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Ten more of Leyte towns to receive Social Pension grants this September

The DSWD Field Office headed by Regional Director Marie Angela Gopalan VIII announces that it has continued releasing Social Pension cash grants on September 9, 2019, to the first batch of 5,419 pensioners in ten Leyte towns. Last July, 4,392 pensioners of Tacloban and Palo received their grants.

Payouts for this month are scheduled in the municipalities of Tunga, Tabon-Tabon, Pastrana, Mayorga, Julita, MacArthur, Javier, Dulag, Burauen, and Jaro.

Senior citizens in these areas are advised to await for the announcement of their respective barangay/municipal senior citizens affairs offices and local social welfare office.#

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DSWD says Guidelines for Social Pensioners remain the same

In the light of some news circulating in social media, that Social Pension will now ne enjoyed by all senior citizens the DSWD announces that the guidelines for the identification of potential social pensioners remain the same.

Regional Director Marie Angela Gopalan of the DSWD reiterated that the program will benefit only senior citizens, aged 60 years old and above, who are frail, sickly or with disability, no pension from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), Armed Forces and Police Mutual Benefit Association, Inc. (AFPMBAI) or any other insurance company, no permanent source of income,  and no regular support from family or relatives for his/her basic needs.

In other words, the coverage is not universal or true to all senior citizens, as Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act solely provides special attention to indigent senior citizens to help them augment their daily subsistence and other medical needs of beneficiaries.

She added that only those in the DSWD’s validated list of social pensioners, certified by the Local Social Welfare and Development Offices, are considered the rightful beneficiaries.#

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DSWD highlights programs in meeting for Government Information Officers

Communication is a powerful tool. If used rightly, it can be used to disseminate information, provide instructions, teach and form opinion. The proper use of communication can determine the success or failure of an agency. This is why the Department of Social Welfare and Development values and recognizes the important role communications play in its day to day activities.

Recently, the Department of Social Welfare and Development hosted this month’s meeting of the Association of Government Information Officers (AGIO), composed of government information officers from various government agencies. Backed up by the Philippine Information Agency (P.I.A.) as secretariat, the association regularly convenes to plan its future activities and provide updates from among the members.

DSWD Assistant Regional Director for Operations, Marcela Lim, warmly welcomed the government media practitioners, whom she said, are formidable agents of change. She appealed to them to help each other build the agency’s reputation by correcting misinformation affecting one’s entity.

As host, DSWD took the opportunity to discuss its programs and services, including a brief history of Kalahi-CIDSS (Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services) – a program which aims to reduce poverty and good governance through the use of a Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach. During this part, Senior Board Member Virginia Zacate of Sulat, Eastern Samar gave her testimony on the Kalahi-CIDSS experience that spoke of the wonders of community empowerment.It is in Sulat was where the program was first implemented in Region VIII.

DSWD also gave a brief introduction to the Listahanan program or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), as the third round of assessment comes near.

The importance of Listahanan was emphasized in this forum, as it is an information management system which serves as basis for selecting beneficiaries of social protection programs. In 2010, Executive Order No. 867 entitled, “Providing for the Adoption of the National Targeting System for Poverty Reduction as the Mechanism for Identifying Poor Households Who Shall Be Recipients of Social Protection Programs Nationwide” was issued. This mandates government agencies to use the NHTS-PR data.

DSWD also discussed some of the available frontline services from the Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU), including Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) and Minor’s Travel Clearance, for minors travelling abroad alone or unaccompanied by their parent/parents.

Meanwhile, the AGIO had a resource speaker in the person of Lieutenant Colonel Mario Jose Chico (Ret.) of the Philippine Army who presented an in-depth lecture on the deceptive recruitment scheme of the leftists, especially in the student and youth sectors. He urged everyone to be extremely vigilant since their strategies sometimes come under the guise of youth organizations.

The meeting was capped by honoring AGIO Secretariat and former Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Officer-in-Charge Alicia Nicart on her retirement and for her contribution in furthering developmental communications here in Region VIII.


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KALAHI CIDSS – funded livelihood enterprise grabs award

AFOAFI members receiving the award from DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña , Governor Leopoldo Dominio L. Petilla and DOST 8 Regional Director Edgardo M. Esperancilla last August 9, 2019 at Robinsons’ place , Marasbaras Tacloban City

The Association of Farmers and Advocates of Organic Farming, Inc. (AFOAFI) of Barangay Himakilo in the municipality of Bontoc, Southern Leyte received an award last August 9, 2019 from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Regional Office VIII for its entry, Expansion of Accelerated Vinegar.

It won the 2019 Best Science and Technology Livelihood Project, besting other entries in demonstrating high receptivity to science, technology and innovation leading to inclusive and sustainable growth and development for members of the organization and the community.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), which supports this Awards, recognized the AFOAFI for having the best Community-Based Livelihood Project at the provincial level, that is providing enterprise and alleviating poverty thru the provision and transfer of technology-based livelihood projects.

AFOAFI is one of recipients of DSWD’s Kalahi-CIDSS under the livelihood and enterprise modality, with a grant amounting to PHP 983,000.00, used in the purchase of production equipment and vehicle. Results of the Participatory Situational Analysis (PSA), one of the processes in KALAHI CIDSS, showed the community’s priority felt need to expand the accelerated vinegar and other variety of products. Today, it supplies consumers with sufficient quantity and high quality vinegar at a price lower than the prevailing, in the market.

The award was given during the 2019 Regional Science and Technology Week at Robinson’s Place Marasbaras, Tacloban City.

Kalahi-CIDSS is a poverty reduction program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development using the Community-Driven Development (CDD) technology in which community identifies the development challenges and identifies its intervention.

The program has been in operation for the past 16 years in the region and sustaining them through its institutionalization is on the pipeline to be a regular program of the Department to continue its delivery of social service as a medium in ushering participatory development, empowerment among vulnerable group, and improving local governance in addressing development challenges in their locality.#

-Eugene Sosing

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Children should work on their dreams, not on fields

DSWD Regional Director Marie Angela Golan

The recent World Day Against Child Labor celebration was another opportunity to gather child laborers of Ormoc City, as 50 child – beneficiaries of the DSWD – led  SHIELD or Strategic Helpdesks for lnformation, Education, Livelihood and other Developmental lnterventions.Project had a day of fun at the Pongos Hotel in same city.

Varied stakeholders expressed concern to the kids of farm laborers of sugarcane plantations in the locality, encouraging them to stay in school and to “work on their dreams and not on fields.”  DSWD Regional Director, Marie Angela Gopalan, said she was indeed happy for the strong support of the local government unit as well as member-agencies like the DOLE and non-government organizations like the Eclipse, Incorporated.

City councilors Vince Rama, Jasper Lucero, and Lalaine Marcos, who were present, all gave inspiring messages to the children  by giving examples on their personal struggles and success in life.  The local officials, however, inculcated in them the value of discipline like helping their mothers do the household chores, but not engaging in hard labor. As they said,  the inter-generational cycle of poverty will keep on going.

Now on its second year of implementation,  the project which is also being piloted in nearby town of Kananga, has done with the profiling of child laborers or the setting up of a database system. 

The Child Labor Local Registry is one of the components of the project essential for project planning, monitoring, and in identifying the most vulnerable ones that need immediate and appropriate interventions. 

As of to date, there are four functional Barangay Help Desks – one in each of Ormoc and Kananga’s four pilot barangays. “This project component aims to afford accessible and stronger protection to child laborers and enhance their capacities in employable age through distance education and skills training. ln the long term, it seeks to eventually reduce child labor by removing them from the vicious and intergenerational cycle of poverty and child labor practice.”

Marichu Bustillos, Social Technology Unit head said that n the pilot barangays,  260 children  and 100 parents were referred for support services such as livelihood, medical assistance, educational supplies, and computer literacy trainings.  Also,  166 child laborers from pilot barangays were provided with SHIELD educational assistance;

Bustillos bared that already, a total of 66 parents of child laborers (Brgy. Patag: 26; Brgy. Sumangga: 19; Brgy. Tugbong: 10; Brgy. Rizal: 11) were able to avail livelihood assistance from the DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). The grant amounted to a total of Php1,207,028.00.

In coordination with the DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program,  100 mothers of these children were able to attend a series of Family Development Sessions.

“Family Development Session (FDS) is the venue for Pantawid Pamilya household grantees and parents to enhance and acquire new skills and knowledge in responding to their parental roles and responsibilities particularly on health and nutrition, education and psychosocial needs of children; promotion of positive family values; and strengthening marital relationships.”

“Attending the FDS is one of the conditionalities of Pantawid Pamilya. The FDS employs neighborhood-based family psycho-educational activities to promote, empower, and nurture families towards strengthened capacity so they could meet their familial and parental responsibilities as well as participate in community development activities.#”

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DSWD Turns Over 75 Housing Units at Hindang, Leyte

“Dire kuripot it DSWD!”

This is the testimony of Mano Lucio, whose house was totally damaged during supertyphoon Yolanda.  Now, he is one of the 75 beneficiaries of the Core Shelter Assistance Project (CSAP) who recently attended the turnover ceremony in Hindang, Leyte for these housing units.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development, together with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Hindang, led by Mayor Betty Cabal and the members of the Sangguniang Bayan, Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla, and Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer (PSWDO) Vivian Claros recently conducted this ceremony to formally turnover these units to the beneficiaries, who were given certificates of completion and acceptance.

The CSAP is a housing project built for disaster survivors by disaster survivors. Each of these shelters are environmentally friendly and structurally strong, able to withstand up to 220 kph of wind velocity, and earthquakes up to intensity 4 on the Richter Scale and are built using locally sourced materials. These units cost P84,000 each – DSWD provided P70,000, the PSWDO provided P10,000 while the LGU provided P4,000, as well as the lots where the units were built. The beneficiaries themselves build the shelters and are tasked with the maintenance and care of these units.

“Daghang salamat sa DSWD na pinangunahan han aton Regional Director, salamat kan Governor Petilla ngan kan Mayor Cabal para sa tabang nga iyo gihatag sa amo. (Thank you DSWD, under the leadership of the Regional Director, thank you Governor Petilla and Mayor Cabal for the help you gave us.)

“Kun waray CSAP dire kami makapuyo sa dig-on nga balay. Salamat sa proteksyon nga iyo gihatag. Karon, safe na ang aong pamilya, kay an design sa Core Shelter dire basta-basta maguba sa bagyo ug linog. Bisan naay siguro Yolanda part two, dili na maruba!” (If it weren’t for the CSAP, we wouldn’t be able to live in a sturdy house. Thank you for the protection you gave us. Now, our families are safe, because the Core Shelter is not easily destroyed by storms or earthquakes. Even if there was a Yolanda part two, our houses wouldn’t be destroyed!)

“Among tumanon ang mga patakaran pinaagi sa pagmaintain sa balay – dili igprenda o ibaligya kay an materyales gikan sa gobyerno. Ipakita namo nga kami angayan sa pagsalig na inyong gihatag sa amo. Sa ngalan sa 75 nga beneficiaries, amo gihatag ang among kinasingkasing nga pasalamat. Mabuhay kitang tanan, God bless!” (We will implement the rules on maintaining our houses – no mortgaging or selling, because the materials came from the government. We will show that we are worthy of the trust that you have given us. So, in behalf of the 75 beneficiaries, we give to you our heartfelt gratitude. Mabuhay and God bless to us all!)


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DSWD Kalahi CIDSS Field Office 8 conducted its 3rd Advocacy Champions’ Run or Takbo Kalahi on August 26, 2019 at RTR Plaza, Tacloban City. It is anchored on the theme ‘MagKalahi Tayo Pilipinas’ as it calls to institutionalize Community-Driven Development in the local and national level.

It is also a celebration of success of the Community Volunteers and Local Government Units in their triumph to combat poverty through collective action.

Regional Director Marie Angela Gopalan said that aside from 23 LGU-led municipalities implementing the program, she hopes that there are more municipalities to adopt the Community-Driven Development processes.

After the fun run, LGU CDD champions Hon. Mayor Melchor Mergal of Salcedo, Eastern Samar and Hon. Mayor Norman Sabdao of San Miguel Leyte gave their testimonies about the effectivenesss of CDD in their communities and advocated it for institutionalization.

Almost 400 participants pledged to support institutionalizing CDD though a signature campaign.

Present also in the activity were DSWD Assistant Regional Director for Administration Marlene Kahano , Kalahi CIDSS Regional Program Coordinator and OIC Chief Promotive Services Division Natividad G. Sequito, Deputy Regional Porrgam Manager Gerardo Peneda , Area Coordinating Team and Municipal Coordinating Team , Local Government Unit officials, Community Volunteers and other government agencies.

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Bringing Services Closer to the People

DSWD Field Office VIII recently participated in the People’s Day Caravan in Dulag, Leyte, specially highlighting its Protective Programs – Adoption, Foster Care, Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS), Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens, Recovery and Reintegration Program for Trafficked Persons (RRPTP), Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP), among others. Also featured were the Promotive Programs – the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Programs (Pantawid Pamilya), and Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS).

DSWD VIII, now under the leadership of Regional Director, Marie Angela Gopalan, has already participated in two information caravans and conducted its own caravan in the region for this year.

This is with the hope of bringing the agency’s programs and services closer to the people.#

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