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From Division to Unity: The Gulayan Story of Quezon City

Pantawid Pamilya Members during the establishment of the Quezon City gulayan

Some say it’s easier to find reasons for people to be divided rather than finding a common ground. These differences,  which often lead to a divide in opinion, result in individuals taking their own course of action rather than working with others. Such is the case of the community from one of the areas in Barangay Pasong Putik.

Members of the community from this barangay have their respective gardens. They had their own malunggay trees planted in their own backyards. For years, they did not think of working with others and chose to tend to their own gardens.

During one of the Family Development Sessions of the members of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in the area, the importance of establishing communal garden was introduced to the attendees. This opened their eyes on the beauty of coming together and building a community of farmers who would not only help the environment but also provide for the daily needs of their family.

One of the members said she was a caretaker of a land near her house that was not being used for quite some time already and suggested that the area could be a feasible venue for the initiative. Eager to start their joint communal garden, they communicated with the owner of the small lot who thankfully allowed them to use the area.

After the preparations were made, a  group of 39 Pantawid Pamilya Members in Barangay Pasong started to establish their own communal garden in the 999 square meters of vacant land in the backyard of one of the members who happens to be the caretaker of the lot located at Lily Feliciano St., Maligaya Park Subdivision, Barangay Pasong Putik, Novaliches, Quezon City.

But despite the availability of a lot to plant in, it was not easy for the farmers to begin the garden. They found it challenging to work together since they were used to working independently. But  with proper facilitation and the growing desire of the people to unite in setting the garden up, they started cleaning the area and worked with other stakeholders for the seedlings that they can use. As months passed and as their plants grow, their relationship also developed.

Out of the gardeners, 36 were females and three of them are males. They worked hand-in-hand and helped each other religiously so that their garden can yield more vegetables.

From having individual gardens, they have come together and recently joined the Regional Search for Pantawid Pamilya Best Gulayan sa Barangay 2018 that was launched by the Department of Social Welfare and Development National Capital Region (DSWD NCR). Even though they were not chosen as one of the final contenders, they continued to work together with high hopes that they will improve and learn ways and strategies that will make them build a better garden.

The gulayan highlighted the efforts of the group in caring for their members. In instances when one member are experiencing personal problems or financial difficulty, the group showed a united front. They also stated that the effects of the gulayan are visible to their children, who are learning to eat healthy meals and are now joining them in urban farming activities.

Currently, the members are constantly learning how to sustain and enhance their gulayan by tapping other stakeholders. Recently, they attended the “The Joy of Urban Farming” training, which taught them about modern techniques in urban gardening. They were very proud of their achievements as they continue to influence other members to also see the importance of having a garden which they consider as a better accomplishment for them as a group.

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DSWD NCR Orients Pantawid Pamilya IP Members on their Rights

Indigenous People who are members of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program – Modified Conditional Cash Transfer attended an orientation on the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) recently conducted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development-National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) at Best Western Hotel Ermita, Manila.

The event, launched in observance of the celebration of the 2018 International Day of the Philippine Indigenous Peoples, aimed to orient Indigenous Peoples (IPs) and Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) about their rights.

Mr. Renato B. Magnaye from the National Commission of Indigenous People (NCIP) gave a presentation on the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, which recognizes, promotes and protects the rights of IPs and ICCs.

During the event, DSWD-NCR also discussed its interventions and programs in upholding human rights. The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program provides cash grants to poor households including IPs with children 0-18 years old provided they comply with the conditions of the program such as sending their children to school, bringing them for regular check-ups at their respective health centers and attending Family Development Sessions.

The Modified Conditional Cash Transfer under the Pantawid Pamilya for Indigenous Peoples was created to match the culture and traditions of IPs and ICCs.

Speaking during the event, IP Tribal Parent Leader Aysha Sabral cited how the MCCT program has helped the sector. She said that under the program, children of IP households were safer. Healthcare has become more accessible for them and they have also earned money through the Cash for Work Program.

“Ang laki po ng pinagbago ng aming pamumuhay nang maging miyembro kami ng programa.  Ngayon ay marunong na din kaming makisalamuha sa maraming tao, kasi dati nahihiya kami. Ngayon ay proud po kami at nalaman namin na kaya pala naming makipagsabayan. Kahit Badjao, kaya naman pala,” she added.

Another initiative launched by DSWD-NCR to empower and protect IPs in the region was the Task Force Sama-Bajau. Project Development Officer III Pilar R. Santiago presented the different activities undertaken by the task force in order to promote the welfare of IPs in NCR.

A dialogue between MCCT IP members and officials from DSWD-NCR was facilitated at the end of the event in order to address the different concerns and an issue experienced by the sector. ###

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DSWD-NCR strengthens Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Implementation through Partnership Building Summit

As part of the effort of the Department of Social Welfare and Development- National Capital Region to improve the implementation of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, the agency conducted a Partnership Building Summit on September 5, 2018 at Makati City Hall.

The activity, entitled “Tulong-tulong sa Pag-unlad Program Partnership Building”, served as a venue for DSWD-NCR to establish partnerships with Non-Government Organizations, Private Organizations and the business sector through their Corporate Social Responsibility Arm and encourage them to engage in the implementation of the Program.

Planning Officer III Lily Demabildo presented a poverty situationer in the National Capital Region. It gave an overall view of the current economic and financial condition of the population in the region.

A video presentation of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program’s history, process, and objectives was showed to orient the attending organizations and stakeholders.

In his presentation, Regional Program Coordinator of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Joel D. Cam gave a deeper insight into the program’s coverage and scope of activities. Afterward, he discussed the potential areas of partnership that the participants of the event could be involved in.

Another objective of the event is to present and highlight the commonalities of programs and services provided by the Local Government Unit, DSWD-NCR and existing partners in order to complement programs in addressing the identified gaps in the community.

DSWD-NCR Regional Director Vincent Andrew T. Leyson underlined the importance of harmonizing the different initiatives and programs that are geared towards helping the marginalized sector. “We are encouraging each one to be our partner, so your resources can be used in a way na mas matutulungan yung mga Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries,” he said. He also called on the attending NGOs, POs and the business sector to help out in the implementation of other DSWD projects and programs in regions outside NCR.

Mr. Leyson added that aside from monetary aid, there are competencies or technical expertise that could be shared with Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries such as financial literacy and job placement.

Majority of the attending organizations expressed their willingness to explore potential partnerships with DSWD-NCR.  ###

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DSWD NCR releases cash grants for UCT beneficiaries

Beneficiaries of the Unconditional Cash Transfer program receive their cash grant at the Land Bank – España branch

The Department of Social Wefare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) in coordination with the Land Bank of the Philippines has started to release the cash grants to 22,180 eligible households who were identified through Listahanan. These eligible households are from 17 Local Government Units in Metro Manila.

The eligible beneficiaries from NCR have expressed their gratitude to the Department upon receiving their cash grants. The cash grants will be a helpful addition towards buying the staple needs of each household which may have risen due to the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law. The beneficiaries count themselves blessed to be one of the recipients of the cash subsidy and expressed hope that DSWD continues this program.

“Nagpapasalamat kami sa dagdag ayudang naibigay ng programang Unconditional Cash Transfer. Ito ay malaking tulong sa aming pangangailangan at gastusin sa pang araw-araw. Sana ay marami pang matulungan ang ating gobyerno lalong lalo na ang mga mahihirap na katulad namin na apektado ng pagtaas ng mga bilihin”, said Mr. Leo Constantino  Loreno, one of the beneficiaries of the program.

Regional Director Vincent Andrew T. Leyson also recognized the government employees who render extra hours to deliver the grants to the beneficiaries through simultaneous pay-outs.

The release of the UCT cash subsidy to elgible households in NCR will be conducted until the end of the year.The Unconditional Cash Transfer program aims to ease the economic strain of the TRAIN law on the poor through the provision of cash subsidies.###

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Mandaluyong City Wins DSWD-NCR’s First Regional Search for Best Gulayan sa Barangay

The Local Government of Mandaluyong was awarded as the winner in the first Regional Search for Pantawid Pamilya Best Gulayan sa Barangay 2018 conducted by the Department of Social Development and Welfare National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR).

The Local Government of Pasay was awarded the 4th runner-up while the Local Government of Manila was awarded 3rd runner-up. The Local Government of Muntinlupa and Taguig were awarded 2nd runner-up and 1st runner-up, respectively.

Assistant Regional Director for Operations Edna J. Sacedor and Mr. Joel D. Cam, Regional Program Coordinator of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program awarded the winners during the DSWD-NCR Field Office Flag Raising Ceremony on September 3, 2018. The top 5 Gulayan sa Barangay groups received a cash prize and a certificate of recognition.

The contest was open to all Pantawid Pamilya members from Local Government Units across the region. A desk validation of the submitted nominations was conducted by selected Pantawid Pamilya Regional Project Management Office focal officers who served as judges to the competition.

After the judges chose the top 5 Gulayan sa Barangay from all the LGU nominees, a field validation was conducted to visit the finalists’ gardens to ensure that data included in the documentation are accurate and to acquire information that was not included in the entry submission.

The communal gardens of the finalists were evaluated for their uniqueness, creativity and use of recyclable materials. The leadership and group cohesiveness of the group maintaining the Gulayan was also a criterion for the contest. The garden’s sustainability was another factor in determining the best Gulayan sa Barangay in the region.

The regional search aimed to showcase the establishment and the maintenance of the Gulayan sa Barangay of the Pantawid Pamilya members. The contest also aimed to underline the impact of the communal garden in their respective barangays in terms of contribution to nutrient sufficiency, food security, community development, and potential livelihood opportunities. It also encouraged members to be more involved, increase their awareness and sustain their interest in urban gardening.  ###

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DSWD-NCR starts to notify UCT Beneficiaries

One of the notifiers visits the UCT program beneficiaries in Malabon City to inform them that they are eligible to receive the cash subsidy.

The National Household Targeting Office (NHTO) has started to notify beneficiaries in the National Capital Region who are eligible to receive cash grants under the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) program on September 4, 2018.

Out of the 62,843 households validated in the National Capital Region, 22,180 households were deemed as eligible beneficiaries based on the validation which was conducted last April to May 2018. The selected Listahanan-identified households were informed by the NHTO’s field notifiers that they are UCT programs beneficiaries. Aside from this, the eligible households were also informed on the registration and the schedule of payout for their cash grant.

The validation and notification process is conducted through the combined efforts of the Local Government Units (LGUs) and the National Household Targeting Office while the payout which will be conducted is in close coordination with the Landbank of the Philippines.

DSWD-NCR Regional Director Vincent Andrew T. Leyson said, “We are grateful to the support given by our partner agencies in the implementation of this program. The efforts also of our notifiers are highly appreciated as they are the messengers of good news to our Listahanan-identified beneficiaries”.

The notification of eligible beneficiaries will be conducted by the NHTO until the end of September 2018.

The Unconditional Cash Transfer program is the tax subsidy included under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law. The UCT program aims to ease the economic shocks of the TRAIN law on the poor by providing eligible beneficiaries identified through the Listahanan database with cash subsidies.###

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DSWD-NCR, DOST-FNRI Launch First Partnership Initiative in Fight Against Malnutrition amid Rising Inflation

As part of its advocacy to combat malnutrition amid increasing inflation, the Department of Social Welfare and Development -National Capital Region (DSWD NCR) in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology- Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) initiated an activity that aims to discuss strategies on how to carefully plan a meal with consideration to nutritive value of the food and family budget participated by Child Development Workers (CDW) and SFP Focal Persons of Local Government Units in NCR, held at Best Western Hotel, La Corona Manila.

The recently held event entitled, “Seminar-Workshop on Nutrition Education, Food Safety and Meal Management for Child Development Workers (CDW) and Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) Staff” also aimed to improve the level understanding of the participants on nutrition education, and food safety in order to properly address the  health and nutrition needs of all individuals especially of young children and the children-beneficiaries of Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP).

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the country’s annual inflation rate rose to 6.4 percent in August of 2018 from 5.7 percent in the previous month, above market estimates of 5.9 percent. Given the sudden increase in prices of food due to a surge in inflation, participants were encouraged to prepare and serve foods that are; nutritious, safe/clean, appetizing, and affordable.

The different modules on Basic Nutrition, Cost Control, Food Storage, and Food Safety and Sanitation Guidelines on Healthy Eating with reference to healthy food choices were discussed during the activity.

Participants were also oriented regarding DOST-FNRI Nutrition Educator’s Kit (NEK), developed to provide novel approaches for disseminating food and nutrition information among various types of audiences in the form of DVDs and printed materials. The tool aims to improve the knowledge, attitude, and skills of children on proper nutrition.

On March 28, 2018, DSWD–NCR have purchased 2,014 sets of DOST-FNRI Nutrition Educator’s Kit. The kits, which were distributed to different Child Development Centers in NCR, will be incorporated in the classroom discussion of trained Child Development Workers.

According to DSWD-NCR Regional Director Vincent Andrew T. Leyson, the Department plans to intensify dissemination of learning regarding the kits to reach all of the households and educate parents to value their money wisely without disregarding nutrition, despite the challenges presented by rising inflation.

“Our partnership activity with DOST-FNRI is one affirmative action in promoting the quality of life of individuals, especially children. It is a great move towards addressing Sustainable Development Goal No. 2  of ‘Zero Hunger’ and realizing our vision that all Filipinos are free from hunger and poverty,” he said.

DSWD-NCR plans to conduct a similar seminar to parents of SFP children-beneficiaries, in coordination with the Local Government Units. LGUs have committed to replicate and cascade learning, directly to homes of each SFP children-beneficiaries. ###

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Nayon ng Kabataan Representatives Attend the Lions Street Children Foundation Induction Ceremony

The newly elected officers of the Lions Street Children Foundation were presented to the attendees of the induction ceremony held last August 28.

The Lions Street Children Foundation Incorporated, recently held their 49th Induction Ceremony at the Sulo Riviera Hotel on August 28. The Lions Street Children Foundation or LSCF has been one of Nayon ng Kabataan’s steadfast supporters and benefactors in their goal to care for abused, neglected and exploited children.

Three representatives from Nayon ng Kabataan’s Productivity Service attended the formal banquet along with different members of LSCF from different generations who gathered to honor the outgoing set of officers and to induct the new set of officers. After the induction ceremony, the night commenced with a dinner and ballroom dancing for all the attendees.

The event marks a milestone in the strengthened partnership between Nayon ng Kabataan and Lions Street Children Foundation which started in February 2006, when LSCF sponsored the construction of a new cottage within NK. Lions Street Children Foundation continued to unceasingly support the different activities and skills training programs within the Nayon ng Kabataan. ###

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