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Poetry in Neon Workshop

Selected clients from the Reception and Study Center for Children joined the free Poetry in Neon Workshop conducted by the Museum of Contemporary Arts and Design at Malate, Manila on June 15, 2019. It is a hands-on workshop which aims to engage the children in visualizing poetry through neon painting as a means to develop their self-awareness and their sense of identity. This enhances the children’s talents and creativity by giving them a chance to share their thoughts and feelings as they discuss a certain topic.

The thirteen (13) children who joined the workshop were able to express their sense of identity through impromptu poem writing. In this activity, the children were able to describe themselves and share who they are as perceived by others. In the second part of the workshop, the children created drawings and poems about their friends, which they proudly shared to the group. Angelica, a child from the Pink House, wrote a poem about herself which reads:

“Ako ay may mata
Ako ay may ilong
Ako ay may tenga
Ako ay may bibig
At higit sa lahat puso’t isip
na ibinigay ng Diyos”

After the workshop, the children were given opportunities to explore and look at the different paintings displayed at the museum. The children’s curiosities were piqued as they were mesmerized by the large paintings which depict nationalism, history, and social issues. Questions were raised as their young minds wondered what could be the hidden message behind those paintings. Truly, this experience is a good exercise for the children to develop their artistic sense and creativity.

The Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC) aims to help the children achieve survival, development and rehabilitation.  It is located at Bago-Bantay Extension, Quezon City. ###

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2019 Opening Ceremonies of Jose Fabella Memorial School

The Jose Fabella Memorial School (JFMS) – Haven for Children Chapter celebrated their opening ceremonies for the school year 2019-2020 on June 3, 2019, held at the Haven for Children Activity Hall.

The program started with a flag raising ceremony, followed by the singing of JFMS Hymn, and then the sharing of the Lakas ng Karakter for the month of June, which is “Justice vs. Corruption”.

For this school year, a total of seventy-one (71) students enrolled at the Haven for Children. Two of the residents were already enrolled outside of the Center—one is on his Senior High School at Las Pinas National Senior High School and the other one is at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa.

“I encourage you to pursue better future and push yourselves to become good citizens of the country we live in,” said Ms. Eva Villegas, OIC Center Head, as she gave her opening message for the student.

This only proves that everyone deserves a chance to start anew and become a better version of themselves. They just need people who will guide them and truly believe in them.

Haven for Children is a temporary shelter to provide healing and empowerment to former street children. ###

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DSWD-NCR Conducts Policy Forum on Proposed Bills, Issuances, and Policies

DSWD-NCR Regional Director Vicente Gregorio B. Tomas giving his opening message to welcome the guests and participants of the Policy Forum.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) conducted a Policy Forum on the DSWD Proposed Bills, Issuances and Policies regarding Magna Carta of Child Development Worker Bill and Positive Discipline of Children Act on June 20, 2019 at Best Western Hotel La Corona Manila, M.H. Del Pilar St., Ermita, Manila, as part of its mandate to promote the rights and welfare of the poor, vulnerable, and disadvantaged sectors through provision of holistic social protection programs and development of responsive SWD legislations, policies, and plans, as well as ensuring their effective implementation. The event was participated in by the Early Childhood Care Development Council, Government-Owned and/or -Controlled Corporations, National Government Agencies with Child Development Centers, Local Government Units, Civil Society Organizations, Social Welfare and Development Agencies from the children sector, and the DSWD Central Office.

Panelist Ms. Jacel J. Paguio, Operations Manager of Bantay Bata 163 during the plenary discussion

The event has become a venue of discussion for Social Welfare Development policy concerns among partner stakeholders, with a goal to collate or develop concrete policy recommendations and plan of actions which will help lobby the passage of the proposed legislative bills.

DSWD-NCR Regional Director Vicente Gregorio B. Tomas emphasized the use of social media in advocating the passing of the bills. “Let us maximize the use of social media; let’s include Success Stories and clear advocacy plans aside from regular activities such as signature campaigns and conduct of fora,” he said during his remarks.

During the first part of the forum, Mr. Joshua M. Matino, Planning Officer III of DSWD Central Office, presented the national situationer. He gave an overall picture of the current conditions of the proposed bills on Solo Parent, Social Welfare and Development Agencies Act, Establishment of the National Council for the Welfare of the Senior Citizen and Elderly Abuse Bill.

The first bill presented was “The Magna Carta of Child Development Workers Bill”which proposes the provision of adequate remuneration for day care workers and to promote and improve their well-being and economic welfare. This shall cover all professionals providing Early Child Care and Development in all government-owned day care centers and all non-stock, non-profit day care centers run by volunteers, people’s organizations, associations, and non-government organizations.

Meanwhile, the second proposed bill known as the Positive Discipline of Children Act, aims to ensure that the children are protected from all forms of corporal punishment, humiliating and degrading treatment, violence, abuse, neglect, exploitation, and coercion, especially those acts which are harmful to their personal safety and security.  This Act also recognizes the vital role of children and youth in nation building as it also promotes and protects their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being.

A plenary discussion by sectorial representatives was also held after the presentation of the proposed bills. Panelists such as Ms. Jenny Deuda of Muntinlupa Early Child Care Development, Ms. Aileen Clemente of Social Security System Day Care, Ms. Newelle M. Magas of Early Child Care Development Council, Ms. Wilma Bañaga of Save the Children, Bro. Luis M. Ortiz of Friendship Home Fr. Luis Amigo, Ms. Jacel J. Paguio of Bantay Bata 163, and Ms. Glenda M. Derla of Reception and Study Center for Children, gave their respective opinions, reactions, and comments on the lobbying of the proposed bills.

During the second part of the program, the attendees took part in the open forum wherein they raised their issues, concerns, and queries to the members of the panel.

(L to R: Panelist and Operations Manager, Ms. Jacel J. Paguio, and Program Director Ms. Jing Castañeda-Velasco both from Bantay Bata 163, with DSWD-NCR’s Policy and Plans Division Chief Ms. Manuela M. Loza during the symbolic signing.

After the event, the participants signed the tarpaulin of the forum to show solidarity in support of the Department’s advocacy. The symbolic signing also represents the signature campaign that was launched during the forum.  ###

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DSWD-NCR conducts Listahanan Data Sharing orientation for SWDAs and LGUs

DSWD-NCR conducts Listahanan Data Sharing orientation for SWDAs and LGUs

Particpants form SWDAs and LGUs
From left to right: Ms. Charm Suzzette Gregorio, SWO III of DSWD-NCR, Atty. Vida Zora Bocar of NPC, and Ms. Maricris Estepa, PDO IV of DSWD-NCR

The Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR), through the National Household Targeting Section (NHTS) and Standards Section, gathered the Area-Based Standard Network (ABSNET) officers and Local Government Unit (LGU) representatives to share the new guidelines on Registration and  Licensing of Social Welfare and Development Agencies (SWDAs) and Accreditation of Social Welfare and Development Programs and Services as well as to give an orientaion on the Data Privacy Act (DPA) and on the Listahanan Project itself. This event was held at Manila Manor Hotel, Ermita, Manila on June 13, 2019.

Atty. Vida Zora G. Bocar, Attorney V of Policy and Review Division of the National Privacy Commission, discussed the Data Privacy Act of 2012 which helped Listahanan’s stakeholders understand how the DPA protects an individual’s personal information. Ms. Maricris L. Estepa, Project Development Officer IV of NHTS, discussed the Memorandum Circular No. 12, Series of 2017, known as the Guidelines in Sharing the Data Generated from Listahanan 2.

This acitivity aims to keep our partner-stakeholders updated on the guidelines and laws which will standardize the delivery of social services to the poor, vulnerable, and disadvantaged as well as to encourage the Department’s partner SWDAs and LGUs to establish and strengthen partnership with NHTS for Listahanan Data Sharing.

The National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), commonly known as Listahanan, is an information management system which identifies who and where the poor are in the country. ###

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EGV Kids join the McDonalds Kiddie Crew 2019

Last May 27-31, the Elsie Gaches Village sent selected residents to join the McDonalds Kiddie Crew 2019 at the McDonalds Alabang Town Center branch. The Kiddie Crew Grand Graduation was held on June 23, 2019 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City Manila.

Every summer, McDonalds Philippines, Inc. prepares a week-long workshop for the kids called  the “McDonalds Kiddie Crew Workshop”, which enables the children experience being a service crew, a cashier, and a kitchen staff.

The McDonalds Alabang staff patiently trained the EGV Kids on how to serve the customers. Each day, the children are learning new skills which serve as cognitive and physical exercise for them. McDonalds also incorporated additional therapeutic activities for the kids, such as music, dance, and art sessions like coloring and drawing.

Aside from gaining interpersonal communication skills, the activity also provided opportunity to the residents to become more involved in the community. This is an opportunity for them to become an agent of change and awareness to remove the stigma for people living with intellectual disabilities. The customers of McDonalds were amazed by how well the EGV kids, as intellectually-challenged individuals, handled their tasks.

With the positive feedback from McDonalds Alabang Town Center, Elsie Gaches Village will send more residents to join the Kiddie Crew Workshop in the coming years.

Elsie Gaches Village is a residential care facility which provides care and rehabilitation to the abandoned and/or neglected children with special needs. It is located at Alabang-Zapote Road, Muntinlupa City. ###

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The Success Story of Gian Carlo Batuclan Felicisimo

Gian Carlo Felicisimo had his hearing impairment as early as seven years old. Despite his disability, Gian grew up to be a sweet, thoughtful, caring, and responsible person. Now 23 years old, Gian had learned sign language at a Special Education school and was able to study Information Technology as a scholar at Saint Benilde.

At an early age, Gian took the responsibility of watching and protecting his family. Even though his father has been working abroad, his income as the sole breadwinner was not enough to feed a family of six. With this, Gian started working as a service crew to support his family and his needs as a working student.

Aiming for a better future, Gian decided to improve his skills at the National Vocational Rehabilitation Center where he underwent a three-month social rehabilitation phase to help him prepare his physical, emotional, and cognitive skills. He also underwent six months vocational training along Housekeeping and Janitorial course wherein he was trained how to use tools and equipment. He finished the course and was evaluated with a very satisfactory performance. 

On January 3, 2017, Gian started his on-the-job-training at the Citi Living Solution Corporation (Citi Hub) Sta. Mesa Branch. Within three months, he was able to demonstrate his actual learnings and knowledge from the course he took.

As his performance was evaluated by Citi Hub, he was highly recommended to be hired as an employee. On April 4, 2018, he started working as a housekeeping and janitorial service employee at the Citi Hub Sta. Mesa. He was a probationary staff for six months until he became a regular employee for sustaining his good performance while working in the company.

Together with Gian’s wife, Maybelle, who is also an employee of Citi Hub, the couple is learning to save money for thier future. Through their savings, Gian was able to buy a motorcycle which he and Maybelle can use for their everyday transportation from their house to their workplace and vice-versa.

As of now, Gian is a regular employee who receives full benefits, bonuses, and monthly housing allowance. Through the support of his employer, Gian was able to achieve his dreams of having a decent and stable job.

National Vocational Rehabilitation Center (NVRC) is a non-residential institution that provides training and rehabilitation programs and services to persons with disabilities and special groups, including the elderly and dependent of PWDs. It is located at J.P Burgos Street, Project 4, Quezon City. ###

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Role of DSWD-NCR in the UniFAST Program of CHED

The Department of Scoial Welfare and Development – National Capital Region as the primary promoter of Social Welfare Services of the Region, takes on a huge role in the implementation of the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) program under the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). This program aims to provide Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) for the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program who wish to pursue college but are in need of financial assistance.

The role of the Department in this program is to provide the data gathered by Listahanan as to where and who the poor individuals and households are, so that the government will know who to prioritze in terms of granting TES to beneficiaries. While the Listahanan database has already been shared to CHED, the Commission is still entitled to establish their own verification mechanism in identifying who are the eligible beneficiaries for their social Protection Programs. This means that the DSWD-NCR has no control as to who will be eligible for TES, nor being a member of the Pantawid Pamilya means that a person is automatically entitled for TES.

TES is a program under the Free Education Law or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act of 2017 (RA 10931), which provides tertiary education financial assistance to the poor but deserving students. ###

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DSWD-NCR conducts orientation with Affiliated Schools and Universities

The Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region, through the Learning Development Section, conducted a consultation meeting with DSWD-Affiliated Schools and Universities to share the Listahanan Data Sharing for their Social Protection and Scholarship Programs. This was held at the DSWD-NCR Office of the Secretary Conference Room on June 20, 2019.­

The discussion aims to encourage affiliated schools and universities to enter into a memorandum of agreement for the use of the Listahanan Database, which the schools may utilize to identify their vulnerable students as they may consider helping or improving the well being of their learners through scholarship and financial aids.

The goal and objective of DSWD is to provide opportunities for growth and development of each students as they are one of the most important assets of our society. With this, the Department is continously providing technical assistance to learning institutions who are willing to improve the quality of life of their students.

The National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) commonly known as Listahanan is an information management system which identifies who and where the poor are in the country. ###

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