Last updateTue, 08 Aug 2017 4pm

disaster updates

DSWD-ARMM runs exhibit on early childhood care and development

COTABATO CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DSWD-ARMM) is running an exhibit on Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) this week at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex (SKCC) in this city in line with the region’s celebration of the 24th National Children’s Month.

The exhibit opened Monday and will run until Friday, November 18. It highlights the four stages or cornerstones of development of young children and is the second in a series of four activities included in the DSWD-ARMM’s ECCD Summit.

The ECCD is defined under Republic Act 8980 as the full range of health, nutrition, early education, and social services programs that provide for the holistic needs of children 0-8 years old. It rests on four cornerstones beginning from the first 1,000 days of a child, the preschool years from two to four years old, the primary school years from five to eight years old, and the involvement of the local government in childhood policies. 

The four cornerstones of the ECCD harness consolidated efforts and combined interventions from different sectors to have greater impact on child development in terms of health, nutrition, early education, child protection, and their welfare’s prioritization in local government planning.

Kay Lintongan, DSWD-ARMM Specialist on Child and Youth Welfare Program (CYWP), said that aside from showcasing the inherent features of children’s development stages, the exhibit aims to provide parents and stakeholders helpful information on the key roles they play in support to the developmental needs of children. 

The other regional agencies taking part in the exhibit are the members of the Regional Subcommittee for the Welfare of Children (RSWC), which are comprised of the Department of Health (DOH) through its National Nutrition Council, the Department of Education (DepEd), and the Department of Interior Local Government (DILG).

In the ARMM, member agencies of the RSWC are implementing the following programs anchored on the ECCD: the DILG’s training on the mainstreaming of ECCD in the Local Government Units, the NNC’s ECCD Intervention Package for first 1,000 days in the nine municipalities of Sulu, involving Infant and Young Child Feeding and Nutrition in Emergency Trainings, the DepEd’s Kindergarten Curriculum Framework, and the DSWD’s Child and Youth Welfare Program, and operation of and 120-days supplemental feeding in its 2,092 Child Development Centers (formerly known as Day Care Centers) across the region. 

The region’s ECCD program is also strongly supported by international non-government organizations such as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Australian Aid, and BRAC International, which implements programs that puts primary emphasis on early childhood development in the curriculum of their education programs such as the Alternative Delivery Model and the Tahderriya. 

This week’s exhibit will be followed by an ECCD Forum and Workshop on Seamless ECCD which form part of the DSWD-ARMM’s ECCD Summit in line with the National Children’s Month celebration. (Bureau of Public Information)

DSWD-ARMM distributes assistance to 470 beneficiaries

Lanao del Sur, Nov. 1 (PIA) --- The Department of Social Welfare and Development of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DSWD-ARMM) distributed roughly P2 million worth of projects and services to more than 400 beneficiaries during the People’s Day celebration on October 29.

Regional Vice Governor and concurrent DSWD-ARMM Regional Secretary Haroun Alrashid Lucman headed the agency’s program convergence turnover at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex Grounds in Cotabato City.

This year, DSWD-ARMM applied a convergence approach for all its anti-poverty programs to strengthen the strategy of alleviating poverty in the five component provinces of the region.

The turnover gathered a total of 470 beneficiaries from the agency’s various flagship programs, including Cash-For-Work for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, Social Pension, Supplementary Feeding Program, and the Expanded Student Grants Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

ESGP-PA, a scholarship grant program for deserving 4Ps beneficiaries, was one the major highlights of the day’s turnover caravan as 40 scholars from the Mindanao State University (MSU) – Maguindanao and 16 scholars from the Adiong Memorial Polytechnic College (AMPC) received three-month stipend worth P12,000, and one month stipend with book allowance worth P6,000 respectively.

By the end of school year 2016-2017, ARMM, through DSWD and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), would have sent a total of 3,474 ESGP scholars across the region.

DSWD-ARMM also conducted its regular relief distribution to 440 Pantawid beneficiaries and indigenous peoples (IPs) from the municipality of Upi, Maguindanao who were severely affected by the recent drought.

A total of 410 regular Pantawid beneficiaries received food packs worth P360 each, while 30 IP beneficiaries received food packs and hygiene kits worth P1,940 each.

Further, it 65 indigent senior citizens’ three-month stipend amounting to P1,546 each for a total payout of P100,500.

Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens, as provided for under Republic Act 9994 (Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010), is an additional government assistance that provides P500 pesos per month to augment the daily subsistence and other medical needs of indigent senior citizens aged 65 years old and above.

The agency also mainstreamed its 120-day Supplementary Feeding Program by providing food in the form of hot meals to more than 100 children enrolled in day care centers.  

DSWD also implements poverty-reduction and peace-promoting programs such as the PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (PAMANA), Humanitarian and Development Assistance Program and the Bangsamoro Regional Inclusive Development for Growth and Empowerment (BRIDGE). (BPI/PIA-10)

DSWD strengthens relief ops for 'Butchoy' survivors

MANILA - The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has intensified its disaster operations to provide immediate attention to Typhoon Butchoy victims in Regions III, IV-A, and ARMM, the hardest hit areas by the disaster.

The DSWD strengthened the capacity of its Field Offices in providing augmentation support to affected local government units and closely coordinating with other concerned agencies.

“We continue to strengthen our DSWD Field Offices, LGUs and concerned agencies to provide immediate relief assistance to the needs of the typhoon victims. Our people on the ground are reaching out to more affected families and are ensuring that no victim will be left behind,” Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said Monday.

Taguiwalo reiterated her call to affected families to report their situations on the ground so that the Department can respond immediately.

“Huwag po kayong mangiming lumapit sa mga social workers sa inyong lugar at ipagbigay alam kung ano pa ang inyong mga pangangailangan (Do not  be ashamed hesitate to ask for help from social workers in your areas),” Taguiwalo told affected families.

As of 5PM of July 10,  there are 127 families or 563 persons inside 16 evacuation centers set up by LGUs in the affected areas in Bataan, Zambales, Batangas, Rizal, and Maguindanao.  Likewise, some 14,097 families or 70,663 persons who are outside evacuation centers are also provided with relief supplies.

DSWD-FOs in these regions continue to assist LGUs in providing food support, managing the evacuation centers, and in profiling the evacuees.

DSWD FO-III has already received 10, 000 additional family food packs, out of the 60,000 family food packs from the National Resource Operations Center (NROC) and is continuously coordinating with concerned agencies for the status of the affected victims and possible support needed by LGUs.

In Region IV-A, the local government of Batangas has already provided relief assistance to the typhoon victims. They are constantly coordinating with the DSWD-FO IV-A for monitoring and other needed actions.

In Maguindanao, the provincial government provided 90 bags of rice to the affected families through the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MDRRMO). The DSWD-FO XII, in close coordination with the DSWD-ARMM, has already scheduled to distribute family food packs to the affected families.

Currently, the DSWD’s Disaster Response Assistance and Management Bureau (DReAMB) and Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC) are closely coordinating with concerned DSWD Field Offices for close monitoring and immediate provision of additional assistance, if needed.

SPEECH | Taguiwalo on why CRDA is crucial to ARMM: Half of families poor, food-insecure

A lumad family forced to flee home and farm during pitched battles in Maguindanao between government and BIFF forces is seen in this March 2015 file photo by Kilab Multimedia. At the weekend, the government launched a massive program to beat poverty and food insecurity in the conflict-ridden ARMM. MANILA - With official data showing half of families in the Automous Region in Muslim Mindanao tagged poor, while education and productivity losses could reach P318 billion, a massive reform and development program launched at the weekend is vital to bringing the South out of its dire state, the social welfare chief said.

In a speech at Saturday's launch of the Comprehensive Reform and Development Agenda (CRDA), Secretary Judy Taguiwalo cited data from the Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA) showing the poverty incidence in the ARMM even rose from 46.9 percent in 2012 to 53.4 percent in 2015.

This means, the DSWD noted, that one in every two families in the region had an income lower than the poverty threshold or the minimum income to meet their basic food and non-food necessities.

There's more bleak data cited at the launch of CRDA in rites graced by President Duterte in Cotabato City: According to the 2015 FNRI-DOST Household Food Insecurity Access Scale, 44.5 percent of the households in ARMM are food-insecure.

The same 2015 FNRI-DOST study revealed, added Taguiwalo, "that 24.9 percent of children in ARMM are underweight, 45.2 percent are stunted while 8.2 percent are suffering from wasting or the absurd low weight for a certain height. Further, the 2013 FNRI-DOST and Save The Children Joint Study reported that an approximation of P328 billion is lost as per the combined costs of education and productivity losses associated with childhood undernutrition."

In this context, the "DSWD-led interagency project on nutrition addressing hunger and malnutrition among children in ARMM has come to life," explained.


Sec. Judy M. Taguiwalo Speech for the Launching of the Comprehensive Reform and Development Agenda for ARMM and other Armed-conflict Affected Areas in Regions IX, X, and XII

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, Governor Mujiv Hataman, Vice-Governor Haroun Al-rashid Lucman, Sec. Guiling Mamondiong of TESDA, Sec. Ismael Sueno of DILG, Sec. Alfonso Cusi of DOE, Sec. Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial of DOH, OIC-CEO Ramon Aristoza of PhilHealth, Usec. Ranibai Dilangalen of DA, CHED Commissioner Prospero De Vera, Dr. Habib Macaayong of MSU, our fellow civil servants in the government service, representatives of civil society organizations and our kasimanwa dinhi sa Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, Mayong hapon sa aton tanan.

First of all, let me take this opportunity to thank Sec. Mamondiong and all his hardworking staff and team at the TESDA for making this project launching possible. Through the help of the Office of the President, OPAPP, PMS, our fellow national government agencies such as DILG, DOE, DOH, PhilHealth, DA, CHED, DSWD, and the local officials of the ARMM, TESDA has successfully lead the inter-agency taskforce to thislaunching of the Comprehensive Reform and Development Agenda for ARMM and other Armed-conflict Affected Areas in Regions IX, X, and XII. Hatagan naton sang tatlong bagsak ang TESDA for bringing us all together to assist the ARMM pursue its development goals and objectives.

Now, allow me to go to the role of our department, the Department of Social Welfare and Development or the DSWD in this inter-agency project. To be frank, DSWD’s role in this inter-agency project was formulated by no less than the President himself. Yes, it was President Duterte who as early as July called our attention to the hunger and malnutrition problem in the ARMM and how our Department should do something about it. The President has a built in radar for detecting people's needs and he is especially concerned with the situation of the children. And for the children of ARMM! He wants to ensure that the children are fed adequately so that they can develop fully and grow into productive adults.

But the pervasive poverty in ARMM is the main obstacle in Pres Digong's and our dresm of well-nourished and healthy children.

According to the PSA, the poverty incidence in the ARMM rose from 46.9 percent in 2012 to 53.4 percent in 2015. This means that one in every two families in The region had an income lower than the poverty threshold or the minimum income to meet their basic food and non-food necessities.

According to the 2015 FNRI-DOST Household Food Insecurity Access Scale, 44.5 percent of the households in ARMM are food insecure. The same 2015 FNRI-DOST study revealed that 24.9 percent of the children in ARMM are underweight, 45.2 percent are stunted while 8.2 percent are suffering from wasting or the absurd low weight for a certain height. Further, the 2013 FNRI-DOST and Save The Children Joint Study reported that an approximation of PhP 328 Billion is lost as per the combined costs of education and productivity losses associated with childhood undernutrition.

It is in this light or darkness, accompanied by the push from President Duterte and the harsh realities of the times, that the DSWD-led inter-agency project on nutrition addressing hunger and malnutrition among children in ARMM has come to life.

Through the leadership of Usec. Mae Fe Templa and Dir. Maristela Abenojar, along with the active participation of our partner national government agencies such as FNRI-DOST, NNC-DOH, DepEd, CHED, DAR, DA, and DILG as well as close coordination and planning with ARMM officials and agencies, we have designed BANGUN - Bangsa Moro Umpungan sa Nutrisyun.

We have agreed on the following objectives: 1) engage the active participation of the children, parents, communities and concerned LGUs in the entire process of project implementation; 2) harmonize the technical assistance and services of different government agencies in addressing hunger and malnutrition among children 0-12 years old in ARMM; 3) ensure access of children to culturally-appropriate foods available in the local communities; and 4) increase the weight of underweight and severely underweight children after 180 days of nutrition support.

Currently, the project targets 100% of the identified children aged 0-12 years old who are underweight in the pilot provinces of Maguindanao, Sulu, and Lanao del Sur. Particularly these are the municipalities of Datu Salibo, Datu Piang, Mamasapano, Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Jolo, Patikul and Butig which were chosen primarily on the rate of malnutrition in the area.

Concretely, the team plans to conduct parent education, baby food production, community-based nutrition support activities, referral of malnourished children to appropriate institutions, membership in sustainable livelihood programs, and referral for communities access to safe and potable drinking water.

Funding had been allocated to BANGUN. The DSWD central office had already pledged PhP 46 Million for the remaining months of this year and PhP 154 Million for next year. DILG ARMM has also pledged PhP 214 Million for this project and we hope that our partner CSOs and other development agencies will assist us in ensuring that BANGUN achieve its objectives.

The DSWD in partnership with all the agencies in our inter-agency project on nutrition addressing hunger and malnutrition among children in ARMM pledges our commitment to and support for to the Comprehensive Reform and Development Agenda for ARMM and other Armed-Conflict Affected Areas in Regions IX, X, and XII, an agenda which will redound to healthier children and families and prosperous and peaceful communities.

Our participation here and in all other programs is guided by President Digong's clear instruction to us , government officials and servants of the people:

Maagap at mapagkalingang serbisyo sa mamamayan laluna sa mahirap

Patas na pagtrato sa mga komunidad na hindi nagngilala ng kulay

Tapat na serbisyo na walang bahid ng korapsyon!

Maraming salamat at Lagi - Gikan sa masa, para sa masa.

More funds for El Niño-hit areas in Region XII, ARMM

QUEZON CITY, Apr. 23 -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has sub-allotted anew a total of P615,376,370 to DSWD-Field Office XII for its continuing support for El Nino affected areas in the region and in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

This amount is sourced from the additional fund released to the DSWD by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) specifically P662,500,000 additional Quick Response Fund (QRF) to the P1.32 billion QRF for 2016 and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (CCAM) Fund.

It can be recalled that the DBM has authorized the DSWD to use its QRF amounting to P1.32 billion and regular funds to respond to El Niño requirements.

Earlier, the DSWD has released P739,492,203.33, as of April 19, out of the 2016 P1.32 billion QRF fund covering the assistance for El Nino affected families nationwide. The amount includes the cost of food assistance and the implementation of Cash-for-Work (CFW).

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that it may be significant to mention that ARMM has its own fund source and yet the DSWD still provided augmentation assistance to the region.

“Even with the separate funding, the DSWD provided to the DSWD-ARMM, as of April 19, a total of P389,811,605.00 since 2015 to augment their resources for El Niño. The amount was utilized for the implementation of CFW in El Niño-affected areas in the region,” Soliman said.

“Along with the rest of the government, DSWD recognizes the urgency of responding to the situation of hunger affecting the poor in many parts of the country,” Sec. Soliman emphasized. (DSWD)

Mahigit P59B ilalaan sa reform dev’t agenda

MAHIGIT sa P59 bilyong halaga ng proyekto ang ilalaan ng administrasyon ni Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte para sa Comprehensive Reform and Development Agenda (CRDA) para sa Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) at iba pang lugar na apektado ng kaguluhan sa Mindanao kabilang na ang Regions 9, 10 at 12.


Layunin ng CRDA na maiangat ang buhay at maibsan ang kahirapan ng mga tao na naninirahan sa naturang mga lugar.
Kabilang sa mga tututukang proyekto at programa ang pagpapalago ng  kabuhayan ng mga naninirahan sa mga naturang rehiyon upang maiiwas na ang mga ito sa pagsali sa mga rebelde at teroristang grupo.
“Pagtutok sa pagbibigay ng basic needs, infrastructure improvement at economic development ang pangunahing bibigyang pansin ng lahat ng ahensiya ng pamahalaan,” ani Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General, Secretary Guiling “Gene” Mamondiong.
Ayon sa kalihim na inatasan ni Pangulong Duterte na maging punong tagapag-ugnay sa mga ahensiya ng pamahalaan  na tutugon sa pagresolba ng kahirapan at kagutuman  sa mga naturang lugar, ang simulaing ito ay bahagi ng kampanya ng administrasyong Duterte upang iangat ang kabuhayan at katayuan sa buhay ng mga taga-Mindanao na matagal-tagal na ring pinabayaan ng mga namumuno sa nasyonal na pamahalaan.
Kabilang sa mga nakalaang proyekto mula sa CRDA ay ang Salintubig Program; Bottom-up Budgeting (BUB) Water Supply at Community Infrastructure, Roads and Bridges ng Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Para naman sa Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), nakalaan ang mga proyekto katulad ng Reducing Vulnerable of Children from Hunger and Malnutrition in ARMM; Cash for work for climate change adaptation and mitigation; Social pension for indigent senior citizens; Supplemental feeding program at Sustainable Livelihood Program.
Maglalaan naman ang Commission on Higher Education (CHED) ng scholarship fund para sa 8,982 students para sa 2017 mula sa ARMM (3,473 slots); Region 9 (2,078 slots); Region 10 (2,018 slots) at Region 12 (1,413 slots) at tatawagin itong Expanded Students Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA).
Magbibigay din ang TESDA ng Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) at Private Education Student Financial Assistance (PESFA) para naman sa mga residenteng gustong magkaroon ng skills training.
Halos apat na ulit ang dami ng mga ibinibigay na scholarship ni Mamondiong kumpara sa nakalipas na administrasyon kung saan ay magkakaroon ng 30,000 scholars sa Region 9, 45,000 sa Region 10; 30,000 sa Region 12 at 60,000 sa ARMM.
Nakatakda ring mamahagi sa mga residente ang Department of Agriculture (DA) ng agriculture assistance tulad ng farm equipment/machineries; rice and corn seedlings at iba pang mga kagamitan para sa pagsasaka.
Mamamahagi rin ang PhilHealth ng insurance coverage para sa mga bagong card holders sa pamamagitan ng National Health Insurance Program para sa taong 2016 hanggang 2017 na siyang magagamit ng mga magbebenipisyo para sa kanilang kalusugan.
Magpapatayo naman ng mga health facilities ang Department of Health (DOH) sa ilalim ng programang Health Facility Enhancement Program (HFEP) at ang pagkakaroon ng Doctors to the Barrios and Rural Health Practice Program para sa 2016 hanggang 2017.
Magiging abala rin ang Department of Energy (DOE) para sa mga proyekto tulad ng NEA-Sito Electrification Program (SEP); NEA-Barangay Line Enhancement Program (BLEP); DOE-LFP-Nationwide Intensification of Household Electrification (NIHE); DOE-LFP-Household Electrification Program na gagamitan ng Renewable Energy at DOE Administered ER 1-94 Electrification and Support Project.
Mag-aambag din ang ARMM organizations tulad ng DepEd ARMM ng mga school supplies para sa mga slow learners and malnourished pupils mula sa 31 apektadong paaralan sa 9 na distrito sa Maguindanao na manggagaling naman sa Support Services Education Recovery.
Mamamahagi naman ang ARMM Regional Board of Investment ng Certificate of Registration mula sa Kaltimex Rural Energy Corp. (KREC) na nakabase sa Tawi-Tawi.
Kabilang pa sa programa ng ARMM ang Social Pension Payout; ARMM BRIDGE Food distribution, Rice and Malong Distribution at PAMAN Distribution of Farm Equipment na ipamamahagi ng DSWD-ARMM habang ang Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR-ARMM) ay mamimigay ng bancas, fish coral cribs, fish pots at fish cages para sa mga community-based hatchery.
Ang tanggapan naman ng Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF-ARMM) ay mamahagi ng corn mills, hand tractors at hauler tractors samantalang ang Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR-ARMM) ay magbibigay ng tractors, threshers/huskers, corn shelters, corn mills, mobile and stationary rice mills at milti-purpose shredder.
Samantala, mamamahagi naman ng knapsack sprayers, plow and harrows, howwire and U-nails at guyabano planting materials ang ARMM HELPS at iba pang proyekto para sa bawat komunidad habang maglalaan din ang Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) ng education assistance at child development centers.
Bukod sa mga nabanggit na proyekto ay nakatakda ring maglaan ng pondo para sa iba pang ahensiya ng gobyerno na makatutulong sa CRDA.

300 Sulu households receive livelihood assistance from PAMANA program through DSWD-ARMM

COTABATO CITY – At least 300 households in Talipao, Sulu received livelihood assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DSWD-ARMM) under the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) Program Expansion Cycle 2.

The households are members of 10 beneficiary cooperatives in the town, namely:

  • Andalan Talipao Agricultural Producers Cooperative;
  • Buntod Agricultural Producers Cooperative;
  • Kabatuhan Bilaan Abdulsalam Agricultural Producers Cooperative;
  • Jambangan Kabatuhan Tiis Agricultural Producer Cooperative;
  • Kahawa Agricultural Producer Cooperative;
  • Kandaga Agricultural Producer Cooperative;
  • Kanlibot Agricultural Producer Cooperative;
  • Lower Laus Agricultural Producer Cooperative;
  • Mungit-Mungit  Agricultural Producer Cooperative; and,
  • Upper Kamuntayan Agricultural Producer Cooperative.

Faida Ensanah, regional PAMANA focal person, said the agency turned over several types of livelihood support machines and equipment, which include 1,399 rolls of hogwires and vulcanizing and sewing machines. She said the assistance will augment the residents’ agricultural production and income.

“The hogwires will help protect the cassava and vegetable plantations of the farmers in the area from stray, wild, and domesticated animals. Meanwhile, the vulcanizing and sewing machines will provide alternative sources of income for the residents,” Ensanah said.

Aiman Abdul Albani, 45, from Batuan-Bilaan in Talipao, Sulu, expressed her gratitude to the agency. She said the assistance will help uplift the economic condition of her family.

Magsarang sukol kami kanyo katan, biang katatabangan nyu kamo, in kame mga taw miskin, natabangan mga makina, mga pukot, grarihilan nyu kame sing kamo nanghinan tasan. Na kina ku ini makina in katabangan kako na magtahi ako. Ipag gas to so mga anak ku nag iskul (Thank you for providing us these machines and equipment. These will help me start a new business and will also assist the schooling of my children),” said Aiman.

Hja. Sitti Raya Tulawie, town mayor of Talipao, accompanied Ensanah in the turnover ceremony held at Talipao gymnasium in Bilaan, Talipao Sulu on March 18, 2016.

Mayor Tulawie recognized the support the PAMANA program provides to boost agricultural harvest in Talipao. She extended her gratitude to DSWD-ARMM and the program and has renewed her commitment to the future ventures of PAMANA especially in her municipality.

The PAMANA is a program aimed at making citizens become stronger agents of peace and development in the region, and in the country. This is the current administration’s peace and development framework anchored on providing inclusive growth and lasting peace in Mindanao. (Bureau of Public Information)

DSWD-ARMM holds caravan in Sulu

sulucaravan01sulucaravan02sulucaravan03sulucaravan04sulucaravan05sulucaravan06sulucaravan07sulucaravan08sulucaravan09sulucaravan10SULU – Thousands of people on Thursday participated on a caravan launched in Sulu province by the Department of Social Welfare and Development or DSWD in the Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao.

Regional Vice Governor Haroun Alrashid Lucman, who is also the DSWD regional Secretary, led the Caravan 2016, along with Sulu Governor Totoh Tan, who was the guest of honor.

Tan, in his speech, quoted Indian politician Pratibha Patil, and said: “Our foremost priority is the removal of poverty, hunger and malnutrition, disease and illiteracy. All social welfare programs must be implemented efficiently. Agencies involved in the delivery of services should have a strong sense of duty and work in a transparent, corruption-free, time-bound and accountable manner.”

He said the government is focusing its efforts towards narrowing the gap between the haves and the have-nots and to ease somehow the burden of this sector. Various government programs have been implemented and one of these is the so-called Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, but this will not dramatically change the equation, according to the governor.

“The people cannot continue to rely on government for dole outs and subsidies and long-term solutions are called for. A challenging situation where trials and tribulations are abound, perhaps it is our attitude, our mind set that we ought to change. When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves,” he said.

Both Lucman and Tan also led the ceremonial pay out of social pension to beneficiaries. They also distributed food packs and relief goods to the locals and turned over a proposed livelihood facility of PAMANA or Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Peaceful and Resilient Communities) program, and children’s supplementary feeding program.

The DSWD-ARMM thanked Tan for his unconditional support to the programs of the agencies and cited the provincial government as a “good partner in any endeavour towards peace and progress in Sulu.” (Ahl-franzie Salinas)


COTABATO CITY — The damages to agricultural crops brought about by the long dry spell and rat infestation in Maguindanao rose to PHP110 million, officials said Tuesday.

With this, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will increase its support to affected farmers, according to Sec. Alexander Alonto of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF-ARMM).

He said to date, dry spell and rat infestation in the province destroyed more than PHP110-million worth of agricultural crops.

Alonto cited a report from his office which showed that 18,831 hectares of rice and corn farms in 18 of 36 municipalities in Maguindanao, with roughly 22,000 farmers, have been affected by the adverse weather condition now felt not only in ARMM but also in many parts of the country.

Last Jan. 28, the Maguindanao provincial board placed the entire province under a state of calamity due to rising drought damage figures.

Alonto said his office is expecting higher loss figures in the near term as municipal officers further validate updated reports on the extent of crop damage.

As immediate response, Alonto said DA-ARMM has already provided 4,400 bags of open-pollinated corn seeds and 3,000 bags of palay to affected farmers.

“It is part of the region’s intervention to farmers affected by the drought,” Alonto said, adding that DAF-ARMM is still waiting for updates from municipalities hit hard by the dry spell.

Alonto identified the towns hardest hit by dry spell and rat infestation as Datu Abdullah Sangki, Datu Anggal Midtimbang, Datu Montawal, Datu Unsay, Guindulungan, Kabuntalan, North Upi, South Upi, Sultan Kudarat, Sultan Mastura, Talayan, Ampatuan, and Datu Piang.

Emma Ali, provincial social welfare officer, said the local office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-ARMM) has distributed relief packs to affected residents noting her office is still validating latest reports.

“We will immediately respond to their humanitarian needs as long as we get the complete data assessed by the municipal officers,” Ali said.

Based on a report from the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, the dry spell, referred to as ‘El Niño’, is expected to be felt until the second quarter of this year.

El Niño is an abnormal warming of surface water in the eastern tropical sections of the Pacific Ocean generally observed once in three to five years.

The phenomenon, the weather agency said, usually occurs during the last quarter of the year and lasts until the first half of the following year. PNA/northboundasia.com

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