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DSWD-7 launches Bata Balik Eskwela campaign, seeks provision of school supplies

As the opening of classes for school year 2019-2020 is nearing, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Central Visayas launches its advocacy campaign on “Bata Balik Eskwela.”

Pantawid Pamilya Information Officer Kerwin Macopia discusses to DSWD-7 staff the Bata Balik Eskwela Campaign and encourages them to actively engage in this collective effort through provision of school supplies to some Pantawid Pamilya children.

The Pantawid Pamilya children are one of the stakeholders of the program and are responsible in complying with one of the main conditions of 4Ps, which is to attend school every school year.

The 4Ps is a human development program of the national government that invests in the health and education of poor households, particularly of children aged 0-18 years old.

The program however, recognizes that there are children who have difficulty continuing their study for various reasons that needed to be addressed. The recently launched Pantawid Pamilya’s Bata Balik Eskwela campaign aims to remind the children beneficiaries to enroll back to school so that they will fully utilize the program benefits. This campaign also seeks to inculcate in the minds of the children the importance and value of education in their lives and future.

“Through this campaign, DSWD would like to bring back to school the 4Ps children especially those who stopped going to school,” said DSWD-7 Regional Director Rebecca Geamala.

As part of this effort to encourage children to enroll back to school, school supplies and materials will be distributed to the returning students from various provinces of Central Visayas region in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd).

“In coordination with the DepEd during the Brigada Eskwela, DSWD installed the Pantawid Pamilya help desk to encourage the parents and their children to enroll in the incoming school year,” added Dir. Geamala.

Geamala said that part of the DSWD intervention is the house visitation to 4Ps families whose children failed to attend classes in the previous school year.

During the home visit, the Pantawid City and Municipal Link would talk to the parents and their children to identify issues and barriers that prevent them from attending school and complying with the condition on education.

“Once issues are identified, the Pantawid worker would discuss it with the concerned partner-beneficiary especially the child/children. It is hoped that through this effort, children are motivated to continue going to school and comply with the agreements reached during the home visit,” said Dir. Geamala.

“Through the program, the DSWD has given these poor children and their families a chance to a better future so it is really important that they should continue and finish their education,” she added.

A DSWD-7 staff puts a bundle of pencils into the donation box for school supplies which will be distributed to the returning 4Ps children in the opening of classes for school year 2019-2020. This is in support of the Department’s advocacy campaign on Bata Balik Eskwela in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd).

The department seeks possible provisions of school supplies from private individuals, groups, institutions/organizations and partner Civil Society Organizations (CSO) interested to get involved in this effort to bring Pantawid Pamilya children back to school and help them continue pursuing their education.

Currently, the DSWD-7 already received some school supplies and other goods from Personal Collections and Avon Incorporated.

The Department looks forward to accepting provisions of school supplies from various groups and individuals up to May 31, 2019 which will be distributed in June during the opening of classes for school year 2019-2020.

Interested sponsors may reach Ms. Charo M. Monte de Ramos, Institutional Partnership Development Officer – CSO, through this contact number 0967-3254338. ###


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525 affected families in Carreta and Tejero received aid from DSWD

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region VII distributed food and non-food items worth Php 1.1 million to 525 families affected by fire in Barangays Tejero and Carreta, Cebu City on May 17, 2019.

The fire incidence happened in Tejero and Carreta on April 26, 2019 and May 11, 2019, respectively.

There are 313 families affected in Sitio Silangan 2, Barangay Tejero and 212 families affected in Sitio Ponce, Barangay Carreta, Cebu City.

Each affected family received 2 boxes of family food packs, 2 pcs malong, cooking set and hygiene kit. ###


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DSWD-7 opens Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya 2019 tilt

The search is on for the Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya 2019.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office VII (DSWD) is now looking for new family ambassadors of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

The search is open to all family-beneficiaries of 4Ps and must consist of a father and/or a mother (solo parent) and child/children.

Nominees must be beneficiaries of the program for at least two years, have good standing in the community with no derogatory records, whose income do not come from gambling, prostitution, child labor, extortion and other similar illegal resources and most importantly 100% compliant to all the conditionalities of the program.

Criteria include strong family ties and harmonious relationship while upholding Filipino values despite the challenges of poverty (25%), family practices and promotes healthy living and environment care (20%), family involvement in community activities (20%), family as inspiration to others in the community (20%) and strives to improve living conditions amidst difficult situation (15%).

The simultaneous provincial search for Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor will be on May 29, 2019.

The provincial first placers will compete in the regional level.

All provincial and regional winners will get cash prizes and certificates of recognition.

The winner of the regional search will attend the National Pantawid Pamilya Family Day on September 28-30, 2019 in Metro Manila.

The past Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya regional winners from Central Visayas region made it to the national level namely; the Sederiosa family from Sagbayan, Bohol placed fourth runner-up in 2013, the Ewican family from Carmen, Bohol placed second runner-up in 2014, the Torrentira family from Sagbayan, Bohol placed second runner-up in 2015, the Garay Family from Jagna, Bohol won the title as the grand winner of Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya in 2016, the Catubig family from Maria, Siquijor placed fourth runner-up in 2017 and the Campugan family from Cordova, Cebu placed second runner-up in 2018. ###


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Footbridge ends danger to community folks

Sa wala pa kining footbridge daghan na ang na aksidente dinhing lugara, ilabi na sa mga bagyong nangagi. Lisod kayo ilabi na sa mga estudyante nga molabang diring dapita. Nakalasan na kinig kinabuhi sa usa ka bata samtang naglabang gamit ang gakit (makeshift raft), nalambud ang pisi hinungdan nga natuwad ang gakit ug nalumos ang bata (Before this footbridge was built, accidents happened here especially during typhoons. It claimed the life of a child who was crossing the river using the makeshift raft, when the rope he was holding on got tangled which caused the raft to capsize),” shared Salome Agsoy, PPT Chairperson of Barangay Fortaliza, Tuburan, Cebu.

Kalahi-CIDSS footbridge in Brgy. Fortaliza, Tuburan, Cebu.

Barangay Fortaliza is one of the 54 barangays in Tuburan. Most of these barangays are located in the mountains while Fortaliza is situated in the lowland. The barangay serves as the “catch basin” of the water from the upland area. Whenever heavy rainfall comes the 25 hectares of land will be filled with water. It takes 6 months for the water to recede.

This has been the problem of the community every time there is flood. The floodwater would damage the community’s livelihood, and not only that, it posed danger to the community most especially to the 60 elementary students and approximately 150 high school students of Colonia National High School from Barangay Caridad, Kansi, Bakyawan and Gaang. These children would cross the field using the makeshift raft also known as “gakit”. It came to a point where the school’s attendance was greatly affected because students preferred to be absent in class than to take the risk in crossing the field on a raft.

The residents were desperate to really build a safe passage for the residents, most especially for the students. When DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS came, the residents were hopeful that their dream footbridge will soon rise.

Luckily, during the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum (MIBF), barangay Fortaliza was prioritized. The community volunteers could not contain their emotions; the footbridge would now be a dream come true for them.

For these people who had been longing for a solution to their problem considered DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS as an answer to their prayers. “This bridge provides the students and the community folks a safe passage to access basic social services at the town proper. It would help the business establishments and commerce to prosper in our barangay most especially in the sitios directly affected by this floodwaters,” added Salome.

The 140 Households of Sitio San Miguel who are the direct beneficiaries are very happy to have the footbridge.

The footbridge in Fortaliza has not only provided a safe passage but it also opens to opportunities to the residents as well as to the barangay. When the footbridge was completed, it stirs curiosity to tourist and neighboring town.

“There are passersby who would really stop and take pictures in the footbridge, there are also some instances where it was used as location for pre-nup shoot,” shared Annalyn Cuer, barangay councilor of Fortaliza.

The footbridge is really a site that would create wonder. It proudly stands in the middle of a cornfield.

“This is a dream come true, this was worth all the sacrifices and the ridicule that we received from the non-volunteers which I just ignored. I held my head high when the footbridge was finally done,” recalled Salome. ###


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4Ps Couples Wed for Free in Loon

A total of 22 Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) couples in the town of Loon, Bohol exchanged vows during a free mass civil wedding on April 30, 2019.

The free mass civil wedding was sponsored by the Municipal Government of Loon through the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) in partnership with the DSWD-7 staff assigned in the municipality who are the 4Ps Municipal Link (ML) and the Social Welfare Assistant (SWA).

Baltazar Arao and Edesa Ocat pose for a posterity after their civil wedding sponsored by the Municipal Government of Loon.

Among the 22 4Ps couples were Baltazar Arao and Edesa Ocat of Barangay Napo, Loon who had been living together for 19 years.

Daghan ming nasugatan nga mga problema isip manag-pares pero kung magsinabtanay lang ug adunay gugma sulod sa pamilya, makaya ra gayud ang tanan (We encountered a lot of problems as a couple but as long as there is understanding and love within the family, we can handle it all),” shared Edesa.

Edesa sells fish in the local market while Baltazar is a fisherman.

The couples were also earthquake survivors during the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the island province on October 15, 2013.

Sama sa linog nga nitay-og sa among balay, ang mga problema ug pagsulay sulod sa pamilya dili gyud malikayan. Mag-away ming duha pero kung kinsa ang nasayup mao ang una nga mangayo pasaylo aron dili na kini mudako pa (Like the earthquake that shook our house, the problems and trials in the family could not be avoided. We fight each other but whoever is at fault should take the first step to ask forgiveness so that it will not grow big),” added Edesa.

They have encountered the common problems like any other ordinary couple has encountered especially in handling finances.

Tungod pud sa Family Development Session (FDS) sa Pantawid nakakat-un sad mi og mga pagtulon-an kung unsaon pagdala sa pamilya labi na nga gapadako mi og lima ka mga anak (Because of the Family Development Session (FDS) of Pantawid, we learned many lessons on how to handle a family especially that we are raising our five children),” she said.

The first three children are monitored under 4Ps namely, Kaye April (17 years old), Kyla Arianne (15 years old), Kepler Adrianne (14 years old) and the two youngest children are, Keannan Angelo (8 years old) and Karl Anthony (5 years old).

Baltazar constantly advises his children to prioritize their studies.

Kung makakita sila sa ilang pares puhon, piliun nila ang adunay maayung pamatasan ug respetuhon sila (If ever they will find their partner someday they should choose someone who have good values and will respect them),” said Baltazar.

Baltazar and Edesa are hoping that they will soon have their church wedding. ###


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DSWD-7 educates public on its programs, services; conducts information caravan

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-7 has continued its information dissemination about its programs and services through the recently conducted Information Caravan in Pilar, Cebu.

A total of 130 residents of Pilar, Cebu who participated in the activity were informed on the Department’s programs and services that they may share to the rest of the people in their community.

Participants of the Information Caravan conducted in Pilar, Cebu listen to the Regional Information Officer Leah T. Quintana as she discusses some of the programs and services of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).


The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), Kalahi-CIDSS, Listahanan, UCT, Social Pension, Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), Adoption, DSWD’s Centers, Disaster Response and Rehabilitation, salient features of DSWD Branding Guidelines and the devolution of basic services to the Local Government Units (LGUs) are the significant topics discussed by the DSWD-7 staff to the participants.

This activity gave participants the chance to raise questions and clarifications relative to the Department’s programs and services through the open forum session where resource persons provided immediate feedback and answers.

A Kalahi-CIDSS Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) Chairperson and Pantawid Pamilya partner-beneficiary in Pilar also shared testimonials and words of gratitude for the chance to be involved and be included in one of the DSWD’s programs.

Nalipay ko nga usa ko sa mga nahatagan og higayon nga maapil isip usa sa mga community volunteers sa Kalahi-CIDSS kay kini siya gi-empower niini ang mga katawhan. Daghang seminars ug training ang gihimo nila so ubay-ubay gyud akong nakat-onan (I am happy to have been given the opportunity to be one of the community volunteers of Kalahi-CIDSS as it empowers people. Many seminars and trainings have been conducted that have provided me so much learnings),” Mr. Berdon Olarte, a BSPMC Chairperson in Pilar, Cebu shared.

Prior to the conclusion of the activity, participants have also actively participated in answering the trivia questions about the topics discussed, for every correct answer, a participant gets to claim a freebie as a prize.

The Department looks forward to doing more of this information caravan before this calendar year ends to reach and educate more people on the social protection programs and services that they may benefit. ###


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PWD Graduating Trainees Undergo Pre-Employment Seminar

A Pre-Employment Seminar was conducted recently at the Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center (AVRC) II to prepare and ensure that its 51 Persons with Disability (PWD) graduating trainees are competent before looking for a job after graduation.

The Persons with Disability (PWD) graduating trainees of the DSWD-7’s Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center (AVRC) II listen to one of the speakers of the pre-employment seminar recently conducted at the Center.

These trainees in Computer Technology; Commercial Cooking; Commercial Arts and Craft; Basic Cosmetology; Housekeeping Services; Dress and Apparel Technology and Massage Therapy were oriented on the usual recruitment process and preparation of basic requirements for employment during the seminar.

Representatives from the Department of Manpower Development and Placement (DMDP) Cebu City Ma. Concepcion Encabo and Ms. Jean Marie Brual discussed about Employment Readiness while Rosana Velado of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) discussed to the trainees the Labor Laws and Regulations to guide them in seeking better employment opportunities and maintain proper work etiquette once officially hired.

Other activities during the seminar help the trainees become familiar in proper developing of a resume and application letter prior to employment. The resource persons from DMDP and DOLE also taught the trainees the importance of self-organization, participation in policy and decision making process, collective bargaining and negotiation through the discussion on Labor Standards and Employees Rights and Obligations to remind them to always deliver their duties and responsibilities in accordance to standards.

The AVRC is one of the DSWD-run centers that provides human resource development to PWDs through various skills enhancement program. ###


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DSWD-7 starts social pension updating

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office VII has conducted the updating the information of the indigent senior citizens in the region who are included in the Social Pension program.

The updating aims to gather new information from the existing beneficiaries of the social pension program.

Ramel Taoy, Pantawid Pamilya Municipal Link of Cordova, Cebu visits senior citizens in the town of Boljoon, Cebu for the updating of the Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens.

The Field Office started the updating in April 2019 which has been participated by the staff from various programs and services like Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Kalahi-CIDSS and Sustainable Livelihood Program, among others.

“We are thankful to our staff especially those who were assigned in different cities and municipalities who accepted the call for this social pension updating. However, since we already hired staff for this updating, the newly hired validators will continue the home visitation and interview,” said DSWD-7 Regional Director Rebecca P. Geamala.

The hired staff are expected to have a courtesy visit to the Local Chief Executive and to the Barangay Chairman before they conduct the home visit to the social pensioner.

During the updating, information is gathered using the social pension beneficiary update form. The update form is a one-page questionnaire that contains identification, socio-economic information and the utilization of the social pension.

“If the social pensioner cannot answer the questions anymore, there should be one eligible family member or guardian who can answer the questions from our staff,” Geamala emphasized.

The social pension program started in 2011 under Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 that provides Php 500 monthly stipend for eligible indigent senior citizens.

The cash stipend aims to help them in their basic needs such as medicines and food.

Currently, there are 270,910 senior citizens who are beneficiaries of the said program. ###


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