This Women’s Month, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) launched a community driven development and empowerment initiative in the municipality of San Antonio, Quezon dubbed “Si Tonyo para kay Juana”, a localized version of the He for She Campaign of the United Nations.
The campaign engages all men to help ensure that women will achieve empowerment and equality, their rights are highly recognized and honored and will be free from all types of abuse and violence.
In the oath pledged by all men of San Antonio, Quezon, it was emphasized that men will actively participate in all activities and events that are related to the women of San Antonio, Quezon; will never be the reason of violence against women and girl- children; and, will cooperate with the government and civil society organizations that raise and push the welfare of women in their community.
More services for women
At the same time, the Department continues to implement various programs and services for disadvantaged women.
These are the Promotive Programs which pertain to the Department’s national-initiated and the core poverty reduction programs, such as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino, Sustainable Livelihood (SLP), and Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) and
Protective Services which pertain to the development, implementation and management of social protection programs and services.
Under the Promotive Programs, women are engaged as partners for their own development.
As of February 29, 2016, a total of 3,925,599 are women partner -beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya.
Celyn Morales, a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary since 2009 from Barangay Commonwealth, Quezon City, shared, “Madami kaming natutunan sa pag-attend sa Family Development Sessions (FDS), katulad ng pakikipag-communicate sa mga anak, tamang pagbabadyet ng pera, at pagiging aktibong mamamayan (We learned a lot from the FDS, such as communicating with our children, proper budgeting of expenses, and active citizenship).”
Celyn, who has four children, works as a babysitter and has a part time job as laundry woman during weekends. Her husband is a shoe vendor at Commonwealth Market. The couple has four children, who are all studying, hence, the cash grants they receive from the program hugely help in their children’s education.
Another Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary, Soledad Esquillo from Barangay Commonwealth, Quezon City, recognizes how the program has empowered and enabled her to become a big help in the community.
“Nakakatulong din ako sa mga kapwa ko benepisyaryo at kapitbahay sa pamamagitan ng pagbabahagi ng tamang inpormasyon. Halimbawa, kapag mayroong may sakit na nangangailangan ng tulong medikal, o yung mga namatayan na walang pangpalibing, sinasabi ko sa kanila ang mga requirements para makahingi sila ng tulong sa DSWD (I am able to help my fellow beneficiaries and neighbors by providing them the right information. For instance, when somebody is sick and needs medical assistance, or those whose family members died and have no money for burial, I tell them the requirements so they can request for assistance from DSWD),” Soledad enthused.
On the other hand, a total of 289,100 women were mobilized as volunteers in the community driven development projects as of January 2016. A total of 185,049 women were trained and 55,266 are managing the various committees in the implementation of the KALAHI-CIDDSS NCDDP community projects.
One of the women-volunteers, Zenaida Cleope, a 50-year-old widow from Barangay Mataas na Kahoy, Mamerto Natividad, Nueva Ecija, narrated, “Ipinagmamalaki ko na ako ay isang volunteer ng Kalahi-CIDSS. Hindi ko inakala na puwede pa akong tumulong sa pagpapatayo ng classroom project namin dito sa barangay sa kabila ng aking edad (I am proud to be a volunteer of Kalahi-CIDSS. I did not imagine that I could still help in the construction of our barangay project despite my age).”
Meanwhile, under the Sustainable Livelihood Program, 89,484 women had been given capital assistance and currently managing their livelihood projects as of January 2016. Some of the livelihood projects are retailing, manufacturing, and farming, among others. Likewise, they were locally hired as fabrication crew, sorter, and hotel attendant.
Vilma Ochea of Barangay Sta. Cruz, Sibagat, Agusan del Sur and president of the Sta. Cruz SEA-K Association expressed her gratefulness to DSWD’s SLP for the changes the program has brought to their lives.
“Dahil sa programa, nagkaroon kami ng karagdagang mapagkakakitaan (Because of the program, we now have additional sources of income).
“Sa oras ng biglaang pagangailangan, sigurado kami na mayroon kaming matatakbuhan para sa tulong pinansyal mula sa itinayo naming kooperatiba (In times of emergencies, we are certain that we have somewhere to run to for financial assistance through the credit lines we could get from the cooperative that we have organized,” she said.
According to DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, the Department is strengthening its efforts in helping abused, disadvantaged and exploited women.
“We have a lot more to do to strengthen the capacity of women, to help and improve themselves. I believe that with the joint efforts of different sectors, we can achieve this goal,” Sec. Soliman underscored.
In 2015, the Department assisted a total of 253,091 cases of women in especially difficult circumstances (WEDCs) who were victims of violence, physical and sexual abuse, exploitation, illegal recruitment, human trafficking, and armed conflict.
Of the 253,091 WEDC cases, 249,581 women were served through community-based services nationwide while 3,510 WEDC cases were served under residential care facilities.
Under the community-based services, the women were provided with gender-responsive case management and appropriate services such as, but not limited to, temporary shelter, psychosocial support and healing sessions, medical services, self-enhancement sessions, livelihood skills development sessions, counseling services, legal assistance and witness preparation, and referral to concerned agencies for other appropriate interventions.
The DSWD manages 22 residential care facilities for disadvantaged women and girls. These are: Haven for Women located in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, and in Regions I, II, III, IVA, VI, VII, VIII, and XI; Marillac Hills, also known as National Training School for Girls in Alabang, Muntinlupa City; and Group Home for Girls located in Regions I-XII.
The facilities provide home life services, counseling services and escorting of clients during court hearings in the absence of social worker from the local government unit (LGU), socio-cultural and recreational program, spiritual enhancement, leadership and skills training, medical and dental services, vocational training and livelihood productivity program and referral to other NGOs with programs and services responding to the needs of the clients.
Likewise, after care services and community-based support services are also given to these women by the Local Social Welfare Development Offices (LSWDOs) once they are discharged from the centers and are re-integrated with their families and communities.
Sheila, (not her real name), 16 years old is a victim of incest, raped by her father when she was 11 years old. At Home for Girls in Iloilo, she regained hope and self-worth.
“Dahil po sa mga programa dito sa center, unti-unti ko nang natanggap ang pinagdaanan ko. Unti-unti rin pong lumawak ang isip ko. Natutunan ko pong may pag-asa pa at ang mahalaga ay nanumbalik ang tiwala ko sa Diyos (Because of the programs in the Center, I was able to accept what I have gone through. Little by little, I learned that there is still hope, that I still have my self-worth and most importantly, I found my faith once again),” she said.
Services for women-survivors of disasters
As the most vulnerable among the women’s sector, women affected by various disasters are also DSWD’s priority. To ensure that they return to their normal functioning, DSWD provides them with counseling, housing and livelihood assistance.
Women-friendly spaces (WFS) are also set-up in evacuation centers to cater to their special needs. The WFS is a facility that addresses the specific needs of women affected by disasters and provides a more systematic, organized, and gender-responsive way of delivering services to them.
Dahlia Atok, 53 years old of Barangay Concepcion, Ormoc City, lost her house and livelihood when Typhoon Yolanda struck Eastern Visayas. She became a beneficiary of the Bangon Mini Farm Project under the DSWD-SLP in partnership with Land Bank of the Philippines and other stakeholders. Under SLP’s Enterprise Capital Assistance, Dahlia was given P10,000 worth of farm materials to help her
start her new organic farming venture.
“Masaya ako dahil ito talaga ang gusto ko, ang mag-farming. Ngayon kumikita na kami ng P1,000-P2,000 weekly kada lingo depende sa mga klase ng tanim na inaani at ipinagbibili namin (I am happy because farming is really what I like to do. We now earn P1,000 to P2,000 weekly from the different crops that we harvest and sell),” Dahlia proudly shared.
Ngayon nakakatulong na ako sa iba. Na-share ko pa ang bagong teknolohiya ng organic farming (I can now help other people, and also share the organic farming technology),” she enthused. # Source – www.dswd.gov.ph