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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

DSWD-Caraga targets 109,543 poor households for UCT validation

By Abegail R. Alvarez

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 21 - Around 105,517 poor households from Listahanan 2 Database will undergo validation of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Caraga through the National Household Targeting Unit or Listahanan.

This is in connection with the implementation of Republic Act 10963 or otherwise known as the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN). It is the first package of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Agenda (CTRP) envisioned by Duterte’s Administration, which seeks to correct a number of deficiencies in the tax system to make it simpler, fairer, and more efficient.

With this, the Congress mandated the department to implement the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) program.

The UCT is a social mitigating measures to protect the disadvantaged, poor, and vulnerable sector who will not benefit from the lower income taxes but will adversely affected by the rising prices. The government will provide monthly cash grant of Php200 in CY 2018 and Php300 in CY 2019-2020 for the existing 4.4 million Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries, 3 million existing Social Pension beneficiaries, and 2.6 million poor households from Listahanan. 

To ensure that the households that will benefit from the program belong to the poorest 10 million in the country, the NHTS-PR shall provide the results of the Listahanan 2 as UCT’s basis for determining 2.6 million potential beneficiaries.

But the poor households from Listahanan will undergo updating and validation to ensure that those who will benefit the UCT program belong to the 1st to 7th income deciles.

In line with this, the department hired 352 validators and 73 Administrative Aides who will take part in the region-wide UCT validation which will start initially on March this year. The additional workforce will be trained on the basic procedure in accomplishing the Household Validation Form (HVF) and protocols in updating and validating UCT beneficiaries.

The hired field workers will locate the identified potential beneficiaries, verify potential beneficiary information in the database, assess their current socioeconomic status, and recommend a final list of beneficiaries for the UCT program. 

Prior the deployment, the NHTU will conduct an orientation to LGUs. This will be attended by the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer (MSWDO) and Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) President for them to be informed of the purpose of UCT validation.

“We are asking the Local Government Units (LGUs) to support the validators and AAs who will be assigned in their respective areas. These field workers play a vital role in the validation process and the updated list are also important since they are the target beneficiaries for the UCT program,’’ says Assistant Regional Director for Administration and Listahanan Deputy Regional Program Manager Nerisa T. Murih. 

Also, the NHTU composed of Regional Field Coordinator, Regional Associate Statistician, Regional Information Technology Officer, and Administrative Assistant will serve as the Area Coordinating Team who shall oversee the validation period in every province. (Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga/PIA-Caraga)

Agusan Norte farmers train in organic fertilizer product development

KITCHARAO, Agusan del Norte, Mar. 21 - Members of the Jaliobong Masipag Farmers Organization Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative (JAMAFO) from Jaliobong, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte recently underwent a product development and enhancement training on organic fertilizer.

Organic fertilizer production and selling has become one of the steady income generating projects of JAMAFO, an ARB cooperative whose members are mostly vegetable and rice producers. Other than being the primary users of the fertilizer made from bio raw materials found in their farms, the coop also market their fertilizer to other farmers within the locality and to the Kitcharao Municipal Agriculturist Office.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Agusan del Norte Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) senior staff Jocelyn Ordonia said the training will help the coop to enhance their product and align the same to the Philippine National Standard (PNS)-BAFPS 40:2008 among organic fertilizers which accordingly is a requirement if they plan to expand their market.

Tapped as resource person was Oscar S. Tuyor, Supervising Agriculturist of the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) of Agusan del Norte.

DTI-ADN CARP provided the following basic tools for fertilizer processing during the training that will serve as starter kit: 2 pcs. round point shovel; 1 pc. garden rake; 4 pcs. 4L plastic pail with handle; 4 pcs. plastic dipper; 2 pcs. bolo knife and jungle bolo; 5 pcs. rubber gloves, cotton with rubber; 2 pcs. rain boots, rubber black, size 6”; and 2 pcs. rain boots, rubber black, size 8”.

The initiative to assist this ARB cooperative came from the collective commitment of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), DTI, and the Provincial Agriculturist Office (PAO) who earlier analyzed and discussed the needed intervention for the group which in this case is closing a perceived market gap.

The training resulted to the Provincial Agrarian Reform Office- Agusan del Norte (PARO-ADN) helping them in the establishment of their processing center thru DAR's village-level farm-focused enterprise development (VLFED) program.

DTI-Agusan del Norte CARP pledged to do the product development activity including the packaging and labeling, while PAO-ADN provided the technical know-how in processing fertilizer based on PNS-BAFPS 40:2008 requirement.

Actions for the market expansion of the enhanced product will be a joint effort of DTI-ADN CARP and PAO-ADN. (DTI-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)

DTI Agusan Sur equips SLP beneficiaries, former OFWs on entrepreneurship
SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur, Mar. 21 - The Department of Trade and Industry here conducted recently a seminar on Entrepreneurship to the 17 Sustainable Livelihood Porgram (SLP) beneficiaries and former Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the town of San Francisco.

“I am so thankful that I was invited to this seminar as I know now what to do to make the business good,” Teresita Colarte, a participant, gave this impression during the seminar.

Aldrin Abapo, counselor of Negosyo Center (NC) San Francisco and facilitator of the seminar presented to the group the characteristics of a successful entrepreneur, the concept of entrepreneurship and the distinction between livelihood and enterprise.

In the following month, Abapo will start to monitor their project and check what is needed to further improve their operation. (DTI-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

DTI to focus intervention on coconut farmers of Anolingan to increase producers of geonet

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur, Mar. 21 - Twenty eight (28) coconut farmers of Barangay Anolingan of Esperanza, this province, are encouraged to regularly produce geonets and virgin coconut oil to earn additional income aside from whole nut and copra.

They are also advised to display these products at the Negosyo Centers (NC) in the province.

These farmers are members of Anolingan Coconut Farmers Organization (ACFO), a recipient of weaving and twining equipment facilities of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).

Just recently, an orientation on Entrepreneurship and Gender Sensitivity was conducted. It was learned that the group has supplied geonets made of coconut fiber to Kaagap Development Multi-Purpose Cooperative (KaagapMuCO). ACFO produced geonet but they lack weavers and twiners to increase their production.

They are advised to make strategies to increase the number of processors in a form of commission based on the output of the members so they will be continually motivated.

Aside from geonet, the group also tried to produce virgin coconut oil (VCO) but needs further training to ensure quality output. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Agusan del Sur will sit with the PCA to identify interventions for the group.

Beryl Calderon of the PCA commits to support the group to strengthen its operation.

Jamaica Arenal, Marianne Corazon Togonon of DTI Agusan del Sur and Charles Palen, NC counselor of Esperanza in partnership with PCA and barangay captain Rolando Maestrado facilitated the activity.  (DTI-Agusan del Sur/PIA-Agusan del Sur)