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PIA Press Release

"Katas ng VAT" takes off in R-XI

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (11 November) -- Programs for "Katas ng VAT" have taken off in the Davao Region with the "Tulong para kay Lolo at Lola" that initially allocated P500 each to senior citizens in 10 barangays in Davao City.

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-XI) regional director Ester Acebedo-Versoza in an interview during the launching program at SM City Event Center said this is part of the PGMA program giving one-shot deal assistance to Lolos and Lolas.

She said they gave out P280,000 to some 1,000 recipients during the launch even as she said that some P30 million is earmarked for 60,000 older persons for the whole of Davao Region.

But Estrella D. Brigole, focal person for the Older Persons of DSWD-XI said the distribution will be by cluster and as of now about P15 million was released by the national government to Southern Mindanao.

She said the distribution is in coordination with the local government unit and the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) in determining who would qualify.

Meanwhile Versoza said the other programs under the surplus from the oil revenues are the Pantawid Koryente and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Under the Pantawid Koryente, poor families are given P500 subsidy for their power consumption.

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program on the other hand Versoza said is being piloted in two municipalities in Caraga and Manay, Davao Oriental.

This is a five-year program and deserving families of these two municipalities are given subsidy but the figure varies depending on their condition and assessment based on certain guidelines.

She said recipients must comply certain conditions like if the mother is pregnant she must submit for a regular check-up at the health center and delivery must be handled by a trained-midwife. Children must be immunized and the family to undergo family effectiveness session to be attended by the parents.

She said the government already released P8 million for the two municipalities disbursed for the months from August to September, 2008 for 5,800 recipients.

The disbursement she said will be done by two months and about P18 million will be disbursed towards end of December 2008.

"There is a possibility that the program will be expanded but for now they focus on the two towns," she said.

She said the selection of poor municipalities was based on the result of the latest survey conducted by the National Statistics Office that indicated that Davao Oriental has the poorest municipalities in the Davao Region. (PIA) [top]

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