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Kalahi-CIDSS Region III conducts Municipal Talakayan in Natividad, Nueva Ecija

INQUISITIVE CITIZENS. Community volunteers examine the data presented about the different aspects of the municipal governance in General Mamerto Natividad, Nueva Ecija during the Municipal Talakayan, January 31.

A well-informed community is the key towards a successful and thriving society.

It is in this premise that the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Sevices (Kalahi-CIDSS) Region III conducted a participative Municipal Talakayan in General Mamerto Natividad, Nueva Ecija, January 31.

“We are conducting this Municipal Talakayan to equip everyone with the needed information about the current state of the municipal government in General Mamerto Natividad. These information that were provided by the different departments of your municipality will become helpful in your future decision making,” said Ms. Marell Wong, Regional Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist of Kalahi-CIDSS Region III.

Kalahi-CIDSS, a community-empowerment program of the Department of the Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), called on to the community volunteers, barangay and municipal local government unit (B/MLGU) officials, and municipal inter-agency committee (MIAC) members to attend today’s event and learn about the current state of the municipal government of General Mamerto Natividad, Nueva Ecija.

“Ang Kalahi-CIDSS ay isang programang direktang tumutulong sa mismong barangay. Ang LGU ay narito lamang upang gumabay at magbigay ng kinakailangang tulong,” said Municipal Mayor Librado L. Santos as he acknowledged the role of the program in the overall empowerment of the communities.

The forum included four (4) sessions tackling about the background of the municipality, existing municipal projects, state of socio-economic development and people empowerment in the community, and the presentation of the municipal plans and future activities. After these sessions, the attendees participated in a gallery walk of photos and graphs of relevant information about the municipality.

After the gallery walk, the participants who were divided into four (four) groups, (community volunteers, BLGU members, MIAC members, citizens), were actively engaged in a focused group discussions.

The Municipal Talakayan ended in a synthesis, evaluation, and open forum where the participants freely expressed their insights, recognitions, and concerns about several aspects of governance in the municipality.### (Ma. Dennielle M. Lomboy)

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500 families in Balanga City receive bags of blessing

DSWD USEC. Virginia Orogo (4th from left) and Mr. Gener Payabyab of Metrobank Foundation (2nd from right) lead the distribution of Bags of Blessing to 500 family-beneficiaries of Balanga City. Witnessing the gift giving activity are (from left to right) a representative from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Ms. Gloria Abejar-CSWDO of Balanga City, Director Gemma Gabuya, and City Councilor Benjie Merino.

(Balanga City, Bataan) Some 500 families from Balanga City, Bataan received on January 28 “Bags of Blessing” donated by Metrobank Foundation, Inc. and the George Ty Foundation.

The distribution was held at the Doña Francisca Covered Court in this city with DSWD officials led by Undersecretary Virginia Orogo and Mr. Gener Payabyab, Area Head of Metrobank North Luzon Area 2.

Mr. Payabyab said that the project, which is part of the tradition in the celebration of Chinese New Year, aims to distribute 10,000 bags of groceries worth P1,000 each to 10,000 poor families in selected towns and cities in Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and the National Capital Region (NCR). The GT Foundation headed by Mr. George Ty has allocated a total of P10 million worth of donation packages for the Chinese New Year gift-giving activity, Payabyab added.

Undersecretary Orogo thanked the Foundation for helping the underprivileged families. She also encouraged the beneficiaries to be ‘masikap’ (zealous) and said that DSWD programs are here to help them so that nobody will be left behind. She also urged them to make their community a drug-free community and peaceful community.

DSWD Field Office III Regional Director Gemma B. Gabuya, City Councilor Benjie Meriño, Balanga City CSWDO Gloria Abejar, Pantawid Pamilya Provincial Link Elena Dones also witnessed the gift giving activity. ###

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DSWD heads ASEAN new pillar launch in PH

MarQuee Mall, Angeles City– As the national government agency mandated to promote the social welfare of the Filipino people, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) led yesterday’s national launch of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC).

“Ito angmagbibigay ng kulay, musika, himig, at ng malasakitsabuong ASEAN, (This will bring color, voice, hymn, and empathy to the entire ASEAN)” said Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo as she pertained to the ASCC as the third and the newest pillar of the inter-governmental organization in Southeast Asia. The two other pillars of ASEAN include political security and economic integration.

Primarily, ASCC aims to bring about a people-oriented and socially responsible ASEAN. It focuses on cultivating and preserving the human, cultural, and natural resources of member nations to achieve sustained development.

“The ASCC represents the social services and cultural arms of the government, and the vulnerable sectors of the society,” added Taguiwalo in her keynote speech. Taguiwalo also stressed that the launching of the third pillar was held in public to increase awareness on the purpose and meaning of ASEAN. She even introduced the idea of including ASEAN in the education curriculum and raising ASEAN’s flag beside the Philippine flag.

Taguiwalo also announced that the 2017 ASEAN summit will take place on November in Clarkfield, Pampanga.
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Executive Director Zaldy Patron and ASEAN National Organizing Council (NOC) Ambassador Marciano Paynor attended the event along with other notable government leaders. Different societal sectors such as persons with disability (PWD), elderly, indigenous people, farmers, fisher folks, youth, women, and solo parents were also recognized and applauded in the event.

The ASEAN was ratified and founded on August 8, 1967 with the Philippines as one of the founding nations along with Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. After 50 years, the organization is now hailed as one of the most successful inter-governmental organizations worldwide. ### (Ma. Dennielle M. Lomboy)

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Convergence Day celebration in Quezon, Nueva Ecija

Hindi kumpleto ang ikauunlad ng isang pamilya kung edukasyon at pangkalusugan lang, kailangang may pangkabuhayan, at kailangan ang kabuhayan ay nasa maayos na pamamahala at pamayanan,” iyan ang pinaka mensahe ng kakatapos lamang na kauna-unahang Convergence Day Celebration sa bayan ng Quezon, Nueva nitong nakaraan Disyembre 27, 2016, sa Danding Joson Covered Court, Dulong Bayan, Quezon, Nueva Ecija.

“Masuwerte ang bayan Quezon at naiimplementa o napapatupad ang mga programa ng DSWD dito ng walang political intervention o interference,” bahagi ni Gng. Avelina Dela Cruz, ang Municipal Social Welfare Officer ng nasabing bayan.

Ang pagdiriwang ay dinaluhan ng daan-daang benepisyaryo ng Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), at Kapit-bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services-National Community Driven Development Program (KC-NCDDP) sa naturang bayan.

Ang bayan ng Quezon ay kabilang sa Convergence Area kung saan naiimplementa o napapatupad ang tatlong malalaking programa ng DSWD.

Ang naturang programa ay dinaluhan din ng DSWD Field Office III staff sa pangunguna ni Gng. Margaret Santiano, Regional Convergence Coordinator, at DSWD Provincial Extension Office sa Nueva Ecija sa pangunguna ni Gng. Mardee Fe, Provincial Link. Kanilang sinaksihan ang mga kwento ng pagbabago ng mga benepisyaryo ng bayan ng Quezon. Ang ibang benepisyaryo ay nagtestimonya habang ang iba nama’y idinaan ito sa malikhaing presentasyon tulad ng pagsasayaw, pagsasadula, at pag-awit–paabot nila’y buong pusong pasasalamat.

“Tandaan natin, ang pagbabago ay hindi lamang dahil sa DSWD o LGU (Local Government Unit), kundi dahil sa ating mga sarili. Darating ang araw na aalis na ang DSWD sa inyong lugar pero alam naming mananatili kayong nakatayo sa sarili ninyong mga paa at nakaabot na Level 3 ng SWDI (Social Welfare and Development Indicator) o Self-sufficiency,” pagbibigay diin ni Gng. Santiano matapos makinig at masaksihan ang mga kwentong tagumpay ng mga benepisyaryo ng bayan ng Quezon. ### (Andyleen C. Feje)

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DSWD FO III provides financial assistance to repatriated OFWs from Saudi Arabia

The Duterte administration, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development, remained true to its promise to provide assistance to the repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFW) from Saudi Arabia.

The DSWD Field Office III is currently providing financial assistance to hundreds of displaced OFWs in Central Luzon. The government program called ‘Humanitarian Mission Repatriates of DSWD Field Office III,’ aims to assist the OFWs who were affected by the mass lay off in Saudi Arabia.

According to the DSWD Field Office III Regional Director Gemma Gabuya, “Itong programang ito ay base rin sa consultation agreement ng mga ahensya sa Region 3 na naglalayong tulungan ang mga kababayan nating repatriated OFWs.”

One of the repatriated OFWs who was able to avail financial support from the Department was Glen Lapid, a resident of Guagua, Pampanga. He has rendered 25 years of service in Saudi Arabia before he was laid off. According to him, he learned about the financial assistance through social media.

“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa DSWD dahil kahit saan lupalop ka pumunta hindi ka makakakuha ng ganyang pera, at least malaking tulong po ng gobyerno, salamat po,” he added.

The Department acknowledged that the little amount provided by the government is not enough for the OFWs to start anew. This is why the Department calls for coordination with other government agencies to help our distressed fellow Filipinos.

As part of the efforts to help the displaced OFWs, the DSWD previously sent a humanitarian team to bring home the stranded Filipinos in Saudi Arabia. #### (Ma. Dennielle M. Lomboy)

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Tila Ibon Kung Lumipad: Kwento ng Kalakasan ng Isang Babae

Mula sa isang mapagkumbabang barong-barong na gawa sa pawid at kawayan, iniinda ni Narda ang paglalakad sa halos isang kilometrong bukid sa ilalim ng masungit na init ng araw. Kasisimula pa lamang ng araw ngunit ang enerhiya ni Narda ay halos nakalahati na.

Pagdating sa silid-aralan, tila ba siya’y nakakalulon ng mahiwagang bato – nagpapalit ng anyo na mula sa matamlay na ginang ay nagiging isang malakas at masigasig na tagapagsilbi. Hudyat na nga, si Narda ay si Darna na.

Si Darna ay nagtuturo sa mga paslit na nasa apat hanggang limang taong gulang kung papaano magbilang, magbasa, kumanta, at sumayaw. Ipinapaalala din niya ang tamang paggamit ng ‘po’ at ‘opo’, ang pagmamano, at ang maayos na paglilinis sa sarili. Sa loob ng dalawang oras sa isang araw, tuwing alas otso hanggang alas dyis ng umaga, si Darna ay isang guro. Konting salapi man ang kapalit ng kanyang serbisyo ay hindi na rin umaalma si Darna. Ang mahalaga anya, “Nakapagsisilbi ako at nakapaghahatid ng pagbabago at pag-asa sa mga buhay ng mga batang tinuturuan ko.”

Matapos magturo ay tatawirin nanaman ni Darna ang mahabang dipa ng bukid. Sa dulo nito, sa taas ng isang maliit na burol kung saan naroon ang tirahan ng bida, naghihintay ang isang musmos na kung tawagin ni Darna ay ‘hulog ng langit’. Tawagin natin ang dalawang-taong paslit na si Ding. Si Ding ang siyang nagbibigay lakas kay Darna. Hindi man tunay na anak ay itinuturing ni Darna si Ding bilang kanyang buhay. Si Ding ay hindi katulad ng isang ordinaryong bata. Iniinda man ni Ding ang sakit na cerebral palsy, hindi ito nagiging hadlang upang siya’y makapagbigay-saya sa kanyang ina. Isang masiyahin at malambing na bata, si Ding ay madalas nahiga sa kanyang kuna at naglalaro ng maliit na bolang bigay ng ina.

Halos tanghali na at oras na upang magluto. Hindi pa man nakapagbibihis ng kanyang pambahay na damit ay didiretso na si Darna sa isa nanamang gampanin nito – ang pagiging isang ina at asawa.

Ngayong araw, bulanglang na gulay ang lulutuin ng ina. Ilang minuto na lamang at uuwi na ang kanyang mahal na asawa kaya dapat bilisan na.

Pagsapit ng alas-dose, tanghalian na. Masayang nagkakaharap-harap sa maliit na mesa ang maliit na mag-anak at pinagsasaluhan ang kakaunting ginisang gulay. Matapos magpahinga ay didiretso na naman ang asawa ni Darna sa bukid habang si Darna naman ay maglalabas na ng mga papeles na aasikasuhin habang hele-hele ang kanyang anak.

Bukod sa pagiging guro, asawa, at ina, si Darna rin ay isang Kalahi-CIDSS volunteer ng kanyang komunidad. Nakaatang sa kanya ang mabigat na gampanin ng pangunguna sa pagpapatayo ng irigasyong pinapangarap ng kanyang komunidad.

Papeles dito, papeles doon, training dito, barangay assembly doon – ganyan ang buhay-boluntir ng ating bida. Bukod dito, may mga araw din na nagbabahay-bahay si Darna upang sabihan ang kapwa-mamamayan nito na makilahok sa usapan ng barangay. Walang katapusang pagpapanik-panaog din sa project site ang ginagawa ni Darna upang siguraduhing maayos ang pagsasagawa ng nasabing irigasyon.

Tuwing araw naman ng pagtatanim at anihan, isinisiksik din ni Darna ang pagtratrabaho sa bukid sa kanyang pang-araw-araw na gawain. Batak sa gawain, si Darna lamang ang nakakaalam kung papaano niya napagkakasya ang 24 oras sa isang araw sa lahat ng trabahong kanyang ginagawa.

Takip-silim na. Pauwi na ang asawa ni Darna habang siya naman ay kakatapos lamang magluto ng hapunan. Pagkatapos kumain ay naghanda na ang pamilya para matulog. Matapos ang isang mahabang araw, si Darna ay magpapahinga na sa tabi ng kanyang asawa’t anak. Pagpikit ng kanyang mga mata, nag-uumapaw na kasiyahan ang kanyang nadarama dahil muli, maraming buhay na naman ang kanyang nabago at nabigyan ng pag-asa.

Walang duda na si Darna ay isang simbolo ng kalakasan ng mga kababaihan. Nagtataglay ng bukal na puso at malakas na dedikasyon upang mapaunlad ang kanyang pamayanan, si Darna ay tunay ngang isang yaman ng kanyang pamilya at ng kanyang komunidad.

Si Darna ay kilala rin bilang si Josefina Zamora, 55, isang simpleng mamamayan ng Talugtug, Nueva Ecija. ### (Ma. Dennielle M. Lomboy)

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Campaign for Women’s Rights never ends

The 18-day campaign to end Violence Against Women (VAW), popularized as #VAWfreePH ended last December 12, 2016, yet promotion of women’s right doesn’t end that very day, especially to its service providers like DSWD.
The Protective Service Bureau (PSB) of DSWD Central Office’s staff, along with a Gabriela Party List Resource Speaker Ms. GertrudesLibang, and DSWD Field Office III staff visited Tarlac Home for Women today, December 19, 2016, to further empower its residents–listen to their concerns and stories of change.

Among these women is alias Girly who is allegedly charged of Violation of RA 9165 section 5 docketed at RTC Br. 63 with CC No.832-2011.

Girly grew up with a big family, stricken with poverty. She was the only one among her siblings to reach fourth grade. As early as 11 years old, she was exposed to earning a living. At age 14, she met her live-in partner and begot a child at 15. Life with her partner was then difficult and this prompted them to try engaging themselves to illegal drugs as couriers, to survive without taking account the consequences of their act, until Girly was apprehended while her partner was able to escape, his whereabouts, still, unknown.

Life at the social welfare institution was quiet hard for Girly’s first few months but because of noted determination to transform her past into a dream of having a better future life, she eventually accustomed the center lifestyle and finally considered the center her second home. She became a productive member of her new home and made sure that her stay would be meaningful. Every activity in the center contributed in enhancing her personality.

She voluntarily lent helping hands to the staff. She is highly dependable and counted on her to do responsibilities just like an older sister in a family. She patiently assists in taking care of their hygiene and other self-help skills training. Likewise, she finds time tutoring small children at the resource room for basic reading, writing and counting. She has been very responsible and shows higher level of enthusiasm in everything she engages with. Her commitment to whatever responsibilities assigned to is impressive–she works beyond what is expected of her with innate diligence. She becomes a consistent group leader in the homelife and has proven her capability and potential of being an efficient leader and a role model to other residents.

“My greatest dream is for them to learn to fight, fight for change, change not just within themselves but within the whole society,” said Ms. Libang, Vice Chairman of Gabriela Party List.
According to her, there are already 37 laws for women yet every year, cases on VAW increases. Thus, change must really come. There are social, political, and cultural issues that needed to be dealt with, anchored with this year’s theme “VAW free community starts with me.” ### (Andyleen C. Feje)

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