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Boosting mobility, well-being of DSWD 7’s ortho clients through accessible in-house PT services

As part of the mission of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD’s) to promote human and social development, the Department has committed to effectively promote social protection programs and services to vulnerable sectors of the society, wherein one of the many human development programs of DSWD focuses on the significant rehabilitation of physically and mentally disabled individuals in the community for effective social functioning.

Maricel Talledo, 35, orthopedically impaired and currently enrolled in Commercial Cooking class at Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center (AVRC) II of DSWD-7 in Labangon, Cebu City, undergoes physical therapy session thrice a week in the in-house PT services in the center.

Relative to this, the DSWD Field Office VII by virtue of Republic Act 1159 of 1954 has established a vocational rehabilitation center on September 30, 1974 to serve persons with disabilities (PWDs), which offers a comprehensive vocational recovery program to address the multi-faceted problems of persons with disabilities. The Department’s Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center (AVRC) II’s package of services is designed to respond effectively and efficiently to the social, emotional psychological, physical, vocational and livelihood needs of the enrolled center clients who usually belong to the marginalized sectors and are deprived of health services.

“These vulnerable sectors of our society are the ones prone to damaging criticisms from the public that would erode their self-esteem and self-worth. Sadly, most of them would believe that are incompetent in the society. Now, this has become the most challenging part of the center – to lift them from wallowing in self-pity,” expressed Ms. Eutilla Tahanlangit, AVRC II Center Head.

Throughout the center’s operation, the orthopedically-impaired persons such as amputees, stroke and polio survivors, and those with congenital bone deformities have consistently ranked second highest to the visually-impaired clients in terms of proportion seeking assistance from the center, which has an average quantity of 37.56% from 1998-2018.

The center has a comprehensive vocational rehabilitation program and provides varied services addressing to various needs of PWD, it however lacks technical expertise and financial capacity to provide for the physical restoration and rehabilitation of the orthopedically impaired specifically the amputees, stroke and polio survivors, whose achievement of rehabilitation is largely dependent on their mobility and good physical functioning.

Thus, the AVRC II with the partnership of Cebu Doctor’s University (CDU) has established an in-house physical therapy services in the center for free to restore and regain maximum body functioning and make accessible affordable mobility aids and physical rehabilitation treatments to indigent orthopedically-impaired clients, which was eventually opened to indigent walk-in clients as well. In this in-house physical therapy (PT) services, the AVRC II basically provides a room as PT unit, light, water, and maintenance of the facility while the CDU provides all the necessary equipment, supplies and materials, a full-time clinical instructor who closely supervise the PT interns of CDU that serves as the manpower for the PT sessions of the clients.

The project has positively impacted a total of 2,390 lives of the orthopedically impaired clients of the centers since 1998 up to the present, wherein 94% of them has gained independence in movement, 99% of them have also increased their self-esteem and gained confidence in socializing people around them, while 90% have already joined organizations or community activities and 82% have already been placed in an employment helping in the augmentation of their family income.

Dakong natabang sa akoa ang physical therapy kay naka anam-anam nako og tarong og lakaw. Lahi ra jud sauna kumpara karon. Naay dakong kausaban sa akong panglawas (The physical therapy was a great help to me because I have gradually relearned waking on my own. It’s really different compared before. There is a great change in my health),” said a 64-year-old male ortho client in Calape, Bohol who previously had a difficulty in walking.

This improved physical mobility of the clients has improved their self-image and boosted their self-esteems that eventually lead to their change of attitude from being easily controlled by their disability to empowered individuals finishing vocational trainings helpful in gaining employment.

The main goal of the center to promote human resource development is indeed manifested in this vocational rehabilitation program which enables the served-clients to improve their social and economic competences that are helpful in molding them as dynamic members of the community.

Although, it is a free-of-service, it does not compromise the quality of service that it provides to its clients. It guarantees the same good provision to its ortho clients comparable to services in private hospitals.

Parehas ra ang serbisyong among nadawat diri sa AVRC ug sa kadtong unang therapy sa pribadong ospital ug home service (We received the same services in AVRC as that in the private hospitals or those who do home services),” another ortho-client expressed.

Now, to embody the official hashtag of the department, the #DSWDMayMalasakit, this free-of-charge services has been opened to indigent walk-in clients who are also stroke survivors, senior citizens and individual who suffer from serious physical injuries needing physical therapy services.

“The popularity of the in-house PT services of AVRC II has already reached the physiatrists from the government and private hospitals. These professionals usually inform their indigent patients on the existing facility so that they can avail the services for free. For example, Dr. Barcenas, volunteer physiatrist of AVRC II advises his patients to have a consultation check-up at the center during his schedule in the center for free instead of going to Cebu Doctors’ Hospital in which each client is required to pay P500 for consultation fee,” said, Ms. Eutilla Tahanlangit, AVRC II Center Head.

It has been observed by the AVRC that the mobility-impaired clients of the center significantly need this physical therapy service as a first-level intervention, which focuses on their mobility services important to sustain their vocational training in AVRC II.

This in-house Physical Therapy service has been continuously provided to the AVRC enrolled and walk-in clients as a strategic exemplification of DSWD’s goal to empower its clients through maximizing residual capacities of persons with disabilities and achieve social and economic development. ###


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Dylene Jee S. Polea: Her Life’s Musical Journey

Kaming mga kabataan karon Ayaw pasagdi’ng mawala…ohhh (We, the children of today, do not allow us to perish…ohhh),” Dylene starts singing her winning song entitled “Paglaum” (Hope).

“Busa palihog agaka Kining among pagpakigbisug Ning lumba sa kapalaran Ika’y paglaum ning kinabuhi (Please guide us In our struggle In this race towards destiny You are the hope of our existence),” she continued singing the lines that made a mark on her at a young age.

Dylene Jee Polea, 2018 Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya Children regional winner, belts the song “A Million Dreams” during the opening salvo of the 26th National Children’s Month celebration.

“I started joining amateur singing contests when I was five years old. At that time, I did not understand the meaning of the song. Slowly, my father explained to me what the song is all about. Only then that I realized the important message of the song which is about the real situation of children who went astray and faced life’s uncertainties maybe because their parents or guardians had neither guided and nor trained them in the way they should go,” said Dylene in dialect.

Kaming mga kabataan, paglaum sa tanan (We, the children are everybody’s hope),” belted Dylene of the song’s last line, showcasing her singing prowess.

Who is Dylene Jee?

Dylene Jee Polea, 14 years old lives in Barangay Ibabao, Cordova, Cebu.  She is the second daughter of Darwin and Elizabteh Polea. Her elder sister is Sheena, 18 years old and her younger siblings are Darylle, 12 and Wenn, 11.

Darwin, Dylene’s father, is employed in a private tour service as a van driver.

Elizabeth, Dylene’s mother, used to work in Mactan Export Processing Zone (MEPZ) in Lapu-Lapu City. But she resigned to take care of her children. To help her husband put food on the table, she manages her own sari-sari store. She also sells food to their neighbors.

Maka-income man sad ko sa pagpaninda diri ug makabantay sad ko sa akong mga anak labi na karon nga silang tanan kay ga-eskwela pa (I can earn through selling, at the same time watch over my children especially now that they are all studying),” said Elizabeth.

Sheene is presently studying at the University of Cebu Lapu-Lapu Mandaue (UCLM) Campus under the Private Education Assistance Committee (PEAC) Senior High School (SHS) Voucher Program. Dylene and Darylle, are in grade 9 and grade 7, respectively, at Babag National High School in Lapu-Lapu City. Wenn is a grade 6 student at Ibabao Elementary School, Cordova, Cebu.

Sheene, Dylene and Darylle are monitored children under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Dylene has all praises for her parents whom she described as hardworking despite their hardships just to provide for their needs.

“If I were to dedicate a song to my parents, it would be ‘Iingatan ka by Carol Banawa’,” said Dylene as she likes the lyrics of the song and the crystal clear voice of Carol, the singer whom she admires.

With her melodic voice Dylene sings the chorus of the song, “Iingatan ka Aalagaan ka Sa puso ko ikaw ang pag-asa Sa ‘ting mundo’y May gagabay sa iyo Ang alay ko’y itong pagmamahal ko (Taking care of you Taking care of you In my heart you are my hope In our world There’s someone who will guide you I dedicate this, my love for you).”

“Saying Thank You to my parents would not be enough to express how grateful I am to be their daughter because they taught us the right values and they encouraged us to show our potentials,” Dylene added. 

On being a Pantawid Pamilya Partner-Beneficiary

Her family is receiving a regular cash grant of Php 4,000.00 every two months for their health and education grants for junior and senior high school students. They also receive Php 1,200.00 rice subsidy and a one-time Php 2,400.00 for the unconditional cash transfer (UCT) for this year.

Nakatabang ang cash grant nga nadawat namo gikan sa Pantawid kay nakapuno kini sa pagbudget ni Mama sa mga galastuhon sama sa kung naa mi school project ug uban pang school activities (The Pantawid cash grants help my mother in her budgeting of the family’s expenses especially for our school projects and for other school activities),” Dylene underscored as she is determined to finish her studies and get a degree.

Elizabeth sees to it that the cash grants are put in good use. She ensures that the money is used to its intended purpose – for children’s education, health and food.

Dako among pasalamat sa tabang pinaagi sa 4Ps pero wala mi nagsalig ani kay kabalo mi nga kini nga subsidy kay usa ra sa paagi sa gobyerno aron matabangan ang mga kabus sama namo (We are grateful for the help of 4Ps but we are not dependent on this because we know that this subsidy is just one way of the government in helping the poor like us)”, Elizabeth explain.

“Our children are our source of happiness and every medal or recognition is already an achievement to us,” Elizabeth added.

Darwin Polea teaches Dylene on how to strum the guitar.

Hence, both Elizabeth and Darwin strive hard to find means to support their family.

The couple are regular attendees of the Family Development Session (FDS).  It is there that they learned insights on responsible parenthood, disaster preparedness, values and spiritual formation and other relevant topics.  Elizabeth, as a parent, gives due attention to the roles of parents and the rights of children. She understands the important role of parents in molding a child.

The family is also aware of the value of money and that they should only spend for the essentials and always saves for emergencies. Dylene and her siblings maintain an ‘alkansiya’ out of their meager school allowance.

On Education and Academic Excellence

The benefits of education are far-reaching and innumerable.  Being educated and informed is a good way to get out of poverty.

Dylene must have realized this when she throws her heart out to attain good education. Her tenacity and perseverance in studying is rewarded by honors and recognition in academic excellence and climbing up the school stage every commencement exercise has become her tradition. All these made her parents beamed with pride and honor.

Dylene said that she gives her all in her studies.

Ganahan ko magtuon kay plano nako mamahimong Doctor aron makatabang sa mga bata nga adunay sakit (I like studying a lot because I want to be a Doctor someday so that I can help the sick children),” Dylene said.

She said that to excel in class, one has to attend the class always for missing even just a day makes a difference. Her secret weapon is to take down notes on important points and not just rely on memory. Nothing beats focus and hard work.

Elder sister Sheene occasionally tutors and mentors Dylene on subjects she encounters with difficulties. In return, she also helps her younger brothers in their assignments.

The Song Bird 

She is dubbed as the “song bird” because of her exceptional singing prowess.  She is exposed to singing tilts inside and outside school. Her family began seeing the potentials in her when she was only four years old, when she just hummed sounds and created harmonies. She used to mimic singers despite uttering inaccurately the lyrics of the songs.

Her teachers also saw her as a promising singer and afforded her the opportunities to shine by inviting her to sing during school programs. She even became the regular school representative in singing contest.

Recently, she joined the “Your Face Sounds Familiar” contest in Babag National High School wherein she impersonated KZ Tandingan and rendered the piece, “Two Less Lonely People in the World”.

Dylene admits her passion and inclination towards music. It is her way of expressing herself and letting go of suppressed emotions. Music is life for her, so to speak.

“I believe that music is a universal language and I use this God-given talent to promote peace and advance my advocacy against cyber pornography, bullying and drug addiction,” she said.

Known for her good leadership, Dylene got elected as one of the class officers in her school. She uses her influence to promote peace and order in her class. She serves as a good role model to her classmates in terms of diligence and takes a strong stance against drug addiction, cyber pornography and teenage pregnancy.

Dylene makes it sure that she answers her school assignments.

“As a junior police in our school, I am part of the elite team who knows the whereabouts of the students and monitor their absences and cutting classes,” said Dylene.

Her Advocacy

Dylene and her family live in a place where there are known cyber pornographic activities. Despite not being involved in the illegal activities, the young Dylene also suffered the stigma of having lived in the place. She does not deserve to be affected by these activities and she could only hope there is still remedy for this unfortunate situation.

“I am angry to those who are engaged in cyber pornography for ruining the future of the young and innocent lives and for tainting the name of Barangay Ibabao and the Municipality of Cordova,” said Dylene.

“To fight cyber pornography, one needs to be informed so that they will not be easily lured by easy money,” she added.

She believes that internet is helpful but she is also aware of its bad effects to the youth.

In her own little ways, she takes an active participation in the barangay affairs in particular in Purok Makugihon Youth and Ibabao Youth Circle. She renders service in feeding programs and clean up drive and attends in symposiums, seminars and youth jamborees.

Dylene may just be a child but she makes sure she has a voice. She does little things in the hope of creating a ripple effect in the near future. “I will use my small voice to campaign against cyber pornography and tell them that there are many ways in earning money and not the way of selling one’s self,” Dylene said.

She and her friends who are Sangguniang Kabataan Members carry the slogan “Ang kausaban magagikan gayod sa kaugalingon (Change starts from us).”

Faith in God 

Dylene knows that her skills and talents are all God-given.

Kining akong boses kay gihatag sa Ginoo aron pagsangyaw sa maayong balita (My voice is given to me by God to proclaim the good news),” she said.

Dylene attends regular church activities and joins bible studies and sings in the music ministry.

She particularly likes the worship song “How lovely is your dwelling place”.

“Blest are they refreshed by springs and by rain When dryness daunts and scathes

Behold my shield My king and my God,” sings in her angelic voice.

Dylene shares to other students of Cordova National High School her views on a topic discussed during the Information Campaign on Awareness Raising About Online Sexual Exploitation to Children and Anti-Child Pornography.

“The song is a reminder of God’s love and protecting presence and I share this good message to my friends as well,” she added.

Even though the family cannot attend church activities together since they have different religious beliefs, Dylene said that family members respect each other’s belief and conviction.

Dylene and her dreams  

Just like every child, Dylene has her dream and she holds it in her heart. She wants to become a doctor and a singer. A singer doctor, perhaps.

Kanang doctor nga mukanta sa iyang mga pasyente aron madali ilang pag-ayo (A doctor that can sing to her patients so that they can easily be healed),” she said.

Daghan man ko og damgo sa akong kaugalingon ug para sa akong pamilya. Puhon makab-ot naku ni aron makatabang pud ko sa ubang nga nagkinahangalan (I have many dreams for myself and for my family. Hopefully, I can achieve those dreams so that I can help those who are in need),” said Dylene as she remembers a popular song entitled a “A Million Dreams”. ###


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DSWD-7 bags 2018 Red Orchid Award of DOH

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office VII (DSWD-7) received the Red Orchid Award of the Department of Health (DOH) during the 2018 Regional Health Summit and Awarding Ceremony yesterday, November 15, 2018 at Grand Convention Center of Cebu.

DSWD-7 Assistant Regional Director for Administration Grace Q. Subong together with Human Resource Welfare Unit Head Joseph John Orden receive the plaque for the Red Orchid Award during the DOH Regional Health Summit and Awarding Ceremony at the Grand Convention Center of Cebu.

DOH Red Orchid Award is an annual search for the 100% Tobacco-Free Environment covering national government offices, hospitals and local government units and was conceptualized to combat tobacco use since it has been identified as the major contributor in cardio-vascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and cancer.

This is the first time that the regional office joined in the annual tilt and the Department has been implementing the “No Smoking Policy Campaign” within its office premises.

DSWD-7 Assistant Regional Director for Administration (ARDA) Grace Q. Subong and Human Resource Welfare (HRW) Unit Head Joseph John Orden received the plaque for the Red Orchid award which recognizes the efforts and support of the department in the tobacco-free campaign of DOH.

Other Red Orchid Awardees for this year, 2018, are the Municipality of Siquijor, Siquijor, San Remigio, Cebu, Tuburan, Cebu, Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) 7 and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) 7.

“Let us maintain our no smoking practices not just for the award but for our health and that of our families and even of the clients that we are serving,” said Regional Director Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre to DSWD-7 staff.

The DOH Red Orchid Award winners were judged based on the strength of comprehensive efforts to implement a 100% Tobacco-Free Environment using the World Health Organization (WHO) MPOWER initiative.

MPOWER is an acronym that denotes the six proven tobacco control policies, namely: Monitor tobacco control policies, Protect people from tobacco smoke, Offer help to quit tobacco use, Warn against the dangers of tobacco, Enforce bans on tobacco advertising and Raise taxes on tobacco. ###


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26th National Children’s Month Kick-Off

In the observance of the 26th National Children’s Month (NCM), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 7 conducted the Awareness and Advocacy Walk as a kick-off activity for this month-long celebration which started from Plaza Sugbu to Cebu Capitol Grounds on Saturday, Nov.10, 2018.

Partner National Government Agencies (NGAs), Local Government Units (LGUs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) participate in the opening salvo of the 2018 National Children’s Month.

The NCM is pursuant to the Republic Act No. 10661 which declares November as the National Children’s Month with this year’s theme “Movember to Positive Parenting” or “Isulong: Tamang Pag-aaruga Para sa Lahat ng Bata.”

A short program was held at the Cebu Capitol Grounds with the following participating agencies and organizations: PNP Band, PRO 7, Day Care workers from; Cebu Province, Cebu City, Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City, Talisay City and Danao City, Children’s Legal Bureau, Feed the Children Philippines, Inc., RAFI, World Vision Development Foundation Inc., FORGE Inc., The Share A Child Movement Inc., DILG, DepED, DOH, NYC, NNC, CHR, DOLE, DOJ, DA, NCIP, NEDA, NAPC, DTI, DOST, NTC, PIA, TESDA, PSA, POPCOM, OCD, BJMP and AFP.

Before the walk started, the Department of Health (DOH) organized a zumba dance in Plaza Sugbu to prepare the participants.

During the program, invited children and day care workers showcased their talents in singing and dancing. Dylene Jee Polea, the 2018 Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya Children Regional winner belted out a heartwarming song for the invocation, which sets the mood of the participants and a fitting start for the program.

A day care parent from Brgy. Talamban, Mr. Allain Kris Pacatan emphasized the importance of communication with children as one of the important tools in disciplining. He said “Kung di ta mauwaw makig-istorya sa ubang tawo, mas angay nga di ta mauwaw sa atong kaugalingong mga anak (If we are not ashamed to talk to other people, the more we should not be ashamed to communicate with our own kids)”.

Also, Dylene’s parent’s Mr. and Mrs. Darwin and Elizabeth Polea talked about how proud they are of their daughter and will not stop supporting her.

Atty. Noemi Truya-Abarientos of Children’s Legal Bureau, admitted that until now she is still understanding about her children especially the teenager.

Atty. Arvin Odron from Commission on Human Rights (CHR) talked about the rights of the child who is 18 years and below, that means unborn fetus in the mother’s womb are considered children and thus need to be protected as well. He added that “This advocacy should not end in November, as long as the children needs us”.

Another song filled the air as Mr. Jubabe C. Sabornido of DSWD region 7 sang a meaningful song about children.

Finally, everyone grooved to the beat as a Flash mob dance concluded the event. ###


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DSWD-7 disburses more than 1.4B for UCT

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VII has already disbursed a total of Php 1,418,779,200.00 for this year implementation of the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) program.

DSWD-7 workers validate the identity of the social pensioner before he receives his Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) cash grant.

As of October 31, 2018, a total of 284,310 Pantawid Pamilya partner-beneficiaries have received their UCT cash grants through cash cards and over-the-counter (OTC) payout.

While, 124,849 social pension beneficiaries and 181,999 Listahanan-identified poor beneficiaries already received their UCT grants via OTC bringing the total up to 591,158 UCT beneficiaries given their grants since the regional office started last March 7, 2018.

However, 87,067 beneficiaries are still yet to claim their UCT cash grants.

Some of the reasons for the unclaimed cash grants are absence of Listahanan-identified poor household head during payout due to work location and bedridden senior citizens were not able to visit the off-site payment.

The DSWD regional office is targeting to conduct the payout for those who were not able to claim their UCT payout starting November 15, 2018 and advice those beneficiaries to wait for the announcement of the exact date of payout in their city or municipality.

DSWD will hire notifiers to visit and coordinate with the Local Government Units (LGUs) for the orderly payout implementation.

The UCT is considered the biggest tax reform mitigation under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law which seeks to provide cash subsidy amounting to Php 200 per month for 2018 and Php 300 per month for 2019 and 2020. ###


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4Ps beneficiaries avails other social interventions

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office VII (DSWD-7) provides various social interventions to 174,585 or 69% out of the 259,247 Pantawid Pamilya partner-beneficiaries in Central Visayas region.

This abundant Anthurium flower garden of Liptong 4Ps Cut Flower Grower Sustainable Livelihood Program Association (SLPA) lies in the mountain barangay of Liptong, Valencia, Negros Oriental. The flowers are distributed to different outlets in the municipality, giving income to the association whose 4Ps partner-beneficiaries believe that unity is the key to have a productive business.

“The goal of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps is to send healthy children in school. However, our partner-beneficiaries can only avail the program if their children are aged 0-18 years old or until they finish high school, whichever comes first and so to ensure that the quality of well-being is improved, the Department also provides other programs and services,” said Regional Director Ma. Evelyn Macapobre.

To ensure their long-term growth, DSWD provided livelihood and/or employment to 23,892 Pantawid Pamilya partner-beneficiaries through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). It invests in building the capacity of people to engage in economic activities so that they will be able to stand on their own.

Some of them are now engaged in hog raising, egg-laying poultry, handicraft production and fashion accessories.

DSWD has also encouraged 4Ps beneficiaries to join the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS). Under this program, 31,272 4Ps beneficiaries participated on issues directly affecting them, as well as draw up solutions in partnership with the Local Government Units (LGUs).

“Through Kalahi-CIDSS, they become part in the development of their communities and become active citizens. Their voices are heard and they become essential part of decision-making,” added Director Macapobre.

Aside from SLP and Kalahi-CIDSS, 12,060 beneficiaries availed the Assistance to Individual in Crisis Situations (AICS).

“We, in DSWD also recognizes the contribution of our partner national government agencies (NGAs), local government units (LGUs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in alleviating their lives from poverty,” said Director Macapobre.

The Department of Health (DOH) provided services to 25,354 4Ps beneficiaries through their Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Program and medical/dental services. The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) provided the 25,679 4Ps beneficiaries updated member data records (MDRs) which they used in claiming medical assistance.

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) provided skills training to 3,896 4Ps beneficiaries, the Commission on Population (POPCOM) gave technical assistance and reproductive health kits to 10,569 4Ps beneficiaries and the Department of Agriculture (DA) was also able to give seedlings to 12,441 beneficiaries.

A total of 23,379 beneficiaries were able to avail themselves of their LGUs initiated livelihood programs, job placements, financial assistance to senior citizens, among others. While partner CSOs provided job facilitations, access to micro finance and insurance, livelihood skills trainings to 6,043 beneficiaries. ###



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DSWD-7 campaigns against OSEC and Child Pornography in schools

In time of the celebration of 2018 National Children’s Month which is observed every November by virtue of Republic Act No. 10661, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7 has campaigned against Online Sexual Exploitation to Children (OSEC) and Child Pornography to four (4) schools in Lapu-lapu City and Cordova, Cebu last November 6-7, 2018.

Students of Ibabao Elementary School in Cordova, Cebu listen attentively to the discussion of Online Safety Tips and Anti-Child Pornography Law during the Information Campaign on Awareness Raising About Online Sexual Exploitation to Children conducted on November 7, 2018.

On November 6, 2018, the DSWD Team went to Babag I Elementary School and Babag National High School. The following day, November 7, 2018, the team also visited Ibabao Elementary School and Cordova National High School.

The activity aims to promote prevention of the proliferation of cases on different kinds of child abuse and the risk of irresponsible use of different social media sites or internet to children.

A total of 133 students aged 10-17 years old, mostly Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries joined the activity.

The participants viewed an informative animated movie that involves child-trafficking and child-pornography shown to them by Social Welfare Officer III Mylen Estardo and discussion regarding the movie followed thereafter.

Students also shared what they felt after watching the movie Red Leaves Falling. “I am sad. I am angry,” said Shane, 12. “I pity the child. I almost cry,” Mark, 12, also said.

Ms. Carolina Nuyda, Project Development Officer (PDO) III of DSWD-Led Inter-Agency Council, discussed to the student participants the significance of promotion and protection of children’s rights especially the right to protection of a child from sexual exploitation including prostitution and the use of children in pornographic materials. She also highlighted the important Online Safety Tips to prevent Online Sexual Exploitation of Children and Child Pornography.

Ms. Nuyda encouraged the children to resist, run and report if someone tries to take a sensual photo or video of them.

She also told the children to refrain from watching and sharing any materials with sexual graphics especially if there are children involved in the pornographic material as it is prohibited by the Republic Act 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Law.

At the end of the activity, student participants were asked important takeaways from the discussion that they may be able to share to others.

“If someone needs help, we should help them. Their cry for help should not fall on deaf ears,” said James, 10.

Ryan, 17, expressed the right things to do when confronted with situations where children are abused. “If we experience it, take action. Speak. We should report to the police,” he said. ###


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Pantawid beneficiary’s son tops naval exam

Joseph Vincent Y. Satura, 21, son of a Pantawid beneficiary, tops the recent naval exam conducted on October 2-4, 2018. He could not believe that he topped in the Naval Architect and Marine Engineer Licensure Examination garnering a rating of 92.20 percent.

He even admitted that on the first day of the exam he had somehow lost the hope to pass it because the questions seemed difficult to him.

The son of DSWD-7 Pantawid partner-beneficiaries Mr. Cresencio and Mrs. Rosalinda Satura, Joseph Vincent Y. Satura in his graduation toga.

Lipay kaayo ko. Wala jud ko nag expect kay ang amoa ra gyud ato sa akong friends nga makapasar lang mi (I didn’t expect to be on top because what we wished with my friends was to only pass the exam),” Joseph Vincent articulated.

He is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering in the University of Cebu (UC) and considered himself as among those ordinary students who only wanted to finish his studies and simply pass the licensure exam – expecting nothing more.

He expressed total gratitude to God and to his family for their prayers and encouragement all throughout his journey towards this feat. And his parents could not be any prouder for the pride that their son has brought to their family.

I hope nga magpabilin siya nga humble bisan paman unsa na iyang mga nakab-ot karon ug unsa pa iyang mga makab-ot (I hope he remains humble even with the accomplishments he already got and with those that he is yet to achieve.),” wished his mother, Rosalinda.

Joseph Vincent vividly relates the life they have. “Living in a communal house in Labangon, Cebu City with my family and other relatives and being the eldest of four siblings, I have dreamt of building our own house and experience what it feels to be able to provide something big for my family. So, I planned on pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Engineering believing that it would help me realize my dream house,” he expressed.

His hard work and determination has borne good fruit. He was granted a scholarship from Tsuneishi Foundation (Cebu) Inc. as he qualified and passed all the necessary screenings and examinations required for the scholarship. He was however, somehow, sad as his dream engineering course is not included in the degree programs offered under the scholarship; so, he took the Naval Architecture instead which he eventually fell in love with.

Though he did not get to worry about his tuition fee, budgeting his 50-peso daily allowance for fare, food and other miscellaneous expenses in school was a constant struggle. “I was however, thankful that for a lot of times the cash grants my mother would receive have helped me in my expenses for my projects especially during the time I was doing my thesis,” Joseph recounted.

Despite these financial challenges, it did not hinder him from performing excellently in college. In fact, before he graduated as Cum Laude in his chosen degree last March 2018, he has already championed and placed in different school-based and national competitions, and even represented his school in an international competition.

He championed and placed in different school-based and national competitions such as the 2015 UC Engineering Math Quiz bowl, 2015 and 2016 UC Engineering Subjects and Applied Science (ESAS) Quiz bowl, Stellar Composite Design Competition and the 2nd Alliance of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Students of the Philippines (ANAMESP): Math Quiz bowl and Naval Architecture Quiz bowl. Not only that, he also represented UC in the Worldwide Safety Ferry Association Design Competition in Thailand on April 2017. All these he made with all the backing coming from his family.

Grabe gyud ka supportive akong pamilya mao nga naningkamot jud ko (My family is very supportive. That’s why I strived),” said Joseph.

His mother, Rosalinda, 46, has also been all-out in providing every support that he needed-financial, emotional and moral. His family has been a good support system for him in his journey towards all the milestones he had. Rosalinda know how important it is for her children to have a good support system as they grow. She has been grateful for the takeaways from the Pantawid Pamilya’s Family Development Sessions (FDS) that she gets to apply in responsibly parenting her children.

Dako gyud og natabang ang FDS (Family Development Sessions) sa pagduma nako sa akong pamilya. Ang mga nakat-onan nako sa session ako gyud nang e-apply pirme ngadto sa akong mga anak, sa akong pamilya ug sa uban pud nga tawo sa community since BHW (Barangay Health Worker) man ko (FDS has helped me a lot in managing my family. Everything that I’ve learned in the sessions I always apply to my parenting towards my children, my family and as well as to other people in the community since I am a BHW.),” Rosalina expressed.

Currently, Joseph Vincent is a part-time faculty and is teaching subjects under Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering in the University of Cebu, Main Campus. He is planning to pursue his chosen profession by working in a shipbuilding company that granted him the scholarship after the school year 2017-2018.

When asked what tips he can give to those students like him, aspiring to be successful in their studies, he said “Always give your best in whatever you do, be it big or small. You have bigger chances of fulfilling your aspirations in life if you work hard for it, and of course never forget to pray and believe in God that he gives whatever your heart desires.”

Joseph is looking forward to designing their dream house very soon, helping his parents in sending his two other siblings who are also in college, taking up Civil Engineering and be able to fully give back to his family for their love and support in as much as he can.

This story of triumph is just one of the many accounts of transformation of the lives of DSWD beneficiaries who have been successful in improving their lives through full determination and support from the Department. ###


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