CROSSING THE RIVER. Bamboo shaft is being prepared to be used by the validators of San Luis.

AGUSAN DEL SUR- Having Patas na Pagtrato sa Komunidad as one of its core values, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Caraga through the National Household Targeting Section (NHTS) ensured the inclusion of an IP community in Barangay Binicalan in the municipality of San Luis for the validation of the possible Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) beneficiaries.

A home for Banwaon and Talaandig Tribe, the said barangay is among the Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs) in Caraga Region with marginalized population. They are isolated due to distance, weather conditions, transportation, and most presence of vulnerable sectors.

From April 16-19, 2018, eight validators and one Administrative Aide are in full blast in validating potential beneficiaries.

But before reaching the destination, the team experienced and overcame numerous hurdles. One of which is the very rocky and muddy pathway. The validators needed to ride on a bamboo shaft together with the hired motorcycle in order to cross the river called Adgawan.

TRAVERSING A DIFFICULT ROAD. The validator crosses the river-like road in Sitio Tagpangi after the heavy rain.

They also wore boots and raincoat for them to be able to cross down and uphill in a rainy weather.

“Daw susamang usa ka adventure ang pag-adto namu sa Brgy. Binicalan.  Magtunob sa lapok nga yuta, magbaktas ug saka’g bukid, mag-agi sa batohon nga dalan, magtabok ug sapa (Going to Brgy. Binicalan is like an adventure to us. We need to step on a muddy and rocky road, hike on a mountainous-like street, and cross the river)’’ said the team.

Human sa 3 ka adlaw nga pag-validate, namaol ang among mga kalawasan, apan wala namu na bali-baliha tungod kay ang among tinguha nga makatabang usab kami sa atong kaigsuonang lumad pinaagi sa UCT validation (After 3 days of validation, we got muscles cramps. But we don’t mind since our earnest desire is to help our brethren through the UCT validation).” they added.

With the collaborative efforts of San Luis Team, the validators were able to validate and update the information and socio-economic status of 120 poor households in 17 sitios on the said barangay.

For Agusan del Sur, a total of 27,953 households were validated out of 34,155 target households for UCT.

VALIDATING AND MEETING NEW PEOPLE. UCT-Listahanan validator fills out the Household Validation Form through one-on-one interview with the family member.

The UCT is a social mitigating measure to protect the disadvantaged, poor, and vulnerable sectors 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 nationwide.  ###(ABEGAIL R. ALVAREZ/Social Marketing Unit/DSWD Field Office Caraga

(Photo credits to Teresa Macuno, Administrative Aide assigned in San Luis)

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