The Orientation cum Ceremonial Signing of Memorandum of Understanding for partner residential care facilities (RCF) in the National Capital Region (NCR) was held last May 5, 2017 (for NCR North-East-West Cluster and new partners from Region III) and May 8, 2017 (for NCR South Cluster). The activities took place at Katapatan Board Room, DSWD Central Office, Quezon City and SOS Childen’s Village, Muntinlupa City, respectively. Both events were attended by Center Heads, Executive Directors and social workers from partner RCF of this project.
Among the guests who were present during the May 5 Orientation were Ms. Ma. Alicia S. Bonoan, the Director and Officer-In-Charge (OIC) of Protective Services Bureau of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Central Office, Ms. Jacel J. Paguio, the Assistant Regional Director of DSWD Field Office NCR and the Center Heads and Executive Directors of partner RCF from North-East-West (NEW) Cluster and Region III. The Senior Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Philippines, Ms. Aya Kano, together with Ms. Lara Javier also attended the event.
Director Bonoan graced the May 5 orientation with her opening remark about how grateful the DSWD was for non-government organizations (NGOs) like ACTION who continuously provides different services for the benefit of the children and their personnel.
Subsequently, Mr. Yokota and Ms. Aya Kano gave inspiring messages to the stakeholders present in the May 5 Orientation. They acknowledged the importance and efforts of the house parents and social workers who are all working together towards the improvement of the children in the centers.
The event on May 5 culminated with the most awaited signing of MOU where Mr. Hajime Yokota, the Founder and Executive Director of ACTION, Inc. was called together with the representative from the local government units (LGUs) and NGO RCFs of NEW Cluster, Mr. Rodrigo Ramos, OIC of Manila Boys Town Complex and Ms. Renilyne Soberano, the Social Services Coordinator of Tulay ng Kabataan to formally establish the partnership between ACTION and their respective centers.
Assistant Director Jacel J. Paguio formally closed the May 5 orientation with her message recognizing the importance of providing proper care to the children in the RCFs. According to her, one way to achieve full development of children is through the Training on House Parenting Standards and through the participation of all the agencies and organizations involved.
For the orientation conducted on May 8, 2017, the guests included Ms. Myrna Comota, the OIC for Regional Centers Coordination, Ms. April Alianza and Ms. Shiela Basio from DSWD Field Office NCR and the Center Heads and Executive Directors of partner RCF from South Cluster. Ms. Rieko Hara, from JICA Philippines’ NGO Desk was also present to witness the event.
Mr. Edelberto Rolle, the Pedagogical Head of SOS Children’s Village warmly welcomed the guests from South Cluster for the May 8 Orientation. He said that he is hoping that through the activity, the key persons from different centers will fully understand the importance and relevance of the project to the children they are handling.
Likewise, representatives from South Cluster RCFs were also invited to take part in the Ceremonial Signing of MOU. The representatives were the following: Ms. July Ann Carbaja, Center Head of SAGIP; Mr. Joel Basiwa, Executive Director of Extreme Response – Manila Children’s Home; Ms. Juanita Cellan, Social Worker of Casa Miani; Mr. Edelberto Rolle of SOS Children’s Village and Mr. Emmanuel Drewery on behalf of Mr. Yokota.
Ms. Maria Clara de Guzman, Center Head of Marillac Hills, also gave her message where she emphasized that the project of ACTION will be very helpful to the improvement of service delivery of both government and non-government residential care facilities. Ms. Rieko Hara of JICA Philippines concluded the event saying that JICA is excited to work with the organizations which would ensure the development of children’s potential.
Both activities focused on orienting the partners about the project as well as the Training Program and Modules for Social Workers and House Parents. Guests from Region III and NCR were also encouraged to ask questions through the Open Forum which ensued after the orientation.
Indeed, it is important to provide opportunities for development and implement activities for the enhancement of knowledge and skills of the house parents and social workers of child-caring facilities. It is equally important for the partners to understand the relevance, the purpose and goal of the project and for all stakeholders to be involved actively in every step of the way, as this is necessary for the success of this capacity building project. As Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
Evangeline Grace Balais