City of Koronadal, South Cotabato – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) XII held a culmination program for the 25th Family Day Celebration on September 26, 2017 at DSWD Covered Court, Koronadal City.

The celebration was in coordination with the Regional Inter-Agency Committee on Filipino Family (RIAC-FF).  The theme for this year’s celebration is “Ika-25th Tungo sa Maginhawa, Matatag, at Panatag na Pamilyang Pilipino.”

The Church of Christ of the Latter-Day Saints and the members of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino in SOCCSKSARGEN joined the motorcade from Alunan Avenue to DSWD XII office in Koronadal City for the culmination program.

The activities for the culmination include: the awarding of the Bayani Ka! and the Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV) winners – Mr. Bautista Agbay of Maitum, Sarangani and Mr. Marcelo Gusanan of Columbio, Sultan Kudarat.   This is in recognition of their exemplary contributions to the promotion of family through the implementation of DSWD’s Kapitbisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI CIDSS) project and in helping the government in development and nation-building.  DSWD XII ARD for Administration Emerita Q. Dizon led the awarding of plaque of recognition and assisted by NEDA XII representatives, Ms. Lalaine M. Sajelan and Ms. Evie A. Cabulanan.

To encourage strong family relationship, DSWD XII also conducted the search for Talentadong Pamilya.  Five (5) Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino beneficiaries from Isulan, Sultan Kudarat; Banga, South Cotabato; Pikit, Cotabato; Cotabato City; and, General Santos City participated in the search.   The family from General Santos City was proclaimed as the SOCCSKSARGEN Talentadong Pamilya 2017.

In addition, a family forum was conducted to generate greater public awareness on the issues affecting the families in the region.

Ms. Mary Agnes P. Panton of the Department of Health (DOH) XII presented the 2013 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (YAFS4).  She said that among the risky behaviors of young people, aged 10 to 24 years old, include drinking of alcoholic beverages, smoking, and drug abuse.  Such behaviors contribute to the steady increase in the prevalence of premarital sex with low rate of protection against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).   She encouraged the parents to know the activities of their children to help them address the issue.

Mr. John Carlo M. Codilla of South Cotabato DOH-IPHO talked on human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome or HIV/AIDS.    He shared that as of June 2017, the region has a total of 940 HIV/AIDS cases of which man-to-man sexual relations topped the number of cases.   In order to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, the DOH advocated to follow the ABCDE ways of preventing HIV/AIDS which stand for: A-abstinence, B-be mutually faithful to your partner, C-correct and consistent condom use, D-do not do drugs and share needles, and E-education and early diagnosis.  Mr. Codilla ended his presentation by saying “GET YOUR SELF TESTED to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.”

The celebration is in accordance with Presidential Proclamation No. 60, series of 1992 signed by former President Fidel V. Ramos declaring the last week of September of every year as family week and consistent to Section 12, Article II of the Philippine Constitution which states that “The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution.” (Evie Arabis Cabulanan, NEDA XII-DRD)