Communal, backyard gardening gaining ground in Davao Region

Davao City (DSWD XI) –  To combat the prevalence of undernutrition among children, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) continues to expand the implementation of its communal and backyard gardening project among its partner-beneficiaries in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in Davao Region.

Communal gardening is one of the projects of the DSWD to empower communities and promote good health among poor Filipino families. It aims to help address the nutrition concerns of beneficiaries by encouraging families to cultivate backyard or communal gardens.

“The DSWD has always been strong in its stand to capacitate poor Filipino families towards self-reliance. This is why we continue to incorporate knowledge and skills enhancement training in the Family Development Sessions (FDS) of Pantawid beneficiaries to enable them become productive members of society and provide them support for self-sufficiency,” said DSWD Regional Director Mercedita P. Jabagat.

Aside from its effectiveness in combating the prevalence of undernutrition among children, the project also provides great opportunity for locals to organize and collectively work together for their community’s development and transformation.

For beneficiary Elvie Carcueva of Barangay Dalisay, Panabo City, communal and backyard gardens help in eliminating malnutrition and hunger. Gardening brings unity among Pantawid beneficiaries, community and barangay residents. Because of the Gulayan sa Barangay, the community is able to appreciate the importance of eating healthy food and the benefits they derive from it.

Malipay pud mi nga magkatapok kay samtang ga-atiman mi sa mga tanom, kini nakapalig-on sa among panaghigalaay ug adunay pagtambayayong ang tanan (We are delighted too to come together since as we tend to our plants, we also strengthen our friendship and everyone’s cooperation is noted),” Carcueva said.

“On top of my husband’s salary, the garden gives additional income for us, that is why my husband and children also help me maintain our vegetable garden during weekends as part of our family bonding,” Emma Bayot of Barangay Bolton Malalag Davao Del Sur said.

“Sa pirmiro namo nga pagtanom, nagsugod ko sa baynte ka semilya sa pechay. Nagakuha pud ko sa sementeryo og mga tetra pack aron matamnan (I started off with 20 seedlings of pechay. I also gather from the cemetery tetra packs which I recycle into pots),” Marina Monton of Tibungco, Davao City shared.

“Ang naka nindot sa amoang gulayan kay nag ka unite mi mga beneficiaries nga bisan og naa mi sa daplin sa dagat dili rason nga dili mi maka tanom og mga gulay (Noteworthy in our garden project is that we are united that our proximity to the sea should not be a hindrance for us to grow vegetables),” Monton said.

The urban container gardening was established in 2013 with three Pantawid families in the seaside area of Tibungco. For them, it provided additional income and better nutritional values for the whole family.

Monton said her husband Baltazar repacks the seedlings they buy and sells it to fellow Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries at Tibungco Public Market. Their children also help and gardening has become a kind of family bonding especially on weekends.

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 cash grants to partner-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).

FDS is conducted by DSWD and partners from non-government organizations, private sector, and civil society groups. FDS topics include effective parenting, husband and wife relationships, child development, laws affecting the Filipino family, gender and development, home management, active citizenship, electoral education, among others.

To date, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program benefits 255,300 families in Davao Region. (DSWD)

HCDC confers ‘Pasalamat’

Acting President of Holy Cross of Davao College (HCDC) Dr. Ma. Iris A. Melliza awards a Pasalamat plaque to Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Assistant Regional Director Alfredo M. Sy during the recent HCDC Araw ng Parangal. DSWD was recognized as an agency that has always a heart for the less fortunate, and for sharing the Listahanan Data as reference of the Commission on Higher Education in identifying potential scholars of HCDC. Honoring some 16 partners from the public and private sectors, the event was undertaken under the theme “Recognizing Education Mission Partners of Archdiocese of Davao through HCDC”.

In response, Assistant Director Sy said, “This partnership has borne its fruits. In fact, we are witnesses to the successes of our beneficiaries in their respective fields of education. At present, many other schools have already expressed their intent to replicate the same since this break has not only eased the burden of some of our client-parents but it has also brought our client-students closer to reaching their dreams. At DSWD, we aspire to make these differences in the lives of our clients by vigorously providing them access to various opportunities. But DSWD cannot do it alone. We need partners like you to help us accomplish our vision.” (DSWD)

DSWD, AFP sign MOU to build classrooms for IPs

Kapalong, Davao del Norte (DSWD XI) – Officials from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and representatives of Indigenous Peoples (IP) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of the Construction of Classroom for Lumad (CCL) project of Kalahi-CIDSS at Sitio Campo, Barangay Gupitan.

The signatories were representatives from AFP, Department of Education (DepEd), local leaders of the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Kapalong, and DSWD.

“The Department’s partnership with the AFP aims to fast-track Kalahi-CIDSS program’s construction of classrooms for lumads,” said Merlinda A. Paragamac, DSWD Promotive Services Division Chief.  

The AFP, through a joint effort of the 52nd Engineering brigade and 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, aims to provide recommendation, planning, assessment, and provision of skilled labor and security in implementing the said project.

“AFP provides skilled personnel in masonry, carpentry, plumbing, and painting to help in the construction,” shared BGEN. Gilbert F. Saret, PA. 1001st BDE, 10th Infantry Division, Philippine Army.

CCL, one of the modalities of Kalahi-CIDSS, responds to the education needs of IP communities while preserving and promoting their unique culture and heritage.

DepEd funded the initiative to construct classrooms in far flung areas through its IP education program in response to the demand from IP communities. The agency partnered with DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS to use the community-driven development approach to empower communities in undertaking their own development projects. This is done through their direct and active participation in local governance, including identifying their village’s issues and taking part in the implementation of projects responsive to these needs.

On March 6, 2019, representatives from the LGU of Kapalong, Barangay Local Government Unit of Gupitan, Kalahi-CIDSS Area Coordinating Team, Kalahi-CIDSS Municipal Coordinating Team (MCT), DSWD, and AFP conducted a meeting with the Engineering Battalion.

The CCL grant allocation in Barangay Gupitan is worth Php 3,596,088.02 targeting five sitios. The classrooms shall be completed on December 2019. (DSWD)

Holcim, DSWD, TESDA forge new partnership

MOA SIGNING. A new partnership of Holcim Philippines, Inc., Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) – KorPhil Regional Training Center was launched Tuesday at Holcim Davao Plant, Barrio Ilang. Signatories to the Memorandum of Agreement are [from left] Barangay Captain of Mahayag Eufemia Baquerel, Barangay Captain of Tibungco Merjade D. Callo, Acting Center Chief of TEDSA Ernesto Nadera, Holcim Plant Manager Xavier Kennedy, and DSWD Regional Director Mercedita P. Jabagat.

Under its Stakeholder Engagement Program, Holcim aims to support community development through various industrial and construction related skills training, livelihood and employment. Targeted in this latest collaboration are residents of barangays Panacan, Ilang, Tibungco, Mahayag and Bunawan who will undergo skills training in Forklift Operation NC II, Shielded Metal Arc Welding, Plumbing NC II, Masonry NC II and Tile Setting NC II. (DSWD)

JMC to use DSWD Listahanan data

DATA SHARING. Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Director Mercedita P. Jabagat [center] turns over a DSWD Listahanan Data to Jose Maria College (JMC) Human Resource Development and Management Director Leonora Q. De Guzman and Quality Management System Director Rosener Guyano [leftmost]. The Listahanan data will serve as reference for JMC in identifying potential participants in its scholarship program. As recipient of the privileged data, JMC shall ensure its safekeeping, proper transmittal, handling and restricted access as indicated in the Listahanan Data Sharing Guidelines and in accordance with the Data Privacy Act. Joining the turnover are DSWD Promotive Services Division Chief Merlinda A. Paragamac and Assistant Regional Director for Operations Alfredo M. Sy.

Listahanan is the DSWD information management system that identifies who and where the poor are. It is a comprehensive socio-economic database of poor households as basis for determining beneficiaries of different social protection programs and services. (DSWD)

DSWD, Army to build classrooms for IPs

Talaingod, Davao del Norte (DSWD XI) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) partners with the 52nd Engineering Brigade, Philippine Army to complete 15 classrooms in seven sitios of Barangay Sto. Niño here in coordination with the Indigenous Peoples (IP) communities through the Construction of Classrooms for Lumad (CCL) of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS).

CCL responds to the education needs of IP communities while preserving and promoting their unique culture and heritage.

Last October 2018, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed between DSWD XI, LGU Talaingod, and AFP for the CCL projects in Talaingod. 

“The DSWD’s joint partnership with AFP aims to fast-track the implementation of schools in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs) in Talaingod after it encountered numerous challenges that caused delay in delivering its commitment of completing construction as planned,” said DSWD Regional Director Mercedita P. Jabagat.

These problems included difficulties in transporting materials to the construction site and non-compliance of the contractor to the targeted physical accomplishments.

DSWD collaboration with its partners

Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the programs of DSWD that uses the community-driven development approach to empower communities in undertaking their own development projects. This is done through their direct and active participation in local governance, including identifying their village’s issues and taking part in the implementation of projects responsive to these problems.

“Most of the observed needs of the Indigenous People communities our team witnessed are the lack of basic social services such as schools in far-flung areas, making education difficult to pursue,” said LTC Frederick A. Ancheta CE (GSC) PA, Commanding Officer of 534th Engineer Battalion, 52nd Engineering Brigade, Philippine Army.

He added, their assistance to DSWD is intended to fast-track construction of classrooms to respond to the limited access of IP communities to education. “Through education, the young IPs will have a better future ahead because they have classrooms that are conducive to learning.”

“The experienced personnel of 534th Engineering Battalion provided skilled labor in building schools such as masonry, carpentry, and plumbing. This depends on the scale of the needed works to do. The personnel deployed in each site ranges from one to two teams or 9 to 18 personnel,” shared CPT Devo T Bubuli (CE) PA, Company Commander, Charlie Company.

He added they also provide supervision to both skilled and unskilled workers during the construction.

“The Kalahi-CIDSS Area Coordinating Team (ACT) ensures that the implementation of the construction will be synchronized with our partners. From coordination with the Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU) in the delivery of materials and the schedule of the unskilled local labor up to the conduct of regular meetings for project updates and reporting system with all involved agencies,” said Merlinda Paragamac, Promotive Services Division Chief of DSWD.

“The community once lost its hope that the proposed classrooms may not be completed. But with the joint effort of DSWD and its partners, villagers now look forward to using the classrooms. Once the classrooms are fully operational, we’ll have a learning space to encourage curiosity, inspire creativity, and provide opportunity for personal and community growth of our IP students,” said school principal Abelardo D. Cardinal Jr.

DSWD also partnered with Department of Education (DepEd) in the CCL implementation.

CCL grant allocation in Barangay Sto. Nino is Php 11,781,855.00 targeting 15 classrooms while the Municipality of Talaingod has a total grant allocation of Php 29,061,909.00. The classrooms will be completed in December 2019. (DSWD)

JMC to use DSWD Listahanan data

DATA SHARING. Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Director Mercedita P. Jabagat [center] turns over a DSWD Listahanan Data to Jose Maria College (JMC) Human Resource Development and Management Director Leonora Q. De Guzman and Quality Management System Director Rosener Guyano [leftmost]. The Listahanan data will serve as reference for JMC in identifying potential participants in its scholarship program. As recipient of the privileged data, JMC shall ensure its safekeeping, proper transmittal, handling and restricted access as indicated in the Listahanan Data Sharing Guidelines and in accordance with the Data Privacy Act. Joining the turnover are DSWD Promotive Services Division Chief Merlinda A. Paragamac and Assistant Regional Director for Operations Alfredo M. Sy.

Listahanan is the DSWD information management system that identifies who and where the poor are. It is a comprehensive socio-economic database of poor households as basis for determining beneficiaries of different social protection programs and services. (DSWD)

Of bumpy roads and community goals



Sarangani, Davao Occidental (DSWD XI) – Surviving the daily grind was a struggle for the townsfolk of Barangay Laker in Sarangani, Davao Occidental.

After all, not so long ago, residents, especially students, teachers, and farmers had to travel by foot or horse, braving the bumpy, slippery, and muddy road in order to go to school or transport products to the nearest market. Basically, to the young kids and to the older people who are trying to make a living, even getting to where they need to be posed a glaring challenge.

“Before, we spent so much time travelling since getting to our barangay required two trips. First, by a 30-minute boat ride from the sentro (poblacion) followed by a hike or a horseback ride along slippery, bumpy, and muddy roads all the way to our barangay,” said Royeca J. Palbe, 34, a Kalahi-CIDSS community volunteer.

Today, the challenge of their once dangerous roads is behind them. Now, the community volunteer is proud to showcase the new roads in their barangay which they built through Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS). This program even empowered the community by including them in the whole planning, execution, and process.

Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the programs of DSWD that uses the Community Driven Development (CDD) approach to empower local communities to undertake their own development projects by actively and directly partaking in local governance. The locals are a vital part of every project because they help identify their community needs as well as take part in implementing projects that will address these needs.

Challenges, blessings

The municipality of Sarangani has a total grant allocation of Php 11, 645.000.00 per cycle.

“Through the Kalahi-CIDSS process, barangays are given the opportunity to present project proposals during the Municipal Inter- Barangay Forum Participatory Resource Allocation (MIBF-PRA). The people will then vote for projects deserving to receive funding, using a set of criteria that they themselves have formulated,” explained Merlinda A. Paragamac, DSWD Promotive Services Division Chief.   

While this system is great news for barangays that have been prioritized, it also means that there are communities that may not be chosen for a particular cycle. Due to budget limitations, communities are taught to be smart about which projects to prioritize. Usually, the projects which are chosen benefit the most people, and also contribute to the general economic welfare of the community. This is a learning curve for most people, though.

“Sa cycle 1, wala mi na prioritize maskin naningkamot mi. Among gipakita among sitwasyon pinaagi sa pag drama aron makita nila among kahimtang sa una. Among gi comply ang mga dokumento ug gitrabaho ang tanan. Pero wala gihapon namo nakuha ang proyekto (During cycle 1, we were not prioritized despite our best efforts to get the fund. We even re-enacted the situation in our community so they would understand. We completed all the documents and prepared everything but we did not get the sub-project),”Palber recounted.

She added,the community pondered that maybe their efforts were not enough because they failed to get the sub-project that they’ve been longing for. Eventually they understood that not all “needs” could be addressed right away, with the limited funding and the challenges of other areas. In the end, they were able to view the situation with a fresh, optimistic resolve.

“Our Barangay officials and the Kalahi-CIDSS Area Coordinating Team encouraged us to never give up on our dreams.”

Palbe shared that participating in the program had its challenges but it provided the townsfolk of Barangay Laker with better opportunities when they were ranked as number one among six prioritized barangays that were granted funds for the sub-projects they proposed during the second cycle of implementation.

Gitun-an nako ang proseso sa programa, gihatag sa ako ang katungod sa mga time sheet, Employment Record sheet, og logbook. First time gyud nako ni makat-unan. Mura ko og nag skwela og usab. Sulod sa tulo ka tuig, natun-an gyud nako ang proseso (I learned the process of the program. I was given the responsibility to take care of the time sheet, Employment Record sheet, as well as the logbook. It’s my first time to learn something like this. It’s like I’m back in school. In three years, I learned the process).”

“The community volunteers are happy to have it. An improved road makes transport easier and now that they engage in the CDD process, they feel that they can better support themselves.”

On the implementation of the sub-project, they used the Community Force Account (CFA), a sub-project implementation arrangement where the sub-project is directly implemented by the community. The community procure the materials, hire local manpower and other needed resources to complete the sub-project.

The Community Force Account (CFA) not only contributes to generate additional income for rural families but it also allows skilled and unskilled workers from the barangay to construct the community project.

“Daghan mi og natun-an, hilabi na ang mga trabahante. Ang lima ka sitio naay rotation. Pag sugod sa trabaho nagpatawag og meeting. Sa sugod nag lisud mi sa materyales kay gikan pa sa layo nga lugar. Ang pagtrabaho naa man mi tanan naka monitor. Pag naay problema magpatawag mi og meeting aron masulusyonan dayon. (We learned a lot, especially the laborers. All sitios rotate for the project. We called for a meeting. We had difficulty at first since our materials were procured from a far place. We monitor our project and when problems arise, we meet to find solutions),”said Dondon M. Malina, 42, part of Project Preparation Team (PPT).

The concreting of community access road was funded by DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS at Php 2,494,402.00 with a Local Counterpart Contribution of Php 78,614.00.

Hopeful community volunteers

Because of the improved condition of the road, the cost of transporting their goods has gone down by almost half.

“Before, I would sell copras at Php 35.00, now I could offer it at Php 20.00 Everyone truly benefited in this project,” Malina added.

At present, the municipalities undergoing the LGU-led cycle are Braulio E. Dujali, Baganga, Don Marcelino, Jose Abad Santos, Kiblawan, Lupon, Malalag, Montevista, San Isidro of Davao del Norte, and Sta. Maria with a total grant allocation of Php 173, 980, 750.00.

The townsfolk have improved their lives through Kalahi- CIDSS. It did not only give them a valuable resource, it also helped strengthen their leadership and camaraderie as a community.

“The municipality benefited largely from the program, not only because of the sub-projects but also the process that promotes transparency and empowers communities.  As a response, we will ensure that the process is sustained while the resources will never be put to waste,” Palbe emphasized.

The Kalahi-CIDSS project, through the collective effort of community volunteers, now provides safety to students when going to school and to farmers transporting their products. The road that imposed danger is now eliminated since the program and the people busted the bumps. (DSWD)