The City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) is committed to provide social protection and promote the rights and welfare of the poor, particularly the vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals, families and communities by contributing to poverty alleviation and community empowerment through social welfare and development programs, projects and services. The Office has strong ties and partnership with other departments of the City Government, the NGAs, NGOs and concerned civic leaders thereby facilitating the delivery of its mandated programs and services.
The Office maintains seven (7) District Field Offices and two (2) Centers: the Social Development Center (SDC) and the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) that respond and carry out specific programs, projects and services to targeted barangays/communities all over the city.
A Field Office is headed by a Social Welfare Officer (SWO) III, along with social workers, population workers, and nutrition worker. The field office staff is well-equipped with technical knowledge and skills necessary for the efficient implementation of various projects and services designed to promote the welfare and interest of target clientele groups.
For CY 2007, CSWDO focused its thrust on empowering the families and communities in selected depressed barangays of the city, especially those affected by the recent disaster strikes such as fires, strong winds, storm surge and flash floods, among others that brought miseries especially to the vulnerable and disadvantaged families.
B. Highlights of Accomplishments
I. Family and Community Welfare Program
a. Family Welfare
The Family Welfare Program (FWP) is composed of projects and services designed to promote family life. Among the activities undertaken were: sessions on Parent Effectiveness; Marriage Counseling; and Responsible Parenthood. Pertinent laws were tackled such as: RA 8972, an Act Providing for the Benefits and Privileges to Solo Parents and their Children and Appropriating Funds therefore and for other purposes. Series of training sessions have been conducted to prevent Domestic Violence through continuing Advocacy on RA 7610 (Special Protection of Child Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act); RA 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Person Act of 2003); RA 9262 (Anti Domestic Violence Against Women and their Children); and RA 9344 (Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act). Diversion Program was also thoroughly discussed to determine intervention activities for CICL (Children in Conflict with Law) cases. Extensive efforts were taken to raise the awareness level of participants on the rights, privileges, benefits and other preventive measures to avoid or minimize incidences of abuse to spouses and/or children.
A total of three hundred and three (303) program beneficiaries participated in the orientation of which a redounding effect is expected on immediate families, relatives and friends. For the year 2007, 3, 127 clients were rendered with multiple services under the Family Welfare Program.
b. Community Program
For CY 2007, CSWDO through the seven (7) field offices served a total of seventy-nine (79) barangays citywide.
This program encompasses all social welfare interventions aimed at rehabilitating depressed communities through community organizing process which focuses on enhancing leadership potentials of community leaders and volunteers. Among its concrete outputs are the organization and functionality of community welfare structures, to wit:
60 BCPCs (Barangay Council for the Protection of Children)
24 BDCCs (Barangay Disaster Coordinating Council)
6 BIACs ( Barangay Inter-Agency Council)
The process involved series of training/orientation seminars for community leaders and volunteers to enhance capacities for the organization and operation of these structures and to be able to develop and support programs and services for the welfare of the general populace in cases of domestic abuse, disaster and other forms of community threats.
Among the tangible community organizing projects that were successfully implemented are the following:
1. “Ahon/Ayuda Badjao” Project
This project consists of community organizing activities undertaken to promote the welfare of the Badjaos in the five (5) barangays of Recodo, Maasin, Sinunuc, Rio Hondo and Taluksangay, in coordination with organized Barangay Inter-Agency Council (BIAC).
So far, more than 1, 000 Badjao families have benefited 30 housing units in Caragasan; 40 housing units in Taluksangay; Livelihood and Day Care Centers in Caragsana and Arena Blanco; Solar Dryer and two (2) school rooms were given to Caragasan. Total amount invested was more than P10 M which was counter parted by both Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and City Government of Zamboanga.
2. Project Hope for Badjao Families
The project is located at Tongbato, Sangali, this city. This sis appoint venture between DSWD and City Government of Zamboanga with funding support from Philippine-Canadian Development Fund (PCDF) amounting to more than P3 M. Projects completed were 70 housing units; 14 communal toilets; 1 Livelihood Center and Pathways. Livelihood assistance was also extended through Skills Training cum Production on Banca Making, Seaweeds Production and Mat Weaving. Cash assistance through Self Employment Assistance (SEA) in the amount of P 100,000.00 was granted to selected Badjao families.
Project Hope is expanding to another Badjao community at Sangali with P5 M funding support from the New Zealand government, replicating the housing units, toilets and pathway done with the Project Hope. Project status is almost 30% completed. The expansion is located on the same site and within the 161 hectares lot ancestral domain awarded by the City Government to this tribe.
II. Child and Youth Welfare
a. Day Care Service (DCS)
The Local Government Units (LGUs) have been mandated to provide for the early education services through its Day Care Service, responding to the varied needs of children in different stages of their development. Efforts have generated positive results on the promotion and protection of children’s rights. The following accomplishments are wroth citing:
• As of December 2007, there are 175 Day Care Workers established all over the city, covering 76 barangays or 78% of the 98 barangays.
• These Day Care Centers for this year alone have served 5, 609 pre-school children ages 3 to 5 years old.
• The LGU/City Government allocated an amount of P960, 000.00 as subsidy to 100 Day Care Workers who provided the workforce in the sustenance of the program at P800.00/month.
• 133 Day Care Workers were supported/served through health services by renewing their Philhealth Cards.
• 100 DCWs availed of Accident Insurance worth P100, 000.00 each.
• The City Government appropriated P64, 000.00 for the training of 50 day Care Workers on the Revised Manual for Day Care Workers to update their skills and all the more cherish their distinct role in promoting the growth and development of children.
• Sixteen (16) barangays included in their budgetary requirements, the operation/allowance of Day Care Service Program. These barangays are Patalon, La Paz, Labuan, Baliwasan, Tumaga, Upper Calarian, Sta. Maria, Tetuan, Tugbungan, Talon-Talon, Mampang, Lumbangan, Taluksangay, Manicahan, Sangali and Vitali.
• NGOs, private \sectors are now supporting the DCS Program, and inspiring sign of active support to improve the plight of children.
• Hon. Rodolfo R. Lim sponsored the Search for Child-Friendly Barangay in recognition of the vital role of the Barangay in prompting children’s rights on survival, development, protection and participation and promote child friendly governance.
• A Search for the “Child-Friendly” Award based on the Barangay Evaluation Tool, which looks at the following structures: Day Care Center, Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC), Barangay Health Situation, Elementary/High Station, Reading Center and Playground, three (3) barangays won the competition and received the “Child-Friendly” Award. These are barangays Sta. Maria, Tetuan abd Labuan with a cash prize of P100, 000.00 each. The search aimed to encourage the barangays to prioritize and address issues/concerns affecting the full realization of the rights of children and preparing them for the world of adulthood.
b. Child-in-Conflict with the Law (CICL)
The state recognizes the rights of every child to be treated in a manner consistent with the promotion of his sense of dignity and worth, taking into account his age of minority and desirability of promoting his reintegration. Republic Act 9344 otherwise known as “An Act Establishing a Comprehensive Juvenile Justice and Welfare System”, was passed and took effect last May 20, 2007, provisions of which would redound to the benefit of the child.
From January to December 2006, a total of eighteen (18) cases were dismissed on the grounds that fifteen (15) minors were fifteen years old and below at the time the offense was committed. Three (3) cases were dismissed because the complainants were no longer interested to pursue the case. Eleven minors were Released on Recognizance to their parents and respective barangay officials while two (2) enjoyed the life outside through the payment of bail bond.
The office is also tasked to handle 15 years old and above but below 18 years old for the development of proper diversions and rehabilitation program. The said program includes education, self-employment, community service, training and value formation seminar.
c. Child-Abuse Cases
Children, because of their vulnerability are entitled to special protection under RA 7610 to uphold and protect child’s rights.
In view of this Act, the Local Government of Zamboanga also enacted local children’s code which gives more emphasis on their protection and participation of Zamboangueños to safeguard their children thereby giving the city an avenue to become Child-Friendly City.
The Archdiocese of Zamboanga, through the funding of Consuelo Foundation has served as convener to government organizations and non-government organizations implementing child related programs and services, emphasis is on the child prevention and interventions which generated affirmative output.
d. Social Development Center (SDC)
The Social Development Center is a residential facility that provides 24 hours care, protection and home life services to street children and to other children with special needs.
For the calendar year 2007, a total of 545 street children were served. Of this number, 322 were returned to parents and relatives after careful family assessment.
Services extended to the street children includes: Homelife, Tutorial, Value Session Formation, Educational, Referral, Skills Training, and Psychological Services.
Highlights of the activities undertaken during the year:
• Nutrition Month Celebration
• Youth Encampment
• Alternative Learning System (ALS)
• Boy Scout Training
• Trauma Management Training
• Tutorial Service
• Dance Lesson
• On-the-Spot Poster Making Contest
• Medical and Psychological Services
• Outreach Projects
e. Youth Welfare
The state declares that “youth” is the critical period in a person’s growth and development from the onset of adolescence towards maturity, self-reliant and responsible adulthood, comprising the youth sector of the society from ages 13 to 14 years old.
Along this line, CSWDO designed a comprehensive package of services to help the out-of-youth in their total development, to wit:
• A total of 104 youth organizations with 3, 084 members remained active during the year as a result of continuing organizational development services extended by CSWDO.
• 185 youths participated in the Leadership Training and Capability Building activities funded with P23, 000 internal fund and P83,000 from external sources. 2, 280 youths also attended the Adolescence Fertility Management Training field wide.
• 250 out-of-school youths were referred to DepEd for Elementary and High School Acceleration Program for 10 barangays during the school year 2006-2007. The project was USAID Equalls sponsored. Those who passed were referred for scholarship to government technical vocational schools.
• Alay-Lakad was reactivated this year with P123,000.00 cash raised. The fund will be used to help ensure the effective delivery of socio-economic and psycho-social interventions for the out-of-school youths and to provide educational assistance including the Practical Skills Development Training fir future employment of the youth.
III. Women Welfare Program
In line with the government’s thrust in recognizing the equal rights and respect for the inherent dignity of women, CSWDO implements the devolved programs and services for women in difficult situations.
So far, one hundred twenty-two (122) active women organizations with a total member of three thousand nine hundred thirty-six (3,936) members citywide were maintained and enhanced during the year.
a. Violence Against Women
The Women and Children protection Unit (WCPU) at Zamboanga City Medical Center has catered from January to December 2007, a total of four hundred forty-four (444) cases. Of this total number, three hundred ninety (390) are physical abuse which varies from minor to serious injuries while fifty-four (54) are sexual abuse. The victims of physical abuse are mostly single married women. On reported cases at WCPU, only few prospered in court since victims opted to settle their cases amicably, whereas, for the sexual abuse there are cases filed in court pending litigation.
b. Anti-Trafficking Against Women and their Children (RA 9208)
In the against human trafficking, the City Government in collaboration with ROLE, launched on September 9, 2005 a Road Show Campaign against trafficking in person. During the launching, the City Government created the local Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) by virtue of EO No. CC 59-2005 with the City Mayor Celso L. Lobregat as Chairman. CSWDO was names secretariat and action officer.
The creation of the local IACAT gave impetus to the campaign against TIP in person in Zamboanga City. The city became known worldwide for having the first ever conviction in three months time through DOJ, violators of RA 9208 in a decision handed down by Judge Carbon last December 6, 2005.
In close coordination with DSWD and other IACAT stakeholders, CSWDO has served a total of 135 trafficked victims; ninety-five (95) minors and forty (40) are adults for the year. Eighty-five (85) of the victims originated from Region IX and the rest came from other neighboring regions. The types of services extended consisted of temporary shelter, health services, transportation and financial assistance, home and community assessment, police assistance on court proceedings, psychological evaluation, trauma assessment and counseling, vocational skills training and corporate apprenticeship. Close coordination with various agencies involved in the campaign helped facilitate the immediate referral and prosecution of TIP cases.
IV. Senior Citizens Welfare Program
CSWDO developed a strategy to empower the senior citizens and enable them to participate in community development efforts by assisting them in establishing a scheme beneficial to themselves, their families and the community.
V. Persons with Disabilities Welfare Program
The CSWDO is the lead agency in the implementation of this program which provides services or assistance for the physical restoration, self and social enhancement, after care and follow, etc among others, of persons with disabilities to enhance their capability to pursue a more meaningful, productive and satisfying way of life and ultimately become self-reliant and contributing members of society.