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DSWD-NCR inks MOA with DepED for the Kariton Klasrum project

The Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Department of Education (DepED) for the implementation of the Kariton Klasrum.

The ceremony took place at the Bulwagan ng Karunungan, DepED Complex, Meralco Ave., Pasig City to launch the DepEd’s alternative mode of learning, which adopted the Kariton Klasrum of the Dynamic Teen Company.

Driven by the DepED’s mandate to provide equitable access and quality education to all types of learners including the street children, the Kariton Klasrum seeks to broaden access to basic education among street children and out-of-school children and youth, through the use of outdoor learning scheme. It also aims to encourage street children and out of school children to love learning.

According to DepED Secretary Armin Luistro, “The project aims to have the beneficiary-children achieve a 100 percent passing rate for them to be re-integrated into mainstream or regular schools.” This will enable children that do not have access to formal education to have basic education.

Basically, the design of the Kariton Klasrum is a push cart with drawers and back pockets for storage of instructional and learning materials. It has also a multi-purpose table top and a foldable flip top blackboard which can be used for various learning activities. Instructional materials such as books, test booklets, charts, number puzzles, flash cards and writing materials are for the teacher volunteers while notebooks, pencils, ballpens, crayons and other school supplies are the materials needed by the learners.

According to Undersecretary Mario Deriquito, the Kariton Klasrums will also contain “…hygiene kits, first aid kits, and other teaching implements such as storybooks— among others. The package may also include snacks and feeding options for the beneficiaries.”

The DSWD-NCR, together with the local government units, identified the street children and out-of-school children and youths in Metro Manila. Based on the rapid appraisal done in April 2013, a total of 3,072 street children are in the major thoroughfares of Metro Manila. Of these, Manila has the highest occurrence of street children with 774, followed by Quezon City with 504 and Caloocan with 348. The Kariton Klasrum project of DepED will benefit these street children who are under the Comprehensive program for street children, street families and indigenous peoples especially Sama Bajaus and Modified Conditional Cash Transfer.

The Kariton Klasrum in NCR will be initially implemented in the 27 identified Activity Centers for street children in 14 LGUs, which will follow a three (3) months completion cycle with at least 50 children per group. ###

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MCCT-HSF beneficiary supports DSWD camping initiative

Sobrang masaya ang pamilya ko dahil nakasama kami ‘dun sa camping sa Nasugbu, Batangas… maayos ang trato sa amin ‘dun… kakaibang karanasan ‘yun na minsan lang dumating sa amin,”Joel Dela Cruz said.

Joel, 31 years old and household head under the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Homeless Street Families (MCCT-HSF) in Manila, together with his four (4) children aged 6, 4, 2 and 5 months, and his wife Buena, 25, joined the recently held 6th family camp of the Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) in Batangas.

To the Dela Cruz family, joining the camp is an extraordinary experience that comes only once in a lifetime. He shared that during the camping, they were able to acquire learnings which reminded them of the reasons why they left the street and decided to live in a safer place which they now call “home.”

“Marami kaming natutunan ‘dun tulad ng pagkilala ng kalakasan at kahinaan namin bilang pamilya… ‘dun din kasi namin nalalaman kung ano ba ang dapat naming pagtibayin para talagang ‘di na kami bumalik sa kalsada,” Joel emphasized.

Among the activities during the camping are the conduct of sessions on life skills and character building, journey of life and mobile mapping, orientation on drug abuse, discussion on good grooming and personal hygiene, personality development, night devotion/mass, fun games and sports, and recognition and awarding to outstanding camp participants.

“Minsan lang yung family camp kaya talagang hindi namin pinapalampas ‘yun. Kung nandito naman kame sa Maynila nung panahong iyon ay ‘di rin naman namin makikita ng malapitan si Pope Francis… May nagmisa naman sa amin ‘dun kaya naramdaman na rin namin ang kanyang presensya,” Joel added.

The Dela Cruz family was able to finish the six months provision period for Alternative Family Home subsidy (AFH) but was unable to sustain the house rental, resulting to their return to the streets.

Joel Dela Cruz with his family while happily narrating their experiences during the family camp they recently joined in Nasugbu, Batangas.

Joel Dela Cruz with his family while happily narrating their experiences during the family camp they recently joined in Nasugbu, Batangas.

However, subsequent to the reevaluation conducted to the family after the family camp, they are now eligible to avail again the AFH for six months and Joel was hired under the cash-for-work of DSWD-NCR where he is earning P342.00 per day for 10 days as a street sweeper in Manila.

“Sa abot ng aking makakaya, hindi ko na hahayaang bumalik pa kame sa kalsada… magsisikap ako ng mabuti para sa aking pamilya lalo na’t maliliit pa aking mga anak,” Joel emphasized.

The Dela Cruz family is now residing in a newly rented house at Balinggit St., Malate, Manila and they are among the 2,479 beneficiaries of MCCT-HSF in Metro Manila being monitored in compliance to conditionalities of the program. ###



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Street children and families thank DSWD in helping them

“Nagpapasalamat po kami sa DSWD dahil sa pagkakataong binigay nila sa amin upang paunlarin ang aming mga sarili. Sobrang saya namin sapagkat kabilang kami sa mga programa at proyektong isinasakatuparan ng gobyerno. Gagamitin namin ang lahat ng aming mga natutunan upang mapalago ang aming pamumuhay (I am thankful to DSWD for the opportunity to improve ourselves. We are glad that we are part of the government’s programs and projects. We will be using the knowledge and skills that we have gained to improve our lives)” Faustino family from Parañaque City expressed.

Faustino family, beneficiary of Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Homeless Street Families (MCCT-HSF), participated in the Family Camp held recently. Moreover, they also shared that from the support they have received from DSWD, they have consistently paid rent for their house for two years now.

The camping is an annual event being organized by the Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) which aims to provide the street children and their families with safer venue to hone their social skills, provide therapeutic and development activities and package of family enrichment sessions.

This is also a strategy to assess potential beneficiaries for the MCCT and orient them about the program.

Children namely: Mark Paminiano and Jessalyn Diceo said, “Salamat po dahil nakatulog at nakakain po kami ng maayos kasama ang aming mga pamilya. Marami po kaming natutunan at nagkaroon po kami ng maraming kaibigan. Sobrang nag-enjoy po kami (Thank you because we slept and ate well together with our family. We have learned many things and met new friends. We really enjoyed it).

Designed towards the physical and psychosocial development of the street children and their families, the activity also included basic literacy and character building sessions to bring positive changes among street families in terms of family values and family relationships. Likewise, it also served as venue for children and their families to harness their talents in sports, arts, and music.

To date, a total of 2,479 homeless street families were served under MCCT-HSF program in NCR, with 1,738 families reached under the Comprehensive Program for Street Families and Sama Bajaus. ###

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Finding greener pasture outside the center

Rudy (not his real name), 25 years old, is an orthopedically-impaired resident of the Rehabilitation Sheltered Workshop (RSW). He finished Electronics at the National Vocational Rehabilitation Center (NVRC) in 2008 before he worked in RSW as utility worker under the Philippine Airlines Sanitizing project.

Amidst his disability, he still performed his work diligently and assisted persons with disabilities (PWDs) like him. His co-workers described him as a helpful and principled person. Though he enjoyed serving, Rudy always dreamed to work outside the center and practice his skills in electronics. He wants to demonstrate that no amount of disability can stop the determination of a person.

“Akala ko hindi ko kayang makipagsabayan sa iba. Natatakot akong sumubok ng ibang bagay sapagkat natatakot akong i-regret lang ng mga kompanyang aaplayan ko. Buti na lang mayroon akong mga kasama sa center na nagpapalakas ng loob ko, (I thought I can’t compete with the able-bodied persons. I am afraid to try new things or find a new job because I did not want to be rejected. Fortunately, I was surrounded by wonderful people who supported and cheered me up).”

His determination and positive attitude was rewarded when he was finally hired as a service technician in an electronics service provider in November 2011. Now, he is still enjoying his work repairing various kinds of appliances where he earns additional income to provide for the needs of his two children.

According to Rudy, he will be always grateful to everyone who guided him on his journey, especially to the DSWD managed centers – RSW and NVRC, for the skills training and productive employment given to him.

“Kung hindi dahil sa kakayahang natutunan ko sa NVRC at RSW, siguro hanggang ngayon kinakaawan ko pa rin ang aking sarili dahil sa aking kapansanan. Salamat sa institusyong tulad nito na patuloy na nagbibigay ng pag-asa sa mga taong may kapansanan kagaya ko. (Without the skills and knowledge I have learned in NVRC and RSW, I think I am still having self-pity about my disability. Thanks to the institutions which continue to give hope to persons with disabilities like me)”

Cliché as it may sound, but Rudy once again proved that disability is not a hindrance to success.###

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Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary vows to get out from poverty

Inspired by the capital assistance her association received from the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR), Criselda Custodio, 40 years old from Pasig City vows during yesterday’s flag raising ceremony of DSWD-NCR officials and staff, that her family will use the fund as a stepping stone in getting out of poverty.

“Ipinapangako ko pong ang puhunang ipinahiram na ito ng DSWD sa amin ay magsisilbing daan upang makaalis kame sa kahirapan… sobra-sobra ang aming pasasalamat sa pagkakataong makapag negosyo na inyong ibinigay sa amin,” Criselda said in front of DSWD-NCR family led by Regional Director Ma. Alicia S. Bonoan.

Together with her husband Daniel Custodio, 54 years old and a security guard, Criselda shared that it is hard for them to provide the needs of their five (5) children aged 22, 19, 14, 11 and 6 if they will depend only on her husband’s salary.

That is why Criselda decided to apply for a job as encoder and she was fortunately considered. However, she observed that her youngest child became sickly since she started working; thus, after four (4) years of working as encoder, she decided to resign and be a plain housewife instead.

Criselda considered it as God’s blessing that she just resigned from her previous work effective this January 2015, then there came a capital assistance for her sari-sari store which could enable her to earn income while attending to the needs of her children at home.

“Malaki po ang naitulong ng DSWD sa aking pamilya… bilang benepisyaryo ng Pantawid Pamilya, wala na pong absence ang mga anak ko sa eskwelahan dahil may pantustos na kame… tumaas din po ang aking self-confidence mula ng mahalal ako ng aming grupo bilang Parent Leader,” she added.

Custodio family is among the 235, 297 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in Metro Manila who are receiving cash grants for the health and education of the children aged 0-18 wherein, the amount depends on compliance to the program conditionalities. ### (DSWD-NCR, Social Marketing Office, January 13, 2015)

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Bringing back the passion through social pension program

An 81-year old widow and social pension beneficiary from Brgy. Sta. Ana, Pateros continues to inspire peopllola milae through her relentless perseverance and positive outlook in life.

Despite her age, Mila Santos, or fondly called as “Lola Mila,” can still provide the needs of her family. Every day, she wakes up early in the morning to prepare the cotton she is using to make potholders. She loves sewing because it makes her feel productive and worthy.

“Katuwang ko ang aking anak sa paggawa at pagtitinda ng potholder. Pumupunta kami sa mga simbahan, eskwelahan, palengke, sa aming mga kapitbahay at kaibigan para magbenta. Para manatili akong malakas ay sumasama ako sa aking mga kaibigan upang mag-aerobics,” Lola Mila proudly narrated.

Meanwhile, lola Mila shared that she used to be an active member of Pateros Senior Citizens Association and was part of its livelihood project. Unfortunately, she needed to stop her potholder business due to financial losses, but she trusts that she would use her tailoring skills again.

She uttered, “Sobrang nalungkot ako kasi gusto ko talagang magtahi pero wala naman akong pera para matuloy ang aking negosyo. Pero patuloy pa rin akong nagsusumikap para maibalik ito,”

In 2011, it was a dream come true when an OSCA officer told her that she was identified, through the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) or Listahanan, as a recipient of the social pension program being implemented by Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR).

“Dahil sa Social Pension na natatanggap ko ay nagkaroon ulit ako ng pagkakataong mahawakan ang aking makina sa pananahi. Naipandagdag ko ang pension sa puhunan para buhayin ko ulit ang aking pagtitinda ng potholder. Nalilibang na ako, at sa isang banda ay kumikita pa ako ng sapat para matugunan ko ang aking mga pangangailangan.”

As social pensioner, she receives P500.00 per month or P1,500 quarterly as financial assistance for food expenses and medical needs in compliance to Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

“Napakalaki ng pasasalamat ko sapagkat malaking tulong ito sa aking sarili at sa aking kabuhayan. Dahil sa programang inyong ipinagkaloob sa aming mga senior citizens, nagkaroon ng liwanag at katuparan ang aming buhay. Natutustusan ko rin ang aking mga pangangailangan lalung-lalo na sa pagkain at gamot,”she continued.

With a bright smile and great enthusiasm, she disclosed, “Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat sapagkat naging bahagi kayo (DSWD) para maging maunlad ang isang katulad kong senior citizen.”

To others, lola Mila is an ordinary 81 year-old woman, but to those who know her very well, she epitomizes a person whose commendable hardwork and optimism is really inspiring. ###

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DSWD resolves COA findings on Pantawid Pamilya, maintains auditors only seeking documentation

Responding to news articles citing the findings of the 2013 Annual Audit Report of the Commission on Audit (COA) on Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program being implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that answers and clarifications to the audit observations have already been submitted to the state auditing firm.

Sec. Soliman emphasized that the auditors were merely seeking documentation of program implementation and did not indicate any suspicion of misuse or misappropriation of funds.

“We are confident that there is nothing to doubt about the Department’s integrity, especially with the funds that COA cites as unliquidated in their 2013 annual audit report. The funds went to the rightful beneficiaries,” Sec. Soliman added.

The news articles reported that out of the P10.626 billion funds transferred by the DSWD to the Land Bank of the Philippines for the payment of Pantawid Pamilya cash grants for 2013, only P10.295 billion was utilized or disbursed as of Dec. 31, 2013, leaving behind a balance of P330.347 million representing unpaid amount intended for beneficiaries in eight regions. Some P91.929 million of which were unclaimed grants of active beneficiaries in Regions IV-A, VI, IX, and CARAGA.

“The DSWD is currently working on the liquidation of the whole amount. In fact we have already liquidated 94% of the 2013 funds for cash grants. Further, the Department is processing the return of cash grants intended for families/ households who were tagged by our system as delisted, with reflected status as missing, no eligible member for monitoring, or moved to areas not covered by the program,” Sec. Soliman explained.

The Department has responded and said that 1,752 of which are unique households and were retained in the programs, while only 609 are actual duplicates and were delisted. The remaining 1,636 remaining entries are still undergoing validation.

In the database

In the COA report, the auditors claim to have found 364,036 benefeciaries not in the database entries.

After authenticating, the DSWD confirmed that 107,373 of these beneficiaires are covered under the regular CCT program and are both in the Pantawid Pamilya and the National Household Targetting System (NHTS) databases.

The other 256,663 are under the modified CCT (MCCT).

MCCT households are not under the NHTS, but are considered poor and part of the vulnerable sector. These are street dwellers and indigenous peoples. The information of MCCT beneficiaires are stored in a separate database and is open for COA’s viewing.


Sec. Soliman also cited the innovations being undertaken by the Department for a more efficient program implementation.

The program has its own dedicated grievance redress mechanism that captures, validates, investigates, and responds to complaints received by the program.

Apart from the text hotline of 09189122813, grievances may be filed through Facebook page “Tanggapan ng Reklamo” and through the Twitter account @4psreklamo.

As of November 2014, the agency, through the Grievance Redress System (GRS), has already delisted a total of 52,657 households since 2009. A total of 232,747 households have been deactivated or are pending for validation from the program. These are households whose accounts have been frozen, mainly because of reports of ineligibility or double entry, while awaiting results of investigation. This is to continuously address complaints on inclusion errors and maintain a clean database of beneficiaries.

“We have also included third party monitoring by involving Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) who are serving as our watchdog as part of our ‘Bantay, Gabay, Tulay and Kaagapay’ framework of partnership with this sector,” Sec. Soliman said.

DSWD also involves the academe, non-government organizations, and the private sector as members of its National Independent Advisory Monitoring Committee (NIAMC) to help in the monitoring of the program.

Investment in the future

Pantawid Pamilya is a human development program of the national government that invests in the health and education of poor households as identified by Listahanan. It utilizes the conditional cash transfer scheme where qualified households receive grants provided they comply with their co-responsibilities such as attendance of children aged 3-18 years old in school; regular health check-ups for children aged 0-5 years or pregnant member of the household, and attendance to the monthly Family Development Sessions.

To date, the program covers 4.4 million households in the 17 regions of the country.

Sec. Soliman also shared that based on the latest result of the impact evaluation, the Pantawid Pamilya is successful in encouraging school attendance, promoting preventive health check-ups and improving maternal health.

“We would like to assure the public that the amount entrusted to our Department goes directly to eligible poor households and that these investments will bear fruit in the years to come. We recognize that there are challenges in program implementation, but we wish to reiterate that these are being responded to accordingly,” Sec. Soliman concluded. ### (Pantawid Pamilya, Social Marketing Unit)

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Parent Leader from Marikina City cites Pantawid Pamilya program as bridge to social development

Comparing herself before and after being a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary, Aireen Villas, 35 years old from Marikina City recognizes positive changes in her family brought by the program, as she testified during the DSWD-NCR’s flag ceremony on December 15, 2014.

Together with her five (5) children aged 11, 9, 7, 5 and 3 and with her husband Gilbert, 32, an aluminum cutter, Aireen chose to be a part-time manicurist wherein she is earning P2,000 a month.

“Hinaireen2di po naging madali para sa aming mag-asawa ang mapag-aral ng sabay-sabay ang aming mga anak, pero sa tulong ng Pantawid Pamilya program, nasuportahan ang edukasyon kasama na ang kalusugan ng aking mga anak,” Aireen proudly said.

Last November 18, 2014, Aireen joined the Search for Ginang Pantawid Pamilyang Marikeño in their city where she represented the Barangay Malanday and fortunately awarded as 1st runner-up.

“Sa patimpalak pong Ginang Marikina ko napatunayan na hindi hadlang ang kahirapan para maipakita kung ano ang taglay na talento ng isang tao. Naging oportunidad yun sa aming nga benepisyaryo na mapatunayang kaya naming magbago ng pananaw sa buhay,” she added.

While in front of DSWD-NCR management and staff, Aireen also took the opportunity to express her gratitude to everyone as she acknowledges that the people who are listening to her testimony at that moment, are the people behind her and her fellow beneficiaries’ social development.

“Para sa bumubuo po ng DSWD, sa ngalan ng mga kapwa kong benepisyaryo ng Pantawid Pamilya program, maraming maraming salamat po at naging tulay kayo upang makamit namin ang magandang pagbabago sa aming buhay… sa edukasyon at kalusugan ng aming mga anak, at sa mga aral na natutunan namin sa FDS,” Aireen emphasized.

Aireen’s family is among the 234,670 household-beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya program in the National Capital region as of December 15, 2014. The program aims to break intergenerational cycle of poverty by investing to education and health of children aged 0-18. ### (DSWD Field Office – NCR, Social Marketing Office, December 16, 2014)



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