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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Pantawid youth power

PANTAWID YOUTH POWER. Pantawid Pamilya Regional Program Coordinator Araceli M. Layog welcomes Pantawid youth participants to the first-ever Youth Development Session (YDS) SportsFest held at F. Bustamante High School, Tibungco, Davao City. This year’s theme is “Mga Batang Pantawid Pamilya Sama-sama, Batang Nagkakaisa, Palarong May Pag-asa”.  Some 384 youth beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya from the barangays of Panacan, Ilang, Tibungco, Mahayag, San Isidro, Gatungan, Bunawan, and Lasang gathered for the three-day event. Also present were some Pantawid Pamilya parents. (DSWD)

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Food packs reach Talaingod villages

DSWD workers review roster of families affected by El Niňo prior to distribution of family food packs at Sto. Niňo gym in Talaingod, Davao Del Norte on Thursday. They also identified distribution stations to expedite the process and accomplish the target within the day. Hence, a total of 14,000 family food packs were released to 7000 IP families in different sitios in Talaingod. To date, DSWD XI has provided P 110,349,259.75-worth of assistance to families in Davao Region which were affected by the drought brought by El Niňo. The funds also cover implementation of Cash-For-Work for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation. (DSWD)

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503 Pantawid college students graduate thru grant-in-aid program

DAVAO CITY -A total of 503 Students Grant-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (SGP-PA) grantees graduate this year in Davao Region.

Davao del Norte has a total of 168 graduates; Davao Oriental has 209; Davao City has 33; Davao del Sur has 25; and Davao Occidental has 68 graduates.

To recognize these Pantawid scholars, a regional graduation ceremony dubbed Social Investiture for National Achievers of Grants-In-Aid (SINAG) is set on May 6, Friday in Tagum City.

“A partnership of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the SGP-PA started in 2012 with only 4,000 grantees nationwide. Now, it has over 40,000 college grantees all over the country,” shared DSWD Assistant Regional Director for Operations Rebecca A. Santamaria.

SGP-PA helps in increasing the number of graduates in higher education among Pantawid households and get these graduates employed in high-value added jobs in order to lift their families out of poverty, Santamaria added.

During the recent Commencement Exercise held at Davao del Norte State College in Panabo City, Davao del Norte, guest speaker CHED Chairperson Dr. Patricia Licuanan challenged the SGP-PA graduates to be ‘leaders of change and to work with renewed combination of factors and concepts, creatively combine change and continuity, and wield bridges between people who see things differently.’

She also urged the graduates to get involved and make a difference. Despite challenges and disappointments, she encouraged them to always be a voice of hope.

The primary objective of SGP-PA is to ensure that grantees are enrolled in State Universities and Colleges duly recognized by CHED. General requirements for eligible SGP-PA applicants are: (1) must be a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary; (2) should be a high school graduate and/or equivalent; (3) no other higher education scholarship/grant from public institutions; and (4) pass the entrance exam and academic requirements set by the SUCs.

A student-grantee shall be entitled to a maximum of P 60,000.00 scholarship grant per school year, which is broken down to P 20, 000/year Tuition Fee Cost, P 5,000/year Textbook Fees and other learning materials and P 35,000 (that is, P 3,500/month x 10 months) Stipend (for board and lodging, transportation, clothing, health/medical needs, basic school supplies and other related costs).

Pantawid Pamilya is a poverty-reduction strategy of the national government that incentivizes families to keep children healthy and in school. The program has a total of 234,622 registered households in Davao Region as of March 2016. (DSWD)

 

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DSWD retirees: Happy to have more time for self, church

DAVAO CITY  -Former employees of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) convey happiness over their new life that puts premium on self, church activities and being active even beyond public life.

Active life

“Now that I am retired, I spend most of my time in my home and at my church. I also look after my five-year old grandson in school and I am his tutor at home. Most importantly, I now have more time for myself. My retirement is for myself,” shares Fe J. Calapotoc, 65.

Calapotoc who retired in 2012 when she was 61, radiated joy and contentment as she joined fellow retirees in the first ever meeting of DSWD senior citizens and DSWD retired employees here.

Calapotoc served under DSWD for 37 years and retired in 2012 as Social Welfare Officer IV.

For former houseparent of DSWD-Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC) Gloria Q. Gumia, 63, time is spent mostly in her farm in Braulio E. Bujali, Davao Del Norte where she grows vegetables like okra, squash and kangkong.

Gumia only comes over to Davao City to claim her pension. “Whenever I am in Davao, I always drop by at RSCC because I miss the children and my colleagues there. Sometimes I go to Cebu to visit my sister but most of the time I stay in the farm.”

Gumia owns two residential lots in her town. She was with DSWD for 32 years.

Retired as Social Welfare Officer IV, Perla Ll. Villanueva sustains her physical exercise from head to foot every morning having recovered from two strokes already. She also did speech therapy. An active Catholic and a grandmother of five, she enjoys life especially now with the pension she gets from AFP, PVAO, SSS and GSIS.

Calapotoc’s life as a social worker has not ended after DSWD. “I have not stopped being a social worker. Aware of my profession, people in my church still approach me or refer co-members for counseling. Mothers and caregivers at my grandson’s school also gravitate to me for advice. I even familiarized myself with the Expanded Senior Citizen’s Act so I could share it in my church and help advocate the rights and privileges of senior citizens.”

Calixta Vergara retired in 2015 and now happily raises turkey. Vergara worked at DSWD Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth as housekeeping and kitchen incharge.

Less pressure

Former DSWD cashier Pedro Lomada admits he was happy working at DSWD and now he is happier with his life sans pressures. Lomada served government for 26 years.

“I am enjoying this so much. I am not stressed out anymore. I am always available for any activity or outing with family and freinds,” Gumia beams.

Availing the early retirement program in 2015, Consolacion S. Abad declares, “I am enjoying life because I am not pressured anymore. I bond more with my husband who has also retired from Philippine National Police. I retired early to really enjoy my life while still younger. We are active in church and we make sure to nurture our spiritual growth. I am very grateful for all the many blessings from God.”

Mila A. Alberto who retired at 62 says, “I am extremely happy to have retired. My health is my wealth.”

Serving under DSWD for 36 years, Arturo Ganaden is now stress-free and a happy farmer along with his wife and daughter.

‘There is no more pressure. I feel happy and relaxed to move around,” say Jesus Ajos who served for 37 years. Ajos is very active in his church. “I want to give back all the glory to God.”

The happy retirees as well as the DSWD XI senior citizens will convene again in July to elect the group’s officers. Hopefully, more retired workers will attend and share inspiring accounts of their productive and satisfying life beyond DSWD. (DSWD)

 

 

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Pantawid youth power

PANTAWID YOUTH POWER. Pantawid Pamilya Regional Program Coordinator Araceli M. Layog welcomes Pantawid youth participants to the first-ever Youth Development Session (YDS) SportsFest held at F. Bustamante High School, Tibungco, Davao City. This year’s theme is “Mga Batang Pantawid Pamilya Sama-sama, Batang Nagkakaisa, Palarong May Pag-asa”.  Some 384 youth beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya from the barangays of Panacan, Ilang, Tibungco, Mahayag, San Isidro, Gatungan, Bunawan, and Lasang gathered for the three-day event. Also present were some Pantawid Pamilya parents. (DSWD)

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Pantawid youth join YDS SportsFest

Youth participants in the first Pantawid sportsfest.

DAVAO CITY – Some 384 Pantawid Pamilya youth beneficiaries from the various barangays of Bunawan District -Panacan, Ilang, Tibungco, Mahayag, San Isidro, Gatungan, Bunawan and Lasang   recently gathered for a three-day Youth Development Session (YDS) SportsFest at F. Bustamante High School, Tibungco.

The first ever YDS SportsFest bannered the theme “Mga Batang Pantawid Pamilya Sama-Sama, Batang Nagkakaisa, Palarong May Pag-asa”. The project is a partnership of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Harvest House and Davao Bay Coconut Oil Mills.

“The main objective of this activity is to develop the leadership skills of our Pantawid youth by encouraging each member to actively participate in all fun and healthy physical activities,” said Evangeline Grandeza, DSWD Regional Focal Person for Family and Youth Development Sessions. “It also aims to promote the universal recognition that organized youth sports can develop positive attributes including promoting a healthier lifestyle, strengthened self-esteem, fair play and good citizenship,” she added.

The YDS was introduced in 2015 by DSWD, National Youth Commission (NYC) and the Department of Education (DepEd). It was created to motivate students in finishing their education through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

It also serves as a tool for children aged 12-18 to develop stronger family relationships, focus on their studies and ambitions while engaging in meaningful activities that can promote self-worth, define their identity, lead a healthy life style through engagement in various civic and sports activities and even responsible parenting, among others.

Pantawid Pamilya is a poverty-reduction strategy of the national government that incentivizes families to keep children healthy and in school. The program has a total of 234,622 registered households in Davao Region as of March 2016. (DSWD)

 

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ABSNet XI hits 16

Davao City- The Area Based Standards Network (ABSNet) of Region XI recently celebrated 16th year of quality social services to the poor and vulnerable sector with the theme “Soar High Towards Excellent Social Services”.

Inspired by the positive response of social welfare and development agencies (SWDAs) in the region, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as lead agency in social protection, organized ABSNet in 2000 to institutionalize partnership relative to registration, licensing and accreditation of SWDAs.

ABSNet is composed of 126 DSWD-licensed and accredited social development organizations from all over the region.

A license is a certificate issued by DSWD to an agency which has complied with the statutory requirements to operate.  RA 4373 requires SWDAs “utilizing social work methods and interventions to secure a license from DSWD before they can operate as a social work/social welfare and development agency.”

The DSWD, through its regulatory function provides the standards and guidelines that govern the service delivery by SWDAs to ensure that the goal of uplifting the well-being of the disadvantaged is achieved.

“Today we give salute to your organization’s continued success. Let us continue to work together as you have been instrumental in assisting us in the registration and licensing of SWDAs,” DSWD Assistant Regional Director for Administration Ma. Vilia L. Vigil stressed.

“We started our celebration with a motorcade from Rizal Park to Abreeza Mall, followed by a program showcasing the talents of our children beneficiaries from different clusters,” ABSNet Federation President and Executive Director of Children’s Joy Foundation Rosemarie Dimagnaong said.

Dimagnaong said ABSNet will continue the advocacy and promotion of registration, licensing and accreditation of SWDAs; consultation dialogues with SWDAs that are not yet registered; provision of technical assistance to SWDAs applying for license; and conduct of different trainings and seminars.

ABSNET in Davao Region remains solid and strong in terms of partnership and networking as it performs its function in strengthening the DSWD regulatory services.

“Your effort has been a contributing factor that we were able to accomplish more than our targets and deliverables in social protection programs and initiatives. Let us continue to keep up the good work in the coming years and beyond,” Vigil urged. (DSWD)

 

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