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DSWD FO2 Leads Approval of Cagayan Valley Regional Disaster Response Plan

With the aim of improving efficiency in the delivery of services during disaster response situations, the Cagayan Valley Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CVRDRRMC) steered the approval of the first Cagayan Valley Regional Disaster Response Plan (CVRDRP) on February 2, 2018 at Hotel Carmelita, Tuguegarao City.

The CVRDRP, which was operationalized as a result of the creation of the National Disaster Response Plan (NDRP), is an operational plan that offers well-designed concepts and procedures for all the agencies and networks throughout the region to follow in disaster risk reduction and management.

The CVRDRP has designs that cover three activity phases namely: Pre-Disaster, During Disaster and Post Disaster which enhances the recovery and rehabilitation of affected constituents and improves the effectiveness of agencies that are mandated by the plan to serve affected constituents.

Under the said plan, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (DSWD FO2) is tasked with the protection of Internally Displaced Population (IDP), Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) and the management of Food and Non-Food Items (FNFI).

Officer-In-Charge, Ms. Lucia S. Alan, represented the office in the signing of the CVRDRP with the concurrence of regional directors and heads from other regional agencies.

Mr. Franco G. Lopez, Social Welfare Officer IV, OIC-Head of DSWD FO2’s Protective Services Unit and overall head of the agency’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Unit, said that the approval of the CVRDRP is another step towards making Cagayan Valley more resilient in dealing with disasters and other natural calamities.

Region 2 people are resilient when it comes to preparedness and even with the effects of disasters, they can immediately (recover) because of their (resilient) attitude and with this plan, we will be able to achieve our goal of zero casualty during disaster situations,” Mr. Lopez added.

Mr. Lopez added that the approval of the plan would not cost additional administrative cost to the agencies involved when doing disaster operations and would in fact lessen overall expenses because the said plan focuses on eliminating duplication of function across agencies and other institutions.

The CVRDRP corresponds with “The Practical Guide for National Crisis Managers” and “The National Crisis Management Core Manual” authorized by Executive Order No. 82 of 2012 issued on September 04, 2012 which confers ideas and rules for national crisis management. ### By: Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, OIC-Regional Information Officer

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447 SLP Skills Training Participants conferred Graduation Certificates


OIC Lucia S. Alan, leftmost, speaks during the conferment of certificates last February 01, 2018 in Isabela School of Arts and Trades in Ilagan City, Isabela.

The Isabela School of Arts and Trades (ISAT) in Ilagan City, Isabela awarded certificate of completion to 447 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries under DSWD FO2’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) last February 01, 2018.

The graduates, who come from 16 municipalities across 3 districts in the Province of Isabela, were presented with their certificates for different competencies by the Officer-In-Charge of DSWD FO2, Ms. Lucia S. Alan, along with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Region II Regional Director, Dante J. Navarro, TESDA Isabela Provincial Director, Romeo O. Talosig, ISAT Vocational School Superintendent, Igmedio S. Casticon and SLP Isabela Provincial Coordinator, Ms. Maricel Balisi.

“It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul,” Ms. Alan said in quoting William Ernest Henley to challenge the graduates to use what they have learned in school to better their lives and uplift themselves out of poverty.

All the 447 graduates of the said school were also conferred the National Certificate (NC II) by the TESDA which makes them eligible to work for positions that fit their skills.

“You… have been instrumental in molding us to become globally competitive through proper skills training and development,” Melo Jane L. Somera, one of the graduates said of the agency and the school in her speech during the conferment rites.

Ms. Maricel Balisi said that most of the participants who were conferred with certificates have already started working and the awarding serves as a culmination of their journey towards being eligible to work in areas where their skills can be used.

Ms. Balisi added that the trainings conducted by the program enhances the “employability and profitability” of the participants as they are capacitated with skills that can be used for livelihood purposes.

The program was also used to distribute tool kits which the participants can use for their livelihood endeavors. ### By: Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, OIC-Regional Information Officer




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Yield from the Daily Grind

Rufino Buyoccan, Jr. proudly offers his achievements to his mother during his high school graduation.

“Poverty is not a hindrance to achievement” says Rufino Boyuccan Jr., standing unwavering in his threadbare school shirt and black slacks that may have seen better days. It is the day of their recognition, completion of Junior High at Maddela Comprehensive High School in that balmy April morning.

He looks back at his mom, not so far from where he stood and gives her an affectionate smile. “I know how important money is for us. It’s for food, allowance, transportation and for school fees and projects. We need it so that we have all the things we need to study comfortably.”

“I was born to a less fortunate family. My parents worked hard to make ends meet. I started school when I was seven and as early as that, I saw how my parents would work early in the morning till late in the evening just to put food on the table. That’s why I never complained when my mom cannot give me allowance or can’t pay for projects or contributions. That’s why it was okay if I never got any new school supplies at the start of the school year, or if I wear my old uniform even if it is too small for me.”

“I only realized how dire my situation was when I failed to be admitted for third grade due to lacking requirements and maybe even my own dwindling enthusiasm.” There is a sad tone on his voice, “I saw my mom, her face was devastated, like she aged a decade right before my eyes. A whole year of her sacrifice down the drain because of my negligence, and it broke my heart.”

“But what could I do? I was still too young then. I could not work to send myself to school. What I was determined to do was to make sure I will excel in school, but without the means to do it, I am back to just dreaming.” He looks down on his tattered shoes.

“Then someone from our barangay told my parents that we were going to be part of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and everything changed. My parents still worked hard from morning till dusk, but compared to then, they would make sure that my school fees were paid on time now. Because of the conditionalities of the program, my mom made sure I would attend my classes and pay attention to my lessons.”

“On my part, there was renewed vigor, I started to look forward to going to school. I knew I had to take advantage of this good fortune. Every year I aimed to climb the ranks and indeed, each year I would get into the top ten of the class. I finished elementary with honors which is why I entered grade 7 at Maddela Comprehensive High School belonging to the Science class. Two years of hard work and I am now finishing Junior High as one of the Top 3 in class” There is an unmistakeable pride in his voice.

“I know I still have a long journey to achieve my dreams, but I am convinced now that I am not alone in making that happen. My advice to those who are in a similar situation would be: never believe that poverty prevents us to succeed, it should be our motivation to overcome it. It’s like how my dad tells us, it’s nobody’s fault to be born poor, but your own fault to die poor!” With that, he bids farewell and walks towards his waiting parent, his dull-colored shirt noticeable amongst the crisp white of his classmates, but his gait exudes confidence and dignity. ###By: Jeanet Antolin-Lozano, Information Officer – Pantawid Pamilya


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SLP FO2 Conducts Shielded Metal Arc Workshop for Pantawid Pamilya Beneficiaries

A workshop for Shielded Metal Arc Welding was launched by the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of DSWD FO2 last April 4, 2016 to 48 out-of-school Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in the Region.

The participants were enrolled to the Cagayan Valley Maritime Studies, Inc., a TESDA accredited school based in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya, where they will need to complete a 34-day training in order to finish the workshop.

The said participants come from the Nueva Vizcaya municipalities of Bayombong, Bambang, Sta. Fe, Quezon, Dupax Del Norte and Dupax Del Sur.

Nueva Vizcaya SLP Provincial Coordinator Jane A. Pumaras facilitated the partnership of the program with the school.

Mr. James Daryll B. Liggayu, SLP Project Development Officer II for Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya, said that the training was pushed through because of the overwhelmingly positive response of the participants towards it during the profiling and the identification of the course by TESDA as an in-demand course.

“After their training and assessment with TESDA, they will undergo an on-the-job training on an industry located in Subic which will happen in May,” Mr. Liggayu said. ### Written by Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, Listahanan Information Officer

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Orientation on Employment Facilitation Conducted in Roxas, Isabela

An orientation for employment facilitation was conducted on April 21, 2016 by the Sustainable Livelihood Program of DSWD FO2 to 113 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in the municipality of Roxas, Isabela.

The said orientation, in partnership with Unitas, was done to inform the beneficiaries about job offerings in Magnolia Dressing Plant, which currently have various vacancies related to chicken dressing.

Ms. Cherry Joy C. Molina, Project Development Officer II of the municipality of Roxas, said that various beneficiaries signified their interest to pursue the open positions after the conclusion of the orientation.

“There are interested (beneficiaries) and we will process their referrals for them to be assessed and validated before getting them recommended to take the various vacancies,” Ms. Molina said.

Ms. Molina added that if another partner is willing to go down to their area to offer job openings, another orientation will again be organized. ### Written by Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, Listahanan Information Officer

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DSWD launches results of the 2nd nationwide assessment

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) releases today the profile of targeted poor families based on the result of the LISTAHANAN second round of assessment implemented in 2015.

The second assessment, which covered 15.1 million households, identified 5.1 million targeted poor households nationwide. This latter figure translates to 5.5 million targeted poor families or 28.7 million individuals.

“The LISTAHANAN data on the targeted poor households were collected through a comprehensive, objective and transparent house-to-house assessment”, stated DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman. The DSWD enumerated all families in rural-classified barangays and in pockets of poverty of urban-classified barangays.

The assessment used the Proxy Means Test (PMT) models to estimate the per capita income of the households. Through this assessment, the DSWD found that the 5.1 million targeted poor households nationwide have annual per capita income less than the poverty threshold reported by the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) for 2015. Most of these targeted households reside in Visayas and Mindanao as nine out of the 10 regions with the most number of targeted poor households are part of the said island clusters.

The Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) topped the list with 11.2% share or 573,446 targeted poor households. ARMM is followed by Region VII (Central Visayas) and Region X (Northern Mindanao) with 525,561 and 485,539 targeted poor households, respectively.

Meanwhile, 8 out of 10 or 76.6% of the targeted poor households reside in rural areas, 2 out 10 or 23.4% live in urban areas.

Of the 28.7 million individuals, 48.4% or 13.9 million are women while 51.6% or 14.8 million are men. It may be noted that children constitute 15.1 million or 52.7% of the total targeted poor population.

Of the 10.7 million children aged 5 to 17 years old, 215,244 reported having an occupation. Most of these children (123,578) are laborers and unskilled workers.
Fisher folks, farmers and foresters comprise about 2.8 million or 17.9% of the 15.5 million targeted poor individuals belonging to the labor force or those aged 15 years old and above. The majority (53% or 8.2 million) reported having no occupation at the time of the assessment.

Senior citizens comprise only 4.2% or 1.2 million individuals. While, 1.1% of the total targeted poor population or 313,574 are persons with disability.

“Aside from the demographics of the population covered in LISTAHANAN, other information such as access to safe water and electricity, quality of housing materials, tenure status of the family’s house and lot and their specific occupation are available upon request,” Sec. Soliman shared.

The list however of names and addresses of targeted poor households, families or individuals can only be obtained upon execution of a data sharing agreement with the DSWD. This is to ensure that the list will be only used for implementation of programs and services meant to improve their well-being.

Complete, transparent

“To ensure transparency in the data-gathering process and maintain the integrity of the list, the assessment involved public validation of the initial list of poor generated from the said assessments,” Sec. Soliman explained.

Appeals of those who were not assessed and complaints of those who contest the list of poor were received and resolved by the Local Verification Committee (LVC) at the municipal or city level during validation. LVCs are composed of the local social welfare and planning officers and three other members from civil society organizations.

“This ensured the completeness, accuracy and inclusiveness of the process,” added Secretary Soliman.

While the Listahanan can generate statistics on the targeted poor households and families, it does not provide the official poverty statistics. The official poverty statistics released by Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) provides data on poverty and subsistence incidences based on poverty and food thresholds.

The LISTAHANAN or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) is an administrative tool for targeting poor families.
It establishes a centralized database of targeted poor families to serve as basis for identifying beneficiaries of social protection programs and services, minimizing wastage of resources to unintended recipients.

Consistent with the definition of poor in Republic Act 8425, LISTAHANAN classifies households with approximated incomes falling below the official provincial poverty thresholds reported by the PSA as poor. ###

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DSWD’s Listahanan identifies 1.5-M Pantawid Pamilya families lifted from poverty

The recent second round of household assessment for Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) showed that a total 1,511,320 beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program have improved their status to “non-poor”.

This figure represents a large percentage (36%) of the total 4.2 million active Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries.

“The improvement in the lives of these 1.5 million Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries is due to their dedication and hard work to break from the intergenerational cycle of poverty that they have been in,” Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman shared.

Of those who have transitioned to non-poor, about 67,968 or 4.5% are still at risk of reverting to poverty when faced with disasters and economic shocks.

Studies classify this group as the “vulnerable” or “transient poor”. These are households  who registered as non-poor at a particular year but are dragged back to poverty a few years after.

“Given the number of natural disasters that hit the country in recent years, the DSWD recognizes the need to extend assistance to these families to keep them from becoming poor again,” explained Sec. Soliman.

Using the mentioned studies, the DSWD pegged 1.1 or 10% above the poverty line as the threshold that will enable them to identify the vulnerable families in the assessment. By applying the said threshold to the result of the Proxy Means Test (PMT), the Listahanan will be  able to generate a list of vulnerable families.

Then, the Department can craft programs that specifically address the needs of this sector.

The PMT is a statistical model that approximates household incomes based on specific household characteristics such as education attainment, livelihood or occupation of household members, and appliances, furniture and other household assets, among others.

Of the 15.1 million households or 16.7 million families covered in the 2nd assessment, the Listahanan identified 880,978 households or 983,816 families as vulnerable.

The DSWD encourages other agencies and organizations involved in social protection to allot a portion of their resources to implement programs that will help vulnerable households attain the level of self-sufficiency.

The complete profile of the vulnerable poor, which includes breakdown per sector, geographic location and employment or occupation, among others, is available upon request.

However, the list of households, families or individuals can only be obtained upon execution of a data sharing agreement with the DSWD. This is to ensure that the list will only be used for implementation of programs and services meant to improve their well-being.

“While the Listahanan can generate statistics on poverty, it does not provide the official poverty statistics,” stated DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman.

The official poverty statistics released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) provides data on poverty and subsistence incidences based on poverty and food thresholds.

The Listahanan is an administrative tool for targeting poor families. It establishes a centralized database of poor families to serve as basis for identifying beneficiaries of social protection programs and services, minimizing wastage or resources to unintended recipients. ###

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Work in Times of War


There is never a feeling as dreadful as being in a place ridden by opposing forces whose singular focus is on eliminating the people on the opposing side with any means necessary. Surviving such a situation gets more difficult when you have to battle your fears along with your aim of staying alive. The gun fires and explosions can rattle even the bravest folks. It is not surprising for soldiers, after being in the battle ground for quite some time, to come back forever changed. Some even experience mental and emotional trauma that last until they pass away. Heck, watching gun fires on films can make a lot of people scared. The horrors of war are true and they haunt even the best of us.

When you take a job, you don’t really think about what may go wrong. We usually think about how we will adapt to the new working conditions that we’ll put ourselves in and the stress that it can give us or how you will go about interacting with your new colleagues. You never really think farther than that. You expect tough times but not to the extreme that it changes you. Working in the midst of life and death situations is usually out of the question.

Mr. Joseph Valdez, a resident of Baggao, Cagayan, applied for a Listahanan field staff position in DSWD Field Office 02 hoping to land a job that can support him and further his professional career. He braved the scorching heat of the sun on that screening day to take the screening exam and interview. He was one of the lucky few who were able to pass the screening and assume a field staff position.

He started out okay as he recalled, receiving complaints from residents from the different barangays of Baggao to be given to the Local Verification Committee (LVC) members of the municipality for their judgment as to which of the concerns merit assessment or re-assessment. He swiftly shifted to assessing and re-assessing the approved households after that.

The Encounter

The first few days of assessing households were okay as he recalled. He jumped from one household to another to collect information that the Listahanan database needs to verify if the households are poor or non-poor routinely and without any problem. Then the encounter happened.

“Nag-assess ako sa Sitio Hot Spring sa Baggao (noong December 5) na malimit na nagiging sentro ng labanan ng militar at mga rebelde. Habang nasa bahay ako ng isang ini-interview ko, nakarinig ako ng putok,” Mr. Valdez said of how the incident started.

Despite hearing the gun fire, Mr. Valdez kept his attention to the interview, with an aim of finishing it as fast as possible to move on to other households.

“Tinanong ko yung interviewee ko kung ano yung narinig ko pero sabi niya normal nalang yun sa kanila kaya nagpatuloy nalang ako sa pag-assess,” he added, focusing on what needs to be done more than the initial fear that he experienced while hearing the gun fire.

He was about to finish the interview when he heard gun fires again, explosions that were so loud so as to indicate that the encounter is becoming closer and closer to his place of interview. His interviewee asked him to leave for his safety and to avoid being a part of the casualty. He kept being calm despite the unraveling that the gun fires and explosions gave and rode his vehicle. The road wasn’t safe but he needed to find a way to leave.

“Patapos na ako sa interview nung dumami ang mga putok at may mga pasabog na kong naririnig kaya sabi ng interviewee ko na umalis na ako at ayaw na rin niyang magpatuloy sa interview dahil sa takot. Ayaw ko noong umalis kasi nga takot ako sa daan at kabundukan pa naman pero tinibayan ko nalang loob ko,” Mr. Valdez recollected.

Just as he was speeding away from the fighting, he chanced upon a military truck that stopped him from going further. The military men asked Mr. Valdez to not leave just yet because he may encounter rebels on his way down the mountain and to follow them to a school which serves as their temporary base and hideout.

“Habang nagmo-motor ako ay may nakasalubong akong sasakyan ng militar tapos pinapunta kami sa elementary school ng Sitio Hot Spring at talagang nanginginig ako sa takot. Kinopya nila (military) travel order ko at binigay mga area na hindi ko muna dapat puntahan at hintayin ang text nila kung okay na,” Mr. Valdez said.

Mr. Valdez stayed in the school for the rest of the day. He claims that the fighting lasted from 9 am to 12 pm. After the rebel forces were subdued later that day, he decided to go down the mountain and in to safety in the town proper.

Call of Duty

It took 8 days before Mr. Valdez got a confirmation from the military that it is already safe to go back and resume assessing the households that were not assessed yet. Despite his experience, he never had second thoughts about resuming his obligation.

“Okay lang na bumalik kasi trabaho ko yun at kailangan kong gawin,” he said.

He said that his experiences are indelible and though he often gets scolded by his family members about the dangers of working in a war-torn place, he considers it a great honor to work for DSWD because of the challenges that he was able to overcome and the memories that he had while doing his duty.

“Salamat sa DSWD dahil sa mga naranasan ko at natutunan na kahit pinapagalitan ako ng pamilya ko, alam kong malaking honor ang makapagtrabaho sa gobyerno,” Mr. Valdez concludes.

Joseph is now employed as a teacher in his hometown, continually using the passion that drove him to great dangers just to do his work to teaching the next generation of kids to have that same desire to do what is necessary to be able to accomplish their responsibilities.

Listahanan is the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s database of poor families. It is the basis for identifying families who can become beneficiaries of social protection programs and services. Reliable, complete and accurate, that’s Listahanan. ### Written by: Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, Listahanan Information Officer

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CSO Accreditation Notice


The public, whether an individual, group or organization is invited to submit to DSWD any derogatory report or information on the CSOs who are applying for accreditation to implement programs/projects using government public funds. Check the list of CSOs here...