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Public urged to be vigilant against child abuse

Cordillera Administrative Region- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) here calls on the public to be vigilant and proactive in addressing child abuse cases in the Region.

“Huwag kayong matakot magsumbong. Kahit sino, maaring mag-report sa kinauukulan upang matigil ang kahit anong porma ng pang-aabuso lalo na sa mga bata”, DSWD-CAR Regional Director Janet P. Armas said.

Guided by Republic Act (RA) 7610, Director Armas underscored the role of the public in reporting cases involving violence and abuse against children.

Section 27 of RA 7610 or an oAct Providing for Stronger Deterrence and Special Protection against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination states that “complaints on cases of unlawful acts committed against children may be filed by the offended party, parents or guardians, relatives of the victim, officer/ social worker or representative of a licensed child-caring institution, officer/ social worker of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Barangay Chairperson, or at least three (3) concerned responsible citizens where the violation occurred.

“It is in the law. Anyone can report these cases. Kung wala kayong malalapitan, visit the social workers so we can link you to the proper authorities and offices for necessary interventions”, Director Armas said.

In 2013, the Committee for the Special Protection of Children of the Department of Justice approved a resolution stating the protocol for case management of child victims of abuse, neglect and exploitation.

The said protocol highlights the roles and responsibilities of government agencies and their partners, from reporting or referral of the child abuse case to its termination, in ensuring that the cases are dealt with in a child-sensitive and appropriate manner.

The protocol also states that reports on child abuse case can be made orally or in writing to any of the following:
1. Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD);
2. Commission on Human Rights (CHR);
3. Local Social Welfare and Development Office (LSWDO) of the municipality, city or province;
4. Philippine National Police (PNP);
5. National Bureau of Investigation (NBI);
6. Other law enforcement agencies;
7. Punong Barangay or tribal leader;
8. Barangay Kagawad;
9. Any member of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC); or
10. Barangay Help Desk Person or violence against women (VAW) Help Desk Officer.

“The barangay is the nearest place where the child victim or the witness may run to and seek assistance. Victims and witnesses may also report directly to the nearest law enforcement agency and seek assistance of any women and children protection desk of the PNP or of the NBI”, Director Armas said.

After a blotter is made, a licensed social worker from the LSWDO or the DSWD will intervene for the proper management of the case. The DSWD or the LSWDO social worker conducts intake interview, safety and risk assessments, home visits, collateral interviews, and regularly monitors the safety and the condition of the victims. The social workers also prepare social case study and plan a comprehensive healing and reintegration program for the victim.

“Ending all forms of violence and abuse against children is not a sole challenge of DSWD and the Government. This is a concern of every individual in the community. The DSWD and its partners can only do so much, but the active engagement of the public is the key in addressing this issue. Each one has a role to play in helping our children live in a safe and happy community”, Director Armas added.

Aside from case management and psychosocial interventions, the DSWD-CAR also maintains facilities that cater to children victims of abuse and violence. The Regional Haven for Women and Girls is a center for vulnerable, disadvantaged, and abused women needing protective custody and psychosocial care. On the other hand, the Reception and Study Center for Children is a 24-hour residential facility for children 0-6 years old to fulfill growth, development, safety, and security needs of children in the center. It provides protection and rehabilitation services through temporary residential care to neglected, abandoned, abused, exploited children and those with special needs.

Individuals with concerns or queries may visit DSWD-CAR at #40 North Drive, Baguio City or call (074) 661-04-30 or visit the nearest LSWDO in their area. #DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, Nerizza Faye G. Villanueva

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DSWD conducts Regional Consultation Forum for Overseas Filipinos and their Families

Cordillera Administrative Region- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) here has conducted a Regional Consultation for Overseas Filipinos (OFs) and their Families which aim to look into the current and identify various issues affecting the OFs and their families.

The activity was conducted under the International Social Welfare Services for Filipino Nationals (ISWSFN) being implemented by DSWD in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs and other partner agencies. The ISWSFN led to the creation of the Social Welfare Attaches’ Office (SWATO) that was later renamed into International Social Service Office (ISSO)

The program implemented by ISSO aims to institutionalize the system of providing social service to undocumented, distressed and vulnerable OFs including their families.

“The conduct of Regional Consultation is just one way for us to get the real picture of the status of the Overseas Filipinos and their families. By doing this, we were able to identify the necessary interventions and coordinate with our partners for improved service delivery”, DSWD-CAR Director Janet P. Armas said.

The Regional Consultation also gathered the representatives of the Regional Inter-Agency Committees and other partner agencies that can provide programs and services to the OFs and their families.

Aside from the conduct of the forum, the ISSO services also include the deployment of Social Workers abroad as a Social Welfare Attaches’ (SWAtts) whose important role is to provide psychosocial interventions and other welfare protection service to the Overseas Filipinos.

“Social Welfare Attache’ Perlita Panganiban is one of the social workers who have continuously served the OFs and their families. We are glad that she is our monitor for the Cordillera Region since she is also from our region”, Director Armas added.

Around 45 OFs or their families attended the activity that was conducted on 10 May 2019 in Baguio City. The participants underwent breakout sessions or focused-group discussion facilitated by DSWD social workers to cull-out their experiences as overseas workers. They also went through a gallery walk where they were given a chance to look into and raise questions on the different programs and service that partner agencies and institution are offering.

Some of the OFs were given the opportunity to participate in a Talk Show which aims to share their experiences and give inspiration to other OFs and other participants. After which, representatives from the partner agencies and institutions addressed the queries of the OFs and their families through an open forum.

In 2016, the DSWD-CAR also conducted the Regional Assembly cum Consultation Dialogue with the Overseas Filipinos and their Families with the Implementers and Inter-Agency Committee (IAC). It served as a venue for the OFs and their families to articulate their problems in relation to the program delivery system of the government’s assistance programs.
“We hope that through the activity, we will be able to improve our service delivery to our OFs and their families through the strengthened collaboration that we have with them and our partner agencies”, Director Armas said.

Among the agencies that took part in the activity include the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO), Department of Health (DOH), and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). #DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, Nerizza Faye G. Villanueva

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Bata Balik Eskwela campaign kicks off in CAR

Cordillera Administrative Region –Simultaneous to the start of classes, the Department of So-cial Welfare and Development (DSWD) through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in collaboration with the Department of Education (DepEd) here kicked-off the Bata Balik Eskwela (BBE) campaign as part of its efforts to ensure that children beneficiaries are sent back to school and maintain their attendance in class.

The BBE with tagline Edukasyon ay Mahalaga, Ito ay Ating Ipaalala aims to encourage the children beneficiaries to enroll back to school and teach them the value of education. The campaign also aims to address the number of Pantawid Pamilya children beneficiaries identi-fied as not attending school (NAS).

“The BBE campaign is interfaced with the DepEd’s Oplan Balik Eskwela with similar purpose to ensure the attendance of students to school. This initiative will instill to the children benefi-ciaries the importance of education and for them to fully utilize the program’s benefits,” DSWD-CAR Regional Director Janet Armas said.

“This is just the kick-off activity for the BBE campaign. As preliminary activities, the program already rolled-out several activities for the campaign before the start of classes such that of guesting to local radio stations where we discussed the BBE. Many activities are lined-up for the campaign. Our field staff will conduct case management and monitoring for those student beneficiaries who did not enroll for this school year. We shall be conducting focus group dis-cussions for both parents and children, if necessary.”,Pantawid Pamilya Program Coordinator Fatima Florendo said.

The DSWD monitored about 55 elementary and high schools in the region identified with most number of NAS or dropouts during the weeklong school visit. The identified top reasons for children not attending school were validated that includes working children, loss of interest, parents’ decision, early pregnancy, distance of school, among others. During the visit, DSWD found out that some of the listed dropout children enrolled back to school as regular students or through the Alternative Learning System (ALS) program.

“Our 90% population of Pantawid Pamilya student beneficiaries here are so far compliant in terms of attendance. Majority of them are present during the first day of classes. However, we have one case of drop out but we talked to the student and he manifested to enroll in our ALS class. Another pressing problem of our students here is the distance of school to their homes, and we have student beneficiaries who are non-readers but we provided intervention like summer classes and one-on-one coaching because we can see their interest. We also con-duct home visit and dialogue with their parents about some issues on their needs to school”,Fleurdeliza Balinte, Pantawid Pamilya focal person and Guidance Counselor of Limos National High School in Pinukpuk, Kalinga said.

“Our DSWD staff at the provincial and municipal offices will continue to monitor the attendance of our student beneficiaries through school and home visits throughout the school year. We are also working closely with our partner agencies to provide interventions to the needs of these children. We are hopeful that through these initiatives, our children beneficiaries will be motivated and will appreciate the value of education”, Dir. Armas added.

The Pantawid Pamilya provides conditional cash grants to poor families investing in health, nutrition, and education of children aged 0-18. It provides P500.00 to compliant family on health conditionalities while another P300.00 for every child who maintains 85% of their at-tendance in pre-school and elementary, and P500.00 per child wh in high school. A maximum of three (3) selected children from the household-beneficiary is being monitored for education.

As of March 2019, the DSWD CAR has recorded 11,125 NAS children, which is about 9% of the total 116,389 children beneficiaries being monitored for education compliance. ### Marlo C. Abyado, Jr., Pantawid Pamilya, Information OfficerII

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More than 300M cash grants released to UCT beneficiaries

Cordillera Administrative Region- As of May 30, 2019, a total of Php 328,903,200 has been released to the beneficiaries of the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) Program through a series of payout conducted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Landbank of the Philippines (LBP).

UCT provides assistance to Pantawid Pamilya households, social pensioners and other poor households identified in the database of Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) who will not benefit from the lower income tax rates but will be adversely affected by rising prices.

Each beneficiary was provided a one-time grant of Php 2,400 equivalent to Php 200 per month for 2018. This year and for 2020, the beneficiaries will be receiving Php 300 per month, which is equivalent to Php 3,600.

In Cordillera alone, there are 63,025 Pantawid Pamilya households, 66,080 social pensioners, and 23,705 Listahanan-listed households who are qualified beneficiaries of the UCT program. Out of 152, 810 beneficiaries, 81% have already claimed their 2018 grants last year during the first year of the program implementation and early this year.

Beneficiaries who are unable to personally claim their cash grants due to valid reason may authorize a representative within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity to claim their grant on their behalf.

Prior to claiming of the said grant, the authorized representatives are being required to present an original and a photocopy of at least one of their valid government issued IDs and of the beneficiary that they represent. An authorization form duly filled out and signed by the beneficiary, the authorized representative and the SWAD Team Leader is required as well to certify that the claimant is the person authorized by the beneficiary.
Meanwhile, DSWD-CAR Regional Director Janet P. Armas gives assurance to beneficiaries who were not able to claim their grant due to the death of the grantee before the payout.

“Determined beneficiary households are still entitled to the cash grant despite supervening events such as the death of the grantee before the payout date; however, we appeal to the beneficiaries and stakeholders to wait for the release of guidelines on how to resolve grievances or requests for change grantees.” Regional Director Armas said.

The program is implemented in compliance with Section 82 of Republic Act 10963 of 2017 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) and Republic Act 10964 or the General Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2018, which mandates the government to provide social mitigating measures to protect and improve the lives of the poor and the vulnerable. #DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, Roxanne T. Maliones

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371 Persons Living with HIV receive assistance from DSWD

Since 2016, the Department of Social Welfare and Development here has provided P 2,670,000.00 worth of assistance to individuals included in the most at risk population particularly persons living with HIV (PLHIV) who have been assessed to be eligible for financial assistance for their medical, educational, burial, food, and transportation needs.

Of the total assistance, majority were released in 2018 with P 1.6M provided to 157 clients, following is in 2017 with P 700,000.00 provided to 140 clients and P 120,000.00 to 24 PLHIV in 2016. For the 1st quarter of 2019, P 250,000 have already been released to 50 clients. Additional P250,000.00 is on process for release this 2nd quarter.

The provision of assistance is through the initiative of the DSWD which follows the guidelines of the Department’s Protective Service Program.

“We are able to provide our assistance to our clients living with HIV through our Crisis Intervention Section. Our designated social worker assesses these clients and the documents that they submit for us identify the proper intervention that can be provided to them” DSWD-CAR Director Janet P. Armas said.

The Department uses a social technology which is the Referral System for the Care and Support Services for Persons Living with HIV to facilitate the collaboration of service providers and government agencies to provide care and support to PLHIV.

This is further facilitated with the active participation of the DSWD as a member of the Regional AIDS Assistance Team (RAAT). The DSWD is represented by Mr. Ronilo Flores as the Focal Person and Ms. Marissa Fortes as the alternate.

Aside from the provision of assistance, the DSWD has continuously contributed to AIDS/HIV awareness by conducting orientations and film showing to its personnel.

“We recognize the challenge brought by the presence of HIV cases in the region. The DSWD-CAR will continue to provide its support to the endeavors in addressing this and in helping our clients ease the difficulties that they face at this chapter of their lives.” Director Armas shared.#DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, Nerizza Faye G. Villanueva

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DSWD, Philippine Army strengthens partnership for better disaster response

DSWD-CAR Director Janet P. Armas and Brigadier General Henry M. Doyaoen sealed the agreement on 3 June 2019 at DSWD Field Office Cordillera Administrative Region

Cordillera Administrative Region-

The Department of Social Welfare and Development here and the 503 rd Infantry (Justice and Peace) Brigade, 5th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army formalized their partnership for better disaster response after the two institutions signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on 3 June 2019.

Represented by Director Janet P. Armas and Brigadier General Henry M. Doyaoen, DSWD-CAR and the Philippine Army agreed to strengthen the institutions’ partnership specifically on ensuring the immediate provision of relief items to communities during disaster.

“We recognize that the Philippine Army plays a major role in reducing and managing disaster risks in our communities. We are very much elated that through this partnership, we will be able to occupy and temporarily use a portion of their existing warehouse for prepositioning our relief goods”, Director Armas said.

The Philippine Army Warehouse is located within the premises of the Headquarters of the 503 rd Infantry Brigade, 5 th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army at Brgy. Calanan, Tabuk City, Kalinga.

“For the past years, the region experienced destructive typhoons, floods, and landslides. And Kalinga Province has been recorded to have one of the highest number of affected families. With its distance from the Field Office, the warehouse in Kalinga will definitely help us in Providing the necessary relief assistance to the province and other nearby areas,” Dir. Armas added.

DSWD-CAR Warehouse is currently situated in La Trinidad, Benguet. Earlier this year, the DSWD has been directed to suspend fund transfer and prepositioning of relief items to local government units.

“[This Partnership] is part of the convergence of the whole of the Government’s approach to solve the problems of our country… This also includes our social responsibility for our communities especially for our future generation. We also have other programs that we want to propose… We expect that [through the partnership] we will be able to fast track the delivery of the services of the Government agencies…”, BGen. Henry Doyaoen said.

“In the end, we want to have peaceful communities and that these development [interventions] are delivered properly. We want the people to learn that the programs and services f the Government are not just for the present generation but for the future generations as well. It will solve insurgency that hinders development [in our communities]”, BGen Doyaen added.

“We would like to express our gratitude to the 5th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army for this partnership. We hope that this is just the start. We are looking forward to more partnership not just with other Government Institutions but with other stakeholders for a better and more efficient service delivey for the Cordillera people”, Dir. Armas said.#DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, Nerizza Faye G. Villanueva

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30 indigents in Abra undergo training on reed crafts making

LA PAZ, ABRA – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) granted a total of PhP 504,645.00 worth of livelihood assistance to 30 indigents here.

In partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) of Abra, members of the Liguis Runo Weavers Sustainable Livelihood Program Association (SLPA) underwent a four-day skills training on reed crafts making which ran from 7 to 10 May 2019.

Liguis Runo Weavers SLPA has 30 members, 17 of them are Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries while 13 are Listahanan-identified poor. Currently, the members are reliant on their income from farming, selling unfurnished reed craft products and daily labor.

The weavers sell their products at very low price due to lack of proper furnishing and substandard designs. After the training, they are expected to produce various quality crafts like wine carriers, placemats, trays and star vases that they can sell for PhP150 or higher per piece.

“We would like to ensure that this livelihood will help improve their economic status such that these give them a permanent source of income. We also encourage other stakeholders to support the livelihood endeavors of our participants”, DSWD-CAR Director Janet P. Armas said.

Director Armas added that aside from providing livelihood, SLP also supports the enterprise development of its beneficiaries in the context of competitiveness like product development, pricing, and gaining market access.

Ayaten mi ti aramid mi kasla panag-ayat mi iti bagi mi tapnu napintas iti maibunga na kadagitoy inted da nga pang progreso an iti biag, pang-adal ti anak tayo launay tanu napintas ti bunga na dagitoy nga produkto, dagiyay anak tayo ti agsagrap, makalpas da ti adal da ken magatang da iti kayat da (We will love our work as we love ourselves for us to produce quality and beautiful crafts. This is not for us rather for our children’s future for them to finish their school so they can buy their desires),” said SLPA member Rosalie Cate.

SLP is a capacity-building program for poor, vulnerable and marginalized households and communities to help improve their socio-economic conditions through provision of Seed Capital Fund (SCF) and Skills Training (ST) modalities.

SCF is a grant given to eligible SLP program participants to serve as a start-up capital for the purchase small tools, raw materials, and common services facilities such as machinery, equipment, and plant needed in starting or expanding a micro-enterprise. While ST is a capability-building assistance to be utilized for the acquisition of technical and vocational knowledge and soft skills.

Participants in the ST modality are pooled together as a group known as SLPA. These will help them establish economically sustainable microenterprises and maximize resources within their organized groups.

Reed Crafts Making is a training focusing on production of household crafts made out of sticks.

Aside from the training, the Department has also provided starter kits that include spray gun, cutters, saw, flyers, carving knives, cutter, and scissors. #DSWD-CAR, Social Marketing Unit, Babble Mae Gorio

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DSWD-CAR launches Bata Balik Eskwela campaign

Cordillera Administrative Region –The Department of Social Welfare and Development in collaboration with the Department of Education (DepEd) here has launched an advocacy campaign to ensure that children beneficiaries of the  Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) are sent back to school.

Dubbed Bata Balik Eskwela (BBE) with tagline Edukasyon ay Mahalaga Ating Ipaalala, the campaign aims to encourage the children beneficiaries to enroll back to school and teach them the value of education. The campaign also aims to address the number of Pantawid Pamilya children beneficiaries identified as not attending school (NAS). The Pantawid Pamilya operationally termed these children as “consistently not attending school” or those who have not been attending school for at least three (3) consecutive months in a given school year.

“The campaign is a strategy to motivate our children beneficiaries in the region who stopped from school due to various factors. Our staff will be working closely with our partner agencies to provide interventions to the needs of these children. We are hopeful that through these initiatives, our children will be inspired to continue going to school.” Regional Director Janet Armas said.

Pantawid Pamilya Coordinator Fatima Florendo furthered, “Our partners at the Provincial and Municipal Operations Offices will also be coordinating with our DepEd partners to conduct school and home visits to our NAS children. We will meet parents of these children through home visits and through the monthly Family Development Sessions.”

In the Cordillera, Pantawid Pamilya has recorded 11,125 NAS children as of March 2019, which is about 9% of the total 116,389 children beneficiaries being monitored for education compliance. Working children, lack of interest to go to school, and parental decision are among the top pressing issues that caused the children beneficiaries in the region to stop from school.

Meanwhile, the DSWD’s BBE will be converged with the DepEd’s 2019 Oplan Balik Eswkela  on June 3-7, 2019 which aims to ensure that students are properly enrolled and able to attend school during the opening of classes. DSWD and DepEd will conduct school visits region-wide on the said dates. ## Marlo C. Abyado, Jr., Pantawid Pamilya, Information OfficerII

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