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DSWD denies alleged prostitution report in evacuation camps

MARAWI CITY – A senior official of Department of Social Welfare and Development denied Wednesday alleged prostitution reports among women from this Islamic City who were displaced in the five-month fighting between government security forces and pro-Islamic State.

Residents displaced by the conflict in Marawi City.

Bai Zorahayda T. Taha, regional director of DSWD 12, said that social workers have conducted investigation about the issue and it turned out negative.

“Our workers were able to talk to camp managers in the evacuation centers in the cities of Marawi and Iligan and they have no reports,” Dir. Taha said.

A report earlier came out from the media disclosed that some displaced women were forced into prostitution due to lack off source of income as their livelihood were disrupted by the conflict.

“We are monitoring and we have 289 women volunteers now engage in religious activities in evacuation camps,” Dir. Taha said.

She said the office also provided five-day cash for work for 289 women led by Aleema Asliah Mostagbal.

At the evacuation centers of Buru-un Fisheries and Maria Christina in Iligan City the reported prostitution turned out negative.

Liza Mije, camp manager at Maria Christina, said she heard about the report but upon verifying there was no case in the camp.

“I only learned the case when someone asks me also but i check and found out negative,” Mije said.

Residents affected by the conflict in Marawi City.

Dir. Taha said local officials of Lanao del Sur have formed a team task to probe the alleged prostitution. (End)

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11-year-old Maranao student says being poor not reason to achieve dreams in real world

KORONADAL CITY — For 11-year old Grade Six Maranao student, being poor should not be an excuse to achieve one’s dreams in life.

Nor-Azisa Decampong, Supreme Pupil Government president of Marbel 1 Elementary School under Special Education Program, came from a poor family in Koronadal City in South Cotabato but she continue to excel tremendously since in her first grade.  Her parents were both sidewalk vendors.

Nor-Azisa Decampong, Supreme Pupil Government president of Marbel 1 Elementary School.

“I wanted to become a teacher someday so I can teach other children in our community.

My parents are my source of strength that’s why I am giving my best in school,” Decampong, their school’s 2016 journalist of the year.

“With he help of Allah, I can finish get a college degree and when that happen, I can help take out our family to poverty,” she added.

According to Decampong, who is active in their school by participating in Mindanao’s school press conference, said they have not rich and the government’s program, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, means a lot to them.

Decampong said since the program covered them she felt the government is real and sincere in helping poor people like them.

“Because of the Pantawid Pamilya, she learned that a lot of people are below poverty line and all their reasons they have not finish their education,” she said.

“I learned to save money and it must be used to the needs that are very important like education. I learned to become clean in all aspect whatever you status in life now. And being poor is not the reason we cannot finish our education because there are several government programs that helps poor people like us,” she added.

For Maranao children affected by the give-month conflict in Marawi, Decampong urged them to focus in their studies for it’s the only key to their development.

Jovelyn Pedroso, Decampong’s adviser in campus journalism, said apart from being president of their school, she is active in their organization.

“She’s been with us in the group in the last two years. She is very dedicated and responsible leader in our school,” she said.

Last year, Pedroso said Decampong was their representative in Regional School Press Conference in Sultan Kudarat copy and headline writing.

“We are so proud of her,” he said.

Sajarata, 48, the mother, was thankful they were included in the program four years ago.

“Our income as sidewalk vendors not enough to support our five children. But the government program means a lot to us. It’s a big help,” she said.


  1. What are the changes in your life since you became beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program?

There are a lot of changes in my life. First, I became closer to Allah. I am always thanking him for the blessing I get. Second, I am studying hard to finish y studies and I can get a degree in college for my future.

 I learned how to save money and spend it properly. I learned the importance o cleanliness whatever my status in life. Being poor is not a hindrance to get education because there are government programs like the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program that helps the poor. 

  1. In all you learned in school and community, what is more important to you?

Being good to others…that’s important to me that I learned. And that’s the most important trait of a person. I think no successful person in real world that got that kind of characteristic.

  1. As student covered by the program, what can you do to become successful?

All I can do is to study hard so that I can get a good job in the future. That’s the reason also why I am aiming to get high grades in school so that when I reach college I can get a scholarship. When I finish my studies and get a good job, I can help to other poor people in our community. I will be a good example to other children in my village. I will encourage them to study hard because education is the only key to a successful life. I will follow all the laws and encourage my friends to do the same because I all Filipino will follow the laws of the country we can cross the bridge to success. 

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DSWD suspends CCT conditions for Marawi beneficiaries 

MARAWI CTY, Oct. 26 — DSWD officer-in-charge Secretary Emmanuel Leyco announced the suspension of conditionality’s of beneficiaries under Conditional Cash Transfer Program as the government commenced the full swing rehabilitation of this warn torn city.

DSWD OIC Secretary Emmanuel Leyco (L) and DSWD 12 regional director Bai Zorahayda Taha (C) distribute food to children at the capitol in Marawi City.

Speaking with reporters during a press briefing at the provincial capitol here on Wednesday, Leyco said conditions lifted under Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program  include  class attendance of at least 85 percent each month of children and the mandatory to take “family development sessions”.

“We allocated at least three billion to cover the relief assistance for the people displaced by the fighting until December this year,” SEC. Leyco said, adding returning residents to cleared areas here will be provided with one sack of rice and assorted canned goods.

For next year, he said they will be needing additional three billion to continue the delivery of services to Marawi.

“We might have lapses in the delivery of services but I assure you we will attend to them in earnest,” he said, citing the delay in some delivery of food aid to evacuees.

Leyco also announced the temporary appointment of DSWD 12 regional Director Bai Zorahayda T. Taha as their point persoN for Marawi crisis intervention. (End)

DSWD OIC Secretary Emmanuel Leyco speaks to reporters during press conference at the provincial capitol in Marawi City.


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DSWD assures full support to returning evacuees in Marawi 

ILIGAN CITY, Oct. 24 — Senior officials of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) assured Monday more aid to families affected by the armed clashes when they return to Marawi City.

DSWD OIC Secretary Emmanuel Leyco (L) inspects October 24, 2017 rice supplies inside a warehouse in Iligan City.

“We need to rebuild Marawi. We need to bring people back as well the normalcy in the lives of the people,”  said officer-in-charge Secretary Emmanuel Leyco.

Leyco said when the people return to their homes laters this month the office is planning to give one sack of rice to every family along with canned goods.

Bai Zorahayda Taha, DSWD 12 regional director, said SEC. Leyco inspected their warehouses for relief aid in the town of Initao, Misamis Oriental and in this city when then fighting erupted on May 23.

Dir. Taha said  SEC. Leyco also met local officials and discussed with other line government agencies officials how to improve government services to affected people.

“The government will provide the relief supplies to affected people until December this year. That’s the commitment of the government,” Dir. Taha said.

Earlier, the military reported residents from 72 other villages, mostly situated in areas that had been under military and police control, started returning this week.

Marawi, the country’s only Islamic City in Mindanao, was devastated by the siege by the militants who waved IS-style black flags and hung them on buildings they had occupied in its business district and outlying areas.

Volunteers prepare relief supplies October 24, 2017 inside a warehouse in Iligan City.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said at least P50 billion is needed to fund the rehabilitation of war torn city of Marawi. (( Reports from Jeoffrey Maitem, Dennis Domingo II, Hilbert Estacion, Salahuddin AbdelGafur)

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DSWD’s Men Opposed to VAW tells tribal men “Be advocate of women’s rights”

Rommel Camaganacan, MOVE president, orients tribal men in Kihan, Malapatan, Sarangani.

MALAPATAN, Sarangani — Men Opposed to VAW Everywhere of Department of Social Welfare and Development said Thursday they intensified their campaign on violence against women in the region.

Rommel Camaganacan, president of MOVE in the region, said around 300 tribal men along with their wives have attended their daylong orientation last October 10 in the village of Kihan here. All of them are currently covered by the government ‘s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

“Not all cases of violence against women were committed by men. There are also men advocates working and helping to end VAW,” Camaganacan said.

“The participants were receptive. We devide the sessions. Women were also oriented about their rights,” he added.

Camaganacan said Bonifacio Selma, Arthur John Gabucan, Merdibon Mangana and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Municipal Links facilitated the orientation.

DSWD 12 regional director Bai Zorahayda T. Taha underscored the need to educate the public on women’s rights issues as well the urgency of fighting and stopping the abuse and exploitation of women.

“Women’s rights are issues that should be supported by all Filipinos — men and women alike. We all have mothers, sisters, wives, aunts, nieces, daughters, and partners,” she said.

“Abuses against women are not acceptable and never will be. There is no excuse for abusing and exploiting women, so we must all work together to promote women’s rights and help each other understand their importance,” she added.

Arthur John Gabucan, a member of MOVE, tells women about their rights.

In Manila, the DSWD Central Office is currently monitoring the alarming number of cases of abuse and exploitation of women.

Based on the records of department’s Policy Development and Planning Bureau, a total of 2,797 women in especially difficult circumstances (WEDC) were served by the DSWD’s residential care facilities from January to September last year.

Based on case category and region, the department monitored and provided assistance to 210,842 WEDC from January to September 2016. Some 127 were cases of sexual abuse (76 rape; 47 incest; and four acts of lasciviousness) and 232 were cases of sexual exploitation (227 cases of prostitution; once case of pornography; and four cases of cyber-pornography).

The MOVE is an organization of men who committed themselves to be actively involved in the elimination of VAW that seeks to speak out against VAW; examine, propose and formulate total male involvement and actions in the elimination of VAW; form partnerships and linkages with similar groups working on VAW, locally and internationally; organize and conduct researches, studies and fora in recognition of the social effects of VAW for policy and program development; and establish resource network on VAW.

Aside from DSWD, local MOVE groups have been established in RegioN 12, Quezon Province, Aklan, Sultan Kudarat, Norther Samar and Southern Leyte. (End)

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DSWD 12 welcomes South Cotabato intensified programs for IPs

KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato — The Department of Social Welfare and Development welcomed Thursday several programs implemented by partners intended for IP communities in South Cotabato.

Bai Zorahayda T. Taha, DSWD 12 regional director, said the development projects under South Cotabato Governor Daisy Avance Fuentes will likely help improve the lives of the IPs.

T’boli children covered by the government’s Conditional Cash Transfer Program play in the town of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. 

Dir. Taha said the interventions will push for development of  thousands of clients covered by Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Sustainable Livelihood Program and KALAHI-CIDSS in South Cotabato.

“This is a good indication that the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is for the people,” Dir. Taha said.

IP representative to the Provincial Board Edgar Sambog recently reported they focused on implementing various development projects including farm-to-market roads, school buildings and health centers in remote IP communities.

At the same time, the provincial government  has been conducting community outreach programs in remote tribal communities to provide IP members with livelihood projects , health services and educational programs. (End)

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World Bank cites CCT successful in reducing poverty 

KORONADAL CITY — The Washington-based multilateral lender World Bank cited the government’s conditional cash transfer program among the successful anti-poverty drive in the region that other countries in the Asia Pacific should emulate.

Bai Zorahayda T. Taha, Department of Social Welfare and Development 12, said Tuesday  World Bank vice president for East Asia and the Pacific Victoria Kwakwa made the statement in their recent report “Expanding Opportunities for the Urban Poor”.

“We have more than 250,000 beneficiaries covered now in Region 12 since we started the program in early 2008. The World Bank report only shows that we are on the right track in the fight against poverty,” Dir. Taha said.

A staff for CCT program speaks during village assembly in Pikit, North Cotabato. 

Dennis Domingo, DSWD 12 regional information officer, said CCT beneficiaries in Region 12 were also supported by the office in terms of livelihood.

The World Bank, in their report cited the CCT, also known Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program,  has helped alleviate poverty for millions of households.

“Cities across East Asia have propelled the region’s tremendous growth. Our collective challenge is to expand opportunities to all in the cities—from new migrants living in the peripheries to factory workers struggling to pay rent—so that they can benefit more from urbanization and help fuel even stronger growth,” Kwakwa said.

Under its conditions, the program allocates grants P500 to P1, 400 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 0 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. (End)

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DSWD XII orients the South Cotabato Social Protection Stakeholders on the new Data Sharing Guidelines

At the Vice Governor’s Conference Hall

KORONADAL CITY – The Listahanan of the Department of Social Welfare and Development conducted series of orientations on the Guidelines in Sharing the Data Generated from the Listahanan 2 to all social protection stakeholders in the region

The National Household Targeting Office (NHTO) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development has finally acquired the approval from the National Privacy Commission (NPC) to proceed with the execution of any data sharing agreement with social protection stakeholders.

With the enhance Memorandum of Agreement on Data Sharing, it has determined that it is compliant with the provision of the Data Privacy Act, its IRR, and NPC circular No. 2016-002 on Data Sharing involving Government Agencies.

Additionally, DSWD Former Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo has already approved and signed the concomitant Guidelines on the Sharing of Data generated from the Listahanan 2 database that will help the Department in ensuring the protection and security of sensitive personal information of data subjects.

Maslama B. Hassan, Region Field Coordinator in Region XII shared that “It is provided under section 6.12.3a of the said Guidelines that “Data Sharing shall be facilitated by the DSWD Regional Offices through the NHTU at the level of the Provincial Government and City Government of Highly Urbanized Cities (HUCs). Data requests from Provincial Governments shall include the consolidated data requirements of municipalities and component cities under its political jurisdiction”. It is provided further under Section 6.12.3b that “the Provincial Government shall facilitate the release of data needed by the municipalities and cities under its political jurisdiction.”

“Existing agreements to access data from the Listahanan 1 are deemed revoked” Hassan added.

In 2015, it can be recalled the DSWD conducted the house-to-house assessment to get the socioeconomic information of the households. This resulted in the identification of 360,395 poor households out of the 805,379 total assessed in SOCCSKSARGEN Regions (as of December 3, 2016).

To request the list of poor households including their personal information, the following documents are needed along with the letter of request addressed to the Regional Director:

Local Government Units (LGUs)

  • Signed MOA (Governor/Mayor)
  • Sangguniang Panlalawigan/ Bayan Resolution
  • Executive Order designating a Provincial/City/Municipal Data Privacy Officer

National Government Agencies (NGAs)

  • Signed MOA with designated Data Protection Officer

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)

  • Signed MOA with designated Data Protection Officer (DPO)
  • Board Resolution (original copy)
  • Valid proof of identification of agency head and DPO
  • SEC Registration

Members of the Academe

  • Data sharing shall be limited to raw data and statistics
  • The letter of request from researcher/professor/research adviser and vouched by the Dean or any school authority

As specified in the guidelines, all stakeholders requesting access to the list of poor are required to designate at least one (1) Data Protection Officer who will oversee the use, security and protection of the data.

Furthermore, data users shall submit to the DSWD reports on how the data were utilized including if these were shared with other data users.

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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