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Feature: Helping mothers help themselves

Nelly and Aubrey are all smiles as the child now enjoys a healthier and more active body with the help of her mother Nelly and SFP

Malibcong, Abra – The 2013-12015 National Nutrition Council findings reveal that Malibcong, Abra is one of the municipalities with high prevalence of underweight in children ages 0-4 years old. However, with the continuous implementation of Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the findings in 2016 was lower compared to the previous years.

There are 14 Child Development Centers in Malibcong with a total of 139 target beneficiaries. Currently, they are serving a total of 179 beneficiaries in all its CDCs which is higher than target since there are more children enrolled from 0-71 months old in their area.

Malibcong is part of the 15 local government units (LGUs) in Abra to have a twice-a-day feeding due to the high number of malnourished kids in the area. They are now on the 7th cycle of feeding which started on October 2017. This has helped mothers in the area to improve the nutritional status of their children.

Eat your way to the top

One of the beneficiaries of SFP in Poblacion, Malibcong Day Care Center is Marynell Aubrey J. Bayongan.

At the age of 5, she already knows what she wants to be when she grows up, and that is to become a doctor and help sick people and save lives. “Gusto kong maging doktor paglaki ko upang makatulong ako sa aking kapwa” shares Aubrey.

Nelly is very happy to hear this coming from her child, at a very young age. “As solo parent nag-titiis nalang ako sa sahod ko kahit maliit lang, basta ang importante mapakain ko sa katas ng pawis ko ang anak ko. Mabigyan ko ng magandang kinabukasan, ang mapag-aral ko siya, hanggang siya ay maka tapos at hanggang sa maabot niya ang pangarap niyang maging isang doktor”, she said.

Nelly was left by Aubrey’s father when the child was born. Nelly is working at the Municipal Civil Registry as an Administrative Assistant II. She has been in service for 20 years now. She shares that although it is hard raising a child alone, she manages with the help of her family and the SFP.

Child Development Worker Linda Bentucen described Aubrey as smart, active in recitation, a fast learner, a keen observer, and a generally friendly child. According to her mother, she eats little and is undernourished, but when she was enrolled in the center, her appetite has improved, especially with the presence of her fellow child development center pupils.

Her weight improved from 12.1kg to 12.5kg after three months, and finally increased to a normal 13kg weight after the sixth month of monitored feeding at home.

Raising hope, rising stars

Nelly and Linda were grateful for the program. They are hopeful and recommending continuous implementation of the program because it improves the nutritional and health status of the beneficiaries, stimulates regular attendance at child development centers, and also educates children about proper practice of table manners and personal hygiene as observed in all child development centers not just in the municipality of Malibcong, but in the whole province of Abra.

“I am happy to be part of the program and to see that the children grow to be healthy and smart, sana tuloy tuloy lang ang programa upang madami pang bata ang aming matulungan na maabot ang kanilang mga pangarap” shares Child Development Worker Linda Bentucen.

Nelly, like most parents, is thankful for the program. “Maraming salamat ma’am, dahil sa Supplementary Feeding Program may naging katuwang ako, at natulungan ako sa pagregula ng timbang ng anak ko, sana mas marami pang bata ang gaya ni Aubrey na matutulungan upang mabigyan po sila ng sapat na nutrition habang bata pa”, Nelly added. #DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, Phylein Maria Rosette U. Callangan with Mel Seg-id

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When a child is nourished by the community

Aside from the Child Development Worker, children are also guided by their parents during feeding time.

Barangay Baang is located almost atop a mountain in Hungduan, Ifugao overlooking a stunning descent of ricefields until a crystal clear river that cuts their boundary with barangay Hapao.

It takes a 30-minute to one-hour hike from the end of the road to reach the community. There stands a tiny child development center officially called Bannawol Day Care Center where 11 healthy children attend lessons.

But, what could be their not-so-secret strategies to keep their children healthy? We delved on their Local Government Unit’s intervention to continuously improve their child development centers.

AIMING FOR ZERO MALNUTRITION

Katie (not her real name), 3, chomps on a special pancit carefully prepared by parents in the community. By her cheery actions after eating and drinking her Choco milk, the food served to her and her classmates must be toothsome.

Katie is one of the 11 pupils at Bannawol Day Care Center who was found out to be malnourished before the start of the Supplementary Feeding Program funded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and jointly implemented with the Municipal Local Government Units and the Child Development Service Parents Group.

Her mother, Kathy (not her real name), 22, says that her child was underweight. “Nagkurang ti protein na (she lacked protein),” she says.
Thankfully, after three months in the Supplementary Feeding Program, she gained weight. “Sinursurot ko diyay inted da nga menu book ket mayat met ti resulta na (I followed what was in menu book and I’ve seen good results),” she continued. Kathy has a daily guide now on preparing low cost but nutritious and tasty dishes that her two kids love.

The menu book was provided by the Supplementary Feeding Program but the Local Government Unit of Hungduan personalized it and replaced some ingredients with indigenous food.

“We incorporated food with the same nutrient content that are readily available in our backyards or in our community, in our personalized menu book,” says LGU-SFP Focal John Bumangabang.

He says that using indigenous food does not only defray cost of food but parents are also assured on local vegetables and livestock available in the community.

Now, 10 months since Katie reached her normal weight, she continues to improve physically and socially. “She easily makes friends and, comfortably plays with other children,” her mother says.

Bumangabang says that like DSWD, one of the municipality’s top priority are the welfare of their children. Thus, one child with malnutrition is a great concern for them.

In the municipality of Hungduan, 28 out of 356 children enrolled with the Supplementary Feeding Program were found out to be malnourished. Three months after undergoing supplementary feeding, 26 children improved in weight.

In the Ifugao province, there are 74. 61% (out of the 4982 SFP enrollees) children who improved their weight after the 120 days supplementary Feeding Program.

 

GOING BEYOND NUTRITION

Aiming for an up to global standards in its child development centers, LGU Hungduan continues to work on improving every child development centers by training Child Development Workers (CDWs) and launching various efforts to raise fund for the development of their Child Development Centers.

“We are aiming to implement the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Program since some of our materials and modules are already outdated,” says John Bumangabang.

He says that if they want to properly provide the best growth and development for the children of Hungduan, they should upgrade their level of their child development centers which is currently level I.

“With the inputs from DSWD-CAR staff who came to assess our centers, we realized that to be at par with the standards of ECCD, we have to improve several things for the sake of our children,” adds Bumangabang.

The municipality targeted to train their CDWs on April 2018 and implement the ECCD Program on June 2018. “Hopefully, the DSWD Regional Office can provide us resource speakers for us,” mused Bumangabang”

He continued that they are looking forward on using modules of ECCD so that the lessons will be consistent in the whole municipality.
Apart from nutrition and education aspect of their children’s development, parents in Barangay Baang together with the barangay officials also proposed and are about to build a play area beside the Bannawol Day Care Center.

“We set aside some budget to build swings, slide and seesaws,” says Barangay Kagawad Evangeline Pelajio. The parents and barangay officials admitted that after the technical assistance provided by staff of DSWD-CAR they recognized the importance of playing for children to develop their social and physical abilities.

The Bannawol Day Care Center stood for 26 years catering to early development of children in the barangay. For Child Development Worker Elisa Bidang who has been the teacher of the school since its establishment in 1992, services for children has been gradually improving.
Welfare of children also became a community’s concern since parents became proactive to give the best nutrition and education, and develop social and physical skills of their children. #DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, Jasmin Kiaso

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More than 30k Students to Complete Tertiary Education

Around 34,000 students from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) are expected to graduate under the Expanded Students Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGPPA). The ESGPPA is implemented by the Commission on Higher Education together with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).

“We commend our graduates for making it this far. We also laud the unwavering support of their families that brought them to where they are right now. Despite the hardships and the difficulties, they did not falter”, shared DSWD Secretary Emmanuel Leyco.

In 2012, SGPPA was launched covering 4,000 students. This was later on expanded to cover additional 36,000 students in 2014.
The program provided opportunities to 4Ps households who have children who are determined to pursue college education and qualified for the scholarship. A college degree for the children-beneficiaries opens an opportunity for them to access better employment and help them improve their lives.

“We recognize that having a degree will not immediately translate to an improved quality of life, but it’s a stepping stone that will lead them to better opportunities. Through the program, we have given these poor children as well as their families a fighting chance to a better quality of life,”added Secretary Leyco.

Beneficiaries of the program are required to take up courses that are among those identified with the national development plans manpower demands. These include Information Technology (IT)-related courses in agriculture, education, science and math, engineering and health sciences-related courses.

The 4P’s or Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) is a program of the national government that invests in the health and education of poor households primarily of children aged 18 and below. It is implemented by the DSWD together with other government agencies to include the Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Health (DoH).

It provides cash grants to compliant household beneficiaries with health grant worth P500 and educational grants worth P300 and P500.00 each to the children studying in elementary and high school, respectively. As of 30 March 2018, there are 4.3 million households enrolled in the program. ###

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Streaming Water Where it is Almost Impossible

Water pipes and DSWD personnel need to traverse the challenges of Tacadang’s geography to serve the people in the community

Kibungan, Benguet ─ “Manipud sin rugugi, naki-ububla kami (Since the start, we were involved).” Miles Maguido, a community volunteer, reflected as he scans his memories on how they were able to accomplish a seemingly gigantic project in his barangay. After his morning chores, we got a chance to talk about his thoughts on being involved in a community project from start to finish.

He mostly talked about the collective decisions they made while experiencing the whole process of driving their own development.
“Mayat ti agmitmiting ta adda ngay ti panag-iistorya ti pagsayaatan, pagtitinulungan ken maamuan pay dagiti kasapulan ti barangay (Conducting meetings is helpful since these become venues to talk about beneficial things for us, cooperation and we get to know what else our village needs,” Miles says.

He said that during meetings, there are helpful suggestions from the participants. “We even realize what we need as a community and what we need to do to achieve it,” he added in vernacular.

 

WHERE THERE ARE NO ROADS, BUT ONLY FOOT TRAILS

Miles, 51 years old, is a resident of Proper Tacadang, the farthest barangay in Kibungan, Benguet.

No roads but only foot trails will lead you to this village. Around 2, 000 meters above sea level, it naturally became a favorite destination of mountain climbers and nature lovers. Hiking to the village rewards one with breathtaking views of rocky mountains, and if you’re lucky you can have the chance to see the stunning view of the sunset.

To successfully reach it, one needs to have the right physical and mental strength to survive the 6-7 hike with uphill or steep trails which could go up to 90 degrees’ angle.

While nearing the village, one can be awe-stricken with the carefully and artfully carved rice terraces which the local would say was established and maintained by generations of farmers. The barangay boasts of organically produced rice, free range chicken and other naturally raised livestock.

In recent years, the growing coffee industry is boosting the village’s economy. Their aromatic Arabica Coffee can easily steal the hearts of coffee lovers and visitors.

Certainly, a far-flung village such as Barangay Tacadang definitely has its own perks. But unlike other barangays, Tacadang residents live isolated lives far from everyday comforts, which is easier or simpler to get with the availability of roads.

The lack of water system in almost all its sitios also make life of the residents more difficult. Fetching water from springs is a major part of their household chores.

Further, most of us enjoy the conveniences electricity bring especially communication, but some of the sitios in this village have yet to experience the handiness of work using electricity.

Mary Grace Crisologo, a DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS staff assigned in the area says that whenever it gets dark in Sitio Lanipew, where she currently stays, she obsesses about the lights-filled community Legab, Bakun.

“When I first came here, I would usually sleep as early as 6PM since there is no television, internet connection even simply reading is difficult,” she says.

To keep in touch with her family and co-workers, she bought a solar panel mainly for charging of phone and for occasions she badly needed light to finish her work.

With mere physical challenges, it could be easy to forget about the village not to mention bringing services or development there.

But for over 1,886 residents, this is their beloved home. The residents here are hard-working enough to sustain their families. Only that they need a hand to live life much easier and be at par with standards of living.

The municipal local government unit (MLGU) of Kibungan just did that when they gave an equal chance to all its seven (7) barangays, far or near, to implement Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) project of the Departmetn of Social Welfare and Development.

 

A BASIC SOCIAL SERVICE

With a new opportunity at hand, the residents were also willing to work together the MLGU and DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS to improve their barangay.

Considered a Geographically Isolated and Disadvantage Area (GIDA), Barangay Tacadang has seven (7) sitios with a total of 19 sub-sitios.
After undergoing a rigorous process to identify community problems and possible solutions, the barangay came up with a comprehensive list of their priority needs.

Realizing the importance of a water system in their everyday lives, the barangay made this as their top priority project. With full expectation that it will be undeniably challenging to complete the project, they still pushed through with their project proposal knowing that this might only be their chance to turn around their everyday situation.

The news about their approved proposal brought much excitement at the same time uneasiness to the residents. “Most of us are first timers being involved in such a project so we have to learn how to manage development projects,” Miles said in vernacular.

With much perseverance, they planned and successfully implemented strategies to achieve their dreams of bringing water closer to their homes.
The bayanihan system was revived in the village since residents are always enjoined to participate in every activity. “Rinumwar ti mayat nga ugali nga panagtitinnulong (The good community spirit (bayanihan) was revived),” notes Miles.

Miles also mentioned that community volunteers were trained together on project management. “I learned a lot especially on procurement,” he says.

Even with the financial support from DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS and MLGU Kibungan, logistics remained to be the biggest challenge in implementing the water system.

“Hauling of the materials was the most difficult part in building the community project,” Miles recounts. He remembers that during the implementation of the water system, every household took parts in carrying aggregates and materials from sitio Beyyeng in Bakun.

 

On regular days, the hike from Beyyeng would normally take six hours but carrying loads such as construction materials unsurprisingly takes longer time.

“Diay eggeman ti daduma ket half bag ti semento, diay daduma ket maysa nga bag ngem umabot ti walo nga oras nga ipagpagna da. Kasdiay ti karigat na ditoy (Some carried half bag of cement while others carried a full bag and they would carry this for eight hours. That is how difficult [hauling] here),” Miles remarked.

He went on to say that even the water pipes were transported with most struggle. “Dagidiay gripo ket aatidog isunga narigat ta diyay pagnaan nagkillo-killo (With the length of the water pipes, it was difficult [carrying them] in the zigzagged trails).”

Miles added that it took them a long time to complete it as they also had to tend to their ricefields. Thus, they hauled the materials and aggregates by their agreed schedule.

With much sacrifice, a total of five (5) water tanks, one (1) intake tank and four (4) distribution tanks, had been constructed to cater to the needs of the residents including the school and health station.

 

TRULY, WATER IS LIFE

For the three cycles now, the barangay prioritized water systems as their tangible project under the DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS. The first water system was built in Sitios Bekes and Culiang and second was in Proper Tacadang while the third cycle is still ongoing in Sitios Lanipew, Tanap and Asob.

Emma, a teacher of Es-esa S. Aludos Elementary School, says that fetching water is a part of their daily routine in the school. Usually, it would take about an hour to fetch water from a nearby spring.

“The school is commonly the venue of trainings, meeting or outreach programs and we usually accommodate our visitors here,” Emma says. She added that they are usually burdened with lack and inaccessibility of water whenever they hold occasions or activities.

But these days, it seemed that this burden has been dropped down from their list of needs. This time, you can see students, teachers and community members washing dishes under faucets near the school.

On October 30, 2017, the water system in Proper Tacadang where Emma teaches had been completed. And, fetching water using buckets or water containers seem to be a permanent thing of the past now.

For the sustainability of the facility, the operation and maintenance of the water system was entrusted to the Te-eng Ed Proper Tacadang Association, an existing organization in the barangay.

The water systems in the barangay now stands as a proof of the residents’ tenacity amidst the logistical challenges, and their dream of a better community equipped with facilities to sustain them though their daily lives including their industries.

Investing resources for development in remote barangays such as Tacadang is an act of seeing beyond the direct return of investment but rather looking into the future of the children who can possibly become important figures in the town or in the region. It certainly calls for a just and compassionate perspective from anyone to be able to care about their future. #DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, Jasmin Kiaso

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Feature: Nanay, Tatay

Nanay Nelly is hands on in ensuring that the children in the center are well taken care of

She has never been married. But she is a mother (and a father) to not less than twenty (20) children who never grow old.

Avoiding numbers and formulas

The surprise of her life started from avoiding numbers and formulas.

Ms. Nelly Mason of the Department of Social Welfare and Development- Cordillera Administrative Region (DSWD-CAR) decided to take up Bachelor of Science in Social Work only to avoid math subjects. Despite this, Ma’am Nelly was able to finish the course and pass the board in 1984.

Since then, she worked as a Social Worker in various offices, until in 1998, she was hired as a Social Welfare Assistant in the Home for Women in DSWD Region I located in San Fernando City, La Union. On that same year, she transferred to DSWD-CAR under the Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU).

From avoiding numbers and formulas in college, Ma’am Nelly started to count her years serving as a Social Worker. Regardless of her employment status, she remained true to the commitment of her profession- to help and serve others. Despite the demands and accountabilities under the CIU, she waited for eight (8) years to get a contractual Social Welfare Officer II position.

CIU, now called the Crisis Intervention Section, is the DSWD office responsible for the provision of immediate response to individuals in crisis situation.

“Fast-phased ang CIU. Nagrerescue kami ng mga bata. Nagbibigay ng tulong sa mga namatayan ng kamag-anak. Minsan, 24-hours pa ang operation namin.”, Mason recalled.

Aside from being a designated head of the CIU, Ma’am Nelly also served as a Social Welfare and Development Team Leader for Benguet Province and became the Focal Person on Disaster Response and Management in 2013.

In 2014, she was able to get a permanent Social Welfare Officer III position. But in April 2015, another surprise came her way.

Instant family

After years of serving individuals in crisis situation, Ma’am Nelly was reassigned to the Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC) as the Center Head.

RSCC is a 24-hour residential facility for children 0-6 years old. It provides protection and rehabilitation services through temporary residential care to neglected, abandoned, abused, exploited children and those with special needs growth, development, safety, and security programs and services.

Hindi ako ready na iwan noon ang CIU kasi on-going pa ang pagprovide namin ng tulong sa mga SAF families. Pero andoon na. At hindi naman ako nagsisisi na nalipat ako dito sa RSCC”, Mason shared.

With her transfer, Ma’am Nelly has become the mother and father to the children and staff in the residential care facility.

“Feeling ko sa sarili ko, hindi ako qualified to take care of a child. Pero madaling mahalin ang mga anak natin. At hawak natin yung buhay ng mga bata. Nasa atin yung future nila na mahanap yung family na most favorable para sa kanila, aside dun eh responsibilidad din natin na habang nandito sila sa center ay makakatanggap sila ng kalinga at iba pang pangangailangan nila”, Mason said.

Aside from the provision of daily needs, the center also facilitates adoption and foster care services for the children.

“We have to look for a family that we assess as qualified and willing to accept and treat our children as their own.”, Mason added.

In her stay, Ma’am Nelly has already established connection with the children. Baby Paul, not his real name, was eight (8) months old when turned over to the RSCC. The baby was physically abused before was abandoned.

“Siya kasi yung bata na parating gustong maunang kumain. Natataon naman na ako yung parating andun kaya sinusubuan ko siya”, Mason shared. After more than two years in the Center, Baby Paul was adopted by a couple from Finland.

Noong una, mahirap mag entrust ng bata lalo na yung mga napapalapit satin. But we have to look at the brighter side na magkakaroon na sila ng pamilya kasi temporary lang naman ang buhay sa center kasi hindi normal ang buhay dito para sa mga bata”, Mason said.

Ma’am Nelly’s love and care for the children transcends beyond her responsibilities as a Center Head. In her own initiative, she has coordinated with various private groups and organizations for the needs of the center and the children. She has established partnership with Local Government Unit of La Trinidad, Baguio Dairy Farm, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Sunflower Children’s Center, BENECO, KAISA ANG BUHAY Foundation, Baguio General Hospital, academe, religious groups and some private individuals including Fr. Gerardo Costa, Jojit Mondares, and some adoptive parents.

It takes a village to raise a child. Kaya napakalaking tulong ang naibibigay ng mga donors and partners natin. Hindi enough na DSWD lang ang magbibigay sa mga bata”, Mason shared.

“Si Ma’am Nelly, maasikaso siya sa mga bata. Pag may dinaramdam ang mga bata aksyon agad. Magaling siya sa pakikitungo at open siya sa pakikipag-usap. Magaling din siya mag-manage ng pera at mas maraming donations ngayon. Abundant ang resources namin.”, said Honorata Daguyen, RSCC cook for 12 years.

This passion and commitment has been recognized by the Rotary Club of Baguio City as she was given the Vocational Service Award this 2018. Same award has been given to Mr. Johnny Bumakil, Center Head of DSWD-CAR’s Regional Rehabilitation Center for the Youth.

Ma’am Nelly is only one of the few heroes of DSWD-CAR who have given their lives to serving the people. In the case of Ma’am Nelly, she is able to enjoy the love and company of boys and girls whom she treats as her own. Even though she is not able to see these children grow as they need to leave the center, Ma’am Nelly is ready to give the love and care as their temporary nanay and tatay until these children find the family of their own # DSWD-CAR, Social Marketing Unit, Nerizza Faye G. Villanueva

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Feature: All in One Menu for a Healthier Tomorrow

The Province of Kalinga is known for its vast agricultural land area. It takes pride with its farm produce such as rice, coffee, and variety of fruits and vegetables. However, this does not transcend to the younger generation of the Province.

In 2016, the Department of Social Welfare and Development- Cordillera Administrative Region (DSWD-CAR) through the Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) has identified 832 severely underweight and underweight children in Kalinga. This is out of the 7,555 day care children weighed in the child development centers (CDCs) in the province.

With this, the province made its own menu to help these children grow towards a healthier tomorrow.

Plant

The province fully supported the implementation of Gulayan sa Barangay or the practice of backyard gardening. It is practiced not only in CDCs, primary and secondary schools but in the whole community.  Instead of planting ornamental plant on road sides and on other free spaces, people also learned to plant fruits and vegetables.

The local government unit (LGU) has released ordinances and resolutions promoting such practice. In the municipality of Pinukpuk, a municipal ordinance was released in 2016 which promotes backyard gardening in different offices, especially in schools and CDCs. For Tabuk City, backyard gardening has been pushed since 2015. What started from the initiative of Child Development Workers, the City LGU reinforced the effort by starting the search for the best backyard garden in 2017.

“We really pushed for the setting-up of gardens in our schools because we want to provide our children safe, fresh, delicious, and nutritious fruits, vegetables and crops which are very helpful in improving or sustaining the nutritional status of the children”, Social Welfare Officer Marydhel Lattot of Tabuk CSWDO shared.

 

Cultivate

“The parents show initiative in maintaining our gardens. We are also helped by our barangay officials. They come to the garden in the morning and in the afternoon to tend to the plants.”, said Day Care Worker Kenny Lloyd Cadiente from Brgy. Mapaco, Pinukpuk, Kalinga.

“The parents, who also happen to be farmers, assist us in identifying the plants to be raised in our garden. This help us in ensuring that we grow in-season crops.”, shared Day Care Worker Concepcion Raymundo from Brgy. Cullayanan, Pinukpuk, Kalinga.

Adults are not the only ones who take responsibility in the gardens. Even the children do their part in ensuring that their plants grow well.

Parang hobby na rin namin ito. Kasama ang mga bata, nagtatanim kami. Nagtatanong sila tungkol sa mga tinatanim namin. Makikita mo na interisado sila”, Luzviminda Idanan shared. Idanan is a grandmother to a 4-year old day care child from Pinukpuk, Kalinga.

“Even during school break, parents still visit the gardens to maintain the plants.”, said Day Care Worker Magdalena Andomang from Brgy. Ableg, Pasil, Kalinga.

 

Harvest

This practice has helped the implementation of Supplementary Feeding Program in the province. The produce supplements the PhP 15 provision covering the rice and viand of each child.

Yung mga na-haharvest namin, yun ang iniluluto namin para sa feeding. Kahit wala pa yung fund from the program, may nagagamit na kami.”, Tabuk City Day Care Worker Josephine Dumallay shared.

Aside from this, children are encouraged to eat vegetables since they grow them themselves.

4-year old Troy Oplay learned to eat his vegetables and fruits. During classes, the children are also asked to share about the vegetables that they ate.

Backyard gardening doesn’t only put quality food on the table but also provides households the opportunity to save since they will not be buying from the market but instead earn by selling their products.

This also help some centers who have the challenge of providing fresh food for the children due to the absence of a market place in the area.

Meanwhile, after the 120 days of Supplementary Feeding, there are 624 children who have shown improved weight.

 

All-in-One Menu

Malnutrition and hunger could not be addressed by SFP alone. For the Province of Kalinga, they have already discovered the menu to improve on these challenges. Aside from the funding from the National Government, the local government unit, and the communities themselves have given their contribution on this. The religious sector has also participated in this endeavor.

“Assemblies of God Church is providing manna packs to 25 DCCs in the municipality of Pinukpuk. The assistance is said to be implemented for 50 years.” Pinukpuk MSWDO Fatima Lagayon shared.

“We would like to recognize the support of each stakeholder in the implementation of SFP in Kalinga. Through our concerted effort, we are able to prepare a healthier tomorrow for our children. We hope that time comes when malnutrition is no longer a problem in our Region”, DSWD-CAR OIC-Regional Director Janet P. Armas shared.

For the 7th cycle (2016-2017), the Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) is able to serve 7,609 children in Kalinga Province. # DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, Nerizza Faye G. Villanueva and Kareen Piloden (SFP Project Development Officer)

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DSWD opens door to youth interns

Cordillera Administrative Region- Around eighty (80) youth interns will have the opportunity to work with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) here beginning April 16, 2018.

This is through the Government Internship Program (GIP) implemented by the Department which aims to provide employment opportunities to individuals 18-25 years old.

“We are once again inviting interested youth to join our workforce. The DSWD will be happy and grateful for those who will take the challenge of delivering social welfare and development programs and services in the Region”, DSWD-CAR OIC Regional Director Janet P. Armas said.

The Government Internship Program is open to high school graduates, TESDA certificate holders, or Alternative Learning System (ALS) Certificate holders who belong to a family with monthly income not more than the existing poverty threshold.

The youth interns will have the opportunity to work for 30 days and will be paid PhP 214 per day.

The interns will be assigned at the DSWD Field Office, SWAD Offices, DSWD residential facilities or Local Government Units with functional Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippines (PYAP).

The Government Internship Program (GIP) has been implemented in the region since 2012 and is an offshoot of Kabataan Program which is a year-round work program which encourages high school and college students and out-of-school youth (OSYs) to engage in constructive and productive activities for the entire year. Meanwhile, GIP aims to provide employment opportunities for target participants including out-of-school youth (OSY), in-school youth (ISY), college/vocational graduate, and unemployed young professionals for a period of time, usually during school breaks.

Interested individuals may submit their duly filled application form together with their resume, photocopy of birth certificate, diploma or certificates, family income tax return, and medical certificate at DSWD-CAR #40 North Drive, Baguio City or in the nearest DSWD Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) Office in the provinces. Applications will be accepted before 13 April 2018.# DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, Nerizza Faye G. Villanueva

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Social Welfare Agency calls for continued change for and with women

Cordillera Administrative Region– The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) here reiterates the importance of making changes for and with women. This is in line with the celebration of Women’s Month this March.

“We Make Change Work for Women is this year’s theme. This has also been the theme in our 2017 celebration. This only shows our sustained commitment for women-friendly changes”, OIC-Regional Director Janet P. Armas shared.

In 2017, the said theme has been introduced. Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) explains that the theme has its elements and its meaning. In the theme, “We” stands for women empowerment, while the verse “Make Change Work” stands for Magna Carta of Women which with strict implementation and observance can help push for women welfare and empowerment. The word “Change” also means Compassionate and Harmonized Actions and Networks for Gender Equality.

“The same theme is being carried out this year until 2022 to highlight the Government’s pursuit for development anchored on Malasakit at Pagbabago or true compassion and real change as the theme highlights women as contributors and claimholders of development”, Director Armas added.

Consistent with Proclamation No. 227 s. 1988, the annual conduct of the National Women’s Month Celebration (NWMC) aims to give due recognition to the contributions of Filipino women in our society.

Meanwhile, DSWD-CAR has accounted around 188,082 women as poor based on the 2016 Listahanan assessment. Of these, 22,657 are from Mountain Province, 32,050 from Benguet Province, 4,052 from Baguio City, 38,123 are from Kalinga Province, 31,578 from Ifugao Province, 35,311 are from Abra Province and 24,311 from Apayao Province.

With this, DSWD-CAR continues the implementation of various programs and services that are seen to help improve their condition. Services provided include capacity-building activities, livelihood and financial assistance, and skills training, among others.

“We would also like to encourage them to know and avail of their rights. Our legislation has a wide array of laws for their protection such as Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004”, Dir. Armas shared.

Though not exclusive for women, Armas also emphasized Republic Act (RA) 8972 or the Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000. RA 8972 provides information on the benefits and privileges of solo parents and their children. The said law is included as a priority legislative measure under the DSWD Legislative Agenda for the 17th Congress. Amendments of RA 8972 has been proposed through House Bill No. (HBN) 3398, HBN 388, HBN 878, HBN 972, and HBN 1520 which are all pushing for additional grants and benefits for solo parents. While HBN 3034 or an Act Declaring March 21 of Every Year as the National Solo Parents’ Day has been filed by Representative Alfred Vargas. Meanwhile, three bills were also filed in the Senate, including:

  • Senate Bill No. (SBN) 243 or an Act Amending Republic Act No. 8972, Otherwise Known as the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2010, Providing for Additional Benefits on Basic Commodities, and for Other Purposes filed by Senator Loren Legarda;
  • SBN 715 or an Act Amending Republic Act No. 8972, Otherwise Known as the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2000, by Providing for Additional Benefits and Penal Provision for Violations of the Act filed by Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV; and
  • SBN 783 or an Act to Further Extend Assistance to Solo Parents Amending for the Purpose Republic Act No. 8972 Otherwise Known as the Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000 filed by Senator Francis Escudero.

“We will continue our efforts not just in the provision of programs and services but also in assuring that the needs of the marginalized sector, including women, will be provided for. This can be done through our strong partnership with national government agencies, civil society organizations, peoples’ organizations, and with the local government units who are the primary service provider of the marginalized sector”, Armas said.

“DSWD-CAR has various programs and services that can help the Cordillera women. But our partners can also assist them. What they need to do is coordinate or report to their respective local government units through their barangay officials or through the local social welfare and development office. They can also report to the nearest police station in their area for cases involving abuse and violence”, Armas added.

“Working together is the key to make change work for women. We are all responsible and capable of making this happen”, Director Armas shared. # DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, Nerizza Faye G. Villanueva

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