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Aquino Foundation holds leadership journey at NTSB

Forty-one residents of the National Training School for Boys (NTSB) recently participated in the two-day Leadership Journey conducted by The Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation at the institution’s compound in Brgy. Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal.

The activity, which was implemented under the theme “The call to leadership is a call to love,” aimed to engage the resident-participants in productive religious sessions and strengthen their spiritual relationship with God.

According to Ms. Ellen Belmonte, the officer-in-charge of the institution, the conduct of religious sessions and the strengthening of the spiritual side of the residents are vital activities or components in the rehabilitation of the said boys as these provide them an outlook in life that is better than what they had when they were brought to the center. It also helps them ease or cope with any negative tension that may be caused by their current situation. The easing of tensions serves as a measure in determining the readiness for their eventual reintegration to their respective community.

Among the activities conducted during the two-day leadership journey are photo language activity, film showing, group sharing sessions and sharing of testimonials. A former child-in-conflict with the law shared his triumph against all odds in his life.

Aside from the Aquino Foundation, other organizations who provided support to the activity are the Philippine ASA and the Ang Hortaleza Foundation.

The NTSB is a Department of Social Welfare and Development-managed residential facility which provides care and rehabilitation services to male minors who are in conflict with the law. Aside from spiritual services, other services being provided by the center are health, educational, homelife and recreational services.

As of September 30, 2017, there 274 residents being served by the institution, most of these are from the CALABARZON Region. With reports from RCRanas and ECBelmonte***

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Two college diplomas on the way, three more to go

When the Del Pilar couple asked Vivian to change her college major, her eyes were filled with tears.

As a mother, Maria Del Pilar cannot forget this scene. It breaks her heart going back to this again and again; however, she is now glad that her daughter was persistent at that time and she and her husband, Florentino, decided to support her despite their doubts.

Today, Vivian is a graduating student of Industrial Engineering in Batangas State University.

“Walang pagsidlan ang aking kaligayahan sapagkat halos abot kamay na ang magandang bukas na inaasam namin para sa aming mga anak. Noon, kahit minsan ay hindi sumagi sa isip namin na makatuntong sa kolehiyo ang mga anak namin,” shared Maria, 40, a resident of Brgy. Calantas in Calaca, Batangas Province.

Opportunities, hard work and persistence

When asked how hard life was for the family, Maria describes their house, which was made of bamboo and cardboards. Their main source of income was Florentino’s minimal income as an on-call laborer. Hence, they experienced sending children to school without any allowance and without proper uniforms. She also added that their five children usually got sick.

“Hindi na rin kami nakakabayad sa mga gastusin sa paaralan sapagkat ang tanging prayoridad naming mag-asawa ay ang pagkain sa araw-araw,” Maria shared.

In 2009, the family became a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program where their family was provided with conditional cash grants to support the health and education of their children.

“Pagdating ng programa, nabuo ulit ang pangarap namin na mapagtapos ang mga bata sa pag-aaral at mabigyan sila ng magandang bukas kahit na mahirap ang aming buhay,” she said.

For Maria, the cash grants from the program had been a great help for their daily needs; however, she is more grateful for how they became determined to give their children a better life.

“Halos sa gabi na lang kami nagkikitang mag-asawa dahil sa aming paghahanapbuhay. Ako ay nagtitinda ng mais at mga gulayin habang s’ya ay nag-aalaga ng baboy at baka,” said Maria.

With this, they were able to save some of their money and allot this for the college education of their children. However, they never thought that college education would be a big struggle.

“Noong mag-third year college si Vivian, kinailangan n’yang lumipat sa campus na mas malayo sa amin dahil doon lamang ino-offer ‘yung course n’ya. Alam naming mas malaking gastos iyon kaya pinipilit namin s’yang mag-iba na lang ng kurso, ‘yung mas mura,” she recalled.

At that time, their second eldest daughter, Evelyn, will be going to college as well. Though they know this would be hard, they had to make a way (even asking their children to choose courses that won’t be too expensive for them) because Maria and Florentino vowed to support all their children up until they finish college.

College diplomas

From that time when they have to face the start of a school year with two children in college and three in elementary, the Del Pilar Family is expecting two college graduates at the end of this school year.

Aside from Vivian, who is in fifth year, Evelyn is also a graduating student of Industrial Education.

“Napiling maging grantee ng ESGPPA si Evelyn matapos n’yang pumasa sa interview at exam,” Maria recalled this happy situation.

The ESGPPA (or the Expanded Student Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation) is a program of the Commission on Higher Education that provides support to the college education of members of Pantawid Pamilya households. This grant includes tuition, book allowance, board and lodging, uniform and other school-related expenses.

“Malaking tulong sa amin na hindi na namin problema ang pag-aaral ni Evelyn. Di naglaon, naging qualified din si Vivian sa ESGPPA kaya naging mas madali para sa amin,” Maria added.

Despite these opportunities, Maria and Florentino did not stop doubling their efforts.

“Dahil marunong akong magwelding, napahiram kami ng puhunan sa SLP (Sustainable Livelihood Program of the DSWD that provides capital assistance to Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries for their chosen micro-enterprise) at bumili kami ng welding machine. Ngayon, dumarami na ang nakokontrata ko sa paggawa ng gate at grills,” shared Florentino, whose income is now better and is able to support the other needs of the children.

Today, Maria and Florentino do not worry about their capacity to support all their children anymore. They are ready to face even harder challenges just to see the rest of their children having a college diploma and having a better chance at life.

With all these, Maria is proud of her family’s accomplishment and for her, everything that the government invested on their family will never be a waste.#

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Getting away from gambling, getting closer to her family

“Sobra akong nakokonsensya, pero tuloy pa rin ako.”

Liezel Fajardo, 33, narrates that her children go to school just twice in a week as she often had no money to give them for the day.

This situation hurts her; however, Liezel brushes this off.

“Araw-araw akong nasa sugalan. Minsan inaabot pa ako ng magdamag sa sugalan. Sobrang lulong ako sa sugal pero ang hirap iwasan. Pakiramdam ko kasi, dito sa pagsusugal ko, magiging maayos ang buhay namin,” she shared.

For Liezel, what pushed her towards gambling is the kind of life they were experiencing.

The family’s main source of income is fishing, but they do not own a boat. Their maximum income for a day is PhP300.

“Kapag malaki ang dagat, wala kaming kita. Nagiging dahilan ito ng madalas naming pag-aaway na mag-asawa. Wala na kami sa oras kung kumain, at nababaon na kami sa utang. Kahit ang pang-arawaraw naming pagkain ay inaasa na namin sa utang,” she shared.

With her desperation, Liezel learned tong-its. What she thought would save them from their situation only added burden to the whole family.

“Dahil napapabayaan na n’ya ang mga anak namin at natatalo ng minsan 300 piso kada araw, umabot na kami sa punto na sinabi ko sa kanya na kung hindi n’ya ititigil ang pagsusugal n’ya, maghiwalay na lang kami,” shared Nardito, Liezel’s husband.

Today, six years later, Liezel’s family is stronger. Her four children are in school and their life is completely different. Their house, which used to be wobbly and was made of scrap materials, is now a comfortable home with some appliances, electricity supply and own toilet in the coastal barangay of Punta in Padre Burgos town, Quezon Province.

Her turning point

Until today, Liezel cannot hide her gratitude from getting away from her gambling and their old situation.

“Naka-attend ako ng isang FDS kung saan tinalakay ang pagpapahalaga at pagpapabuti ng pamilya at ang mga karapatan ng bata katulad ng pagbibigay sa kanila ng sapat na edukasyon at nutrisyon. Kasama na rito ang pagbibigay sa kanila ng sapat na pagkalinga at pagmamahal ng magulang,” Liezel narrated.

According to her, this was the time she felt she was slapped in the face.

“Natauhan talaga ako. Dito ko napagtanto ang aking pagkakamali. Dito ako nagsimulang tumigil sa pagsusugal,” she shared.

The FDS (or the Family Development Session) is a component of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program that teaches parent-grantees on various topics towards strengthening families. This includes improving marital relationship, children’s rights, budget management and disaster preparedness among others. Attendance to this monthly session is one of the co-responsibilities of beneficiaries to the program along with 85 percent monthly attendance of children to school and monthly preventive health checkup of children.

Liezel’s family became a beneficiary of this program in 2011.

“Nagsimula na akong tumulong sa asawa ko sa paghahanapbuhay, magkasama kaming nagluluto at naglalako ng mga ulam at meryendahin,” she said.

According to Liezel, this helped improve their life not just when it comes to supporting their daily needs and improving their house.

“Kung dating ramdam ko na mas gusto pang kasama ng mga anak ko ang lola nila kaysa sa akin, ngayon, hindi na. Nasusubaybayan ko na sila. Naging mas maayos na rin ang pagsasama naming magasawa,” she shared.

A clearer direction

From the kind of life they had before, Liezel taught that it was impossible to change direction.

“Napatunayan ko ngayon na walang imposible sa taong may pangarap at sa taong gustong magbago,” she shared.

Today, she and her husband continue to work for a common dream—which is to give their children education. And what gives her inspiration is the words of her eldest.

“Sana, tuloy-tuloy na ang ating magandang buhay. Sana, Mama, wag ka na pong magsugal uli,” Liezel shared in tears as she recalls her daughter, Caila, saying this to her.***

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Private lawyers commit to help ease adoption process

Forty-five lawyers pledge support to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the processing of adoption cases during the consultation meeting between the DSWD and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) held in Tagaytay City last September 15.

These lawyers are members of the IBP from Batangas and Cavite chapters.

Dir. Annie Mendoza, DSWD IV-A Assistant Regional Director for Operations, emphasized to the lawyers that the collaboration between the DSWD and the lawyers for the processing of adoption cases will help ensure the best welfare of the children.

The DSWD highlighted the requirements of the law for the processing of legal adoption including certification that the child is legally available for adoption or consent to adopt for children who are wards of the State. Both these documents are released by the DSWD after the abandonment or neglect of the child for adoption has been proven or the parents or legal guardians have voluntarily committed the child for adoption.

As observed by the DSWD, there are prospective adoptive parents who file petition for adoption in court without these documents and results to delay of the process.

Further, it was stressed that all prospective adoptive parents must undergo adoption orientation from the DSWD regional offices prior to any adoption procedure. The adoption orientation is the first step of the adoption process where prospective adoptive parents are provided information on all the steps and requirements. This also ensures that all adoption cases follow the legal procedures.

Dir. Mendoza promoted among the lawyers to observe these when processing adoption cases so as not to further delay the adoption. She also the called for the possibility of reducing the cost of acceptance fees required by lawyers from prospective adoptive parents filing the adoption in court.

Atty. Gilbert Macatangay, IBP president of Batangas chapter, shared that they will work together with the DSWD to make it easier for the prospective adoptive parents and the children while the adoption is being processed. He added that they will collect cheaper acceptance fees from their clients.

Atty. Macatangay and Atty. Arnel Espiritu, president of IBP Cavite Chapter, also committed that they will share the information with other members of the IBP especially those who were unable to attend the consultation.# with reports from LDBallon

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All “four” one: Stories of mothers who cooked their way to success

Every afternoon, four mothers, Jenelyn Tunay, Glenda Asigurado, Lydia Asigurado, and Ofelia Isleta of Rizal, Laguna, untiringly prepares various merienda to sell in their store.

One dream binds these mothers, the dream of being successful entrepreneurs.

“Matagal ko na po talagang gusto magkaroon ng negosyo, kaso wala naman po talaga akong pang-kapital”, said Glenda Asigurado, 53.

From being housewives and part-time earners, these mothers who are Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries, grabbed the opportunity to start their own group micro-enterprise through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

SLP is a capacity-building program of the DSWD that provides suitable income-generating opportunities to identified poor, vulnerable and marginalized program participants to help improve their socio-economic well-being.

Mixing it all up

These four mothers are members of the Kalikasan Sustainable Livelihood Program Association (SLPA). With P40,000.00 seed capital fund, they started their Meriendahan store located across the municipal hall of Rizal, Laguna.

Seed capital fund is a modality of SLP that gives participant one-time financial grant for purchasing tools, raw materials and other assets that are essential to start or expand their micro-enterprise.

Jenelyn, president of the Kalikasan SLPA, recalls how their group enterprise started.

“Noong una mahirap, syempre po nagkakapaan po kami sa isa’t isa, syempre hindi naman po ganun kalalim ang pagkakakilala namin sa isa’t isa pero dahil po sa kagustuhan namin na magkaroon ng negosyo, yun po ang nagbuklod sa amin”, she shared.

The meriendahan store earns PhP 500 to PhP 1000 daily.

At first, they sell siopao, nachos, burritos and palamig and they later add banana cue cassava cue at turon for more variety of merienda. Their regular customers are the municipal staff and students from the schools nearby.

Further, Glendalyn Asigurado shared how each of them works in the store to ensure that they get things done.

“Ang maganda rin po kasi sa amin ay talagang hati-hati po kami sa gawain, pag yung isa ay may kailangang gawin na iba, yung iba po muna ang sumasalo ng kanyang gawain, diretso lang po ang gawa, bigayan lang po kami”, she gratefully shared.

Like any start-up business, the group faced challenges not only on the sustainability of the enterprise but also on keeping everyone on the same page.

”Dati po may mga pagkakataon po na may iba pong gustong umalis, ang katwiran nila, marami raw ginagawa. Ang sinasabi ko naman sa kanila, para sa atin din naman ito, tayo rin naman ang makikinabang dito.”, she shared.

In order to keep the fire burning, they vowed to encourage, support and be open to each other.

“Sa totoo lang po, marami pong iba na naiinggit pero hindi na lang po namin pinapakinggan. Sabi po namin sa sarili namin na kaya po namin ito”, Jenelyn shared.

According to the group, prior to being SLP participants, they have no stable source of income.

Adding more “spices”

In order to have additional income, the four mothers decided to start two other enterprises, rice retailing store and hog raising.

“Naisip po namin na mas mapapalago po yung kita namin kung may pag-lalaanan po kami na iba, kaya napag-desisyunan po namin na mag-alaga rin ng baboy”, Jenelyn shared.

Last April, they bought eighteen piglets for their hog enterprise.

In order to monitor their hogs, the group entrusted a fellow Pantawid beneficiary and SLP participant, who is living near the pig den to take care of the hogs.

“Nakakatulong din po kasi ito sa akin kahit papaano, pati sa kanila po, kami-kami naman po talaga ang magtutulungan”, expressed by Myra Panaglima, 41.

The group vowed to give Myra 30% of the profit from selling hogs.

Cherry on the top

“Napakalaking bagay po nito. Hindi ko po akalain na sa pamamagitan po ng SLP mas dumami na po ang aking kakilala, dumami po yung aking kaalaman at hindi ko po lubos maisip na makakatulong na rin po ako sa iba”, Jenelyn tearfully shared.

For them, this is the start of having more fulfilling and fruitful enterprises that will greatly help their respective families.

“Pangarap po namin na mas lumaki pa po itong tindahan namin, mas mapalago pa. Gusto nga po namin na bilhin yung lupa sa may tapat ng munisipyo at maging isang malaking restaurant itong tindahan namin, yun po talaga ang gusto namin”, Lydia Asigurado shared.

With determination and right support, these four mothers are eager to earn more for their families and expand their enterprises.xxx

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A site of convergence: revisiting DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS’ pilot project in Dolores

In its 14 years of operation as one of DSWD’s flagship programs, Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) has been in the forefront of community-driven development since its pilot implementation in Dolores, Quezon in 2003. The program aims not just to improve delivery of social services to poor communities, but more importantly, to build their capacity to address their felt needs and encourage their active participation in local governance in the long haul.

Brgy. Pinagdanlayan, where a health station was constructed as one of Kalahi-CIDSS pilot subprojects, became the site of convergence between two DSWD promotive programs.

Program convergence

DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS focuses on empowering communities to address the shared challenges they face on a daily basis. In the case of Pinagdanlayan, the project enhances the community’s access to health care.

Brgy. Captain Francisca “Sally” Deliso said that before the structure was completed in 2005, families in need of medical assistance received services in a makeshift health center that used to be a kambingan (goat pen) made of spare coco lumber and bamboo. Now that a more conducive health station is operational, the residents, including the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, enjoys better access to preventive medicine.

The one-storey health station is located at a barangay road intersection also serving two other barangays: Manggahan and Cabatang.

Juncel Reyes, the assigned nurse, said that on regular days, they attend to as many as 10 people a day. Most of them are Pantawid Program beneficiaries complying with the conditions on their health grants.

At the other end of the convergence, the Pantawid Program invests on human development providing conditional cash grants to poor families in the community in need of educational and health assistance. This compels program beneficiaries from Pinagdanlayan and neighboring barangays to secure preventive health care for their families at the nearest health station.

 

Inter-agency convergence

Households are entitled to a P500 grant every month for as long as they keep their children healthy through regular health monitoring and preventive care. Pregnant women receive pre-natal and post-natal care, while their newborn and young children ages 0 to 5 receive regular health checkups, growth monitoring, and vaccinations. Older children ages 6 to 14 are provided deworming pills by the barangay health worker twice a year. All services are available in Pinagdanlayan’s health station free of charge through the program’s inter-agency convergence with the Department of Health (DOH).

The facility’s sustained operation may also be attributed to the family development sessions on proper health care that Pantawid Program beneficiaries regularly attend. Not only are the residents more conscious about the health and wellness of their families; they are also aware that they can access these services for free at a neighborhood health station.

Aside from ensuring the availability of preventive medicines and health services, the DOH also pays for the salary of Juncel and the barangay midwife, Rovelyn Locus. Together, they deliver other preventive health services to both members and non-members of the Pantawid Program. Among other DOH programs, residents can avail of free screening of non-communicable diseases as well as health education and counselling.

“Alam na ng mga [pasyente] na kapag pupunta sila [sa health station], may tao. Noong una, hindi ganyan kadami ang napunta.” (The people now are aware that when they come here at the health station, someone will accommodate. Not as many people came before.) Kapitana Sally said.

Community health hub

Most of the community volunteers who participated in the preparation, planning, and implementation of the project are Pantawid Program beneficiaries. Going to the health station has become part of their routine and not just an additional chore they need to accomplish for compliance. They now understand the benefits of having a well-equipped health station that they can call their own.

Kapitana Sally was the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) chairperson of Pinagdanlayan before she was elected as barangay official. She witnessed the resident’s eagerness to participate in the spirit of bayanihan. She admits that it was a learning process for everyone involved. But with the guidance of Kalahi-CIDSS’ area coordinating team, the community volunteers have managed to learn the ropes and build their capacity to complete one project after another.

Eventually, visiting the health station they built has become a community habit to the residents. One Pantawid Program beneficiary mentioned about staying there at the waiting area as a productive way to pass time and learn something valuable. Kapitana Sally noted that sometimes they would bring food and other supplies for the health workers.

At the heart of DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS’ community empowerment activity cycle is the notion that the project does not end with the completion of an infrastructure. The success of a project lies in how a community is able to sustain its operation so as to serve a purpose that address the evolving needs of the community. In Pinagdanlayan, the building is but a monument to what the health station truly represents – a community hub for people who considers the health of their families a top priority.xxx

 

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NEVER A WEAKNESS A solo parent household’s partnership towards achieving dreams 

From the outside, nothing seems unusual in the Purugganan household.

The residents of Brgy. San Diego in Lian, Batangas Province, see the family as an inspiration. Neighbors talk about how well the children have been raised and how every member of the family work together to chase their dream.

The most noticeable success of this family so far, according to the residents, is that the eldest Purugganan child, Edmar, is now a certified public accountant.

However, unlike most of the families in the barangay, the Purugganan family is led by a solo mother. Despite this, no one sees this as a weakness.

“Mahirap man maging ina at ama sa limang anak na lalaki, ginagawa ko ang lahat para sa kanila,” shared Elisa Purugganan, 42, a widow.

For her, people see them not as a weak family because they never were weak in the first place. Theirs may have been a solo parent household, but it is a household full of love, happiness and dreams.

Working together

For the past nine years, the Purugganan family has lived without the father. Though all of the members admit that it is hard living without him, they all ensure that they not become an added burden to the family.

Elisa engages in all kinds of jobs from doing laundry, being a house helper and even farming. However, even with the number of jobs she keeps, Elisa still finds it hard to send all the children to school at the same time.

“Gusto talaga naming mapatapos ang aming mga anak dahil napaka-importante nito para mabago ang buhay nila sa hinaharap. Dahil dito, lahat kami ay nagsasakripisyo,” Elisa said.

Besides ensuring that they get good grades, the Purugganan children have worked together with Elisa. The three eldest children, for instance, understand that the family cannot afford sending them to college at the same time. Hence, they made big sacrifices and planned their way towards a college diploma.

Edmar finished college through having a scholarship grant and being a working student. Edilberto Jr. and John Henry, the second and third respectively, had to stop after high school graduation. Both enrolled in Alternative Learning System courses in the municipality and later work to help in the finances and save up for their college education.

“Noong 4th year na si Kuya (referring to Edmar), sabi ni Mama, kaya na namin. Nag-enroll na ako sa college,” related Edilberto Jr., who is now in third year college taking up BS Computer Engineering.

Elisa noted that next school year, they’ll be able to send John Henry to college, especially now that Edmar is already working and is able to provide some of the needs of the family.

Edison, the fourth child, also knows how to help the family in his simplest of ways. Since his classes start at 12 noon daily, he often would be seen buying eggs in the nearby poultry farm and selling it to sari-sari stores in the area. On the other hand, the youngest, Junel, supports Elisa through being

responsible in the house chores and helping her in completing her tasks such as doing laundry and fetching water.

Getting support

Elisa is grateful to all her children for the patience, love and support, which, according to her, make their life easier despite the financial difficulties. However, Elisa still takes the majority of the burden on her shoulders.

“Sobrang hirap para sa akin na hindi ko maibigay lahat sa kanila. Pero maswerte ako na sila ang naging mga anak ko dahil naiintindihan nila ako at tinutulungan nila ako,” said Elisa.

She’s also grateful that the family has been receiving support from the government through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. This program provides conditional cash grants to qualified poor families to support the health and educational needs of children age zero to 18 in exchange to their compliance to certain conditions such as 85 percent monthly school attendance and monthly preventive health checkups of children.

The Purugganan Family is one of the 16,555 solo-parent household-beneficiaries of the program in the CALABARZON Region. Since 2010, the program has been supporting the needs on health and education of the three youngest children.

“Dahil po sa tulong ng programa, nakaya ko pong pagsabay-sabayin sa elementarya at high school ang mga anak ko,” shared Elisa, who added that it has been a relief for a solo parent like her to get a helping hand in ensuring that her children are healthy and in school. Since the youngest children’s education are being provided for, Elisa only had to save and prepare for the children’s enrollment in college.

Further, in 2016, Elisa became a recipient of the swine raising skills training under the DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). In this program, Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries like them are given priority to provide them capacities and opportunities to engage in income-generating activities such as micro-enterprise or employment.

After the training, Elisa was able to start her hog-raising business from the starter kit of piglets and feeds she received as part of the program.

Through maintaining livelihood activities such as this, the DSWD eyes that beneficiaries acquire a sustainable means of earning income so they can support their respective families on their own.

Being others’ strength, inspiration

Elizabeth Jimenez, a solo parent and also a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary, shared that she has learned a lot from Elisa and her family.

“Sa kanya ako kumukuha ng lakas ng loob. Lahat po ay ginagawa n’ya, kahit paunti-unti para mapatapos ang kanyang mga anak,” Elizabeth said.

Other parents, even those who are not solo parents, see the same thing.

“Natuto ako sa kanya na maging matatag. Kung kaya n’ya nga na mag-isa, lalong mas kaya ko dahil may asawa ako na tumutulong sa akin,” shared Teodora Rebultan, another Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary.

Elisa cannot hide her tears when talking about how her family is becoming an inspiration in their barangay. For her, she is not doing anything special because everything she is doing is out of her love and responsibility to her children.

“Sa karanasan ko, mababa ang tingin ng mga tao sa mga solo mothers dahil ang tingin ng iba, wala kaming ibang alam kundi humanap agad ng kapareha. Gusto kong ipakita sa kanila na hindi porke’t solo mother ka, hindi mo na kakayaning itaguyod ang mga anak nang walang kakapitang iba,” shared Elisa, who added that the reason for her success is her children’s support and love no matter what happens.xxx

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DSWD joins the information caravan of various national government agencies

National government agencies (NGAs) conducted series of information caravans to six resettlement sites in the CALABARZON region.

The caravans were held in Southville 9 in Baras, Rizal; Southville 10 in Tanay, Rizal last August 9; Golden Horizon, Southville 2 and Sunshine Ville in Trece Martirez, Cavite last August 10; and Southville 8B in Rodriguez, Rizal last August 15.

The said activities were participated by the following government agencies: Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Housing Authority (NHA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP), Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) and the National Nutrition Council (NNC).

The information drive aims to provide highlights and updates on the services that can be availed by the residents from the said government agencies, particularly those concerning livelihood.

These NGAs presented a “menu” of their programs and services which will help these relocated families and individuals to cope up with their new living conditions.

Reaching out to displaced families

Residents in these resettlement sites are mostly former informal settlers in Metro Manila which are relocated under the program “Oplan Likas” (Lumikas para Ligtas sa Kalamidad at Sakit), initiated by DILG.

However, due to the location of these sites, residents have limited access to job and livelihood opportunities.

During the information caravan, DSWD distributed various information and educational (IEC) materials to these residents and families in order to provide essential information and updates on its programs and services, particularly the livelihood interventions of Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

The SLP is a capacity-building program of the DSWD that provides suitable income-generating opportunities to identified poor, vulnerable and marginalized families in order to improve their socio-economic well-being.

During the information caravan held in Southville 8B in Rodriguez, Rizal, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer Ms. Erica R. Camacho expressed the willingness of the local government unit to support and address the problems these relocated families.

“Bukas po ang DSWD upang tugunan ang mga pangangailangan ng mga residente ng Southville 8B, basta pumunta lang po kayo sa aming tanggapan upang masuri natin kung anong mga programa at serbisyo ang maari naming maibigay sa inyo”, Ms. Camacho said.

Further, Rizal SLP Provincial Coordinator Mr. Erick Guevara explained that the DSWD programs and services are inclusive.

“Hindi lang naman po benepisyaryo ng 4Ps ang aming binigiyan ng tulong, ang mga karapatdapat pong indibidwal ay sinusuri namin ang kalagayan sa buhay upang masiguro na ang mga programa at serbisyo ng DSWD ay napapasakamay ng mga tunay na nangangailangan,” he shared.

DSWD stressed out that individuals who are interested to avail or in need of its programs and services, can directly coordinate with their local DSWD for assessment. xxx

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