DSWD FO 1 brings community service to the indigenous people of Santol, La Union

Top Photo: The indigenous people of Sapdaan, Santol, La Union carefully listen to a DSWD FO 1 staff who talks about preventing violence against women and children. Lower Photo: A policeman offers free haircut to the youngsters as part of the convergence of DSWD FO 1 and other agencies of bringing community service to Sapdaan.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO 1) brings “Serbisyo Information Caravan cum Violence against Women and Children (VAWC) Orientation” to the indigenous people (IP) of Sapdaan, Santol, La Union.

The indigenous community of Kankanaey was oriented on the different programs and services that they can avail from DSWD FO 1. They were also informed of their rights and the things they can do in order to stop violence against women and children.

The Men Opposed to Violence-against-women Everywhere (MOVE), a group of DSWD FO 1 employees who are advocating for the eradication of VAWC, provided also the community of 481 individuals in 94 households with different social services and gift items like free check-up and medicine, free haircut, free vegetable seeds, family food packs with malongs and blankets, and toys and other accessories for the children.

A total of PhP30,000.00 worth of financial assistance was also distributed during the event. The said amount was intended for educational and medicinal purposes of the identified individuals who are in crisis.

The activity that was spearheaded by MOVE was in cooperation with the Local Government Unit of Santol, La Union, Department of Health, Santol Police Station, and the 3rd Mobile Force Platoon of the 1st La Union Mobile Force Company.

Agyaman kami ti DSWD iti panangiyegyo  kadagitoy a tulong ditoy lugarmi. Dakkel a pagsayaatan dagitoy nga inpaayyo kadakami nga marigrigat iti panagbiagna (We thank DSWD for bringing these services to our place. These are of big help for all of us who are poor),” said Rizaldo Banggoy, the Indigenous Peoples’ Municipal Representative.

Sapdaan, the farthest barangay of Santol, La Union, is classified as a Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Area (GIDA). It is  27-kilometer away from the Municipal Hall and it can be reached through a 1.5-hour ride to Brgy. Sasaba followed by a 4-hour hike. (by Ruperto A. Sabalo, Jr., Social Marketing Officer, Kalahi-CIDSS)

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Bayanihan works in Apang, Alilem, Ilocos Sur

Around sixty participants composed of community volunteers, municipal officials and employees, and representatives of national government agencies join all together for the “Bayanihan sa Apang”.

Dubbed as “Bayanihan sa Apang”, various local and national sectors joined forces with the community volunteers in Apang, Alilem, Ilocos Sur for one day during the construction of the suspension bridge, a sub-project of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services or Kalahi-CIDSS of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office 1.

Around sixty (60) participants simultaneously pulled the main cable steel wires across Bakun River, the site of the sub-project, in a display of “bayanihan” or unity and cooperation, a famous Filipino tradition.

The event is a brainchild of the community volunteers who suggested the use of physical labor in laying the main cable steel wires during a barangay assembly because of the presence of boulders along the river bank that made impossible for the use of heavy equipment.

A memorandum was issued by the Municipal Mayor enjoining all sectors to participate in the activity.

The participants are Municipal Officials and Employees of said town together with representatives of National Government Agencies like the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Justice (DOJ), Commission on Election (COMELEC) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Staff from other DSWD programs like the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (PPPP) and the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) also took part in the said activity. (by Ruperto A. Sabalo, Jr., Social Marketing Officer, Kalahi-CIDSS)

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The Unveiled Heart of a Kalahi – CIDSS volunteer

Community Volunteer Aprilyn Balanon Ferrer (center) actively participates during the fourth Municipal Orientation of DSWD Kalahi CIDSS-NCDDP in San Gabriel, La Union.

“Volunteering for the community is no easy task and even harder when you are alone. Everyone should be working all together.”

These are the words Aprilyn Balanon Ferrer learned in one of her trainings as a community volunteer of Poblacion, San Gabriel, La Union for the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services – National Community-Driven Development Program (Kalahi CIDSS – NCDDP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The 33 year-old Ferrer is lamenting the difficulties she is facing as a volunteer for the Participatory Situational Analysis (PSA) and as Chairperson of the Project Preparation Team (PPT) from the first to the third cycles of the program in her barangay.

When she sat down for an interview, she was timid and hesitant at first. She was holding her words and seemed like she was sizing up whether or not she could trust her words about her experiences with the program to her interviewer.

Ang hirap (It’s very difficult)!” Ferrer opened up when she was asked of her comment being a community volunteer.

A teary eyed Ferrer continued to tell her challenges in mobilizing the community like gathering them for committee meetings and barangay assemblies. The lack of support from the Barangay Officials is making her work even harder.


The mother of  three  thinks  that the cold treatment of the people of Poblacion to the program stems from the fact that there is no single sub-project proposal from her barangay that is prioritized up to this day.

Baka iniisip nila na wala naman nangyayari sa pagod nila kasi hindi naman kami napa-prioritize (The people might be thinking that nothing is happening with their effort because they have never been prioritized),” says Ferrer. “Pero hindi nila naisip na sila ay nae-empower (But they have not realized that they are being empowered).”

The cold reception was already manifested during the first cycle but it became even colder on the next cycles.

For Ferrer, no matter how much effort she pours in to the program when less people are cooperating, she will always come to a point where she needs to assess herself whether or not she is wasting her time.


When asked if she is giving up, she paused and bowed her head. After a second of silence, she raised her head and then flashed a forced smile on her face.

Hindi ako susuko (I won’t give up),” Ferrer quips. “Gusto ko talaga makatulong sa aming lugar. Iyan yung rason ko kung bakit ako naging volunteer noong una (I really wanted to help our community. That is the reason why I volunteered the first time).”

Ferrer also worked for the Local Government Unit of San Gabriel as a job order for six months because she really wanted doing public service.

She vowed to remain committed with DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS because she believes with the goals of the program. Although it is not easy to be a volunteer while taking care of her family, her passion to spread the program’s advocacy remains high.

Now, that the program is on its fourth and final cycle, she wishes that her barangay’s sub-project proposal will be prioritized at the municipal level in order to get a funding. She feels more positive this time.

Naniniwala naman ako ngayon na may pag-asa nang mas maraming tao at opisyal ng aming barangay ang makikibahagi sa programang ito. Kung hindi pa rin kami ma-prioritize, ang mahalaga ay marami kaming natutunan (I believe that there is hope this time that there will be more people and officials from our community to get involved with this program. In case, we will still not be prioritized, what is important is we learned a lot),” says Ferrer as she closed the interview.

For the fourth cycle of DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS, Ferrer is once again a volunteer for the PSA of her community.


The DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the main poverty reduction programs of the Philippine government that seeks to apply local participatory, community-led and community-driven approaches proven to be effective in community development work.

It is serving eleven (11) municipalities and 133 barangays in Region I. Today, a total of 125 sub-projects have been completed and 25 more sub-projects are being implemented. (by Ruperto A. Sabalo, Jr., Social Marketing Officer, Kalahi-CIDSS)

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DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS Municipalities undergo checkpoint on GAD responsiveness

Eleven (11) Kalahi-CIDSS municipalities of DSWD FO 1 underwent a Gender and Development (GAD) Responsive Planning and Budgeting checkpoint to institutionalize systems and activities that uphold the principles and significant contribution of women to social development.

The checkpoint identified and addressed the gaps in the GAD plans of these municipalities that were identified in 2015 and 2016 through the Gender Mainstreaming Evaluation Framework (GMEF) and the Gender Responsive Local Government Unit (GeRL) tools.

The result of the GMEF tool showed that most of these municipalities are still in the foundation formation or in the installation of strategic mechanism in addressing GAD issues in their areas.

The GeRL tool, on the other hand, identified some issues that need to be addressed like providing access to breast cancer examination, center for children and youth, crisis center for women, equal opportunity policy or ordinance, and multi-purpose hall that can be used by women for recreation.

Participants included members of the Municipal Inter-Agency Committee composed of municipal officials and the heads of offices together with barangay officials.

The eleven municipalities are Nagbukel, Alilem, Burgos, Sigay, Quirino, and Sugpon in Ilocos Sur; Santol, Bagulin, San Gabriel, and Pugo in La Union; and Burgos in Pangasinan. (by Ruperto A. Sabalo, Jr., Social Marketing Officer, Kalahi-CIDSS)

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Box culvert sub-project in San Gabriel, La Union gets support from PGLU

The box culvert sub-project of Apayao, San Gabriel, La Union under the supervision of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan–Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS) got support from the Provincial Government of La Union (PGLU) as a result of the perseverance and unity of the villagers.

The construction of box culvert was the sub-project proposal for the third cycle of said barangay that was prioritized during the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum – Participatory Resource Allocation (MIBF-PRA).

Kasta unay ti ragsakmi idi dakami ti mangabak ta daytoy ti umuna nga gundaway a na-prioritize kami. Saan kami pulos nga nangab-abak idi umuna ken maikadua a cycle (We were very happy when we won because this was the first time that our sub-project was prioritized. We never won during the first and second cycles),” said Barangay Captain Pedro Libong.


Information about the result had spread out easily in Apayao through short messaging services (SMS) by the villagers who attended the forum which brought excitement to most of them. But there is still one criterion that needed to be addressed before announcing the final winner – the deduction of points to the overall score for some criteria that were not met during the community planning cycle.

For having absences by some residents during barangay assemblies, a point deduction had caused them to slip to third spot in the list of prioritized projects to be funded.

The sub-projects of Lipay Norte and Lacong have moved up to first and second positions, respectively.


During the allocation of the more than PhP7 million funds for San Gabriel, after the first two sub-projects got their shares, the community volunteers and barangay officials were dismayed when the remaining fund was no longer sufficient for their proposal.

Sobra kinaragsakmi talaga idi makitami nga dakami ti immuna nga na-prioritize (We were really very happy when we saw that we were the top priority),” said Jose Delfin, Chairman of Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC). “Ngem nagsangit kami nga volunteers idi makitami nga agkurangen ti nasurok nga PhP600,000.00 daydiay pondo. Kayatna sawen nga saanmin a maaramid diay sub-project mi (But we volunteers really cried when we saw that the fund was already short of more than PhP600,000.00 to support our sub-project. It means that we can no longer build it).”

Out of the total fund, PhP2,636,105 was given to Lipay Norte while PhP3,218,000 was awarded to Lacong that shrank the remaining fund to PhP1,753,004.19, a PhP600,653.81 short of the total PhP2,353,658 fund needed for Apayao.


Barangay Captain Libong witnessed how devastated his constituents in the audience were. They did not know how to explain the mix-up of rankings to the other villagers who were earlier informed by SMS that they had already won.

The community volunteers urged Barangay Captain Libong to call for a caucus and it was agreed by the whole community to seek the help of the municipal officials for additional funding which prompted him to immediately call Municipal Mayor Herminigildo M. Velasco.

Tumawag sa akin si Kapitan Libong kahit gabi na (Brgy. Captain Libong called me even if it was late at night already),” said Mayor Velasco. “Nararamdaman kong mangiyak-iyak siya na nagsasabi ng kanilang problema (I felt like he was on the verge of crying while he was telling me their problem).”

Since there were no more available municipal funds to augment the demand of the residents of Apayao, Mayor Velasco, together with Sangguniang Bayan Member (SBM) Divina D. Velasco, brought the matter personally to Governor Francisco Emmanuel “Pacoy” R. Ortega III.

After two months since the meeting with the governor, the PGLU granted the additional fund for the people of Apayao.


The community volunteers started the sub-project on 19 December 2017 with the assistance of the Area Coordinating Team (ACT) of DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS of San Gabriel. The box culvert was finished on 31 March 2018.

During the inauguration of the sub-project, Leticia Balanon, a midwife and a community volunteer said, “Dakkel unay a maited na nga pagimbagan daytoy a sub-project. Makalasatkamin iti panagtutudo wenno nu dakkel ti karayan. Kasta met nga maipanmin mailako idiay ili dagiti produkto mi (This sub-project benefits us a lot. We can now cross the place even during rainy season or when the river has high water level. Also, we can now bring our harvests to the market).”

Nakita tayo ti unity dagiti bumarangay ditoy a napasamak (We saw how the people of Apayao united during these events),” added Mayor Velasco. (by Ruperto A. Sabalo, Jr., Social Marketing Officer, Kalahi-CIDSS)

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