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DSWD-7 Fight against Human Trafficking Strengthened

The amendment of the Republic Act 9208 on Human Trafficking to Republic Act 10364 popularly known as Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act paves way to intensify protection of the victims.

“The new law gave victim-survivors more strength to stand on their rights and make the government’s fight against human trafficking more effective”, says Rosemarie Salazar, DSWD’s Focal Person on Women and Family.

Under RA 10364, names of the accused and suspects in human trafficking cases are allowed to be reported and published in newspapers.

The new law also defines attempted trafficking as a crime which carries a penalty of fifteen (15) years of imprisonment and a fine not less than five hundred thousand pesos but not more than one million pesos.

Additionally, included liabilities of accessories and accomplices of human trafficking activities have also been clearly laid down in the new amendment law.

Accomplices are those who knowingly aid, abet and cooperate in the execution of the crime. Accessories, on the other hand, are those who have knowledge of the crime with no active participation.

On the expanded version the law, any person who buys or engages the services of a trafficked person for prostitution shall be penalized from six years to twelve years of imprisonment and a fine not less than fifty thousand pesos but not more than one hundred thousand pesos.

Salazar further added that majority of the victims came in a form of human trade where 70% are women whose root causes are lack of education, unemployment, armed conflict as well as natural disasters.

On this, DSWD provides ten thousand pesos for livelihood assistance, employment opportunities and skills training for the victim-survivors under the Recovery and Reintegration Program for Trafficked Persons (RRPTP).

The “Balik Probinsya” financial assistance is also allocated for victims who are residing outside Cebu City or even outside the region.

The agency has also stepped up for its anti-trafficking efforts through hotline number (032) 406-5832 or at 0917-7030967 who receive calls and act on the reported cases 24/7. (PR – Kerwin Macopia)


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DSWD-7 Clients Interacts with AstraZeneca Delegates to Celebrate NDPR Week

About 50 clients of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-7) through the Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center (AVRC II) took part in a recent social interaction activity conducted by the medical representatives and managers of AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical Company in Labangon, Cebu City.

The activity aimed to provide AstraZeneca staff understanding on the plight of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) by way of simulation activities as wells as to promote the programs and services of the center.

Each of the medical representatives and managers of the pharmaceutical company was assigned to simulate one category whether on deaf, visually impaired and orthopedically impaired followed by group assessment facilitated by the center staff.

The participants learned that even if they have physical disabilities they still have same capacity with normal persons and they can still use whatever they have in order to live and survive.

Also part of the program was an orientation on Health Education conducted by Dr. Geraldine Sales specializing in Family Medicine from Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC).

DSWD in Central Visayas observed the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week. This year’s celebration adopts the theme, “Building an Inclusive and Non-Handicapping Environment for Persons with Disabilities,” which aims to promote the principles and practices on equal participation of persons with disabilities in the society and the mainstreaming of disability agenda in the programs of government agencies, non-government organizations, and other concerned stakeholders. (PR – Kerwin Macopia)



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Gender issues are as sensitive as it is complicated, affecting both men and women regardless of their lives status quo. However, for the vulnerable poor women who are living in the archaic concept of men are stronger and women are for breeding, defining issues relative to gender sensitivity paves the way for equality, empowerment, self-respect and sustainable development.

More than a hundred field workers of DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program together with partner civil society organizations were capacitated on Gender Sensitivity through various workshops that promotes all structure systems, programs and services that are gender-responsive anchored and on the DSWD’s Gender and Development (GAD) mainstreaming framework.

The training aims to capacitate the city and municipal links in the field to promote reduction of gender based violence among women and abuses towards children. In doing so it harnesses their skills in collaboration and coordination towards other partner agencies and eventually be replicated by the beneficiaries themselves in their respective household and the community.

The said training also introduces varied approach in introducing the rights of the children, the Republic Act 9262 Law or “Anti Violence Againts Women and Children” which provides protective measures for victims and its prescribed penalties as well human rights of each individual. This approach aims to empower the disadvantage sector, most especially the women. Combined with on-hand experiences, the said training harnesses the skills of the implementer.

The approval of the AO05 series 2012, mandated to capacitate the service providers on Gender Sensitivity Trainings in order to ensure that all structures, systems and programs are gender-responsive anchored on the GAD Framework.

It also helps promote skills development on coordination and collaboration towards the realization of Gender Equality, Women Empowerment and Sustainable development. (PR_Lariba)


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DSWD Conducts 7th Regional Directors Consultation Workshop

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recently conducted the 7th Pantawid Pamilya Regional Directors Workshop in Dumaguete City.

The consultation was attended by different Regional Directors from four national government agencies: Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Tourism (DOT) which aimed at presenting updates and assessment on future programs implemented by partner agencies which will answer the needs of the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

“Our partnership with various agencies is crucial in implementing social protection services in order to have a smooth transition of our beneficiaries. Synergizing capabilities and strength with them will ensure that they will not be left behind and that we will break intergenerational poverty,” DSWD-7 Regional Director Mercedita Jabagat said during the Welcome Dinner.

Moreover, she also added that aside from the partner agencies mentioned the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) now joined in to integrate their commitments in the transition plan that will focus on livelihood relative to agriculture and tourism.

On the occasion, Regional Directors had a community visit to five LGUs in Negros Oriental namely: Bindoy, Ayungon, Manjuyod, Dauin and Mabinay which have existing tourism programs. They also had a dialogue and group discussion with the Pantawid beneficiaries.

“Kung bukas wala ng Pantawid kakayanin namin, para sa kinabukasan ng aming mga anak. Ginagawan namin ng paraan para makatawid kami sa aming kahirapan. (If tomorrow there will be no more Pantawid, we will still make it for the sake of the future of our children. We are finding ways so that we can be able to surpass the challenge of poverty),” shared one of the beneficiaries after the interview on how they will continue spending their lives after graduating on the conditional cash transfer program of the government.

After the visit, the different groups had a regional convergence planning that identifies specific area of collaboration among the present agencies.

Meanwhile, DSWD also inked Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with DOT during the consultation dialogue for livelihood opportunities through tourism-related activities. DOT sees opportunities for beneficiaries to showcase their skills as performers, tour guides, native product sellers and service crew members for various hotels and resorts. (PR – Kerwin Macopia)



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Funds Poured for Supplementary Feeding in San Isidro

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Director Mercedita Jabagat recently turned over Php 297,600 funds for the implementation of the third cycle of the Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) in the town of San Isidro, Bohol.

The feeding program was launched in 2011.

About 248 children enrolled in all 12 Day Care Centers in the town are expected to benefit from the program this year.

SFP is the provision of food supplementation in a form of hot meals to be served during snack/meal time to children five days in a week for 120 days. Under this feeding program, children beneficiaries aged 3-5 years old. This will be managed by the parents based on a prepared meal cycle using available indigenous food.

So far, San Isidro was the first LGU to implement SFP of the 132 towns and cities for the first cycle in the whole region. This program was made possible in partnership with the LGU’s.

SFP aims to improve the knowledge, attitude and practices of children enrolled in government pre-schools through intensified nutrition and health education aside from provision of augmentation support in their regular meals.

On the same occasion, Sen. Manny Villar also released Php 250,000 funds from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for the said town.

DSWD-7 also participated in the Nutrition Month Celebration with the theme: “Gutom at Malnutrisyon, sama-sama nating Wakasan!” to increase awareness on hunger issues and to mitigate hunger and malnutrition, to encourage stakeholders to contribute in addressing hunger issues and to advocate for stronger political action to end hunger. (PR – Kerwin Macopia)


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“The coconut is a symbol of resilience, even in the conditions where there’s very little nourishment and even less nurturance, it flourishes, growing taller than most of the plants around it.” Neesha Meminger

Before the sun rises, Pinky Ondagas is already gathering coconut sap 8-10 meters above the ground. As she waits for 25-30 coconuts to drip its sap within the next 4 hours she gets to enjoy the rising sun and chirping birds but it rains, waiting gets to have a different meaning. “Kung mag ulan, danlug man kayo ikatkat, tugnaw pa gyud. Ang tuba kay masagulan pa gyud ug tubig au nga musamot ug kadugay mahimong asukar” (climbing is so slippery when it rains and 4 hours of waiting is so called. Most of the time, rain mixes into to the sap and it takes a longer time to make sugar) said Pinky.

Poverty aborted Pinky’s college education in her 3rd year. Not knowing what else to do, she walked in her mother’s footsteps and married early. A decade and a half later she is already a mother of three ages 9, 11 and 15 with only a farmer’s meagre income from her husband to get them. However, just like a coconut, even with little to get by Pinky is determined to give her children a better education and a better future.

Knowing the value of education, Pinky grabbed every opportunity to attend free trainings and seminars and with this attitude she never missed a family development session since she became a Pantawid Pamilya member almost 5 years ago. When the opportunity to came for the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) through the collaboration of DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood program for a one-day training free training on how to make sugar out of coconut, she joined 32 other mothers to learn the trade.

Almost a year after, of the 32 women trained in coco sugar, Pinky was the only left doing the trade. “Lisod ug kuyaw pa gyud kung ting ulan apan di pud nako ikalimod nga nakatabang gyud ang halin sa coco sugar ug di ko makuyawan sa panglawas sa akong mga bata ug ginikanan” (making coco sugar is difficult and dangerous especially during rainy days but we cannot also deny that the income I make from it helps, and its health content puts me to at ease with the health of my children and aging parents.

While gathering coconut sap, Pinky’s mother-in-law prepares a fire to cook the sap because a delay of even more than 30 minutes from the time it is harvested would mean a sugar candy instead of a sugar. As the sugar cooks in low heat over earthen fire, one has to stir constantly until it becomes granulated and at this takes another 3 hours.

On an average day with 25-30 coconuts in use, Pinky is able to make half a kilo of coco sugar which sells at P100, most of which is being bought by the PCA. Seeing her efforts and witnessing the benefits of the sugar in their family, Pinky’s in-laws are lending a hand into the business which enables them to produce at least 2kilos a day or an average of P12T a month. A figure that has helped augments their household income a great deal.

By the time, the Ondagas family would graduate from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the DSWD at the end of the year, they are assured of an alternative income augmentation as they continue their journey towards crossing poverty assuring Pinky’s children of a better education and a better future. It is indeed a sweet alternative to work with. (PR_Lariba)


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DSWD-7 Now Hiring 3T Staff for its Second Round of Household Assessment

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Field Office 7 through its National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) is now hiring 3,234 field staff for the Second Round of Poor Household Assessment in September.

These include 85 Area Coordinators, 432 Area Supervisors, 2,117 Enumerators, 300 Verifiers and 300 Encoders.

To be an Area Coordinator and Area Supervisor one must be a bachelor’s degree holder preferably any course in Social Science, he/she must have at least one (1) year experience in a supervisory role, must have good communication and interviewing skills, must be good in conflict resolution and mediation work and should be computer literate.

For Enumerators one must have at least two (2) years of college education, must have good communication and interviewing skills, physically healthy, willing to travel to far flung barangays and must be computer literate especially on android applications.

To qualify to be an Encoder and Verifier, he/she must have at least two (2) years of college education, must be computer literate and has an encoding speed of at least 35 words per minute.

Interested applicants may personally submit their application letter, comprehensive resume with a 2×2 recent ID picture and a photocopy of transcript of records (TOR) to their City or Municipal Social Welfare and Development Offices where he/she resides.

Deadline for submission of applications will be on July 26, 2013.

These newly hired field staff will go through an intensive training starting August before they will be deployed to their designated areas for the actual assessment conduct on September.

DSWD-7 Regional Director Mercedita Jabagat, said that the target households to be assessed are 1,016,269 to cover all poor households in Central Visayas.

The newly assessed households will go through Proxy Means Test (PMT) for poor and non-poor identification. PMT is a statistical formula that estimates the income of households based on the proxy variables included in the household assessment form.

This stringent process aims to ensure the integrity of the database before sharing it to other government agencies and social protection stakeholders.

NHTS-PR assessment is conducted every four years. It is an information management system that identifies who and where poor households are in the country.

For more inquiries, please call the DSWD Field Office 7 at (032) 232-9505 local 118 or 123. One may look for Kerwin Macopia, Lee Estamo or Ruben Boybanting. (PR- Kerwin R. Macopia)

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DSWD-7 Prepares for 2013 Poor Household Assessment

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 7 is now preparing for the conduct of its National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) Second Round of Household Assessment in September.

Regional Director Mercedita Jabagat announced that starting August 2013, DSWD-7 will be hiring of 3,471 field staff that will assess the poor households in the region. These include Area Coordinators, Area Supervisors, Enumerators, Verifiers and Encoders.

NHTS-PR assessment is conducted every four years. It is an information management system that identifies who and where poor households are in the country.

The data generated will constitute the bases from which various government and non-government agencies and civil society will objectively identify beneficiaries of their respective social protection programs and services.

NHTS-PR Regional Field Coordinator Ruben Boybanting, said that the target households to be assessed were raised from an initial list of 869,000 to 1,016,269 to cover all poor households in Central Visayas.

Boybanting added that after the regular enumeration, they will conduct an On-Demand Application (ODA) and Validation of the collected data. ODA and Validation are two major activities made to support the household assessments and address issues on under coverage and inclusion of non-poor households. These processes aim to ensure the integrity of the database before sharing it to other government agencies and social protection stakeholders.

Interested applicants may inquire directly to DSWD-7 at (032) 232-9505 local 118.

The 2013 NHTS-PR is the second of the quadrennial poor household assessment. (PR – Kerwin Macopia)


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