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IRC, UNFPA prepare social workers for women-friendly disaster response

ILOILO City-The International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the United Nations Population Fund is preparing social workers to implement women-friendly disaster response.
The two organizations recently trained DSWD workers on the execution of a Women Friendly Space (WFS). IRC shouldered the expenses during the training while UNFPA provided the resource person.1.graciela
The WFS is a facility that utilizes a strategy in mainstreaming gender as a cross cutting issue in providing humanitarian responses in evacuation camps, transitional sites or disaster affected communities. It addresses the specific needs of women affected by the disaster and provides a more systematic, organized and gender-responsive way of delivering services.
Graciela Van der Poel of the UNFPA stressed that, “during emergencies women and girls take on additional roles and responsibilities, have differentiated needs along the humanitarian continuum—all phases of an emergency, face more restrictions than men when accessing humanitarian assistance, frequently under-represented in assistance committees and have less opportunities to exercise leadership in humanitarian response and women and girls are seen as victims, not as key humanitarian actors.”
DSWD Institutional Development Division (IDD) head Rebecca Geamala, who also represented the agency before International Humanitarian Organizations (IHOs) who worked on disaster recovery in Western Visayas after Typhoon Yolanda, said that gaps noted after the onslaught of the storm included mixed population of men and women in evacuation centers which left women and girls prone and vulnerable to abuse because they lived together in one roof.
“Another is that it took weeks for breastfeeding sites to be put up thus lactating mothers did not have the privacy when they had to breastfeed their babies. And generally, in times of disasters, women and children are vulnerable to abuses. When houses are destroyed and they have nowhere to go, it is the women and children who suffer the most,” Geamala said.

Van der Poel said that while gaps were noted immediately after the disaster, the DSWD, with the involvement of other National Government Agencies (NGAs), and Local Government Units (LGUs) and support of the IHOs worked on establishment of WFS for Yolanda victims.
Currently, there are five WFS established. These are located in Guinticgan and Cawayan in Carles, Iloilo; Botongon, Estancia in Iloilo; and Punta Cogon and Cagay in Roxas City, Capiz.
The WFS operates on various phases, including services under welfare-provision of basic requirements for food and non-food items, medical and reproductive health; psychosocial support and referrals to LGUs should it be necessary; services under access—such as cash for work, coupon or food for work, sustainable livelihood for women, basic business management or entrepreneurial skills training; and services under participation which means giving women venue for leadership and participation.

Geamala said that with the training, establishment of WFS will be much more fast for the LGUs since DSWD workers will provide them with technical assistance.
For her part, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Unit head Judith Tanate said that purchase of tents and gender-sensitive supplies such as brassieres, underwears, sanitary pads, hygiene kit, flash lights and whistles in preparation for disasters will be considered in the next work and financial planning.
“We also call on LGUs to allocate funds for purchase of these supplies. On top of it all, we encourage them to involve men, women, boys and girls in decision-making particularly on preparedness activities,” Tanate said./dswd6/May Rago-Castillo

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New job helps Pantawid Pamilya fathers regain self-worth

Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary Pikinari Attar at work at the Department of Public Works and Highways Engineering District in Bacolod City.

Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary Pikinari Attar at work at the Department of Public Works and Highways Engineering District in Bacolod City.


FATHERS are often expected to lead the responsibility of providing the necessities of the family, especially of their children, being the household head, the lead provider, and the problem solver. There are times, however, when the fruit of a father’s hard work could still barely suffice the needs of his family.

Johnny Malahay and Pikinari Attar found themselves in the same difficult situation before but their perseverance and right attitude earned them the opportunity to improve their lives by securing a more stable job.

Johnny of Brgy. Ma-ao, Bago City in Negros Occidental would earn a maximum of P150 a day, during school days, driving a trisikad (pedicab). His day’s earnings however, could barely cover their needs on food, the kids’ school allowance and projects, and medicine for his sickly son. His eldest son Jomar was diagnosed with bronchopneumonia since he was five months old. Since then, not a year passed that Jomar was not confined in the hospital.

“Basta magmasakit gani, dalagan gid kami dayon sa hospital. Kay ang tatay ko sang una may asthma. Napatay lang sya, wala gid nadapatan bulong kay ti pigado mo… (Every time he gets sick, we would rush him to the hospital. My father had asthma before. He died without getting proper medication because we were so poor),” Johnny said.

Johnny recalled the pain he felt swallowing his pride and asking for financial help from anyone he could ask help from.

“Pangutang lang permi eh. Asta kay mayor, gakadto ko para mangayo bulig kung ma hospital. Kilala na ako gani sa CSWDO kay permi lang ako didto gapangayo bulig. Nahuya man ko tani eh, galing wala mahimo kay ti, pigado mo (I would borrow money. I would even ask for financial help from the mayor. The CSWDO staff already knew me because I was a frequent client. It was embarrassing for me to ask for help but there was nothing I could do, we’re so poor),” said the 41-year old Johnny, tears streaming down his face.

The CSWDO or City Social Welfare and Development Office is the social welfare arm of the local government unit which provides financial assistance to indigents in need.

Johnny said his wife Jennifer also helps augment the family’s income by working in the kampo (sugarcane plantations). During planting season, Jennifer earns P300 a week. Still, their combine income seemed hardly enough for their five children.

Ang kita sa sikad, kung kis-a indi gani kabakal sud-an. Kung wala klase, makita ko lang P60-80. Bugas lang na ang mabakal. Ang mga bata, gaagwanta sud-an asin o ginamos lang eh (Sometimes, the income from the pedicab could not even buy viands. If there are no classes, I’ll only earn around P60-80. It’s only enough to buy rice. The children had no choice but to be contended with salt or shrimp paste to go with the rice),” said Johnny.

A picture of poverty was also how 45-year-old Pikinari Attar of Brgy. Banago, Bacolod City described his family.

He has three children. And his income depended largely on fish vending. When times were tough and sales were not good, Pikinari would take on any available job – even if it means cleaning up soda bottles at P1 per bottle cleaned.

“Tungod siguro sa kapigaduhon, tungod indi namon mahatag ang kinahanglanon sang mga kabataan, may ara na sa ila nga naga-sunggod, wala na kami gaistoryahanay (Maybe because of poverty, maybe because we could not give what our children needed, there existed hostility at home, we no longer talk to each other),” Pikinari said.

Changes gradually dawned on Pikinari and Johnny when they availed of the Trabahong Lansangan, an employment facilitation scheme of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) under the latter’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

Under the Trabahong Lansangan, DPWH prioritizes the hiring of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries. Both Pikinari’s and Johnny’s respective families are covered by Pantawid Pamilya between 2010 and 2011.

Pikinari started working under the Trabahong Lansangan in November 2011. He earned P277 per day for the next six months. His good behavior and diligence did not go unnoticed from Engr. Arturo Badajos, Jr., chief of DPWH’s Maintenance Division in Bacolod City, who cited Pikinari for his “exemplary performance.” Upon learning that Pikinari knows how to drive vehicles, Badajos took him in as company driver in a job order position in June 2012.

Up to this day, Pikinari is with the DPWH Engineering District in Bacolod City, earning P409 a day.

Johnny, on the other hand, also completed six months of work under the Trabahong Lansangan, from March to August 2012. Citing also his “exemplary performance,” Maintenance Section Officer-in-Charge Engr. Alex Lorayna of the DPWH’s 4th Engineering District absorbed Johnny as job order under the Roadside Maintenance Unit in January 2013 up to the present.

Johnny Malahay, a beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilya Program who found a new job through DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program, says his gratitude to DSWD is beyond words.

Johnny Malahay, a beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilya Program who found a new job through DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program, says his gratitude to DSWD is beyond words.

Johnny happily recalled how he spent his first ever salary of almost P8,000.

“Ginabakal ko gid dayon duha ka sako bugas, sud-an para sa mga bata kag bulong para kay Jomar (I immediately bought two sacks of rice, viands for my children and medicines for Jomar),” Johnny said, noting that it was the first time he was able to afford such.

Even with his job at DPWH now, Johnny said he still drives the pedicab every weekend. Only recently, he was able to buy materials to repair their house from the income he has set aside.

But more than the economic improvement in their lives now, Johnny said what he treasures more is regaining his self-respect and dignity as a father.

“Ginatipigan ko gid ang ubra ko agud indi madula ang ila pagsalig sa akon. Kung may ubra, may masaligan ka, indi puro lang pangayo kag hulam. Gani indi matakos ang pagpasalamat ko sa DSWD (I’m taking care of my job because I want to keep their trust in me. If you have a job, you can avoid asking and borrowing money. That’s why my gratitude to DSWD is beyond words),” he said.

One of Pikinari’s great joys now is hearing how proud his youngest daughter Janzel Nina of him. Whenever people ask the 10-year-old child of her father’s occupation, Janzel Nina would boasts: “driver in DPWH!”

“Dako gid ang nabulig sang trabaho nga ni sa amon pamilya. Nabatyagan ko kung paano nga proud ang pamilya ko sa akon. Mas naging determinado ako nga mas kay-uhon ang ubra ko agud indi maguba ang ngalan ko kag ang pagsalig nila sa akon (This job greatly helped my family. I can feel how proud they are of me now. It makes me more determined to take care of my job to keep their trust in me),” Pikinari said.

Johnny and Pikinari’s individual battle with life’s challenges may seem far from over. But with their renewed faith and confidence in themselves, success seems within their reach. (DSWD6/ Alma Jornadal-Estember)

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Listahanan to validate Social Pension, MCCT beneficiaries

ILOILO CITY – At least 11,873 indigent senior citizens and 940 families in need of special protection in Western Visayas will undergo special validation by the Listahanan of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The results of the special validation will legitimize the resumption of the payment of monthly stipends of P500 to Social Pension beneficiaries.

On the other hand, the special validation of Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program-Families in Need of Special Protection (MCCT-FNSP) beneficiaries will result in their inclusion in the Listahanan database that will guarantee their advancement to the regular Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

For the first quarter of 2014, only 4,478 indigent senior citizens have received their monthly stipends after it was found that they are the only ones who are included in the database of Listahanan. The suspension of the payment of the monthly stipends of those who are not in the database is based on the General Appropriations Act which includes a provision that only those in the NHTSPR list (now known as Listahanan) can be paid.

Presently, there are more than 32,000 indigent senior citizens in the entire Western Visayas. With the special validation, it is expected that senior citizens who are not in the database but were earlier recommended by their respective local government units be included in Social Pension will receive their monthly stipends.

Next month’s special validation will need a total of 75 field staff who will work as area supervisors, enumerators and encoders. The house-to-house assessment will be conducted in May and will run for 15 days.More special validations may happen in the future to cover all indigent senior citizens in the region.

The Listahanan, the targeting system being implemented by the DSWD, will spearhead the special validations.

Fe Gencianeo, Listahanan’s Regional Field Coordinator said of the 75 field staff, 69 (49 enumerators, 10 area supervisors and 10 encoders) will work for validation of Social Pension Program beneficiaries while six (four enumerators, one area supervisor and one encoder) will be hired to validate the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program-Families in Need of Special Protection beneficiaries. Priority will be given to those who earlier applied for the second round of assessment and are already shortlisted.

Enumerators will undergo training for three days, area supervisors for two days and encoders will be trained for one day before they will be deployed in the field.
The enumerators who will do the house-to-house assessment will be using the two-paged (back-to-back) Family Assessment Form (FAF) with 52 variables in determining the poverty status of targeted poor families. The newly assessed households will then go through proxy means test (PMT) for poor and non-poor identification. PMT is a statistical formula that estimates the income of households based on the proxy variables included in the FAF.

The National Household Targeting Unit will also soon conduct orientations with local government units and local social welfare and development officers who will play a very important role during the conduct of the enumeration in their respective areas./dswd6/WennaBerondo-Bendol

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DSWD6′s director named Ambassador for Peace

photo- ambassador for peace

AMBASSADOR FOR PEACE. Regional Director Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office VI (DSWD6) was named Ambassador for Peace by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) in a ceremony held in Iloilo City on April 12, 2014.

The citation acknowledges “individuals whose lives exemplify the ideal of living for the sake of others, and who dedicate themselves to practices that promote universal moral values, strong family lives, interreligious cooperation, international harmony, a responsible public media, and the establishment of a culture of peace.”

The citation was awarded by UPF-Asia Chairperson Dr. Chung Sik Yong (2nd from left) and witnessed by (leftmost) Archbishop George Augustus Stallings Jr., president of the American Clergy Leadership Conference, and Rev. Julius Malicdem. The UPF is a global network of individuals and organizations dedicated to building a world of peace centered on universal, spiritual and moral values.

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4th BPSPA WINNER: DSWD6 to turn over cash prize to community

BPSA - kalahi

DSWD 6 led by Assistant Regional Director Joel Galicia (4th from left) shows their trophy, plaque of commendation and P50,000 cash award after it was named as the Grand Prize winner in the National Government Agency category of the 4th Best Public Sector Projects Awards during the awarding ceremony held at Smallville 21 Hotel, Iloilo City, April 4. Also in photo are (from left) SDC Chair Zinnia Teruel, RGADC Chair Fely Ibojos, DSWD 6 Institutional Development Division Chief Rebecca Gemala, Kalahi-CIDSS Regional Project Manager Leo Quintilla and Kalahi-CIDSS Social Marketing Officer Maricar Calubiran, RDC 6 Acting Chairperson and NEDA 6 Director Ro-Ann Bacal and DOT 6 Director Helen Catalbas. Galicia, who is also the concurrent Deputy Project Manager of Kalahi-CIDSS, said the P50,000 cash prize will be turned over to the community for the maintenance of the project./PIA6 photo

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Far better than before

Lerma Hidayawan of Brgy. Vista Alegre, Bacolod City attends to her sari-sari store.

Lerma Hidayawan of Brgy. Vista Alegre, Bacolod City attends to her sari-sari store.

RUNNING a sari-sari store and keeping it afloat despite the mushrooming of competitors nearby can be very difficult. Prizes have to be kept competitive. The “suki” (avid buyers) have to be sustained. Stocks should be readily available.

To edge up on the competition, Lerma Hidayawan uses diligence and careful planning in managing her sari-sari store. She also boasts of this one more advantage: she now meticulously puts into practice the lessons she learned from her attendance to livelihood trainings facilitated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The 47-year-old Lerma of Brgy. Vista Alegre, Bacolod City has taken on a lot of menial works in the past. She used to help husband Danilo sell fishes in the neighborhood. But when sickness got into him and he was forced to rest, Lerma stood as both father and mother to her four children. For one a half year, she ventured into buying and selling fried chicken that gave her, at most, P200 income if fully sold out.

Lerma also recalled working as a street sweeper in Bacolod City under the City Government for one year.

“Tanan lang nga paagi, ginhimo ko para mabuhi ko ang mga kabataan (I did everything I could to provide for my children),” said Lerma.

Lerma considered it a blessing when, in 2011, her family was chosen as beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of DSWD. Two of her children – Jennylyn, now 12 years old; and Jenerose, now eight years old – receive P300 each as education assistance from the Program on top of the P500 health grant for the family.

Lerma was happy to share that since the start of Pantawid Pamilya, their family has been abiding by the conditions of the Program on health, education and attendance to Family Development Session (FDS). Proof to their compliance is their full availment of P2,200 cash grant every two months.

Lerma Hidayawan of Brgy. Vista Alegre, Bacolod City is a picture of contentment as she remarked how far better her life is now.

Lerma Hidayawan of Brgy. Vista Alegre, Bacolod City is a picture of contentment as she remarked how far better her life is now.



Her inclusion in Pantawid Pamilya also opened doors of opportunities for Lerma. In June 2012, she and 24 other beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya availed of seed capital for their chosen micro-enterprise under the Self-employment Assistance- Kaunlaran (SEA-K) Program of DSWD.

Dureza Oropesa, Project Development Officer of DSWD Field Office VI, said SEA-K is one of the components of the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department that provides seed capital and entrepreneurship trainings to economically-active poor.

Lerma’s group, which they named FF Achievers SEA-K Association, is the first group of Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who availed of seed capital amounting to P125,000, Oropesa added.

“Bago kami natagaan pondo, damo nga trainings amon gin-atenan kag damo gid kami nahibal-an kung paano magpalakat sang negosyo (Before we were given funding, we attended so many trainings where we learn a lot on how to manage a business),” Lerma said.

Lerma got her P5,000 and started a “bigasan” (rice retailing outlet) which she set up in their house. She also started a small store, selling basic food items.

Early in 2013, Oropesa tapped Lerma to attend another training this time, in collaboration with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Coca-Cola.

“Lerma was very active as a Parent Leader of Pantawid Pamilya and a treasurer of FF Achievers SKA. She thirsts for more knowledge and skills to further improve her small business that it didn’t need a second invitation for her to say yes to attend the S3TAR Program,” Oropesa said.

S3TAR is the Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources program of TESDA and Coca-Cola for women with existing sari-sari stores. The program provides free entrepreneurship training for three months. Training participants, whom they call “scholars,” are given certificates of completion on Basic Entrepreneurship course, additional capital from accredited lending or micro-finance institutions, and freebies for stores such as cooler, signage and promo items from Coke.

Lerma shares that her determination to apply the knowledge and skills she got from these trainings greatly helped her efficiently manage her store which now gives her an average daily earnings of P1,000.

“Gin-utihan ko gid sunod ang mga tips nga gintudlo nila sa amon. Dapat appealing sa manugbakal ang pag-arrange sang baligya, paano mag-entertain sang manugbakal. Adlaw-adlaw ginalista ko kung ano ang mabakal. Amo na nga nagdako ang kita namon. Kag syempre dapat may gina-save gid (I meticulously practiced the tips that they taught us. The arrangement of the items should be appealing, how to entertain the buyers. Everyday, I would list down the most-sought after items. That is why our earnings upped. And of course, I learned the value of savings),” Lerma said.

Lerma’s face light up in delight as she observes how her situation now is far better than it was before.

“Mahambal ko nga naka-angat na, medyo nakaginhawa na kami subong. Mahatag na gid namon subong ang mga kinahanglan sang mga kabataan sa ila pag-eskwela. Ang balay namon, napa-amat-amat naman namon pakay-o halin sa kita sang tiangge kag re-loaning namon sa SEA-K (I can say that our life has improved. We can now provide for our children’s needs in school. We have gradually repaired our house through our store’s income and the re-loan we got from SEA-K),” said Lerma.

She added that her husband Danilo has gone back to working and now earns from driving motorcycles or from working in construction, whenever there is available.

“Damo-damo ako plano. Damo-damo ako handum. Handum ko gid nga mapatapos sanday Jennylyn and Jenerose sa high school. Kay ang duha nila ka magulang, wala nakatapos high school. May blessing gid man basta gasalig lang (I have so many plans. I have so many dreams. It is really my hope that Jennylyn and Jenerose finish high school. Because their two other elders were not able to graduate from high school. Blessings come to people who have faith, indeed),” she said.

Lerma’s plans are seemingly achievable as can be seen in the effort and dedication she gives to her store and all other undertakings she meets along the way. (DSWD6/ Alma Jornadal-Estember)

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Bacolod City hosts Listahanan’s nat’l program review

BACOLOD CITY –Some 106 key staff of the DSWD’s Listahanan from across 17 regions of the country are gathered here for the project’s National Program Review and Evaluation Workshop.

The National PREW, which is slated from April 1-5, 2014, provides venue for Listahanan’s Deputy Regional Program Managers, Regional Focal Persons, Regional Field Coordinators, Regional Information Technology Officers and Regional Associate Statisticians to discuss the project’s accomplishments in the past 2013 and lay down the things that are yet to be done this year.

“After the success of our mid-year PREW in General Santos in July last year, I believe today is the opportune time for us to again gather and discuss things concerning the project, which now carries the brand name Listahanan,” said Evangeline Felecio, DSWD 6 Assistant Regional director for Administration.

Felecio who is also the concurrent Deputy Regional Project Manager of Listahanan for Region 6 said she is hoping that “after this workshop, we will all be enlightened especially on the upcoming special validation of Social Pension beneficiaries and the second round of assessment.”

During the five-day workshop, each of the regions was made to present their accomplishments in 2013. Participants were also briefed on the guidelines in the conduct of special validation for beneficiaries of the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program (MCCT) and the beneficiaries of the Social Pension Program.

Key staff of the Listahanan from the 17 regions of the country are gathered in Bacolod City to review the accomplishments of the project and plan for the upcoming activities, particularly the special validations of poor beneficiaries that will happen in the next few months./dswd6

Key staff of the Listahanan from the 17 regions of the country are gathered in Bacolod City to review the accomplishments of the project and plan for the upcoming activities, particularly the special validations of poor beneficiaries that will happen in the next few months./dswd6

There were also focused group discussions on the Family Assessment Form, which will be used to gather the poor families’ data during the house-to-house enumeration. The participants pilot tested the two-page FAF during a field practicum at Sitio Esperanza, Barangay Tangub, Bacolod City.

Director Vince Andrew Leyson of the National Household Targeting Office (NHTO) is optimistic that the participants will be able to practice what they have learned during the workshop when they return to their respective regions.

The NHTO targets to conduct the special validation of poor senior citizens aged 77 and above who would be included in the list of beneficiaries of the Social Pension Program./dswd/Wenna B. Bendol


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DSWD6 calls for volunteers for packing of P834M-worth of goods

ILOILO City-The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is calling on volunteers to help in the packing of relief goods amounting to P887 million for its third and last tranche of distribution.

“Since it’s summer season and many students are on a vacation, we are calling on them to help us in the packing of goods for faster distribution to Local Government Units (LGUs),” said Judith Tanate, head of Crisis Intevention Unit and Disaster Risk Reduction Management Unit of DSWD.

Tanate said this is the final round of relief distribution as the region begins in early recovery and rehabilitation stage. Interested volunteers could come and join other volunteers at Juan Tong Building in Rizal, Lapuz, Lapaz, Iloilo.

“We are doing this to respond to typhoon Yolanda survivors. While there are those who have already recovered, there are still families who live with their relatives and neighbors. There are also families living in makeshift houses. With the relief goods, we hope that we are making life a bit better for them.”

The agency has already distributed packed goods amounting to P155 million for the Provinces of Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz, Antique, Negros Occidental and Guimaras.


According to Tanate, a total of 515,071 families will be receiving the last tranche of relief distribution for Yolanda surviors.

Each pack, amounting to P1,250, will contain 25 kilos of rice, 20 canned goods, 20 packs of noodles and 20 sachets of 3-in-1 coffee.

If broken down, Aklan will have 91,258 families who will receive the goods; Antique, 45,953 families; Iloilo, 179, 396 families; and Capiz, 137,314 families.


Tanate also reiterated that the releasing of goods is through the LGUs.

“The regional office will do the packing of goods, in partnership with other National Government Agencies, volunteer organizations and students, and then we release to the LGUs,” said Tanate.

According to her, they are actually persuading the LGUs to bring with them their own volunteers as well as trucks to hasten the packing and hauling of goods.

“Currently, we are awaiting for the bulk delivery of the supplies so we could speedily distribute to the LGUs. We already have so much supply that needs packing by now thus the call for volunteers. When supplies from Manila will be delivered, we will be needing a lot more volunteers,” she said./dswd6/May Rago-Castillo

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