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DSWD-NCR Launches Regional Learning Resource Center

The Department of Social Welfare and Development in the National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) formally launched its Regional Learning Resource Center (RLRC) in simple ceremonies held recently at the Field Office.

The RLRC is a component of Knowledge Management and supports the vision of the Department to become a hub for best practices, learning exchange and growth programs in the Asia Pacific Region, through its knowledge and resource/learning center and centers of excellence.

DSWD-NCR Regional Director Ma. Alicia S. Bonoan described RLRC as a ‘one-stop shop’ knowledge management center designed to provide an interactive learning facility for sharing and exchange of knowledge among its partners and stakeholders.

“The institutionalization of the knowledge sharing process through a technology-supported learning and resource center meets the demands of the fast-phased setting where information are made accessible and may be obtained in just a click,” added Director Bonoan.

The RLRC provides venue for exchange and sharing of knowledge products. It will also showcase the current status of the implementation of social protection programs and services in NCR.

It has core facilities which include a library, conference room, computer and video conference area.  Knowledge Management portal and DSWD on-line library will also be set-up to provide its users access to online information.

“The users of RLRC may view both the printed and electronic format of social protection trends, technical and published papers, and social welfare and development policies, programs and services. They can also consult and exchange ideas with the DSWD’s core group of specialists for the different sectoral programs thru the use of Information Technology,” Bonoan added.

The launching was attended by DILG-NCR Regional Director Renato Brion, members of the Social Welfare and Development Learning Network (SWD L-NET), representatives from Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), academe and DSWD-NCR employees and staff. ### (FO NCR Social Marketing Office, June 5, 2013)

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DSWD-NCR CONDUCTS FORUM TO STRENGTHEN FOSTER CARE

The Department of Social Welfare and Development in the National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) recently conducted its Social Welfare and Development Forum for the first semester on “Aruga at Kalinga Para Sa Mga Bata sa Barangay: Alternative Parental Care for Children in Need of Special Protection,” held in Makati City.

DSWD-NCR Regional Director Ma. Alicia S. Bonoan told the participants that the forum was very timely with the passage of RA 10165 or the Foster Care Act 2012 and an opportunity to encourage more foster parents to share their homes and provide love to children placed in child-caring institutions.

Thus, Atty. Melissa De Villa Gorospe of DSWD Legal Service discussed the salient features of RA 10165 or the Foster Care Act of 2012 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).

During the forum, Bonoan shared that there are some 2,118 children who are currently placed in different child-caring institutions in Metro Manila and are awaiting for families who may provide them with alternative parental care.

Bonoan added that through its “Aruga at Kalinga para sa Mga Bata sa Barangay” project, the DSWD-NCR hopes to develop more foster care families so that more children will be able to experience love and care of a family.

She also encouraged the participants from child caring agencies, LGUs, NGOs, NGAs and media to contribute in the development of more foster families who will provide individual care to the thousands of children in institutions.  Likewise, to develop adoptive families who will provide a permanent family to children who have been certified to be legally available for adoption.

A participant – Ms. Ella, a former bank executive who fostered a child from Missionaries of Charity and afflicted with cerebral palsy said, she fell in love with the child so she asked the nuns if she can share her home with the child.

“Fostering a child is a commitment and a 24/7 job.  I know I can give him joy, love and a home.  I do not expect him to reciprocate my love and I won’t regret loving a special child,” shared Ms. Ella.

There were also two foster children who came with their foster parents.  Both parents and children shared their experiences in foster care.

Republic Act 10165 or the Foster Care Act of 2012 adheres to the policy of the State to provide every child who is neglected, abused, surrendered, dependent, abandoned, under sociocultural difficulties, or with special needs with an alternative family that will provide love and care as well as opportunities for growth and development. It was signed into law last June 2012. ###

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DSWD-NCR HOLDS FIRST CHARACTER MUSIC FESTIVAL

In celebration of this year’s International Day of Families and in strengthening the Department’s Character Building Program, the Department of Social Welfare and Development in the National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) conducted its first ever Character Music Festival last Friday, May 24, 2013.

The Music Festival featured performances of employees of the Field Office, its Centers and Institutions who competed in group and individual singing contests.

In the individual category, songs were original compositions of the staff and the songs featured the character traits identified in the Character Building Program, while in the group category, performances were a medley of songs with live accompaniment and composed of 15-20 members.

Ms. Princess Mae Artienda, Houseparent I from Elsie Gaches Village and representativeof the centers in the south cluster,won the first prize in the individual singing category while in the group category, the north cluster, composed of NVRC, RSW, GRACES and RSCC won the first prize.

Photo shows the performers from the north cluster, together with (first row from the top) DSWD-NCR Regional Director Ma. Alicia S. Bonoan, (third from left),Ms. Edna J. Sacedor, head of NVRC and Asst. Regional Director Jacel J. Paguio.

The judges (top photo) are (from left) Mr.NiloBanay, DSWD Central Office Chorale Conductor;Ms. Shayne Marie Ignas, Worship Leader of Life Source Mission Movement; and Ms.JerusaCorpuz, PCSO Chorale member (fifth from left).###

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Pantawid Pamilya Program changes lives

While interviewing the Dades family from Barangay 178, Pasay City, the words “thank you” was incessantly uttered by Maria Cristina, 41 years old and the mother of the family. With teary eyes, she narrated how the PantawidPamilya continuously helps them until they availed the Self Employment Assistance – Kaunlaran (SEA-K) program in October 2011.

Dades family has been a beneficiary of PantawidPamilya since 2008. Meaning, they belong to those who will graduate from the 5-year implementation of the program for Set 1 beneficiaries on December 2013.

Maria Cristina said that before, it is hard for them to ensure that they still have something to eat for tomorrow. Unlike today, she guaranteed that they will have food to eat every day.

With her husband Jose, 50 years old, and with their four (4) children aged 24, 21, 15 and 9, Maria Cristina is now managing her sari-sari store business and a small coffee stand brought by the capital seed lent to them through the DSWD Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA-K) program. The proceeds from these are the money they spent for their daily necessities that sometimes are more than enough for their actual needs.

As PantawidPamilya beneficiary, Maria Cristina said that the changes in their family are really unexpected. Due to the meager income of her husband as a jeepney driver, before, she said that they always having an argument on where to pull money for their needs. But now, because of the lessons she learned from the FDS she attended, and with the condition of their life now, they do not wrangle anymore.

Also, Maria Cristina added that due to the conditionalities they have to comply in order to properly receive their cash grants, the education of her children and their health is now in the right track… that for her, “disente na kami ngayon” (we are decent now).

On the question if they are now ready for their forthcoming graduation in the program, Maria Cristina proudly said that, “handa na kami ngayon… sobrang malaki ang pasasalamat naming sa DSWD at mula sa Pantawid ay nagawan ng paraan upang makayanan naming ang magsarili… habang buhay kaming magpapasalamat sa DSWD” (we are ready now… we are very thankful with the DSWD that from Pantawid, we are given a chance to stand on our own… we will be forever grateful to DSWD).

Happily, the Dades family helping each other to make their business grows more. For them, PantawidPamilya bonds their family closer and they will never let it lost no matter what happen.

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DSWD-NCR MEETS ABSNET MEMBERS; ELECTS NEW OFFICERS

The Department of Social Welfare and Development in the National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) recently met the representatives of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) who are members of the Area-Based Standards Network (ABSNET)-NCR cluster, in a general assembly held at the Philippine Information Agency.

The General Assembly was organized to strengthen Private-Public Partnership in delivering social protection programs to the poor and to update the DSWD partners about the current programs and policies of the Department.

DSWD-NCR Regional Director Ma. Alicia S. Bonoan, in her message highlighted the contributions of ABSNET in monitoring NGOs who operate without license and in assisting them to be registered and licensed with the DSWD.

“We can’t do this alone.  Your presence here shows your commitment to be our partners in the implementation of programs for the poor,” said Director Bonoan.

ABSNET started in 2002 and proved to be an effective strategy for participative and collaborative endeavours among Social Welfare and Development Agencies (SWDAs) and Local Government Units (LGUs).

Bonoan said that the functions of ABSNET are not only focused in promoting standards setting but extended by engaging its services as “Bantay, Kaagapay, Gabay, and Tulay,“ in the implementation of

DSWD core social protection programs, such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

This general assembly also served as venue for the ABSNET members to elect the first set of officers of ABSNET-NCR Federation.  The elected officers will represent NCR to the National ABSNET

Federation who will provide support on social legislations, programs and activities that will benefit all SWDAs and their clients.

“We are looking forward to our continuing partnership and let us continue to communicate, coordinate and collaborate with each other as we continue to serve the disadvantaged sectors,” Bonoan concluded.

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Help to reach out street kids; tweet DSWD @savestreetkids

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) taps Filipino netizens to help in reaching out street kids in Metro Manila through micro-blogging site Twitter.

The public may now inform the DSWD in real time 24/7 access about kids sleeping, loitering, begging or vending on the streets through its Twitter account @savestreetkids.

Launched in November 2012, the DSWD, in partnership with the Local Government Units (LGUs) provides social services to reported sighting of street children in major throughfares in the National Capital Region.

DSWD-NCR Regional Director Ma. Alicia S. Bonoan explained that reached-out street children and families are brought either to the DSWD, LGUs or NGO facilities for provision of support services and interventions.

“We also provide counseling to families who bring their children to the streets and endorse them to the concerned barangays for monitoring, to ensure the safety of their children,” Bonoan added.

To report street kids, simply tweet the complete name of street or intersection, the nearest landmark, name of city/municipality and the actual time when the street kids were sighted. The netizens will be updated on the status of their report as soon as reach-out activities have been conducted.

“We also maintain a databank of reached-out street kids and families for monitoring of their cases and for inclusion in the beneficiaries of DSWD’s Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program for Homeless Street Families (MCCT-HSF),” continued Bonoan.

The Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Homeless Street Families (MCCT-HSF) project expands the coverage of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program by targeting the homeless street families who were not included in the regular Pantawid Pamilya Program because of their indefinite residence.

The project provides a complete package of assistance to the street families which includes safe and responsive housing assistance with access to social services and economic opportunities for the improvement of their living conditions, in addition to education and health grants.

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DSWD Intensifies ‘Anti-Epal’ Campaign with Land Bank of the Philippines

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) intensified its ‘Bawal Ang Epal Dito’ Campaign in partnership with Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP).

Bawal Ang Epal Dito campaign materials are now posted on LBP branches in the National Capital Region, near their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where beneficiaries withdraw their cash grants through cash card.

DSWD-NCR Regional Director Ma. Alicia S. Bonoan said that this endeavor of the Department aims to protect the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program from partisan politics especially during election campaign period.

Bonoan emphasized that only DSWD Central and Field Offices have the authority to delist beneficiaries from the program if they do not comply with the conditionalites, and that this partnership with LBP will inform the beneficiaries and other publics about this message.

“Since one of the target audiences of Bawal Ang Epal Dito campaign are the beneficiaries, ATMs serve as a strategic area that enables the message of the campaign to reach them. We are very glad that LBP gave solid support in this joint effort,” Bonoan disclosed.

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DSWD-NCR inks Budget Partnership Agreement with Partners

In recognition of the important roles of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Social Welfare and Development Agencies (SWDAs) in complementing the government’s drive in good governance, the Department of Social Welfare and Development in the National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) signed on Monday a Budget Partnership Agreement (BPA) with nine (9) CSOs/SWDAs.  The MOA signing was held at DSWD-NCR grounds.

DSWD-NCR Regional Director Ma. Alicia S. Bonoan said that this action is in line with President Aquino’s thrust to strengthen public-private partnership (PPP) and open budget policy in the fulfilment of good governance, poverty reduction and curb corruption.

“The signing of this agreement contributes to the desire of the Department to continuously uphold transparency and accountability on the implementation of programs and services for the poor that the Department serves,” Bonoan said.

She added that the involvement of CSOs and SWDAs in the preparation of the Department’s budget will also strengthen the implementation and monitoring of DSWD’s core social protection programs, such as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and Sustainable Livelihood Program, among others.

Under the budget partnership agreement, the CSOs and SWDAs agreed to work with DSWD in making its budget more responsive to the country’s development needs and pressing concerns to alleviate poverty and improve the quality of public services.

The partner CSOs and SWDAs will also help in improving the quality of the budget process through citizen participation in the preparation of FY 2014 DSWD national budget. ### (DSWD Social Marketing Office/April 22, 2013)

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