DSWD Field Office 1 Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo bagged the Best Manager while Assistant Regional Director for Operations Marlene Febes D. Peralta topped the Gawad HUWARAN during the 2020 DSWD Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE) through a virtual recognition led by DSWD Central Office.

Regional Director Castillo is a person who adds organizational value by serving others –  an epitome of a true leader.

 “This award is a manifestation of unity and tenacity of DSWD Field Office 1 staff in providing sound and suitable social assistance and social protection programs to accelerate human development and build stronger and more resilient communities in Region 1. The Field Office 1 staff may have diverse personalities and unique dynamics, but these did not hinder in providing quick service delivery to the public, instead, these characteristics have shaped stronger organizational culture and developed a greater sense of responsibility to achieve the DSWD’s strategic goals. I would like also to remind everybody that the best place of leadership is not always the highest position nor the most prominent place. True leadership is in a situation or position where one can best serve and add most value to the people. As John Maxwell shared, the bottom line in leadership is not how far we advance ourselves but how far we advance others. I cannot have this award without you who believed in me and supported me, thus, I want to return this by believing, serving, listening, and learning with you for me to become a better public servant,” said Director Castillo in his message during a Monday Program.

ARDO Peralta poses after she was hailed as Gawad HUWARAN during the 2020 DSWD PRAISE Awards through virtual awarding.

Meanwhile, ARDO Peralta who bagged the highest award, the Gawad HUWARAN, is someone who shows love and compassion without borders to everyone in the office. Just like a mother, she is happy if somebody excels in her work and openly shares her appreciation; however, she also sympathizes and feels unhappy if there are staff who do not perform well or not getting the work done. Nevertheless, she thinks of possibilities to help staff to excel by pushing them how to develop their potentials. She observes fairness by respecting the rights of others and acts with courtesy, consideration, sensitivity, and equity. She devotes her time to share her knowledge and advice to help staff to grow better and develop their utmost potentials. She also believes in the mantra of Steve Jobs that “if you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed; the vision pulls you.” Gawad HUWARAN is an award given to a DSWD employee who is able to consistently demonstrate exemplary ethical behavior on the observance of eight (8) norms provided in RA 6713 and render extraordinary work performance or service based on the DSWD’s three (3) core values, thereby significantly contributing and making a positive impact in the workplace and outside the Department.

Aside from garnering the two (2) top national awards, Social Welfare Office III and the Head of the Social Technology Section Korina Tinol and Field Office1 bagged both the 3rd place under the category of Best Technical Social Worker and Best Social Amelioration Program (SAP) Implementation, respectively. The Best SAP Implementation acknowledges the outstanding achievement and/or performance of DSWD Field Offices in ensuring the delivery of social protection and social amelioration programs, projects, and services adaptive to the current pandemic context to mitigate the effects on health, economic, social, physical and psychosocial well-being of the most vulnerable sectors are acknowledged. On the other hand, the Field Office was a national nominee under the Gender and Development Laudable Efforts and Notable Schemes (GADLENS). GADLENS, categorized under the PRAISE Innovation Award, recognizes the outstanding achievement and/or performance of offices in mainstreaming gender and employing a GAD perspective in all policies, strategies, mechanisms, programs, projects, activities, and services.

The DSWD PRAISE is designed to encourage creativity, innovativeness, efficiency, integrity, and productivity in the public service by recognizing and rewarding officials and employees, individually or in groups, by providing incentives and rewards for their suggestion, inventions, superior accomplishment, and other personal efforts which contribute to program enhancement, efficiency, economy, or other improvement in government operations, or for other extraordinary acts or services in the public interest, particularly that which leads to the Department’s achievement of its goals and strategic initiatives. # (by: Darwin T. Chan, Social Marketing Unit)