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Malnourished kids gain weight under DSWD’s SFP

In this picture shows children covered by DSWD’s feeding program in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat Province. (DSWD Photo)

KORONADAL CITY — Children’s health condition in some areas across the region dramatically improved under the state’s feeding program, the Department of Social Welfare and Development reported Monday.

Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 regional director, cited the condition of 3,645 out of 6,342 severely under weight children covered by the Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP), have improved based on the latest consolidated data by the agency from the local government units (LGUs). 

Dir. Espejo said the figures were based in the report of 20 of 50 municipalities and cities with verified malnourished children covered by the feeding.

“This is a positive development. We are still waiting for the terminal reports of other partners from the LGUs,” he said. 

The 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.

Merilyn Guerra, SFP focal person, said they allowed the parents or guardians prepared the meals of the toddlers using indigenous food or local produce available in the communities.

Aside from the regular feeding, she noted beneficiaries were also taught proper hand washing while their parents were trained preparing healthy meals from their backyard vegetable gardens. (JBM/ DSWD)

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DSWD strengthens ties with partner agencies in Central Mindanao

DSWD-12 regional director Cezario Joel Espejo speaks with partners from the local government units of Tupi, South Cotabato and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency during a meeting in Koronadal City.  (DSWD)

KORONADAL CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has strengthened its ties with partner agencies in the delivery of basic social services to vulnerable sectors in the region. 

This was revealed by Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 regional director, who said that its one of the agency’s steps to acquire international standard certification.

Dir. Espejo made the pronouncement as he presided over on Wednesday the quarterly meeting of Unified Protection and Welfare Committee, a group of line government agencies in the frontline working to address the needs of marginalized sectors. 

These agencies include the National Economic and Development Authority; National Commission on Indigenous Peoples;  Department of Labour and Employment, Public Attorney’s Office, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and representative from the Non-Government Organizations.

Dir. Espejo said the DSWD gave short briefings about its programs on “Listahanan” or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) where there is an ongoing assessment of households for possible inclusion in government programs; Minors Traveling Abroad; and the implementation of Executive Order No. 70.

Under EO-70 that was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in December 2018 it states the government shall prioritize and harmonize the delivery of basic services and social development packages in conflict-affected areas and -vulnerable communities, facilitate societal inclusivity and ensure active participation of all sectors of society in the pursuit of the country’s peace agenda.

“With the the help of other agencies, we will double our efforts to efficiently deliver social services to the people,” Dir. Espejo said. 

Dir. Espejo explained the agency effort in pushing for a strong collaboration is part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive for a while-nation approach in providing programs and services to the public. ( JBM / DSWD)

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DSWD FO 12 assures full support to LGU on anti-insurgency drive of the government

In this picture shows former rebel supporters attend a meeting for their cash-fo- work in Arakan, North Cotabato. (DSWD Photo)

KORONADAL CITY — A senior government official assured partners in the local government sectors  of full support in implementing grassroots peace-building drive to effectively address insurgency problem in the region.

Cezario Joel Espejo, regional director of Department of Social Welfare and Development, made the assurance on Tuesday during the orientation of agency’s guidelines on the implementation of Executive Order No. 70 at FB Hotel in Koronadal City where he stressed government line agencies are ready to provide needed interventions intended for rebel returnees.

“It’s a priority program of our government. As you know, there will be no growth in a certain city or municipality unless the 

issue of terrorism is resolved,” Dir. Espejo said. 

“Let’s continue our collaboration. The national government is ready to extend support in providing assistance for beneficiaries…. like the former rebels within your areas,” he added.

Dir. Espejo said the agency can provide livelihood trainings under Sustainable Livelihood Program, inclusion of rebel returnees in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, or provide educational and financial assistance under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), a program that serves as a social safety net or a stop-gap measure to support the recovery of individuals and families suffering from unexpected life events or crisis.

The EO-70, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in December 2018, created the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict that Institutionalized a whole-of- nation approach in obtaining exclusive and sustainable peace. 

Under EO-70, it states that the government shall prioritize and harmonize the delivery of basic services and social development packages in conflict-affected areas and -vulnerable communities, facilitate societal inclusivity and ensure active participation of all sectors of society in the pursuit of the country’s peace agenda. (JBM / DSWD)

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DSWD’s Listahanan survey is nearly 100 percent done

In this picture shows workers hired under DSWD’s National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction encode data of households gathered from the survey for possible inclusion in government’s social protection programs. (Photo by Ykie Abdelgafur)

KORONADAL CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) ongoing assessment for households in the region for possible inclusion in government social protection programs is nearly done, a senior government official said Tuesday, as the region-wide survey completion reached nearly 80 percent.

Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 regional director, said that  based on the latest data from the “Listahanan” or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), around  633,971 (77.8%) of the total  815,343 target households across Central Mindanao have been surveyed by  enumerators hired by the agency.

Last week, Dir. Espejo said personnel from the Central Office led by Atty. Justin Caesar Batocabe, Dir. III of NHTO, visited the region and inspected the ongoing assessment.

“The figures were verified by our field area coordinators. The next thing our staff will scan the documents and encode it into our database,” Dir. Espejo said.

Maslama Hassan, NHTS-PR regional field coordinator, said they are optimistic to wrap up the survey before February 15 this month.

Aside from Region 12, at least 556,555 households in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao are up for assessment under Listahanan, an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are.

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

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DSWD ready to address NCov concerns in Central Mindanao

Dr. Edito Vego, city health office officer-in-charge, orients DSWD employees at the regional office covered court about basic information and ways to protect themselves from the coronavirus infection. (DSWD)

KORONADAL CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is ready to respond on issues related to coronavirus in Central Mindanao region, a senior government official assured Monday, as the outbreak from China continue to spread with more than 900 death toll.

Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 regional director, said the agency has enough funds to cover the financial assistance for families of anyone who might get infection of the virus that came from Wuhan, China, the epicenter o the coronavirus outbreak.

Espejo said assistance will fall under Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), a program that serves as a social safety net or a stop-gap measure to support the recovery of individuals and families suffering from unexpected life events or crisis. 

“We are closely working with our partner agencies from the  health sector to mitigate the spread of the virus,” the director said. 

Giving proof, Dr. Edito Vego, city health office officer-in-charge, facilitated an orientation among agency employees at the regional office covered court about basic information and ways to protect themselves from the coronavirus infection.

To date, there are least 908 deaths recorded and over 40,000 reported cases worldwide. Across the country, the health department reported 284 persons – one in General Santos  City – currently under investigation for possible virus infection.

Last week, the agency directed its employees to help mitigate the spread of the virus by refraining from sharing fake news in their respective social media accounts related to the deadly disease. (HTE and AAA / DSWD)

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DSWD exec orders employees to refrain from posting nCov fake news

A DSWD worker wears mask while inside their office in Koronadal City. (DDSWD Photo)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY — As the coronavirus outbreak in China continues to spread, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Central Mindanao stepped in, directing its workforce across the region to help mitigate the spread of the virus by refraining from sharing fake news related to the deadly disease that already claimed the lives of more than 600 people. 

In a statement Friday, Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 regional director, cited a recent memorandum from Secretary  Rolando Joselito Bautista who asked regional officials and employees to cease from sharing in their personal social media accounts unverified news and information related to coronavirus that may confuse the public.

“To date, there are no specific anti-viral  treatment nor vaccine to prevent the 2019-nCov infarction. Therefore, it is through awareness and cooperation of the public that the spread of the virus can be mitigated,” Dir. Espejo said, quoting the Secretary’s directive released on February 5. 

“As public servants, the practice and promotion of basic preventive measure is a must. Everyone is reminded to seek medical attention when flu-like symptoms are observed,” he added. 

currently, there are least 636 deaths recorded due to corona virus infection that originated in China’s Hubei Province, the heart of the outbreak, with one confirmed death in the country.

According to Dir. Espejo, field personnel were directed to use as a platform their family development sessions with beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program to disseminate information about nCov.

“Frontline personnel are required ti take precaution by wearing protective equipment such as masks, frequent washing off hands and use of alcohol-based sanitizers,” Dir. Espejo said.  (JBM / DSWD)

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DSWD 12 reiterates implementation of No Gift Policy

An employee shows a sticker with No Gift Policy marking at the entrance of DSWD Regional Director Office in Koronadal City. (JBM / DSWD Photo)

KORONADAL CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reiterates its  implementation of “No Gift Policy” among its employees in the region as part of promoting high standard of ethics and integrity as public servants.

This was announced by DSWD 12 Regional Director Cezario Joel Espejo, as he vowed for transparency in all transactions covered by the agency. 

Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 regional director, said stickers with markings “No Gift Policy” were posted in all doors and strategic areas within the regional office, citing accepting gifts as rewards could lead to more abuse of power and corruption.

Dir. Espejo said the policy will remind workers under Republic Act No. 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, which prohibits civil servants from soliciting or accepting gifts, favors, loans or anything of monetary value in the course of official duties.

Moreover, the agency chief cited the Republic Act No. 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, that prohibits public officers from “directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present, share, percentage, or benefit, for himself or for any other person, in connection with any contract or transaction between the government and any other party.”

“I issued a directive to all employees to strictly observe the policy,” Dir. Espejo said, as he urged the public to report any employee violating the directive. (JBM / DSWD)

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DSWD sets activities for Adoption Consciousness Week

Mrs. Cynthia Mae F. Pingoy (L) and her husband Francis are seen wit their adopted daughter inside their house in General Santos City. (Photo by Inas Codarangan / DSWD)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in collaboration with other agencies, is celebrating this year’s “Adoption Consciousness Week” from February 24 to Feb. 27.

This year’s theme, “Pagmamahal Palaganapin, Legal na Pag-aampon Ating Gawin! (Spread Unconditional Love through Legal Adoption),” seeks to promote legal adoption as an expression of unconditional love and support to abandoned, neglected, and surrendered children.

According to Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 regional director, in Central Mindanao this year’s celebration will kick off with a  walk for legal adoption on February 24, at 7:00 a.m., from Koronadal city’s commercial district going to the regional office, where selected college students will interpret “I Love you Anak”, a song that was recorded by international singer Lea Salonga in support for DSWD’s Inter-Country Adoption Board Adoption Advocacy Campaign.

A help desk will be also set up at SM  shopping here and at Pinggoy Medical Center in Koronadal City to cater the queries of couples inclined to adopt and foster care. 

Other activities include adoption forum, spoken poetry among regional employees and media forum to discuss issues related on the implementation of Republic Act No. 11222 or the “Simulated Birth Rectification Act,” warnings on the birth simulation and social media pages facilitating illegal adoption, and information on pending laws related to legal adoption.

”This year, we  encourage families to undergo legal adoption in order to protect the welfare of adopted children.  The legal adoption process will also ensure the safety, security, and best interest of the adoptive children,” Dir. Espejo said.

To date, around 17 children at the agency’s facility are up for adoption with half of them matched to prospective adoptive applicants. ( JBM / DSWD)

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