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Joint Conference for VisMin regional Committees on Disability Affairs

The National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) recently held the 3rd joint conference of the Regional Committee on Disability Affairs (RCDA).

About 40 participants from Regions VI, NIR, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, CARAGA and ARMM joined the conference

With the theme, “Bringing Programs and Services to the Grassroots” the event aims to adopt and implement the Incheon Strategy to “Make the Right Real” for Persons with Disabilities which is figured out from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

ESCAP mandate is to foster cooperation among its 53 members including the Philippines and 9 associate members. It provides the strategic regional link between global and country-level programs and issues.

The conference was represented by the Department of Health (DOH), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Persons with Disability (PWD) Organization, Local Government Units (LGUs), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Education (DepEd).

The members discussed the Gallery of Good Practices which the group has embraced.

The DOH highlighted about the Inclusive Health Governance: Localizing Health and Wellness and Rehabilitation Services. TESDA presented the Accessible Skills Training Program for Persons with Disability.

DOLE discussed its Local Employment Promotion for Persons with Disability by Capacitating PESO towards Inclusive Job Fairs and Employment of PWDs; and DSWD talked about the Auxiliary Social Services Assistive Devices and Assistance to PWD in Crisis Situation. The DPWH presented the Capacity Building of LGUs in Accessibility Audits during the panel discussion.

Ms. Carmen R. Zubiga Officer in Charge of the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) urged the participants to ensure continual implementation of the sustainable development goal of the PWD and apply the 10 Goals of Incheon Strategy as follows: First, Reduce poverty and enhance work and employment prospects. Second, Promote participation in political processes and in decision-making. Third, Enhance access to the physical environment, public transportation, knowledge, information and communication. Fourth, Strengthen social protection. Fifth, Expand early intervention and education of children with disabilities. Sixth, Ensure gender equality and women’s empowerment. Seventh, Ensure disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction and management. Eight, Improve the reliability and comparability of disability data. Ninth, Accelerate the ratification and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and information of national legislation with the Convention and the tenth, Advance sub regional, regional and inter-regional cooperation. ###


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Cash for Work Project: 164 IDPs from Marawi City receive assistance

After the 10-day work offered by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Central Visayas to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Marawi City, the evacuees received their cash assistance on Sept. 12, 2017.

A Marawi siege-evacuee beams as she receives her cash assistance in exchange of work that she rendered under the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Cash-for-Work (CFW) program.

In partnership with the Cebu City Government, the IDPs were given the opportunity to work at the Visayas Disaster Response Center (VDRC) for 10 days since August 23 to September 8, 2017, as part of the assistance extended by the DSWD and the local government unit.

A total of 264 registered families and 1,148 individuals were recorded to have transferred to Cebu City from Marawi City at the height of the clash. Through this partnership, 190 IDPs have been included in the cash for work project.

The DSWD approved an amount of Php 380,000.00 for the 190 persons to work at the VDRC.

The IDPs will receive Php 200 for 8 hours work a day from Monday to Friday.

Thus, each of them will receive Php 2, 000 for 10 days work. The Cebu City Government counterparts some basic needs of the evacuees like water, food, clothes and personal hygiene kit and the like.

Presently,164 IDPs have been working at the VDRC.

Former Cebu City councilor Leah Japson, now the head of the Cebu City’s Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) has encouraged the IDPs to finish the 10 work days since it is allotted for them. She said those who have not completed the working days can still comply with it as long as the budget is still available.

The Cebu City Government has provided for the IDPs free transportation. They are being ferried through the Cebu City’s Kaoshiung Bus from the pick-up points like the National Commission of Muslim Filipinos in Barangay Mambaling and Cebu City Hall to the VDRC in Mandaue City and vice versa. ###


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Homeless street families receive own houses

Malipayon ko nga ang among pamilya magpuyo na gyud sa usa ka balay. Among kaugalingong balay. Sa una man gud, sementeryo ra gyud ang nahimo namong pinuy-anan (I am happy that our family will now live in a real house.  Our own house. Before, Carreta cemetery used to be our dwelling place),” Arlene F. Ramirez, 32, beaming with satisfaction and happiness shared her story.

Homeless No More. The Ramirez family in their newly blessed house in Brgy. Kalunasan, Cebu City.

Arlene recalled that she was two years old when her parents made the graveyard their home. Having a family of her own and watching her children grow, she promised to herself that one day, she will find a decent home for her children as she knows that graveyards are not conducive places to raising children.

Arlene is one of the 20 Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) partner-beneficiaries who now own a decent home in Barangay Kalunasan, Cebu City.

Through the MCCT, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VII has provided rent subsidy for a maximum of Php 4,000 per month up to 12 months.

During the house blessing, DSWD-7 Assistant Regional Director for Operations Grace Q. Subong could not contain her happiness seeing the 20 partner-beneficiaries occupy the house they rented through the subsidy from MCCT.

ARDO Subong thanked Pagtambayayong Foundation, Inc. for helping DSWD achieve its goal in addressing the problems on street-dwelling homeless families and help them rise from their situation with dignity by giving them the opportunity to change their lives.

Pagtambayayong Foundation, Inc. whose mission is to provide low-cost housing to the underprivileged agreed for a rent-to-own scheme for a pilot of 20 beneficiaries.

The 20 MCCT partner-beneficiaries have now the opportunity to own the house which were constructed by the Pagtambayayong Foundation, Inc. purposely for them.

Pagtambayayong Foundation, Inc. also teach them how to make chorizo in order to augment their income.

Karon nga aduna na mi kaugalingon balay, paningkamotan namo sa akong bana nga mapadayon kini aron dili na mi mobalik sa sementeryo (Now that we have our own house, my husband I have to strive hard to be able to continue paying the house rental to ensure we no longer go back to the cemetery),” expressed Arlene.

Arlene juggles work and family.  She makes rugs, learn how to make chorizo and takes care of their four children who are all in school.

She sells the rugs and strive to learn chorizo making to help increase the family’s income.

Her husband works in a company as roof installer but his income could not support the needs of the family.

The MCCT covers poor families who were not included in the regular Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

It provides assistance to homeless street families, families in need of special protection and indigenous families, which are not limited to education and health grants, but also include safe and responsive housing assistance with access to social services and economic opportunities for the improvement of their living conditions.

Currently, there are 539 active partner-beneficiaries of MCCT which are homeless street families. ###


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Carabao dairy: A livelihood we call our own

Carlito Autida, 45, married to Rosalie, 43, and father to ten (10) children, expressed his gratitude to the government for lighting up the hopes of every poor family by giving them a livelihood of their own.

“After years of waiting I can confidently say that we already have our own source of livelihood,” said Carlito, a partner-beneficiary under the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

Genuine happiness comes within the family. The Autida Family is one of the partner-beneficiaries of Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) under the DSWD of Brgy. Bay-ang, Ubay, Bohol.

The SLP is a multi-stakeholder program of the government implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).  It aims to improve the standard of living of poor households by facilitating opportunities for development and management of resources viable for micro-enterprises, community empowerment through skills training and employment facilitation.

The Autida family lives in Bay-ang, Ubay, Bohol where the couple till the 1.5 hectares rice field owned by Carlito’s father, Tiburcio Autida.  This has been their livelihood for 20 years now.

Carlito and Rosalie would plant and harvest twice a year. The yield every harvest is 200 sacks of paddy or 140 sacks of milled rice. Since the Autida family is a tenant, Carlito has to give one fourth share of the 140 to his father, which is 35 sacks.  The remaining 105 sacks of milled rice will go to Carlito’s family.

Every sack of milled rice contains 35 kilos. A big business establishment in Bohol has been a regular customer of Carlito and buys the rice for P18.00 per kilo. The family gets a total of P66,150.00 out from the 105 sacks. But Carlito said that their total expense for every cropping would total to P40,000 from the land preparation to harvest time. Basically, the family earns a net income of only P20,150 twice a year.

While farming is their main livelihood some family members also work as laborers even for a short period of time to help the family put food on the table.

Some of the Autida children namely, Charlie, 23; Oscar, 22; twins Misael and Michael, 18; and Carlo, 15; help their parents in the farm and other livelihood activities. These children only finished high school.

Shaila, 20, the only girl among the siblings, is currently in Grade 11. James, 12, is in Grade 6; Jay-R, 9, Grade 4 and Calex, 5, a preschooler. Xavier Benedict, youngest is 9 months old.

Since the family would only have two cropping a year, the Audtidas also looked for additional livelihood activity.  In 2013, when the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) located in Ubay identified the Autida family to be one of the families to take care of dairy carabaos, they grabbed the rare opportunity without second thoughts.

The family has been taking care of the five (5)) dairy carabaos entrusted to them by the PCC, which also helps augment their income.  One of these dairy carabaos has already produced 3.5 liters a day.

Aside from the five (5) dairy carabaos they received from the PCC, the Autida family is also one of the recipients of the 500-female dairy carabaos given by the DSWD through the SLP in partnership with the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) in Lomangog, Ubay, Bohol.

The dairy carabao given by DSWD delivered a calf in March 2017 and has started producing milk.  As of now, it already produces 1 liter of milk a day.

The Autida family is paid by the PCC for every liter of milk the carabaos produce.  Presently, the two milking carabaos have been producing 4.5 liters a day. A liter of milk is worth P45.00.

Today, the family earns at least P202.50 a day or P 6,277.50 monthly out from milk production since only two (2) out of six (6) dairy carabaos are producing milk. Currently, the remaining four (4) Carabaos are drying off of milk because one is pregnant and the other 3 are experiencing difficulty in pregnancy. The drying off of milk means less in milk production.

The Carabao produces milk right after giving birth. And milking could last until the 10th month from giving birth. Beyond that, they would no longer be allowed for milking for this will make them bony and unproductive.

“Lisod kaayo among kahimtang labi na nga pag-uma lang among gisaligan. Pero tungod sa nadawat namo nga Carabao gikan sa DSWD ug sa giamoma namo nga 5 ka Carabao sa PCC, napun-an intawon among kita (We are in difficult situation especially that we only depend on farming. The five carabaos from PCC and the one Carabao we received from DSWD have indeed given us additional income),” said Carlito.

The Sustainable Livelihood Program implemented by the DSWD has helped the Autidas start a carabao dairy livelihood that now supports the family aside from farming.

A livelihood which Carlito and Rosalie Autida proudly call their own. ###


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DSWD 7 workers pass social work licensure examination

“Congratulations, you made it!” Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre, Regional Director for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 7 conveyed this message to the 19 DSWD 7 workers who passed the recent Board for Social Workers during a Monday convocation.

Administered by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), the examination was conducted on July 27 and 28.

The new registered social workers in DSWD 7 include Fharlyn Logroño, Rhyniel Ponce, Roselyn Sayago, Henjeanette Vestil, Daisy Grace Balingkit, Osmundo Evangelista, Jr., Imelda Gimena, Aveljan Membreve, Jane Binongo, Cloui dolina, Maricris Baliling, Roda Bandibas, Katrina Alesna, Mary Joy Aniñon, Bernadith Centino, Mary Grace Lim, Mary Sunshine Sastre, Jasmin Clare Cornejos and Judelyn Soriano.

“Your DSWD 7 family is very proud of you,” said Director Macapobre.

Director Macapobre also encouraged those who have plans to take the social work licensure examination or the civil service examination to pursue it. ###


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Central Visayas bet among Top 5 in Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya National Search

The Catubig family of Barangay Bogo, Maria, Siquijor made it to the top five finalists for the 2017 Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya National Search.

The couple have taught their children on different household chores and farming. In fact, performing household chores are the most cherished bonding moments of the family.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VII received the information after the deliberation of the judges during the desk validation held at the DSWD Central Office in Quezon City.

The family will compete with other four families from region 6, 4-A, 11 and NIR.

The judges have started conducting the field validation which includes home visitation and interview with the family, their neighbors, Pantawid Pamilya co-beneficiaries, local officials and other people in the community.

The announcement and awarding of winners will be done during the National Family Week observance from September 24 to 30.

Mr. Paulino and Mrs. Rosemarie Catubig have eight children.

They have taught their children on different household chores and backyard gardening. In fact, performing household chores are the most cherished bonding moments of the family.

The couple is also active in community activities as they performed various roles whether church-related or socio-civic activities.

As Pantawid Pamilya partner-beneficiary, the family is compliant with all the program’s conditionalities like attending monthly Family Development Session (FDS), children (aged 6-14) receiving deworming pills twice a year, children (aged 0-5) regularly have preventive health check-ups and vaccines, children (aged 3-18) are enrolled in school and had maintained an attendance of at least 85% of class days every month.

Ang dili nko makalimtan sa FDS kay ang topic mahitungod sa pagpalambo sa pamilya (Strengthening the family is my most unforgettable topic in the Family Development Session (FDS),” said Rosemarie.

According to her, she learned from that particular topic the value of respect and open communication within the family besides providing the basic needs of the family.

For Paulino and Rosemarie, the difficulties that they have experienced are just tests from God.

Kung pasudlon nato ang Ginoo sa atong kasing-kasing, malipayon ug malinawon ang pamilya (If we let God enter our heart, there is peace and harmony in the family),” quoted Rosemarie.

The couple lives a prayerful life. For them, the difficulties that they have experienced are just tests from God.

The search for Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya aims to recognize exemplary family beneficiaries and showcase their stories of hope and resilience. ###


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PWDs spend White Cane Safety Day in Mall

Thirty (30) visually-impaired trainees of the Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center (AVRC II) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) joined the recently celebrated White Cane Safety Day.

White Cane Safety Day is a yearly celebration to promote and protect the physical, moral, and social well-being of all persons with disabilities (PWDs).

WhiIe inside the mall, the trainees had the chance to interact with mall workers and purchase items on their own.

To highlight the celebration, the visually-impaired trainees toured SM City Cebu.

They experienced taking the escalator and elevator and toured the different areas of the mall.

During the tour, the trainees were also oriented on the locations of the comfort rooms for them to know how to use the modern toilet facilities.

WhiIe inside the mall, the trainees interacted with some mall personnel like the sales ladies and cashiers and had the chance to purchase items on their own.

The use of the white cane dates back to 1921 when a Bristol photographer named James Biggs used it to help him move around after he lost his vision in an accident.

He chose the white cane so that even at night, he would be visible to pedestrians and motorists.

The white cane is a symbol of greater mobility for the visually impaired and of their full participation in the community.

In preparation for the mall tour, personnel from AVRC II gave a lecture on the Basic Sighted Guide Techniques, Mobility Cane Self Protective Techniques and its correct usage.

The simulation activity followed where sighted individuals were blindfolded for them to experience the difficulty of being blind.

Sighted individuals were blind folded during the simulation activity.

Other trainees served as guide to the blindfolded trainees to apply the basic sighted guide techniques.

AVRC II has been at the forefront of providing human resource development to PWDs in the Visayas region through various skills enhancement program. ###


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Volunteers flock to help repack family food packs

About 1,878 individuals flock to the Visayas Disaster Response Center (VDRC) in Barangay Casuntingan, Mandaue City to help in the repacking of family food packs.

Most of the volunteers are students from various universities and colleges in Metro Cebu namely, University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF); Mandaue City College (MCC); Cebu Technological University (CTU); University of the Visayas (UV); AMA Computer Learning Center (ACLC Mandaue); STI College Cebu; Cebu Normal University (CNU); University of San Carlos (USC), Cebu Institute of Technology – University (CIT-U); University of San Jose – Recoletos (USJ-R); University of Cebu – Lapulapu and Mandaue (UCLM); and Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise (CITE).

“We are grateful and we appreciate the help of the volunteers in the repacking of family food packs at the VDRC,” said DSWD-7 Regional Director Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre.

The DSWD 7 has been repacking family food packs to support the families affected by the Marawi clash.

“Even though we already have the mechanized production system, we still need people to put the goods in the box –  6 kilos rice, 4 canned sardines, 4 canned meat and 6 sachets of 3-in-1 coffee and ensure that the goods are properly placed and in order,” Macapobre added.

Aside from the student volunteers, personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) also render volunteer work.

Private organizations and individuals also help in the repacking.

DSWD-7 personnel help in the repacking of family food packs in VDRC.

“Since most of the students go to VDRC during weekends, our own DSWD-7 personnel volunteer to help during weekdays,” said Macapobre.

After regular office hours, DSWD-7 personnel from different programs and units go to VDRC to do voluntary work for at least two hours. ###


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