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MCCT bene’s daughter among the youths who benefit DSWD’s GIP

A total of 80 youths are currently deployed in the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office-7, DSWD Residential Facilities, Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) Offices, and in different Local Government Units (LGUs) under the Government Internship Program (GIP) this year.

Johanna Heart Genon, one of the youths working in the DSWD-7 under the GIP this year, entertains a client of the Crisis Intervention Unit availing of for Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation.

The Program aims to provide a chance for youths to acquire life skills and learn etiquettes related to labor and employment while earning a stipend for 30 days that may help them for their daily school sustenance in the coming year.

Among the youths given the chance to work in the Department is Johanna Heart Genon, whose family formerly lived in the streets and is now a beneficiary of the DSWD’s Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) Program.

Johanna has expressed gratitude to the government and the Department for the experience and insights that she will be bringing with her as she steps into a permanent/official work in the future.

“Thankful kaayo ko nga natagaan ko’g chance nga maka-experience kung unsa diay ang trabahuon diri sa DSWD. Akong expectation sauna nga dili ra kaayo kapoy or hayahay ra kaayo ang trabaho diri, pero pagkasulod na nako diri through GIP, naka-ingon ko nga dili diay dali (I am very thankful that I have been given the chance to experience working here in DSWD. I used to believe that working in a government agency is just relaxed, but when I started my internship I realized it is not easy),” she expressed.

Through the GIP, DSWD 7 has provided opportunity to young individuals who are beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), out-of-school and in-school youths to make use of their available time during summer in a productive manner.

Johanna also shared that the money that she will earn will go to the expenses for her school supplies and as well as for her sibling’s.

Ang subra sa akong ma-sweldo ako pu’ng e-save para sa sunod napud nga semester (The extra money from my salary will be allotted for my expenses for the next semester),” she added.

These youths working under the Department’s GIP are set to finish their contract by June 20 this year. ###


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364 ESGP-PA students complete tertiary education

About 364 students from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) under the Expanded Students Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) completed their tertiary education for school year 2018-2019.

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.

These students graduated from the five partner SUCs in region 7. These are Siquijor State College (SSC) with 75 graduates, Negros Oriental State University (NORSU) with 154 graduates, Cebu Technological University (CTU) with 111 graduates, Cebu Normal University (CNU) has 3 graduates and Bohol Island State University (BISU) with 21 graduates.

One of the ESGP-PA graduates is Melchie F. Ejera from Consolacion, Cebu who finished Bachelor of Elementary Education major in Early Childhood Education at the Cebu Technological University (CTU) – Main Campus.

Melchie is flanked by her proud parents during the recent commencement exercise of Cebu Technological University (CTU) Main Campus.

“I grew up in a situation where poverty for me is normal, to the point that we used to have different addresses because we did not have permanent house at all. My father is a factory worker and his salary is not enough for our daily needs. I see how my parents work hard to support our needs especially in our education,” said Melchie.

Year 2013, Melchie’s family became one of the partner-beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

“This government program is an answer to our prayers. Through the 4Ps we were able to pay for our school expenses and bought some delicious food that we have never tasted before,” she added.

“When I was in my first year and second year college, there was never a time that I have not shed tears every school enrolment. My father did not have a regular work at that time. That’s why my parents need to borrow money from their friends just to pay for my tuition fee,” revealed Melchie

“There were times that I wanted to quit but every time I saw the eyes of my parents how they wanted me to pursue my dreams, it also gave me encouragement not to lose hope,” she said

Melchie became an ESGP-PA when she was in her third year college.

“What I have been through is something that I cannot shrug off and forget about. I am thankful that I have experienced all of the hardships because it motivated me to work and pray hard,” said Melchie.

“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all the people who helped me out through this journey, to the government, to the DSWD through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and to the ESGP-PA family. Indeed, God used all of you as instruments to help me pursue my dreams,” the Cum Laude graduate said.

ESGP-PA scholars are now transitioned to the Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act or UniFAST which implements the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES). ###


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DSWD provides Listahanan data to UniFAST

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has provided the list of Listahanan identified poor to the Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act or UniFAST which could be used as reference for the implementation of the Tertiary Education Subsidy or TES.

Hillton John V. Edrial, head of DSWD 7 NHTS discusses the role of DSWD in the implementation of UniFAST TES to the representatives of SUC/LUCs with the Regional UniFast Coordinator for Region 7, Mr. Humabon Marollano (in blue shirt).

This, after DSWD and UniFAST have signed a memorandum of agreement on the use of the data from the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) or Listahanan of the DSWD.

The Listahanan database has also been used by various partner – stakeholders such as government agencies, non-government offices, academe and other interest groups as basis for their potential beneficiaries in their social protection programs.

Republic Act No. 10687 or UniFAST is a government agency mandated for the distribution of the government funds intended for the students and to implement the RA 10931 or “Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (UAQTEA), a law that helps poor students continue their college studies without paying for tuition and other school fees.

One of the programs under RA 10931 is the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) program or a grant-in-aid given to poor but deserving students enrolled in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) – recognized Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs).

Each student beneficiary of TES receives Php 20,000.00 per semester or Php 40,000/year intended to support the cost of tertiary education such as books, transportation, room and board fees and other school expenses.

Those listed under the Listahanan’s identified-poor and Pantawid beneficiaries do not immediately qualify for the scholarship as TES has its own set of criteria.

Further, a Listahanan and Pantawid membership certification is not a requirement for TES application.

Application for TES is administered by the school only if the students are officially enrolled.

The SUCs/LUCs will be the one to submit the list of applicants to CHED/UniFAST for name matching, verification and approval. ###


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DSWD-7 reveals 2019 Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya provincial winners

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VII has announced the three winners from each four provinces in region 7. Having been chosen after a series of rigorous cluster and provincial desk validation, these winners will be honored during the provincial awarding ceremony this June.

The Bohol provincial winner is the Batac family of Balilihan town while the second and third placers are the Busalanan family of Dagohoy and Palingcod family from Batuan, respectively.

The provincial winner of Cebu is the Elardo family from the town of Badian. The second placer is the Vaflor family from Cordova while the third placer is the Ejes family from Bantayan.

The Negros Oriental provincial winners are the following: Bohol family of Mabinay, first place; Villego family of Basay, second place; and Esteral family of Siaton, third place.

Siquijor’s provincial winners include the Taroc family of Maria, first place; Astillero of San Juan, second place; and Ponce family of Lazi, third place.

“These families exemplified strong family ties, demonstrated positive Filipino values and had created a positive impact in their community,” said DSWD-7 Regional Director Rebecca P. Geamala.

She added that their stories are truly inspirational and worthy of emulation by other Pantawid Pamilya family-beneficiaries.

“Through this Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya search, we can disprove the misconception that program beneficiaries become too dependent on government aid and underscores the value of working together to achieve success,” Director Geamala added.

These Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya were chosen based on the following criteria: 1.) strong family ties and harmonious relationship while upholding Filipino values despite the challenges of poverty (25%), 2.) family practices and promotes healthy living and environment care (20%), 3.) family involvement in community activities (20%), 4.) family as inspiration to others in the community (20%) and 5.) strives to improve living conditions amidst difficult situation (15%).

The provincial winners will receive cash prizes and certificates of recognition.

The judges during the provincial search were from partner national government agencies like DOH, DepEd, PIA, provincial government of Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor and partner civil society organizations (CSOs).

The provincial first placers will compete in the regional level search in July 2019. ###


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Pantawid girl with congenital condition inspires others not to lose hope

“I was diagnosed with hydrocephalus but despite my condition, I never considered myself a disabled one. Instead, I see this as an inspiration to look for the brighter things in life. I hope through my story I could also inspire and empower others who are suffering from any problems, whether an illness, a brain condition like hydrocephalus or any other challenges that they face,” said Ma. Janica Delusa of Tagbilaran City, Bohol.

Hydrocephalus is a brain condition that happens when cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) — the clear, watery fluid that surrounds and cushions the brain and spinal cord — cannot drain from the brain. It then pools, causing a buildup of fluid in the skull. If it is not treated, hydrocephalus can lead to brain damage, a loss in mental and physical abilities.

Janica had her surgery in 2016.

“The doctor told us to prepare a considerable amount of money for my operation and my family was extremely worried on where to get the payment for the medical bills,” recalled Janica.

“Gladly, through the help of PhilHealth, the hospital bill had been paid. My mother had just presented our 4Ps id and my hospital bill of about a million had become zero balance,” she added.

“The year when I got operated was also the year of my graduation in elementary. I could still remember that while my classmates were busy of their practice for our graduation day, I was also fighting for my life inside the operating room. Thank God, I survived. I did not expect to be awarded as class valedictorian that is why I was so grateful that I was recognized as class valedictorian,” tearfully said Janica.

“Abled or disabled, there’s no greater difference between the two. We could make something useful out of everything without minding the capabilities we may have. Others may treat me as a person that could only limit the things that I may be able to do but I think otherwise. Because I know that there is no limit to what we can dream,” said Janica.

Active student

Janica often emerged top of her class and actively joined school activities such as quiz bee, jingle making, dancing contest, essay writing contest and she constantly won in every contest.

As one of the officers of the Supreme Student Government (SSG) in her school, she stands as a role model to her classmates in leading both the co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.

Ma. Janica Delusa (second from right) poses with her classmates after their recognition ceremony at Manga National High School in Tagbilaran City, Bohol.

“I am also the Vice President of the Girl Scout of the Philippines in our school and I always try hard to be a good example to my co-girl scouts and to the students. We usually do clean-up and tree planting activities and these are our ways in maintaining the cleanliness and tidiness of our community and make it a safe haven for us students,” said the incoming Grade 10 student.

Becoming Pantawid beneficiary

“I always study hard since I want to help my family in the future. The only problem was that, my parents cannot easily sustain our family needs, especially financial needs. During that time, I could say that our life was hard. My father is a trisikad driver and my mother is a plain housewife. I have 6 siblings and it was not easy for my parents to provide for our daily needs,” added Janica.

“I always wanted to finish my study but my parents could hardly pay our school fees since the money that my father earned was only enough for our daily food expenses. There were times that we could not even eat at the right time,” she recalled.

Janica said that their life changed when they become partner-beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

“We can now pay our school fees and buy school supplies through the cash grants that we received from 4Ps,” said Janica.

“Also, as a child-beneficiary of the program, I was able to attend the Youth Development Session (YDS) at school and I am very glad that I have learned a lot of things from the said activity such as having proper hygiene and being a role model to everyone,” cheerfully said Janica.

Her favorite bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11 ” For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

“I’m holding on to this verse because I know that God has planned something bigger for me. Things that I have never expected to come and to happen in my life. One great proof is when I won as the 2018 Provincial Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya Child in Bohol,’’ proudly said Janica.

She encourages her co-students and fellow youths to pursue their dreams and never lose hope.

Future Teacher

“I am very thankful to God for giving me a second chance to live in this world and pursue my dreams. I hope I would become a professional teacher because I want to let my future students know the true essence of living life to the fullest. I want to let them realize how good it is to feel that there is hope and how good it is to share the greatness of faith. I also want to let them discover on how life unfolds each passing day and how vast the world, waiting for them to be explored,” said Janica.

“Above all these, I give all the glory to God our creator, for the successes He let me enjoy. Though sometimes, His ways are beyond my understanding, I am holding on to my faith with firm belief, that despite all life’s challenges, God is crafting my grandest future. ###


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DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS turns over Level II water system in Poblacion West

The community volunteers of Poblacion West in Catigbian, Bohol happily accept the sub-project from DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS.

George Isulat, Regional Community Infrastructure Specialist of DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS tests one of the five (5) tapstands that serve the community.

The turn-over of the water system is apt and timely since the area is affected by El Niño. Through this water system the community’s need for water in Poblacion West is answered. Gone are the days when the community folks had to walk one kilometer everyday just to fetch water. The residents and the community volunteers celebrate their success as the level 2 pump-driven water system they have been working for is finally done. The sub-project is now turned over to the people’s organization to manage and maintain its good condition and functionality.

Mapasalamaton kami dinhi sa among barangay nga gihimo kaming instrumento para mapahimutang kining among proyekto nga tubig. Garbo namo nga nahimo kining water system aron mapaduol na ang pagkuha ug tubig (We are thankful that we are part in the realization of this water system in our community. Also we are proud that we are able to ease the burden of each household by bringing the water to the community),” expressed Timoteo Magno, community volunteer of Poblacion West.

The Operations and Maintenance Group (O and M) headed by Julius Magsino, who is also the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) Chairperson, promised to lead the community in taking care of the water system and serve as role models to others as the community folks continue to work on the development of their barangay. ###


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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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