Province of Dinagat Islands– The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office Caraga through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program provincial operations office in the province held a Gender and Development (GAD) Caravan in Barangay Sta. Cruz, municipality of San Jose last October 18, 2015.

Participated by various local partner-agencies from Commission on Population (PopCom), Philippine National Police (PNP), Provincial Government of Dinagat Islands, and Department of Education (DepEd), the one (1) day event took in other activities which include the mentioned caravan, Youth Development Session (YDS), Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) Products Display, and an advanced celebration for the upcoming Children’s Month in November.

The activity aimed to educate the youth about the importance of understanding the concept of GAD and by applying its concept in their daily-dealings with others.

Provincial Administrator Gwendolyn B. Ecleo emphasized in her message the value of responsibility among the youth. She said that the youth is the hope of the nation, and that they should be capacitated so they could contribute to nation building.

“Instead of becoming a burden in the community by engaging to things like drugs, our youth should be transformed as assets, and that their potentials should be maximized for productivity. Also, the youth should be faithful in their studies because they can use it to improve their current situation.” Ecleo said.

To make the activity more informative, lectures on teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, and cyber pornography were included in the topics discussed.

PopCom Officer Lucio Mercado Jr. shared on how teenage pregnancy has become one of the trending social problems in the community. He presented the current situation of Caraga as the region ranked in 2014 survey as the country’s region having the most number of cases relating to teenage pregnancy.

Also, PS Insp. Edwin Sapa discussed drug abuse and cyber pornography. His discussion focused mainly on the cause and effects of drug abuse and presented fresh-facts in the discussion. Sapa also underscored the issue of child sexual abuse in relation to cyber pornography.

Other highlights of the activity were the launching of the commitment tree, poster making contest, and the Kaya ko ang Pagbabago song and dance contest.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is a conditional cash transfer program of the Philippine government under the Department of Social Welfare and Development. It aims to eradicate extreme poverty in the Philippines by investing in health and education particularly in ages 0–18 (###DSWDFieldOfficeCaragaSocialMarketingUnit###)