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DSWD holds Earth Hour and similar measures protecting Mother Earth

DSWD Field Office 1 facade along McArthur Highway, City of San Fernando, La Union during the observance of the ‘Earth Hour’ on 25 March 2017.

Once again, the DSWD Field Office 1 joined the Earth Hour switch-off  on 25 March 2017 at 8:30 to 9:30 PM simultaneously done in 187 countries.

Believing on the good results of the Earth Hour, as it contributes to Mother Earth’s natural combat to the effects of environmental degradation, Dir. Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo adhered to the call.

Relatively, Dir. Castillo continuously campaigns for proper waste management and segregation  in the agency.   Proper disposal of non-reusable items and other office  wastes are discussed during Monday Programs.

Aside from strict no-smoking policy, cleanliness and orderliness within the office premises are implemented and monitored. Also, the 5S and greening activities are practiced in the centers and institutions.

The Earth Hour is a call to protect mother Earth, it is giving her a time-out in  taking in all the ill effects of industrialization and modernization among countries around the globe, said Dir. Castillo. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)



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DSWD-FO1 promotes gender equality on Women’s Month

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries and Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Service (KALAHI-CIDSS) volunteers partakes in the Community Outreach Program cum Info Caravan in San Gabriel, La Union.

In celebration of the Women’s Month, the Department of Social Welfare and Development – Field Office I (DSWD-FO1) organized and led the “Community Outreach Program cum Information Caravan” and the “Orientation on the Programs and Services for Filipino Women Migrant Workers and Blood Letting Activity” recently.

The “Community Outreach Program cum Information Caravan” event is in partnership with the Department of Health, PhilHealth and the Local Government Unit of San Gabriel, La Union to personally explain and inform about the programs and services offered by the said government agencies.

Policy and Plans Division Chief Anniely J. Ferrer also oriented the participants on the salient features of “Magna Carta of Women” while          Ms. Shirley Cabanig from DSWD Haven for Children exhibited homemade Peanut Butter making for possible additional income.

Adu ti naadal ko ditoy Community Outreach Program cum Information Caravan kasla kuma iti family planning ken karapatan ti babbai. Sapay la kuma ta maulit to manen (I have learned a lot in this Community Outreach Program cum Information Caravan like family planning and the rights of women. I hope the activity will be repeated)”, said Cristy Agsaoay of Brgy. Lipay Sur, San Gabriel, La Union.

Meanwhile, the DSWD-FO1 “Orientation on the Programs and Services for Filipino Women Migrant Workers and Blood Letting Activity” together with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration – Regional Welfare Office 1 and Philippine Red Cross was also conducted at DSWD-FO1 Panlipunan Hall, wherein, more than 50 DSWD staff were oriented and 34 DSWD staff voluntarily and successfully donated various blood types in order to give someone another chance at life.

Further, inter-agency activities for the celebration of Women’s Month was also participated by DSWD-FO1 employees like the “Walk for Gender Equality” and the “Cheering Competition” with the theme: “We Make CHANGE Work for Women.” (by: Jaymante Pearl B. Apilado, Administrative Assistant III, NHTS-PR/Listahanan)

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Rice Subsidy for Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries starts March 2017

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO1) announces the provision of additional cash grant to all Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries worth Php600.00 a month as rice subsidy based on approved General Appropriations Act 2017.  It is a top-up to the usual health and education grants they receive.

Rice subsidy provision covers registered, active, and compliant Pantawid Pamilya households from regular Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) and Modified CCT, including those who will be classified as transitioning families.

The rice subsidy is provided on a bi-monthly basis in the form of cash during scheduled payouts.

This month is the first payout for Period 6 (December 2016 – January 2017). All compliant beneficiaries in January 2017 are entitled with rice subsidy. Households that are compliant in December 2016 but not in January 2017 are not entitled with rice subsidy.

199,426 Program beneficiaries in the entire region will receive their rice subsidy this month through their assigned mode of payment (Over the Counter or Bank Deposit).

This is a commitment made by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during his State of the Nation Address in 2016 to ensure that all Filipinos be free from hunger and poverty. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/ Pantawid Pamilya)


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Kalahi-CIDSS hones culture-sensitive communities

In facilitating harmony among different cultures existing in the communities, Kalahi-CIDSS has been effectively using the Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach in its implementation.

Community volunteers presenting Begnas, a thanksgiving practice through community dancing for a bountiful harvest, during the workshop on Facilitating Community-Driven Development with Indigenous Peoples conducted on 8-10 March 2017.

Kalahi-CIDSS, one of the core poverty alleviation programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), gives strong emphasis in the participation of the vulnerable sectors, which include the Indigenous Peoples (IP).

To ensure that the IPs are assisted in developing and maintaining their traditional models of development while working together with the mainstreamed population, a workshop entitled Facilitating Community-Driven Development with Indigenous Peoples was recently conducted for Kalahi-CIDSS community volunteers.

The workshop aimed to let the community volunteers, both IP and non-IP, determine the different IP groups in the Region and their unique culture; to understand the importance of a culture-sensitive subproject; and to gain knowledge and skills in effective engagement with IPs in the various Program processes.

The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) discussed the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) emphasizing the right of the Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICC) to maintain their unique language, culture, values, and worldview.  The participants also revisited the Community Empowerment Activity Cycle (CEAC) to make them understand and appreciate that the participation of the IPs is equally important with the participation of the other residents as they all live in one community and they are altogether working for their development.

Many community volunteers come from the tribes Kankana-ey, Bago, Tinguian, Applai, and Itneg. They excitedly shared some of their traditional practices. A group dominated by members of the Tinguian tribe presented Begnas, a traditional community dancing for thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. (by Helen Veryan C. Valdez, Social Marketing Officer, with reports from Jomara S. Chan, Regional Capability Building Specialist, Kalahi-CIDSS)

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Community Volunteers train in resolving conflicts the CDD way

Kalahi-CIDSS encourages communities to be vocal about their feelings and reactions on the initiatives contributing to their development. The Program believes that everyone should be involved in maintaining peace and settling disputes in their communities.

Grievance Redress System (GRS) volunteers attentively listen to the discussion regarding the types of grievances and how to distinguish them during the Skills Training on Proper Grievance Handling, Recording, and Reporting conducted on 7-9 March 2017.

In the recently conducted Skills Training on Proper Grievance Handling, Recording, and Reporting, community volunteers belonging to their respective Barangay Grievance Committee (BGC) were trained how to properly handle grievances and resolve conflicts in their locality.

The Grievance Redress System (GRS) is a feature of Kalahi-CIDSS to promote social accountability by providing citizens means to air their reactions, concerns, and grievances relative the Program. The GRS also upholds the principle of transparency and strongly encourages the active participation of the whole community, including stakeholders, in raising their issues and be involved in its resolution.

The GRS volunteers were taught how to distinguish and intake questions, issues, and grievances according to type. Grievances may be classified as non-contentious queries and clarifications, issues regarding Program processes and arrangements, or non-conformance with procurement and finance guidelines.

Monitoring the responses and resolutions of each grievance raised is a primary function of the BGC, as well as reporting and documenting them. During the Skills Training, the GRS volunteers had a hands-on exercise on these functions where sample cases were given for their action. They had to follow the steps on handling the grievances until they find a sound solution to it.

Kalahi-CIDSS realizes that with the residents and the government working together, a peaceful, developed community shall rise. (by Helen Veryan C. Valdez, Social Marketing Officer, with reports from Evelyn G. Acosta, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for GRS, Kalahi-CIDSS)


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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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DSWD, Agoo student-leaders team up for child abuse prevention

Student-leaders from selected schools in Agoo, La Union gathered to express their insights and contributions in the prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation through the Poster Making and Jingle Making contests.

For this year’s National Awareness Week for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation, the Home for Girls emphasized the vital role of these student-leaders in creating change in their communities to make a meaningful impact to end such violence.

In the Jingle Making Contest, students from Don Eufemio F. Eriguel Memorial National High School (DEFEMNHS) won the first prize; St. Mary’s Academy, 2nd prize; Agoo Academy, third prize. For the Poster Making Contest, St. Mary’s Academy won the first prize; DEFEMNHS, second prize; and Agoo Academy, third prize.

As the DEFEMNHS winning jingle says, “protect the child all the time, the child deserves a happy life, protect the child, now is the time, future leaders will soon rise”.

Further, the children were reminded of their four basic rights: survival, development, protection, and participation, which was presented by Social Welfare Officer II Melanie Crispin. “Among others, children have the right to an adequate standard of living, health care, education, play, and recreation,” Ms Crispin added.

Ms. Crispin revealed that the possible signs of neglect among children are manifested by begging or hoarding of food, habitual absences, frequent uncleanliness, extreme dependence or attachment, delinquency, prostitution, and stealing. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)

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DSWD FO1 marks its 66th anniversary with staff, beneficiaries, and partners

A series of events consisting of a first-time Parade of Banners with the PNP Regional Command, a Mini-Concert with the PNP Concert Band, and a Sportsfest featuring indigenous games launched the anniversary celebration on 08 February 2017. Subsequently, the Awarding of Partners and Loyalty and PRAISE awardees was held on 17 February 2017. The events were held at the Pacoy Ortega Gym and Hotel Ariana, respectively.

The kick-off event’s torch lighting ceremony led by Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo encouraged the employees to stay united and passionate in the delivery of social services along with partners who pledged to serve amidst difficulties and various circumstances.

The Recognition of Partners and PRAISE and Loyalty awardees graced by Undersecretary Florita R. Villar also acknowledged the fully-functional Local Social Welfare and Development Offices (LSWDOs) among other partners.

Guest Speaker Usec. Villar reminded the staff to remain steadfast from various challenges while maintaining integrity and compassion at work. “Hindi tayo dapat mawalan ng pag-asa at kaligayahan sa kahit anumang ating kinakaharap sa trabaho at sa pamilya kung tayo ay sama-sama (Losing hope is not an option to whatever hardships we encounter as we are moving as one),” Usec. Villar shared.

Director Castillo mentioned that the celebration is likened to reaping the harvest of good works. “We shall keep our high spirits in sustaining all the good practices that we have established but we shall also be reminded to learn from the struggles that we have surpassed for us to deliver the services with our Maagap at Mapagkalingang Serbisyo,” Director Castillo said.

Thirty-two LSWDOs received a plaque of recognition for being fully functional: Provincial Social Welfare and Development Offices of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan, City Social Welfare and Development Offices of Laoag, Vigan, Candon, and Alaminos. Other awardees include Adams, Nueva Era, Pagudpud, and San Nicolas in Ilocos Norte; Bantay, Caoayan, Magsingal, Santa, Santiago, Sta. Catalina, and Sto. Domingo in Ilocos Sur; Agoo, Bauang, Burgos, Caba, and Rosario in La Union; Balungao, Bugallon, Laoac, Malasiqui, San Nicolas, San Quintin, Tayug, and Villasis in Pangasinan.

Loyalty Awardees were also recognized for their exemplary display of commitment at work: for 10 years in service, Noemie Kathleen T. Balabuena, Paulina R. Cabunoc, Lucila D. Galvez and Joey Q. Sicat; 15 years, Armine T. De Vera; 20 years; Crisanto B. Mortera and Larnito F. Viluan; 30 years: Carlito R. Rullamas and Romeo G. Ubungen; 35 years, Purita P. Cueto, Cristina A. Dacanay, Nora D. Dela Paz, and Marlene Febes D. Peralta.

The Contract of Service Worker awardees for 10 years include Darwin T. Garcia, Cristy S. Compañero and Jaime F. Jaravata; 15 years, Dante Pagsolingan; 20 years, Amor Marie Nicdao; and 27 years, Enrique S. Ballen.

The Program for Rewards, Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE) recognized the exemplary performance of Aristedeo V. Tiñol and Jeany Cayabas- Buteng. A special award was given to Darwin T. Garcia for working without reservation in fulfilling the assigned tasks with all his might.

As among the significant part of the event, the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) Cultural Show featured the Agamang Group from Santol, La Union – a group of IPs who are also beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Asst. Regional Director for Operations Marlene Febes D. Peralta cited KALAHI-CIDSS as another venue to mainstream Indigenous Peoples groups’ involvement in community and on local governance.

Through their rich culture and active participation, the opportunities gave better understanding of their way of life complemented by poverty-reduction programs.

The celebration was not only of thanksgiving but most of all of giving praise to God and appreciating all the efforts of workers, partners, and leaders of DSWD FO1, as OIC ARD Nora D. Dela Paz said in her closing message. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)

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