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DSWD to conduct region-wide survey for Listahanan

In this picture taken May 21, 2019 shows Residents of Barangay Upo, Maitum town in Sarangani Province. (DSWD-12 Photo by Jeoffrey B. Maitem)

KORONADAL CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will hold next month a region-wide assessment to identify the number of poor families for possible inclusion in the state’s anti-poverty programs,  a senior official announced Tuesday, as the government vows to strengthen social protection programs for the people. 

Cezario Joel Espejo, regional director of DSWD-12, said the office will deploy 2,362 trained workers all over Central Mindanao to 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. 

Used by other national government agencies and social protection stakeholders as pioneer database of poor families nationwide, Listahanan, updated every four years, is DSWD’s information management system that identifies poor families who will benefit from social protection programs.  

Dir. Espejo said survey will cover pre-identified 815, 343 households in Region 12 and 556,555 in BARMM inclusion in government programs such as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino  Program, National Health Insurance Program,  Social Pension fund, among others.

With the increasing demand from poor families for inclusion in any government programs, Dir. Espejo called on residents to coordinate with their respective village officials as well cooperate during the assessment.

“We cannot do this alone that’s why we need the support of our partners in the local government units and other line agencies,” Dir. Espejo said.

Last year, while the World Bank cited the government needs to modernize the database on poor Filipinos qualified to receive social protection programs, more government agencies have been using the Listahanan to reach the poorest communities in new social development projects. (DSWD-12 / JBM and SAM)

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Aid packages ready for ex-MILF fighters, says senior DSWD official

Moro Islamic Liberation Front former combatants are seen in Darapanan, their main camp in Sultan Kudarat town in Maguindanao in this picture taken June 12, 2019. (DSWD-12 / Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem)

KORONADAL CITY – Aid packages are ready for former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels that will be decommissioned this week in Sultan Kudarat town in Maguindanao, a senior Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) official said Monday.

Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 regional director, said on the day of decommissioning set on September 7 at the old Provincial Capitol in Simuay village, the government will give each returnee P80,000 for the Bangsamoro Transitory Family Support Package and another P20,000 Livelihood Settlement Grant.

“They can use the money as seed capital for business or re-establishment of their damaged livelihood,” Dir. Espejo said.

“The normalization program specifically aims to transform them into productive members of society,” he added.

The aid packages are part of Normalization Track of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) where 30 percent of the combatants and their weapons will be decommissioned this year. Thirty-five more percent will undergo the same process next year, while the remaining fighters will be decommissioned until 2022.

Under the CAB, the normalization phase will follow after the political track signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last year has been accomplished with the passage of the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The Bangsamoro Organic Law gave former MILF fighters control over many local government functions, including taxation and education, and it will allow Muslim Filipinos to incorporate Islamic law into their justice system. (DSWD-12 / JBM) 

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CSC cites DSWD-12 quality, efficient public service

Dir. Cezario Joel Espejo (4th from R) of DSWD-12, receives the certificate of recognition for the agency’s efficient and quality public service from CSC-12 regional director Resurreccion Pueyo (3rd from L), August 30, 2019, at Green Leaf Hotel in General Santos City. (Photo by DSWD-12)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY — The Civil Service Commission (CSC) recognized Friday the Department of Social Welfare and Development 12 efforts in providing quality public service among its clients in the region. 

DSWD-12 regional director Cezario Joel Espejo personally received the certificate during a simple ceremony held at Greenleaf Hotel in General Santos City.

Resurreccion Pueyo, regional director of CSC-12 who signed the certificate, emphasized that the agency has obtained Maturity Level II in terms of efficient and effective delivery of public service.

“It’s an honour to us in the agency to be given such recognition. We will do more to improve our services to the people,” Dir. Espejo said. (DSWD-12)

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DSWD 12 releases over 229M for indigent senior citizens’ pension

Indigent senior citizens in Carmen, North Cotabato wait for their turn to receive their monthly stipend under Social Pension Program of DSWD on August 15, 2019. (Photo by DSWD-12)

KORONADAL CITY – The government has released more than P229 million for the needs of indigent senior citizens in Central Mindanao, a senior official of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Friday, as the agency continues to clean the lists of eligible clients covered by the program.  

Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD 12 regional director, cited the clean list validated and provided by the DSWD Central Office showed 76, 609 of the total 139,413 indigent seniors in the region have already received their stipend from January to June 2019.

“The releasing of pension to remaining recipients continue,” Dir. Espejo said, adding the semestral payout of grants was mainly due to nationwide data cleansing.

The DSWD handles the implementation of Republic Act (RA) No. 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 where indigent senior citizens could receive a monthly stipend worth P500 from the state.

Under RA 9994, it defines indigent senior citizens as “any elderly who is frail, sickly or with disability, and without pension or permanent source of income, compensation or financial assistance from his/her relatives to support his/her basic needs, as determined by the DSWD.”

In Manila, DSWD Social Marketing Service OIC-director Irene Dumlao reported more than three million indigent senior citizens nationwide were validated as of August 22 eligible program beneficiaries.

The figures, 3,570,646 or 94 percent of 3,796,791 total clients subject for validation, includes elders from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

It can be recalled that the Department has an ongoing validation as part of its efforts to ensure that only eligible and rightful senior benficiaries will receive the monthly subsidy provided by the government.

Of the total number of validated beneficiaries, 2,814,410 seniors are already included in the clean list after they were cross-matched to the data base of pensioners under the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO). DSWD has collaborated with the said agencies for cross-checking of Social Pension beneficiaries vis-à-vis their database for pensioners.

Dir. Espejo said those interested to know more about the program are encouraged to go to the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) of their city or municipality, or in the DSWD Field Office covering their area. (DSWD-12)

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DSWD 12 welcomes WB $300-million additional funding for CCT

Beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program attend family development session in General Santos City. (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem)

KORONADAL CITY – Senior officials of Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Mindanao welcomed Thursday World Bank’s additional funding for the state’s flagship anti-poverty program, saying it will ensure grants of beneficiaries in the next couple of years. 

Dennis Domingo, DSWD 12 regional information officer, said Dir. Cezario Joel Espejo cited the international financial institution’s latest contribution to the country’s fight against poverty will strengthen the implementation and impact of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Dir. Espejo’s comments come after the World Bank announced last month additional US$300 million loan for the scheme also known as Conditional Cash Transfer as part of its commitment to social protection programs.

“We assure the public the agency and our partners in the local sectors will work closely in addressing the needs of our clients,” Mr. Domingo said, quoting Dir. Espejo’s remarks.

In 2016, the WB also released $450-million to cover CCT’s three-year health and education grants.

President Rodrigo Roa 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. (DSWD-12 / JBM)

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Local development heroes of Region 12 honored in 3rd national Bayani Ka! Awards

LOCAL DEVELOPMENT HEROES The awardees of Region 12 during the 3rd national Bayani Ka! Awards in Butuan City

KORONADAL, South Cotabato—Five community volunteer groups of Department of Social Welfare and Development Region 12 have been recognized as country’s development heroes in the recently concluded annual national Bayani Ka! Awards in Butuan City, an agency senior official said Friday.

Cezario Joel C. Espejo, DSWD 12 regional director said that the volunteer groups were recognized based on their outstanding contributions to the various development initiatives in their respective municipalities through the agency’s Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-A Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Service (Kalahi-CIDSS).

“These are our local heroes who have selflessly dedicated their time, talent and even tears without expecting in return in order to address their community pressing needs, benefiting various sectors,” Espejo said.

Hailing from the far-flung village of Limulan, Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat, the Parents-Teachers Association of FB Concha Elementary School was recognized for their valuable contributions in the constructions of youth shelter and hanging bridge worth P4.44 million, benefiting Manobo children to increase school’s attendance and completion rate.

“Our Manobo school children do not have to struggle a two-hour walk and risk their lives crossing rivers, before reaching the school,” Arnel Acuña said, school principal and the barangay subproject committee chairperson of Kalahi-CIDSS. He received the award on behalf of the FB Concha Elementary School for Bayani Ka! for Indigenous Peoples’ Welfare Category.

The barangay subproject management committee (BSPMC), composed mainly of senior citizens, of Barangay Kapatan in Glan, Sarangani Province has been a recipient of Bayani Ka! Awards for Elderly Category. The organization has been instrumental in bringing together various sectors of the village to end the perennial flooding through the construction of grouted rip rap line canal amounting to P2.1 million.

The Kapatan Women Association of Gasi, Kiamba, Sarangani Province has been recognized for rallying empowerment for the T’boli women and rekindle “bayanihan” resulting to the rapid development of the area with the construction of various projects including P2.4 million worth of hanging footbridge.

The organization is this year’s awardee for Gender and Development Category.

In Tibpuan village of Lebak, Sultan Kudarat, the destructive tides and seashore erosion  have been addressed with the construction T-breakwater amounting to P4.10 million, benefiting 1, 722 households, through the synergized efforts of the community led by barangay subproject management committee which was awarded as Bayani Ka! for Environmental Protection Category.

This year’s Best Sustained Community Volunteer Group Category went to United Christians-Muslims Farm Workers Association from Katitisan, Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat.  This Kalahi-CIDSS volunteer group was recognized for their selfless dedication to address the lack of potable water in the community through putting up of water refilling station worth P954, 000.00.

“These community volunteers will be addition to our pool of community-driven development advocates in the Philippines”, Espejo said.

Espejo added that the agency now is moving towards the institutionalization of the Kalahi-CIDSS Program’s strategy which is proven to be effective in reducing poverty, improving local governance and empowering local communities.

Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the programs of the government implemented by the DSWD. It uses the community-driven development (CDD) approach, which enables communities in targeted poor and disaster-affected municipalities to identify their own needs, and collectively implement and manage solutions to these needs. ### (HILBERT T. ESTACION, regional social marketing officer, DSWD 12 Kalahi-CIDSS Program)

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DSWD 12 holds first MANCOM in Koronadal

KORONADAL CITY, Jan. 8 — Zorahayda T. Taha, regional director of Department of Social Welfare and Development XII, met today her senior staff to discuss the agency’s direction this year, particularly the campaign to uplift the lives of poor residents in the region.

Dir. Taha led their first management committee meeting held at the Farm Hotel in this city along regional assistant director for operation Gemma Rivera; regional assistant director for administration Jackia A. Lao; promotive division chief Bonifacio Selma; Human Resource Management and Development division chief Bailano Salik; Chief Administrative Officer Emerita Dizon, and other senior employees.

According to Dir. Taha, DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Delizo Bautista instructed them to ensure this year’s programs for the people will be implemented accordingly. 

Among the directives of Sec. Bautista include strengthening the DSWD mechanisms to respond to the current directives of the President relevant to “the ease of doing business”, direct release of funds through the regional offices, and DSWD centrally managed strategic

warehouses; pursue maximum regularization of DSWD employees; Establishment of MOA/MOU with the AFP, strengthening partnership in providing

assistance on the delivery of countrywide developmental programs and services; and establishment of a national DSWD monitoring

system/center to readily access relevant data and reports from the ground.

“There must be a clear purpose, a common goal and a commitment to excellence; supportive of positive values of honesty, transparency,

accountability, respect, fairness, understanding and flexibility in our workplace,” Dir. Taha said. ( Jeoffrey Maitem and Dennis Domingo/ DSWD) 

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DSWD-Kalahi CIDSS volunteers of Soccsksargen receive national recognitions

DSWD-12 awards during the national Bayani Ka! Awards in Cebu

Koronadal City—Five groups of volunteers in Region 12 were given recognition for their dedication to service that facilitates the delivery of social services in their respective communities.

The awards were given during the 4th National Bayani Ka! Awards and 2nd Community Volunteers’ Congress recently held in Cebu, gathering some 300 DSWD-Kalahi CIDSS volunteers across the country.

The Pinamulaan Tribal Association, a group of DSWD-Kalahi-CIDSS volunteers from different tribal people of Pinamulaan, Banisilan, North Cotabato is this year’s recipient of Promotion of Indigenous Welfare Category.

The group has been instrumental for rekindling ‘bayanihan’ and serves as the voice of “resettled” Indigenous Peoples to access government’s social services and projects that improved the lives of its members.

The Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Association of Tinumigues in Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat received the Bayani Ka! Awards for PWD Category, as recognition for their concerted efforts to promote the welfare of person with special needs sector in town with their outstanding volunteerism works.

For proving that helping community knows no age with their various volunteer works including the facilitation for the construction of Kalahi-CIDSS water purifying project in the village, the Senior Citizen Association of Poblacion I of Lebak, Sultan Kudarat received the Bayani Ka! Awards for Elderly Category.

The group of Manobo volunteers in far-flung village of Datu Wasay in Kalamansig town, Sultan Kudarat was recognized for implementing various DSWD-Kalahi CIDSS projects through ‘bayanihan’ and promoting community participation, transparency and accountability, received the Bayani Ka! Awards for Promotion of Just Peace Category.

For being an instrument of sustaining the Kalahi-CIDSS projects and model of community-driven development strategy in implementing projects in the village of Sampao, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat, the United Volunteers for Community Progress was awarded as Bayani Ka! for Sustained Community Group.

Gemma N. Rivera, assistant regional director for operation of DSWD 12 said that Bayani Ka! Awards and Community Volunteers Congress is an expression of gratitude of selfless individuals volunteering for the Program and to their communities.

“Our volunteers are important individuals of the Program. For us, they are our new local heroes that are offering their time, talent and treasure without expecting in return,” Rivera said.

Bayani Ka! Awards is an annual search for the outstanding community volunteers who are considered as unsung heroes for their extraordinary contributions and dedication to the development of their communities through the country’s community-driven development program, Kalahi-CIDSS. (Hilbert T. Estacion, regional social marketing officer)

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