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DSWD6 provides augmentation for Iloilo, Capiz

ardo2THE DSWD6 provided augmentation in form of relief goods for those affected by typhoon Marce in Iloilo and Capiz Province.

Asst. Regional Director for Operations Delia Villa-Bagolcol said that the agency has released 1,620 family food packs.

If broken down, 1,120 packs were released for Capiz and 500 packs for Passi City in Iloilo.

Aside from this, Bagolcol assured that the agency has sufficient stockpile to augment the LGUs in case the need arises.

“We have 36,000 family food packs in our stockpile,” said Bagolcol.

She also said that the Quick Response Team (QRT) of the Field Office is in full alert./dswd6/May Rago-Castillo


(Signed by ARDO Delia Bagolcol)


Regional Director


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DSWD now on full alert for ‘Marce’; reminds the public to monitor irregularities in relief ops

With Tropical Depression ‘Marce’ moving across the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo has directed all disaster monitoring and response units of the DSWD in full alert.
Based on today’s 6AM updated from the DSWD Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC), 285 families or 1,100 persons from the provinces of Dinagat Island, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur in the CARAGA Region are currently staying in 19 evacuation centers.
Meanwhile in Cebu, some 548 families or 2,740 persons are currently taking pre-emptive evacuation in Toledo Sports Complex.
Currently, the Disaster Response Assistance and Management Bureau (DReAMB) of the DSWD is intensifying its coordination with concerned Local Government Units (LGUs) in monitoring the areas affected by the inclement weather.
“DSWD’s DreamB is now closely monitoring weather developments and coordinating with other concerned disaster units of the government to ensure there are no surprises that Marce can spring on us. We want to constantly improve and develop our disaster response for the people and make sure all our skills, information and resources are utilized well and maximized for their aid and benefit before, during, and after calamities,” said DReAMB Dir. Felino Castro V.
Sec. Taguiwalo also assures the public that DSWD Field Offices already made advance preparations for ‘Marce’ by continuously updating the status of stockpiles and standby funds and closely monitoring the typhoon’s track.
“We assure the public that despite the huge number of relief items distributed to families affected by previous typhoons, the Department still has enough stockpiles and standby funds that can be used in disaster situations,” said the Secretary.
Moreover, the Secretary calls for strengthened coordination of concerned agencies and the public to minimize any possible casualty during the onslaught of the typhoon. She also reminded citizens to continue to monitor all irregularities in the delivery of relief assistance and operations.
“We have to admit that there are still many problems and weaknesses in the system of relief provision — and these problems have to do with our coordination with LGUs and baranggay units. We reiterate our call to members of the public to be vigilant and monitor rescue and relief actions for all irregularities or failure of service and assistance delivery. We ask the public to report in detail the irregularities they see or monitor so we can address them as soon as we can and to improve the process,” she said.
“We have already surpassed numerous typhoons because of our Bayanihan. Let us continue this practice so we can reach more in need. So much needs to be done to develop and strengthen the resilience of our communities and ensure that they can bounce back in the wake of calamities. Let us help one another, coordinate efforts and cooperate so we can ensure zero or very minimal loss of life even if as yet we cannot lessen damage to property,” she said. ###

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DSWD6, RJJWC push scrapping of house bills lowering criminal liability

ILOILO CITY-The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VI and the Regional Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (RJJWC) jointly called for the scrapping of house bills which seek to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility.kathy
“A nine-year-old child has a very young mind. There are even studies which suggest that our brains grow until the age 25,” said Katherine Joy Lamprea of the JJWC.
The RJJWC and the DSWD6 gathered members of the media recently in a forum to highlight the observance of the Juvenile Justice Consciousness Week with the theme, “Rehab, hindi rehas: Itaguyod ang RA 10630.”
It can be recalled that lawmakers have filed several bills seeking to revert the effects of Republic Act (RA) Number 9344 or the Juvenile Delinquency Act of 2006, which raised the minimum age of criminal liability from 9 years to 15 years old.
RA 10630, is an act Strengthening the Juvenile Justice System in the Philippines, amending RA 9344.
Lamprea cited the following reasons why they are pushing for the non-passage of the housebill:
• Early incarceration is the most harmful and counter-productive measure in preventing child re-offending
• The most effective diversionary strategy is to remove children from the youth justice system by significantly raising the age of criminal responsibility
• Lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility and putting children in jail will not address the issue of criminal syndicates using children to commit crimes
• 98.46 percent of all crimes reported to the PNP are crimes committed by adults not children
• Lowering the age of criminal responsibility is against the best interest of the child. They would be in cramped, disease-ridden and filthy facilities with inadequate food, prone to physical, sexual and psychological abuse, will be in the company of adult murderers, rapists and pedophiles.
• It is a move which will burden both the national and local governments
• Human brain continues to develop until 21 and matures to as late as 25 years old
• Early onset of offending may be caused by impairment of brain structure and functioning due to childhood poverty and abuse
• Lowering of the minimum age of criminal responsibility is against our legal obligations as state party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
• It is also unconstitutional since it clearly violates the policy of the state to defend the right of children to special protection from all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty and exploitation

Psychologist Robert Paul Joseph Eclar, assigned at the Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY), said that they believe in the capacity of children to change their life’s course.
“We. at the RRCY, have seen Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL) transform. We have former CICL who now have become teachers, seafarers, policemen and social workers,” said Eclar./dswd6/May R. Castillo

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Where did the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) funds for ‘Yolanda’ survivors go?

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) today released an excerpt from its extensive and still ongoing investigation on the department’s recovery and rehabilitation program to address the crisis created by Supertyphoon Yolanda when it ravaged the country in November 2013.

This is in response to the clamor of many Filipinos seeking explanation as to why the DSWD is able to provide ESA immediately to survivors of recent typhoons Ferdie and Lawin while many of the survivors of Yolanda still have to be given assistance.

The focus of this excerpt is the Supplementary Budget from the Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda / Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Plan (RAY/CRRP), and it is based on the report of the Disaster Response Assistance and Management Bureau (DREAMB).

Since the damage caused by ‘Yolanda’ was very extensive, the funds of DSWD were not enough to provide for the shelter needs of the survivors. The budget submitted to the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR) and the accomplishments as of August 15, 2016 are shown in the following Table.

Budget and Accomplishment for ESA (from report of DReAMB)


  1. DSWD submitted to OPARR its proposal for ESA:
  • ESA for totally damaged houses: 449,127 HHs @P30,000.00 = ₱ 13,473,810,000
  • ESA for partially damaged houses: 517,214 HHs @ P10,000.00 = ₱ 5,172,140,000
  1. From submission of the proposal until funds were released, DSWD released MC 24 on November 21, 2014. The field offices mentioned that they were not consulted regarding this new MC which disqualified individuals from receiving ESA based on the following:
  • They live in danger zones or ‘no build zones’;
  • They earn more than P15,000.00 per month;
  • They have been given shelter assistance by other NGOs.
  1. The original list of beneficiaries submitted to OPARR had to be revised based on the new guidelines in MC 24. The municipalities had to re-validate and amend the master list, wherein some beneficiaries who were not eligible as prescribed in MC24 were delisted. This brought about a lot of confusion and anger on the part of the beneficiaries which are still evident while doing this study. Distribution of ESA was not easy; in fact, it could not be considered ‘emergency shelter assistance’ anymore since it was distributed in 2015, more than a year after Yolanda struck the islands.
  1. DSWD received supplementary budget for ESA in the amount of ₱20,010,650,000.00. As of August 15, 2016, the accomplishments are as follows:
  • Partially damaged homes (667,429 @P10,000.00): ₱ P6,674,290,000.00.
  • Totally damaged homes (468,528 @P30,000.00): ₱ 14,055,840,000.00.
  • Total expenses: ₱ 20,730,130,000.00.
  • Other funds came from: donations – ₱ 543,277,224.90;                                      QRF – ₱176,202,775.10.

What happened to the funds?

More than a million families have been given ESA. Despite that, there are still thousands who are still waiting for their ESA. The request to DBM in the amount of P1.17B for ESA of 83,228 families in Region 6 has just recently been disapproved.

The research team led by Assistant Sec. Aleli Bawagan focused on the many complaints the  DSWD has received and continue to receive regarding ESA. Many individuals submitted written complaints to the research team. The complaints can be grouped as follows:

Wide discretion given to the barangay chair and other officials in the selection of ESA beneficiaries.

This paved the way for ineligible beneficiaries to be included in the list, such as: two ESA beneficiaries in one household; families who do not live in the barangay even before ‘Yolanda’ but are still included in the barangay voter’s list were included in the list; individuals who had partially damaged homes were listed under totally damaged.

This practice also excluded other survivors, such as: those living in remote sitios of the barangay; fisherfolk living in coastal communities; those who live in the barangay but temporarily relocated since there was no work available after ‘Yolanda’; and  families, including government employees, who have a monthly salary of P15,000.00 and above. There was also an increase in claiesa1mants of ESA such as those who did not have their names listed since they did not believe that assistance will be provided (according to them ‘to see is to believe’), but had damaged homes as well.

The barangay officials also had the discretion to identify homes as partially or totally damaged since there were no clear guidelines.

  • Beneficiaries for totally damaged homes did not receive the full P30,000 ESA but received only P10,000;
  • The provision in MC24 re beneficiaries living in ‘danger zones’ was differently interpreted by LGUs. Some coastal communities in Iloilo were given their ESA, but not in Leyte and other provinces. Beneficiaries who lived in ‘danger zones’ were excluded despite the absence of any issuance that their community is in fact located in a ‘danger zone’;
  • MC 24 stipulated that ESA beneficiaries should not be recipients of shelter assistance from other NGOs, but since the assistance from various organizations was not closely monitored, this provision was  again implemented differently by LGUs;
  • Despite unfinished distribution of ESA, P14,610,000.00 was returned to the DSWD Field Office by the former Mayor of Balangiga after he lost in the 2016 elections. Upon verification with the Field Office, it was confirmed that the said amount has been returned to the National Treasury.
  • Affected families outside the 50 km radius of ‘Yolanda’ path were excluded as beneficiaries.
  • Other beneficiaries were shortchanged, e.g.
  • some individuals took advantage of ESA distribution and would ‘buy’ the ESA of beneficiaries days before the distribution at a lower price, e.g. P8,000 for ESA of P10,000; the beneficiaries would ‘sell’ their ESA since they need the cash badly;
  • other beneficiaries received ‘voucher’ which contained a list of construction supplies woth their corresponding ESA; but since their homes have been repaired, again other individuals ‘buy’ their vouchers for a cash amount lower than the value of the voucher, e.g. P20,000 for ESA of P30,000; again, beneficiaries would ‘sell’ their vouchers since they need the cash more than the construction supplies.
  1. According to the staff in the field offices, if AO17 was used rather than MC24, then ESA distribution would have been finished a long time ago. Unlike now, three years after Yolanda, there are still a lot of families not given their ESA.
  1. It is recommended to formulate new guidelines for the distribution of ESA for future calamities. DREAMB is currently drafting the new proposed guidelines.

The remaining balance from cash donations of ₱35,166,640.42 and available funds from the DSWD Field Office  8 in the amount of ₱ 10.7M may be used for ESA. However, this will not be enough to cover the number of families who did not receive their ESA. The proposal to DBM for P1.17B for  ESA beneficiaries in Region 6 has been disapproved. DSWD is currently looking at the possibility of requesting for funds from OCD.

Substantial Documentation

Asec. Aleli Bawagan – a full professor on leave from the University of the Philippines’ College of Social Work and Development  — said that the initial conclusions included in the report can be easily validated and verified using the mountain of data, written complaints, as well as documented interviews that are at the hands of the team doing the research on ‘Yolanda’ aid.

“We are doing this independent of all outside help. This is strictly our initiative in the DSWD which we have taken because of the continuing demands of the public that records on ‘Yolanda’ aid be reported. Filipinos — especially those who have been hard hit by ‘Yolanda’ – have been demanding transparency and explanations for the last three years. The DSWD as caretaker of the donations and relief funds as well as the government’s main welfare agency cannot be remiss in its duty and allow another year to pass without giving a credible response to these demands,” she said. #


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