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31 repatriates assisted

WELCOMING REPATRIATES. Social workers from Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) conduct intake interview to Filipino repatriates who arrived in Davao City from Manado, Indonesia Thursday night. The 31 fishermen were welcomed by Philippine Government officials led by Special Assistant to the President Secretary Christopher Lawrence T. Go at Camp Feranil Pier, Naval Station Felix Apolinario, Panacan, Davao City.

DSWD provided transportation assistance and food packs, Department of Agriculture gave out 150 packs of assorted vegetable seeds, Bureau of Fisheries turned over fishing implements, the Office of the President distributed buckets of foodstuffs while Department of Foreign Affairs assisted them with their travel documents. The fishermen hail from different parts of Mindanao such as General Santos City, Sarangani Province, Davao City, Davao Oriental, Zamboanga, and Tawi-tawi. All will be assisted in returning to their homes as soon as possible. (DSWD)

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Aboitiz group funds livelihood skills training of Pantawid families

Davao City (DSWD XI) -Twenty (20) Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries of Barangay Indangan here have just graduated from Basic Electrical Skills Training (BEST), also known as Project BEST, funded and initiated by Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. and Davao Light and Power Company, Inc. in coordination with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD XI), and the Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU).

“This is a proof that private and public sectors are one in their goal of helping the welfare of the Filipino communities. I can attest to the commitment and passion of Aboitiz Foundation which has been a long-time partner of our Office,” Merlinda A. Paragamac, DSWD Promotive Services Division Chief, said in her message.

“The group has always been committed in helping the poor Filipino communities not just in Davao but in the whole country. And we are very much grateful for this opportunity and we welcome more partnership engagements to come,” Engr. Rodger S. Velasco, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of Davao Light and Power Corporation said in his closing message.

Held at Indangan gymnasium on Thursday, April 19, the graduation ceremony was also attended by representatives from Aboitiz Foundation, TESDA, DSWD, members of BLGU Indangan, and friends and families of the graduates. (DSWD)

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DSWD travel clearance needed for minors traveling abroad alone, without parents

To prevent any form of abuse against minors, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reiterated its guidelines to secure travel clearance for children 17 years old and below who are traveling abroad alone or without their parents.

DSWD Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Emmanuel A. Leyco explained that the issuance of travel clearances for children is specified under the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act and the Philippine Passport Act of 1996. It is a requirement to safeguard Filipino children from child trafficking and exploitation, especially those who are participating in short study grants and out-of-the-country competitions.

“We continue to remind parents and guardians to properly secure travel clearance for Filipino minors because it will help safeguard children from various form of abuse while traveling outside the country,” he said.

The following are the requirements needed to obtain travel clearance for minors traveling abroad:

  • Duly accomplished application form that can be secured from any DSWD regional office. The form can also be downloaded from the DSWD website;
  • Photocopy of the child’s Birth Certificate or PSA-issued Birth Certificate;
  • Notarized (notarized at the place of residence) affidavit of consent of both parents or the solo parent or the legal guardian, indicating the authorized traveling companion of the minor and his/her relationship to the minor, country of destination, length of stay, purpose of travel, and tentative dates of departure and arrival;
  • As appropriate, a PSA-issued marriage certificate of the minor’s parents or a photocopy of the certificate of legal guardianship of the minor or in the case of solo parents, a PSA-issued Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) and a photocopy of the solo parent identification card from the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office or a photocopy of a certification from the Local Social Welfare and Development Office of being a solo parent or Tallaq or Faskh certification from the Shariah court or any Muslim Barangay or religious leader or in the case of an illegitimate minor, a certificate of no marriage (CENOMAR)* from the PSA or in the case of a deceased parent, a photocopy of the death certificate;
  • Minors who will be accompanied by a person other than their parents or legal guardian during the trip must also provide a photocopy of his/her adult companion’s passport;
  • Illegitimate children traveling abroad accompanied by their biological father are also required to secure a travel clearance certificate as parental authority is vested only to the mother of the child, per Article 176 of the Family Code of the Philippines.

If deemed necessary, social workers may require additional documentary requirements during the assessment of the travel clearance to ensure that the welfare and best interest of the child is protected.

Moreover, the clearance shall be valid for a period of one or two years depending on the period applied for and shall be valid for multiple travels except for minors traveling with foster parents.

Should there be changes in the issued or used travel clearance such as companion or country of destination, changes can be done as long as the travel clearance is within the validity period. For this, the following documents should be submitted: photocopy of minor’s passport with marked embarkation and notarized affidavit from parents or legal guardians regarding the change of traveling companion or country of destination or return ticket.

No additional fee shall be charged for the changes.

A processing fee for each travel clearance issued to minors traveling abroad under the following options:

P300.00 with validity of one year.
P600.00 with validity of two years.
Travel clearance approval and issuance may be obtained within 24 hours as long as all the supporting documents are completed, submitted, and assessed by social workers. The application should be lodged in the DSWD Field Office that has jurisdiction over the residence of the minor.

“Though the clearance can be secured within the filing day, we advise parents or applicants to apply one to two weeks before their scheduled travel date to give ample time to address issues that may arise or produce documents that may be required,” OIC Leyco said. (DSWD/SMS)###

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Livelihood assemblies held in Davao Region barangays

Davao City (DSWD XI) -The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) has recently conducted its SLP Assembly in some areas in the region including Manay in Davao Oriental, Mawab in Compostela Valley, Padada in Davao del Sur, Sta. Maria in Davao Occidental, Kapalong in Davao del Norte, and Marilog District in Davao City.

An overwhelming attendance of at least 200 people has been documented in each of the said assemblies conducted within April.

With the recent changes to the program’s guidelines, the SLP now adheres to the value of inclusivity. Hence, the program operates in all regions and in all poor provinces, treats all municipalities and barangays as potential areas for implementation, and is open to every Filipino family especially the poor, marginalized, vulnerable, and disadvantaged.

The SLP has lined up more assemblies for the identification of participants and livelihood projects in the coming weeks. All interested participants may approach the assigned DSWD Project Development Officer (PDO) in their area and may inquire of the date and venue of their SLP Assembly.

The Sustainable Livelihood Program aims to enhance the capabilities of poor Filipino households and individuals by strengthening their skills, competencies, abilities, and resources in accessing income-generating opportunities to help improve their socio-economic well-being. (DSWD)


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Pantawid Pamilya: Conduit to education

San Isidro, Davao Oriental (DSWD XI) – “For me, to graduate from college is just a stepping stone in reaching much bigger dreams,” 19 year-old Expanded Students’ Grant-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) grantee Dachel April Ladera said.

Dachel believes this scholarship grant has paved the way for her to finish and achieve her dreams.

Dachel is graduating from Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology (DOSCST) in Mati City, Davao Oriental, taking up Bachelor of Science Major in Elementary Education. She has been a top achiever in her class since grade school and now, she will graduate Cum Laude.

Dachel is the oldest of three siblings. Her family resides in Barangay Bato-bato. Her father Daniel, works as motorcycle driver. Her mother Rachel, is a Pantawid Pamilya parent leader, volunteer, and a midwife in the town.  The hardship her family is experiencing has been her driving force to finish her studies.

Sauna damgo lang nako mahimong scholar since elementary. Na grant siya college nako. Abi nako ang skolar kay prebelihiyo lang pero usa pud diay ni ka responsibilidad ug angay nga ampingan. Bonus na ang maging topnotcher ka. Dako nga pride sa imohang parents nga bisan sa kalisod sa kinabuhi nakahuman ko with flying colors pa (It was my dream to be a scholar since grade school but I got my wish when I was already in college. Back then I thought a scholarship is a mere privilege but I realized it is also a responsibility which must be valued. Being a topnotcher is already a bonus. It a great pride of my parents that despite the hardships in life, I graduated and with flying colors at that),” Dachel proudly beamed.

Dachel’s family enrolled in Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in 2011 and she became a grantee of ESGP-PA in 2014.

To the tops

“Dili sayon ang muskwela pero giisip nako na dili tanan natagaan ani nga oportunidad. Dako kaayo ang kabag-ohan kay wala na naglisod akoang ginikanan. Dili sila mabalaka sa bayrunon sa eskwelahan. Sauna, lisod kaayo, ang sweldo ni mama wala pa nadawat amoa nang gikaon. Si papa, and iyahang kita sa tricycle igo lang sa tangkong para sa baboy ug amoang gamay nga panginahanglan. Ang pantawid gyud ang dakog tabang sa amoang pamilya” (It is not easy to attend school but I reminded myself not all are given this kind of opportunity. There was a remarkable change since my parents weren’t anymore that stressed out. No more worries on school fees. But it was really so tough before that even the salary of my mother would have already been used up even before she received it. My father’s meager earnings would just be enough to purchase water spinach (kangkong) to feed our hogs and buy some basic family needs. It was Pantawid that really pulled us through),” Dachel recounted.

“Ang paghuman nako importante ni sa akoang pamilya bilang isa ka panganay kay ako ang modelo sa akoang mga igsuon, ginatan-aw ko nila nga inpirasyon. Importante sad kini sa akoang ginikanan kay tanan pawis kay bayad tanan” (My graduation is important to my family, to me who is the eldest, being a model and inspiration. This too is important to my parents since all their sacrifices paid off).”

“I have bigger dreams and to be able to graduate is just a start of my journey to a bigger opportunity. I believe that the world has much to offer and I just need to strive hard to reach all the things I desire for me and my family. A great burden was lifted from me as this scholarship grant has paved the way for me to finish and achieve my college degree.”

When asked what her dreams are for her family, the ever optimistic Dachel replied, “Makapa-eskwela sa akong mga igsuon ug maging topnatcher sa board exam.  Ang mangandoy kay libre so dakuon nalang nimo sabayan ug paningkamot (I want to help my younger siblings finish their studies and be a board exam topnatcher. It is free to dream so I will dream big coupled with hardwork).”

Aside from passing the board exam, Dachel plans to teach children in San Isidro so she can impart her knowledge. She also wanted to teach in other remote areas in Davao Oriental to serve as inspiration to other children.

‘Don’t stop dreaming and never say die.’ “This one says it all. We may have different stories of overcoming poverty. What’s important in this life’s journey is to be positive and have faith always, strong spiritual life, and a belief that God will never forsake you especially amidst hardships and trials. If you have faith and determination, you can make your goal come true,” Dachel added.

Pantawid scholars

A student-grantee receives a maximum of P 60,000.00 scholarship grant per school year or P 30,000.00 per semester. This is broken down to P20, 000/year Tuition Fee Cost, P 5,000/year Textbook Fees and other learning materials, and P 35,000 (that is, P 3,500/month x 10 months) stipend (for board and lodging, transportation, clothing, health/medical needs, basic school supplies and other related costs).

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) implemented the program in 2012. ESGP-PA ensures that grantees are 1) enrolled in selected state universities and colleges (SUCs) duly recognized by CHED, 2) channelled to CHED priority courses, and 3) be extended the needed support that will guarantee completion of studies thus qualify them for a high-value added jobs in the future.

More than 30,000 Pantawid Pamilya student-grantees all over the country will graduate this year.

Davao Region currently has 1,959 college scholars in five SUCs –University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP) Obrero Campus, Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology (DOSCST), Davao del Norte State College Panabo (DNSC), Southern Philippines Agri-Business, Marine and Aquatic School of Technology Digos City Campus (SPAMAST), and SPAMAST Malita Campus. (DSWD)



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DSWD opens disaster operations center to Davao del Norte Provincial Government

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recently shared its Disaster Response Management initiatives with officials from the Provincial Government of Davao del Norte who recently visited the Department’s Disaster Response Management Bureau (DReMB).

“We welcome the members of the Provincial Quick Response Team of Davao del Norte to our DReMB Operations Center for a learning session regarding disaster management. Our DReMB team introduced the delegates to the different initiatives of DSWD’s Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC),” DSWD Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Emmanuel A. Leyco said.

The guests were presented with a general picture of Republic Act (RA) 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Act of 2010 and the roles of DSWD as the Vice-Chair for the Disaster Response Pillar. The Department is the lead for the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster, Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Protection Cluster, and Food and Non-food Items (FNI) Cluster.

The DROMIC reporting process was also discussed with the guests and how it is currently in the process of being enhanced through the Disaster Response Operations Monitoring Information System (DROMIS) and Family Access Card during Emergencies (FACE).

The guests were also introduced to the Predictive Analytics for Humanitarian Response (PAHR) and how it is utilized as the main tool the DSWD uses to plan the appropriate response to approaching hazards. They were shown examples of previous PAHRs such as for the Super Typhoon “Lawin” and “The Big One” or the 7.2-Magnitude Earthquake that could potentially hit Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

The activity ended with the Provincial Government of Davao del Norte expressing its intent to secure and utilize the technologies that the DReMB has, in order to better equip their operations center with a more sophisticated system of capturing and reporting data.

“The Philippines is a disaster prone country, and in recent years, our country experienced strong disasters which were also the effect of the global warming phenomenon. Thus, the exchange of learning such as this activity on how to handle disaster management from mitigation to rehabilitation is important,” said OIC Leyco.

He also reiterated that the Department’s DReMB Operations Center is open to all LGUs and other stakeholders who would like to replicate the initiatives and strategies being employed by DSWD. (SMS)

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Container veggie garden boosts income of Davao Pantawid family

Tibungco, Davao City (DSWD XI) – “Achieving a well-fed and a food-secure household would mean improving what people eat, in terms of quality, quantity, and variety,” Pantawid Pamilya City Link of Barangay Tibungco Jackilyn A. Raz said.

This is easily attainable for the family of Baltazar and Marina Monton, which enjoys vegetable gardening as an income-generating hobby.

”Sa pirmiro namo nga pagtanom, nagsugod ko sa baynte ka semilya sa pechay. Nagakuha pud ko sa sementeryo og mga tetra pack aron matamnan (I started off with 20 seedlings of pechay. I also gather from the cemetery tetra packs which I recycle into pots),” Marina shared.

From 20 pechay seedlings, Marina now has over 200 seedlings along with other crops that she cultivates by their home lot sideline.

To make soil containers, Marina personally sews together the various tetra packs she fastidiously collects. She even builds makeshift racks to maximize the limited space by the fence, and make room for her growing vegetable pots.

Ang naka nindot sa amoang gulayan kay nag ka unite mi mga beneficiaries nga bisan og naa mi sa daplin sa dagat dili rason nga dili mi maka tanom og mga gulay (It is interesting to note that as beneficiaries we agreed that living near the seashore is not a hindrance in growing vegetables).”

The urban container gardening was established in 2013 with three Pantawid families in the seaside area of Tibungco. For them, it provided additional income and better nutritional values for the whole family.

Marina said her husband Baltazar repacks the seedlings they buy and sells it to fellow Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries at Tibungco Public Market. Their children also help and gardening has become a kind of family bonding especially on weekends.

Seven of their children are now married and living separately. Only the two younger ones are staying with them.

From their small garden, the family earns Php 1,500 every month. This is a lot of help since the couple also takes care of four grandchildren.

For their laudable efforts, the Monton family was recognized in 2017 during the District II Urban Container Gardening Contest initiated by DSWD Pantawid staffs in partnership with the local government of District II of Davao City.  The Montons won second place with a Php 2,000 cash prize.

Tungod sad aning gulayan nako nakapalit ko og sin sa among balay maong nakabutang nako og dghan pang tanom sa amoang atop (Through my vegetable garden, I was able to buy G.I. sheets for my roofing hence I can now place more pots on the roof which also serves as garden patch),” Marina beamed.

Their garden also supplies the family’s vegetable requirements. From their savings on vegetables, they are able to pay for other basic needs. Consequently, what they earn from selling their vegetable produce could definitely augment the family’s income.

Pantawid Pamilya is a human development program that invests in the health and education of poor families, primarily those with children aged 0-18. It provides cash grants to partner-beneficiaries who comply with the conditions of sending their children to school, bringing them to health centers, and attending the monthly Family Development Sessions (FDS).

FDS is conducted by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and partners from non-government organizations, private sector, and civil society organizations. FDS topics include effective parenting, husband and wife relationships, child development, laws affecting the Filipino family, gender and development, home management, active citizenship, electoral education, among others.

To date, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, implemented by DSWD, benefits 263,024 families in Davao Region. (DSWD)


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Empowered women-beneficiaries

WOMEN EMPOWERED. Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) women-beneficiaries Rowena A. Pradella [second from left], Emelinda L. Nadim and Alejandra D. Diva receive recognition after their inspiring testimonials in overcoming cultural traditions and single parenting, and leading a more fulfilling life as empowered working women.

“The support of DSWD has made me what I am now –a Pantawid Pamilya parent leader, a village entrepreneur, and an empowered woman and wife,” Nadim proudly declared. Presenting the award are [from left] Regional Director Mercedita P. Jabagat and focal on women and Gender and Development (GAD) Dalmin Faith A. Igaňa. The Women’s Month celebration anchors on the theme, We Make Change Work for Women. (DSWD)

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