Summary:

 Sagay City, located at the northernmost tip of Negros Island, is a  3rd class city in the province of Negros Occidental.  It covers a total land area of 33.034 hectares and is populated by 140.740 inhabitants. Since its becoming a city in 1995, Sagay City teems with economic prosperity, on the one hand, and is confronted with the problem of illegal settlers, on the other hand.  Out of its 25 barangays, Brgy. Old Sagay and Brgy. Himogaan Baybay have the most number of illegal occupants.

To alleviate the lives of those living in the slums, Sagay City enrolled in the Millennium Development Goals – Family-Based Actions for Children and Their Environs (MDG-FACES) project. This project is institutionalized through an Executive Order No. 75-79 dated June 13, 2012 by the then Mayor, now Representative of the 2nd District of Negros Occidental, Leo Rafael M. Cueva. The EO created the Management Team, the Support Team and the Secretariat.  The Management Team is composed of the City Core Team with the City Welfare and Development Officer as the Focal Person; the City Planning and Development Coordinator, the City Health Officer, and the City Local Government Operations Officer as members. A team of community organizers composed of two team leaders and eight community workers is also created to handle the eight integrity circles in the two barangays and to conduct the survey in the slum areas to identify the target beneficiaries.

The major accomplishments of MDG-FACES includes:

  1. Programa sa Kabataan kag Pamatan-on (PKP) which promotes value formation, sports, culture and arts, moral values; provides avenue for the conduct of environmental activities, e.g., coastal clean-up, backyard gardening, coastal and marine protection awareness, of value clarification activities, e.g., counseling, goal setting, etc., of skills training, of music clinic and of awareness campaign on rights of children;
  1. Project LAWOD (Livelihood to Alleviate the Workers Occupation for Development) which provides livelihood assistance and technology transfer seminar on fish, squid, shell processing (1st batch of demonstration projects), food processing (2nd batch of demonstration projects) and packaging seminar;
  1. HOPES (Health for Organized Poor families Established in the Slums) which is an avenue for the conduct of health and sanitation activities which includes health and nutrition classes, training on personal hygiene, awareness on communicable diseases, campaign against drug abuse, maternal care services;
  1. BUGAY  which is a project that provides house and lot to the beneficiaries; 
  1. Scholarship and Assistance which is an avenue for the provision of educational assistance which includes full scholarship grants, uniform allowance and of financial assistance which includes, among others, hospitalization, rice assistance, etc.; and,
  1. MDG-FACES Family Day where talents of the beneficiaries are showcased and good academic performance of beneficiaries are recognized.

 

Project History

On May 30, 2012 at Bayview Park Hotel in Manila, the City of Sagay entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Local Government Academy to implement The MDG-FACES Project. From then on, MDG-FACES became the priority program of the administration of Mayor Leo Rafael M. Cueva.

Preparatory activities for the program implementation were undertaken. The City Core Team, Support Team, Secretariat and   team of community organizers were created. These mechanisms were tasked to ensure that the technical works were given due attention and sustainability of the projects guaranteed.

The launching of the MDG-FACES project was slated on July 4, 2012 at Balay Kauswagan, a hotel and convention center owned and operated by the city government. In this momentous event, both the parents and children beneficiaries recited and signed their Pledge of Commitment which is translated in the local dialect.

The City of Sagay made significant diversions in the implementation of MDG-FACES. Moved by the hapless condition of the household beneficiaries, the Local Chief Executive increased the number of the beneficiaries from 40 to 80 – 60 beneficiaries from Brgy. Old Sagay and 20 beneficiaries from Brgy. Himoga-an Baybay. Furthermore, the Project Management Team has decided that the oldest child in the household will be the beneficiary. This was premised on the fact that the LGU will be granting them full scholarship benefits until they graduate in college. Once they earned their degree, it is envisioned that they will be the ones who bail out their families from the vicious cycle of poverty.

The MDG-FACES project in Sagay City is a work in progress. The City Government has never ceased in investing financial and human resources in support of the project. The local functionaries who are involved in the project implementation have never grown tired in exerting effort and in going an extra mile to ensure the success and sustainability of the project. The beneficiaries have cultivated a sense of ownership of the project.

To date, MDG-FACES project in Sagay City is slowly transforming the lives of the poor children beneficiaries and their families.

 

Key Implementation Steps

 Preparatory Works. Laying the foundation of the implementation of the MDG-FACES starts with the creation of the City Core Team, Support Team and the Secretariat as embodied in EO No. 75-79. A team of community organizers is also created to handle the eight integrity circles and to identify the target household beneficiaries in the two pilot barangays.  

Identification of Beneficiaries. A house-to-house survey is conducted as an initial step for identification of beneficiaries.  For a household to be qualifies as beneficiary, it should fit in the following criteria:

  • with 0-17-year old child
  • a non-4Ps member
  • with no fixed income for the head of the household
  • living in a shanty

The living conditions of the possible beneficiaries are presented to the Project Management Team for screening.

Capability Interventions. The community organizers are given avenues to equip themselves with the necessary skills and knowledge on community building and mobilizing.

The eight Integrity Circles consisting of 10 parents each are required to attend a weekly meeting as part of their commitment to the project. In addition, social preparation activities which includes, among others, problem identification, physical exercises, health orientations, waste management, coastal care and protection, value clarification, family care, discipline, livelihood values, understanding the cycle of poverty and values formation are undertaken.

As a component of the Programa sa Kabataan kag Pamatan-on, children beneficiaries attend to a weekly meeting. A series of activities under this program include environmental awareness advocacy, solid waste management advocacy, environmental protection program, personal hygiene promotion, moral values clarification, patriotism, community awareness and involvement, music workshop, art workshop, and beach volleyball clinic. These activities are aimed at enhancing creativity and promoting social engagement of the children beneficiaries.

As frontliners in the implementation of the MDG-FACES program, the members of the technical working team undergo continuous education and training program to upgrade their skills and competence. This includes training of community organizers on Technology of Participation, strategy formulation workshop, basic interpersonal communication skills training, workshop on entrepreneurship values, seminar on living a simple life, valuing oneself and the community.

Quick Response Mechanism. MDG-FACES beneficiaries are provided mechanisms through the assistance of various support teams.

On education, four children are enrolled in the Day Care program; one deaf-mute is given special education; 46 elementary pupils and 26 high school students are enrolled; and four college students are provided with full scholarship grants. Aside from the provision of financial assistance for tuition and other fees, the LGU also provides school and PE uniform for college student scholars.

On health and sanitation, 80 households join the regular coastal clean up every first Monday of the month; 80 mothers attend health orientation on dengue and tuberculosis; one severely malnourished child improves his nutritional status; and four pregnant mothers avail maternal care services.

On environment, 80 children are part in the vegetable planting and 80 household practice proper solid waste management.

Budget Allocation. To better implement the MGD-FACES, the Php 300,000.00 grant of the Local Government Academy is supplemented with Php 638,400.00 taken from the fund of the LGU and with Php 600,000.00 from the Priority Development Assistance Fund of Rep. Alfredo Maranon III.

The Php 1,538,400.00 budget for the first phase of MDG-FACES implementation is allocated for training (Php 100,000.00), maintenance and other operating expenses (Php 158,400.00), Quick Response Mechanisms (Php 410,000.00), infrastructure (Php 630,000.00), and demonstration project (Php 240,000.00)

Extra Mile. The City of Sagay has provided the MDG-FACES beneficiaries with electricity, toilet and water facilities. 18 family beneficiaries are provided with decent housing unit amounting to Php 20,000.00 each. The creation of an MDG village is on progress. This is intended to be the relocation site for informal settlers.

Program Interventions

Project LAWOD (Livelihood to Alleviat the Workrs Occupation for Development). This is a program of the MDG-FACES of Sagay City to support the children in the slums. The livelihood projects which can be a source of additional income for the beneficiaries are the key for the realization of the main thrust of MDG-FACES, i.e., education.

The City of Sagay has conducted trainings on food processing at NONESCOST Hostel, Brgy. Old Sagay, Sagay City on November 7-9, 2012 and December 17-19, 2012.  These trainings have enabled the beneficiaries to produce the following: smoked fish, fish loaf, fish siomai, fish crackers, kikiam, crab crackers, sicad-sicad crackers, deboned fish, punaw crackers, sardine, squid rings, fish ball, banana chips and camote chips. A training on packaging these products is conducted on November 26, 2012.

Each beneficiary is given a loan capital of Php 2,000.00 in order to start the livelihood. The community organizers conduct a weekly collection and monitoring to ensure the sustainability of the project. Moreover, relevant inputs, e.g., self-discipline, business management, book keeping, marketing, promotion and salesmanship, are provided to help beneficiaries to properly manage their livelihood. Most of the beneficiaries are engaged in micro business using their capital loan.  Hence, they are able to pay their loan on the expected date and have earned their capital buildup. Currently, they are on their second tranche of loan which are used to expand their businesses.

PKP (Programa sa Kabataan Kag Pamatan-on). This program aims to assist MDG-FACES scholars in their education and values clarification. Specifically, it aims to improve the level of their knowledge, physical capabilities, attitudes, values and social responsibilities. The scholars meet every Saturday. Special activities are held during summer breaks or vacation period.

HOPES (Health for Organized Poor families Established in the Slums). This program aims to enhance the knowledge, attitude and skills of the MDG-FACES beneficiaries in advocating for preventive and primary health care. Parent beneficiaries and their children are educated on health issues and, in return, communicate these knowledge to others in the community, thus creating a network of health service providers. It is envisaged that MDG-FACES parents will be mobilized around MDG village for health care issues while the children beneficiaries will become stewards of their others siblings in the absence of their parents.

BUGAY. This is a program of the LGU that provides housing units to MDG-FACES household beneficiaries. On August 20, 2013, the ground breaking of the relocation site is held at Purok Manzanilla, Brgy. Old Sagay. To witness this momentous event are the 60 beneficiaries of Old Sagay Integrity Circles, barangay officials, Mayor Alfredo Maranon III and Rep. Leo Rafael M. Cueva.

The MDG Village starts with 55 lots (75 sq. meter/lot). Its construction has started last September 25, 2013 through a bayanihan system wherein each beneficiaries renders at least 300 hours of sweat equity in constructing the houses. It is projected that 19 houses will be built, 50 houses will be repaired and facilities for toilets, water and electricity will be constructed.

 

Results

The MDG-FACES project has made a significant dent in the lives of the beneficiaries in the City of Sagay. The project has raised the self-esteem, social consciousness, health status, and the income of the beneficiaries.

 Specifically:

·         There is an observed improvement in the behavior and attitude towards studies among children beneficiaries who are recipient of scholarship grants. This is attributed to the character formation activities provided to the beneficiaries.

·         Household beneficiaries are now more aware of their social responsibilities towards the environment. They are now practicing waste segregation at source and are active partners in caring and protecting the environment.

·         The demonstration projects of every household beneficiaries provided opportunities for additional income. As a result, children become healthier because parents can now provide appropriate nourishment; children can now go to school because parents have money to spend for their education.

·         Mothers who are beneficiaries have a paradigm shift in their outlook in life. They have put more values on self-discipline, hard work, etc. This is the result of the character and values formation which is a component of the livelihood program.

 

Lesson Learned

Using the metaphor of salt, a beneficiary has expressed the significant dent that the MDG-FACES project made in his life.  Before the implementation of the project, he likens himself to a sea water in the slums – stagnant, dirty, and a source of problem especially during high tide. It is always the object of the curse of the people who live and who pass by the slum area. Nobody cares and nobody really like the dirty salt water. However, just like him, the dirty salt water, if given the chance, will become useful.

 

The MDG-FACES project becomes that chance.  The project is like the intense heat of the sun that solidified the salty water into a useful element – salt. For the beneficiary, MDG-FACES gives him the avenue to work for his goals and be assured of a brighter future. With all the opportunities that come along with the project, little by little, he is transformed into a better person … a person who is useful to the society.


The Armed Forces of the Philippines through the Army’s 3rd Infantry “Spearhead” Division handed-over the Internal Peace and Security Efforts responsibility in Aklan to the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) Saturday April 25, 2015.

The joint Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed by the Governor and Chairman of Aklan Provincial Peace and Order Council Hon Florencio T Miraflores, Major General Rey Leonardo B Guerrero AFP, Commander of Army’s 3rd Infantry Division and Chief Superintendent Josephus Angan, Regional Director of PNP Regional Office 6 represented by PSSUPT Iver P Apellido, Officer-in-Charge of Aklan Provincial Police Office.

General Gregorio Pio Catapang, Jr., AFP Chief of Staff, in a message delivered by Brigadier General Vic Castro, Deputy Commander of Central Command, AFP, said “As mandated protectors of the people and the integrity of the State, we in the AFP through the 3rd Infantry Division, Philippine Army give you our assurance that we will persist in performing our part in securing the current status of Aklan.  Aklanons can grow and feel safe.”

The AFP, PNP and the people of Aklan have committed to always work together in the spirit of “Bayanihan” to preserve and further enhance the peace and security situation in order to sustain the socio-economic progress of the province.

Likewise, the uninterrupted peace and security situation in Aklan has paved the way for the entry of investors and boosted the healthy tourism atmosphere in the province that likewise contributed to the regional stability in Western Visayas.

Meanwhile, Major General Rey Leonardo Guerrero, Commander of 3rd Infantry Division has ensured that the Army in the region is strongly committed in its mission to establish a peaceful and secure environment conducive to sustainable regional economic development.
“We must work hand- in-hand and continue to foster “Bayanihan” in our efforts to end the insurgency, and allow lasting peace and stability to thrive in the region,” Major Gen. Guerrero said.

Colonel Eric Uchida, Commander of Army’s 301stBrigade also said that “It is the long desire of the people of Aklan to move their province towards sustainable development.”

Through Provincial Resolution No. 1 Series of 2014 dated December 2, 2014, the Aklan PPOC unanimously accepted the responsibility to take the lead in the Internal Peace and Security Efforts in the province.

Aklan province was declared insurgency-free in 2011 and the peace and security situation since then continued to improve with the absence of violent incidents attributed to the CPP-NPA. It further boosted the socio-economic, agro-industrial and infrastructure development activities in the province.

Since the declaration of Aklan as insurgency-free province, the peace and order councils, from the province down to the barangay levels have been effective in promoting peace in the entire province.

Those who stood as witnesses during the signing of the MOA were Brigadier General Vic Castro, Deputy Commander of Central Command, AFP, Colonel Eric Uchida, Commander of 301stInfantry Brigade, Hon Teodorico Haresco, Jr, Representative of the Lone District of Aklan, John Ace Azarcon, Provincial Director of DILG, Aklan, other AFP, PNP and local government officials, civil society and other stakeholders.

Strengthening its participation in the conduct of a pre-demolition conference prior to rendering assistance in demolitions and/or eviction activities, DILG-Bacolod City took part in the stakeholders’ conference organized by the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP).

One of the provisions in the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Urban and Development Housing Act (UDHA) provides that the DILG representative shall serve as the secretariat during the Pre-Demolition Conference.

The one (1) day Pre-Demolition Conference (PDC) Stakeholders Meeting on April 8, 2015 at the Negrense Suites, Bacolod City presented the outputs of the PDC Assessment conducted last 2014. During the meeting the PCUP gave an overview on RA 7279 otherwise known as the “Urban and Development Housing Act’’ of 1992 along with the discussion on the Implementing Rules and Regulation on the conduct of Pre-Demolition Conference.

The meeting was headed by Director Chloe Manlosa –Osano/PCUP FOD V and Assistant Director Neil Victor C. Saril/PCUP FOD V. Invited stakeholders during the meeting were the Sheriff of Courts in the Province of Negros Occidental, PNP, DILG Bacolod City, LGU Representatives, Urban Poor Sector Representatives and the Bacolod Housing Authority.

The PCUP team also facilitated a plenary to discuss issues and came up with agreements on how to strengthen the involvement of stakeholders relative to the conduct of Pre-Demolition Conference. (LGOO V May Theresa A. Malongayon, DILG6-Bacolod City)

After facilitating the rehabilitation of damaged provincial, city and municipal public infrastructures, DILG continues the recovery efforts for Yolanda-affected LGUs at the barangay level through the DILG-RAY Fund Batch 2. The DILG Recovery Assistance on Yolanda (RAY) Batch 2 Fund is intended for the rehabilitation of damaged barangay facilities particularly the Barangay Halls, Day Care and Civic Centers.

All the rehabilitation works will be implemented by the city/municipal government in coordination with their concerned barangays. A total of 1 638 facilities were identified across 1 310 barangays in five affected provinces in the region with a funding of almost P 439 Million out of the P 2 Billion released to the DILG under the 2014 General Appropriations Act.

The 1st quarter of 2015 kicked-off the program implementation with three clusters of orientation conducted in Aklan, Iloilo and Capiz. The orientation focused on discussion on project management and the salient features on the implementing guidelines for the DILG-RAY Fund Batch 2.

The first leg of orientation was on March 16-17 in Aklan with participants from the 16 LGUs of the province and 10 LGUs from Antique. The second cluster was held in Iloilo City on March 19-20 with participants from the 25 LGUs in Iloilo Province and three from Negros Occidental. The last orientation was held in Roxas City, Capiz where all LGUs in Capiz participated with the municipalities of Bingawan in Iloilo, Balud in Masbate and Sagay City in Negros Occidental joining the activity.

During these orientations, RD Anthony Nuyda of DILG 6 emphasized the importance of completing the projects within the timeline and urged the participants to comply with the requirements in order to facilitate the release of funds. (LGOO V Christian M. Nagaynay, DILG6)