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Field Office Starts Relief Operation for Batanes Earthquake Victims

July 27, 2019 – The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (DSWD FO2) through its Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) office in Batanes has started its response operations for those affected by the earthquake in the said province earlier today.

In a conference call with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and members of the Cagayan Valley Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CV-RDRRMC) at 10:00 AM today, the field office ensured partners of the readiness of the field office to respond to those affected by the earthquake.

SWAD Batanes is closely monitoring the progress of the situation with the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) and Municipal Social Welfare and Development Offices (MSWDOs) of the province for immediate processing of DSWD support and assistance.

The SWAD team has also been instructed to assist bereaved families and injured individuals through the provision of financial assistance through the field office’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS).

The field office has a total stockpile and standby funds amounting to P12,888,820.41 including a total of 29,132 Family Food Packs (FFPs).

There are already 432 bags of standby rice, 144 cases of sardines and 300 cases of corned beef ready for utilization in the province. An additional Protective Services Fund amounting to P700,000.00 is ready for utilization by SWAD Batanes to the affected families and individuals.

As of the latest report, there have been 8 casualties and 60 injured from the earthquake subject to validation and further confirmation. ###

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The shore is a silent witness of change. It sees the days where the vast sea radiates calmness. On some days, the shore catches the raging crash of the waves and the uneasiness of the rumbling waters as if a storm is about to pass. It also sees how the sea reflects the sky and displays the varying color palette. It is the everyday bystander that both feel a fisherman’s bliss after a bountiful catch or a fisherman’s gloom after going home empty-handed.

The shore has been the comfort abode of a young lad from Buguey, Cagayan. It was her playground, a place where she untiringly built her sand castles along with her dreams.  She grew up knowing what the shore and the sea can offer.

Life along the shore might seem steady for some but not for Ms. Melva C. Sebastian. Her childhood memories would entail long days with her parents going off to shore to make ends meet. On her second year in high school, she was forced to quit her studies due to financial constraints. Her parents could no longer afford to sustain her education since the priority was to ease their empty stomachs. That very moment gave her qualms for her future.

The long stretch of the shore resembles Melva’s long journey amidst poverty. In 2005, she built her own family and married Marcos Sebastian, a fisherman from the same town. Their union was blessed with two children. To sustain the needs of the family Melva worked as a house helper while her husband earned a percentage basis income in fishing. Only about four years into their marriage however, her fate was put to the test. Her husband suffered from a toxic goiter, an autoimmune disorder that halted him from working. Melva was left the burden to provide for their family without minding her own struggle as a differently abled person. Aside from being a house helper, she doubled her efforts and engaged in “makidusdos”, a local term for gathering native grabs along the mangrove forest and did side line job as a laborer in oyster culture farms. The condition of his husband worsened as he also started suffering from heart complications. She was consumed by guilt since she couldn’t consistently suffice the medication of her husband. The circumstances left her no choice but to enter into a cycle of debt.

Just like the shore that withstood the test of time, Melva typified a strong character that withstood whatever life may bring. In 2017, the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) shed light to a mother longing for an alternative source of income. It gave her the opportunity to be part of Sunrise SLP Association and received capital augmentation amounting to P15,000.00. She ventured in oyster culture/production as her former employer lent a portion of their fishpond. The capital was used for the purchase of raw materials for oyster culture such as spot collector/oyster hangs, bamboo, rope and the like. A portion of the fund was also use to purchase crab seeds for her secondary project.

She now gathers an average of about two kilos of oyster daily and earns an average income of P6, 000.00 per month. She directly delivers her produce to a private buyer, an oyster          sauce maker on her barangay. On one hand, she earns an average gross income of P3, 500.00 every production cycle on her crab venture. As part of her expansion, she started to assemble spot collector/oyster hangs where she earns an additional weekly income of P700.00-P1, 000.00. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) served as her regular client on her spot collector/oyster hangs and earns an average of P7,000.00 per order. The steady income supports the daily needs of her children and the medication of her husband which she previously struggled to provide. With a teary eye, she even mentions that she can now somehow pamper her children. She can occasionally treat them outside and buy them new clothes and toys. More than the material things, the delight from the faces of her children makes her sacrifices worthwhile. For her, the opportunity did not only provide her means to bring food on their table but also restore her faith for a better future.

Looking back on the days where the waters seemed indifferent against the shore, the best picture on those days were of Ms. Melva struggling to fight life’s adversities. Bringing the lessons from her past, she now faces life with so much hope and positivity. She is more than thankful for the changes that SLP brought for her family. In the near future she plans to put up her own oyster sauce processing as part of her diversification plan and will consistently find ways to improve her chosen endeavour. “Dakkel nga pagyamyamanak nga naikan nak iti SLP ti puhunan tapnu maadanan nak iti sariling nga negosyo, manipud idi malaganan nak met ten nga masustener iti agas ni mister ku (I am immensely grateful that SLP provided me with the initial capital to start my own business, since then I can now sustain the medication of my husband),” Ms. Melva said. Written by: Melisen A. Taquiqui, SLP Social Marketing Officer

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Field Office Starts Payout for Social Pension Beneficiaries

June 26, 2019 – With the validation of Social Pension Program beneficiaries close to completion, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office 02 will be commencing with the payout of 6,001 validated beneficiaries from Tuguegarao City tomorrow, June 27, 2019.

Of the 49 barangays of the city, 31 will be catered tomorrow while the remaining 18 will be catered on June 28, Friday.

The said payout will be for the first and second quarter assistance of the beneficiaries with each beneficiary getting P500 per month for a total of P3,000 for the first semester of the year.

The scheme for payouts was changed this year to per semester instead of the usual quarterly payouts to give way for the validation of beneficiaries that started last April 27, 2019 in accordance with the qualifications mandated under Republic Act No. 9994 or Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 which is strictly being adhered to by the agency.

Under the said law, an elderly who is 60 years old and above is qualified to receive the assistance if he/she is sickly, frail or with disability, without financial assistance or permanent source of income to support his/her daily subsistence and basic medical needs and without any pension from other government or private institutions.

The payouts for this year will have grievance desks to cater to questions of individuals about the program including the validation process that the field office conducted.

The field office meanwhile will be coordinating with local government units (LGUs) for the next schedule of payouts as it looks to finish distributing the cash assistance as soon as possible.

A total of 218,659 program beneficiaries in the region across the provinces of Batanes (1,444), Cagayan (77,281), Isabela (101,753), Quirino (13,138) and Nueva Vizcaya (25,043) was targeted for validation by the region. ###

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Listahanan Shares Data on Poor Households to LGU Lal-lo

June 14, 2019 – Upon the completion of the requirements for data sharing, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (DSWD-FO2) spearheaded by the National Household Targeting Section (NHTS) also known as Listahanan awarded the List of Poor Households in Lal-lo, Cagayan to its Local Government Unit (LGU).

The data requested by LGU Lal-lo will be used to identify the individuals or families in need of the programs and services as well as for the Disaster Risk and Management Plan of the municipality.

Through the Listahanan data, LGU Lal-lo aims to provide necessary aid to households with unsanitary toilet facilities and unsafe water sources, conduct household visits to those who do not regularly go to health facilities, provide assistance or intervention addressing constituents’ education needs and determine job employment, skills, training or investment purposes for career employment.

As stipulated in Executive Order 867, series of 2010, the Department of Social Welfare and Development is mandated to implement the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) to establish a system for identifying who and where the poor households are and serve as the basis in the selection of beneficiaries of social protection programs.

True to its mandate, the DSWD-FO2 is actively advocating the utilization of the Listahanan data to establish an objective targeting system. ### By: Margaret G. Arao, Listahanan Information Officer

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DSWD FO2 Conducts Consultation Dialogue for Listahanan 3

Tuguegarao City – As part of the preparation for the Listahanan 3rd Round of Household Assessment that will begin later this year, Director George JT D. Aliño of the National Household Targeting Office (NHTO) led a consultation visit and inspection to the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (DSWD-FO2) last May 24, 2019.

The consultation visit aims to personally motivate field staff working for the National Household Targeting Section (NHTS) for the conduct of the assessment and to personally listen to the issues and concerns of the field office.

In his discussion, Dir. Aliño narrated the process of finalizing what he dubbed as the heart of the Listahanan Project, the Proxy Means Test (PMT), the statistical tool used to identify who and where the poor are based on the data gathered from the household assessment.

Another highlight from Director Aliño’s discussion is the Enhancement of the Listahanan Manuals which is being updated based on the results of the Pilot Test/s and the recommendations from a consultant.

Moreover, a detailed Grievance Redress System shall be incorporated in the Operations Manual which includes the improved Local Verification Committee (LVC) process and a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with DILG to strengthen partnership with barangays.

Director Aliño also presented the timeline of the whole project cycle informing that it was extended from the original 11-month period to 15 months to ensure the quality of data in the final list of poor households.

On the second day of the visit, Dir Aliño went to inspect the encoding station of the NHTS and other possible areas that can accommodate the said process.

Furthermore, the Director believes that Listahanan is the heart of the agency because it is where the list of beneficiaries come from, thus, it should be kept complete, truthful, and accurate. ### By: Margaret G. Arao, Listahanan Information Officer

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Partnership with the Department of Agriculture Yields Training on Mushroom Production for SLP Beneficiaries

June 10, 2019 – The field office, through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), recently conducted a training on Mushroom Production at the Department of Agriculture – Southern Cagayan Research Center (DA-SCRC) in Iguig, Cagayan.

The activity, which was conducted in tandem with DA, catered to 14 SLP beneficiaries from two Sustainable Livelihood Program Associations (SLPAs) from the town of Amulung, Cagayan.

The training consisted of modular lecture and hands-on demo to capacitate the participants with needed skills to succeed in the production of mushroom. The topics discussed included the overview and benefits of mushroom production including its varieties.

The DA lecturers who lent their expertise to the skills training were Ms. Merlita M. Collado and Mary Rose Matote, both laboratory technicians of the center.

Ms. Eleanor Tabay, an SLPA member who participated in the training, mentioned how important it was for her and her SLPA to be capacitated with skills that they can soon use to start their own business.

“Agyaman nak iti DSWD ken DA-SCRC ti tulong da kanyami. Nanayunan manen iti adal mi ket isu ti aramaten mi tapnu mapatanur mi nga nasayaat ken agtultuloy daytoy livelihood mi. (I am thankful for the help given to us by DSWD and DA-SCRC. It added to our knowledge which we will use to be able to sustain our livelihood for a long time.)”

The SLP is a program that aims to capacitate poor and marginalized households with skills to be able to engage and maintain a thriving livelihood. ###

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LGU Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya Awarded List of Poor Households by the Field Office

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (DSWD FO2), through its National Household Targeting Unit (NHTU), recently awarded the List of Poor Households in the Municipality of Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya to the local government unit (LGU) of the area.

The list was awarded after a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed by the field office and the LGU for the latter to use the data as basis for the social protection programs and/or services that they offer to their constituents.

The LGU mentioned that the list will be of great help as it will aid them in identifying beneficiaries for their social protection programs and services.

The List of Poor Households is the result of the 2nd Round of Household Assessment conducted by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) or Listahanan from 2015 to 2016.

The Listahanan is a data bank of information that identifies who and where the poor are in the Philippines. It is used by the DSWD as well as other government agencies to identify beneficiaries for social protection programs and services.

The Listahanan was formed for the purpose of having a centralized basis for the identification of social protection program beneficiaries as well as to eradicate issues on beneficiary qualification/s. ### By: Margaret G. Arao, Listahanan Information Officer

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DSWD FO2 Conducts Pay-out for UCT-Listahanan Beneficiaries

June 05, 2019 – The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (DSWD FO2) through its Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) Regional Project Management Office and the National Household Targeting Unit (NHTU) also known as Listahanan has started conducting another round of pay-out for the 2018 grant of the beneficiaries of UCT-Listahanan in the region which started yesterday, June 4, 2019.

To date, there have already been 35 beneficiaries or 100% paid in the Province of Batanes, 22,500 beneficiaries or 91.67% paid in the Province of Cagayan, 24,527 beneficiaries or 88.38% paid in the Province of Isabela, 3,068 beneficiaries or 90.42% paid in the Province of Quirino and 7,520 beneficiaries or 91.42% paid in the Province of Nueva Vizcaya.

The UCT personnel are also in the process of encoding the Land Bank forms for the beneficiaries’ cash cards which will be used for the 2019 and 2020 grant of beneficiaries. This process aims to make the implementation of the program more efficient and transparent.

During his latest visit to the field office, DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista acknowledged the gargantuan tasks that have been given to the agency through its multitude of programs and services but spoke of his confidence in the field office’s staff to be able to carry out the implementation of the latter because of its hard-working staff.

The UCT is a component of the national government’s Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) program that aims to provide indigent Filipinos that will be affected by the rising prices because of the implementation of the new tax reform program with cash subsidies amounting to P200 a month for 2018 and P300 a month for 2019 and 2020.

The agency was given the responsibility of implementing the UCT when it was signed into a law in 2017. ###

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