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DSWD secures delivery of food items to Eastern Samar

The Department of Social Welfare and Development ensures all delivery of rice and family food packs to affected families in Eastern Samar for relief distribution today.

Nine wing vans and five military trucks containing 5000 family food packs (ffp) for Borongan, 1440 ffp for Llorente, 960 ffp for Quinapondan, 400 sacks of 50kg rice to Arteche, 350 rice sacks for Dolores, 350 for Jipapad, 400 sacks for Oras, San Julian, San Policarpo and Sulat respectively left the Tacloban Hub on December 8 for Eastern Samar distribution today.

Two trucks bound for Western Samar containing 100 sacks of 50kg rice for Calbiga, 100 sacks for Hinabangan, 100 sacks for Motiong, 100 sacks for Paranas, 100 sacks for San Sebastian and 200 sacks for Jiabong are also set for distribution in the affected municipalities.

As early as Monday, a day after typhoon Ruby made landfall in Dolores, Eastern Samar, DSWD Field Office Eight Regional Director, Nestor B. Ramos and Assistant Regional Director for Operations, Restituto B. Macuto proceeded to Northern Samar and Eastern Samar, to personally supervise the relief and disaster operations in the area.

As of December 9, 2014, DSWD Field Office Eight has released food commodities of 14, 375 sacks of 50kg rice, 17, 500 (tins) canned goods, 3, 536 packs of complete family food packs, and 5, 347 rice packs of 6kg. to the provinces of Leyte, Samar, Eastern Samar, and Northern Samar with 54 municipalities and city.

Moreover, FO8 has already released 16, 668 sacks of 50 kg. of rice, 33, 565 packs of complete family food packs, 232 boxes of canned goods, 47 boxes of coffee and 30 sacks of bottled water on top of its prepositioned goods as part of the augmentation support for relief distribution in 55 municipalities in the provinces of Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, Western Samar, Northern Samar and Eastern Samar.

DSWD Eight has also dispatched its staff to augment the disaster operations in Northern and Eastern Samar, two of the provinces badly hit by Typhoon Ruby in Eastern Visayas.

Emergency purchase of rice from the National Food Authority has already been undertaken to provide more augmentation of relief goods to the provinces of Eastern and Northern Samar.

To date, Typhoon Ruby has left 225,431 affected families with 1,039,370 affected individuals with 162, 285 displaced families or 769, 053 individuals within 1, 943 evacuation sites across Eastern Visayas within six provinces.

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DSWD Sec Dinky attends Guiuan Solidarity Night

November 7, 2014 —- Guiuan Town Plaza, Guiuan Eastern Samar. DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano Soliman with Regional Director (RD) Nestor Ramos and Assistant Regional Director (ARDO) Restituto Macuto, after dinner with DSWD officers and staff, went to the town’s plaza and attended the Guiuan Solidarity night, a night to commemorate the 1st year anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda’s first landfall and to pray for the souls that perished the day Yolanda/Haiyan struck this town.

The event started at seven thirty in the evening and lasted until three o’clock in the morning. More than two thousand Guiuananons were in attendance to pray three decades of the holy rosary led by the older women of the town and the prayer for souls led by parish priest, Msgr. Lope Robredillo.
The event, dubbed “An Pagkamarig-on han mga Guiuananon, (The Toughness of Guiuananons) Yolanda Observance, (1st landfall 2 am), was filled with more than twenty cultural presentations of three parts: Festive Life (before Yolanda), The Aftermath, and the Recovery Phase.

A tableau of what happened during the strongest typhoon in history was presented, complete with the giving of relief goods and the coming of foreign friends from around the world. There was not a dry eye in the audience. Everyone was in tears as the story of the super typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan was unfolded and left many dead.
At half past two o’clock in the morning, candles were lighted and the 118 casualties and missing individuals were honoured with a bell chime after each name and a prayer for the soul of the person mentioned.
Secretary Soliman, when asked to deliver a message, happily hailed the Guiuananons for their rising up (after Haiyan) and their continuous development in Guiuan. She lauded the more than 2000 people gathered in the plaza for their showing the world what they did to rise up and build their community by cooperation, collaboration and teamwork. She cited what was said at the beginning of the program: that, after Yolanda, the first thing the Guiuanannons saw was each other, willing to help the other, willing to be one in helping those who were in need.

“The oneness that you have shown to each other and to the offices of the government, with your local government which led you to unity, is one big example for everyone willing to have hope; that Yolanda’s very strong winds with strong rains was one challenge and you took it, you showed your strength that the Guiuananons do not surrender, you face challenges, you rise up to them. Your lives will be more progressive because of your unity”, Soliman said.
She also sent greetings from the national government and told them that their hearts were touched for every step to success those from the Yolanda-affected places make. She also assured the Guiuananons and the rest of those rising up after Yolanda that the national government will be with them until their lives become whole again.
Soliman continued, “I would like to take the opportunity, too, to thank in a very special way, all our partners from the United Nations, who are all very much represented here, as well, as the international NGOs and the local NGOs who have been spending the year here, giving their time, talent and treasure. We cannot thank you enough and we hope the solidarity that you have been showing to the people of Guiuan and the people of Leyte and Samar and your other colleagues in the other Yolanda-affected areas will find comfort, joy and celebration at the developments that will happen. There so much work to be done. Obviously, all of us can see we are not fully recovered; there is much more to be rehabilitated. Building back better; but I think Guiuan has shown that if there is unity there is determination. And one thing that I saw very clearly here, faith in the Lord. Ang inyo pong pananampalataya. Yan ang nagdala sa inyong pagbangon, pag-unlad. At lalong gaganda ang buhay ninyo dito. Mula po sa amin, maraming salamat sa inyong halimbawa. Magandang gabi sa ating lahat.”(Your faith. That will bring you to rise up and develop. And your lives will be more productive because of this. From all of us, thank you for your example. Good evening to all.)

UN resident coordinator Luiza Carvalho was present to celebrate the occasion with the Guiuananons and so were UNICEF Country Representative Lotta Sylwander and Marco Boasso IOM Philippines chief of mission. All three praised the people of Guiuan for their resiliency and thanked them for the chance of serving Guiuan.

Carvalho told the people of Guiuan that they have taught a lot to the foreigners who came, that resilience, unity, and determination “will help us, will put us in the right path and we will overcome whatever the difficulties in front of us.” She also told the Guiuananons that they were very humbled to be in Yolanda-hit places and thanked the many people present, the international agencies national NGOs and international NGOs and for so many people who were the first ones to respond. And their commitment was that whatever happens, they will always be here for the Philippines. Carvalho also thanked Secretary Soliman and Mayor Sheen for receiving them with open arms, as they have always felt very welcome and have always felt part of the Filipino people.

The last part was the Symbolic Gesture of Transition wherein the INGOs, NGOs and the government symbolically gave the members of the LGU a candle in exchange for a golden cowrie, a rare shell which was mostly found in Guiuan. Each representative of the INGO or the government was paired with a member of the LGU, in which case Mayor Christopher Sheen Gonzales was teamed up with DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman. The gesture showed gratitude and friendship between both parties. ##

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Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary believes that poverty is not permanent in a person’s life.

“Since I have nine children, feeding them was difficult; sending them to school was harder. Food was easier to look for, but educating them was really tough. As a parent, I do my obligations, since being a parent is a real obligation. Because of the help of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program, I am able to pay (my children’s) school without so much effort. When the releases arrive, (since there are times, particularly when there are no classes that we receive a lower amount of cash grant during releases), these conditional cash grants lessen the burden of payments. Once classes end, the payments end, too. Unlike before when we would work so hard for three days, and this saying holds true: “one works hard for three days but this hardly brings food on the table”. Now, we have enough food, thank God! Kaya ko ang pagbabago. I can make a change because I believe that poverty is not permanent in the life of a person. If a person is industrious, s/he won’t experience difficulties. If one is lazy, s/he will experience hardship. So, from being a worker, doing any job no matter how odd… Well, I did many odd jobs before with me being the middleman – a seller. I made people trust me. They give me a little capital to start a business with; I do the work with their money and make the business grow. Our family has been a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary for five years now, and I can say that I have become successful in my quest for development, since I am now a Barangay Administrator of our barangay. And aside from my other ‘businesses’, I still do odd jobs left and right, I also receive a little salary from our barangay. This is an added help in our source of livelihood. I can make a change! Kaya ko an pagbabago.” — Julieta “Ollie” P. Payno, a Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program parent leader from Northern Samar

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High hopes from a Day Care Worker and a Pantawid Pamilya mother

She has been a Day Care Worker for 12 years in barangay Lupoc of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, receiving a meager income from an honorarium of Php1,750, plus the cash grant from the conditional cash transfer program. Even with the devastation brought by super typhoon Yolanda into their home, Vilma Daganzo still sees a bright future for her family. “Kaya natin ito; kaya natin ang pagbabago !, she says. The Estehanon expresses her love for kids and encourages mothers to practice what they are learning from the nutrition education sessions the Supplemental Feeding program brings. Under the DSWD’s feeding program, parents of LGU-run day care centers prepare the food for the pre-schoolers. “Make good use of opportunities and go straight ahead, and you will be in the right track,” she pointed out.

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The new normal hero

Heroism has always been branded with masculinity. Oftentimes, the hero is crafted in our imagination as a charmer, a knight in shining armor, or a mysterious lad in tight colored costumes and capes ready to rescue a damsel in distress. But not anymore, because there is one hero I have met who does not fit into our collective macho illusion of a hero.

Meet Marites

Marites in her forties is a typical woman from Balangiga, Eastern Samar. But what makes her atypical is the fact that she has a son minus the husband; a set-up still not recognized by the conventional norms of her community. She was married to Buboy, a man she met from her garments and tailoring job in Manila. But, after she gave birth to son Joshua, her dreams of a complete and happy family vanished.

“Two months pala adto an akon anak han bumalik ako ngadi ha Balangiga kay naruyag ako hin tinuod nga balay kun diin ko papadakuon it ak anak. Ha factory ko hi Joshua gin-burod, ha factory gihap ak nanganak. Nadiri liwat ako nga ha factory gihap hiya dumako [ My baby was only two-months old when I decided to go back here in Balangiga because I want a real home for my son. I conceived him in the factory; he was born inside the factory. But I do not want him to grow up in that same factory.” Marites explained.

She left Manila with a promise from her husband that he will follow her. But the promise turned into years of waiting then to nothing. “Waray na la ako maghulat ngan diri na liwat ak maghuhulat ha iya kay nakaya ko man magpadako ngan magpa-eskwela hin buotan nga anak [I did not wait and I will never wait for him because I was able to raise a good child and send him to school].” Marites said with pride in her eyes.

Solo but stronger

For Marites, being a single mother was not easy especially if you are playing two roles at the same time. She needed to be strong and tough in order to make ends meet. What she is thankful for despite her painful experience, is the presence of her only son and the learnings she gained from KALAHI-CIDSS on gender empowerment.

“Sumulod ako ha KALAHI CIDSS hin waray ideya kun ano an programa. Basta makabulig daw ha kadam-an, asya bumulig ako komo volunteer [I entered KALAHI CIDSS without any idea about the program. All I knew is that it can help us, that is why I joined as a volunteer]”

When asked about the gains she got from the program, she instantly replied with excitement, “Yung trainings! saypa an mga trainings ha gender. Nahabaro kami nga kaya na hit kababayin-an yana it responsibilidad hit mga lalake ngan dapat patas la. [The trainings! especially the trainings about gender. I learned that women now can perform the responsibilities of the men and that there should be equality.

Marites knew life could really be tough to a single-mother like her but she knew she is still blessed. “Adi man ha akon ‘tak anak. Kun dire kan Joshua, mas makuri an akon kinabuhi. [I have my son with me. I think if not for my Joshua, life would be more difficult.
She revealed that it was not easy to become a mother and a father at the same time. She needed to be strong and tough to be able to make ends meet.

Balangiga’s Watchdog

Almost everyone from Brgy. 1 of Balangiga knew Marites during community assemblies. Issues and grievances are properly channeled to the concerned people and authorities with her help. Her neighbors would even call her the official speaker of their community because of her ability and confidence to voice out their sentiments.

As member of the Procurement Team, Marites is also known to be the ‘eye’ of their group who scrutinized every document and supplier’s record. She even recalled an incident where she was forced by a former brgy. official to forge a particular signature to hasten the procurement process; but resisted due to her conviction and trust to KALAHI CIDSS’s principles.

Even small issues against transparency and accountability cannot pass Marites. “Bisan guti la nga sayop ha spelling diri ko ginpapasagdan. Dapat nasunod kita it eksakto, ngan masunod kita hit balaod [I do not allow small inconsistencies on spellings. We should follow what is right and obey our rules.]

The Test

The treacherous morning of November 8, 2013 was a day the whole country and even the rest of world will never forget. The tragedy and appalling deaths brought by Typhoon Yolanda remained to be unimaginable. But, to Marites, it was a day of new hope, of a new life.

Though recalling the horror of the storm was still agonizing, Marites still narrated her story of strength and bravery. “Makaradlok gud. Huna-huna ko katapusan na namon. An nakasalbar ha amon an nabuka nga semento nga bungbong ha sapit an am balay. Didto kami sumiron [It was really horrifying. We thought it was the end of us. Our only source of refuge was a large crack on a wall next to our house where we took shelter from”].

That was the time where Marites heard Mana Biding shouting from afar, trapped in a sea of cold water brought by the storm surge. The old woman was crying for help, holding a fragile baby almost turning into color blue due to the freezing wind and water. The baby, named Shara who just turned a month old could have died that morning if not for Marites’ courage.

When asked why she did not hesitate to save the baby, she immediately replied, “Yun na yata yung sinasabi nilang CDD. Kay bisan delikado ‘tak kinabuhi, bumulig ako para masalbar an bata. [Maybe that is what we called CDD. I risked my life to save a child].”

“Kun may-ada ko nahabaruan ha KALAHI CIDSS, asya in pag-serbe ha komunidad ngan ha iba nga tawo ugsa it aton kalugaringon [If there is one thing I learned from KALAHI CIDSS, that is to serve the community and other people before myself”, she added optimistically.

KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP or Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services –National Community Driven Development Program, a poverty alleviation program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) scales up the Community-driven Development (CDD) strategy, which was used and proven effective by Kalahi-CIDSS in its past 11 years of implementation.

Using a community-driven approach, KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP empowers the poor and vulnerable communities by involving them in participatory planning, implementation and management of local development activities. They identify their own needs and prepare project proposals to address their common problems. These projects include local infrastructure such as water system, roads, bridges, health stations and school buildings.

“Bisan makaradlok, dire ko kaya pabay-an an bata. Nanginahanglan hira hin bulig. Kun waray ak bumulig bangin nawara na an bata. Oo, makaradlok gad pero mas nahadlok ak hit akon konsensya. [Though there was fear, I knew that I cannot turn my back on the baby. They needed my help. I knew they are going to lose the baby If did not do something. Yes I was afraid but I am more scared of my conscience.]”, Marites tearfully recalled.

Because of Baby Shara’s story, many people from their place come to know of her heroic act, but Marites remained to be unassertive of the compliments she heard. “It pagkita nira ha akon boses it amon barangay. Speaker kun may reklamo ngan problema, pero waray ak mag-huna-huna nga tawagon ak nira nga ‘bayani’ kahuman han bagyo. Poydi ngay-an kita mahimo nga ‘bayani’ bisan la pagbulig ha igkasi naton tawo. [I was known to be the voice of our barangay, their speaker if there are problems, but never did I imagine I could be considered a hero after the typhoon. I just realized we can be heroes by simply helping our fellowman].

When asked if she has one message to fellow solo parents and Yolanda-survivors like her, she instantly replied, “Basta padayon la gihap kita it aton kinabuhi. Bisan may problema, pagsakripisyo la gihap kita, bulig la gihap kita. Dire man yana it kabalyo it aton sakripisyo, maabot la gihapon it aton panahon. Our labor in Him is not in vain. [Just go on with our lives. Even if there are problems, let us sacrifice, let us help. Though there will be no rewards for our sacrifices, our time will come. Our labor in Him is not in vain.] ”

Today, Marites is busy with her own eatery and sari-sari store while her son Joshua, a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary before is currently a college freshman enrolled in a Computer Science program. The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is a human development program of the national government that invests in the health and education of poor households, particularly of children aged 0-18 years old. It is a conditional cash transfer scheme that provides cash grants to beneficiaries provided that they comply with the set of conditions required by the program. Baby Shara on the other hand, will turn one on October and Marites is expected to be her first godmother on her baptism rites. ###

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Hopefully, no more families living in tents

Tacloban City- DSWD Sec. Dinky Soliman Friday, October 31 visits Brgy. 88, 89, 90 in Tacloban City, and engages in a dialogue with barangay officials on the continuous movement of around 300 remaining families in tents, to transitional shelters. By November 8, the remaining 138 families living in tents at Barangay 88 will be “zeroed” as they will be transferred to vacant bunkhouses which were previously occupied by those who were transferred to transitional sites.
In a recent assessment conducted by DSWD-IOM, 371 families have been moved to transitional shelters. So far, there are no more tents in municipalities outside Tacloban City except for Tanauan (already allocated with permanent shelter by Gawad Kalinga) and Palo, which have 51 families and may be covered by the DSWD-IOM shelter assistance partnership.

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DSWD Eight calls for KC-NCDDP Community Heroes

The Department of Social Welfare and Development through its Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services–National Community Driven-Development Program (KALAHI CIDSS–NCDDP) Field Office Eight is calling for nominations for the 1st bayanI Ka! Awards in recognition of the work done by program supporters – community volunteers, local government units, civil society organizations, and Area and Municipal Coordinating Teams for their active role in promoting CDD or Community-Driven Development.

The CDD is an approach used by KALAHI CIDSS–NCDDP that puts the power back in the hands of the people giving them the opportunity to identify their own needs and make informed decisions. They are also trained to prepare project proposals to address their common problems. These projects include local infrastructure such as water system, roads, bridges, health stations and school buildings, which can provide better access to social services and alleviate poverty for their development as a community.

The bayanI Ka! Awards is intended to acknowledge the hard work being put by the local, everyday heroes who put their own communities ‘bayan’ before their own selves ‘I’.

Each region will choose one bayanI on the six major categories including Gender, Disaster Risk Reduction Mgt./Environment Protection, Improved Local Governance, Indigenous People’s Welfare, Volunteerism and Peace. Winners of said awards will serve as spokespersons of the program in their respective arenas.

Criteria of selection for the awards include (a) bayanI or the bayanihan spirit; (b) Abilidad or the work done which has contributed to improving the community; (c) Yakag or the eloquence and ability to persuade people; (d) Asal, if the nominees demonstrate the values that KC-NCDDP promotes: participation, transparency and accountability; (e) Nais, if the nominees shows strong motivation to help the community and (f) Inspirasyon, who serves as a role model within the community.

Nominations will come from the Area Coordinating Teams (ACTs) of municipalities covered by KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP. Closing date of nominations is extended until October 31. Regional winners from Eastern Visayas will be announced on November 18, while National winners will be awarded in Manila on December 5, the International Day for Volunteers. ###


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