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DSWD FO 1 braces for Incident Command System (ICS)

DSWD FO 1, as the lead Agency on response, early recovery, and rehabilitation of disaster victims in Region 1, trained 40 employees – the pioneer group –  on Basic Incident Command System (ICS), a standardized approach to emergency incidents.

Led by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Region 1, other subject matter experts came from Department of Health and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO)-La Union.

At the start of the three-day training, Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo emphasized the importance of the ICS in disaster operations ̶ for the staff to get a good grasp of the activities done at the local level so they would be equipped to provide technical assistance or expertise at any given time. “The Philippines is enlisted among the top 10 disaster-prone countries, thus the ICS is very important, especially to the frontline staff,” Dir. Castillo added.

Also, OCD RO 1 Director Melchito Castro discussed the usefulness of ICS as the international standard in responding to disasters and hazard and stressed the need to train DSWD staff being the lead agency in the clusters of response and early rehabilitation.

ICS is a standard, on-scene, all-hazard incident management concept that can be used by all DRRMC member-agencies as well as response groups on disasters, human-induced crises, accidents, or even planned events.

Incidents may happen in the form of major disasters, emergencies, terrorist attacks, terrorist threats, civil unrest, floods, hazardous materials spills, earthquakes, tropical storms, tsunamis, war-related disasters, public health and medical emergencies, and other occurrences requiring an emergency response.

During the training, a detailed example of an incident helped the trainees strategize and identify tactics to maximize resources and respond to immediate concerns in the affected areas through an Incident Action Plan. (By: Iryn D. Cubangbang, IO II)

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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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Farmers in Burgos, Ilocos Sur are NC III holders

Aiming for a more bountiful harvest, 30 Pantawid Pamilya farmers from Burgos, Ilocos Sur successfully completed the 20-day Skills Training on Agricultural Crop Production National Certificate (NC) III.


SLP program participants show their Certificates of Completion and starter kits during their graduation ceremony on 30 April 2018.

The said intervention which amounted to PhP307,900.00 is an initiative of the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office I in partnership with the Ilocos Sur Polytechnic State College (ISPSC) Santa Maria Campus through a fund transfer to the latter.


Nabayagak a mannalonen ngem ado pay laeng iti baro a nasursurok ditoy training maipanggep ti panagtalon. Dakkel ti yamanmi ta dakkel a tulong daytoy iti pagsapulan (I have been a farmer for a long time now but I was still able to learn new things on farming through this training. We are grateful because this will improve our livelihood),” shared Francisca Ronquillo, one of the SLP participants, when asked on her insights about her training on tractor operation and advanced crop production techniques and practices. Since most of the participants are farm tenants and part-time farmers, they were awarded with starter kits so they can continue with backyard vegetable farming.


Last year, DSWD and ISPSC signed a memorandum of agreement allowing the former to transfer  PhP2,683,387.00 to the latter for the implementation of skills trainings on food processing, cookery, dressmaking, agricultural crop production, automotive, broiler production, and electronic product assembly servicing to be conducted this year which will cater 212 qualified SLP program participants in Ilocos Sur.


The Department also transferred funds and partnered with the Department of Agriculture, PhilRice-Batac City, Philippine Carabao Center-Mariano Marcos State University, and University of Northern Philippines for this year’s implementation of various skills trainings for hundreds of qualified SLP participants in Ilocos Sur. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur fisherfolks gain additional income through DSWD-SLP

Members of the Nalvoracay Pantawid Business Club proudly offer their daily harvest of sea urchins.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office I (DSWD FO I) has reached Brgy. Nalvo, Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur, one of the biggest sea urchin suppliers in Ilocos Region, through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

With traditional technology and experience on sea urchin aquaculture and the availability of natural resources in the community, 15 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries of the Nalvoracay Pantawid Business Club sought intervention from
SLP to improve their livelihood and increase their produce. They underwent a 5-day Skills Training on Sea Urchin Production in November 2017 and received cages and sea urchin fingerlings as starter kits.

As soon as they started operating, the group assigned rotating schedules for task management among members to distribute responsibilities such as feeding and harvesting since they also have other livelihood activities to attend to. The group can harvest an average of 7 kilos of urchins per day which is sold at PhP120.00 per kilo. They sell their harvest at the local market, other times the buyers personally go to their project site to buy.

Jane Tradio, one of the members, said that her share from the group’s income helps in her family’s needs. She is a fish vendor who also offers home service physical therapy. “Agsisinnublatkami met nga agpakan kada agala iso nga makasideline nak pay iti sabali. Barbareng no umado pay ti cage mi ta dumakkel pay ti kitaenmi. (Each day, a o1member is in-charge of the association’s business so others can do sidelines. We aim for more cages for higher income),” she said. Showing expertise in diving and fishing with that of the male members, Jane dives in the water with her snorkeling gear to harvest the sea urchins with her bare hands.

Together with the other members of the Association, the Nalvoracay Pantawid Business Club will receive  PhP400,000.00 Seed Capital Fund from SLP which will be utilized to expand their chosen enterprises on goat raising, fish vending, sari-sari store manangement, broiler production, and sea urchin culture. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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DSWD FO 1 hypes health and wellness activities

Health at work is also given attention at DSWD FO 1. Despite voluminous tasks and functions, Dir. Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo directed staff and employees to join activities that promote healthier and stronger body and mind as these are designed towards good and balanced lifestyle.

Just recently, the DSWD Basketball Season 5 was launched at Pacoy Ortega Gym, City of San Fernando, La Union. This Season has 6  teams namely Pantawid Pamilya RPMO, Western Pangasinan, Eastern Pangasinan, SLP, Field Office-based First Floor and FO-based  Second Floor.

Dir. Castillo reminded the players to sustain friendships outside court and to refrain from physically hurting or inflicting any harm during the entire game season.

Also, in coordination with the Medical Section, ‘Zumba Dance’ exercise gained appreciation from the staff.

According to Medical Officer III Mary Grace Del Castillo, this daily 15 minute-afternoon dance exercise was sustained to fight off sedentary behavior in the workplace by performing energizing dance moves. During the first quarter, the attendance sheet floated showed a very satisfactory participation despite the limited office space due to ongoing construction/ renovation activities.

The same dance exercise is being done at the Ilocos Sur,  Ilocos Norte, and La Union POOs, Pantawid Pamilya  and Kalahi- CIDSS-NCDDP RPMOs, and centers and institution.

Moreover, on-site massage is made available at the Medical Section to eliminate employees’ need to travel to a massage clinic or spa with the service amounting a fraction of the cost. This activity is intended to increase focus, energy  as well as mental clarity. It also  addresses common health concerns of stress, anxiety and depression, muscle tension and pain, headaches, among others.

To coordinate and implement these activities, the DSWD FO 1 created the Health, Safety and Wellness Committee who also review, evaluate, recommend and plan activities that would foster healthy behavior and safe work environment for employees.  (By: Iryn D. Cubangbang, IO II with report from Dr. Mary Grace D. Del Castillo, Medical Officer III)

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Gas up life with vigor

From a typical Professional Forecourt Attendant or more commonly known as a “gasoline boy”, Jason Tadeja, 24, from Brgy. Lussoc, Santo Domingo, Ilocos Sur was able to level up as a gasoline station supervisor after 15 months of being employed in his first work designation.

Jason Tadeja on duty

Jason’s family is a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office I (DSWD FO I). Trying to make ends meet, his parents were able to send him to school and graduate with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Criminology. However, due to the high expenses needed to get a license, he decided to pursue another career that would help his family earn a living right after graduation. He was included as one of the recipients of the the Pre-employment Assistance Fund (PEAF) of the Sustainable Livelihood Program of DSWD in July 2016 receiving Php3,550.00 which was utilized to secure employment requirements as a gasoline boy. He was referred by a Field Project Development Officer of the Department to one of the gasoline stations in the area and was immediately hired as a gasoline boy in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur until October 2017.

Because of his good working attitude, he was promoted as a Supervisor in October 2017 and was assigned at San Ildefonso, Ilocos Sur. “Uray 4Ps ket kaya met umasenso basta kayat mo ken agubra ka a nalaing (Even 4Ps beneficiaires can succeed in life as long as we aim and work hard for it),” he said during an interview. “Dakkel met ti tulong ti PEAF ta nakatrabahoak ken gimminhawa met ti panagbiag. Tatta, ngimmato met ti self-confidence ko (PEAF is a great help in securing my present job. Life’s easier now, I also gained self-confidence),” he added. 

Jason was among the 77 PEAF beneficiaries in Ilocos Sur in 2016. All of them are gainfully employed in different work sectors in the province. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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Anda, Pangasinan bags national award

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) acknowledges and commends the efforts of individuals, groups, and partner associations who have continuously supported the programs and services of the agency through the “Pagkilala sa Natatanging Kontribusyon sa Bayan (PaNata Ko sa Bayan)” Awards.

One of the PaNata Ko sa Bayan Awards is the Gawad Paglilingkod sa Sambayanan (GaPaS) Award for Model Local Government Unit Implementing Outstanding Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) Microenterprise Development Model which was brought home by the Local Government Unit of Anda, Pangasinan. Mayor Aldrin C. Cerdan, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer Jowey C. Celzo of Anda, and Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo received the commendation during the DSWD’s 67th Anniversary Celebration on 08 March 2018 at DSWD Central Office.


DSWD Field Office I (FO I) and the Local Government of Anda, Pangasinan have been working hand in hand in the effective implementation of microenterprise projects. One of these is the organization of ‘Kabaraybayan’ Livelihood Assistance Program (KLAP), a National Bangon Kabuhayan Nominee in 2015.

The Local Government of Anda is always alloting Php180,000.00 for livelihood programs under their Annual Investment Program (AIP). This is usually utilized for livelihood assistances as recommended by the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO).

The full support of LGU Anda and DSWD FO I,  the cohesive partnership within the organized groups, and sustainability of KLAP led to the organization of the KLAP Cooperative which is now catering to at least 500 members.  From their organization, various key players  poured in partnership and technical/resource augmentation from equipment to grants of loan and grants for community projects including various skills trainings.

For Macandocandong Kalipi KLAP SKA who has a mini mart, a Php10,000.00 from the LGU  was utilized in buying the lot where the mini grocery was erected and Php15,000.00 was utilized as an additional capital. The Provincial Government also gave Php200,000.00 worth of building, Php20,000.00 as an additional capital, and construction materials for the Mini Mart extension. The Empowerment and Reaffirmation of Paternal Abilities (ERPAT) group in Dulawan, which is also a KLAP, received cash assistance worth Php5,000.00 for 2016 and 2017 for their tahong livelihood project.

Other government agencies like the Department of Trade and Industry also partners with LGU Anda for livelihood project interventions. In 2017, DTI Anda conducted a skills training on food processing to interested micro-entrepreneurs in the municipality.

In 2015, LGU Anda put up a Tourism Center at the heart of the town where associations can display and sell their products in one area.

As part of the continuous effort of the Local Government of Anda to lessen poverty incidence in the Municipality, it partnered in 2010 with Panangaro Foundation, a non-government organization to come up with a micro-financing facility called Self-Help Group (SHeG) to help poor women acquire financial loans with a lower interest compared to those offered by private lending institutions. Seeing the good economic impact of the concept, it opened its membership to poor men allowing ERPAT group in the municipality to do savings and acquire loans as well. SHeG was then later named as SHG.  In 2012, the LGU has integrated SHeG with Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries. Associations supported by the SLP of the Department, like the KLAP and Macandocandong Kalipi SKA to name a few, also seek financial loans in SHG for additional capital and emergency needs. SHG members are also being prioritized for Anda Cash For Work (CFW).

From 2015 to 2017, a total of 403 program participants, both Pantawid and non-Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, underwent skills trainings on various business ventures through SLP to strengthen the business capabilities of the program participants. A continuous monitoring of the associations’ progress is done by the DSWD’s Field Monitoring Project Development Officer and the MSWDO in Anda. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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