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DSWD FO1 goes healthy towards productivity

DSWD’s ‘May Malasakit’ branding is not only for the beneficiaries and partners but is also applicable to its staff and employees who are now engaged in various healthy activities.

The Medical Section spearheaded activities such as ‘Basketball Tournament’, ‘Dance-Zumba,’ and distribution of medical kits and health booklet to promote health and wellness among the staff.

The recently launched tournament is set to sustain the camaraderie, sportsmanship and teamwork among the six teams from clustered employees per area of assignment.

Dir. Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo reminded that the tournament should serve as their avenue to release tensions and stresses, so that upon assumption to work, they are more focused and alert to cope with its demand.

Moreover, the management’s support is on logistics (prizes) and permission for those from nearby provinces to join the games scheduled on weekends.

As to game standing, the All Stars team which leads the competition has 4-0 (win-loss), SLP/Listahanan 4-1, Royals 3-2, LU-RPMO 2-2, PangWest 0-4, and PangEast 0-4.

The tournament is closely assisted by the Social Welfare Employees Association of the Philippines (SWEAP) Region 1 Chapter and selected Pantawid Pamilya staff as to the schedules, logistics preparation, tokens/prizes.  (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)

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Home for the Elderly soon to rise in La Union


DSWD FO 1 Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo (in brown polo) together with Asst. Regional Director for Administration Nora D. Dela Paz (in violet polo shirt), LU PSWDO Ranilo P. Ipac (in blue polo shirt), San Juan LGU Executive Asst. Oscar Ganaden, Jr. (in gray polo), and other DSWD-FO1 employees during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Home for the Elderly on 6 June 2017

In response to the needs of the older persons who are poor, without a family, abandoned, neglected, and rejected by relatives and families due to illness and financial burden, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO 1) will establish a Home for the Elderly in Sta. Rosa De Lima St., Ili Norte, San Juan, La Union (LU).

The long-awaited dream of having a Home for the Elderly in Region 1 is finally achieved and DSWD FO 1 Asst. Regional Director for Administration Nora D. Dela Paz is optimistic that the facility will give hope to our older persons particularly the abandoned, neglected, unattached, homeless, and abused senior citizens.

According to DSWD FO 1 Operations and Programs Division Chief Benjamin F. Baldo, after more than 20 years since the lot was donated, finally this year, our national government already allotted 12 million pesos fund for capital outlay intended for the construction of the Phase 1 home care facility for the aged.

The Local Government Unit (LGU) of San Juan, LU warmly welcomes the facility. “We are very lucky here in San Juan, another milestone for the Department and the Municipality ket sapay koma ta ited tayo iti naan-anay nga panangtaripato tayo kadagiti lolo ken lola tayo (and hopefully we will give the necessary care to our grandfathers and grandmothers) as they reach their twilight years,” said San Juan LGU Executive Asst. Oscar Ganaden Jr.

Meanwhile, during the groundbreaking ceremony, LU Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer (PSWDO) Ranilo P. Ipac shared that the Provincial Government of LU is very much willing to partner with DSWD FO 1 for the welfare of the senior citizens because reality is inevitable that our culture is already changing.

PSWDO Ipac added that before, the usual type of Filipino families is extended since Filipino family ties are very strong and used to take care of their elders, but now, Filipino families are becoming more nuclear. PSWDO Ipac shared that the changing Filipino culture is evident on the survey that was undertaken by LU PSWDO three years ago that around 700 Senior Citizens in La Union are living alone.

The soon-to-be two-storey residential care facility shall be managed by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office of LU under the technical supervision of DSWD FO 1 upon signing a Memorandum of Agreement. “We are very fortunate that we have the Province of LU as our partner likewise the LGU of San Juan, LU. Hopefully, the construction of the Home for the Elderly will be replicated by the other provinces,” said DSWD FO 1 Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo. (by: Jaymante Pearl B. Apilado, Administrative Assistant III, NHTS-PR/Listahanan)

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La Union Media captures DSWD’s hashtag (#) ‘May Malasakit’

Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo (above) led the La Union Media Press Conference with tri-media partners and PIA (below photo) in the City of San Fernando, La Union.

“DSWD’s hashtag ‘May Malasakit’ is its new  branding that carries the administration’s  call to reach all groups of people needing assistance popularizing the message “Gikan sa masa para sa masa (from the masses to the masses). At Field Office 1, series of campaigns is being done to provide information on programs and services for better understanding, thus, easy access.”

This highlights the opening statement of Dir. Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo during the Press Conference recently held at Panlipunan Hall, DSWD, City of San Fernando, La Union.

“Gusto naming makita ng tao ‘yung tunay na pagtulong at madama nila ang serbisyo ng pamahalaan sa pamamagitan ng aming mga programa at serbisyo (We want the people to feel the essence of helping them through our programs),” Dir. Castillo further added.

On Social Pension Program, the purpose of Php 1,500.00 ‘stipend’ was explained as an augmentation to the basic needs of the poor senior citizens and its maximized use is not restricted by DSWD. This issue was clarified with the reported case that an instruction was issued wherein rice should be included as among the ‘basic items’ to be purchased.

Started off this year, the rice subsidy of Php 600.00 a month for the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries was already included in the received cash grants. “Continuous interventions are pooled or unified to really give a dent and sustain the progress among the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries,” Director Castillo announced.

In addition, community and people empowerment, micro-enterprise and employment facilitation supplement the needs of Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries. The Sustainable Livelihood Program has tapped companies in the localities and in nearby regions like the Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Philippines.

According to Dir. Castillo, the Office has also conceptualized strategies to respond to social issues such as the ‘Bajaus’  and ‘Taong Grasa’. Concerned Local Government Units  (LGUs) and government agencies are currently looking into providing better opportunities and safer environment both for these families and to communities where they roam around. “Intervention always goes back to strengthening of families, where basic needs and values formation are done,” Dir. Castillo added.

As to grievances on Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries such as those involved in gambling, card pawning, and grants misuse, the access to ‘grievance hotline’ 0918-912-2813 was shared.

Moreover, to ensure speedy access on Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) for individuals in need, Certificate of Indigency/ Residency accompanied with hospital bill/prescriptions for medical; balance bill from funeral parlor and death certificate for burial; certificate of enrolment/assessment for educational; police blotter for transportation allowance must be secured and submitted to the Crisis Intervention Section. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)

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Pantawid Pamilya farmers gain better harvest through SLP

From 45 cavans of rice, the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries are now harvesting 60-75 cavans of rice

Eighty-six (86) Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in Badoc, Ilocos Norte (IN) are typically engaged in conventional farming as their main source of income.

In the past, according to Mr. Rogelio L. Gamponia (President of 4Ps Farmers Sustainable Livelihood Program Association), they usually reap 45 cavans of rice during the first cropping season.

Thus, in order to have a better harvest, the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development – Field Office I organized and funded a two-day Skills Training on Production Technologies for Farm Crops in partnership with the Local Government Unit of Badoc, IN and the Mariano Marcos State University in Batac City, IN.

Through the said training, the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries acquired knowledge on new farming technologies and proper management of crops that enhanced their existing understanding and capability as farmers resulting to an increase in their farm production by at least 20%.

The members of the two (2) associations are contributing Php 100.00 monthly to be deposited to the associations’ bank account for additional capital and savings. They aspire to build an agriculture supply store someday using their associations’ savings.

“Idi, dua a daras kami lang a makamula, nasayaaten nu maka-2nd cropping kami. Tatta ket maka 3rd cropping kamin ta adda datoy naited a training ken machineries. Dakkel a katulungan datoy (We can only plant once or twice a year before and we are lucky if we can plant for the second cropping season. Now, we can even have 3rd cropping because of the training and farm machineries that were given to us)”, said Mr. Gamponia in an interview.

Aside from the training, starter kits worth Php 10,000.00 consisting of farm tools and equipment such as water pump, water hose, knapsack sprayer, and fertilizers were also provided to the 86 participants.

“Dakkel a banag ti naipaay kadakami ta manipud idi nakaawat kami ti makinarya ket simmayaat metten bassit ti panagbiagmi. Adda met ti sangkabassit a maurnong a para ti pamilyak (Our life improved since we received the farm equipment. I now have a small amount of savings for my famiy)”, said Mr. Antonette L. Magbaleta (President of Agri-Anihan Sustainable Livelihood Program Association).

SLP is a program that provides identified poor families with appropriate income-generating opportunities through Microenterprise Development or Employment Facilitation to help improve their level of economic sufficiency. (by: Jaymante Pearl B. Apilado, Administrative Assistant III, NHTS-PR/Listahanan)

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New Licensed Teachers are ESGP-PA grantees

Nine graduates of the Expanded Students’ Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO1) are now Licensed Teachers based on the result of the Licensure Examination for Teachers held March 2017.

From this number, three are from the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) in La Union, two each from the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) in Ilocos Norte and the University of Northern Philippines (UNP) in Ilocos Sur, and one each from the Ilocos Sur Polytechinic State College (ISPSC) and Pangasinan State University (PSU).

The passers are as follows: (Ilocos Norte) Jessa Mae Doctolero from Solsona and Cassandra Subaste from Laoag City; (Ilocos Sur) Jemeline Mandac from Vigan City,  Rojhan Rodillas from San Ildefonso, and Joy Ragunton from Narvacan; (La Union) Florida Maging from Santol and Abegail Hipol from the City of San Fernando; and (Pangasinan) Giovani Duran from Mabini.

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.

ESGP-PA prioritizes deserving Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who excel academically as a support to pursue and finish education in preparation for a stable job in the future. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/Pantawid Pamilya with reports from Arlem Kenneth R. Areola, ESGP-PA Focal)


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Government Agencies unite to address the reintegration of Parolees, Pardonees, and Probationers

First meeting of the Regional Technical Working Group on convergence initiative for parolees, pardonees, and probationers at the Panlipunan Hall, DSWD-Field Office I on 10 May 2017

The Department of Social Welfare and Development – Field Office I (DSWD-FO1) together with the Department of Justice – Parole and Probation Administration (DOJ-PPA) leads the convergence initiative for the probationers, parolees, and pardonees in providing assistance as intermediate intervention towards their reintegration.

A Regional Technical Working Group (TWG) under the Regional Social Development Committee (RSDC) Sub-Committee on Social Protection, headed by DSWD-FO1 Dir. Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo, was created consisting of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Department of Agriculture (DA) , DOJ-PPA, and DSWD-FO1.

The formulation of TWG is due to the plight of the parolees, pardonees, and probationers that includes their lack of educational and technical skills, the insufficient support and acceptance from their own family and community, the limited opportunities for economic endeavors, and the low level of involvement of government agencies resulting to the deficiency of intervention programs that further hinder their rehabilitation and full reintegration to their respective families and communities.

DSWD-Field Office 1 initially provides cash assistance and Family Food Packs to 34 parolees, pardonees, and probationers in the towns of Santol, San Juan, San Gabriel, Bacnotan, Sudipen, Bangar, and Luna in La Union.

Recognizing the challenges and stigma faced by the parolees, pardonees, and probationers, the five (5) government agencies aim to unite for a strategic convergence that can provide continuous assistance to the concerned vulnerable group in order to capacitate and empower them to become productive, self-sufficient, and contributing members of the society.

By the involved government agencies’ collaborative interventions for reintegration of the parolees, pardonees, and probationers, the DOJ-PPA believes that it will address the problem on the relentless and unceasing cycle of violence and re-offending through giving them a second chance in resuming normal, peaceful, and productive community life. (by: Jaymante Pearl B. Apilado, Administrative Assistant III, NHTS-PR/Listahanan with a report from Mr. David M. Rabelas, Secretary-RSDC Sub-Committee on Social Protection/Statistician I-DSWD-FO1 Policy and Plans Division)

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DSWD Field Offices to accredit Pre-Marriage Counsellors

USec. Templa delivers her inspirational message (left) to all the Luzon Cluster PMCs (right).

“Pag-aralan natin ang nilalaman ng ating puso na siyang magiging batayan sa ating pag-accredit. Iisa dapat ang ating kaisipan para tayo ay magkakasundo para sa maayos na accreditation. Naniniwala akong mas nagiging matibay pa ang bawat Pamilyang Pilipino sa likod ng mga kaguluhan sa paligid. Ang matibay na pundasyon ng isang pamilya ay nakasalalay sa pagsasamahan ng mag-asawa (Let us study what our heart is saying that will serve as basis for our conduct of accreditation. Our minds should be unified and meet at one point for a systematic accreditation. I believe that every Filipino family is getting stronger despite of conflicts around us. The strong foundation of a family depends on the relationship of the husband and wife,” said Undersecretary Mae Fe Templa to inspire all the Pre-Marriage Counsellors (PMCs) Accreditors from the Luzon Cluster of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

All the Luzon Cluster PMCs were oriented with the PMC Manual, Laws, Policies and Guidelines on Pre-Marriage and Accreditation Process for them to be properly guided in efficiently and effectively accrediting the PMCs in their respective regions or local level. The PMC Manual contains updated information about social and legal changes related to the institution of marriage and the family in Philippine society.

The PMC Manual shall be revised and developed as a vital tool in disseminating accurate and important information about marriage and relationships, human sexuality, maternal, child, and neonatal health, family planning, sexually transmitted diseases, responsible parenthood and home management to engaged couples.

PMCs discuss married couples’ rights and obligations, and how to nurture the union and the family that they will build.

DSWD implements Executive Order No. 209 otherwise known as the Family Code of the Philippines and Administrative Order No. 14 series of 2009 that mandates the Accreditation of Marriage Counselors and requires marriage counselling prior to the issuance of marriage license and to promote the professional practice of marriage counsellors. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/ Pantawid Pamilya)

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Dir. Castillo awards Php 9.1M financial assistance to build new houses for typhoon victims in Ilocos Norte

The awarding of Core Shelter Assistance Program checks in Laoag City with Mayor Chevylle Fariñas and Dir. Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo (2nd and 3rd from left).

Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo awarded Php 8 million worth of shelter assistance to 50 families whose houses in Navotas, Laoag City were totally damaged.

Through Core Shelter Assistance Program (CSAP), every family was given Php 160,000.00 for one single-detached house with an 80 square meter-lot given by the City Government of Laoag, which under the leadership of Mayor Chevylle Fariñas, will also augment other logistics like site development and skilled workers.

The same assistance was also given to 10 families in Buyo, Bacarra who received a total of Php 1,130,500.00 worth of shelter assistance and Cash-for-Work to build their new houses or core shelter units.

Dir. Castillo reminded the beneficiaries to value and give proper care to these aids, of which, they were carefully assessed as to their eligibility and need. “The support of the Local Government Unit is vital in the success of the implementation and sustainability of progress among beneficiaries,” Director Castillo added.

Meanwhile, the Local Government Unit (LGU) of San Nicolas under the leadership of Mayor Alfredo Valdez, Jr. will be providing a free satellite warehouse. “With this, San Nicolas is likened to an earthen ware as basin/depository of relief goods that other municipalities can easily access,” Director Castillo mentioned during the signing of Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the LGU. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)

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