Archive | May, 2016

Footbridge of Kapalong

CABLE FOOTBRIDGE. The recently completed 97 Linear-Meter Hanging Cable Footbridge in Barangay Mamacao, Kapalong, Davao del Norte was built by volunteers of Kalahi-CIDSS, a poverty alleviation program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Through the footbridge, children are now able to cross the river without fear especially when it rains while farmers can now easily bring their goods to the market and sell them. The bridge costs P 2,931, 948.00. (DSWD)

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Of blessings and chances


DAVAO CITY (DSWD XI) -Life is a constant struggle with life’s challenges. People fight for justice, others for their life; while the poor fight for freedom. They fight for freedom from poverty that has been entrenched upon them since birth. Some succeed, some fail to win, and there are a few who are doubly blessed.


The family of Merlinda Momfil of Barangay Sasa has long resigned to an uncertain future. “Being poor is being constantly scared to face another day. We were anxious and insecure of having none, especially food on our table. And when rain comes, we panic for we live by the river bank. Too far from comfort and safety, we survived on the edge. For the longest time, it was a cycle of hopelessness and distress for my family and the rest of the families situated in our neighbourhood.”

Merlinda and her husband Junito grew up in a crowded riverbank where they also raised their five children. “Our five angels brought light and happiness to our troubled world. I could not contain my happiness that our love for each other would bloom to be a family but the fear in my heart compounded as my children grew older. Whatever the future holds for them, I was clueless. But I promised myself that I will never allow my angels to lead a life like we had.”

Merlinda was a full time homemaker while Junito had no stable source of income. For many years, their battle against poverty almost had no chance of winning. Until one day a spark of hope surfaced.

Chance to grow

The Momfil family qualified in Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The family was entitled to a monthly conditional cash grant of P 800 – P 1,400  for as long as their children stay eligible and for as long as the family adheres to the program’s policy.

The spark of hope turned into flames when in 2015, External Relations Officer of DSWD-Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) Julius Duterte, in behalf of the poor families, initiated a partnership between DSWD and Holcim Philippines, a leading company in construction materials. When Duterte was assigned in Davao Oriental, Project Development Officer Angelo Iňigo took over the said venture which would dramatically affect the lives of the Momfils and that of their neighbors’.

“My husband participated in Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW). Holcim paid for the tuition and provided starter kits to Welding course participants. Holcim also hosted a training on Concrete Hollow Blocks Production back to back with the Welding Course. My son Orlan, 21, was lucky enough to have been identified to join. Participants of the two courses were required to build three houses as final output, Merlinda gladly recounts.

She said the hollow blocks they produced were used to build the houses while the ‘welders’ took charge of the steels works and other welding related jobs.

The Momfil family felt so blessed. Early Christmas gift came to them in full package. Little did they know that they would soon become the owner of a brand new disaster-resistant house.

The positive shift in the lives of the Momfil family didn’t stop with the livelihood opportunities.

It rained blessings upon blessings on the once desperate and scared Merlinda Momfil.

Public-private partnership

DSWD expanded its partnership with Holcim with another Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) which provides for the Holcim donation of a three-hectare residential lot worth P 54,000,000.00 million in Barangay Ilang.

Moreover, Holcim put in an additional P 10 million for skills enhancement training on masonry, plumbing, carpentry, and concrete hollow block production. These skills would come handy for site development, water drilling, road networks, and drainage system.

DSWD, on the other hand, provided P 9 million for the Modified Shelter Assistance Program (MSAP) and P 2.9 million for Cash-For-Work, where beneficiaries receive cash of P260 daily as they build their new community.

Barangay Ilang released a P 295,000.00 counterpart for Food-For-Training during skills enhancement sessions, P 21,000.00 for social preparation of beneficiaries, and P 250,000.00 for construction management.

The City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO) also supported the project.

My home

Soon to be part of Pag-asa Ilang Homeowners Association (PIHOA), the 129 family-recipients are currently benefitting from the livelihood program while 36 of them are also grantees of Pantawid Pamilya.

The Momfil family again is one of the lucky ones. Moreover, Merlinda’s son Orlan hit a stable job which helps ensure food on their table day after day.

Once devoid of peace of mind and comfort, the family of Merlinda has finally held a diamond too precious to let go –a happy family in a safe home.

“I know that whatever I say to express my gratefulness would never be enough for the Lord’s generous blessings that flooded our family. My heart rejoices with all the gifts. I am the happiest person. I have a family and a new home, far, far away from my ambivalent and wretched beginning,” Merlinda declares. (DSWD)







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Pantawid graduates of SPAMAST

PANTAWID GRADUATES.  68 Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries and grantees of Students’ Grant-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (SGP-PA) graduate during the 30th commencement exercises of Southern Philippines Agri-business, Marine and Aquatic School of Technology (SPAMAST) – Malita Campus.

To date there are 2,662 SGP-PA grantees all over Davao Region and 503 recently graduated from seven state universities and colleges (SUCs) namely; University of South Eastern Philippines (USEP) – Compostela Campus, Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology (DOSCST), Davao del Norte State College of Panabo (DNSC), USEP Obrero Campus, USEP Mintal Campus, SPAMAST Digos City Campus, and SPAMAST Malita Campus. (DSWD)

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80 youth accepted for DSWD summer job

Intern ALsha Marie Joy Abad assists the Budget Unit of DSWD Regional Office.

DAVAO CITY (DSWD XI) –At least 80 youth participants have been enlisted to be part of this summer’s Government Internship Program (GIP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Implemented through the 2000 Unlad Kabataan Program (UKP), GIP targets youth who are out- of- school, undergraduate, and graduates who are unemployed.

“It is an opportunity for them to learn life skills in the workplace, have a meaningful and productive activity during their summer vacation, and at the same time earn money to augment their family budget for school needs,“ DSWD Project Development Officer III Lorela Ramos said.

The implementation of GIP is from April to May for 22 days and participants will receive a stipend of 75% (238.00) of the regional minimum salary wage rate.

Ramos added that during the selection phase, DSWD prioritized interns who are 18-25 years old, member of Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippines (PYAP), and belonging to a family-beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

The GIP is part of the government’s efforts to strengthen youth participation in nation-building by exposing them to government service, and to serve as a recruitment mechanism for potential public employee.

For intern ALsha Marie Joy Abad, 20, who is taking up Bachelor of Science in Mathematics at University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP), joining GIP helps her learn new things, get oriented on the processes in providing public service, and meet new friends.

GIP youth will perform not only actual office work but will also assist in the implementation of DSWD programs and projects. They may also provide frontline services in DSWD satellite offices in the provinces, DSWD residential facilities and in local government units (LGUs) with active and functional PYAP, Ramos said.

For 2016, DSWD has 1,440 interns all over the Philippines.

Ramos expressed optimism that through this internship program more youths will recognize the importance of public service while government can expect younger and more compelling workforce in the next generation. (DSWD)


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Third time’s a charm

Jerrynold during his graduation.

PANABO CITY, Davao del Norte (DSWD XI) -Third time’s a charm for 21-year old Jerrynold Escote. Growing up from a brood of fourteen, Jerrynold saw his parents struggle every day to put food on the table.

His mother, Sabina, 45, peddles cigarettes while his father, Nelson, 48, was a cook at a local barbecue joint. He stopped working a few years ago when he contracted tuberculosis.

When he was in elementary and high school in Barangay Cagangohan, Panabo City, he remembers helping his mother peddle food before going to school. He usually wakes up 5:00 a.m. and sells food until 7:30 a.m. His classes start at 8:00 a.m.

Sa una dili gyud ko maapil sa mga honors kay sige ko’g absent aron motabang kay mama baligya (I would not be included in the list of honor students because of my constant absences as I was helping my mother peddle),” recounts Jerrynold.

He passed a scholarship exam in college and was admitted at a private university in Panabo City. His elder sister who works as a cashier at a local department store took care of his daily allowance.

Dili pud kaayo ko ka-focus sa pag-eskwela kay halos every two weeks ang exam ug tingbayad (I could not also focus on my studies because of the almost bi-weekly exams which would also incur fees),” recalls Jerrynold.

To help his sister, Jerrynold worked as a crew at Minute Burger earning P 150.00 per day. He worked graveyard shifts from 10:00 until 6:00 p.m. He attended his class from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. This has been his daily routine.

Usahay ginabaklay na lang nako gikan sa balay padulong eskwelahan, mga 4 kilometers aron makatipid. Ang sweldo nako sa pagpanrabaho ginagahin nako sa akoang pang-panihapon ug ang sobra ginahatag nako sa akoang mama para makatabang sa galastuhon sa balay (There were times I walked the daily route from our house to the school, around 4 kilometers, to save on fare. I allot the salary I received at Minute Burger for my daily dinner budget. I gave the rest of the amount to my mother to help on our daily household expenses).”

Truly, third time’s a charm for Jerrynold. He heard of the Students Grant-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (SGP-PA), a grant given to incoming college students of Pantawid Pamilya household beneficiaries.

The grant was originally offered to his sister, since her sister could resign from her current job as cashier, the grant was transferred to Jerrynold’s brother. His brother, however, only finished Grade 4.

As luck may have it, the grant was given to Jerrynold. He was accepted at the Davao del Norte State College as an SGP-PA grantee in January 2013. He took up Bachelor of Science in Information Technology.

Dako kaayo og natabang ang Pantawid Pamilya sa amoa. Kung sauna mag inilugay pa mi sa pagkaon ug sud-an, karon kay naa na juy sud-an ug kan-on para sa tanan. Karon nakaeskwela na akoang mga manghod. Naapil pa jud ko sa SGP-PA ug mo-gradwar na sa kolehiyo. Hapit na nako makab-ot akoang mga pangandoy (Pantawid Pamilya has been a great help to us. When before, we scampered to get the meatier piece of viand or get the bigger portion of rice, now, there is enough food for everybody. My younger siblings are now in school. I was even included in SGP-PA ad now a graduating student. I am now a step closer to my dreams),” shares Jerrynold.

To add more feathers on his cap, Jerrynold was a 2014 National Excellence Awardee as one of the students with the highest General Point Average.

Wala namo gihuna-huna nga tungod kay Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries mi, luoy mi. Sa amoa dako kaayo ni nga pribilehiyo nga gihatag sa gobyerno. Kay kung wala ang SGPPA asa man mi karon? Siguro wala ko kahuman eskwela ug nagatrabaho pa siguro ko karon sa Minute Burger (It never crossed our minds that since we are beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya we should be pitied upon. This is a rare privilege accessed by government. If not for SGPPA, where would I be now? Perhaps I would not have finished my studies yet and maybe I would still be working at Minute Burger),” he retorts.

When asked what his dreams are for his family, the ever hopeful Jerrynold replied, “Makapa-eskwela sa akong mga igsuon ug maka-undang nag pamaligya si mama kay matagaan nako siya’g iyahang sari-sari store (I want to help my younger siblings finish their studies and for my mother to graduate from peddling as I will provide for her a small sari-sari store).”

Jerrynold is one of the 503 SGPPA grantees in Davao Region who graduated this year. (DSWD)

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May 2016

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