The knowledge I gained from QUT led me to initiate the integration of sensitivity in the development of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Disaster Response Plan. As a result, the plan now pays more attention to the needs of young children, women, older persons and PWDs. When I transferred to the Local Government Unit of Butuan City in 2018, I facilitated the functionality of the Persons with Disability Affairs Office and lobbied for the improvement of the existing building. I ensured that all communities have an organized Disabled Persons Organization (DPO). To date, out of 86 Barangays, our city has organized 52 DPOs.
I also strengthened the operation of the Day Care Center catering to children with special needs. Despite COVID, our Day Care is serving them through modules. When COVID struck our city, as the Vice-Chair on Response Cluster, I led the development and implementation of an inclusive operational and procedural plan that aims to provide response and ensure that the needs of PWDs, Pregnant Women and Sickly Senior Citizens will be given priority in the provision of relief goods and assistance and rescue operations. This plan was cascaded down to community-level.
I also lobbied support for solo parents and PWDs through financial assistance. As a result, 500 solo parents and 953 PWDs were given financial grant by the DSWD and Congressional Funds. My learning experience with QUT allowed me to shift my previously rigid perspective about introducing and facilitating change. That change was not possible without understanding the context and situations of people, and events. That sustainable change meant breaking down the silos that bar meaningful conversations and engagements especially with families and communities.