Pantawid Huwarang Pamilya awarded

HUWARANG PAMILYA. The family of Jemie and Maribeth Salas of Barangay Kipalili, San Isidro, Davao Del Norte, acclaimed 2018 Pantawid Huwarang Pamilya, receives the plaque and cash award during the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Family Day Celebration at SM City Ecoland Annex Activity Area on Tuesday. Theme for this year is Tungo Sa Matatag, Maginhawa at Panatag na Pamilyang Pilipino. Also in this photo are officials of Davao Del Norte Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) and DSWD. (DSWD)

Pantawid Family Day held

PANTAWID FAMILY DAY. 2018 Pantawid Pamilya Exemplary Child regional winner Justin Faith Sioco of Sta. Cruz, Davao Del Sur, performs an ethnic dance during the recent Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Family Day Celebration at SM City Ecoland Annex Activity Area. Over 300 family members participated in the festivities. Theme for this year is Tungo Sa Matatag, Maginhawa at Panatag na Pamilyang Pilipino. (DSWD)

DSWD, DPWH award Employment Assistance Fund

TRABAHONG LANSANGAN. Julius R. Duterte [rightmost], Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) – Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) Provincial Coordinator for Davao Oriental and Chyrell F. Ganoy of Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) award the Php 5,000.00 employment assistance fund to Trabahong Lansangan worker Marcelino Caimtang, a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary from Tarragona, during the Contract Signing and Turnover of Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) at DPWH Baganga on Thursday. Workers also signed the employment contract for the Localization of DPWH Trabahong Lansangan under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. SLP Davao Oriental is first in the region to disburse the EAF to hired Pantawid family heads. Also in this photo is DSWD Project Development Officer of Baganga Jerrybelle Gonzales [leftmost]. (DSWD)

Strengthening ReSPPEC

Cynthia N. Umbaňa [rightmost] of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Social Technology Unit, conducts a Focus Group Discussion with residents of Barangay Binuangan, Maco, Compostela Valley on Tuesday to determine their knowledge, attitude and practices relative to the DSWD Reporting System and Prevention Program for Elder Abuse Cases (ReSPPEC). ReSPPEC aims at preventing all forms of abuse against older persons and enabling them enjoy a happier life, and helping perpetrators reform as well. It is being piloted in San Carlos, Pangasinan; Lambunao, Iloilo; Maco, Compostela Valley; and Valenzuela City. (DSWD)

DSWD beneficiaries in DavSur join livelihood bazaar

Magsaysay, Davao Del Sur -The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) participated in the Job Fair and Livelihood Bazaar at Brgy. Poblacion, Magsaysay, Davao del Sur. The activity was initiated by the barangay in partnership with the Local Government Unit of Magsaysay and the Public Employment Service Office (PESO).

Through the activity, the SLP participants in the municipality were able to showcase their different products such as banana chips and perfume. They were previously trained through the SLP in Banana Chips Making and Perfume Making and have received starter kits for the same.

The SLP graduates of Massage Wellness Training were also present during the activity to provide massage services to the public.

Pinaagi sa aktibidad, atong na-showcase ang atong mga produkto sa SLP. Karon aduna nay mga booking ang atong mga graduates sa massage, inquiries sa perfume, ug orders sa banana chips (Through the activity, we were able to showcase the products of SLP. Now, some of our massage graduates have already been booked for their services, people are asking about the perfume, and orders for banana chips were taken),” Donna Dumdum, DSWD Project Development Officer of Magsaysay said.

A graduate of Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) Training was also hired on the spot by the Franklin Baker Company during the Job Fair.

The Sustainable Livelihood Program is open to poor, marginalized, vulnerable, and disadvantaged households. The program builds upon the participants’ strengths and understands how they can use these to achieve positive livelihood outcomes. (DSWD)

Walk for Life for seniors

Over 400 senior citizens in Davao City participate in the Walk for Life which kicked off the Elderly Filipino Week celebration at SM City Ecoland on Monday. The event was led by Department of Health (DOH), PhilHealth, City Government of Davao, SM and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Theme for this year is Kilalanin at Parangalan: Tagasulong ng Karapatan ng Nakatatanda Tungo sa Lipunang Mapagkalinga.

Following the walk, the seniors joined the zumba session and some showcased their talent in singing ang dancing. Participants also availed of free haircut and massage services. PhilHealth and DSWD officials provided orientation on their programs and services for older persons. (DSWD)

Pantawid exemplary child is proud Bagobo

Sta. Cruz, Davao Del Sur (DSWD XI) – A member of the Bagobo tribe is this year’s Pantawid Pamilya exemplary child regional winner. Justin Faith Sioco, 14, hails from Sitio Baruring, Sibulan, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur.

Justin is good in dancing, singing and acting and she learned to develop these skills at a very young age. Her talents helped boost her self-confidence and emboldened her to dream big.

Although it is normal for young ones to aspire and fulfill their passions, for the less fortunate and less privileged children like Justin, dreaming remains a luxury in limbo which seems so hard to attain.

Dreaming big

Justin belongs to a large and poor family. Her father Freddie, is a motorcycle driver while her mother Betty, tends to their home. She has three older brothers and three older sisters. With plenty of children to feed from such a meagre income, the family oftentimes struggles to meet their daily sustenance. Because of extreme poverty, Justin reached a point where she decided on quitting school.

Despite all the hardships, Justin knew she is capable of achieving great accomplishments. She is determined to finish school in order to succeed in life and support her family. However, being part of an indigenous tribe, she often encounters discrimination from others. People would tell her that her dreams are too big for her. Nonetheless, she never allows these criticisms to intimidate her. She gains strength and confidence from her family who have never stopped believing in her and is always willing to go the extra mile to support her in achieving her dreams.

Answered prayer

Being a beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is more than just an answer to their prayers. In fact, the program has become a stepping stone to her path to achieving her dreams. Augmenting their measly income, the program significantly helped improve their life.

Knowing her interest in pursuing education, Justin’s family spends part of the monthly Pantawid subsidy on her school needs. Now, she can easily join the talent competitions she wishes to, since her other pressing needs are already responded to by the program.

Giving her best

“As my way of gratitude and gift to my parents, I will study hard. Rain or shine, albeit muddy roads or pangs of hunger, I will diligently go to school,” Justin promised.

As a student, Justin does everything with excellence. She does not only do good but instead she always aims to be the best in her class. She finished her grade school as class valedictorian. She also dedicates her extra time tutoring young children in her community. Apart from her academic achievements, she continues to bring pride to her school by winning in inter-school contests.

Finishing her studies and prevailing in competitions extremely matter to her because they do not only confirm her capabilities as an individual but most importantly, they are her best testimonials of the grandeur of her Bagobo tribe and they help as well raise the bar higher for her tribe.

“We won’t let anyone ridicule our tribe and we won’t let anyone ruin our dreams,” Justin stressed.

It is her advocacy to end discrimination and bullying of indigenous peoples especially for school children. She also wants to instill in her people that embracing one’s roots and origin is not a hindrance in pursuing one’s dreams.

She believes in the capability of indigenous peoples to contribute positively even in this modern society. With the continued support of Pantawid Pamilya, Justin is more determined and optimistic to achieve her goal.

“I believe that the challenges that come to your life are there to make you strong and successful. I always bear in mind that grades don’t define intelligence but attitude does.”

God and family

More than anything else, Justin is doing it all for her family. No matter how far she may have come, she never forgets to be a good daughter to her parents and as a person with good values, dignity and solid faith in God.

All the achievements she attained and future successes she may accomplish, Justin wants to share these with the people that truly saw her light even in darkness, the people who believed in her when everyone else doubted –her loving family.

Most of all, she celebrates and gives back her gifts and blessings to the Lord who always inspires her.

Justin is always grateful for government initiatives such as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program that helps children with big dreams like her become a model of hard work and perseverance.

Justin Faith’s family is one the 227,720 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in Region XI. (DSWD)


Salas family: Epitome of strong faith, resilience 

San Isidro, Davao Del Norte – “It doesn’t matter how small you are as long as you work hard and have faith, you can reach great heights,shared Jemie and Maribeth Salas, regional winner of Huwarang Pamilya annual search of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Residing in a simple home in Purok 6 San Nicolas, Barangay Kipalili, Municipality of San Isidro, Davao del Norte, is the Salas family. Albeit leading a humble life as farmers with their share of adversities, the Salas family is greatly regarded by their community as model of diligence, resilience and success.

“In our early years of marriage, we already met troubles mainly brought by financial poverty. My husband Jemie was criticized by my relatives because of his measly status in life and low level of educational attainment.  Jemie felt hopeless but I never failed to lift up his spirit. I often told him, “Nakaya nako pagbuhi ang akong mga manghud kaniadto, karon pa kaha nga duha ta magtambayayong para sa atong pamilya. Basta hugot lang ang atong pagsalig sa Ginoo ug pag-ampo kini masulbad ra ang tanan (I was able to sustain the needs of my sisters before. Now, the two of us can do much more to support our family. As long as our faith in God is strong, we will overcome),” Maribeth recounted.

Since then, the two have worked hand-in-hand and remained together more strongly, with God as their inspiration.

Staying firm

The couple makes a living as coconut sap harvesters (mananggiti). Jemie wakes up early in the morning and climbs 25 coconut trees every day to be able to produce at least 12 gallons of coconut wine (tuba).

Maribeth delivers the gallons of coconut wine via one and a half kilometer-hike to Sitio Kipalili.  She makes two delivery trips everyday -six gallons in the morning and another six in the afternoon.  On the average, their estimated income is Php 8,000.00 per month.

Another source of income is farming.  Jemie helps cultivate the agricultural land on behalf of his uncle but only earns Php 7,500 from the cacao harvest annually. Although it is already considered productive, it still does not suffice especially after their family has grown with the addition of three children.

The Salas family have been blessed with three daughters -Jemarie, 22; Jebeth, 21; and Jemalyn, 11 years old.

Sige mi i-bully sauna sa eskwelahan tungod sa paglukdo og tuba kauban si Mama pero gibalewala lang namo tanan pam-bubully kay kabalo mi nga kining trabahoa ang makatabang nga mahuman mi sa among pag eskwela (We were constantly bullied before at school because we carry the tuba gallon on our head to help our mother but we ignored the bullying for we knew this endeavor would help us finish our studies),” shared eldest daughter Jemarie.

What they lacked in money as a family, they covered it up with love, good values and proper education. Jemie and Maribeth strongly believed that education is the only real treasure they can pass on to their children.  It may be a difficult goal to reach, but they were willing to invest in their children’s future.  They also believed they are lucky to have helpful and understanding children. But as their children grew up, so did their needs -another challenge that Jemie and Maribeth must face.

Enters Pantawid Pamilya

One of the greatest blessings they received was their inclusion in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in 2010. According to them, the program is a big help especially in supplementing their basic needs. More importantly, their fund for the education of their daughters was augmented.

Their eldest daughter, Jemarie was able to finish her degree in Education Major in Mathematics with the help of the program.

Presently, their second daughter Jebeth is also a grantee of Expanded Students’ Grant-in-aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) and is determined to succeed in her educational pursuits through the education subsidy of the program.

Even before becoming a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary, the family has lived life more positively and contributed more in the improvement of their community.  All family members have established a deep relationship with God and have continued to engage in church activities. Maribeth is a Pantawid Pamilya parent leader and a catechist volunteer of District 8, GKK San Nicolas, Barangay Kipalili.

Moreover, Jemarie and Jebeth actively participate as members of the Diocese Youth Association (DYA). Also, the youngest, Jemalyn is active in the Gagmayng Kristohanong Katilingban (GKK) in their Purok.

Giving Back

The family gives back to the community through civic volunteerism. Both Jemie and Maribeth actively volunteer in the Brigada Eskwela community service at Kipalili Elementary School. Jemie was also conferred a recognition for providing outstanding support to Kipalili Day Care Center in fighting the war against illiteracy. Jemarie also pays forward by financing the education of a son of a parent leader in their community.

The hospitality and generosity of the Salas family had been most significant in the aftermath of Typhoon Pablo in 2012. The family willingly opened its home as a safe haven for the affected families in their community who were seeking refuge. The family also offered free use of its motorcycle unit in case of emergencies. Their hands were ever ready to extend help in the best way they can to anyone who needed support, without asking for anything in return.

The family also gives importance to environmental and physical wellness. Family members have developed their backyard into a healthy vegetable garden patch which has helped them sustain their daily nutritional needs, ensuring that proper nourishment is not compromised especially for their children. They also gather recycled materials like plastics and have crafted garden tools out of it.

For Jemie, one of the greatest treasures they can impart to everyone is their inspiring story of weathering the plights of poverty through sheer resilience, faith and determination to obtain a better life.

As Jemie ponders on, the moment he marched with Jemarie during her college graduation day, he had never been more proud to be a mananggiti  -a trade badge he wears with pride.

The Salas story is a good example of family resourcefulness and wisdom in putting into good use all the blessings that have been provided unto each member.  But above all, they made sure to grow as a family with God’s grace and with love for one another.

The Salas family is one of the 256,761 Pantawid Pamilya households in Davao Region. (DSWD)