The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office Caraga conducted its first sectoral people’s organization meeting on May 6, 2014 at LG Mega Convention Center, Butuan City.

The meeting was attended by three different sectors namely the Federated Pag-asa Youth Association (PYA), Regional Federation of Senior Citizens Association (REFESCA), and the Caraga Federation of Persons with Disabilities (CAREFEDPWD).

PYA is a group of mostly Out of School Youth (OSY) and other disadvantaged youth that age 15-24 years old and single. The youth association encourages, facilitated and creates opportunities for self-expression and attainment of proper attitudes and behavior among youth for self-fulfillment and social awareness; it also engage the youth in various activities that will promote their social and economic development and it strengthen the basic, social, moral and cultural values.

The REFESCA is an organization of older people age 60 years old and above whether poor or non-poor; the organization aims to help their peers in order to prevent discrimination and abuses experienced by the older persons. While CAREFEDPWD is an organization of persons with disabilities that engages in productive activity in order to have self-reliant PWDs.

The said activity aims to discuss matters along inclusive development of persons with disabilities, senior citizens and youth sectors.

More so, it also aims to thresh out issues and concerns of the sectors specifically in the implementation of their respective programs and services that also includes the discussion on the challenges and gaps on the implementation of various programs based on the agency mandate.

In their break-out session, one of the issues raised by the PWD sector was the lack of budget in each respective municipalities, they have agreed that they will lobby  in to their respective LGUs the increased of budget for PWD activities. PWD sector also boosted that many PWDs have already receive PWD assistive devices from DSWD, NGOs, LGUs and Montero Medical Mission. While the Senior Citizens Organization raised that LGUs must strictly implement the Republic Act 9994, an act granting additional benefits and privileges to senior citizens.### (Stella Maris V. Barcelon/Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga)

The PYA on the other hand agreed to lobby in their respective LGUs and legislators for funds in conducting their activities. Livelihood assistance for youth was also raised which they also agreed to coordinate with the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of DSWD, DOLE, TESDA and DOST and CHED for scholarship.

Ms. Wilma Geralla DSWD Focal Person for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and Senior Citizens (SC) and Ms. Genelyn Marturillas, DSWD Focal Person for Youth Sector facilitated the said activity.

According to Ms Wilma Geralla, the meeting also intends to strengthen and capacitate People’s Organizations with updated information and awareness on matters that are related t the promotion of their rights, social protection and their inclusion in the social development.

A total of thirty-five (35) participants from the different sectors attended the meeting.

The Sectoral People’s Organizational meeting is conducted twice a year, according to Ms. Geralla the next meeting will be conducted in November 2014. ###


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