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DSWD provides assistance to families affected by flooding in Maguindanao

Due to the effects of the heavy rain showers affecting various regions in the country, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has provided augmentation support to families affected by a flooding incident that occurred in Maguindanao.

According to the latest report of the DSWD Disaster Response Management Bureau (DRMB), the Department has already released P1,353,600 worth of assistance to affected families in the municipalities of Sultan Mastura and Sultan Kudarat.

DSWD 12 regional director Bai Zorahayda T. Taha said about 14,096 families or 71,322 persons were affected by the flooding incident.

Dir. Taha said they are in close coordination with concerned local government units and the DSWD-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) for request for additional assistance and interventions for the affected residents.  (DSWD/JBM/SMS)

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Poverty rate declines 5 percent due to CCT 

KORONADAL CITY — The World Bank (WB) reported the country’s poverty rate declined by 5 percent this year, according to a senior official of Department of Social Welfare and Development.

In their new poverty assessment report released last month, the WB cited  from  2006 to 2015 robust economic growth helped the poverty rate in the Philippines to fall by 5 percent.

DSWD 12 regional director Bai Zorahayda T. Taha said the poverty rate declined from 26.6 percent in 2006 to 21.6 percent in 2015

due to factors like the expansion of jobs outside agriculture, government transfers, in particular to qualified poor Filipinos through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (a conditional cash transfer program), and remittances.

Beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program are seen June 8, 2018 in the town of T’boli, South Cotabato. (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem)

Dir. Taha said the WB based their assessment from the 2015 records where 22 million Filipinos, or more than one-fifth of the population, still living below poverty line.

“This is a good news for us. We thank the World Bank for their assessment,” Dir. Taha said.

Mara Warwick, WB country director for Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand, said their report finds that increased wage income and the movement of workers out of agriculture, transfers from government social programs, and remittances from domestic and foreign sources were major forces in the poverty decline over the past decade.

“This experience gives us hope that the Philippines can overcome poverty,” said Warwick.

“With a strong economy, the country is well-placed to end the vicious cycles of unequal opportunity that trap people in poverty, set in place measures to improve service delivery, and boost job opportunities,” Warwick added.

In Region 12, over 250,000 families are currently covered by the program also known as Conditional cash Transfer.

Under CCT,  the government allocates monthly grants amounting to P500 to P1, 400 and P 600 rice allowance for each beneficiary household, depending on the number of eligible children. Each family is allowed a maximum of three children to receive the monthly benefits provided they have to stay in school and maintain class attendance of at least 85 percent each month.

At the same time, pregnant women are also required to avail pre- and post-natal care, and delivery must be assisted by skilled health personnel, while parents are mandatory to take “family development sessions” to enable them to become better parents. (JBM/DSWD)

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Government provides relief to residents affected by military assault vs. lawless elements in Maguindanao, North Cotabato

PAGALUNGAN, MAGUINDANAO — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 12 extended relief assistance Monday to families affected by fresh fighting between military and armed lawless elements in Maguindanao and North Cotabato provinces.

On June 10, the military launched surgical air strikes and ground assault against members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in the marshland near the town SK Pendatu in Maguidnanao, leaving 15 armed men dead, eight others wounded and two captured. More than 2,000 families were also displaced, local social welfare officers reported.

In this picture taken June 11, 2018, shows residents displaced by the military’s offensive in Maguindanao are seen at the evacuation centre in Pikit, North Cotabato. (Photo by Peter Pechon)

Norhata Benito, DSWD 12 chief of Risk Reduction and Management Section, said around 2,120 families were provided with blanket, hygiene kit and relief food packs.

“Our partners from the local government will continue the verification of internally displaced families,” Benito said.

The military’s target was the group of Abu Toraife, the leader of the BIFF, a splinter group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that is currently engaged in peace talks with Manila.

Toraife split from the MILF when it signed a peace deal with Manila three years ago. The MILF then dropped its separatist bid for an independent state in the south, an idea that did not sit well with Turaipe. He broke away from the rebel chain-of-command and led his followers, who numbered in the few dozens, to press on with the fight. (DSWD- 12 / SMS)

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CCT beneficiaries celebrate family day in South Cotabato town 

T’BOLI, South Cotabato — Residents covered by the country’s anti-poverty program convened in this town remote village on Friday, June 9, to celebrate family day  that highlighted the importance of family unity and togetherness.

Thousands of beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program attended the event held at the gymnasium of Aflek village,  according to regional director Bai Zorahayda T. Taha.

Beauty pageant contestants are seen during Family Day celebration in T’boli, Southern Cotabato. (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem)

“It is important that there is adequate assistance provided for families, especially the poor, to strengthen them. That is why our government government, together with the local government units, are helping each other in the delivery of services,” Dir. Taha said, adding in the context of social development, families should remain at the center whether in the conceptualization or implementation of policies and programs.

Lawrence Belle Develos, municipal link, said their daylong event, which coincide in the town’s 2nd Kesbung (unity) festival, aimed to enhance and motivate the hidden skills of beneficiaries as part of the family development sessions.

“It’s fun. We have dance, singing and beauty pageant contest,” she said.

Under its conditions, the program, also known as Conditional Cash Transfer,  allocates Php 600 monthly rice allowance and P500 to P1, 400 grants for each beneficiary household, depending on the number of eligible children. Each family is allowed a maximum of three children to receive the monthly benefits.

It calls children aged 3 to 18 to stay in school and maintain class attendance of at least 85 percent each month. Pregnant women are also required to avail pre- and post-natal care, and delivery must be assisted by skilled health personnel, while parents are mandatory to take “family development sessions” to enable them to become better parents. (DSWD-12/SMS)

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DSWD 12 completes the updating of Listahanan identified poor households as potential UCT beneficiaries

KORONADAL CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has successfully completed Thursday, May 31, the encoding and updating of Listahanan identified poor households as potential UCT beneficiaries under the President Duterte’s administration.

Director Bai Zorahayda T. Taha said DSWD 12 will target 191,149 poor households for SOCCSKSARGEN: North Cotabato – 73,894 HHs, Cotabato City – 7,833 HHs, Sarangani – 26,613 HHs, South Cotabato – 40,097 HHs, and Sultan Kudarat – 42,806 HHs.

In the course of house-to-house validation, “a total of 657 Validators and 46 Administrative Aides were hired to compliment in the process. The validation of identified poor households in the region started last April 2 and has completed on May 5,” according to Region Field Coordinator Maslama B. Hassan of DSWD-NHTU 12.

With the supervision of Ryan A. Ibones, Listahanan Information Technology Officer for SOCCSKSARGEN region, employed effective and efficient techniques to beat the deadline in encoding and updating the Household Validated Forms (HVFs).

“There were 37 hired Listahanan encoders and 2 encoding supervisors who have undergone two (2) shifts to work on the inputs of HVFs information. The Encoding started last April 21 and has successfully completed on May 31. The shift 1 started from 7am to 3pm with their encoding supervisor Reodelyn Nabaluna while shift 2 started from 3pm to 11pm with Mark Jerald Ramirez as their encoding supervisor,” Ibones added.

Moreover, Director Bai Zorahayda T. Taha of field office 12 announced that the National Household Targeting Unit of the region will lead the validation of poor households and hiring of field staff for the UCT – Unconditional Cash Transfer in region 12 including provinces of ARMM-Lanao del Sur and Maguindao.

Listahanan, also known as the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), is an information management system that identifies who, where and how many poor are nationwide.###

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DSWD 12 releases cash cards of Pantawid Pamilya clients in Marawi City

MARAWI CITY —  The Department of Social Welfare and Development 12 released Saturday, May 19, the cash cards of beneficiaries covered by Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in this Islamic City.

In this picture taken May 6, 2018 shows the ark as you enter Marawi City in Lanao del Sur a year after the siege that left over a thousand people dead. (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem)

Zorahayda T. Taha, DSWD 12 regional director, said Monday based on the information relayed to her by Raida Bantog, financial analyst II, around 568 were able to get their cash cards during the distribution at the Land Bank of the Philippines Provincial Branch.

The cash cards work like bank automated teller machine cards so beneficiaries can withdraw their monthly cash grants from government banks.

“I am looking forward those who receive their cash cards will maximize the benefits of the program and avoid pawning so they will not lose their membership,” Dir. Taha said.

Under CCT, children aged 3 to 18 have to stay in school and maintain class attendance of at least 85 percent each month. Pregnant women are also required to avail pre- and post-natal care, and delivery must be assisted by skilled health personnel, while parents are mandatory to take “family development sessions” to enable them to become better parents. (Jeoffrey Maitem/ DSWD)

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DOLE, DSWD join forces for this year’s upcoming job fair

KORONADAL CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) called on Tuesday all senior high school and college graduate job hunters in Central Mindanao to lock themselves in for a two-day job fair next month in General Santos City.

Bai Zorahayda T. Taha, DSWD-12 regional director, said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE),  through the Bureau of Local Government employment, is forging partnership with the department to provide employment assistance to 4Ps beneficiaries, especially to the

Expanded Students Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGPPA) grantees of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

In this picture taken March 28, 2018 shows Sultan Kudarat State University graduates in the town of Lutayan, Sultan Kudarat. (Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem)

The ESGPPA aims to contribute in the increase of the number of enrolment in higher education in line with the national government’s priority degree programs among poor households, and support college graduates’ entry to labor markets through placement assistance.

A student-grantee receives a maximum of Php 60,000.00 scholarship grant per school year or P 30,000.00 per semester. This is broken down to Php20,000 per year for the tuition fee, and Php5,000 per year for the textbooks and other learning materials.

The remaining Php35,000, which is distributed to Php3,500 per month, is allocated for the stipend for the board and lodging, transportation, clothing, health/medical needs, basic school supplies and other related costs.

“On 1 May 2018, during the observance of the National Labor Day, the DOLE will again hold a nationwide job fair. A special lane for the 4Ps beneficiaries and ESGPPA grantees will be provided to assist them. Relative to this, may we seek your assistance in the dissemination of the above mentioned activity,” Dir. Taha said.

“The DOLE proposed to provided employment assistance to CCT and ESGP-PA grantees by setting express lanes at job fair areas nation-wide on May 1-2,” she added.

For her part, Gemma Rivera, DSWD -12 assistanT regional director,  said all  senior high school and ESGP-PA grantees who have internet access are advised to sign in on and pre-register on the job fairs in their respective areas.

“Beneficiaries who do not have internet access would fill put the National Skills Registration Form 1 or “Jobseekers Registration Form and present said form during the activity.

Bonifacio Selma, DSWD 12 promotive services division chief, said the venue of upcoming job fair is SM General Santos City.

Interested job seekers, according to Selma, can ask for further details from DOLE 12 representative Ruby Carasso at 09202192338 or Kathleen Turnos at 0910 2540245. (JBM/DSWD)

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DSWD 12 launches learning hub in Central Mindanao

KORONADAL CITY — The Department of  Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) formally opened Monday a hub for vital informations in Central Mindanao related to social works as part of efforts to feature learning exchanges and growth programs in the region.

Zorahayda T. Taha, DSWD-12 regional director, said the Regional Learning Resource Centre (RLRC), located inside the regional office in this city,  is the agency venue to get documents about best practices, social work related books, training manuals from different partner agencies, reference materials as well audio visuals produced by the region and central office.

DSWD 12 Dir. Bai Zorahayda T. Taha (L) and her assistant director for operation Gemma Rivera lead the opening of Regional Learning Resource Centre in Koronadal City. (Photo by April Joy Boreres/DSWD)

“I congratulate all the staff who help and contributed to this event.  I also pay tribute to everyone who has worked hard to make a success,” Dir. Taha said.

The RLRC, a component of Knowledge Management that supports the agency’s vision, is also open for students during office hours.

The library, according to DSWD 12 assistant regional director for operation Gemma Rivera, is a ‘one-stop shop’ knowledge management center designed to provide an interactive learning facility for sharing and exchange of knowledge among its partners and stakeholders.

“There was also knowledge fair participated by our staff during the launching,” ARD Rivera said.

Earlier, Bonifacio Selma, DSWD 12 promotive services division chief, said the facility has conference room, computer and video conference area. (JBM/DSWD)

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