Regional OSCA Heads to Form Organization

The election of Regional Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) Officers and Socialization Night marks the 3rd Regional OSCA and Federation of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines (FSCAP) Presidents in Region 1 in Baguio City, recently shall pave the way to organize OSCA Heads Organization.

This is through the support of the newly elected OSCA Officers who are as follows:  President-Judge Joven F. Costales from Naguilian, La Union; Executive Vice President – Mr. Jose B. Zapata from Sinait, Ilocos Sur; Vice President – Mrs.Andrea N. Domingo from Laoag City, Ilocos Norte; Vice President-Mr. Rogelio D. Dacanay from Rosario, La Union; Secretary-Mrs.Teresita R. Rivera from Sto. Tomas, La Union; Treasurer- Natividad A. Pelaez from San Fernando City, La Union; Business Managers- Engr. Romelias C Pascual from Vintar, Ilocos Norte and Mr. Reynaldo S. Peralta from Narvacan, Ilocos Sur; Public Relations Officers- Mr. Ascencion V. Bonoan from Bacarra, Ilocos Norte and Mrs. Ma. Luisa C. Fontanilla from Agoo, La Union; and Auditor- Mr. Pedro R. Estoque from Tubao, La Union.

Forming such organization will lead to strengthened partnership and collaboration among the members since they came from other provinces in the region for the development of their group.

Aside from the election of OSCA Officers, the participants dazzled and grooved in their youngster attire during their solidarity night. They showed how senior citizens actively participate in various activities like singing and dancing competition. Winners in the different talent competition are the following: Cesar Mina from Villasis, Pangasinan, Charlie Mendoza from Tayug, Pangasinan, and Ricarte Cristobal from Binmaley, Pangasinan were the winners of the Divang Lolo, respectively.

For Divang Lola, Andrea Domingo from Laoag City, Ilocos Norte grabbed the first prize, while the second and third were being to Milagros Natividad from Bani, Pangasinan and Lina Martinez from San Fernando City, La Union. Ricarte Cristobal from Binmaley, Pangasinan and Gloria Rosario from Calasiao, Pangasinan was announced to be the Lolo and Lola of the Night.

The King and Queen of the dance floor were Milagros Natividad from Bani, Pangasinan and Tito Martinez from San Carlos City, Pangasinan being the Dancing Grandpa and Grandma. For being physically active, Elpidio Calixtro from Bani, Pangasinan and Purita Peralta from San Fernando City, La Union were awarded as Aktibong Lolo and Lola. Despite the old age, Natividad Pelaez from San Fernando City, La Union and Ascencion Bonoan from Bacarra, Ilocos Norte still proved themselves to be Most Demure and Early Bird, respectively. Also for being a valued partner, Anita Fernandez from Urdaneta City, Pangasinan and Kathleen Olivas from Burgos, La Union were recognized as Most Supportive CSWDO and MSWDO, respectively.

Certificates of Accreditation for Senior Citizens Centers were awarded to the municipalities of Balungao and Calasiao, and the City of Dagupan.

During the convention, Atty. Germaine Trittle P. Leonin, the resource speaker provided updates and the status of implementation of Republic Act 9994 or the “Senior Citizens Act of 2010”.  Dr. Mary Grace de Vera also had a discussion on healthy aging. She stated that millions of older adults struggle every day with health challenges such as chronic disease, falls, and mental health issues. She shared steps for a healthy lifestyle based on the Pilipinas Go4Health Movement: 1) Go Sigla, 2) Go Sustansya, 3) Go Smoke-Free and 4) Go Slow sa Tagay. Because of this, Dr. De Vera convinced and encouraged the senior citizens not to regret growing older.

“White hair is a sign of wisdom. Not only wisdom should be shared to fellow senior citizens but also compassion. We have the passion to help our marginalized senior citizens”, Assistant Regional Director for Administration Nora D. Dela Paz said.

The participants during the two day convention were composed of OSCA heads, FSCAP Presidents, Provincial/City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers (P/C/MSWDO’s) and Senior Citizens Focal Persons of Region I. There were 262 participants who attended the said activity. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Administrative Assistant V, Listahanan/NHTS-PR)

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DSWD FO1 Formally Launches “Listahanan” and Regional Profile of the Poor

Top: RD Castillo delivering his opening message.  Lower left: Ms. Glynnis S. Casuga presenting the Regional Profile of the Poor.  Lower Right: ARD Marlene Febes D. Peralta who formally introduces “Listahanan”.  Inset: “Listahanan” Logo

Top: RD Castillo delivering his opening message.
Lower left: Ms. Glynnis S. Casuga presenting the Regional Profile of the Poor.
Lower Right: ARD Marlene Febes D. Peralta who formally introduces “Listahanan”.
Inset: “Listahanan” Logo

“Listahanan” features the legitimate database of poor families who deserve to receive social protection programs and services from the government.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office 1 proudly introduced “Listahanan” with its tagline Talaan ng Pamilyang Nangangailangan during the opening celebration of the 24th National Statistics Month with the theme “Statistics that Matter to Every Filipino” held at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, City of San Fernando, La Union in coordination with the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB).

“Listahanan” is now the new brand name of the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) project being spearheaded by the DSWD. This is a coined Filipino word which came from Listahan (List) and Tahanan (Households).

Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo underscored that no one is exempted and shall be left behind. Thus, making an assurance that all poor households are properly identified as to who and where they are for them to be included in the “Listahanan” database through the second round of household assessment to be conducted this quarter.

Dir. Castillo highlighted that the “Listahanan” marks the beginning for all the vulnerable sectors of our society to experience an improved quality of life as being manifested in the living testimonies of numerous beneficiaries of social protection programs and services. That is why “Listahanan” continues to intensify its credibility being the prime source of accurate, complete, and reliable data to all existing stakeholders.

Assistant Regional Director Marlene Febes D. Peralta, Deputy Regional Project Manager formally introduced and articulated “Listahanan” along with the 928,633 households to be assessed entire the region for the second round of household assessment.

Simultaneous with the formal introduction of the “Listahanan”, the Regional Profile of the Poor was also presented. The Regional Associate Statistician Glynnis S. Casuga presented the result of the household assessment conducted last 2009. The Regional Profile of the Poor highlights the relevance and importance of understanding the poor household’s status and subsequently recommends appropriate interventions.

“Listahanan” Base kits and copies of the Regional Profile of the Poor were distributed to all the participants to include Government Agencies, Academe, Media Partners among others. “Listahanan” Base kits are valuable tools which aim to promote the importance of “Listahanan” among its stakeholders. It contains the Regional Profile of the Poor, briefers, and flyers.

With “Listahanan”, DSWD is hopeful that this will have an easy recall and gain public awareness easier, thus stakeholders’ access for social development.

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Pantawid Pamilya in La Union: A Jumpstart to Development – ADB


FACE TO FACE INTERACTION. One of the beneficiaries shares how Pantawid Pamilya brought about change and development to her family (right). ADB Project Leader Chris Sphor solicits these experiences and thoughts of the beneficiaries about the Program (left).

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Team headed by its Project Leader Chris Sphor pronounced that the implementation of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO1) in La Union is so impressive.

According to Sphor all the beneficiaries have high level of awareness about the program, observe properly the conditionalites, and recognize the importance of attending and internalizing all the topics discussed in the Family Development Sessions (FDS). Through the compliance of the beneficiaries with the program conditionalities, human capital such as the health and education of children is protected leading to their improved quality of life in the near future.

Mayor Daisy A. Sayangda of Santol, La Union proudly shared to the ADB Team their local initiatives in addressing poverty and uplifting their way of living by starting with themselves.

The ADB appreciated the crafting of Municipal Transition Plan (MTP) and the implementation of Sitio Development Initiative (SDI) and “Oplan Pagbabago”. Mayor Sayangda stated that the MTP foresees and directs the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries’ scheme in sustaining the program after their exit in 2014. One of the ways of such undertaking is the empowerment of the people in planning their future efforts and managing their own available resources leading to a smart community through the SDI. “Oplan Pagbabago” also aims to provide more productive jobs within the locality for the beneficiaries.

The utilization of Social Welfare Indicator (SWI) also got the attention of the team. According to them, SWI results are essential in case management especially in looking into key issues surrounding the program in the local level. Thus may serve as bases for the DSWD in planning appropriate actions or interventions for the beneficiaries in the locality.

Mayor Sayangda also plans to establish an Indigenous People (IP) school that would cater to all IP students from nursery to High School for them to have access to quality education and an additional High School facility in coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd) and College in partnership with the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) to bring to the municipality some of their course offerings. This is for all the students not to go anymore to the nearby municipality to study. Community Center Learning Technology (CCLT) also aims to provide the community people with competitive skills in agriculture and food processing.

Meanwhile, Mayor Jose B. Abansi of Burgos, La Union extended his great appreciation on the assistance being provided by the Program to all the 510 beneficiaries in the municipality. Mayor Abansi is also grateful to DSWD that the Municipality of Burgos is one of the areas being helped by the Department in developing and uplifting the lives of the beneficiaries through the Program. He further added that the beneficiaries are really enjoying the improvement of their lives. That is why, he promised to create sustainable livelihood projects or additional jobs specifically designed for the beneficiaries.

This Field Visit which was recently conducted by the ADB in Set 2 areas of Santol and Set 3 areas of Burgos is a part of the Program’s midterm review implementation and to know if there is a great impact of the program to the lives of all the beneficiaries. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Administrative Assistant V, Listahanan/NHTS-PR) 

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NHTS-PR A.K.A Listahanan

“Listahanan” signals the rebirth of the National Household TargetingPicture1 System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Now, the NHTS-PR is also known as “Listahanan” with its tagline Talaan ng Pamilyang Nangangailanagan (List of In Need Families). The battle cry of the NHTS-PR is now more intensified in ensuring that all data being provided to all stakeholders and data users are accurate, complete, and reliable for better service delivery to all poor families who need social protection the most as being implied by the house and the red soft edged check mark in the logo. This is by identifying who and where the poor are.

“Listahanan” is a coined word from Listahan (List) and Tahanan (Household) which connotes that all poor households being listed or included in the database are assured to be potential beneficiaries of social protection services and programs.

To formally introduce “Listahanan” with all stakeholders and data users, the DSWD Field Office 1 plans to launch its new name, brand, and logo in the succeeding months this year simultaneous with the conduct of the second round of household assessment.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Suliman approved on the use of the “Listahanan” so that the NHTS-PR would be easily remembered by the public especially all stakeholders and data users.

“Listahanan” is the legitimate database of poor families who deserve to receive programs and services from the government. Making the Listahanan known to the public is assuring that no poor Filipino family will be left behind. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Administrative Assistant V, Listahanan/NHTS-PR)

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Child Advocates Now Open to All LGUs

The Child Advocates Association of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO1) aims to organize more potent groups which could encourage adoptive and foster parents in the Local Government Units (LGU) in the entire region.

Such initiative is to intensify the advocacy of ensuring the best welfare and interest of children needing alternative parental care.

The association headed by Atty. Marilyn Hidalgo plans to conduct a series of meetings in Ilocos Norte and Pangasinan this month convening all interested individuals and groups to become Child Advocates such as the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers (MSWDOs), Social Welfare and Development Agencies (SWDAs), Licensed Foster Parents, Adoptive Parents, Day Care Workers, and others.

“The Association is thankful for the support extended by the Adoption Resource and Referral Section of the DSWD FO1 which led to the reactivation of the group that hibernated for almost two years”, said Atty. Hidalgo.

According to Adoption Resource and Referral Section Head Ms. Clarivel Banzuela, during the Alternative Parental Care Forum in Anda, Pangasinan recently held by the DSWD, the participants showed their willingness and interest with the formulation of the said association especially that they have cases of simulated birth certificates. The MSWDOs of Paoay and Bacarra, Ilocos Norte assured their support and participation to the said association.

Aside from that, the association will be conducting a Family Day Celebration to be held at the Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY) in September which will be participated in by the DSWD staff/children and the Advocates members/children. During the activity, rights of a child and roles of parents will be the major discussion.

The association is also planning to host a Children’s Congress in October designed for Adoptive Parents, Foster Parents, Adoptees, and Foster Children to have an opportunity to share and learn from one another’s adoption inspired experiences. A medical mission/gift giving activity will also be implemented in Sugpon, Ilocos Sur catering all the 98 beneficiaries of the Agsugpon Tayo project after the Camping in December.

With these future undertakings, the DSWD believes that more and more Child Advocates will join and support the association and eventually promote the welfare of all children in the region who have no families and parents.

By Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Administrative Assistant V, Listahanan/NHTS-PR

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Dir. Castillo Calls on LGUs Support to DSWD’s Listahanan Database

OPEN AND CLOSE. MDCs and the Department are partners that is why there should be close coordination with each other in implementing programs and services through open communication--Dir. Castillo.

OPEN AND CLOSE. MDCs and the Department are partners that is why there should be close coordination with each other in implementing programs and services through open communication–Dir. Castillo.

Partnership with the Local Government Units (LGUs) always leads to successful implementation of all programs and services for the poor and vulnerable clients.

 Thus, being underscored by the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO1) Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo to all the Municipal Planning and Development Coordinators (MPDCs) of La Union and Pangasinan during the Consultation Dialogue on the Data Sharing Guidelines and Utilization conducted by the Listahanan Project or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), recently.

 According to Dir. Castillo, all activities of the Department would not be possible or pushed through without the support of the LGUs. That is why, sharing the Listahanan database to the MPDCs is one of the best ways to spread its usability by encouraging them to become data users through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

 Also he emphasized the urgency of entering into a MOA so that all the needy clients will be continuously served with appropriate social protection services. No need to delay because their name is today.

 All the MPDCs really recognize the need to enter into a MOA through their Municipal Mayors because they will have a more efficient, cost effective, and focused targeting of their potential social protection beneficiaries in their own municipalities.

 Dir. Castillo admitted that exclusion and inclusion errors cannot be avoided but with strengthened partnership and collaboration with all the stakeholders, these could be minimized for better service delivery to the needy. In that way, the integrity of the database is protected being the prime source of accurate, complete, and reliable data.

 Moreover, the Regional Focal Person Ms. Anniely J. Ferrer recognized the MPDCs as one of the key partners in the conduct of second round of Household Assessment in September this year.

 Having discussed and articulated to all the MPDCs the project’s background, objectives, systems and procedures, along with the guidelines in utilizing the database, they are most likely convinced to enter into a MOA through their Municipal Mayors with the DSWD. If this is so, they will be given access to the online Listahanan database. (by Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Administrative Assistant V, Listahanan/NHTS-PR)

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Left Home Not To be Left Behind

Hyacinth Joy R. Singasing (left) and Eleanor A. Luvida (right) while actively participating in their class.   Hyacinth Joy R. Singasing (left) and Eleanor A. Luvida (right) while actively participating in their class.

Hyacinth Joy R. Singasing (left) and Eleanor A. Luvida (right) while actively participating in their class.

Both living in Brgy. Banga, Sugpon, Ilocos Sur, Hyacinth Joy R. Singasing, 12,  a Grade 8 student and Eleanor A. Luvida, 16, a fourth year student are determined and dared to trek the winding, slippery road and stride their  legs for an hour or more just to reach Sugpon National High School and pursue their Secondary education.

They are two of the children benefitting from the Agsugpon Tayo Project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO1).

“Saan ko kayat a maipada kadagiti nagannakko. Isunga agadalak a nasayaat agsipud ta mamatinak a siak ti mangital-o ti panagbiag iti pamiliami”  (I do not want to be like my parents. By my small ways and means, I believe that I can change our family’s status by studying hard) said Eleanor.

Hyacinth Joy also uttered, “Kalikagumak ti maaddaan ti nasayaat a masakbayan tapnu matulongak to met dagiti nagannakko babaen ti innak panagadal.” (I want to have a bright future so that in return, I can help my parents. So I must study hard.)

This is the driving force of the two students, not only for themselves alone but more for their families hoping that someday they will spin the wheel and bring them to the top. Both of them foresee that the realization of their dreams and success is now within their grasp through the Agsugpon Tayo Project.

Pieces of Advice in lieu of School Allowance

“Numanpay, agkurkurang ti maipabalonmi kadaytoy balasangmi, babaen ti panangbagbagami kanyana, isu ti mangpunno ti pagkuranganmi. Kanayon nga ibagbagak kanyana nga agadal a nasayaat ken agsingsingpet kadagiti pakidagdagusanna.” (Though we cannot provide her with enough money for her school expenses, giving her pieces of advice would suffice our lackings. I always tell her to devote herself in her studies and behave well in the house of her Foster Parent) said Abraham Luvida, 48, father of Eleanor.

Leaving their parents for a week-long schooling is a struggle for Eleanor and Hyacinth Joy. They always keep in their mind the pieces of advice of their parents as they leave their house in the weekends for school. They will be staying in the house of their Foster Parents in the Poblacion near the school.

Gilbert B. Singasing, 30, father of Hyacinth Joy expressed that he is really grateful for the Foster Parents who let her daughter be accommodated in their house and considers her as their daughter as well. “Natibker ti pakinakemko nga

adda ti nasayaat a kasasaad a kanayon ti balasangko, numanpay awan kami a mangkitkita kenkuana ti panagbasana.”  (Though we are not there directly at her side to guide her and attend to her needs, I am confident that she is in good hands.)

Foster Parent Cares

Like the biological parents, Vice Mayor Daniel C. Lańo Jr. being the foster parent of 24 students, one of them is Eleanor for four years also prays for the latter to graduate because this is the best way to bring transformation for her family. Vice Mayor Lańo views his role as very important so he makes sure that Eleanor goes to school regularly and encourages her to focus on her studies always. According to him, constant monitoring really helps in guiding Eleanor to the right path leading to her dreams. He also added that being a foster parent is a pledge not to be broken with due respect to the biological parents.

For almost four years being a foster parent, Vice Mayor Lańo realized that with the intervention brought about by the DSWD in the Agsugpon Tayo Project, the obligation of both parties is highlighted and strengthened so with the students as well through meetings and other activities.

Silbina R. Antok, 29, is now a mother of two with Hyacinth Joy already a part of her family. Considering that Hyacinth Joy is her niece, she full heartedly accommodated her to stay in their house. Silbina said that being the foster parent of Hyacinth is a great responsibility for her because her parents entrusted Hyacinth Joy to her.

More and More for the Future  

Mr. Romeo S. Venancio, the School Principal proudly stated that when Agsupon Tayo Project came into the picture, drop rate decreased because many students from far flung areas in the municipality enrolled already especially those grantees who stopped going to school. This led to the achievement level of the school to increase from 84% to 90% during the SY 2012-1013.

This is also being manifested by Municipal Mayor Fernando C. Quiton Sr. That is why he wants expansion of the project so that all youth in their locality will be sent to school through strengthened relationship of the Biological Parents and the Foster Parents. Having seen the project’s great impact, he also wants it to be institutionalized, that in the end it shall be solely sustained by the Municipality.

By Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Administrative Assistant V, Listahanan/NHTS-PR

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Political Aspirants Not To Use Pantawid Pamilya Program- Dir. Castillo

DSWD is now on-guard to the Pantawid Pamilya Program’s vulnerability  to be used again for political intent as the  Barangay and Sangguninang Kabataan Elections is coming near.

Thus, said Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo in  response to the allegations that the Pantawid Pamilya Program was used to draw in more registrees/voters with the notions that this will make them  stay  in the Program or for them not to be delisted.

These unjust  political strategies threatening beneficiaries to gain their favor  are but evident  only in few isolated areas in the Region, Director Castillo explained.

The Family Development Sessions are maximized avenue to  discuss these immediate concerns through DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilya staff and civil society organizations (CSOs). Partner non-government organizations such as RECITE had conducted simultaneous and continuous advocacy on the do’s and dont’s and their rights as Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries-voters  previously.

Also, Dir. Castillo  encourages the beneficiaries to know their rights and increase knowledge on the mechanics of the Program so that they will not be manipulated or threatened.

DSWD will  again launch the “Bawal ang Epal Dito” campaign  which will further insulate Pantawid Pamilya and its beneficiaries from being used by politicians and groups for political advancement, Director Castillo mentioned.

For the same concerns, the beneficiaries and concerned individuals could send a text to Pantawid Pamilya hotline 0918-912-2813 or visit nearest City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II and Allan O. Lulu, Pantawid Information Officer)

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