Nitong Nobyembre, naganap sa Geneva, Switzerland ang 4th cycle ng Universal Periodic Review (UPR), isang mekanismo ng United Nations upang makita ang rekord sa pagtalima sa karapatang pantao ng mga kasaping estado sa ilalim nito. Isa ang gobyerno ng Pilipinas na nagbahagi ng ulat nito tungkol sa pag-iral ng karapatang pantao sa bansa. Ang UPR ng Pilipinas ay batay sa mga ipinasang report ng gobyerno, ng mga UN human rights experts, treaty bodies at iba pang entidad, mga stakeholder kabilang ang Commission on Human Rights at mga NGOs.
Ayon sa ulat ng Gobyerno ng Pilipinas sa UN Council, ang bansa ay mayroong “isang maunlad, masigla at participative na demokratikong espasyo.” Ngunit sa datos na inilabas ng Philippine UPR Watch, nakapagtala ng mga paglabag sa karapatang pantao sa ilalim ng administrasyon ng Dating Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte, mula Hulyo 2016 hanggang Hunyo 2022 ng 481,918 forced evacuations, 442 extrajudicial killings (hindi pa kasama sa bilang ang drug-related EJKs), 1.341 illegal arrest and detention, 20,348 indiscriminate firings, 47,587 use of schools, medical, religious, and other public places for military purpose 574 frustrated extrajudicial killings, 20 enforced disappearances, 2,957 illegal arrest without detention, 233 victims of torture. Nakapagtala naman ang KARAPATAN, sa unang 100-araw ng administrasyon ni Pangulong Bongbong Marcos Jr., ng 12 extrajudicial killings, 91 drug-war related killings, 4 victims of enforced disappearances, at 39 victims of illegal arrest. Ito ay sinuportahan ng United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sa paghikayat sa administrasyong Marcos Jr. na harapin ang mga paglabag sa karapatang pantao lalo na sa ilalim ng pamumuno ng Dating Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte.
Sa paggunita sa ika-75 na Pandaigdigang Araw ng Karapatang Pantao sa ika-10 ng Disyembre 2022, ang Research and Extension for Development Office (REDO) ng Kolehiyo ng Gawaing Panlipunan at Pagpapaunlad ng Pamayanan (CSWCD) ay maglulunsad ng isang pampublikong Forum “Katungod (Human Rights): Analysis and CSO Report Back on the Universal Periodic Review on Human Rights”, sa ika-6 ng Disyembre 2022, 1:00 to 5:00pm sa Bulwagang Tandang Sora. Layunin ng forum na ito na talakayin ang kasalukuyang sitwasyon ng karapatang pantao sa Pilipinas, mula sa punto de bista ng mga Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) at human rights defenders.
Inaanyayahan ang lahat na dumalo.
Graduates from UP CSWCD took the oath as newly-registered social workers during the oathtaking ceremony held on November 14, 2022 at the Fiesta Pavillion, Manila Hotel. Ms. Lorna C. Gabad, Chairperson of the Philippine Regulatory Board for Social Workers, administered the oathtaking.
Ms. Luna Cajilig Salanio, BS Social Work graduate from UP CSWCD, topped the Social Worker Licensure Examination given on September 2022. Four other graduates from the college joined Ms. Salanio in the top ten namely: Sydney Claudelle Miña Aguba, Jeravem Gamao Ortiyas, Gia Santos Evangelista, and Hermie Dawn Ilasin Salmon. A total of 2,955 out 4,723 passed the said examination.
UP President Danilo L. Concepcion received the award recognizing the university as one of the top performing schools with 100% passing rate. UP has consistently maintained its perfect passing rate in the licensure examination for many years now. UP graduates have topped the last three has topped the last three examinations given by the Professional Regulation Commission.
In her message, Ms. Salanio, highlighted the need to amplify the voice of the poor and marginalized, “trabaho natin bilang mga manggagawang panlipunan na pakinggan at unawain nang lubos ang mga boses at tinig na ito, gaano pa man sila kahina at kagaralgal”. She ended her message with words of encouragement to her fellow social workers, “uli’t muli at lagi’t lagi, bumalik tayo at matuto kasama ang mga pamayanan at paglingkuran ang sambayanan!”
Faculty members from UP CSWCD’s Department of Social Work presented the initial results of the study, “Stories from the Field: Social Work at the Time of the Pandemic”, at the Joint Conference on Social Work Education and Social Development (SWESD) held on October 26 to 28, 2022, in Seoul, South Korea. The theme of SWESD 2022 is “Redefining Social Policy and social work Practice in a Post-Pandemic Society: Social Welfare Programs and social work Education at a Crossroads”, hosted by the International Council on Social Welfare and International Association of Schools of Social Work.
Assistant Professors Hazel Cometa-Lamberte, Suzanne Nazal, Florence Pasos, and Glennie Marie Sina-on discussed the challenges and lessons faced by social workers during the onsite symposium. The findings were based on 16 stories contributed by social work practitioners from various setting all over the country.
In particular, the study revealed the true cost of inequality in which poor communities which lack health and social services, are those which experienced the worse impact of COVID-19. The presentation also undescored the importance of ICT in case management and engaging with clients and communities, as well as the need for the profession to optimize the use of ICT in innovative and creative practice. It also emphasized the social workers’ important role as frontliners in COVID-19 response, together with other helping professionals. Caring for social workers’ physical and emotional well-being is essential for the growth of the profession. The presenters posed a challenge on the preparedness of the Social Work Profession to develop the necessary tools, practice models, and policy changes moving into a postcovid-19 world.
Associate Professor Justin Francis Leon V. Nicolas, PhD, made an online presentation on “Remote Community Organizing Strategies during the Pandemic: Introducing Change through Model-Building”. He highlighted how the pandemic has opened opportunities for social workers to explore innovative strategies in working with communities. The book, “Remaking Social Work for the New Global Era”, was also launched during the conference. Dr. Nicolas contributed a chapter, titled, “Knowledge Creation in Social Work During the Time of COVID-19”. Edited by Ngoh Tiong Tan, P.K. Shajahan, the book features global perspectives on the future of Social Work.
Asst. Professors Hazel Cometa-Lamberte, Glennie Marie Sina-on, and Diadem Rose Camba-Jontarciego of Iloilo Doctors College, presented their paper in the oral presentation category entitled “An Exploratory Study on the Challenges Encountered and Strategies Employed by the Philippine Child Caring Agencies Amidst COVID-19: Social Work Administration in the New Normal”. The team presented the challenges encountered and strategies employed in managing and operating the residential care facilities for children in the Philippines during the height of COVID-19 pandemic. The results showed implications for the conduct of social work administration and the delivery of social welfare and services in residential settings.