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DSWD Distributes Relief to San Jose De Buan

The Department of Social Welfare and Development recently distributed family food packs to evacuees in San Jose De Buan, Samar. These evacuees flooded into the town’s covered court after being displaced due to the ongoing firefight between the Philippine Army and rebel fighters.

Based on initial reports received, there are 147 families affected by the conflict – 44 families from Brgy. Hagbay and 103 families from Brgy. San Nicolas. Upon request from the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer Ana Gabon, DSWD staff from the Disaster Response Management Division (DRMD) immediately traveled to provide and distribute relief goods to the conflict-affected families.

DSWD provided family food packs (FFPs) for each family. These FFPs contain 6 kilos of rice, 4 cans of corned beef, 4 cans of beef/meat loaf and 6 sachets of coffee, and are good for 2 to 3 days for a family of 5. Aside from these food items, DSWD also provided blankets for the families.

“Nagpapasalamat kami kay an mga taga Region kumanhi dayon para maghatag hin relief goods” said MSWDO Gabon. (We are thankful because the staff from the Regional Office came immediately to distribute relief goods.)

Currently, DSWD is closely monitoring the situation with the MSWDO.


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DSWD Completes 5kPFA Payout

Rhodora is a survivor. She survived super-typhoon Yolanda and several other storms that came after. Glenda, Ruby, Nona – she survived them all. She has six children and she supports them by working various jobs; she helps her husband in the farm, ferments tuba, saws lumber, and helps in the production of copra and abaca. She works not only to feed her family, but also to build her home. And now, with a little help from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, she would finally be able to fulfill her dream of improving her house.

Rhodora is just one of the many beneficiaries of the recent 5k Presidential Financial Assistance (5kPFA) payouts in Palapag and Catubig, Northern Samar. These simultaneous payouts were conducted during the first two weeks of March by two teams from DSWD’s Disaster Response Management Division (DRMD).

These recent payouts mark the completion of the 5kPFA. As of March 16, DSWD has distributed the 5kPFA to 3,407 beneficiaries in Palapag, and 2,671 in Catubig.

Over-all, DSWD has successfully distributed the 5kPFA to 38,813 beneficiaries across Region VIII. This includes the beneficiaries from Biliran, Samar, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar and Leyte.

The 5kPFA started after President Rodrigo Duterte promised to provide financial assistance to the Yolanda survivors who were not able to receive any government assistance. People’s organizations listed the beneficiaries and then submitted this list to DSWD last 2016. The 5kPFA was funded by the Socio-Civics Fund from the Office of the President.

With this money, Rhodora plans to buy steel bars for the improvement of her house. She will also use part of the money to buy food and school items for her children. She is thankful for this assistance and is also grateful for another DSWD program, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) for the assistance provided for the education of her children.


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Specialized Programs Division of Field Office 8 launched newsletter

March 15, 2019- Specialized Programs Division, known before as Promotive Services Division, launched today its quarterly newsletter, entitled PromDi, during the DSWD Anniversary Press Conference held at the DSWD Field Office Grounds.

The internal convergence of three core programs of the Specialized Division, such as Kalahi CIDSS,  Sustainable Livelihood    Program, and Pantawid  Pamilyang Pilipino Program, has been strengthened through its initiatives under the leadership of Natividad  Sequito as the OIC-Chief.

In 2018, the Specialized Programs Division started its endeavor towards system installation through proposed reorganization and restructuring at the regional and barangay levels as support to the DSWD Strategic Plan 2018-2002. Now the Division produces evidence-based material that shows feature stories and faces of communities and partner stakeholders and presents updates and activities and undertakings of the division.

During the launching of the newsletter, Division Chief Sequito gave a rationale about its creation and said this is the effective strategy of the agency to obtain its goal for transparency.

On the other hand, OIC Regional Director Yvonne Serrano-Abonales expressed her appreciation towards the division as it comes up with a newsletter to tell milestones of the Department and communities in the pursuit of local empowerment, transparency, enhanced local governance and downward accountability.

In a separate occasion, Assistant Regional Director for Operations Marcela Lim also attested that through the stories and updates of this publication, it goes to show how successful the programs are in making change possible for the agency’s beneficiaries.

Indeed, internal convergence strategies and initiatives are the key to a holistic approach in delivering these services and programs to the poor, marginalized and vulnerable sectors.

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DSWD VIII staff of the National Household Targeting System (NHTS) and the Regional Resource and Operations Center (RROC) attended a Social Pension Orientation last March 11, 2019, in preparation for the Social Pension validation in Mercedes and Jipapad Eastern Samar this coming March 13-17, 2019.

This was conducted at the DSWD Extension Office in Marasbaras in Tacloban City by a team headed by Asther Dadulla, Social Pension Section Head.

DSWD OIC-Regional Director Yvonne Serrano – Abonales have instructed said employees to augment in the ongoing validation to fast track data generation needed for aggressive cleansing of the list of existing Social Pensioners, for efficient delivery of benefits and services to elderlies.
During the meeting, the staff learned how to properly fill up the SOCPEN Beneficiary Update form with 22 specific variables.
Each was expected to accomplish 25 Forms or more, until the entire validation on the said areas are done.

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4Ps to help EVRMC Blood Bank

“Our hospital would like to help the people and surely we can– if you will help us,” said the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) Blood Bank Medical Technologist IV Roland Gorgonia in a recent meeting with Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) Regional Coordinator Paula Unay at Brgy. Cabalawan, Tacloban City.

4Ps is a human development program of the national government which invests on human capital by utilizing the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) strategy providing conditional cash grants to identified poor households to help improve their health, nutrition, and education, and sharing with them various knowledge and skills through the regular conduct of Family Development Sessions (FDS).

The said program currently serves around 272, 636 active household beneficiaries in Eastern Visayas who, in an average last year, were able to achieve 85% compliance rate in Education conditions, 92% in Health, and, 95% in their attendance to Family Development Sessions (FDS).

Meanwhile, EVRMC, the biggest hospital in Region VIII, served about 32,739 4Ps beneficiaries last year 2018.

The said hospital has been facing a problem regarding its blood bank. Based on their records, there is a high demand of blood and yet there is less blood supply. As a tormenting consequence, there were patients who died due to unavailability of blood.

“DSWD through 4Ps has a huge influence on people and can certainly support the blood program,” added RMT Gorgonia.  He shared that the said program is successful in municipalities, including Mayorga and Dulag, due to the active participation of 4Ps beneficiaries.

During FDS sessions, Pantawid Pamilya Municipal Links educate and encourage beneficiaries the value of donating blood.

Indeed, blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person for it is a gift of life. A decision to donate blood can save a life, or even several, if your blood is separated into its components like red cells, platelets and plasma, which can be used individually for patients with specific conditions.

In this light, the Blood Program has been created, as anchored on Republic Act No. 7719. This is an act that promotes voluntary blood donation, providing for an adequate supply of safe blood, regulating blood banks, and providing penalties for its violation.

RPC Unay expressed that the partnership can be finalized through signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the parties and capacitating the 4Ps staff to better educate the beneficiaries on the value of voluntary blood donation.

Furthermore, the said discussion were also participated by Medical Professional Staff Chief Dr. Lourdes Agosto, Office of Profession, Education, and Training Head Dr. Susana Merida, and 4Ps Institutional Partnership and Development Officer Red Sabela. (mjc/vpa/pbu/YSA)


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DSWD FO VIII holds groundbreaking ceremony of office and warehouse

“This momentous occasion marks the start of the construction of our very own buildings which is vital to our operations — a more employee friendly space, better relations, coordination, and communication, among others, which ascertain enhanced productivity,” highlighted by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) VIII Officer-in-Charge Regional Director Yvonne Serrano-Abonales, during the recent ground breaking ceremony of the new regional office and Regional Resource Operation Center (RROC).

The said buildings are to be constructed at the Government Center, Candahug, Palo, Leyte, under a usufruct agreement with the Province of Leyte for twenty five years.

DSWD Undersecretary for Disaster Response Management Group Felicisimo Budiongan, together with OIC RD Yvonne Serrano-Abonales, led the said event.  

“Nasa isang bahay na tayo at malapit na sa ibang agencies. This is very advantageous for our coordination and convergence initiatives para sa patuloy na pagbibigay ng serbisyong may malasakit at may puso,” said Usec. Budiongan on behalf of DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista. He then expressed his heartfelt gratitude to all the persons who helped realize such milestone.

Also present were DSWD Assistant Secretary for Visayas Affairs Atty. Marijoy D. Segui, Officer-in-Charge Assistant Regional Director for Administration Marlene L. Kahano, and other personnel; Board Member Ranulfo Abellanosa representing Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla; Department of Public Works and Highways Regional Architect Neil Salvo; Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Regional Director Edgar Jubay; Media partner Miriam Desacada; and other guests.

DSWD Regional Office VIII OIC Administrative Division Chief Clarito Logronio, who primarily oversees the said project, narrated how it was materialized and shared that the RROC can now store about thirty thousand food packs as required by law, which is an answer to the logistics issue and a huge advancement in the department’s relief operations.

DSWD is mandated to develop, administer and implement comprehensive social welfare programs designed to uplift the living conditions and empower the disadvantaged children, youth, women, older persons, person with disabilities, families in crisis or at-risk and communities needing assistance. (mjc/vpa/YSA)


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Kalahi CIDSS Region 8 conducted the Local Government Unit Workshop on Community-Driven Development Harmonization cum Barangay Sub-Project Development Training held February 26-28, 2019 at Milka Hotel in Tacloban City.

The three-day activity involved key management staff and the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee, in the vision of ensuring the best return on the investment in the volunteer program.

During the training, it was discussed how the Community Driven Development works, contribute to the development of the communities, and establish accountability in the involvement of different partners or stakeholders during implementation. It also aims to identify the necessary mitigation in the environmental and social management plan for some risks in their sub-project.

The activity ensures that the Barangay Subproject Management Committee chairpersons of Kalahi CIDSS of LGU-led municipalities have demonstrated skills and knowledge on basic project management, sustainability mechanisms and development, which will translate into efficient and effective leadership and management in their barangay’s subproject implementation and operation.

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People’s Participation, A Key for a Successful Project Implementation

Mayorga is a 5th class municipality in the province of Leyte, Philippines. It faces the Pacific Ocean and is forty (43) kilometers south of the provincial capital, the City of Tacloban.Based on the August 1, 2015 National Statistics Authority Census of Population, Mayorga has a total population of 17,161. Municipality of Mayorga was subdivided into 16 Barangays, composed of the following: Burgos, Bonifacio, Camansi, Calipayan, Gen. A. Luna, Liberty, Mabini, San Roque, Sta. Cruz, Wilson, Ormocay, Union, Talisay, Poblacion Zone I, Poblacion Zone II and Poblacion Zone III. The Municipal Offices are located at Brgy. Poblacion Zone I.

The town of Mayorga is relatively small compared to its neighboring municipalities, it is endowed with rolling plains ideal for rice production. Its public transport system is comprised of the jeepneys and vans plying the route of Mayorga and Tacloban. There are single motorcycles passenger vehicles and “motorpots” plying intra-municipal routes. There are also pedicabs plying along barangay roads.

Mayorga is basically an agricultural municipality. Most of its residents indulge in farming and fishing as its primary source of livelihood. There are 1,716 total number of rice farmers organized into 26 associations. 2,387.44 hectares of land is planted to rice. There are 202 indulged in high value crops (HVC) farming, 118 of these HVC farmers are land tenants, while 85 are owners of their tilled lands. In terms of corn planting there are 154 who are indulged on it. The livestock and poultry meat industry is also a source of livelihood. There are 1,412 swine raisers; 131 cattle raisers, 454 carabao raisers, 49 goat raisers and 1373 chicken raisers.There are 865 total number of fisherfolks. 640 of which are males and 225 are females. These fisherfolks employ hook and line, timing and gillnets as their fishing methods.

There are many NGA’s, NGO’s that had come to the community such as Kalahi CIDSS who has been implemented for almost how many years in the municipality. Kalahi CIDSS influenced the MLGU in enhancing its Transparency, Accountability and its Participation to the community. The MLGU seen that despite the different activities given by Kalahi CIDSS and other NGO’s, there are still gaps that have not been addresses, to name some of it are; some members of the community who are not or could not participate, they are not being informed that there is such activity like Barangay Assembly of Kalahi CIDSS, not all sector is well-represented in the conduct of activity.  

Another is there still people in the vulnerable sectors who are somewhat left behind in all the development activities of the communities and others would not avail any services because coming to Municipal Building for them is costly and time consuming . Another issues that has been raised that the MLGU had seen is the inconsistencies/ unavailability of the 1st and secondary data in the community. It maybe because of the Absence of Brgy. Record due to change of leadership/absence of turn-over of records, as a results data generated from different NGO’s and NGA’s is inconsistent. Because of this, MLGU had develop a strategy to address this gaps and had foreseen that there should be a focal person aside from the Barangay officials who would assists to it’s those people in the community. They are called as the Barangay Welfare Affairs, they are directly employed by the municipality to assist its people in the community to easily communicate to the municipal offices if ever they had concerns or they had needs that needs to be attended. To help Barangay officials in data gathering and consolidation. And in the Kalahi CIDSS context, they are being used for wide dissemination of information and for transparency purposes. The BWA was equipped with radio-based to be better effective.          

In the Implementation of the strategy having a Barangay Welfare Affairs and Installation of Radio Based, there are still some things that are needed to be improved such as its protocol in answering and disseminating of information. As well as what allowed and not allowed information’s to be transmitted through the Radio Base or through Cell phone only.

With the current system in the community having a Barangay welfare affairs, must of the impacted population are those who are at the vulnerable sectors those who are not reached out or those who have no means of reaching to MLGU. The people could easily access any services of information that is useful for them. People mostly saved their time and money, because if ever they need from the MLGU or Department Heads, they would first notify the personnel they will be meeting, they would not come to the municipal hall for nothing if that certain person is not available.

In the course of devising the strategy, it is not a sudden decision, it takes several studies and consultations. It was conceptualized by the Municipal Mayor itself and was supported with the different department Heads. This strategy is just one of the plan for comprehensively responding to the development issues and challenges confronting the municipality, It begins with a discussion of the municipality’s Vision – the “future state” that its citizens and leaders aspire for Mayorga to become in the near future. The gaps between the desired vision and current realities are then identified, the development indicators described, and the main themes that emerged are summarized– the so-called cross-sectoral challenges- within the planning period.

Its actual target of this is to reach more on the Constituents of Mayorga Leyte, and enhancing its Transparency, and Accountability in the MLGU side and enhancing participation of the people especially the most vulnerable ones.

In the Implementation of this strategy, First MLGU hired a Barangay Welfare affairs in the community at least there are 5-7 personel per Barangay. Then the Radio based per Barangay was installed. Then later on they had trained the Brgy. Welfare affairs on how to use the radio and on transmitting information, and its protocol.

Since it is a community based, people in the community could easily access. The usual used of the radio and the BWA are; MLGU would transmit information such as there will be a meeting at the community and someone will visit, the BWA upon receiving the information would immediately tell the Barangay officials and the persons needed in that particular meeting/visits. Prior of the conduct of the activity, the people are well informed already. Another use of BWA and Radio Base is when a person in the community needs to visit to the Municipal building for a purpose, the BWA would first call the base of MLGU and would as if the personnel is available, the MLGU base would tell that the certain person is available then the person could proceed to the Municipal Building, however if ever they are not available the person would not come.

Although the good practice is not perfect at all it has still lapses, but it gave greater impacts to the people of Mayorga, communication between MLGU and Community are become easy, transparency has been promoted. Data in the barangay level has been readily accessible to all. It bring MLGU close to the vulnerable sectors in the community.

The greater impact of it is, it bring the service and information to the people closer to its community particularly the most vulnerable ones. One obvious result is the high participation rate in all barangays in Mayorga which is above 82 % mark and women participation were all above 55 % for 3 cycles.

Perception among 420 community members randomly selected in 16 barangays shows awareness of the communities of the interaction and dealing of the local officials. It also shows that a majority of the community are able to participate the different Kalahi-CIDSS activities. This is due to the coordination with the Brangay Welfare Affairs with their enhance communication system.

In the course of implementation of the good practice, convergence of different agencies helps in the success of the activity. In the course of implementation of the project it has been, there are still some lapses that are needed to be address, but however, with the help of convergence of different agencies gaps is answered little by little. Continuous capacitation of the BWA is a must for better effective delivery of social services to its most vulnerable sectors in the community.

At first the implementation is not smooth sailing since  it entails a lot of things to consider, they see at as political propaganda, it takes time to put the systems to the barangay, but with perseverance it successfully put into system. It is not that easy to implement such activity but however they with the convergence of the MLGU and BLGU it became possible and it was great help to the people especially to those vulnerable ones.

The good practice itself is replicable to any other municipalities, it just entails a small amount of resources to replicate of the strategy. There were several laws that had been implemented. #

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