Archive | March, 2016

Choosing happiness, chasing dreams

San Isidro, Davao Del Norte -In my 26 years of existence, I have had enough adventures and misadventures to last me a lifetime. My name is Christy Marie Edaño. I am what others may deem as different – a non-conformist. They say that a person’s choices in life define one’s own character. I say, that this choice, however, is the deciding point that can either make or break you.

Living in the remote barangay of Kipalili, San isidro, Davao del Norte with my parents Saranie, 47; and Julito, 49; I thought that life would be plain and simple. I was mistaken.

Being the next to the eldest and one of the most responsible siblings, I had to work in a farm to help sustain the needs of my family and for me to afford going to high school. My parents were not able to finish elementary, thus, it does not matter to them if we finish or not.

After finishing high school, I had to stop schooling for three years so that my younger siblings can go to school. I took care of my other younger siblings. My mother had to take laundry services in our neighborhood and my father tended the farm so that we can put food on our table.

In 2010, I took up a two-year Computer Programming course at St. John Learning Center in Tagum City. To support my studies, I worked as a house help. I do other people’s laundry, I babysit and accepted tutorial services. I allotted my P 1,800 monthly salary for my school and family’s needs.

It was in November of 2012 when I got accepted as a Students’ Grant-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (SGP-PA) student grantee at Davao del Norte State College in Panabo City. I enrolled in Bachelor of Science in Fisheries majoring in Aquaculture.

I thought that being in college would change how other people view me. I was wrong. I struggled hard for acceptance and respect. I am scared being with people for fear of being judged.

I have always been different from as far as I can remember. I am a lesbian. I was used to being judged, discriminated and bullied. Even my own father once cannot accept the choice I have made. But it did not dampen my spirits. I worked hard. I want to prove them wrong. I want to show them that one’s personal choices can be his or her motivation to excel in life.

My hard work paid off when I was identified by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) as one of the top five SGP-PA National Academic Awardees with the Highest General Point Average in 2014.

It is amazing how people’s opinion of you changes when you have achieved something commendable. It amazes me and saddens me all at the same time. I hope people would just respect each other regardless of their decisions in life.

I am now a graduating student. I am one of the 526 SGP-PA grantees in Region XI who will graduate this April. I am forever grateful to Pantawid Pamilya and to SGP-PA for these programs paved the way for me to gradually achieve my dreams for my family. Others may have judged me but these programs served as my strength to pursue and push through.

Few years from now I will be looking back to all the adventures and misadventures and I will have a warm smile in my heart for I know I made the right choice. (DSWD)


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Cash For Work in Ilang

CASH FOR WORK. Gaudiosa Mahasol signs for her pay cheque during the payout Tuesday at DSWD Regional Office. Mahasol is one of the 129 participants of Cash For Work under the Modified Shelter Assistance Program (MSAP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Each beneficiary received P2, 260.00 for a10 day-work of land preparation and construction of houses in Barangay Ilang, Davao City. These 129 families are informal settlers living along river banks but will soon enjoy living in brand new homes.

This initiative is a joint project of the City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO), Barangay Ilang Local Government Unit (BLGU), DSWD, and Holcim Philippines which donated three hectares of land worth P54 million. MSAP is worth P 9,030,000.00 for 129 houses while Cash For Work budget is P 2,915,400.00. (DSWD)

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Physically challenged Pantawid mother takes the lead

Davao City -All she dreamed of is to have a happy family and a husband who will protect her despite her infirmity.

She is Nimfa V. Gepte, 46, a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary and parent leader who suffers from poliomyelitis (polio).

Her six children and supportive husband Marcial are the reasons for her smile and strength to live selflessly.

Pasalamat ko sa Ginoo nga nakabana ko og buotan ug supportive ug mga anak nga taas og pangandoy sa kinabuhi (I thanked God for my kind and supportive husband and for my children who dream big),” Nimfa said.

Sa wala pa ko na-benepisyaryo sa programang  Pantawid, ang akoang kalibutan nagtuyok lang sa pag-atiman sa akoang pamilya. Usa ko ka malipayon nga asawa ug inahan sa amoang panimalay bisag maglisod ko og lihok (Before my Pantawid engagement, my life merely revolved in taking care of my family. I am a happy wife and mother despite my difficulty in moving around).”


To help out, Nimfa sold goodies outside the school of her children. In the afternoon, she would prepare banana ‘turon’ and her husband Marcial sells it in the neighborhood in Tugbok.

Tungod sa kalisod halos dili nako mapa-eskwela akoang unom ka anak. Usahay gani manlakaw sila sa balay nga walay baon unya kape lang ang sulod sa ilang tiyan kay amoang kita tama ra gyod sa pangkaon usahay kulang pa (Our hardship almost stopped us from sending our six children to school. There were times they leave for school without ‘baon’ and taking only coffee for breakfast since our income was just enough for the food on the table),” Nimfa recounted.

Better days

When Pantawid Pamilya came, everything changed. Her children are all in school now.

Jefferson, 19, is scholar in Computer Hardware Servicing (NC2) and Ken, 21, into Commercial Cooking (NC2) under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) funded by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

Dwight, 20, is a scholar under the Pantawid Pamilya Expanded Students Grant-in-aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) at University of South Eastern Philippines in Mintal Campus.

Nimfa also trained on Basic Carpentry through SLP and Pastry Making sponsored by their barangay. Now, aside from being a homemaker, she bakes pastries like cinnamon roll and Spanish bread for extra income.

“Wala gyud ko nagmahay nga na parent leader ko. Mas nidako akoang kahibalo, mas lipay ko sa akoang kinabuhi tungod sa mga seminars nga akoang  naapilan. Gina-share pud nako sa akoang mga  miyembro akoang kaalam. Karon daghan nako kaila ug amigo. Ilado nako sa amoang kumunidad (I never regretted to becoming a parent leader. I have enhanced my knowledge. I am happier because of the seminars I have attended. I also share with my members the things I learned. I now know a number of people and I have lots of friends. I am popular now in my community).”

Nimfa and her family are among those poor beneficiaries now empowered because of the programs accessed from the DSWD.

Nimfa challenges women-beneficiaries to stand on their own feet. “We should help our husband in working for our children. We should not see our weakness as a hindrance but let us move forward to give our family a better future.”

Pantawid Pamilya is a human development program that invests in the health and education of poor families, primarily those with children aged 0-18. It provides monthly cash grants to beneficiaries who comply with the conditions of sending their children to school, bringing them to health centers, and attending the Family Development Sessions (FDS).

Nimfa’s family is among the 233,985 active partner-beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program in Davao Region. (DSWD)


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Pantawid parent leader turned DSWD employee

Davao City -They say great things happen when you least expect them. Mary Jane Ordaneza, 38, agrees with this.

For five years of being a Pantawid Pamilya parent leader, she didn’t expect to end up as a worker of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Having completed her second year in Commerce, Mary Jane was hired just this month as Social Welfare Assistant Aide (SWAA) to be assigned in Manay, Davao Oriental.

She has four children and lives in Maa Riverside.

“My life as Pantawid recipient and parent leader at that, really changed us. Aside from the augmentation we get in providing the needs of my children and being able to bond with them after every payout, equally important still is to be able to help my co-beneficiaries be empowered,” Mary Jane shared.

Mary Jane and her husband Romeo were financed by her brother to run a small business in Agdao, but due to the meager returns they decided to close shop. Now they invest in ‘kalan’ making.

“Because of the Pantawid program my perspective in the government really changed. I realized that government like DSWD has a heart for the poor and vulnerable, and because of Pantawid conditionalities most of us gave importance on health and education,” she emphasized.

“Through the different seminars and involvement in the community, I was able to influence my members to be more responsible parents and really apply what the Family Development Session teaches us.”

Mary Jane and her co-beneficiaries will also benefit from Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) this quarter. They will put up a rice store and eventually, a grocery store so that more members will earn.

“DSWD molded me to be a better person. Because of the skills and life lessons imparted to me by DSWD, I believe I am now equipped and ready to take on my next journey,” she said.

Her perseverance made her what she is now. In the recent celebration of Women’s Month, Mary Jane confidently served as resource person, being one of women-leader beneficiaries of DSWD.

She plans to renovate her house and enroll her children in a better school this year.

“This achievement would not have been attained without Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. I owe this to DSWD,” the new DSWD worker beamed.

Pantawid Pamilya is a human development program of the national government that invests in the health and education of poor households primarily of children aged 0-18.The program seeks to break the vicious cycle of poverty. (DSWD)

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Family support inspires CICL to excel

Graduates and completers of DSWD-EMAR Human and Environmental College, Inc. education program during the recognition ceremony on Monday.

Davao City –A family will always play a crucial role in anyone’s life. Friends and acquaintances may appear at some point in your life but at the end of the day, it will always be your family that will see you through and help you pull through.  Most often, your family is your ‘forever’ especially if you are a resident of a rehabilitation center.

For John Pip A. Languban, 18, a ward of the DSWD Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY), his family is his inspiration in all his accomplishments.  Languban completed Grade 9 as First Honor under the Reach-Out Program of EMAR Human and Environmental College, Inc. which started in 2015.

Languban was also named Best in English, Science, Mathematics and Araling Panlipunan during the first recognition day held on Monday at RRCY covered court with 57 graduates under three categories –A (Kindergarten to Grade 3), B (Grades 4 to 6) and C (Grades 7 to 10).

Another resident, Geovanne O. Engaud, 18, who finished Grade 9 as 2nd Honor replied when asked what made him succeed, “Na-inspire ko sa akong pamilya. Silbi balos nako ni sa akoang pamilya sa ilang kaayo sa akoa (I was inspired by my family. This is my way of expressing my gratefulness [to my family] for the kindness shown to me).”

Engaud’s father Juanito said he and his wife see to it that they visit their son every weekend. “We come here to bond with him and advise him. Also, my son stays with us for four days during Christmastime.” Engaud was also cited as Best in Filipino, MAPEH and in Values. All members of his family came to celebrate his graduation.

Nineteen year-old Liwi Lee E. Dela Cruz who completed Grade 6 on top of his class shared that his love for his family pushed him to study hard and really listen to lectures. Dela Cruz also received medals as Best in Filipino, Mathematics, English and Values.

Life lessons

Languban said he learned how to lead a good life at the center and how to show respect. “I am grateful to the staffs for helping me become a better person. We should strive to acquire education to be able to help others.”

Meanwhile, Engaud admitted he acquired a deeper understanding of God with his more than two-year stay at RRCY. “I have learned a lot here like respecting, understanding and appreciating others. I want to finish school and take on a job. We should not waste the opportunity while we are young because we are the hope of our nation.”

For Dela Cruz, he learned respect for elders and obedience to rules. “Nakakat-on usab ko pag-ampo, pagpaubos, pagsabot ug pagpasaylo (I have also come to value prayer, humility, empathy, and forgiveness).”

In her message, EMAR President and Chief Executive Officer Ma. Lita A. Montalban stressed that education should be made available to all even for those in rehabilitation centers. “What is most important is for every one of you to have access to education and to finish your schooling. Let us live up to our deportment awards and merits that we earned this morning and avoid committing mistakes again. Let us dream to be professionals someday and prove our capability. Let us dream, change for the better and finish school.”

Montalban is also president of Private Schools Athletic Association and Sunday High School Administrators’ Association and serves as governor for Soroptimist International-Mindanao.

DSWD chief of Protective Services Raquel E. Nuňez challenged the completers, “Our dreams will come true if we work for them. This is only one part of our accomplishment to becoming useful citizens of our country. What you must possess foremost is a good character and then education, these two would definitely last a lifetime.”

Partners in education

The DSWD-RRCY is a rehabilitation facility of the government that provides treatment and interventions to children in conflict with the law (CICL) to enable them improve their social functioning and facilitate their reintegration to their family and community.

On the other hand, EMAR is a private educational institution here offering grade school, high school, technical-vocational, college and Sunday school curricula.

EMAR implements the same education reach-out program in Davao City’s Bahay Pagasa, Balay Dangupan, and Paginhawaan Center.

In June, EMAR is set to open this joint program at the DSWD Home for Girls and Women wherein regular Kto12 school curriculum is brought and taught at the center.

Moreover, EMAR has heartily opened its doors to 18 high school graduates of RRCY who will pursue Technical-Vocational education or a four-year course. (DSWD)

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DSWD convenes LGU info officers for Partners’ Forum

Davao City – The Department of Social Welfare and Development will convene 53 Local information Officers from all over Region XI for a Partners’ Forum at Grand Men Seng Hotel on March 31 – April 1, 2016 to provide updates and highlights on the implementation of its programs and services.

This Partners’ Forum aims to discuss and respond to concerns on the Core Programs of the Department – the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Sustainable Livelihood Program and KALAHI-NCDDP, as well as, the Listahanan (formerly known as the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction) and the Convergence Strategy.

Further, DSWD technical persons will also provide updates on other equally significant social protection programs and services of the department – the Rehabilitation Centers and Institutions, Legal Adoption Program, Recovery and Reintegration Program for Trafficked Persons, Programs for Victims of Violence Against Women and their Children (VAWC) and Persons with Disability, Social Pension, Supplementary Feeding, and Disaster Response.

“We will respond to concerns regarding these programs and services and try to find ways on how we can harmonize and work hand-in-hand to maximize our efforts in uplifting the lives of the people we serve through a unified advocacy undertaking,” said DSWD Regional Director Mercedita P. Jabagat.

“In coordination with Philippine Information Agency, this is the fourth year that we are conducting the Partners’ Forum for all our information officers based in the city, province and municipality throughout the region. The information officers are our local counterpart in disseminating information to the publics that their government works for the people,” Director Jabagat added. (DSWD)


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MOA signed for livestock production in DavNor village

[L-R] Kapalong Mayor Edgardo L. Timbol, DSWD Assistant Regional Director for Operations Rebecca A. Santamaria and NCIP Representative Priscilla Ang sign on Thursday the Kasabutan during the turnover of Cow- and Carabao-Raising Starter Kits to some 80 Ata-Manobo beneficiaries of Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT-IP) in Brgy. Sua-on, Kapalong, Davao del Norte. Also in photo are [L-R] Tribal Chieftain Datu Benito Mantayona, IP Mandatory Representative Datu Arturo Davao, and Philippine Army Bravo Company Commanding Officer 1Lt. Renan Cyngin Roldan. Complementing Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, MCCT-IP targets families belonging to the Indigenous Peoples living in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA) all over the country. (DSWD)



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Cow- and carabao-raising project turnover set

[L-R] NCIP Representative Priscilla Ang, Tribal Chieftain Datu Benito Mantayona, DSWD Community Facilitator Ruby Alfante, DSWD Asst. Regional Director for Operations Rebecca A. Santamaria, Kapalong Mayor Edgardo L. Timbol, DSWD Community Facilitator Louie Lito Birang, and IP Mandatory Representative Datu Arturo Davao [rightmost] lead on Thursday the ceremonial turnover of Carabao-Raising Starter Kit to an Ata-Manobo beneficiary [2nd from right] of Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT-IP) in Brgy. Sua-on, Kapalong, Davao del Norte. Complementing Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, MCCT-IP caters to families belonging to the Indigenous Peoples living in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA). (DSWD)

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March 2016

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