2011 Outstanding Micro-entrepreneur of Naga City

May 28, 2012

Photo of Ms. Fe Carranza
Photo of Ms. Fe Carranza
In one of the training on results-based management, monitoring and evaluation I conducted for the GREAT Women Project of the Philippine Commission on Women, I met one extraordinary woman entrepreneur by the name of Fe Buangin Carranza, 50, a polio victim since the age of 3, who has been awarded 2011 Outstanding Micro-entrepreneur of Naga City.  I conducted the training on monitoring and evaluation for the Metro Naga Development Council on March 28-30, 2012 at the Avenue Square Hotel in Naga City.  On the weekend after the training I decided to visit this outstanding lady entrepreneur of Naga City.

FABCARR Food Products, Panicuason, Naga City

Fe Carranza at one time was president of the persons with disabilities in Panicuason, Naga City.  One time when she was bringing some goods to employees of the city hall of Naga, Atty. Leni Robredo,  wife of former Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo, who was then the president of the Naga City Council of Women (NCCW), took notice of how Fe started the engine of her motor tricycle, that is, by kicking the starter with her left foot so that she is facing the back of the motorcycle.  This is because her right foot was the one stricken with polio.  That was the story of NCCW’s facilitating support from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to provide her with technical assistance for her soya production.

Fe’s soya production started simply in 2004 when some college students from Infanta, Quezon did some study visit in Panicuason but got stranded by a typhoon. The students came to her house and asked to stay for a while until the typhoon had passed.  In gratitude one of those students who knew how to make tofu or “tokwa”, taught her how to prepare soya beans in making tofu.  With the new skill that she has learned from those students she began a tofu business.

The Grow Negosyo program of the Naga City local government was also instrumental for the success of Fe’s food business by facilitating technical skills and linking her to potential clients. Today she is now supplying soya bread and chilled “taho” to some 29 schools in Naga City under a contract with the Naga City Local School Board, and in 27 Barangay Day Care through a contract with the City Nutrition Council.  She has generated jobs for more than ten workers by her micro-enterprise which she named FABCARR Food products – the acronym for her name.  Aside from nutritious soya bread and chilled taho, FABCARR also produces soya milk, soya choco, soya coffee, tofu, and a soya beans-based vegetable meat called soya ham.

Prior to her Soya food production business, Mrs. Fe Carranza, who finished only high school, engaged in a buy-and-sell business in Navotas, Metro Manila, as a wholesaler of vegetables and maintaining a small stall in a private market.  Unfortunately with her absence at home her husband, who was a driver for a Filipino-Chinese businessman, had strayed for a while, and so she decided to go back to Panicuason to take care of her four children and to rebuild her family from the setback caused by her estranged relationship with her husband.    That was how she got involved with the PWD of Panicuason and then the tofu making prior to the DOST.

The DOST assisted Fe to put up the FABCARR Food Products in 2011.  Then the NCCW linked her up with the local school board, as well as with the nutrition council of Naga City.  When her soya production picked up she asked her estranged husband to get back home to lend a hand.  Her husband’s employer would not let go of him though and even increased his salary, but in the end he was able to negotiate with his employer for an on-call basis arrangement.  Now Fe’s husband is happily assisting her in the business.

In 2010 Fe was awarded as the happiest Nagaeña or resident of Naga City by the NCCW.  Today she is being nominated as the happiest Filipino by the Metro Naga Development Council.

What is her secret?  Perseverance and hardwork, she says, and faith in God.  Of course she is happy with the assistance from the local government of Naga City through the Naga City Council on Women and the LGU’s Grow Negosyo program, the Metro Naga Development Council, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Department of Trade and Industry, the GREAT Women Project of the Philippine Commission on Women, and the local Adventist Church where she is a member and whose encouragement inspired her to continue to build her dream for her family, and to show to the world that physical disability and personal setbacks can be overcome.  (end)

[1] Adapted from “A Tale of Two Women: Stories from the GREAT Women Project” (GREAT means “Gender-Responsive Economic Actions for the Transformation of Women”)

[2] Philip Emmanuel C. Peñaflor, is an independent monitoring and evaluation consultant, currently assisting the GREAT Women Project of the Philippine Commission on Women (philip.penaflor@gmail.com).

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34th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week Celebration

May 28, 2012

Latest Updates:

Message from DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman

P-Noy NDPR Week Message

Deped MC. 103, s. 2012

DILG-Memo_Circular NDPR

CSC Announcement 34th NDPR


In celebration of the 34th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week on July 17 – 23 this year, the National Council on Disability Affairs hereby issues this Announcement on the matter aforesaid.  It consist of the following:

Legal Basis:  Proclamation No. 361 (2000), as amended by Administrative Order No. 35 (2002).

Theme: The celebration has adopted the theme “Mainstreaming Persons with Disabilities in Economic Development.”  This was conceptualized to contribute and promote the full employment of persons with disabilities and to tackle barriers and gaps, facilitate stakeholders’ cooperation, develop innovative approaches and support human rights-based initiatives for the economic development of persons with disabilities.

Proposed Activities and Schedules:

To drumbeat the weeklong celebration, various activities will be conducted as indicated hereunder:

1. July 17, 2012

– Thanksgiving and Holy Mass                                            

– Stakeholders’ Forum

–  Ribbon Cutting of the “Likhang PWD 2012” (Exhibit of artworks and products  made by PWDs                        

2. July 18, 2012

– Paligsahan ng may “K” sa Kasaysayan at Kultura ng Pilipinas.

3. July 19, 2012

–  Mobility Clinic

–  Early Prevention of Children with Disabilities

–  1st Road Safety Seminar for Persons with Disabilities

4.  July 20, 2012

– Orientation-Forum on Accessibility Law with Sensitivity Training

– Jobs Fair

5. July 21, 2012 –Nationwide Special Registration for PWD  Voters

6. July 21, 2012 –  Tree Planting

 7. July 22, 2012 –  M.O.V.E. Manila Run

 8. July 23, 2012

– Entrepreneurship Appreciation Seminar

– Closing Ceremony

– Wreathlaying Ceremony on the Birthdate of Apolinarion Mabini

For more details on the celebration, please find attached the full Concept Paper and Calendar of Activities of the 2012 NDPR Week celebration.  The NDPR Week Secretariat could be contacted thru Telephone Numbers 951-5013 and 932-6422 local 101, or thru Mr. Rizalio R. Sanchez, Mr. Mike Limon, Ms. Cely de Leon, and Ms. Jem Aguilar at Mobile Nos. 0920-9062306, 0920-9062296, 0920-9062287, and 09994801130, respectively, or you can email us at ncda@council.gov.ph.



Undersecretary, DSWD

Officer-in-Charge/Executive Director

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DILG Secretary Robredo Keynotes the Launch of the “Fully Abled Nation

May 16, 2012

DILG Secretary Robredo keynotes the Launching of the “Fully Abled Nation” on April 18, 2012, Shangri-La Hotel, Makati City.



Launching of Fully Abled Nation

18 April 2012 2:00PM Makati Shangri-La, Ayala cor. Makati Ave., Mkt. City

DILG Secretary. Jessie Robredo
DILG Secretary. Jessie Robredo
Congratulations to the launching of Fully Abled Nation, I believe that a program seeking to increase the participation of PWDs in the coming 2013 Philippine midterm elections is truly a revolutionary one.

Most people assume that disability is only a social welfare concern. It is in fact, a human rights issue.

While we need special lanes or walkways, buildings with wider doorways, and other facilities for PWDs, there is something equally important that is often overlooked – and that is the right to vote. We know how difficult it is for persons with disability (PWDs) to exercise their right to suffrage.

According to an SWS survey of PWDs and Filipino adults, there was a drop in the participant of PWDs in elections. The number of PWDs who voted in 2007 decreased from 60% down to 54% in 2010. Those who registered but did not vote rose from 14% to 21%. On the other hand, some 22% PWDs of voting age did not even bother to register.

Among those who did not vote in the 2010 elections, 17%  were ashamed to vote because of their disability, another 17% because of mobility problems, 16% because they were either sick or bedridden, and 10% because nobody would shade or read the ballot for them.

PPCRV Chair Henrietta de Villa estimated around 9-Million Filipinos are PWDs, and some 2.6-Million to 3-Million are in fact, qualified to vote. However, COMELEC only has 742,228 registered PWDs in its records as of January 2012.

However despite their number, and the COMELEC special registration of PWDs, many PWDs still find it difficult to register and vote because of the different and difficult circumstances they face.

I agree with COMELEC Commissioner Rene Sarmiento that we need more registration sites, more accessible polling precincts, perhaps ballots printed in Braille, sign language interpreters for PWDs, among others, to be able to help PWDs exercise their right to vote.

It is true that PWDs have continuously pounded on the table for everyone to take notice. It was the community of the disabled themselves who worked tirelessly and insistently to promote their rights.

I have always rallied behind this cause because I am no stranger to PWDs. My father is blind. He had been stricken with a rare eye ailment and has been blind ever since I was four years old. Since the ailment is hereditary, three of my siblings are also blind. Visual impairment runs in the family.

That’s why when I say I know how you feel, I really mean it.

As a former mayor of Naga, we have given PWDs a voice by giving them a seat at the table. We made sure that PWDs are represented in the Naga City People’s Council so that we can listen and respond to their needs.

Before I left as mayor, we have already set up a resource center for the blind in the city, where we have books in Braille and a computer program which allows them to use the Internet.

Now as the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government, I have pursued several initiatives to promote the rights and welfare of PWDs. Local governments units (LGUs) must pay attention to the needs of PWDs.

In September 2010, I have issued a memorandum to all governors, city and municipal mayors to create PDAO of Persons with Disability Affairs Office. LGUs are mandated by the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons to organize and establish PDAO in every province, city and municipality.

Section 4 of RA 10070 provides for the allocation of LGU funds from local revenues for the implementation of PDAO activities and for the PDAO funding to be included in the LGUs Annual Plans and Budget.

In consideration of budget constraints, mayors of 4th, 5th and 6th class municipalities, in lieu of the creation of a PDAO, may designate a PWD focal person who shall perform the functions of the PDAO.

My directive requires the PDAO or the PWD Focal person to formulate and implement policies, plans and programs for promotion of welfare of PWDs. It requires them to coordinate and implement the provision of RA 10070 or the Magna Carta; Batas Pambansa344 or the Accessibility Law; and other relevant laws at the local level.

They are also tasked to: One, gather and compile statistics and relevant data on PWDs in their localities; Two, disseminate information on programs and activities for PWDS including children with disability; and Three, train and create employment opportunities, among others.

Likewise, LGUs are to create a Local Council or Committee for the Welfare of Disabled Persons.

The Department has also issued a memorandum circular as early as 2009 calling all local chief executives (LCEs) to establish health desks in their rural health units to attend to the health needs of PWDs. These desks should be manned by rural health officers (RHOs) to take care of PWDs. RHOs are to submit reports on a regular basis to the Department of Health (DOH) on the number of persons served and other relevant details.

We are one with you in your aspirations for our PWDs. We will reiterate all these directives and come up with a monitoring mechanism this year to push for full compliance across all LGUs in the country.

The DILG wants to achieve PWD-responsive LGUs. Those that put premium on the welfare and protection of the rights of the PWDs as well as mainstreaming of disability issues within their jurisdiction.

I know that this advocacy cannot move without funding. So, to achieve this goal, e have to intensify capacity building of local officials and provide funds for training programs for PWDs; mainstream disability concerns in the local planning, programming, budgeting, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and local legislation; intensify advocacy on existing laws related to PWDs rights and privilege and push for LGUs’ compliance; and allocate a percentage of LGUs budgets provided for in Sections 33 and 34 of GAA, for the implementation of plans, programs and projects for PWDs as well as promote their participation in elections and other democratic processes.

There is much work that remains to be done to produce results. While we don’t have a magic wand to make them all happen overnight, I assure you that the government and may concerned groups and individuals are working tirelessly to break the barriers for people with disabilities.

Thank you to Asia Foundation and to the Australian AID for your support. The collaboration of the Foundation with our Disabled Peoples Organizations, COMELEC, PPCRV, LGUs, NGOs and CSOs partners and other stakeholders are also key to the success of the program. Our concerted efforts should include vigorous campaign for our lawmakers to push for the rights of PWDs to vote.

All of us have the moral duty to break barriers for people with disabilities. For societies to truly function, no one should be left behind.

Thank you and congratulations.



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Calling All Video Film Making Enthusiasts!

May 14, 2012


The New Vois Association (NVA)-Health Justice (HJ) tandem invites disability advocates with or without disabilities from self-help groups and GO/NGO partners, to a half day session on Video-Film Making on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 9 A.M.

This project to be held on #1 Fuentes Drive North Susana Executive Village, Quezon City,  aims to spur public awareness on the rights of persons with disabilities, particularly the “RIGHT TO HEALTH”, supportive of the “UN-Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”.

For details, please contact/confirm with Ms. Volet Rojas at mobile no. 09228922850, since this is on a “first-come-first-served basis.

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Queensland University of Technology Coordinator Keeps Tab of Pinoy Fellows Action Plan

May 2, 2012

On the upper left corner, the  “Filipino participants to the 2011 Australian Leadership Awards Fellowship” standing from the left Ms. Lila Simon (NCDA), Mr. Romeo Mina (DepED), Ms. Susita Bulawit (DILG), Mr. Vincent Sacriz (QUT, Australia), Ms. Florita Bisco (NCDA) and Mr. Mike Limon (NCDA). Sitting from the left Ms. Josephine Despi (NCDA), Capt. Oscar Taleon (AKaPinoy), Ms. Daylinda Taleon (AKaPinoy) and Ms. Gertrude Pabelona (HOR).

            On the lower right corner, the “NCDA Officers with Vincent” standing from the left, Ms. Josephine Despi, Mr. Vincent Sacriz, Deputy Executive Director Mr. Mateo A. Lee, Jr., Ms. Nelia De Jesus, Ms. Ruth Tacujan, Ms. Marlu Evangelista, Ms. Cynthia Barriga and Ms. Leovigilda Oasin.


In town to monitor the Pinoy Fellows’ post-training accomplishments, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Mr. Vincent Sacriz, mentor and training coordinator of the 2011 Australian Leadership Awards Fellowship re-united with the 2011 Filipino Fellows on April 19, 2012 at the NCDA to monitor the group’s progress.


To sustain QUT-NCDA collaboration, Mr. Sacriz also met with NCDA Officers headed by its Deputy Executive Director for an update on the current and future Project Proposals under AusAID and invited the Council to submit relevant proposals for latter’s consideration.


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