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4Ps communal garden encourages beneficiaries to grow own food

Cultivating a communal garden that is prone to flooding every time there is heavy rain has been a challenge to a group of Pantawid Pamilya partner-beneficiaries in Barangay Can-upao, Jagna, Bohol.

Pantawid Pamilya partner-beneficiaries in Brgy. Can-upao, Jagna take a group photo in their communal garden.

Kada mag-ulan og kusog, malunopan gyud ang among communal garden ug kadaghanan sa tanom madaot busa magtanom kami pag-usab isip hulip sa mga nadaot (Every time there is heavy rain, our communal garden gets flooded and most of our vegetables are destroyed, so we do the replanting),” said Vicente Garay, one of the Pantawid Pamilya parent-leaders.

The group composed mostly of women of Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, ages 45-55. They all meet every Saturday but taking care of the garden, members are assigned to do it.

This communal garden had made the 4Ps beneficiaries apply what they have learned about the basics of vegetable production taught to them by the staff from the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO).

Besides educating the beneficiaries on vegetable production, the MAO also provided them seedlings right after the Family Development Session (FDS).

“This started our first communal garden which was in a hilly place where soil is fertile and suitable for growing vegetables,” shared Vicente in dialect.

The group according to Vicente, also shared their own seedlings and planted 17 varieties of crops and vegetables such as ampalaya (bitter gourd), petchay (chinese cabbage), chinese tangkong (water spinach), sibuyas (leeks), batong (string beans), talong (eggplant), luy-a (ginger), okra (lady’s fingers), monggo (mung bean), carabantos (winged bean), gabi (taro root), kamatis (tomato), mustasa (mustard), sili (chili pepper), malunggay (horse radish), kalabasa (pumpkin) and alugbati (malabar spinach).

Vicente Garay shows the photo documentation of their ‘Gulayan sa Barangay’.

However, the communal garden’s success almost came close to an end because the owners would use it already for their house construction.

Luckily, the group found a vacant lot which the owner allowed them to use for their new communal garden.

Kung adunay mga suggestion ang matag usa, among dawatun ug paminawun (Whatever suggestion from any of our members, we accept and listen to them),” said Vicente as he believes that every person can contribute his/her skills, knowledge and time.

Since the new location is prone to flooding, the Pantawid Pamilya partner-beneficiaries unleashes their ingenuity to prevent their vegetable from flood, by using recycled tire and bottle for their alternative vegetable garden.

Their harvest from April 2017 to July 2018, yield them an income of Php 2,000.00. They all agreed that their goal of having a communal garden is not for business but for having healthy food on the table.

Buot namo nga makapakaon sa abot sa among garden mao nga dunay mga higayon nga among tapokon ang mga anak sa among communal garden ug saluhan ang among giandam nga pagkaon (We wanted to have feeding for our children with the harvest from the communal garden),” expressed Vicente.

For the group, what is important is they can get vegetables from their garden and cook it in their respective homes.

The income from the communal garden is intended for the group’s savings and will be used if there will be logistical needs like bond papers, folders and pens for their documentation.

“Selling the harvest is the least priority of the group,” stressed Vicente.

Vicente shared that every time they have their feeding for their children, it boosts their group’s camaraderie and friendship.

“Seeing the satisfaction of our children after eating the food we gave them makes us happy,” said Vicente.

The group uses recycled tire in planting their eggplant.

Their effort was paid off when they were awarded as the most outstanding communal garden of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in the town of Jagna. ###


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Jonalyn Lombrino: Life is better now

Jonalyn Lombrino, 35, lives in the municipality of Minganilla, Cebu. It is an urban area where most of the jobs are found in the malls, mini store, shops, restaurants, and the like earning a minimum wage per day. The competitiveness of people living in the city, made it difficult for Jonalyn Lombrino to look for a job that fits her qualification.

Jonalyn Lombrino attends to a customer who buys medicine from the pharmacy where she works as pharmacy assistant.

She is married to Bobby Lombrino, 41 with whom she has three (3) children namely, Erika Jhane Lombrino, 13, Grade 8 and twins Mary Claire and Claire Anne Lombrino, 11, Grade 6.

Before, Jonalyn worked at a bakeshop as saleslady earning around Php 5,000.00 per month and Bobby is a security guard earning Php 10,000.00 a month.

According to her, life was so difficult knowing that their monthly income is not enough to raise their 3 children.

In January 2017, the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of DSWD provided a Skills Training on Pharmacy Services NCII to qualified SLP participants and Jonalyn was one of them.

In the training, she never doubted her capabilities, instead, she showed dynamism to learn and finish the course despite the sacrifices she encountered especially for her children. She focused on her training and was determined to graduate and find a job for her family.

Days after her graduation, she participated in the community-based training in haircut and hair coloring NCII and conducted community outreach, offering free haircut to some remote areas to hone her newly acquired skills.

Jonalyn never wasted her time by doing productive things like training in haircut and hair coloring while waiting for the response to her applications.

Jonalyn got a surprise when one of the famous pharmacies in the province of Cebu called her and accepted her application.

Dako kaayo og tabang ang training sa DSWD SLP nga Pharmacy Services NCII kay nakahatag kini og oportunidad sa mga labing nanginahanglan og trabaho sama kanako. Karon nga naka-trabaho na ko, dili na kaayo mi lisod kay kung unsay need sa mga bata mahatag ra dayon namo (The DSWD SLP training has helped us a lot because it provided opportunities to us program participants, who need to find work like me. Having a permanent job, our life now is far better than before. Now, I can provide some of the things that my family needs especially for my children),” said Jonalyn.

She is now part of the Pharmacy’s Toledo City Branch as Pharmacy Assistant. She receives around Php 10,000.00 monthly income with the inclusions of SSS, PhilHealth, Pag-ibig and other benefits she can able to enjoy.

Out from her income, Jonalyn has already invested in their family sofa sala set and bought her own motorcycle.

Nausab gyud among kinabuhi sukad ko nakatrabaho kay mas miarang-arang na ang among kinabuhi (Our life has changed since I got a full time job. Life is better now).” ###


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223 individuals receive 2.5M livelihood assistance

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office VII (DSWD-7) has released the Php 2,510,000.00 Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) assistance fund to the 11 newly accredited associations, consisting of 223 program participants. These participants are from barangays Sawang Calero and Mambaling, Cebu City.

The Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) participants from Mambaling and Sawang Calero, Cebu City.

Three (3) SLP associations from Mambaling namely Puntod Alaska Rag Makers, Sitio Tugas Native Delicacy Operator SLPA and Avocado Barbeque Vendors SLPA have been granted Php 230,000.00, Php 270,000.00 and Php 140,000.00 respectively.

For barangay Sawang Calero, eight (8) SLP associations have received the livelihood assistance. These are Sawang Dried Fish Vendors SLPA, Php 210,000.00; Sawang Blk 6-A Fish Vendors SLPA, Php 280,000.00; Sawang Blk 7B Buwad Vendors SLPA, Php 280,000.00; and Sawang Blk 7 Hipon Producer SLPA, Php 230,000.00.

Other groups have different chosen livelihood projects. The Sawang Blk 5 Buy and Sell Retailer SLPA has received Php 300,000.00; Sawang Blk 1-A Food Vendors SLPA has accepted the Php 130,000.00 for its food vending business. The Sawang Blk 4 Entrepreneurs SLPA and Block 5 Sawang Sari-sari Store Proprietor’s SLPA both have been granted with Php 220,000.00. ###


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DSWD-7 reiterates criteria for selection of Pantawid beneficiaries, clarifies 4Ps as one of the programs the agency implements

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office VII (DSWD-7) reiterates the criteria for qualification to the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) which is being implemented by the agency.

This came after a viral Facebook post of a teacher about the deplorable situation of her student saying that the family is deprived of 4Ps.

The beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program were selected objectively through the National Household Targeting System (NHTS-PR), also known as Listahanan, which is an administrative tool that identifies who and where poor households are in the country.

The collected information from the household went through a process using a scientific method called Proxy Means Test or PMT. The PMT is a statistical model that estimates the income of household based on the variables included in the household assessment form.

Households with estimated incomes that are equal to and above the latest provincial poverty thresholds are considered non-poor and those with estimated incomes falling below the poverty thresholds are considered poor.

Selection Criteria for Pantawid Beneficiaries

“Once the household is identified as poor, they will become potential beneficiaries for various social protection programs of the government like the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. However, their inclusion in the programs still depends on the programs qualifications or criteria,” said Director Macapobre.

In the first round of Listahanan household assessment in 2009, a total of 525,588 households were targeted for the enumeration in region 7.  Out of the said target, 314, 654 households were identified as poor.

From the 314,645 identified poor, a total of 61,149 were enrolled in Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in 2010.  They were enrolled in the program because they meet the criteria for the selection of Pantawid beneficiaries.

Aside from being identified as poor from Listahanan, a 4Ps beneficiary must have children aged 0-18 or have a pregnant member at the time of the first assessment in 2009 and must be willing and able to comply with the conditionalities of the program as part of their co-responsibilities.

It was explained that enrollment of Pantawid Pamilya was done on staggered basis depending on the targeted number and approved budget for the year.

As of July 2018, there are 252,633 active Pantawid Pamilya households in region 7.

“We want to emphasize that the current 4Ps beneficiaries were identified poor households under the Listahanan using the result of the first round of household assessment in 2009,” said Director Macapobre.

In the initial report of the Pantawid staff in Carcar City, it was known that the student’s family had missed the Listahanan first enumeration because based on the mother’s account most of the time they were out of the house to earn a living.

The Listahanan second round of household assessment was conducted in 2015 and the family was already included in the enumeration.

“We launch the result of the second round of household assessment in June 2016 but in August 2016 there was a moratorium on the expansion because the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program was subjected to review,” Director Macapobre underscored.

“As of now, we have not added new 4Ps beneficiaries since the moratorium has not been lifted,” Director Macapobre said.

Director Macapobre clarified that 4Ps is not the only program in the anti-poverty strategy of the government.

“4Ps is just one of our many programs and services. We also have Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP), Assistance to Individual in Crisis Situations (AICS) which the family can apply.  On the other hand, the Local Government Units (LGUs) through their Local Social Welfare and Development Office can also offer their own programs and services,” Director Macapobre added.

Unconditional Cash Transfer

Recently, the DSWD also implemented the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT). The UCT is a program mandated by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law as aid to individuals who might be affected by its implementation.

Cash transfers are provided to lessen the impact to the poor who are affected by the effects of the TRAIN, such as increase in excise taxes on petroleum products, automobiles, and sugar sweetened beverages.

“We would like to inform the public that the UCT program implemented by DSWD together with the Landbank of the Philippines has not identified new beneficiaries to receive the cash grants,” said Macapobre.

She added that although the program is new, the beneficiaries are not, because they are DSWD’s existing beneficiaries.

The DSWD was given the responsibility to implement the UCT that will provide cash grants to 10 million households/individuals. These households/individuals come from Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens and Listahanan identified poor.

The beneficiaries receive Php 200 monthly, or a total of Php 2,400 this year. The Field Office is not halfway done with its UCT pay out. ###


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DSWD provides assistance to individuals in crisis situation

The DSWD 7 staff attend to clients who avail of the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation or AICS.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) provides different types of assistance to people in need which include the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS).

“AICS serves as a social safety net or a stop-gap mechanism to support the recovery of individuals and families from unexpected crisis such as illness or death of a family member, natural and man-made disasters, and other crisis situations,” says Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre, regional director for DSWD Central Visayas.

Under AICS, the DSWD provides medical, educational, burial and transportation assistance to persons/families in crisis situations, specifically those who are poor, marginalized, vulnerable, and disadvantaged individuals.

Educational Assistance

DSWD 7 emphasizes that educational assistance is not a scholarship where money is given to someone to help pay for that person’s education.

“DSWD’s educational assistance is given to people who are in crisis.  For example, when a family’s breadwinner is sick, the financial capability of the family is affected like no money for children’s school project, fare in going to school or other school expenses,” explains Macapobre.

For educational assistance, DSWD requires the following: 1) Enrolment assessment form or certificate of enrolment/registration, 2) School ID of the student/beneficiary, and 3) Barangay Certificate of Residency/Indigency and any valid ID of the client.

Medical Assistance

Individuals or families who are poor or indigent, marginalized, vulnerable and disadvantaged can avail of the assistance.

Requirements to avail of the medical assistance of DSWD include 1) Clinical Abstract/Medical Certificate with signature and license number of the attending physician (issued not later than 3 months), 2) Hospital Bill (for payment of hospital bill) or Prescription (for medicines) or Laboratory requests (for procedures), 3) Barangay Certificate of Residency/Indigency and 4) any valid ID of the client.

Transportation Assistance

Poor, marginalized, vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals or families, currently having immediate need, returning home and permanently residing in the town or province, attend to emergency concerns such as death of loved one or care for a family member or relative who is sick in their home provinces or other emergency situation requiring their immediate presence, can avail of the assistance.

Requirements are 1) Barangay Certificate of Residency/Indigency and 2) any valid ID of the client, 3) Police Blotter (for victims of pick pockets, illegal recruitment, etc.)

Burial Assistance

The burial assistance is given to poor or indigent individuals or families, members of informal sector, marginalized, vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals.

To avail of the burial assistance, one must present the following requirements: 1) Funeral Contract, 2) Death Certificate of the deceased, 3) Barangay Certificate of Residency/Indigency, 4) any valid ID of the client, 5) Permit to transfer/Health permit (for transfer of cadaver).

Director Macapobre encourages those who will seek assistance from DSWD 7 through the AICS to 1) ensure that they qualify based on the eligibility criteria of the program, 2) not  to come early as workers begin at 7:00 o’clock in the morning, 3) not get angry when not extended help because there is a set of criteria to be followed, 4) be aware that length of interview varies per person because some needs a longer time to disclose information, and 5) ensure that all documentary requirements are ready and available. ###


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Pantawid beneficiaries now DSWD workers

Pantawid Pamilya partner-beneficiaries who were grantees of Expanded Students Grants-in-Aide Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) now work at the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office VII (DSWD-7).

From left to right: Mayet Jumao-as, Sarah Mae Albaña, Christian Claven Joseph Inot, Mary Ann Olivar and Lea Araneta, the proud ESGP-PA grantees who now work with DSWD-7.

Christian Claven Joseph Inot, Mary Ann Olivar, Sarah Mae Albaña, Lea Araneta and Mayet Jumao-as who are all fresh graduates from the Cebu Normal University (CNU) Medellin Campus with a degree in Bachelor of Tourism Management applied for a job at DSWD-7 and were hired.

Naswertehan kay sa kadaghang nangapply, naapil ko sa mga nadawat nga empleyado (I am lucky because there were many applicants and I am one of those who were hired),” enthused Mayet, 20 years old from Bogo City, Cebu.

Mayet shared that her parents provided support and encouragement in her pursuit for education but their finances would not suffice. “It was really hard but I am thankful that after my high school graduation, our Pantawid Parent Leader told us about the ESGP-PA and I never had second thoughts in taking the entrance exam in CNU Medellin Campus,” said Mayet in dialect.

When Mayet got the ESGP-PA slot she became more determined to study harder because as a grantee, Mayet was hopeful that she would finish college.

Lea was also thankful for having availed of the ESGP-PA, which provided her free tuition and monthly allowance.

“Some people say that education is not important and they even cite successful people who excelled in their field but did not finish their education. However, for poor people like me, education is a ticket to have a bright future,” said Lea, a 22 years old lass from Bogo City, Cebu.

Lea said she is not really a smart person but she graduated with flying colors because of sheer tenacity and diligence. She further advised the students like her to set their goals and dream big as she believes in the saying “sky is not the limit when there are footprints in the moon”.

Christian, Mary Ann and Sarah Mae said in unison that the program helped them strengthen the foundation in order for them to reach their dreams and to have a better future for their families.

All five of them work as a Social Welfare Assistant (SWA) under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of DSWD.

The ESGP-PA is implemented by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) together with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).

The program provided opportunities to 4Ps households who have children who are determined to pursue college education and qualified for the scholarship. A college degree for the children-beneficiaries opens an opportunity for them to access better employment and help them improve their lives. ###


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Social Pensioners start receiving their UCT grant

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Central Visayas has started releasing today the cash grants under the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) to some 47,289 social pensioners who are indigent senior citizens.

Social Pensioners in the town of Minglanilla, Cebu receive their UCT cash grant today.

Of the 47,289 social pensioners, 18,628 are from Bohol and the 28,661 are from Cebu.

The national government’s UCT program is provided for by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.

Based on the joint circular of DSWD and the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on the UCT program implementation the funds will be lodged with the Land Bank and to be used in accordance to the operational guidelines of DSWD.

The UCT cash grant is a top up benefit for Pantawid Pamilya partner-beneficiaries and Social Pensioners who are also receiving their regular cash grant and cash stipend.

The UCT is considered the biggest tax reform mitigation under the TRAIN law which seeks to provide 10 million beneficiaries with cash subsidy amounting to Php 200 per month for 2018 and Php 300 per month for 2019 and 2020. ###


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4Ps families become more prepared for disasters

Pantawid Pamilya partner-beneficiaries in Central Visayas region are now more prepared whenever disaster and calamities occur.

Through the Family Development Session (FDS), a monthly session that gathers 4Ps partner-beneficiaries, they have acquired new skills and knowledge on various topics like disaster preparedness.

The E-Balde of Garay Family.

In December 2014, Typhoon Queenie wreaked havoc in the Central Visayas region which damaged lives and properties.

Two of the families affected by the typhoon were the Garay and the Cachero families from Can-upao, Jagna and Alejawan, Duero, Bohol.

Dili gyud namo makalimtan ang bagyong Queenie kay naguba gyud among balay ug kadtung hitabo naghatag namu og leksyon nga mangandam gayud ug mu-advice nga for evacuation, mubakwit gyud ang tibuok pamilya (We could not forget Typhoon Queenie because it totally destroyed our house and it served as a lesson for us to heed the call for pre-emptive evacuation of the whole family),” said Marissa Garay.

As a preparation for any disaster, the Garay family has their own Emergency Balde or E-Balde which contains important documents and basic needs of the family, which can easily be carried during evacuation.

Naa na sad mi Family Disaster Action Plan nga maghatag og giya kung unsay buhaton sa matag miyembro sa pamilya (We also have our own Family Disaster Action Plan that will guide each member of the family on what to do when disaster occurs),” added Marissa.

Mary Jane Cachero is also thankful for the learnings from the FDS and the lessons she gained during the training provided by the Barangay Disaster Response Team.

Ako pud kini gipa-ambit sa akong bana ug sa upat nakong mga anak kay importante gyud nga kabalo ang tanan kung unsay buhaton pananglitan adunay kalamidad sama sa bagyo o linog (I also shared this with my husband and four children because it is very important that everybody in the family knows what to do whenever there is a calamity like a typhoon or an earthquake),” Mary Jane said.

Marissa and Mary Jane both agreed that preparedness is important because it mitigates the effects of any disaster.

Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VII joins the nation is celebrating the National Disaster Resilience Month (NDRM) for the whole month of July.

Formerly called the National Disaster Consciousness Month, the celebration was renamed to NDRM through an Executive Order No. 29 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte on June 28, 2017 and the observance highlights the shift from disaster awareness building to disaster resilience.

This year’s theme is “Katatagan sa Kalamidad ay Makakamtan Kapag Sapat ang Kaalaman sa Kahandaan”, which emphasizes the necessity of information in order to address the need for resiliency amidst constant disasters. ###


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