Archive | June, 2016

Talaingod’s Sundalo sa Katawhan

Eleazar and Juliet Rivera proudly pose before a collection of their children’s academic awards and medals.

TALAINGOD, Davao Del Norte (DSWD XI) – Had she been given the chance to finish her studies, she would have wanted to become a doctor or a soldier. Instead, she became someone more than she ever hoped for. She became the ‘people’s soldier’ or as her co-beneficiaries fondly call her “sundalo sa katawhan”.

Fifty-two year-old Juliet Rivera is an ordinary housewife. She finished high school and lived a simple life in their quaint little village at Barangay Sto. Nino, Talaingod, Davao del Norte.

Her husband Eleazar, 55, works as a laborer at a local farm. With no permanent income, Juliet helps her husband by working as a freelance masseuse.  On a regular day, she earns P 150.00.

“Ang amoang ginakita sa una igo ra gyud aron makakaon mi  (What we earned was enough to meet our food needs),” she shared. “Sa panahon nga naay mga panginahanglan sa eskwelahan ang amoang mga anak, maghilak gyud ko kay kulang man jud amoang kwarta. Igo ra gyud sa panginahanglan sa sulod sa balay Sama sa ilang ginaingon, hand to mouth lang gyud (Whenever our children need some stuffs for school, I would end up crying for we were really short with cash. We just had enough for the basics at home. As they say, we survived in a hand-to-mouth basis).”

It was in 2009 when the Rivera Family was identified as one of the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Juliet recalls how excited she was when for the first time there was someone from the government who did a house-to-house enumeration in their barangay. Though there were no promises of anything when they were interviewed, still she prayed and hoped for the best.

“Pirti gyud nakong lipaya pagkahibalo nako nga naay programa nga motabang sa amoang mga kabos (I was overjoyed when I learned that there’s going to be a program that would help us),” she exclaimed.

“Karon nga naa na ang Pantawid, dili na mabiyaan ang akoang mga anak sa mga activities sa school. Sa una maibog lang na sila kung naay mga girl scout camping ug uban pa kay wala man gyud mi ikagasto. Karon  makaapil na gyud sila (Now with Pantawid, my children will no longer be left behind in any school activities. Before, they felt resentful when there are girl scout camps and other events since we could not afford to pay for these things. Now, they can easily join),” Juliet tearfully reminisced.

“Sa una kung mag-ulan mangabasa mi sa sulod sa balay tungod sa dagko nga bangag sa atop. Maluoy gyud ko maglantaw sa akoang mga anak. Karon, nakapa-atop na ko aron makatulog na mi og tarong maski pa mag-ulan (When it rained, we would end up soaked inside our home because of the large holes in the roofing. I felt sorry for my children. Now, I can have my roof repaired so that we can sleep comfortably even when it rains).”

Eleazar and Juliet’s six children are consistently on the top of their class -Christian Louie, 27; Agatha Gloria, 24; Eleazar Jr, 17, and in 1st year college; Reymound, 16 and in Grade 11; Eliza Mie, 15, and in Grade 10; and Jessa Mie, 13, a Grade 8 student.

In 2012, the Rivera Family was awarded as the provincial winner for the Huwarang Pamilya Search.

Juliet shared how the program had helped her gain self-confidence and developed her trait as a leader. Her 32 member-beneficiaries look up to her.

“Sa una mahadlok ko makig-atubang sa tawo kay maulaw ko kay unsa ra gud ang akoang naabot. Dako gyud og kausaban sa akoang pagkatawo ang nahatag sa Pantawid, na-educate ko. Daghan ko og nahibaloan nga mga kaalam nga akoang ma-treasure ug mahimong kusog (I felt nervous in front of people before because I was ashamed of my low education status. Pantawid has tremendously changed me. My eyes were opened. I learned a lot of lessons from the program which I could treasure and which will serve as my strength).”
“Pinaagi sa Pantawid, nahatagan mi og bili nga makatabang sa amoang isig ka tawo. Napahimuslan mi maski wala mi naabot na grado. Mapasalamaton ko sa DSWD nga gipaminaw ug gihatagan og bili ang amoang mga suhestiyon aron mapalambo ang programa (Pantawid valued our worth and capacity to help others. We were mobilized despite our low educational status. I am grateful to DSWD for accepting and appreciating our suggestions to further improve the program).”

“Kung wala ni nga programa daghan pa karon ang nagkamang. Daghan pa karon ang kawang pa gihapon, walay kausaban sa kinabuhi. Dili lang ako ang natabangan sa programa mao nanghinaut ko nga ipadayon gihapon ni nga programa (If not for the program, many would still be impoverished. Many would still lead the same old routinary life with no significant changes in their poor living condition. The program has helped a lot of people, not only my family. I am hoping the program will be continued).”

Juliet voluntarily went around the entire District 1 of Davao del Norte to gather support from her co-beneficiaries for the continuance of Pantawid Pamilya. She alone was able to muster 75,000 households sign her signature campaign for the program in 2015.

“Ang Pantawid Pamilya naghatag og dakong kausaban diha sa akoang pamilya, kausaban diha sa akoang pagkatao ug katumanan sa gamay nako nga damgo nga mahimong sundalo -sundalo para sa katawhan (Pantawid Pamilya made a substantial improvement to my family and to myself. It paved the way for me to fulfill my simple dream of being a soldier – a soldier for the people.

Pantawid Pamilya has been helping over 234,000 families in Davao Region attain their dreams and access better opportunities. The program is also assisting 29,884 IP beneficiaries thru the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Indigenous Peoples (MCCT-IP). (DSWD)

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DSWD hosts Kalahi-CIDSS volunteers’ congress

Davao City (DSWD XI) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development, through Kalahi-CIDSS (Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services) recently conducted a Community Volunteers’ Congress at the Grand Men Seng Hotel.Attended by some 158 Kalahi-CIDSS community volunteers, the three-day congress cum learning conference is an avenue for exchange of learning and experiences from more than a year of implementation of community driven development (CDD) in Region XI.

Kalahi-CIDSS volunteers came from the municipalities of Caraga and Cateel of Davao Oriental, New Bataan of Compostela Valley, and Malita of Davao Occidental.

“This event aimed at showcasing the best and innovative practices that led to the success of CDD implementation in the covered municipalities of Kalahi-CIDSS in Region XI,” said DSWD XI Regional Director Mercedita P. Jabagat.

She added this activity determines how community volunteers and Barangay Local Government Units (BLGUs) will carry on the lessons of the CDD approach of the program in their respective localities.

Selected community volunteers presented testimonies on their CDD experiences and best practices in the field.

The congress also focused on developing mechanisms to further advocate Kalahi-CIDSS in the barangays.

A creative gallery highlighting the implementation and best practices of Kalahi-CIDSS was also mounted during the activity.

The 1st Community Volunteers’ Congress was held last December 2015 with 250 volunteers attending from Nabunturan, Monkayo and Maco of Compostela Valley province; and Tarragona, Manay and Boston of Davao Oriental.

Kalahi-CIDSS is a community-driven development program of the Philippine Government aiming to empower people through sustainable development, enhanced participation in local governance, and management of poverty alleviation projects.

To date, Kalahi-CIDSS has a total number of 15,658 community volunteers and operates in 21 municipalities in Region XI. (DSWD)


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Education for all

EDUCATION FOR ALL. DSWD Director Mercedita P. Jabagat [3rd from right] and Lourdes M. Mission, Executive Director and Education Program Supervisor of EMAR Human and Environmental College, Inc. sign the Memorandum of Agreement which provides for the educational program of residents of DSWD Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY) and DSWD Home for Girls and Women (HGW). Started in 2015, this partnership will enable 68 residents of RRCY and 48 residents of HGW participate in the Modified Work and Study Program or Sunday School within school year 2016-2017. Also in photo are [from left] HGW head Carolyn F. Isugan, DSWD Protective Services Chief Raquel E. Nuňez, and RRCY head Elizabeth T. Degorio.

EMAR is a private educational institution offering grade school, high school, technical-vocational, college and Sunday school curricula.

RRCY is a rehabilitation facility 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.

While HGW is a residential facility for girls and women who have been sexually abused and exploited, abandoned, neglected, physically maltreated. The center also serves CICL and children victims of child labor and child trafficking; victims of emotional battery, involuntary prostitution, illegal recruitment and armed conflict; women in detention; and stranded women. (DSWD)

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Pantawid Pamilya: Fulfilling dreams of ‘gaspangeros’

Tarciano and Ma. Lorena Sarino proudly show off their produce.

DAVAO CITY (DSWD XI) – Prior to Pantawid Pamilya, Tarciano Sarino, 49, of Barangay Tigatto, Davao City worked as a gaspangero, a laborer who collects sand from the river and transports it by banca. Tarciano had also tried diving for coins to augment their daily income.

Lisod gyud ang among adlaw-adlaw nga kahimtang (Every day is a struggle),” he said. “Kinahanglan ko mangita og pamaagi aron naay mabutang nga pagkaon sa among lamesa kada adlaw (I had to find ways to put food on the table day after day).”

In 2011, the Sarino Family became one of the family beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Pag-abot sa Pantawid Pamilya, nag-desisyon mi’ng magtiayon nga mag-backyard gardening. Gitamnan namo og mais, mani, talong, kapayas, watermelon, pepino, okra ug monggo ang gamayng yuta nga gibilin sa amoang ginikanan (When Pantawid Pamilya came, we decided to start backyard gardening. Using the small lot our parents left us, we planted corn, peanuts, eggplants, papayas, watermelons, cucumbers, gumbo (okra) and mung beans),” shared Tarciano’s wife Ma. Lorena, 41.

The cash grants they receive from the program are allocated solely for the school needs of their three children -Jenny-Ssel, 17, second year BS Education (English Major) at the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP) and SGPPA scholar; Marjun, 12, Grade 7 and class valedictorian; and 8-year old Kimberly, Grade 4 and constantly tops her class.

On weekends, their children help out in cultivating their garden. Their humble backyard garden grew gradually that they are now able to sell fresh produce to some known local companies who advocate organic farming. They sell their produce for up to P 45 pesos per kilo.

Dako gyud kaayo og gitabang ang Pantawid Pamilya ilabi na kadtong pagsugod sa El Nino. Ang programa mao ang nag-amuma sa amoa sa panahon nga hinay ang among kita sa pagpananom (The program has greatly helped especially during the onset of El Nino. It was the program that aided us during the lean months),” said Ma. Lorena.

Maglagot gyud ko nga naay moingon nga dole out ang Pantawid kay kung buot huna-hunaon dako gyud kaayo og gikatabang ang programa sa amoa nga nanginahanglan. (I am angered when people say that Pantawid is dole out because in reality, the program has significantly helped those in need).”

The Sarino Family is one of the 306 families in Barangay Tigatto whose lives have gradually changed for the better.

Wala gyud mi nakalampos og high school sa akoang bana busa malipayon mi nga naa ang programa nga motuman ana nga pangandoy para sa amoang mga anak (My husband and I did not finish high school hence we are happy that Pantawid is here to fulfill our dreams for our children),” Ma. Lorena gratefully admitted.

At present, Pantawid Pamilya is helping 234,556 families in 43 municipalities, 6 cities covering all 5 provinces, in keeping their children healthy and in school. The program also has 29,884 IP beneficiaries in Davao Region under the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Indigenous Peoples (MCCT-IP). (DSWD)


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1034 Pantawid grantees graduate in tech-voc

DAVAO CITY (DSWD XI) – At least 1034 beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in Davao Region have completed technical-vocational course from Southern Mindanao Institute of Technology and Endonela Institute of Technology Foundation.

The Pantawid beneficiaries were identified through the employment facilitation track of Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Mercedita P. Jabagat, Director of DSWD said, one of the thrusts of the Department is to access active partner-beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya to livelihood opportunities to help them improve their level of well-being and break the cycle of poverty.

“We are happy to announce the successful engagement of our Pantawid recipients in these technical courses which could readily link them to possible employment. This is the first batch of graduates and we are targeting more members of Pantawid families to participate,” Director Jabagat said.

DSWD records show that 208 graduated in Automotive Servicing – National Competency II (NC II), 239 in Shielded Metal Arc Welding, 30 in Cellular Phone Repair, 120 in Carpentry, 120 in Massage Therapy Leading to NC II, 89 in Computer Hardware Servicing NC II, 30 in Security Services NC II, 38 in Construction Painting NC II, 60 in Housekeeping NC II, 40 in Driving NC II, and 60 in Beauty Care NC II.

Pantawid Pamilya is a poverty-alleviation program of the national government. It provides conditional cash assistance to identified poor families. The family beneficiaries must comply with conditions on health, education and attendance to the monthly-held Family Development Session to claim their cash grants.

On the other hand, SLP is a community-based capacity building program that seeks to improve the socio-economic status of family recipients, in partnership with local governments, national government and non-government agencies.

SLP is implemented through two tracks -Micro-Enterprise Development (MED) and Employment Facilitation (EF). MED track supports micro-enterprises for organizational and economic viability while EF track assists beneficiaries in accessing appropriate employment opportunities. (DSWD)



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Pantawid parent leader as public servant

Pantwid Pamilya parent leader Melina Honrada.

COMPOSTELA, Compostela Valley Province (DSWD XI) – “Opportunities don’t just happen. You have to create them,” Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary and Parent Leader Melina P. Honrada declared.

Having been a Pantawid parent leader in Barangay Ngan for years now, Melina now traverses over a new career path as a newly-hired Local Government Unit Link (LGU Link) in their municipality.

As LGU Link, Melina assists in the conduct of Pantawid Pamilya activities like subsidy payouts, Family Development Sessions, updating of beneficiary profile, among others. Presently, she also sits as acting livelihood focal in the locality.

Sa una naga volunteer lang gyud ko sa amoang munisipyo sa ilang mga activities. Wala ko nagdahum nga mamahimo nako nga parte sa ilang empleyado (I was just a volunteer before in different activities in our municipality. I didn’t expect that I will become an employee),”Melina happily narrated.

Melina graduated in Computer Secretarial. She has two children. Her husband Roberto is a welder. Melina balances her time now, between serving the community as a parent leader, as a mother and, as public servant.

Sa una nga wala gyud ang Pantawid, pait jud kaayo amoang kinabuhi. Usahay ga laborer lang mi sa koprahan para naay pagkaon sa lamesa (Before we became grantees of Pantawid, our life was really hard. There were times we had to work as copra laborers just to put food on the table).”

Pantawid is a great help for Melina not just because of the financial augmentation to health and education needs of her children but also for the various trainings and seminars provided to them that are deemed very useful especially with her new job as LGU Link.

Wala ko naglisod pagsulod nako sa akoang trabaho karon.  Sa akoang pagka parent leader, tanan natun-an nako. Na apply nako labina unsaon pag entertain og kleyente, lider nga mapahiubsanon sa trabaho, ug pagiging tinuod nga public servant (I didn’t encounter difficulties when I entered this new job. Being a parent leader, I assimilated all and I applied it especially on how to deal with clients, being a humble leader, and being a genuine public servant),” Melina proudly related.

Melina earns P 286 per day as LGU link. She also plans to study again and earn a college degree for the better future of her children.

Nagpasalamat jud ko aning tanan kay kabalo ko dako gyud ni nga blessing sa Ginoo para sa akoang pamilya (I am so grateful for all these for I know this is a great blessing of the Lord for my family).”

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 monthly Family Development Sessions (FDS).

Melinas’s family is among the 234,556 active partner-beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in Davao Region. Pantawid Pamilya also serves 29,000 families under the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Indigenous Peoples. (MCCT-IP). (DSWD)


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Beating trials through hard work

SAN ISIDRO, Davao Del Norte (DSWD XI) – Born in 1990, Rodel F. Enate is the third child of poor parents who were bestowed with six children.

Rodel grew up poor but obedient. Starting at an early age, he has always helped in putting food on their table by assisting his father cultivate a small farm lot.

As a grade schooler, Rodel would endure the long walk to school in an empty stomach, his mother Teresita recounted. “Despite the hard life, Rodel graduated with flying colors.”

As their family members grew in number, their food requirement consequently leveled up. What his father earned could hardly cover their day to day needs.

Thus, to Rodel, getting a chance at secondary education was too farfetched.

“I had to abort my promising journey with the academe to help my father in the farm full time to enable the family earn double.”

His love for his family drove him to work with his father in tilling their land from dawn to dusk.

Despite the hard fact that his parents could not possibly afford to send him to a regular school, difficult times failed to snap out his dream of finishing school.

Chance to grow

In 2011, the family of Rodel became a household grantee of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

As recipient of the program, the family started receiving a minimal subsidy for education, health and nutrition. Also, family members were able to access health insurance through Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

Then the good news for Rodel was delivered by their neighbor who mentioned to him the Alternative Learning System (ALS) of the Department of Education.

Excited but apprehensive of his parents reactions, Rodel secretly enrolled himself. Later that night, when he mustered enough courage to inform his parents, only positive and encouraging words were uttered in response to his decision.

His mother embraced him and apologized for not being able to provide what’s best for her children while his father Rudy just tapped Rodel’s shoulder and assured him that there is nothing to be afraid of and that he is allowed to attend school every Saturday. From Monday through Friday, his assignment would be in the farm and at times help his mother feed their hogs, his father instructed.

Despite his ‘Saturday Only’ class schedule, Rodel could not help but miss class whenever his father requests his help especially during harvest season.


Finally, hardwork and discipline propelled Rodel to graduate from high school through ALS.

Part of DSWD Thrusts is ensuring that Pantawid grantees are prioritized in DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program.

In March 2014, DSWD Project Development Officer Cyrevil Calagui proposed a TESDA-accredited course which Rodel grabbed. He attended the Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) conducted by Endonela Institute of Technology.

He was able to complete the 268-hour, 33-day intensive training in SMAW. His hard work paid off when he passed the TESDA Accreditation Examination or the National Competency II (NC II).

“I then spent my internship with Cubname Marine Services, a shipyard in Barangay Calumpang, General Santos City. For 15 days, I focused on welding ships and other large structures,” Rodel shared.

With his commendable performance, Rodel was hired as welder at FGM Builder Resources and Development Corporation in November of 2014. His employer was impressed and has retained him for he considers Rodel an asset worker to the company.

Rodel said his work involves building structures such as construction of Gaisano Mall of Toril, some renovations in Davao Del Norte capitol building, and putting up of classrooms in Digos City, Davao del Sur.

Rodel now receives an above minimum wage income. He continues to help his family. Part of what he sends is being invested in backyard piggery by his mother. At present, they have eight hogs for fattening and one gilt with 10 piglets.

Meanwhile, his other siblings who are also employed contribute as well in meeting the family’s needs. Rodel’s younger sister Ronna is a regular employee of Big 8 Hotel in Tagum City and his younger brother Ruben, is a regular employee of EMCOR Tagum branch.

The Enate family members have started to renovate their home. Their better house and better sources of livelihood prove that they are winning in their battle against poverty.

Rodel’s goal to graduate and defeat poverty pushed him to triumph above all the trials.

Rodel F. Enate was poor. He is the third child of a poor couple but with perseverance and hard work, he has overpowered his family’s hardship. (DSWD)


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‘Rag recyclers’ of Davao

Some of the recycled products from rags.

DAVAO CITY (DSWD XI) – When 99 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries completed the skills training on Rag Recycling Cum Production in 2014, there was no stopping them. They not only became producers but skills trainers as well as they eagerly transferred the technology to fellow Pantawid recipients in the city.

These active families in barangays Agdao Proper, Kapitan Tomas Monteverde and Paciano Bangoy, Sr of Agdao District here started off with a few kilograms of slightly used clothing from ukay-ukay as primary production material, a few homemade sets of wooden frames and some pairs of scissors.

Recycling is the process of converting scraps or discarded materials into something useful and beautiful. This practice has been used since the 1930’s when families had very little economic or material resources. Recycling doesn’t mean breaking the stuff but rather refashioning it. What is old is new again, but with a twist.

One of the values of recycling is its positive impact on the environment. Items destined for the dump are rescued and recreated into something functional.

For crafting such useful and attractive rags by-products like pot holders, door mats, foot rugs, pillow cases, clutch bags, purse, table runners, among others, the rag recyclers became popular and their number of customers rose. They then started receiving orders from the neighborhood, schools, stores and offices. Orders of a few pieces ballooned to volumes.

Group member Arlene Espina said the unexpected and favorable outcome prompted them to organize and secure a registration and accreditation with Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). “Responding to our need, Cecil Dayhon of DOLE then provided the orientation.”

From then on, the group of Pantawid Pamilya grantees became Pantawid Workers Association of Rag Recyclers of Agdao (PWARAGDAO) with Espina serving as president.

Still with the continuing technical assistance of Project Development Officer of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Marissa C. Vaid, the group collaborated with Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through Provincial Director Edwin Banquerigo and Livelihood Department’s Ivy Uy who imparted product enhancement trainings to select members.

For their part, members who trained promised to share their skills competency with co-members.

Becoming entreps

The group availed the DTI package of assistance through its Small and Medium Enterprise Roving Academy (SMERA) Program. The collaboration provided them opportunity for venturing into new product designs and size variation of wooden frames; product critiquing; showcasing of products in the Mindanao Trade Expo at Abreeza Mall; and trainings on Advanced Rags Recycling and Product Costing and Pricing.

Meanwhile, PDO Vaid facilitated another skills training on Fashion Components Making cum Production. Using the goup’s DOLE accreditation, Vaid also helped them access 19 units of sewing machines for their business, increasing their production and enhancing product quality.

Since then, the ‘rag recyclers’ never failed to participate in any exhibit, bazaar or trade fair organized by DSWD or other agencies, Vaid said.

She said their products are also displayed at Tanoy’s, a popular local craft shop in the city.

“As we showcase our produce, we also receive more orders. We have become like small scale entrepreneurs. The demand for our products is high here as these are very functional and inexpensive.  Our partnership with DSWD and with other agencies enabled us to augment our income and improve our economic standing. We are overwhelmed with the trust they have endowed us. We are very ecstatic of this change which is definitely for the better,” Espina happily shared.

According to Vaid, there are enough institutions that can provide support in terms of financial or capability building.  “We just need to be resourceful and assertive as we connect and establish links with local resources. The possibilities are endless, we just have to seize them now. For its part, DSWD will continue to build up the group and access them to the right resources through our Sustainable Livelihood Program.”

Presently, some group members have diversified into Rag Dyeing while the rest of the members continue creating stunning serviceable stuffs out of rags for their burgeoning market, Vaid added. (DSWD)


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