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Even single individuals can adopt a child

LEGAL ADOPTION. Potential adoptive parents attend the Adoption and Foster Care Forum initiated by the DSWD Field Office VI as part of its continuous advocacy to childless couples and those who want to adopt a child to undergo legal process. Melin Gerona, Social Welfare Officer II, said they are encouraging those who want to foster abandoned and neglected children to attend the forum. “Even single individuals can adopt a child as long as there is a mother and father figure in the family that the adopted child can look up to like his/her own parents,” Gerona said./dswd6

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32 LGUs, 4 NGAs are new Listahanan data users

THIRTY-TWO more local government units and four national government agencies have signed a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Social Welfare and Development for the use of the agency’s Listahanan or National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction’s (NHTSPR) database of poor households.

Records of the National Household Targeting Unit show that all the municipalities in the provinces of Aklan, Antique and Guimaras have already signed a memorandum of agreement with the DSWD for them to be allowed access to the Listahanan’s database.

As of this writing, 122 out of 133 LGUs in the region are already using the database as their bases in targeting beneficiaries of their social protection programs and services. The DOH and PhilHealth are among the first data users of the database.

In May, the DSWD Central Office also signed the request for MOA of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Department of Agriculture, Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of Labor and Employment.

From January to June this year, 32 LGUs from the different provinces in the region have also signed a MOA with the Department namely: Makato and New Washington in the Province of Aklan; Barbaza, Bugasong, Culasi, Laua-an, Patnongon, San Remigio, Tibiao, and Valderrama in Antique; Pontevedra in Capiz; Nueva Valencia, San Lorenzo and Sibunag in Guimaras; Oton, Zarraga, Pototan, San Enrique, Passi City, Carles and San Dionisio in Iloilo, and Bacolod City, Calatrava, Toboso, Escalante City, Cadiz City, Sagay City, Silay City, San Enrique and Himamaylan City in Negros Occidental. These LGUs will now have a common reference in targeting beneficiaries of their social protection programs and services.

“When implementers of programs use the Listahanan database, they are targeting the real poor who deserve the government services most. This means that government resources are not wasted,” said Assistant Regional director Joel P. Galicia.

After the signing of MOA, data users were provided with the electronic copies of the National Household Targeting Office-Proxy Means Test results covering the selected demographic profile of poor households in Region 6. The attached disk also contains the list of poor households per barangay, including the socio-economic information, which can be used in the planning and budgeting for provision of assistance to their poor constituents. By having uniform criteria in choosing their beneficiaries, it is assured that the resources of the government benefit those who really need them.

Executive Order No. 867 issued in March 2010 has directed all National Government Agencies (NGAs) to adopt the results of NHTS-PR in identifying prospective beneficiaries for their social protection programs nationwide.

The NHTS-PR or Listahanan is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are in the country. The system makes available to national government agencies and other social protection stakeholders a database of poor households as reference in identifying potential beneficiaries of social protection programs.

The Listahanan data users are mandated to give their feedback to the DSWD regional office on how they utilized the data in the implementation of their pro-poor programs./dswd6/Wenna B. Bendol



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KALAHI CIDDS-NCDDP employs IP Woman as ‘bodegera’

By Maricar M. Calubiran

GIVING an Indigenous Peoples (IP) woman a chance to earn a living in a male-dominated world is fulfilling and redeeming at the same time. It makes one proud of herself and her IP group.

Sporting a pony-tailed hair and clutching a bag, Evelyn Asiong walks her way to the compound of Loctuga Elementary School, where a classroom is being constructed.

Asiong is a member of IP group Akeanon-Bukidnon who works as bodegera or warehouse person in the KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP project in Barangay Loctuga, Libacao, Aklan.

She says the villagers gladly appreciate the policy of the KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP which include women in the labor force, making her gender not an issue. Through the barangay assemblies, she was chosen to work as bodegera – a job that is new not only to her but to other villagers as well. She adds villagers first found it odd that KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP is pushing for the inclusion of women in the project implementation.

Construction site is no world for women, more so, for IP women. But KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP provides a fair playing field for all. It gives opportunities to IP as an integral part of the project implementation to ensure they benefit from the project.

For Asiong, her job is not difficult. In fact, she happily embraces her work, taking pride with every responsibility expected from her.

“Ako ang bodegera diri. Agahon pa ako gaagto diri, gina check ko kon may mag-abot nga materials. Kag ginalista ko et pila magamit nga materials sa adlaw-adlaw. Gina inventory bala na kon (I am the warehouse person here. I come here early in the morning, I check the materials delivered, and record the materials used for the day. I am doing an inventory),” she explains.


“Naila gid ako dahil ginsaligan man ako et Kalahi sa pagtrabaho sa proyekto. Abu-abu gid pasalamat namon. Indi lang building ang natao sa amon pati trabaho (I am very happy that KALAHI trusted me to work in the project. We have so much to thank. It did not only provide us a building but also jobs),” says Asiong.

ABACAand piña fiber are major products of Aklan. The piña fiber is stripped manually using a piece of ceramic plate and transported to the town through the Aklan River.

ABACAand piña fiber are major products of Aklan. The piña fiber is stripped manually using a piece of ceramic plate and transported to the town through the Aklan River.

She receives a net pay of P150 daily – an amount, she says, which can already supplement her family’s daily needs.

“Abu-abu gid ya nabulig KALAHI sa amon, sa karon hay tagdalawat et bugas kag sa amon kalalakin-an dugang nga income dahil sa trabaho. Ang trabaho namon panguma lang. Dugang et income kag bakal pagkaon sang amon mga estudyante. Ang trabaho namon panguma kag gakigi sang pina fiber (KALAHI helped us a lot, especially in buying rice, providing work to men means additional income. Our primary work is farming and hand-stripping of piña fiber),” she says.

Hand-stripping is one of the three methods in abaca and piña extraction. It could also be done through spindle-stripping and decortication.

“Naila mga tawo kay may trabaho ila mga asawa. May saligan sila kon mag utang sa tiangge. Kon wa man Kalahi hay do maski kaon bukon et tawag kon sa tatlong beses sa isa ka adlaw. Syempre kon may obra may saligan ibayad (The people are happy because their husbands have jobs. They are assured that they can pay their debts in store. If there is no Kalahi, they could not eat three times a day. Since they have work, there is a guarantee that they can pay their debts),” says Asiong

She says it was also decided during the barangay assembly that parents will contribute P20 per student as part of the community’s local cash contribution aside from the P50 deducted from the daily wage of the skilled workers and P10 from the laborers.

Asiong says the cash contribution is part of the village response to the project for providing them a school building and part of their bayanihan. “Abu-abu bulig sang KALAHI, kaila man mga tawo luwas dugang trabaho, patindog pa sang eskwelahan para sa amon estudyante (KALAHI is a great help, the people are happy, aside from providing jobs, they will construct a school building for our students),” she says.

Asiong attributes the increasing number of students in the community to the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipinong Program, which requires household to send their children to school. To date, there are 147 household beneficiaries of conditional cash transfer in Loctuga.

“Gutok man mga estudyante sa sulod sang classroom. Abu-abu Grade 1 pupils, 100 kabilog. Tapos Grade Two pataas Grade 6 abu-abu man (The students are overcrowded in the classroom. There are 100 pupils in Grade One. There is also an increase in the number of pupils from Grade 2 up to Grade 6),” she adds.


Aside from economic benefits brought by KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP in her village, Asiong says her experiences as warehouse person is significant in her life. It has empowered her as a woman and made her contribute in the project implementation.

“Sa KALAHI natuto ako ano et mga klase sang materials ginagamit sa

THE school building will address the lack of classrooms for the growing number of students in Loctuga Elementary School, Madalag town.

THE school building will address the lack of classrooms for the growing number of students in Loctuga Elementary School, Madalag town.

construction, ano hitsura ka 9mm nga kabilya kag iban pa. Nag antigo man ako sa construction dahil sa KALAHI CIDSS. Sang una natun-an ko lang bilang treasurer sang USWAG Foundation, mag account sang kwarta karon nag antigo na akon mag inventory et construction materials ( In KALAHI CIDSS I learned how to identify what are the kinds of construction materials…the 9mm iron bars and others. My knowledge in construction work is honed because of KALAHI CIDSS. Before, I am only knowledgeable in counting money because of my work as treasurer in the USWAG Foundation but now I am also knowledgeable in construction),” says Asiong.

In KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP, women’s participation are encouraged and given much emphasis especially with the Indigenous Peoples. With all pride and dignity, Asiong is thankful to Kalahi-CIDSS.

“Wala ko ginakahuya nga IP ako, proud ako nga kasuhod man ako sa sini nga proyekto (I am not ashamed that I am an IP, I am proud that I am part of this project),” she says.

With her experiences, Asiong can now speak in barangay assemblies even if she feels nervous, adding she feels that she and several IPs are now recognized and accepted as persons by persons living in the lowlands./dswd6

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Pantawid Pamilya extends age coverage of children-beneficiaries

THE national government’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, has extended its age coverage of children-beneficiaries to include 15 to 18 years old.

Assistant Regional Director Joel P. Galicia of the Department of Social Welfare and Development 6 (DSWD6) said the age extension aims to strengthen the government’s investment in human capital through the Pantawid Pamilya program by ensuring that children will finish at least high school, taking into account the K-12 program of the Department of Education (DepEd).

“Studies show that majority of teenagers aged 15-18 years old have a decreasing interest to attend school as they are more encouraged by their families to look for work. Extending the age coverage will enable them to finish high school thereby, increasing their employability in the future,” he said.

For the past five years, Pantawid Pamilya only covered poor households with children aged 14 years old and below.

Eligible households receive P500 health grant monthly and P300 education grant per child during school months regardless of grade level. A maximum of P1,400 monthly grant is availed by a family with three qualified children in school provided that they comply with the program conditions.

These conditions include availing of periodic check-ups and vaccinations for children 0-5 years old; twice a year intake of de-worming pills for children 6-14 years old; pre and post-natal care for pregnant women; attending Family Development Sessions (FDS); and maintaining at least 85% school attendance.

DSWD6 Assistant Regional Director Joel P. Galicia updates members of Iloilo-based tri-media on the status of implementation of its programs and services during a press conference held recently in Iloilo City.

DSWD6 Assistant Regional Director Joel P. Galicia updates members of Iloilo-based tri-media on the status of implementation of its programs and services during a press conference held recently in Iloilo City.

But with the extended age coverage, Galicia said children-beneficiaries attending high school will be provided higher grant amount for education.

“For education, those in high school will avail of P500 per month during the school year. Those in the elementary, the grant will remain at P300. The health grant is still P500. For a household with three qualified children in high school, the highest possible grant package that they will receive is P2,000,” Galicia said.

Pantawid Pamilya will also go beyond the five-year limit to support children-beneficiaries up to 18 years old or until they finish high school, whichever comes first.

DSWD6 records show that to date, more than 15,646 children-beneficiaries have been found eligible to avail of the extended age coverage.

As of June 2014, Pantawid Pamilya covers more than 311,000 households in Western Visayas.

More than P609-million has been released to the beneficiaries during the first half of this year. (DSWD6/ Alma Jornadal-Estember)


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DSWD6 updates tri-media on status of programs, services

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THE Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office VI (DSWD6) kept members of Iloilo-based tri-media abreast of its programs and services with a press conference held June 30, 2014 in Iloilo City.

DSWD6 Assistant Regional Director Joel P. Galicia and Protective Services Unit Head Rosario A. Sanagustin led the status update on DSWD’s relief and rehabilitation efforts for typhoon Yolanda survivors, the expanded age coverage of children-beneficiaries in Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, the National Community-Driven Development Program, the Social Pension and the Supplementary Feeding Program. (DSWD6/ Alma Jornadal-Estember)

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RAC FIELD VISIT: Partners impressed by impacts of Pantawid Pamilya

The Pantawid Pamilya’s Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) recently held a Field Visit for its members from the different agencies of the government including the Civil Society Organization in Madalag, Aklan.

Representatives from the Department of Health, Department of Education, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, National Commission on Indigenous People, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture and the Aklan Nacphil Network Incorporated were impressed by the impacts of the Pantawid Pamilya on the health and educational status of children and their whole family after hearing the personal accounts of beneficiaries themselves.

RAC members during the tree planting activity

RAC members during the tree planting activity

During an interaction with the schoolchildren, the latter said they are now more eager to go to school because “we know the 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilya) is helping us.”

RAC members visited the Medina Integrated School in the mountain barangay of Medina, wherein the entire school population is composed of Indigenous People’s (IP) children, and the Health Center of Barangay Mamba.

“We are thankful that we have partnered with DSWD and we are able to reach out to poor communities especially in very remote areas. It’s always a nice feeling to serve them,” said Rey Salutin, marketing specialist of PhilHealth.

A tree planting activity in Barangay Medina capped the one-day Field Visit as the RAC’s way of showing they are after the children’s future by ensuring they will have a better environment to live in./dswd6/Wenna Berondo-Bendol


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By Maricar M. Calubiran

CONSTRUCTION site is no place for a woman, but not for the 24-year-old Monica Nama, who works side by side with men, and two other women, in the building of Kalahi-CIDSS-funded health station in Guinatuan, Madalag, Aklan.

Her mere presence in that male-dominated workplace exudes empowerment and defies gender bias, a glaring message that the desire to help and be of help to the community knows no bounds.

Monica giggles when asked what it feels like to work in a construction site.

“Indi man ini bag-o dahil gina-obra ko man ini sa balay. Ginabuligan ko akon asawa sa pag kaayo sang amon balay (The experience is not new to me because I also help my husband when he repairs our house),” she says.

Wearing a shorts and a t-shirt, she fetches water from a tiny hole dug near the structure, not minding that her lower part of the body is soaking wet.

“Ang pagsag-ob ginaobra ko man adlaw-adlaw sa balay (I am fetching water every day),” adding there is no difference between fetching water at home and in the site.

Though her face is smeared with cement powder, she is beaming with pride with what she’s doing.

“Wala man sang kinalain sa sini nga obra (construction work). Wala man ako nalisdan sa pag samo sang semento, balas kag bato. Ang mga babaye gaobra man sang trabaho sang lalaki ugaling sa sulod lang sang ila panimalay. Ang babaye naga bis-ak man sang kahoy para gamiton sa pagluto. Gapakaon man ako sang amon mga manok kag baboy sa balay (This work is not different from what I do every day. I don’t find it difficult to mix the cement with the gravel and sand. Women are also doing men’s work only that it is within the confines of their household. Women also cut firewood for cooking. I also feed our chicken and pigs at home).”

Monica smilingly picks up the pieces of wood used as scaffolding and transfers these to an area away from the health station.

“Indi man mabug-at (It is not heavy),” she says.

Monica says young women must know that working as a laborer is a great job. Aside from the daily wages she receives, she is grateful for being part of the work force constructing the barangay health station.

“Wala ako nahuya nga makita ako sang mga tawo gaobra sa construction site (I am not ashamed that people see me working in the construction site),” she says, adding that women’s help in the completion of the health station is valuable.

VILLAGERS portray during the MIBF that they need to cross the river before they can avail of health services

VILLAGERS portray during the MIBF that they need to cross the river before they can avail of health services

Monica notes that every resident of the community will benefit from the project, urging other women in the village to try what she tried. She says though the Kalahi-CIDSS is new to them, they are embracing the process to address the villagers’ need for a health station. They even contributed to help reach the village target local cash contribution.

Monica is part of the group who presented the village’s project during the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum (MIBF) in 2011. She played the role of a pregnant woman, who finds it difficult to cross the river to avail check up.

“Wala man kami ga reklamo nga buhinan ang amon sweldo sang PhP20. Bale, P200 ang sweldo namon, ang P20 bulig namon para matapos ang health station. Magabaton na lang kami P180 Bisan buhinan man may health station na kami sa pila ka adlaw. Nalipay man kami kay amo nga project pangayon namon (We did not complain that P20 will be deducted from our daily wage. Our wage is supposed to be P200, P20 is our contribution to finish the health station. We will only receive P180. Even if there is deduction yet we will have our new health station someday. We are happy because we proposed for that project),” she says.

Monica notes the importance of the project to the villagers. She says women and even men of Guinatuan have to go to Brgy Paningayan to get medical assistance.

To get to that village, the group has to cross a river. They are also paying much for the boat ride especially when there is flood. In normal days, they pay PhP40 back and forth.

Kalahi-CIDSS is changing the perception that women are not welcome in the construction work of its funded project. Thus, it encourages gender equality and participation of more women in what is considered as man’s world. Its gender equality program in the town of Madalag is working to create a welcoming environment for all women in the village.

Today, women become more visible and recognized. But the hiring of women as construction workers in Kalahi-CIDSS is not new. The Project is making affirmative action for women’s involvement and providing them support measures in its gender and development enhancement.

For a new Kalahi-CIDSS municipality, women’s participation in once male-dominated work place is about reaching a balance with other gender.
Monica says she is not intimidated to be surrounded by men because they came from the same community.

Her number is not significant in terms of total male laborers and skilled workers in the construction site. However, Kalahi-CIDSS is breaking this stereotyping by casting in women in the man’s world.

Monica says there is a role for everyone in the work site. There is no question that men are physically powerful. It is important to know about your limitations.

“Ang mga lalaki lang ang gapamanday kag gasaka sa taas bubong (Male workers do the carpentry works and they also climb the roof).”

People should not be surprised if they will see women working in the construction site. As a housewife, she can still do the things expected of her, like waking up early and preparing the needs of her husband and child.

“Ang akon anak na enroll sa Day Care kag malapit lang diri sa ginaobra nga health center. Mabantayan ko man sa gihapon bisan gaobra ako (My child is enrolled in the day care center which is a distance throw from the constructed health station. I can still look after him while working).”

For Monica, the dirt and gritty side of construction does not matter because there is no discrimination in the working place. Moreover, her gender is not an issue with the implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS projects in Madalag./dswd6


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DSWD6 links Parent Leaders to programs of other NGAs

PARENT Leader Maribel Audencia makes native delicacies and homemade peanut butter which she also sells in their village in Balijuagan, Roxas City. After attending the Information Caravan facilitated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office VI (DSWD6), Maribel got an idea on how she could further improve her small business.

“Naka learn ako sa lecture sang DOST kun ano ka importante kag kun paano ang labeling kag presentation sang products agud nga mangin mas mabakal ini (I learned from DOST’s lecture the importance of proper labeling and presentation of my products to make it more saleable),” Maribel said.

Maribel was one of the 268 parent leaders and beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program from all over Capiz province who attended the Kaya Ko! Information Caravan for Pantawid Pamilya Duty Bearers on June 19-20, 2014. The activity was held in two batches with 133 beneficiaries from the province’s first district joining on the first day and another 135 beneficiaries from the second district on the second day.

The information caravan was aimed at strengthening DSWD’s engagement with other national line agencies (NGAs) and to link its beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya to other programs and services offered by other NGAs.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) was one of the agencies that joined in the activity.

“Major line agencies of the government give priority to our Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries to avail of their programs and services. It is important that our Pantawid beneficiaries are aware of these programs so they and their families could benefit from it. The DSWD provides venues such as this so that our beneficiaries get the right information, first-hand,” said Joel P. Galicia, DSWD6 Assistant Regional Director.

Aside from enhancing product marketability, DOST’s Juafe Abareles, Science Research Assistant, also announced the availability of scholarship slots for graduating high school students who wish to pursue science and technology-related courses for academic year 2015-2016.

Atty. Petrarch Torrato of the Commission on Human Rights discussed the Human Rights-based Approach to Development with parent leaders of Pantawid Pamilya.

Atty. Petrarch Torrato of the Commission on Human Rights discussed the Human Rights-based Approach to Development with parent leaders of Pantawid Pamilya.

“The examination is slated this September and qualified students will be given support on tuition and other school fees, as well as stipends, book and transportation allowance. This provides a big relief to parents,” said Abareles.

Scholarships and employment opportunities were also offered to Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries by Provincial Director Jose Gerry Hallares of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Under its Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP), beneficiaries aged 18 years old and above could enroll in specialized courses that are highly in demand abroad.

Eliseo Abucay, DSWD’s Project Development Officer, discussed the various microenterprise and employment opportunities under the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). Among these is accessing seed capital through the Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA-K), and employment facilitation such as the Trabahong Lansangan in partnership with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Abucay said Trabahong Lansangan will be implemented again this August 2014 and Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries will be given priority slots. Once qualified, the worker will earn P409 per day of work.

Trabahong Lansangan provides temporary work to unskilled Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, helping in road maintenance, de-clogging of drainage laterals and street sweeping.

Eliseo further revealed that for 2014, the DSWD targets to link some 1,613 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in Capiz to job openings and livelihood opportunities.

DSWD’s efforts in helping the marginalized sector of the society is a concrete example

Project Development Officer Eliseo Abucay of DSWD6 orients Parent Leaders of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program on Sustainable Livelihood Program during the Information Caravan held in Pontevedra, Capiz.

Project Development Officer Eliseo Abucay of DSWD6 orients Parent Leaders of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program on Sustainable Livelihood Program during the Information Caravan held in Pontevedra, Capiz.

of a “human rights-based approach to development,” stressed Leo Satana of the Commission on Human Rights- Region VI (CHR-6).

“The right to access primary education and health services has already been responded to by the government through the Pantawid Pamilya. Now, they are also given livelihood and employment opportunities. As recipients of the program, they also have a duty to put this assistance to good use, to pave the way for their own development,” Satana said.

Like Maribel, Pantawid Pamilya Parent Leader Josephine Laudenorio of Brgy. Aglinab, Tapaz, Capiz said she will share her learning from the activity. A member of the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) living in the upland barangay of Tapaz, Josephine said the inaccessibility of their barangay limits their access to information that could help them economically.

“Maayo lang kay naka-upod ako diri. Ang mga impormasyon nga nakuha ko subong, kaya ko nga ipahibalo sa akon mga miyembro kag iban pa sa amon komunidad kay basi sila, gusto man mag-avail (It’s a good thing that I was able to attend this activity. I can share the information I got here to my members and other people in our community because they might also want to avail of the services oriented to us),” she said. (DSWD6/ Alma Jornadal-Estember)

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