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DSWD: make tourist destinations PWD-friendly

PWDs eventILOILO City-The head of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VI here urged on Monday (November 17) those in the tourism industry to make tourist destinations PWD-friendly.

Speaking in front of owners of hotels and restaurants, tourism officers from different provinces, academe representatives, tour guides and transport sector, DSWD regional director Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre said that Persons with Disabilities should get what’s due them.

“We want the PWDs to get what is due them. They deserve to also enjoy nature’s beauty. Things like access ramps or elevators for those who are unable to walk and booklets or reading materials that are in Braille for the visually challenged should be available,” she said.

Macapobre was one of the guests of the Regional Forum on Accessible Tourism hosted by the Department of Tourism 6 (DOT-6) and National Council on Disability Affairs held at Hotel Del Rio on Monday (November 17, 2014).

“It would be interesting to see tourist spot employees who are able to use the sign language for the hearing and speech impaired. Help desks for PWDs, special seats in vehicles, restaurants and other places of interests. The presence of people who are trained to handle different kinds of PWDs. These are things which can make the lives of PWDs easier and more enjoyable, with less stress on their end,” Macapobre added.

LAW ENFORCEMENT

Macapobre also called on Local Government Units (LGUs) and private sectors to work together in the implementation of laws for PWDs, which include Republic Act (RA) 7277 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons; RA 9442 which is an amendment of RA 7277; and the Batas Pambansa (BP) 344 or the accessibility law.

“We should help these PWDs. We should make them feel that they are an important part of this society,” she said.

In Region 6, there are 87,519 PWDs recorded as of December 2010. Of this, 42, 990 are males while 44, 529 are females.

Of the number, Negros Occidental has a total of 26, 618 PWDs, Iloilo, 22, 546; Capiz, 8, 658; Antique, 8, 007; Bacolod City, 6, 482; Iloilo City, 6, 334; Aklan, 6, 137; and Guimaras, 2, 737. (DSWD-6/Montesa Griño-Caoyonan).

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Ajuy typhoon survivors receive P9M shelter aid

AJUY, ILOILO – Lolita Panday, 58, clasps her hands as she tries to calm herself. Mixed feelings of anxiety and excitement engulf her as she waits for her name to be called on stage.

Lolita just learned that she will be receiving P30,000 worth of check as emergency shelter assistance (ESA) from the government.

“This is the very first time that I will be holding such a huge amount. I feel nervous. My knees are shaking,” a mother of 11 children said in dialect.

Lolita, a resident of Barangay Culasi, Ajuy was one of the 300 residents who received P30,000 ESA and 25 kilos of rice recently distributed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the local government.

A grantee of the DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Lolita claimed she was also able to receive more than P12,000 during the first releasing of their grant in 2011.

“But this is much bigger. If not for our house that needs to be repaired, I wouldn’t know what to do with this money,” she said.

Since Typhoon Yolanda ravaged the northern town last year, a number of those who were affected are still not able to rebuild their homes. The Panday’s house lost most of its iron roof and wooden walls.

Lolita Panday, a mother of 11 children, is one of the 300 families who received P30,000 emergency shelter assistance from DSWD.

Lolita Panday, a mother of 11 children, is one of the 300 families who received P30,000 emergency shelter assistance from DSWD.

Lolita’s husband is a fisherman while she works as laundrywoman. With their income “just enough to feed our children,” what the Pandays could only do were hope that they will be provided assistance in the repair of their house.

“Our things will no longer get wet when it rains because we can now buy GI sheets to replace our lost roof,” she said beaming.

GRATEFUL

Municipal mayor Juan Alvarez said they are very grateful to DSWD for all the assistance it has extended to his town.

Aside from the ESA, he said 10, 176 families from Barangay Poblacion also received 25 kilos of rice each.

Ajuy is the very first local government unit in Region 6 that was affected by Typhoon Yolanda to receive the ESA and 25 kilos of rice from the government. The Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office is still preparing the papers for others so they will also receive the same benefits.

“We have 1,000 beneficiaries of Cash-For-Work with a budget of P4,305,000.00. There are P819,000.00 worth of livelihood projects that are on-going in the here barangays. We have also the shelter component. And all of these are from DSWD,” Alvarez said.

MORE TO COME

DSWD regional director Ma. Evelyn Macapobre commended the LGU of Ajuy for

10, 176 families from Barangay Poblacion, Ajuy also received 25 kilos of rice each.

10, 176 families from Barangay Poblacion, Ajuy also received 25 kilos of rice each.

their prompt submission of the required documents the reason why they are the first to receive the ESA and rice.

She said more beneficiaries will receive the same assistance in the coming weeks as the “government does not stop in findings ways to help those who lost their homes and livelihood” to the typhoon.

“Please help us tell and explain to others who have not yet received. There are still more coming. You are just the first batch,” the director said.

Earlier, DSWD Secreatry Corazon Soliman declared that the Department will finish the distribution of ESA to families who were affected by Typhoon Yolanda by January next year./Wenna B. Bendol/dswd6

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DSWD: payment of ESA to be completed by end of January 2015

sec photo1DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman promised on Wednesday (November 12) that the payment of emergency shelter assistance (ESA) to those with totally and partially damaged houses when typhoon Yolanda lashed in Western Visayas will be finished by end of January 2015.
Soliman emphasized this during her meeting with governors, congressmen and mayors of Panay Island held in Capiz Province. With her were Secretaries Mar Roxas of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Voltaire Gazmin of the Department of National Defense.
With the approval of the Yolanda Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan (CRRP), Soliman said that, “The President has given instructions that payment of Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) should be finished by end of January 2015.”
DSWD requirements for payment of ESA include the validated list of those with totally and partially damaged houses duly signed by the mayor and the Local Social Welfare and Development Officer, certificates of eligibility and photocopy of valid identification cards of each individual in the list.

P70,000 OR P30,000?
Soliman clarified about early reports that an ESA amounting P70,000 will be released to those with totally damaged houses.
“The P70,000 is still a proposal right now. It has not been approved so far. What we will be releasing is P30,000 for those with totally damaged houses and P10,00 to those with partially damaged houses,” said Soliman.
Asked whether those who have already fixed their houses can still receive, Soliman said that they could receive as those who have tried to get back on their feet should not be “penalized.”

UNSAFE ZONE
Soliman also emphasized that those living in unsafe zone will not be given ESA. Instead, the LGU and DSWD will have to work out on the establishment of a relocation site. The agency will be providing P70,000 in core shelter assistance, which means that the government will be building houses for them.

CASH FOR WORK PAYMENT
On inquiries of mayors on non-payment of beneficiaries of cash for work program, Soliman said that they will have to coordinate with DSWD Field Office since payment can only be done with the submission of necessary documents.
Among the documents which should be submitted are daily time records of beneficiaries during the days that they have rendered work, narrative accomplishment report, physical accomplishment report and photos showing the kind of work completed.

THANKFUL
Recognition of DSWDs efforts for relief and early and recovery also poured during the meeting. Among those who thanked the agency for immediate response were Aklan Governors Florenco Miraflores, Arthur Defensor of Iloilo, Exequiel Javier of Antique and municipal mayors.
“Thank you Secretary Dinky (Soliman) for the help. Your people here (DSWD Region VI) are giving necessary support. We got assistance through cash for work and livelihood assistance,” said Miraflores./dswd6/May Rago-Castillo

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Bringing opportunities for the marginalized sector

By Maricar Calubiran

San Agustin is 18 kilometers away from the town proper of Valderrama, and is subdivided by rivers and mountains.

In this village live the Indigenous Peoples’ (IP) Group of Iraynon-Bukidnon, one of the two ethnographic groupings – the Ati and Bukidnon, scattered throughout the Western Visayas. These IP groups live in less accessible mountainous areas in the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Iloilo, Guimaras, and Negros Occidental.

To reach the IP village from the town proper, one has to ride a habal-habal (motorcycle for hire) going to the nearby village of Lublub, passing the Cangaranan River.

My journey to the ancestral land of the Iraynon-Bukidnons opened my eyes to the reality that somewhere in the middle of the mountains is a marginalized community which has been long waiting for the services of the national government.

We are fortunate that when we went to the village, the water is shallow and the habal-habal drivers can have the tires of their single motorcycle washed in the river. According to the locals, when the water is high, they usually take a bamboo raft to cross the Cangaranan River.

Trekking the treacherous trail of Mt. Lag-it courts accident if not death. One has to climb and crawl, trips and slides to be able to reach the IP village.

Trekking the treacherous trail of Mt. Lag-it courts accident if not death. One has to climb and crawl, trips and slides to be able to reach the IP village.

The 20-minute motorcycle ride from the town proper to Lublub is a combination of crossing rivers and traversing steep mountains. Local drivers are admirably skillful the passengers don’t break their bones in going up and down that mountain.

From Lublub, there are two options to reach Brgy San Agustin, either to pass by the Cadian River or to trek the mountains for about two hours. Of course, the trekking is longer for the guests than for the locals. Indeed, non-residents who want to reach the IP village need guts, determination, and patience to reach the place.

Trekking the treacherous trail of Mt. Lag-it, for me, courts accident if not death. One has to climb and crawl while saying silent prayers to God and calling all the angels for assistance. It is God’s blessing no one from our team is harmed despite the several trips and slides.

To keep ourselves feeling positive in that very challenging trek, we delighted ourselves by enjoying the blooming sunflowers and by listening to the humming of birds.

It helps avoiding rivers and rocks covered by moss to conquer acrophobia. But that trek is also an opportunity to see the village in a larger perspective – women with various agricultural produce in their heads trot the difficult trails gracefully, like they’ve been crossing that river and mountains since the day they were born.

On the shallow part of the river, there are men, wearing goggles and armed with spears, catching dalopingan, a freshwater fish, either for their own consumption or to be sold.

It is funny how our guides did not want us to walk under the scorching heat of the sun but forgot their trekking skills are very way ahead of ours. Nevertheless, we thanked him for the experience.

It helps to have a mountaineer Kalahi worker, Chester Regondon, who sees to it that my two little feet can reach the ground and always remind me to hold tightly and to not look down.

It also pays to bring a knife while trekking. Little holes are dug in the steep portion of the mountains like an improvised ladder for us to reach the ground. We have an instant rock-climbing experience since we have to step our feet in the holes.

Locals crossing the river.

Locals crossing the river.

In spite of the difficulties, a member of the Municipal Coordinating Team managed to crack a joke, saying we will have a “priceless reward” when we reach the barangay proper. And that reward is a bowl of stewed dalopingan and a plate of freshwater shrimps called orang.

Talking and listening to the IP stories and beliefs comes the realization that there are other people who are out there struggling to be a part of a bigger community. They display the true resilience of the Filipino spirit, by surviving each day, regardless of how.

Kalahi-CIDSS entry to the town of Valderrama is not a magic pill that would immediately solve the problems of the IPs that were already problems decades or generations ago. The solution requires the participation of the people, barangay local government unit, municipal local government unit, and provincial local government unit.

The IP’s inclusion in the Kalahi-CIDSS is one of scaling up initiatives of the program with the hope that the development will help them get the respect, help, and attention they so deserved./dswd6

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Post Yolanda: Houses built for Capiznons, Ilonggos

Post Yolanda: Houses begin sprouting in Capiz, Iloilo A BOY kept rolling his toy train in the newly finished floor. Another was pulling a string attached to his toy truck in his brand new house. In an adjacent house was a woman who was busy putting floor wax on her floor. Just a block away, a lady gave a sigh of relief as she was done putting a colorful curtain in her window. While the children never knew, the adults were busy in preparation for the visitors who will be looking into the shelters exactly one year after Haiyan or the locally known typhoon Yolanda lashed at their place and damaged their houses. This was the scenario at Belle Village I in Brgy. Tacas, Pontevedra, Capiz where 14 shelter units are targeted to be constructed under the Post Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlements project with the stewardship  of the United Nations Habitat and in partnership with the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, Government of Japan, Social Housing Finance Corporation and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). “This is where we will eat our Media Noche on December 24,” said Liberty Diestro, one of the recipients of the housing units. Diestro received in a simple turnover ceremony her house key as it was one of the first units completed. Tacas is only one of the many sites of the project. Presently, there are 80 units which are under construction, most of them on near completion status while more than 10 are finished. It is targeted that by March 2015, a total of 610 units would have been built. Other areas  are Ilawod and Tabuc in Pontevedra; Bato and Pawa in Panay; Baybay, Milibili, Punta Tabuc, Bato, Culajao and Tiza in Roxas City; and Poblacion, Estancia, Iloilo. “Mabakud siya nga balay (This house is sturdy),” said Wilma Borbon as she pointed of the houses which are completed. Wilma is currently staying at a temporary shelter and awaiting the construction of her own unit at the village. COMMUNITY DRIVEN APPROACH The project uses a community driven approach to recovery and rehabilitation under UN’s Post Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlements. It aims to address the need of Yolanda-affected families for better and safer homes and settlements. Consultations with community groups helped UN Habitat design and refine a sturdy house meant to meet basic needs of the beneficiary households. The design was developed in collaboration with the Capiz chapter of the United Architects of the Philippines, and its structural integrity has been checked by the Capiz chapter of the Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines. The project is supported by the government of Japan with a $2.5 million fund and co-funding from DSWD./dswd6/May Rago-Castillo (with report from UN Habitat Philippines and UN Habitat Roxas City Office) Caption: Far from the fear and trauma brought by Yolanda a year ago, Capiznons are gradually recovering. Children have new playgrounds as they transfer to their new homes with cemented floors, women take on the daily household chore of cleaning and beautifying their abode. Houses shown are owned by Liberty Diestro of Tacas, Pontevedra, (top right) and Ronel Navea of Baybay, Roxas City(bottom left). Photo also shows DSWD regional director Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre in a ceremonial turnover of house key to Liberty Diestro. The project is called Post Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlements project with the stewardship  of the United Nations Habitat and in partnership with the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, Government of Japan, Social Housing Finance Corporation and Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Far from the fear and trauma brought by Yolanda a year ago, Capiznons are gradually recovering. Children have new playgrounds as they transfer to their new homes with cemented floors, women take on the daily household chore of cleaning and beautifying their abode. Houses shown are owned by Liberty Diestro of Tacas, Pontevedra, (top right) and Ronel Navea of Baybay, Roxas City(bottom left). Photo also shows DSWD regional director Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre in a ceremonial turnover of house key to Liberty Diestro. The project is called Post Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlements project with the stewardship of the United Nations Habitat and in partnership with the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, Government of Japan, Social Housing Finance Corporation and Department of Social Welfare and Development.

A BOY kept rolling his toy train in the newly finished floor. Another was pulling a string attached to his toy truck in his brand new house. In an adjacent abode was a woman who was busy putting wax on her floor. Just a block away, a lady gave a sigh of relief as she was done putting a colorful curtain in her window.
While the children never knew, the adults were busy in preparation for the visitors who will be looking into the shelters exactly one year after Haiyan or the locally known typhoon Yolanda lashed at their place and damaged their houses.
This was the scenario at Belle Village I in Brgy. Tacas, Pontevedra, Capiz where 14 shelter units are targeted to be constructed under the Post Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlements project with the stewardship of the United Nations Habitat and in partnership with the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, Government of Japan, Social Housing Finance Corporation and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
“This is where we will eat our Media Noche on December 24,” said Liberty Diestro, one of the recipients of the housing units. Diestro received in a simple turnover ceremony her house key as it was one of the first units completed.
Tacas is only one of the many sites of the project. Presently, there are 80 units which are under construction, most of them on near completion status while more than 10 are finished. It is targeted that by March 2015, a total of 610 units would have been built.
Other areas are Ilawod and Tabuc in Pontevedra; Bato and Pawa in Panay; Baybay, Milibili, Punta Tabuc, Bato, Culajao and Tiza in Roxas City; and Poblacion, Estancia, Iloilo.
“Mabakud siya nga balay (This house is sturdy),” said Wilma Borbon as she pointed of the houses which are completed. Wilma is currently staying at a temporary shelter and awaiting the construction of her own unit at the village.

COMMUNITY DRIVEN APPROACH
The project uses a community driven approach to recovery and rehabilitation under UN’s Post Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlements.
It aims to address the need of Yolanda-affected families for better and safer homes and settlements. Consultations with community groups helped UN Habitat design and refine a sturdy house meant to meet basic needs of the beneficiary households. The design was developed in collaboration with the Capiz chapter of the United Architects of the Philippines, and its structural integrity has been checked by the Capiz chapter of the Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines.
The project is supported by the government of Japan with a $2.5 million fund and co-funding from DSWD./dswd6/May Rago-Castillo (with report from UN Habitat Philippines and UN Habitat Roxas City Office)

 

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Post Yolanda: Erlina begins to earn P600 a day again

Erlina oysterBALASAN, Iloilo- With a house located at the outskirt of Balasan, Iloilo, their community was one of those wrecked by typhoon Yolanda. In Sitio Camote, only one house appeared to have stood the storm and the rest were damaged. Worst, their source of livelihood, which is oyster or talaba culture, was crippled.
Fifty-five-year-old Erlina Ramirez, of Brgy. Lawis, now gives a smile as she talks of how she and her family has recovered from the typhoon. It was not a fast recovery but she said they have picked up the pieces of their lives and tried to move on.
Erlina and her husband Henry, 56, have six children namely Ma. Elena, 32; Ana Marie, 28; Herly, 24; Analie, 23; Ma. Hazel, 18; and Erwin, 12. The two older women among the siblings have their own families now while the rest are staying with them.
“Our house was totally damaged. Everything from the roof to the walls was literally destroyed. My husband had to pick up materials which could be used and built a makeshift house. That is where we are staying now. What we are thankful is that we are all safe,” she said.
She said four people died when the calamity happened as the storm surge hit their place.
Since the talaba culture business was paralyzed, it took more than a month for them to rely on relief goods from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Local Government Unit and other Humanitarian organizations such as Save the Children and Red Cross.
“Muna gid ang nagsuporta sa amon sadto kay wala gid kami kaunon (Their help sustained us that time since we had nothing to eat),” she said.
After the period, she and her neighbors helped each other to make do of available resources to get back on the talaba business.
About two months ago, Erlina was one of the 80 members of the Barangay Lawis Self –Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran Association (SKA) organized by DSWD Field Office VI who received P3,025 each as a seed capital to rebuild their source of living again.
“When I received the capital, I bought binders, kutiba (talaba shells), pusog (bamboo). I used these to for my oyster culture business. I am very thankful to the government for helping me,” she said.
Erlina said she now earns a maximum of P600 per day particularly when there are orders from Balasan town and its neighboring municipalities of Sara, Lemery and Estancia. The lowest she earns is P300 per day.

LOOKING FORWARD TO THE HARVEST SEASON
Felomino Ramirez, president of the Lawis SKA, said that they still cannot feel the impact of the seed capital released to them now but he is looking forward to the harvest season, along with his members.
“That will be around January. In fact, the oyster’s seed are now big. After that, we will continue earning everyday through talaba,” he said.

GETS HELP FROM PANTAWID PAMILYA TOO
Ramirez said that all the 80 recipients of seed capital are beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
“We are implementing convergence strategy to ensure that we get maximum results in all our programs and projects. If we pour resources to Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, we could help their children get a better chance in life by finishing school and being healthy. With that, they have higher chances of getting a good job and stopping the intergenerational cycle of poverty,” said DSWD regional director Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre.
Records show that the municipality received a total of P369,050 in livelihood assistance for Yolanda survivors in August this year./dswd6/May Rago-Castillo

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DSWD holds community dialogue in Aklan

dialogue2IBAJAY, Aklan-Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Undersecretary Mateo Montaño yesterday (November 7) held a dialogue with barangay leaders of Nabas and Ibajay.
“DSWD has always aimed of reaching sitios, barangays and villages. We are now realizing this dream as we are reaching all the people even in far-flung and mountainous areas through Pantawid Pamilya, KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP and Sustainable Livelihood program. The government is now going closer to where the people are,” said Montaño in front of barangay leaders.
The activity was also witnessed by Congressman Teodorico Haresco and Governor Florencio “Joven” Miraflores who opened an extension office of the Congressional District at Casa Prima, Ibajay, Aklan.
During the dialogue, Montaño assured retroactive payment to social pensioners from January to December of this year.
Social Pension is the monthly stipend amounting to P500 to augment the daily subsistence and other medical needs of indigent senior citizens. It is in-line with the fulfillment of the obligation of the government to protect the most vulnerable sector through social protection, and for the full implementation of the Republic Act No. 9994.
He also disclosed that the agency will be having a higher coverage in 2015.
Social Pension is the monthly stipend amounting to Five Hundred Pesos (Php 500.00) to augment the daily subsistence and other medical needs of indigent senior citizens. It is in-line with the fulfillment of the obligation of the government to protect the most vulnerable sector through social protection, and for the full implementation of the Republic Act No. 9994.
P70,000 OR P30,000?
Montaño also clarified issues on initial reports that the government will be releasing P70,000 to those with totally damaged houses.
“The budget for partially damaged houses (in emergency shelter assistance) is not exceeding P10,000 and for totally damaged not exceeding P30,000. Yung narinig niyong P70,000 ay yung budget naming sa Core Shelter program. Kapag washed out ka, at kapag may nakita ang local government na relocation site, ang bawat recipient na patatayuan ng bahay ay magbibigay kami ng assistance na P70,000 para sa pagpapatayo ng bahay,”

COMMENDATION
Montaño also lauded the move of Haresco in bringing its congressional district office closer to the people.
“Usual offices are located in the vicinity of the Provincial Capitol. But this time, it is the government getting closer to the people,” he said.
He also said that the agency has been and will continue to work closely with the provincial government and the congressional office.

VALUE PROGRAMS, PUT TO GOOD USE
Montaño also called on barangay leaders to give importance and help in ensuring the programs are properly implemented down the ground.
“The government never stops in implementing and improving programs. Sana pahalagahan ninyo,” he said./dswd6/May Rago-Castillo

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Pantawid student grantee walks away from home for a dream

poem2He brought nothing but only determination in life when he walked away from home to follow his dream to become a policeman.

For the very first time that he parted from his family, Wythaniel Armilla of Maravilla St., Brgy. 3, Poblacion, E.B. Magalona in Negros Occidental, never doubted the life waiting for him when he decided to cross the sea to study in Capiz State University (CapSu)- Dayao Campus to avail of the Expanded Student Grants – In – Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGPPA), an initiative implemented by DSWD for its Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries.

Wythaniel is now on his first year taking Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. While it is not a Criminology course, he still plans to take the NAPOLCOM exam right after gradtuation and pursue his dream to become a cop.

Armilla’s family is one of the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya. ESGPPA is offered to beneficiaries to complement the program by ensuring that they graduate in college.

The student grantee said without the scholarship, he could not enroll because his mother is only selling vegetables while his father is a delivery driver. He added that his father also engages in planting vegetables when there is no delivery in the market.

Also, his eldest brother went to Manila to find a job to sustain his two other siblings who are in high school and elementary grade.

“Our life is difficult and we almost lost hope. We hardly ate three times a day until the time that we were included to the Pantawid Pamilya which greatly changed our life,” he said.

Apart from conditional cash grant given to his family, Armilla said the P3,500 monthly allowance he received every month for his education helps him a lot to sustain his tuition, daily school allowance and boarding house.

“The scholarship assistance given to me is a privilege that value. I am very thankful to DSWD for answering my prayers. My ambition in life to become a policeman is not far from happening now that my education is ensured,” he said in vernacular.

Armilla said with all the blessings he and his family received, he is inspired to compose a poem entitled “Katuparan” to thank the DSWD specially the government under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III to inspire other Pantawid Pamilya children to grab the opportunity given to them.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. That is why I am not wasting my time. Even in our young minds, we could do a lot of things in our community and country to repay the good services offered by our government,” he said.

Armilla said his testimony will simply show that our government exists and DSWD is always the frontline in poverty reduction.

ESGPPA is implemented in partnership with Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC).

ESGPPA identified beneficiaries are those who are willing to attend school, completed high school and/or equivalent, not more than 30 years old, and have passed the entrance exam and academic requirement set by the leading State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).

A student – beneficiary is entitled to a maximum of P60,000 grant per school year or P30,000 per semester for tuition fees. Miscellaneous expenses and cash allowances are also included for educational and support services to sustain their completion of the degree program in exchange to a maintained satisfactory grade.

Presently, the ESGPPA has recorded 3,602 student grantees after the coverage was expanded all throughout the region this year. The program has started in 2012 with only 246 grantees. (DSWD-6/Montesa Griño-Caoyonan)

KATUPARAN
by: Wythaniel S. Armilla
1st Year BS Computer Science ESGP-PA Student Grantee
Capiz State University – Dayao Campus
from Brgy. 3 Poblacion, E.B. Magalona, Negros Occidental

Mula pagkabata ako’y nangarap
Sa aking paglaki maging pulis na ganap
Tanong sa sarili ito kaya’y may KATUPARAN?
Sa isang katulad kong mahirap lamang?

Ang tanong na ito’y bibigyan kasagutan
Buhay kahirapan aking tutuldukan
Gagawin ang lahat matupad ko lamang
Sisikaping susu-ungin ang lahat na hadlang

Ang kahirapa’y aking kalabanin
Upang makamit ang mga mithiin
Sa poong Maykapal tangi kong dalangin
Nawa’y patnubayan at huwag bibiguin

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program
Ang tumutulong sa nangangailangan
Nagbibigay cash grant sa mga nag-aaral
Kabilang na dito ang pangkolihiyong eskolar

Nang ako’y napabilang sa mga eskolar
Labis-labis ang tuwa ko’t saya
Dahil and buhay ko ay magbabago na
Kasama na dito ang aking pamilya

Masakit isipin sa pamilya’y nawalay
Pilit kakayanin kung ang kapalit nito’y ginhawa sa buhay
Pangungulila di ko alintana
Dahil itinuring kong malaking biyaya

Maraming salamat sa isang programa
Kung tawagin ay Pantawid Pamilya
Maraming nabigyan ng malaking pag-asa
Ang kalalabasa’y maligayang pamilya

Sa mga namamahala ng ating Gobyerno
Aking tinutukoy mahal na Pangulo
Na wala pong iba si Pangulong Benigno C. Aquino III
Ang siyang nagpalakas ng programang ito

Sa mga benepesaryong kapwa ko kabataan
Sa pangarap at pag-asa huwag mawawalan
Dahil sa Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program
Ang lahat ng ito’y may KATUPARAN.

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Capiz child exemplar reminds Filipinos to be resilient

GBhe2It was her first time to set foot in Manila. It was one of her unforgettable moments. Getting into a trip from Roxas City to Iloilo by bus, taking a van from Iloilo City to the Airport, and boarding a plane from there to the country’s capital. These happened to her like a dream.
She then found herself at Sequoia Hotel, Timog Avenue, Quezon City attending the National Children’s Congress hosted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Along with nearly 50 children who were the top three winners of the DSWD Search for Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya children in their respective regions, G. Bhe Lasala of Roxas City, Capiz was all the time active and participative.
The 12-year-old child left no indication that she felt the trauma of someone who was left homeless when typhoon Yolanda, internationally name Haiyan, lashed in Western Visayas and left her family in a problematic situation.
It was only when she spoke when the crowd knew of what happened. But there was no pain in her voice. Instead, hers was a strength that sent a lesson to the crowd.
“Tulad namin, kahit nawasak ng bagyo ang aming bahay, hindi kami nawalan ng pag-asa. Ang importante, nagmamahalan kami at kompleto kami at masaya. Dahil kami ang bumubuo ng tahanan at hindi ang bahay ang bumubuo niyan (Although the typhoon destroyed our house, we never lost hope. It is still the love, it is still our being complete and it is our happiness that matters. Because we are the ones who form our home, not our house forming our home),” she said.
G. Bhe’s family, headed by Wilfredo and Bernardita, gradually fought the difficulties of being homeless. They made use of whatever housing materials were available out of the rubbles and are currently staying in the makeshift house.
Wilfredo is a vendor while Bernardita dabbles at almost any work that comes her way from selling fish, ready-to-eat food and doing laundry job for friends and neighbors.

HONOR STUDENT
Inspite of poverty, G. Bhe shone as a brilliant child. She is a consistent honor student since kindergarten. Aside from graduating as a salutatorian in the elementary level, she also got awards as “Junion Einstein” and won in competitions ranging from academic related activities to dancing.
With her benefiting from Pantawid Pamilya, the government’s conditional cash transfer program that provides for her education and health needs, she dreams to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) someday.
“Malaki po ang naitulong sa amin ng programa, natutustusan po nito ang ibang pangangalian ko na hindi naibibgay ng aking pamilya (The program has helped me a lot. It has provided my needs, which my family cannot give),” she said.

CHANGE CAN HAPPEN
G Bhe’s optimism is radiated by the way she looks at life and the future that awaits her. She has long dismissed poverty as a hindrance to her success.

“Ang kahirapan ay hindi hadlang upang magtagumpay sa buhay, dahil ang tagupay ay nakasalalay sa pagiging matiyaga, masipag, at aktibo sa pag-aaral. Sa tulong ng aking pamilya, komunidad, eskwelahan, at simbahan, masasabi kong kaya ko ang pag-babago (Poverty is not a hindrance for us to succeed because it depends on hard work that you put in your studies. With the help of my family, community, school and church, change can happen),” she said.

RESILIENCY

G. Bhe was standing as she narrated how the typhoon has devastated their house. But she stood with strength and her voice was steady.
The typhoon might have damaged their house but it did not destroy her dreams./dswd6/May Rago-Castillo

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Dev’t partners satisfied with Listahanan implementation

ILOILO CITY — Development partners are satisfied with the way the DSWD is implementing the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) in the country.

Director Vincent Andrew Leyson, national project manager of NHTS-PR or Listahanan, revealed that both World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) expressed satisfaction and said the project is “doing well and constantly improving.”

Speaking before at least 100 participants to the Review and Evaluation Workshop on Special Validation on Social Pension and MCCT beneficiaries, Leyson commended the staff from the different regions for their accomplishment. The activity was held at Punta Villa Resort, Iloilo City recently.

“Relative to the comments of World Bank, we are doing well. The ADB also said our system is improving and they are looking at experiences and they say overall, we are on track,” Leyson announced.

Among these accomplishments are the successful conduct of the special validation of Social Pension and MCCT Beneficiaries last June, the increase in number of national government agencies, local government units and other stakeholders that are using the Listahanan database and the preparations being done for the 2nd Round of Assessment of Poor Households./dswd6/Wenna B. Bendol

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