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DSWD condoles with families who lost loved ones in tragic road accident in South Cotabato town

In this handout photo provided by  T’boli Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office show rescuers try to save some of the wounded victims at the site where a truck fell into a ravine in the border of Lamsalome and Lambangan villages Tuesday, September 17, 2019. (DSWD-12)

KORONADAL CITY —  The Department of Social Welfare and Development offered sympathies to the families who lost loved ones in a road accident in remote village of T’boli town in South Cotabato. 

At least twenty people died and scores of others wounded Tuesday when the truck they were riding in fell into a deep ravine in the border of Lamsalome and Lambangan villages shortly before 10:00 a.m., reports said. 

Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 regional director, said the agency is ready to provide needed assistance to the victims and their families. 

“I would like to express our condolences to the bereaved families of the victims,” Dir. Espejo said.

“We dispatched a team on the ground to do assessment and look into the needs of the families,” he added.

The victims were heading home from General Santos City when their truck with licensed plate number WNM 207 fell into a hundred meters cliff after its breaks malfunctioned. (Reports from Jeoffrey Maitem and Dennis Domingo / DSWD-12)

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DSWD, parent leaders group conduct dialogue for RA-11310 IRR

Parent leaders under Samahan ng mga Nagkakaisang Pantawid Pamilya (SNPP) are seen during a consultation in Amas, Kidapawan City, September 16, 2019, for the crafting of implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) 11310 or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, a law that aims to provide financial to qualified and registered poor households. (Photo by Arthur John Gabucan)

KIDAPAWAN CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and a group of parent leaders showed a united front in the face of ongoing consultations across the country for the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) crafting of a pro-poor law signed by President Rodrigo Duterte this year that will ensure children’s health and education.

In his message read by promotive division chief Arthur John Gabucan at the dialogue of Samahan ng mga Nagkakaisang Pantawid Pamilya (SNPP), a people’s organization composed of parent leaders, DSWD-12 regional director Cezario Joel Espejo emphasized the need to converge efforts to generate support and awareness of the features of  Republic Act (RA) 11310 or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, a law that aims to provide financial to qualified and registered poor households.

A number of selected parent leaders have attended the day-long consultation dialogue  at the North Cotabato Provincial Capitol Rooftop in Amas in this city of SNPP (spell out), the primary mover organization for the passage of the law, which centered on getting beneficiaries suggestion for the RA 11310 IRR. 

“As beneficiaries, we need your stories. We need your valuable experiences and wisdom as the Program regularization is now taking off and gaining considerable momentum,” Mr. Gabucan said, referring to message to participants of Dir. Espejo who is currently in Manila attending the budget deliberation.

“This collaborative efforts to uplift the standard of living not just for our families but for the future program beneficiaries. It will give us more reasons to serve them,” Dir. Espejo’s message read.

President Duterte signed on April 27 the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) law in a bid to beef up government’s social services.

Under the law, the beneficiaries would be given a monthly grant of not lower than P300 per child enrolled in daycare and elementary programs for a maximum of 10 months a year, P500 per child enrolled in junior high school, and P700 per child enrolled in senior high school. A health and nutrition grant of not lower than P750 per month for a maximum of 12 months a year will also be given to the beneficiaries. (DSWD-12 / reports from Jeoffrey Maitem and Hilbert Estacion)  

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DSWD trains enumerators for assessment of poor households in R12

Enumerators undergo training in Koronadal City ahead of their deployment to assess poor household in Central Mindanao. ( Photo by Ykie Abdelgafur / DSWD-12)

KORONADAL CITY —Workers hired by the government started their full-scale training over the weekend ahead of their deployment to assess poor household in Central Mindanao, the Department of Social Welfare and Development reported Monday.

Sohra Pandi-Guialel, DSWD-12 chief of policy and plans division, said the first batch of enumerators, area coordinators and supervisors that will carry out the 45-day house-to house assessment for “Listahanan” or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), including in areas under Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, commenced their coaching on Saturday, September 14, at Eighty Eight Hotel in this city.

The agency’s Listahanan assessment, an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are in the region, will officially start next month, according to Ms . Guialel. 

Speaking at the opening of training, Ms. Guialel urged the workers to ensure the quality of data they will collect from their respective areas of assignment. 

“Our work ahead is very challenging. But with all of you around, we are optimistic our undertakings to get all information correct will be realized,” she said.

Used by other national government agencies and social protection stakeholders as pioneer database of poor families nationwide, Listahanan, with a total of 2,362 workforce for the survey, is updated every four years.

The forthcoming survey will cover pre-identified 815, 343 households in Region 12 and 556,555 in BARMM for possible inclusion in government programs such as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, National Health Insurance Program, Social Pension fund, among others. (DSWD-12 / Dennis Domingo and Ykie Abdelgafur)

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DSWD urges rebel returnees to convince other comrades to surrender as government readies to provide assistance

Former rebel combatants are seen during the culmination of their three-day Moral Recovery, Healing and Reconciliation Seminar Friday, September 13, 2019, in Banga town in South Cotabato. (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem / DSWD-12)

BANGA, SOUTH COTABATO — A senior social welfare official urged rebel returnees Friday to help the state convince their comrades to return to the folds of the law, saying President Rodrigo Duterte administration is sincere in providing them livelihood and other needed support for their families.

Cezario Joel Espejo, Department of Social Welfare and Development regional director, made the appeal as he graced the Moral Recovery, Healing and Reconciliation Seminar here attended by 49 former New Peoples Army guerrillas who all claimed they were enlightened by local officials good intentions to help when they yielded to authorities.

“We need your support to help convince others to surrender. You are all witnesses about the sincerity of the government  whole-of-nation efforts to make this country peaceful,” Dir. Espejo said.

The three-day activity, according to Dir. Espejo, fortified the implementation of Executive Order No. 70 signed by President Duterte on December last year, directing the adoption of a national peace framework and institutionalizing the whole-of-nation approach to attain “inclusive and sustainable peace” in the country as part of approach in “addressing the root causes” of the armed conflict.

Dir. Espejo handed over Php 3,150 cash to each participant as part of compensation for leaving behind their work in their respective communities while attending the seminar workshop. 

At the same time, returnees were also briefed of the programs prepared by other government agencies like the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Labor and Employment, Commission on Higher Education and livelihood support packages from the provincial government. 

“This is just the start. The government’s program intended for all will follow,” Dir. Espejo said.

A returnee who introduced himself as Sidma, in his 40s, said he is thankful for the government intervention he described will improve his family’s life from poverty.

Two months ago, the DSWD and Armed Forces of the Philippines forged a joint agreement to enhance cooperation particularly in peace-building programs that will curve threat posed by the conflict in the communists. (DSWD-12 / Jeoffrey Maitem)

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Over 100K children benefit DSWD-12 SFP in Central Mindanao

Children covered by Supplemental Feeding Program of DSWD sing the country’s National Anthem inside a day care center in Cotabato. (DSWD-12 Photo)

KORONADAL CITY — More than a hundred thousand children in the region were able to benefit from the government’s Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported Thursday, in what local officials described a success as it surpassed the agency’s target beneficiaries.

SFP, implemented under DSWD, is the provision of food to children in addition to regular meals. The food supplementation in a form of hot meals were provided to children during snack times or mealtimes five days a week for 120 days.

Parents or guardians prepared the meals of the toddlers using indigenous food or local produce available in the communities.

According to Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 regional director, the program that covered 2-5 year-old children enrolled in public day-care centers and supervised neighborhood play, served at least 102,427 children across Central Mindanao, about 108% higher from the the 99, 121 original target number of recipients when the intervention started in August last year.

“This is a positive development and we need to continue improving the health condition of poor children,” Dir. Espejo cited.

“We involved the parents by allowing them to give their counterparts in kind like vegetables,” he added.

Aside from the regular feeding, beneficiaries were also taught proper hand washing while their parents were trained preparing healthy meals from their backyard vegetable gardens.

 “Children who are severely underweight improved their nutritional status,” Dir. Espejo said, citing there is a need to work with non-government organizations to sustain the program. (DSWD-12 / Jeoffrey Maitem)

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DSWD extends financial support to blast victims in Sultan Kudarat

Melba Souribio, social worker officer III assigned in Sultan Kudarat Province, hand overs cash assistance to a wounded blast victim at the hospital in Isulan town. (DSWD-12 Photo)

KORONADAL CITY — The government provided financial assistance for civilians wounded in a bomb explosion over the weekend in Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat Province.

At least eight people, identified as Jay Lorio Carnaso, 30; Richard de Oyoe Arancillo, 45; Jerald Cartagen, 28; Nino Binas Virgo, 28; Jomar Catalan Aquino, 31; Jaren Elimane Amigo, 24; Nasim Salip Gulano, 24; and Tenecio Cagadas Jr., 35; were injured when a homemade bomb exploded outside a bakery shop at the town proper of Isulan Saturday morning.

Cezario Joel Espejo, regional director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), said Monday the agency extended P3,000 each of the seven outpatients and P5,000 to the one who was confined in the hospital after the blast. In addition, all the victims were also provided with food packs.

Dir. Espejo, who attended the decommissioning of former combatants of Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Simuay, Sultan Kudarat town in Maguindanao, immediately instructed his staff in the area to ensure all necessary assistance be provided to the blast victims.

“We want to assure the people that our government is always here for them,” Dir. Espejo said, adding if needed, social welfare officers will conduct a stress debriefing to the victims. (DSWD-12 / Jeoffrey Maitem)

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4Ps beneficiaries celebrates family day, re-assures commitment to follow program conditions

DSWD-12 regional director Cezario Joel Espejo speaks during the family day celebration of 4Ps beneficiaries in Tupi, South Cotabato, September 8, 2019. (DSWD-12 Photo)

TUPI, South Cotabato — Thousands of government’s anti-poverty program beneficiaries here celebrated family day on Sunday as they re-assured their full support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s program on children’s health and education, a senior official said.

More than 5,000 partner beneficiaries under Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) attended the activity as part of the town’s 66th foundation anniversary, showcasing beneficiaries hard work that yielded positive outcome.

Cezario Joel Espejo, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional director who witnessed at the town’s gymnasium “Gandang Nanay 2019″, a competition of mothers showing talents, confidence and empowerment, stressed the importance of promoting the welfare of vulnerable families across the region.

“We assure your rights under our program protected by working government’s intervention like the timely cash transfer of grants,” Espejo said.

Earlier this year, President Duterte signed the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or Republic Act (RA) 11310 in a bid to beef up government’s social services.

Under the law, the beneficiaries would be given a monthly grant of not lower than P300 per child enrolled in daycare and elementary programs for a maximum of 10 months a year, P500 per child enrolled in junior high school, and P700 per child enrolled in senior high school. A health and nutrition grant of not lower than P750 per month for a maximum of 12 months a year will also be given to the beneficiaries.

Aside from 4Ps, Tupi, a first class town in South Cotabato province with nearly 70,000 population, is also recipients other DSWD-led programs such as Modified Conditional Cash Transfer, Social Pension, Sustainable Livelihood, Supplementary Feeding and other sectoral programs. (DSWD-12 / Dennis Domingo)

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DSWD, other officials, push for setting up of rehab center in Tupi

Cezario Joel Espejo (L), regional director of DSWD-12, shakes hand with Romeo Tamayo (R), mayor of Tupi, South Cotabato, during the consultation meeting Friday, September 6, 2019, at FB Hotel in Koronadal City. The proposed South Cotabato Recovery Center in Tupi was discussed as part of efforts to boost President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign in helping drug returnees. (DSWD-12 Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem)

KORONADAL CITY — Government officials in South Cotabato vowed to strengthen the state’s campaign for drug returnees, a social welfare agency director announced Friday, as he pushes for the conversion of its facility into drug rehabilitation center.

Cezario Joel Espejo, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 12 regional director,  said he initially agreed with   governor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. and Tupi Mayor Romeo Tamayo to turn its old Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY) into a drug treatment facility.

Speaking at the consultative meeting for the proposed South Cotabato Recovery Center at FB Hotel in this city, Dir. Espejo cited the project will help boost President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign in helping drug returnees in the province.

“This is a welcome development and we fully support the intervention. The government is really pushing to address the menace of drug addiction,” Dir. Espejo said.

“President Duterte’s call is to eradicate the drug problem and the President wanted a whole nation approached,” he added.

Before it was moved to nearby Tantangan town, also in South Cotabato, the RRCY facility provides a 24 hour care, treatment and rehabilitation services under the guidance of a trained staff for children in conflict with the law.

According to Dir. Espejo, as part of initial agreement, the DSWD allows the Municipality of Tupi to use the building for the  proposed South Cotabato Recovery Center while the provincial government will provide for the staff and other facilities needed for the operation.

“It’s like a dream come true. The last time I visited the governor, we already talk about this and surprisingly it will operate soon,” he said. (DSWD-12 / JBM)

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