Youth Development Session commences in Region 1

“Hindi naging hadlang ang pagiging batang ina ko para makapagtapos ako ng pag-aaral. Pinagsasabay ko ang pag-aalaga ng aking anak at ang pag-aaral ko. Napakahirap ng aking mga naging karanasan. Lait at pangungutya ang inabot ko sa ibang tao (Being a young mother did not hinder me from pursuing my education. I baby sit while studying. My experience is harsh. People insulted and mocked me),” shared Mary Grace who gave birth at the age of 18.

She reminded her fellow youth: “Pagtuonan ng pansin ang inyong pag-aaral. Isantabi muna ang pakikipagrelasyon (Focus on your studies. Set aside entering into a relationship).”      

Mary Grace is one of the 256 grantees of the Expanded Students’ Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) at the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University-North La Union Campus who attended the pilot implementation of the Youth Development Session (YDS) of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Regional Program Management Office staff kicked off the YDS with discussions on Teenage Pregnancy and interactive activities such as reflection sessions, life planning, and role playing, among others.

The activity aims to decrease the dropout due to early pregnancy and to increase the number of ESGP-PA grantees and achievers.

Based on her experience in the YDS, Mary Grace testified that being a young mother is really tough since it is an unexpected occurrence at an early age; it is a reality that the youth must responsibly face and deal with.

YDS will be rolled out to the other State Universities and Colleges in the Region where ESGP-PA grantees are enrolled.

The ESGP-PA’s objective is to address poverty by increasing the number of graduates of higher education among poor households to create an opportunity for these graduates to be employed in value adding occupations to lift their families out of poverty while at the same time contributing to national development.

The program is implemented by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC), and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/ Pantawid Pamilya)

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Solo Parent grabs first Regional Modelong Ama ng Pantawid Pamilya

Mr. Conrado G. Achuela, 61, from Paoay, Ilocos Norte, was hailed as the Regional Winner of the first Search for Modelong Ama ng Pantawid Pamilya 2017 of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Modelong Ama Search is one way to rally support from men to champion women empowerment and gender equality and build them up to promote better gender relations at home and in the community. This is one of the advocacy initiatives of the DSWD to bring about transformed gender relations among Pantawid Pamilya households and to encourage homes to be free from gender-based discrimination and violence.

Mr. Conrado raised his four daughters on his own since his wife passed away 14 years ago. With all the struggles of being a solo parent, he is proud of the achievements of her responsible and bright daughters. He describes himself as “Mama-Tay” which he means willingness to sacrifice his life for his four daughters. He explained further, “Itakderak ti pamiliak a kas maysa nga ina ken ama. Babaen ti kinaigetko a nangisuro kadagiti annakko, nararayen ti pagtaengak (I will fight for my family as a mother and a father. Through diligently nurturing my daughters, this gave light to our home.)”  Achuela Family was also proclaimed as the Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya 2015 National Winner and continues to exemplify a model family.

Mr. Way L. Ruaboro from Mangatarem, Pangasinan; Mr. Severino B. Dingcog from Bacnotan, La Union; and Mr. Fredo D. Domine from Burgos, Ilocos Sur landed as runners up, respectively. All the awardees were conferred with plaque, certificate, and cash prize.

According to Assistant Regional Director Marlene Febes D. Peralta, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program recognizes the vital role of men in setting a good example in the family and community especially in the protection and observance of the rights of children and women. These model Pantawid Pamilya fathers’ acts are well respected without expecting something in return.

Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo congratulated all the model Pantawid Pamilya fathers. He said that fathers are the strength of the home and their sacrifices are priceless and valuable. The Modelong Ama title is the DSWD’s  way of salutation to these courageous Pantawid Pamilya fathers. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/ Pantawid Pamilya)

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ESGP-PA Coffee Table Book now officially launched

Twenty four selected grantees of the Expanded Students’ Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) personally signed their self-written inspiring stories compiled in a Coffee Table Book entitled Achieve and is now ready for release.

This is the country’s first ever compilation of success stories of ESGP-PA grantees of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 through Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo proudly claimed that this Coffee Table Book is a manifestation of the achievement of the Department and is so special because it was crafted by Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries themselves.

He said that the writers should be given due recognition. Their names and stories are written in the Coffee Table Book which will be shared to other regions in the country, State Colleges and Universities, Partner Agencies, and Media which will surely serve as an inspiration and leave life lessons. He also believes that these writers are driven with passion to inspire others especially the youth.

According to Hazel H. Achuela, Bachelor of Science in Agriculture student at the Mariano Marcos State University in Batac City, Ilocos Norte, she was so glad to be one of the writers and this created a remarkable page in her life. She and her three girl siblings grew up with the loving care of their father after their mother passed away 12 years ago. Her family is her source of strength leading her to be a consistent performing student. She also had an opportunity to be in Japan for an international study tour in 2016.

Assistant Regional Director for Operations Marlene Febes D. Peralta defined  ACHIEVE as words to live by and challenge to the writers: Act upon your dreams; Conquer any obstacles set before you; Harness your God-given talents and gifts with humility and wisdom; Ignite positivity and light the corner where you are; Value the grace of God, the love of family, and friends; and Entertain positive change. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/ Pantawid Pamilya)

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New Pantawid Pamilya GRS access number now available

The Department of Social Welfare and Development has announced the new Grievance Redress System (GRS) access number for Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program – 3456. For matters concerning the Program, this text format should be correctly followed: DSWD<space>4Ps<space>Name of Beneficiary<space>Message and then sent to 3456. Example: DSWD 4Ps Juana dela Cruz Kulang ang natanggap kong cash grant.

 DSWD emphasizes the correctness of the said text format to ensure all messages sent to 3456 are directed to 4Ps inbox monitored by the National Program Management Office through the Information Management Bureau of the DSWD Central Office.

The number 3456 is generic where all networks are able to support with a standard text rate of Php1.00 only.

The existing SMS Hotline 0918-912-2813 is still active and shall continue receiving messages.

Pantawid Pamilya Regional Program Management Office 1 usually receives complaints concerning low entitlement on health and education.

Other grievances are related to misbehavior of beneficiaries by means of engaging into vices and gambling. However, these grievances are immediately investigated and addressed by the Case Managers and Grievance Officers and provided with necessary and appropriate resolutions with reference and conformity to GRS guidelines.

GRS is a mechanism or set of procedures and processes used as a means to address and resolve issues and complaints related to project implementation. Its primary objective is to facilitate rapid and due process in resolving complaints and grievances, capture data on vulnerabilities related to Program implementation to effect refinements and improvements. It also empowers community and civil society to oversee and ensure accountability in the Program implementation. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/ Pantawid Pamilya)

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ESGP-PA stories in a Coffee Table Book soon to be launched

DSC_0445DSC_0388Twenty-four selected grantees of the Expanded Students’ Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) from all provinces of the region personally wrote their own stories of struggles and challenges in their quest for a better life through finishing their college.

The ESGP-PA aims to address poverty by increasing the number of higher education graduates among poor households and let these graduates be employed in high-value added occupations to lift their families out of poverty at the same time contribute to national development.

The program is implemented by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC), and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

It caters to deserving college students under Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program with a maximum grant of P60,000.00 per academic year.

With the supervision of the Social Marketing Unit of the DSWD Field Office 1, these ESGP-PA grantees were guided with principles of writing, duly discussed by Kalahi-CIDSS Regional Capability Building Specialist Jomara S. Chan.

Their outputs were enhanced with the expertise of DSWD Field Office 1 Information Officers and Information Officer I of the Philippine Information Agency Region 1 Joanne P. Dilim.

According to Ms. Dilim, the government indeed works to uplift the poor’s quality of life. She feels proud of the grantees accepting their present life situation with optimism to achieve their ambitions with the ESGP-PA.

There are 2,503 ESGP-PA grantees (Ilocos Norte-754, Ilocos Sur-668, La Union-689, Pangasinan-392) in the entire region enrolled in various State Universities and Colleges.

The participants claimed that they have learned a lot from the writeshop which they believe can be used in the future. They also added that it was a great privilege for them to write and share their own story and be an inspiration to others, which they consider as a treasure to keep.

All the stories will be compiled in a Coffee Table Book which will be launched in September during the Pantawid Pamilya Family Day Celebration. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/ Pantawid Pamilya)

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FDS lover mother sets Pantawid Pamilya-inspired rules in her house

Picture1Every mother wants the best for her children and always brings out the best in them. As they say, “Mother knows best.”

Milagros S. Gascon, 46, Parent Leader, and a mother of three, from Brgy. Buyong, Calasiao, Pangasinan believes this mother-child ideology. She said, “Ang tungkulin ko sa aking anak, asawa, at miyembro ay lalo pang pinapatatag ng mga natututunan ko sa buwanang pagdalo ko sa Family Development Session (FDS) (My responsibility to my child, husband, and members is strengthened by the lessons I learn from attending monthly FDS.)”

She thinks of ways to augment the income of her husband, Herardo, 53, a project officer of a lending company waging PhP8,000.00 a month. Meanwhile, Milagros seasonally earns PhP4,000.00 a month from selling mangoes, vegetables, fish, and the like every market day. “Bago ako uuwi sa bahay, bibili na muna ako ng mga kakailanganin namin sa araw-araw kaya wala din natitira sa napagbentahan ko (I buy groceries and our other everyday needs first before going home so what I earn from selling also runs out.)”

She added, “Ang magiging kahihinatnan ng isang bata ay nakasalalay sa kung paano siya pinalaki. Kaya dapat gabayan sa tamang paraan ang mga anak (The upbringing of a child dictates who he/she will become. So guiding them the right way is a must.)”

She keeps her head high as she shared her youngest child Maria Kissandra’s academic achievements. Maria Kissandra topped her Grade 4 class last school year. Since Grade 1, Maria Kissandra has been on top of her class and was awarded as most outstanding during her pre-school.


Motherly mandate

 Strictly no room for foul words. Gossiping is not allowed. Excessive liquor drinking is banned. Thumbs down to gambling. Honor God above all. Milagros strongly employs these rules inside and outside their house. She explains, “Wala akong pinalalampas kahit sinuman na lumabag sa mga ito lalo na kung kapwa ko benepisiaryo. Pinagsasabihan ko sila agad. Kaya nga dumadalo tayo sa FDS para matuto. Magsimula ang lahat ng mabubuting bagay sa ating mga magulang para sundan tayo ng ating mga anak (I never allow anyone especially my co-beneficiaries to break these rules. Right there and then I remind them. That is why we are attending FDS to learn good values. We, parents, should start doing good deeds so that our children will accordingly follow us.)”

“Ang isang kagaya kong Parent Leader ay dapat maging isang magandang halimbawa sa lahat (A Parent Leader like me should be a good example to everyone),” she humbly uttered.


Four joyful years of being a Parent Leader, to infinity and beyond

 Milagros is grateful because unlike other beneficiaries in their barangay, her husband is very supportive in all her endeavors for the Program. She narrates, “Tuwang-tuwa siya dahil alam niyang doon ako masaya sa ginagawa ko. Malaking-malaki talaga ang puso ko sa kapwa ko (He is very happy because he knows I find joy in what I do. I really do have compassion for my fellow.)”

“Kagustuhan siguro ng Diyos na mapabilang ako sa Pantawid Pamilya kaya sabi ko malaking pagpapala ito para sa akin. Kaya noong wala pang napipiling Parent Leader, nagpresenta na ako dahil gustong-gusto ko talagang maglingkod (Maybe, it is God’s will that I became part of Pantawid Pamilya so it is a great blessing to me. So when no one was chosen to be a Parent Leader yet, I volunteered myself to be one),” she recited. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/ Pantawid Pamilya)

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Pantawid Pamilya student-beneficiaries now officially enrolled

110 Pantawid Pamilya students (in all levels) were officially enrolled during the launching of early enrolment recently held at the Sudipen Vocational High School, La Union. They were enrolled free of charge sponsored by the Department of Education (DepED) Voucher Program and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) educational cash grant.  Actual enrolment starts from 16 to 20 May 2016.

The DepED Voucher Program is intended for Grade 10 (Junior High School) completers who wish to pursue Senior High School (SHS) education in non-DepED Schools such as Private High Schools, Colleges, and Universities, Local Universities and Colleges, State Universities and Colleges, and Technical and Vocational Schools, starting school year 2016-2017.

Voucher recipients from public/DepED Junior High Schools (JHS) who will enroll in non-DepED SHS will receive a full voucher amounting to PhP17,500.00. Voucher recipients from private JHS will receive PhP14,000.00 while those enrolling in State Universities and Colleges, regardless if they completed JHS in a public or private school, will receive PhP8,750.00. Cash is not directly given to students, the subsidy is remitted to the school, instead.

Meanwhile, DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program provides educational cash grants to the beneficiaries in the amount of PhP500.00 for High School and  Php300.00 for Elementary. Only three beneficiaries per poor household are entitled.

This early enrolment was conducted to generally record the correct school and grade level of children-beneficiaries for more efficient tracking of education compliance leading to an accurate computation of cash grant due to a concerned household.  Also, the activity aids DepED in updating school records in a timely manner.

Ms. Arlem Kenneth Areola, Pantawid Pamilya Institutional Partnership and Development Officer, encouraged all the parents to patiently guide their children in their pursuit of education leading them to a wider range of opportunities in the near future.

There are 392,332 Pantawid Pamilya student-beneficiaries monitored regionwide who are eligible for educational cash grants as of February to March 2016.  (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/ Pantawid Pamilya)

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Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary fights for peace and for the poor

Picture1“Hindi ko kailanman inisip na lumaban pa dahil sa mga masasakit na salitang binato sa akin. Pinili ko na lang na tumahimik dahil naniniwala akong tama ang ginagawa ko. Gusto ko lang namang tumulong sa mga nangangailangan sa aming barangay (I never thought of fighting back for the harsh words thrown at me. I just chose to remain silent because I believe I am doing the right thing. I just want to offer myself to be of service to those in need in our barangay),” Parent Leader Dominga Picar humbly said.

She narrated that someone attacked her with these words, as she quoted, “Wala kang karapatang tumulong sa iba dahil isa ka lang na poor na poor na poor! (You have no right to lend a hand because you are just very poor!)”

Though she felt so embarrassed, she just let it pass. Her Pantawid Pamliya members persuaded her to be strong and to continue being an instrument in extending services to the poor in their locality. Her members even pushed her to run for Brgy. Kagawad way back 2013, which she turned down at first.

With her passion to be a servant to those in need, she accepted the challenge of her members. Prior to that, she was approached by her persecutor and Dominga accepted her apology.

Dominga was then proclaimed as part of the Brgy. Council. According to her, “Ginawa ko ito, hindi dahil sa kagustuhan ko lang kundi para mas magkaroon ako ng karapatan na tumulong at wala nang makapipigil pa sa akin (I did this not for my own will but to have the right to help others so no one can ever hold me back from doing it.)”

She firmly added “Kahit salat ako sa yaman, buong lakas at tapang ko pa ring ipagpapatuloy ang pagtulong sa aking mga kapwa benepisiaryo sa abot ng aking makakaya, oras, at kakayahan. Ipaglalaban ko ang Pantawid Pamilya hanggang sa huli (Though I lack resources, I can still serve my co-beneficiaries with all my might, time, and abilities. I will fight for Pantawid Pamilya until the end.)” (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/ Pantawid Pamilya)

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