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Overcoming Differences, Enhancing Potentials

Yes, we can! Persons with disabilities in Region 1 showcasing their talents in waste re-use contest, photography, and cultural dance.


I do not have a disability; I have a gift! Others may see it as a disability, but I see it as a challenge. This challenge is a gift because I have to become stronger to get around it, and smarter to figure out how to use it; others should be so lucky.” ― Shane E. Bryan

Gone are the days when persons with disabilities (PWDs) are imprisoned in their own shells because of their unseen potentials, unheard voices, and unfelt ­contributions to the society. With the theme, “Karapatan at Pribilehiyo ng May Kapansanan Isakatuparan at Ipaglaban”, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1, and the Department of Health Region 1 joined the whole nation in the celebration of the 39th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week on 21 July 2017 at the City of San Fernando, La Union. The said event was participated in by more than 200 empowered PWDs all over the region.

As this year’s theme implies, the celebration aimed to promote and advocate for the realization of the PWDs’ inherent rights and privileges in order to empower them and improve their plight. “There are two purposes that we are doing right now in our celebration. One is to stimulate public awareness on the issues and problems of disability. This is our role as citizens of this Republic. Another is we encourage every citizen in the country to take active responsibility in the upliftment of the economic-social condition of all persons with disability in our society,” said Mr. Benjamin Baldo, SWO V-OPD Chief of DSWD FO1 during his opening message. Various activities were conducted such as lecture/discussion on the detection and prevention of prostate, breast and cervical cancer, and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) orientation on the health programs and services the agency is offering to PWDs.

As a way to hone their talents, contests on cultural dances, waste reuse, and photography also took place. Impossible as it may seem, the deaf were able to dance gracefully in the rhythm of the music played. Also, the beautiful and useful crafts that were made and exhibited out of waste materials, and artistically taken photographs manifested that physical disability is never a hindrance to bringing out the artists in them. “We don’t regard ourselves as persons with disabilities, we are differently abled individuals who can do things in our own convenient ways,” said Flora Rafanan, Ilocos Sur Association of Persons with Disabilities (ISAPWD) President, while doing photography job as a way to document the event.

Frank Arviesta from Pangasinan, 27, expressed his joy as a first timer in the regional NDRP Week celebration as this was a great avenue for him to meet and exchange positive ideas with his fellow PWDs. At age 16, Frank loss his eyesight when a husk of palay accidentally speck his eyes. “Ti programa ti DSWD ket dakkel iti pasalamat ko ta first time ko ti dumalo iti kastoy. No man pay adda kapansananmi, saankami a naidumduma kadagiti tao nga awan ti kapansananna. Addakayo (DSWD) latta met a mangsupsuporta kadakami iso nga dakkel iti pasalamat namin sa mga programa niyo tulad nito tapno agballaygikami met ti biag, para iti masakbayanmi nga adda kapansananna (My big thanks to DSWD for conducting activities like this, it’s actually my first time. Regardless of our disabilities, we are not considered different from normal people. DSWD is always supporting us so we can live successfully, with bright future),” he said.

The Department of Health also distributed wheelchairs and canes. PWD Focal Person of DOH Helen Posilero assured DOH’s commitment to continuously support every endeavor of DSWD in ensuring the welfare and protecting the rights of every PWD, and provision of privilege and incentives such as at least 20% discount on medical and dental services including diagnostic and laboratory fees, subject to DOH guideline, in coordination with PhilHealth.

National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week is celebrated on 17-23 July 2017 under the auspices of the National Council on Disability Affairs, pursuant to Proclamation No. 1870 (1979), amended by Proclamation No. 361 (2000) and Administrative Order No. 35 (2002). (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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DSWD FO 1 spots pioneer BIG Winner

Brgy. Mabileg, Sigay, Ilocos Sur topped the first ever Regional Search for Model Bio-Intensive Garden (BIG). It bested Brgy. Oya-oy, Bacnotan, La Union; Brgy. Salvacion, Sto. Tomas, Pangasinan; and Brgy. Pila, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte which landed as runners-up, respectively.

Parent Leader Leonila Solimen, also a member of Bago Tribe, boasted their “Paksiw Garden” composed of pinakbet vegetables and a tilapia fishpond yielding organic and exotic produce. She said that her group is proud of their garden’s sustainability as a bountiful source of nutritious food for their families.

In addition, Leonila said, “Ang pagpunta daw sa amin ay Php20.00 na lang ay mararating na ang langit pero ngayon ay parang nasa langit na kami dahil nanalo kami! (They say that our locality is just Php20.00 away to heaven, but now, we feel like in heaven because we won!)” Sigay, Ilocos Sur can be accessed through a three-hour ride from Candon City, Ilocos Sur.

The group of Parent Leader Leonila received Php30,000.00 cash prize which will be utilized for the further improvement of their Bio-Intensive Garden. All the contenders were given various vegetable seeds courtesy of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 1 aside from cash prize and plaque.

Ang mga paa natin ay nakatungtong sa lupa. Sa lupang inaapakan natin nagmumula ang ikinabubuhay natin. Sa pamamagitan ng pagtatanim at pagkain ng mga gulay, nasisigurado natin na lalago ang ating buhay (Our feet are on the ground. The ground we step on is the source of our living. It is in planting and consuming vegetables that we sustain and flourish our life),” Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo said. He furthered that through BIG, Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries will have an abundant supply of food to augment the cash grants they receive.

Regional Program Coordinator Rosalyn Descallar encouraged all the Program beneficiaries to be productive members of the community in a harmonious way as she uttered, “Magtanim, magdilig, mag-ani (Plant, water, harvest.)

 BIG is one of the thrusts and priorities of the Department of Social Welfare and Development this year through National Advisory Committee Resolution No. 38, series of 2016. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/Pantawid Pamilya)

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Smiles of success. Security Guard trainees with PMEO Fevie Allen dela Cruz (in blue), CDEDO Maynard Cezar (in pink polo shirt) and personnel from PNP and TVC Security Training Academy, Inc. (left photo) Christopher Valdez, class valedictorian (right photo)

Nineteen security guard trainees stood proud as they hold their certificates of completion during the Pre-Licensing Training Course on Security Guard (PLTC) graduation ceremony on 10 July 2017 at the City of San Fernando, La Union. The said trainees, who are from Sinait, Santa Lucia, and San Esteban towns of Ilocos Sur, are Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who underwent skills training under DSWD through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), in partnership with TVC Security Training Academy, Inc. A total of Php258,280.00 from the employment facilitation fund of SLP (Php66,100.00 for five participants from San Esteban, Php54,980.00 for four participants from Santa Lucia, and Php137,200.00 for 10 participants from Sinait) were utilized to cater the training requirements of the beneficiaries.

In an interview, Glenn Mirabel, 36, from Sinait town, gratefully expressed his optimism and joy as one of the Security Guard trainees, “Napalalo ti yamanko ta nairamanak nga nabenepisioan. Barbareng no makabirokak ti napintas a pagtrabahoan tapno saan kamin (pamilyak) ton a maibilang a 4Ps. (I am very grateful to be included in the program. I am looking forward to getting a good job so we, my family, will no longer be listed as Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries).” Glenn, who is a farmer before enrolling in the program, admitted that the compensation he gets out of farming is not enough to sustain the needs of his growing family.

Also, the class valedictorian, Christopher Valdez, 23, from Santa Lucia town, expressed his excitement in starting his career as a Security Guard, “Barbareng no makatrabahoak insigida ta matulongak dagiti nagannakko. Kayatko pay ngamin ti agbalin a security guard tapno makatulongak ti safety dagiti tattao. (I look forward to getting a job the soonest so I can help my family earn a living. I really wanted to become a security guard so I can help safeguard the lives of people).”

SLP is a community-based capacity building program of DSWD that aims to improve the socio-economic status of its participants. This includes technical-vocational training, financial assistance to secure pre-employment requirements, short-term employment to help them earn money for livelihood projects, and capital fund in putting up an enterprise. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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Benefit Fun Run provides medical support to ill Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries

Twenty-two Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in Luna, La Union who are suffering from cancer, kidney failure, congenital heart disease, cardiomegaly, and depression, among others were given assistance for their medical needs.

The Local Government Unit (LGU) initiated and conducted a benefit fun run to generate funds to support and augment the medical demands of these underprivileged and frail beneficiaries, with the participation of the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Department of Education, Department of Health, and Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who comprised the 780 runners.

LGU Luna, La Union sought the alarming need for medical assistance to 22 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries after their Health Awareness Campaign along with the assessment of the Pantawid Pamilya Municipal Operations Office and the progressing number of requests for medical assistance.

A grand total of Php61,068.00 was generated and it will be equally distributed to the identified beneficiaries in a simple awarding ceremony.

Pantawid Pamilya promotes wellness and health stability among the beneficiaries as it is one of the conditionalities of the Program.  (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/Pantawid Pamilya with reports from Municipal Operations Office)

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ESGP-PA Honor Grads to march this year

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO 1) produced honor graduates this year through the Expanded Students’ Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA).

Out of the 386 graduates, two are Magna Cum Laudes, 24 are Cum Laudes, and 11 are With Distinction.

The Magna Cum Laudes are Bachelor of Science in Agriculture graduate Hazel H. Achuela, and Bachelor of Science in Accountancy graduate Sherrie Anne G. Calapao (Photos: left to right).

The Cum Laudes include: Bachelor of Science in Technical Teacher Education graduate Reynaldo F. Calanasan, Jr.; Bachelor in Elementary Education graduates Aiza A. Cablay, Jeffrey D. Tomboc, Robin H. Rimas, Kimberly M. Agron, Germaine R. Batuyong, Jessah Angelica P. Ganal, Ronalyn M. Langamin, Carmena May C. Libao, and Jasen Kyle S. Ortal; Bachelor of Science in Computer Science graduates Mark Jevy G. Jacaban, and Jhonie D. Munar; Bachelor of Secondary Education graduates Jhun T. Petate, John Darwin E. Barcena, and Lyka A. Julaila; Bachelor of Science in Industrial Education graduates Jazel C. Aquino, Camille V. Bambao, Gerald T. Carbonell, and Fercris P. Gaon; Bachelor of Science in Biology graduate Rica Mae B. Ancheta; Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science graduate Chris John V. Tapuro; and Bachelor of Science in Accountancy graduates Kenneth A. Gudoy, Imee Erica C. Lacambra, and Khyle Deanne S. Lazaro.

The ESGP-PA grantees who graduated With Distinction are: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education graduates Artemio A. Cutillon, Jr., Reylyn Marie A. Baldo, Glenda N. Buis, May Ann D. Castillo, Catherine Joy M. de Fiesta, Charlene S. Pagaduan, and Rhea N. Cawis; and Bachelor in Secondary Education graduates Giovanni C. Duran (December 2016), Carmina de Vera, Jhude Padilla, and Kristine Ritual.

The ESGP-PA aims to address poverty by increasing the number of graduates in higher education 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. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/Pantawid Pamilya with reports from Arlem Kenneth R. Areola, ESGP-PA Focal)

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DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS builds support systems

Ms. Perla Sotelo, Administrative Officer of Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University ─ Mid-La Union Campus, asking for possible support the University could provide to DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS during the Partners Forum held on 13 June 2017.

Kalahi-CIDSS, the country’s largest Community-Driven Development (CDD) Program implemented under the Department of Social Welfare and Development, recently conducted the DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS Partners’ Forum. The Partners’ Forum aims to strengthen partnership between and among DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS and its external partners ranging from the Media, the Academe, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and Peoples Organizations (POs) present in Ilocos Region.

Nasuruan kami nga agsao para iti bagbagimi, uray no Person with Disability (PWD) ak, adda ak nga maki-partisipar (We were taught to speak for ourselves, even having a disability, I was able to participate),” Remedios Candid, a Community Volunteer of Cambaly, Bagulin, La Union, said in her message inspiring the partners to continuously support the implementation of the Program.

Realizing its wide reach, the various media entities in Region 1 were encouraged to advocate for the adaptation of CDD in the development projects of the local government. They are also effective communicators in spreading correct information to the public and the stakeholders.

The DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS support system. Partners and the DSWD staff posing for a memorabilia after the interactive Forum with commitments for support set for the Program implementation.

The Academe is encouraged to add Kalahi-CIDSS and CDD in their research agenda. They are also being tapped as Learning Service Providers for capability building activities for the community citizens.

Different CSOs and POs operating in the DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS areas were also enjoined to participate in the different community empowerment activities by providing assistance in the different areas of Program implementation.

DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS strongly believes that the strong support from various external partners is what keeps the Program moving towards empowerment of the communities. (by Helen Veryan C. Valdez, Social Marketing Officer, Kalahi-CIDSS)


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Alaminos City residents thankful for DSWD’s core shelter units, Mayor Celeste’s support levered

(Top photo) The ceremonial cutting of the ribbon led by (L-R) City Mayor Arthur F. Celeste, CSWDO Imelda Ruiz and Dir. Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo. (Below Photo) children of Pangapisan, Alaminos City pose in front one of one the core shelter units.

The initial awarding of 20 core shelter units at Pangapisan, Alaminos City is a  part of the 500 units amounting to Php 65M worth of Core Shelter Assistance Program (CSAP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1, with  Php 130,000.00 for each core shelter unit.

Alaminos City’s counterpart was made possible with the equal passion of City Mayor Arthur F. Celeste to provide decent, safe, and structurally-strong houses for the families living in hazard-prone areas. This was shown through land acquisition, site development, and provision of tools, equipment, and salaries for skilled workers.

The recently awarded units at Pangapisan are concrete evidence of partnership between the national and local governments to serve the beneficiaries better. The 1.6 hectare of land was donated by a US-based couple, Mr. and Mrs. Ruperto and Loreta Gameng, through the intervention of Mayor Celeste who visited them in California and pleaded for the cause of the landless.

The beneficiaries’ Neighborhood Association for Shelter Assistance (NASA) was an active participant in the construction of the houses.

In the spirit of Bayanihan, family heads and members were encouraged to work in the site as their ‘sweat counterpart’. “Diak pati diak kita” (do not believe unless seen) mentality was proven wrong by the CSAP as claimed by City Social Welfare Officer Imelda Ruiz.


Such was emphasized by Dir. Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo; that great things happen when the national and local governments and the people themselves pour in synchronized efforts and expertise towards the common good.

CSAP and Pantawid beneficiary Sandy Arevalo and his wife expressed their gratitude for the new house and lot. After fishing, they help in the construction of their own core shelter. Meanwhile, Omar de la Cruz is excited to move in to their new house. “Kahit ilang taon kaming magtrabaho, hindi kami makakapundar ng ganito” (Even if we work for many years, we won’t be able to afford a house and lot such as this), de la Cruz exclaimed.

On this site will rise a Child Development Center and an integrated primary school with a chapel, as well, respectively pledged by Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Danny Sison and Msgr.  Rey Ragudos.

The Core Shelter Assistance Program (CSAP) is designed to provide financial assistance to families whose houses were totally destroyed by manmade or natural disasters. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)

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Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries compete for the Best Bio-Intensive Garden

To augment daily needs in food and nutrition, some Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries grow various vegetables through Bio-Intensive Gardening and they aim to topnotch this year’s Search for Model Bio-Intensive Garden (BIG).

Representing their respective parent groups of 20 or more, regional contenders proudly showcased their bountiful vegetable gardens in Brgy. Pila, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte; Brgy. Mabileg, Sigay, Ilocos Sur; Brgy. Oya-oy, Bacnotan, La Union; and Brgy. Salvacion, Sto. Tomas, Pangasinan to the validators composed of some Pantawid Pamilya Regional Program Management Office staff, Agriculturist II Mr. Jake Bantioey from the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 1, and Civil Society Organization Representative Bro. Tony Supremido.

Applying their learnings from their Family Development Session on BIG, these beneficiaries were able to successfully put up and sustain their communal vegetable garden which they are confident to bag the title.

Each communal garden measures 5×5 meters, maintained for at least three months with no commercial fertilizer applied and served as a source of additional income and nutritious food for their families.

BIG is one of the thrusts and priorities of the Department of Social Welfare and Development this year through the National Advisory Committee Resolution No. 38, series of 2016.

Search results will be announced during the regional awarding on 27 June 2017. Cash prizes are at stake. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/Pantawid Pamilya with reports from Mark Theodore Mamuyac, Supply Side Assessment Focal)

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