take action on the vulnerable situation of children, individuals, and families on the streets. ###

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Former homeless mother left indignity due to MCCT-HSF program of DSWD

She leaves every night to go to a bar in Pampanga where she worked as a singer while wearing not-so-decent clothes… her child who was four years old at that time is always being entrusted to security guards, one of the reasons why they chose to live outside a fast food chain.

Divine Grace Landingin, 27 years old shared to the participants of the recently-held Secretary’s Roadshow in Muntinlupa City, how the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Homeless Street Families (MCCT-HSF) program of DSWD lifted her from indignity.

“Tumira kame sa Jollibee sa Alabang Junction pati sa Luna Street sa Maynila kasi sa security guard ko ihinahabilin si Daniela (her daughter) tuwing gabi sa pagpasok ko sa trabaho,” Divine narrated in front of 140 Parent Leaders who participated in the activity.

Her husband Danilo, who died in 2013 due to complications of diabetes, was the breadwinner of their family. He worked as seaman whose income can luxuriously provide Divine and Daniela’s needs.

“Nakapundar kame ng apartment, walong pinto… masaya ang pamumuhay namin noon… kaso hindi kame nakapag pakasal ng asawa ko kaya nung nawala siya, nawala rin sa amin ang lahat,” Divine continued.

Divine did not deny that she sow hatred to God during those times of troubles. “Pinaganda mo nga ang buhay namin, nung binagsak mo naman kame ay mas lalong lagapak!” she complained to God.

Came from a broken family in Cebu City, Divine was under the custody of her mother when she was a child. Upon her adulthood, her father brought him to Nueva Ecija who eventually entrusted her to his brother, Edgar who lives in Muntinlupa City.

Divine finished her secondary education through the Alternative Learning System (ALS) and to help the family who adopted her, after her graduation, she worked as singer in a bar in Pampanga where she met her husband.

“Nung nawala ang asawa ko, nahihiya akong bumalik sa pamilya ko dahil baka pag-usapan lang kame… ‘dun kame napilitang tumira sa kalsada ng anak ko at bumalik din ako sa dati kong trabaho,” Divine shared with teary eyes.

Divine happily narrates later the positive transformation that happened to her and to her daughter after being included as beneficiary of MCCT-HSF while Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman attentively listens to her stories of change.

Divine happily narrates later the positive transformation that happened to her and to her daughter after being included as beneficiary of MCCT-HSF while Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman attentively listens to her stories of change.

After a year of running away from the reach-out team of DSWD-NCR, Divine eventually coordinated with the DSWD in February 2014, and once again, she lifted everything to God. This bridges them to the MCCT-HSF program of the Department.

After attending the Family Development Session (FDS), she realized how irresponsible she was for leaving her daughter unattended on the street while she was at work. Since then, she promised to herself that she will never ever leave Daniela alone, whatever happens.

Now, they are living in an Alternative Family Home (AFH) being rented by DSWD in Cupang, Muntinlupa City. Aside from receiving cash grants for Daniela’s health and education, Divine was among the Parent Leaders who availed the Cash-for-Work project of DSWD wherein they were employed for 10 days, with a salary of P347.00 per day to manage the urban gardening at Elsie Gaches Village.

Divine is now a parent volunteer at EGV where she receives daily food pack. Aside from this, she also engages herself in “barking” for two (2) hours every night and accepting laundry works during weekends. She will be further assisted by DSWD-NCR to ensure that she will have a sustainable livelihood for her family.

“Bukod sa hindi ko na napapabayaan ang anak ko, marangal pa ang mga trabahong pinapasok ko ngayon… salamat talaga sa DSWD at naialis kame ng anak ko sa dati naming buhay… salamat at hindi kame pinabayaan ng Panginoon,” Divine emphasized.

Happily, she shared that Daniela, 6 years old in Grade 2 was recognized as top 3 in her class which inspires her to work harder, thus, together with MCCT-HSF program, her daughter’s health and education will be ensured.###

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No more ripped school projects for a former homeless student

“Noon ay sa gabi ako gumagawa ng project para malaki ang space dahil maraming tao sa kalsada… minsan naman ay sa school na lang ako gumagawa kapag umuulan kasi nasisira lang sa kalsada ‘di tulad ngayon, malaki na ang nagbago sa aming buhay” Mark Joseph said with teary eyes.

Five (5) years ago, Mark Joseph who is now 18 years old with his two (2) other siblings aged 22 and 12 were left in the care of their grandmother, Nieves del Prado, 61 years old and a fruit vendor in Baclaran, Parañaque City. Since then, the street became their home.

In 2012, Mark’s family became a beneficiary of the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Homeless Street Families (MCCT – HSF) program of DSWD wherein they are receiving health and education grants. They also availed the Alternative Family Home (AFH) assistance to provide them a safe abode.

Mark shared that his parents already have their separate families and while it seems that they were like abandoned children, he never sowed hatred against them, instead, he used it as motivation to finish his secondary education.

Now that he is a high school graduate, Mark felt that he is already a step closer to his dream of being a certified public accountant someday.mark joseph 1

“Kung hihinto ako sa pag-aaral, wala akong makukuhang trabaho kaya pinili kong magpursige para makatapos ng high school… at ngayon, mas pag iibayuhin ko pa ang aking pag-aaral para makatapos naman ako ng kolehiyo,” he shared.

Mark also excelled in the field of journalism as the editorial writer of Parañaque National High School – Baclaran’s official newsletter named as “Puting Pilas.”

“Mula ng may bahay na kaming tinutulugan, mas sinipag akong mag-aral kasi napapaganda ko na ang projects at assignments ko na ‘di tulad ng dati na laging rush kaya talagang mababa ang mga marka,” Mark added.

According to Lola Nieves, she was very grateful to God that despite of having no parents to guide them, Mark showed remarkable sense of responsibility in taking care of his siblings and also managed to help her in vending fruits after his schooling.

“Wala akong pagsisisi na ako na ang tumatayong magulang nila Mark…  mabait yang bata kaya alam kong malayo ang mararating niya,” Lola Nieves emphasized.mark joseph 2

Recently, Mark was included among the Pantawid Pamilya high school graduates who were interviewed by Ms. Kris Aquino wherein he was asked if he will be given a chance to talk to President Benigno Aquino III, what are the things he would say?

“Una po sa lahat, gusto ko pong magpasalamat sa Pangulo dahil may ganitong klase ng programa na talaga nakakatulong sa katulad kong mahirap. Hinihiling ko rin po na sana ay palawigin pa ang programang ito upang mas maraming pamilya pa ang makaranas ng tulong na ito,” Mark answered.

Mark belongs to the participants of the recently held graduation celebration of Pantawid Pamilya high school graduates from Metro Manila wherein almost 4000 children-beneficiaries gathered for the event occurred in PICC, Pasay City on April 9, 2015. ###

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