Archive | March, 2021

DSWD advocates for safe spaces for women in homes, communities

In its continuing celebration of the National Women’s Month this March, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will be conducting a nationwide virtual forum for its personnel across the country on the Safe Spaces Act or Republic Act 11313 on March 26.

The Safe Spaces Act of 2019 or the Bawal Bastos Act is a landmark legislation that aims to protect all individuals from sexual harassment in physical or online spaces.  The law penalizes catcalling, stalking, wolf-whistling, misogynistic and unwanted remarks directed to a person as well as and sexual advances and other forms of sexual harassment in public places, workplaces, schools and online spaces. It covers non-consensual communication and repeated visual or physical proximity that will likely cause a person to fear for one’s own safety or the safety of others or to suffer emotional distress. It also pushes for safer cyber spaces. Likewise, it is intended to expand the scope of the Republic Act No. 7877 or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995.

Atty. Twyla Rubin from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) will discuss the law and how it should be implemented.  On the other hand, Ms. Abegail Mesa-Raymundo, Founder of Rescue Kabataan Philippines, will tackle sexual harassment in the community in the context of a survivor’s experience.

The forum will enable DSWD employees to gain enough information on the salients points of the law, which they can cascade to program beneficiaries in their respective areas.

DSWD believes that creating safe spaces at home and in the community is also crucial in controlling the spread of the virus, while all are still advised to stay home and go out only for essential reasons.

The DSWD urges all Filipinos to ensure that communities and homes create a safe space for women, especially at this particular period when the pandemic calls for families to stay at home.

This year’s celebration of Women’s Month, with the theme, “We make change work for women,” with a focus on the campaign “Juana laban sa pandemya: Kaya!” is timely as it highlights the contributions of women in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. ###Attachments area

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Pugay Tagumpay 2021: Graduating 4Ps beneficiaries share how the program helped transform their lives

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), as the lead agency in social protection is mandated to serve, protect, and empower the disadvantaged and vulnerable sectors, and nowhere is this more evident than in the success stories of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) partner-beneficiaries, who have risen from poverty to self-sufficiency.

To encourage those who have graduated from 4Ps, DSWD Field Office V held Pugay Tagumpay 2021, a commendation to household-beneficiaries whose lives have improved through the program, with the assistance of partner-stakeholders.

In 2020, a total of 585,125 household-beneficiaries nationwide have exited from 4Ps with 56,095 household-beneficiaries coming from the Bicol Region.

On the other hand, as of January 2021, some 153,844 household-beneficiaries nationwide whose last monitored child reached 19 years old and/or finished high school in 2020, are slated to exit from the program.

Meanwhile, 423,325 children and youth -beneficiaries are graduating from high school this year.

Stories of change

Some graduating 4Ps beneficiaries in the Bicol region shared how their lives were transformed through the program. These stories of change embody the program’s goal to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty by investing in human capital, specifically in education and health.

Mary Ann Quingquing Ampongan is one of the Expanded Student’s Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) student grantees, which enabled her to graduate from college with a BS Secondary Education degree. ESGP-PA is a scholarship grant to pursue higher education for poor families with 4Ps child/children. A student-grantee is entitled to a maximum of Sixty Thousand Pesos (P60,000.00) per academic year which covers the cost of tuition and other school fees, academic and extra-curricular expenses, purchase of textbook, board and lodging, transportation, clothing, medical needs and other related education expenses and support services to complete a degree program.

Mary Ann’s mother is a factory worker, while her father is a tenant farmer who harvests his produce every three months, depending on good weather condition. She has three other siblings, so Mary Ann decided to work as a cashier at a local store after she graduated from high school to augment the family’s meager income. She was thankful to be chosen as one of the student-grantees of the ESGP-PA when her family was enrolled in 4Ps in 2011. Mary Ann currently works as a validator for DSWD’s Listahanan saying that she wants to give back to the agency that has helped her family.

“Isang malaking oportunidad ang makatanggap ng tulong mula sa gobyerno kaya huwag po natin sayangin ang tulong na ito at tulungan din natin ang ating mga sarili na mas magpursige pa at tuluyang maka-alpas sa sikulo ng kahirapan. Magpatuloy po tayo sa pagpupursige at magpatuloy tungo sa mas marami pang tagumpay.” (It is a huge opportunity to receive help from the government, so let us not waste this, rather let us help ourselves and continue to improve so we can break out from the cycle of poverty. Let us continue to achieve more victories), Mary Ann shared during the Pugay Tagumpay program.

On the other hand, Honoria Magistrado Dimaiwat, a solo parent with four children, is another 4Ps beneficiary who feels deeply grateful to the program, saying it helped her raise her children the right way.

She narrated that through the things she learned from regular attendance to the Family Development Sessions (FDS), one of the program’s conditionalities, she was able to impart to her children sound moral values which guided them in their growing up years. FDS is the psycho-social, psycho-educational intervention of the 4Ps program to encourage positive family values, strengthen marital relationships, and promote involvement, participation, volunteerism, and leadership for strengthened individual and community empowerment.

Honoria now has a daughter working as an Overseas Filipino worker (OFW), while her second daughter is a public school teacher, and her two other children are in college. In return, her children raised funds to build a bigger house for her, which becomes an evacuation site for their community during calamities.

Honoria challenges her graduating co-beneficiaries from their town, “Kaya dapat po ma-encourage natin ang mga anak na makatapos para pagdating ng panahon, makatulong sa ating mga pamilya. Kami nga noon, ang bahay namin ang liit, ngayon pinatayuan na ng mga anak namin na nakapagtapos ng pag-aaral” (We should encourage our children to finish their studies so they could someday help our families. We used to have a small house, but our children who graduated from college built a bigger house for us).

Meanwhile, born from a poor household of the Agta-Tabangnon tribe, Maria Cristina O. San Pascual affirmed that 4Ps changed her perspective in life. As a member of the Indigenous Peoples, she lacked access to basic education making her intimidated in facing other people.

When her household became a 4Ps beneficiary, her previous beliefs that she was stuck in being un-educated and poor changed. She graduated from secondary education through the Alternative Learning System (ALS) in 2018 and is currently a second – year college student. Her two children who are senior high school graduates, will also be pursuing tertiary education in their hometown in Buhi, Camarines Sur.

Maria Cristina became a parent-leader from 2014 to 2020. Grateful to the 4Ps program, she now proudly shares that they were able to save enough money to buy a bangka which helps them harvest the tilapia in their fishery more efficiently.

Moreover, she was also able to engage and earn in an income generating project, a Bigasang Bayan, since 2015, through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), also implemented by the DSWD.

Maria Cristina urges her fellow 4Ps beneficiaries to persevere.

“Tinutulungan na tayo ng pamahalaan, kailangan tulungan din natin ang ating mga sarili para makabangon. Kahit anong tulong ng pamahalaan, kung di tayo magsisikap at patuloy ang ating mga bisyo, wala pa ring mangyayari ” (The government is helping us, but we must also help ourselves. No matter what help the government extends to us, if we do not persevere and continue engaging in vices, nothing will happen.)

The 4Ps currently serves more than 4.3 million active households, utilizing more than P49 billion program funds in 2020. 

4Ps was enacted into law in April 2019 making it the government’s national poverty reduction strategy. The program invests in health, nutrition, and education of poor eligible households. These, alongside with the psychosocial and psycho-educational component, provided through the FDS, led the beneficiaries to an improved and sustained well-being. ###

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A Mandaya leader’s dream for his community

Datu Ike Aking proudly poses in front of the Literacy Building, one of the two sub-projects turned over to the IP community of Barangay Carmen, Boston, Davao Oriental.

Davao Oriental – Datu Ike Aking of Barangay Carmen, Boston dreams to improve the lives of the members of the Mandaya community. Also the Indigenous People Mandatory Representative, he pushes for and supports government projects that aim to preserve the Mandaya culture and language.

“Usa sa gitan-aw namo nga kakulangon alang sa tribo kay ang panginahanglan nga ma-edukar sila. Kasagaran sa mga IPs diri sa amo makasabot lang na sila ginagmay pero dili na kasulti. Isa na sa importante na ang among lenggwahe mabilin gyud na sa mga sumusunod (One of the things that we see as lacking in our community is the need to be educated. Most of the IPs here only understand a little bit of the language but can’t use it verbally. It is important that our language will remain for the next generation),” Datu Ike said.

It was a dream come true for Datu Ike and the rest of the members of the Mandaya community when a literacy center was built as one of the sub-projects of Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) under the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

The KALAHI-CIDSS is a community-driven development (CDD) program which aims to empower ordinary citizens to directly participate in local governance by identifying their own community needs and collectively responding to these. One of its modalities is PAMANA which aims to provide conflict-affected barangays access to basic social services.

The program not only supports the Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development Protection Plan (ADSDPP) but also strengthens the partnership with the local government units and the indigenous political structures in achieving peace and unity in the community.

“Mao ni among gisabotan nga proyekto tungod tanan activities namo, labi na sa mga pagtuon, diri namo mapahigayon. Pinakaimportante kini tungod sa nagakawala namo nga kultura og tradisyon nga diin dapat unta namo ikabilin sa among mga anak (This is why we proposed the literacy center as project, so all our activities, especially those related in learning, will be held here. This is important to us because the community’s knowledge of our culture and tradition are slowly fading which should be preserved for the next generations),” Datu Ike emphasized.

The literacy building was to encourage the younger members of the Mandaya community to appreciate and learn their own culture.

The community volunteers participated throughout the process of the implementation. The program did not only fund the literacy center but it also equipped the volunteers with vital learnings through the various training and seminars conducted.

“Dako kayo mi’g pasalamat dili lang sa proyekto, kung dili sa mga pagtuon. Nabansay mi sa pagtuon nga gi-provide sa KALAHI-CIDSS. Kini magamit namo sa uban pang mga decision making sa among tribo og kami nagapasalamat ani (We are very thankful not only to the sub-project, but to the learnings. The sub-project is just a bonus. The KALAHI-CIDSS trained and equipped us with knowledge that will be useful in our community’s decision making in the future and with that, we are grateful,” Datu Ike said.

The literacy building, which is situated just beside the barangay hall, was officially turned over to the community last February 17, 2021 with the presence of the Municipal Mayor of Boston, Hon. Rowell Rosit, represented by his Executive Assistant Mr. Judith B. Castres, Vice Mayor Eleuterio Manaytay, the LGU of Barangay Carmen, headed by Barangay Captain Evencio Batulan, and representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, headed by Regional Director Raquel E. Nunez, who was represented by Merlinda A. Paragamac, the Assistant Regional Director for Operations. ###

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DSWD addresses Listahanan 3 grievances

The Department of Social of Welfare and Development (DSWD) has started to address grievances related to the initial results of the third nationwide Listahanan household assessment or Listahanan 3.

Listahanan is an information management system that aims to establish a database of poor households that will serve as a basis in the identification of beneficiaries for different social protection programs and services.

As of February 26, 2021, DSWD has received more than 2.5 million grievances. The concerns range from general inquiry, grievances on exclusion, inclusion complaints, requests for correction of information, and transfer of residence.

To address complaints, DSWD coordinated with localities to organize Barangay Verification Teams (BVT) and Local Verification Committees (LVC) to assist in the resolution of grievances or appeals filed in the community.

Currently, receiving of Listahanan 3 grievances are filed in scheduled on-site receiving community desks in barangays managed by Listahanan area supervisors and online via the Listahanan website (

Those who have complaints may still check the Listahanan website for the schedule of on-site receiving in their respective communities.

Meanwhile, to date, more than 14.4 million households have been assessed nationwide. Some 26,762 barangays nationwide have already posted their initial list of poor households.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, the Department remains committed to implement its programs and services by ensuring that its frontline workers are following minimum health standards set by the government. ###

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DSWD XI partners with non-government organizations for Pantawid

The signing of memorandum of agreement by the officials of the DSWD XI and Amya Polytechnic College [left] and DSWD XI and Luna Legal Resource Center for Women and Children [right].

Davao City – The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office XI (DSWD XI) has partnered with two non-government organizations (NGO) to help in the implementation of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in the city. 

Ms. Jocelyn Sasuman, Officer-In-Charge of the Luna Legal Resource Center for Women and Children, Inc. and Ms. Mary Ann C. Pia, Executive Director of the Amya Polytechnic College, signed separate memoranda of agreement with DSWD XI Regional Director Raquel E. Nuñez to effect the partnership.

While the Department will provide technical assistance to the  organizations, such as coaching and mentoring in line with the implementation of the 4Ps, the Luna Legal Resource Center for Women and Children, Inc. will conduct community education on prevailing laws on women and children; hold activities to raise awareness and enhance the skills of social workers who shall serve as partners in the protection and promotion of women and children’s rights; facilitate paralegal and psychosocial referral interventions for women and children victim-survivors; and monitor the progress of both 4Ps staff and beneficiaries.

On the other hand, Amya Polytechnic College will provide assistance in the monitoring of the performances of senior high school and college student beneficiaries; conduct livelihood training and programs; and will also provide scholarship grants for the same.

These forged partnerships are in line with 4Ps’ establishment of networks and formation of convergence with other stakeholders to facilitate additional support services for the improvement of the well-being of program beneficiaries.

The 4Ps is the major poverty reduction of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to the poorest of the poor, to improve the health, nutrition, and the education of children aged 0-18. ###

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DSWD supports discounts for online transactions of senior citizens, PWDs

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) expressed its support for the provision of discounts for the online transactions of senior citizens and persons with disability (PWDs).

As part of the vulnerable sectors, senior citizens and PWDs are entitled to receive discounts as part of their benefits under Republic Act (RA) No. 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 and RA No. 10754 or the “Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disability.”

Moreover, the online discounts will be beneficial and convenient for the said sectors considering that their mobility are restricted due to their inclusion in the vulnerable groups who are high risk for COVID-19 infections.

As of press time, the DSWD said that it will meet on March 12 with the Department of Trade and Industry  and other concerned agencies to discuss the draft guidelines on online purchases for seniors and PWDs prepared by the latter.

The Department vowed to continue to uphold the interest and welfare of senior citizens and PWDs especially amid the ongoing health crisis. ###

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DSWD provides updates on youth internship program for 2021

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) today provided updates on the implementation of its Government Internship Program (GIP) for the year.

Taking into great consideration the safety and protection of the youth from the continuing threat of COVID-19, the Department announced that it has decided to postpone the GIP for 2021. 

The DSWD explained that the decision to postpone the internship program was part of the DSWD’s continued adherence to the Inter-Agency Task Force  Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine, particularly on setting of age restrictions for the public allowed to go out of their homes.  This is also in compliance with the Civil Service Commission Memorandum Circular No. 18, series of 2020 on Alternative Work Arrangements and Support Mechanisms, specifically on reduced workforce in government offices to ensure that the appropriate social distancing measures are established.

The DSWD emphasized that it upholds the right to participation and self-development of the youth, but it is also deeply concerned with the health of the GIP participants. The postponement will ensure the safety and protection of the Department’s personnel and the youth interns, who are among the vulnerable groups.

GIP is a component of the Kabataan 2000 program of the government which was developed to provide an opportunity for both out-of-school and in-school youth with hands-on experience of working in different government agencies. The experience introduces the youth to public service which can later help them as they eventually join the workforce.  

The GIP is open to individuals who are 18-25 years old, high school graduates or TESDA Certificate holders or Alternative Learning System certificate holders or holders of any similar certificate issued by the Department of Education or Commission on Higher Education. Members of the Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippines (PYAP), youth beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, and youth included in the Listahanan identified poor family are also prioritized in the program.

The GIP is implemented in the DSWD Central Office and all its Regional Offices. Under the program, the Department provides the qualified youth with a daily stipend for 30 days amounting to 75% of the regional wage rate. The GIP is implemented in the months of April and May during the  school break of students.

Over the years, the program has helped the youth gain useful experience in public service and learn the value of earning from the fruits of their hard work. ###

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DSWD, members of TG FM continue to distribute free face masks for poor families

From Left to Right: Manila Social Welfare Department Director Maria Asuncion Fugoso, DTI Director Lilian Salonga, DSWD NCR Regional Director Vicente Gregorio Tomas, DTI Asec. Dominic Tolentino Jr., Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso Moreno, DSWD Usec. Rene Glen Paje, PCOO Usec. George Apacible, PCOO Dir. Ma. Florinda Princess “Pebbles” Duque during the Face Mask Turnover on February 23.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), together with other member-agencies of the Task Group Face Mask (TG FM), continues to distribute free reusable face masks for the poor constituents of various local government units (LGUs).

A total of 1,125,000 pieces of cloth face masks were turned over to Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso Moreno on February 23. Other LGUs in NCR and in the regions are also scheduled to receive free reusable cloth face masks for distribution to poor families in their respective areas.

This is in line with the presidential initiative entitled “Libreng Face Mask Para Sa Masa”. The project aims to strengthen the government’s strategic plan to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 infections by enabling and encouraging the public to follow the minimum public health standards and also to support the micro, small, and medium enterprises whose operations were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other government agencies comprising the TG FM include the Department of Health, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Procurement Service of Department of Budget and Management, Office of Civil Defense, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and Department of Science and Technology- Philippine Textile Research Institute. ###

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March 2021

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