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Inspired to Inspire

Richard Dizon02The Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippines (PYAP) opened doors for an ordinary youth to DSWD’s activities which later made him appreciate the Social Work profession and the government service.

Richard Antimano Dizon is among the youth whose struggles led to better appreciation of government services at the City Government of Urdaneta, DSWD, and Department of Agriculture.

As he recalls, Richard was challenged and motivated by the difficult circumstances in his life. His mother who was diagnosed with Nephroclerosis Stage V Secondary to Hypertension caused him to stop his schooling and joined the PYAP in 2012.

PYAP encouraged him to render volunteer services to the Local Social Welfare and Development Office which revealed his potentials and determination to access services relevant to his capacities. He passed the Civil Service Examination Sub-professional Level in the same year.

Opportunities to earn additional income came when he was hired as enumerator of DSWD’s Listahanan and survey of the Department of Agriculture. “I learned to be more persevering,” Richard said. The hard times he experienced in reaching a mountainous remote community with very few households is incomparable. The wage per accomplished household assessment form was no longer the motivation but the experience relating with the people and letting them get a feel of the government services given them. He stayed in these communities for three weeks.

He was also trained as evaluator for Early Childhood Care and Development Center-based Programs by the DSWD Field Office 1. Joining other accreditors, he assessed and visited at least 100 centers and workers in the Province of Pangasinan.

His leadership was also honed and tested. In 2013, he was elected as the President of PYAP Urdaneta City Federation. Since he was observed to be among the most active youth leaders in the City, he represented the Youth Sector in the City initiated meetings such as Local Council for the Protection of Children, Local Poverty Reduction Action Team (LPRAT), and Bottom-Up Budgeting.

He advocated the welfare of the youth. With his participation in the LPRAT, the 20-day work for 100 youth through Government Internship Program was realized in the amount of Php 600,000.00. Each youth worker received Php 300.00 a day as minimum wage.

His leadership was tested when he patiently worked for the re-activation of all the chapters of PYAP in Region 1 being the Regional President and National Vice President. He became an advocate for the youth and continued to inspire others with his story.

Richard Dizon

Richard Dizon (in black coat) presents a copy of the resolution granting a BUB project to the out-of-school youth in Urdaneta City.

With the appreciation to and great inspiration from the Department and its professional discipline, he is now on the last year of his degree in Social Work and looking forward to become a Social Worker. He believes that he has the purpose to influence others by inspiring them. Whatever circumstances that may hinder him to become successful, nothing can stop him because if it is God’s will, it will be done.

He strongly encourages his fellow youth to have an initiative and start the change with themselves for a better tomorrow.

With all these achievements, the perspective of a leader has changed him. His self-centeredness turned into committed leadership prioritizing the welfare and interest of the out-of-school youth. “The trust and confidence of my fellow youth motivates me not to be neither ashamed nor fearful but rather continue to advocate for the furtherance of the youth,” Richard said. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, DSWD FO1- Information Officer II)

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LGU Laoac selects beneficiaries from Listahanan list of poor households

MSWDO-Laoac PixThe Local Government Unit (LGU) of Laoac, Pangasinan appreciates the importance of having a list of poor households provided by the Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) by entering into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Ang Listahanan ay isang napakagandang data sapagkat ito ay nagiging basehan ng LGU Laoac sa pagbibigay ng mga social services at saka iba’t-ibang programa na nauukol sa mga nangangailangan naming mga kababayan (Listahanan data is useful because it serves as a basis of LGU Laoac in providing social services and different programs to those in need citizens of the municipality),” said Laoac Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer (MSWDO) Mila B. Camante in an interview.

According to her, LGU Laoac headed by Mayor Silverio D. Alarcio Jr. strongly believes that the data from Listahanan is a reliable reference in targeting poor households in need of social protection programs and services for poverty alleviation.

Most of the beneficiaries of all the programs and projects that are being implemented by LGU Laoac comes from the Listahanan list of poor households, including the “Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES)” where 30-50 poor students work as assistants in the offices of LGU Laoac during summer so they can earn money for allowance in the coming school year.

Listahanan also specifically identifies poor households without access to potable water system and toilet facilities which is why two of the yearly projects of LGU Laoac are providing potable water system to the poor households who do not have access to water suitable for drinking and donating 150 toilets to the poor households who do not have their own comfort rooms.

Further, poor farmers in LGU Laoac in the Listahanan are the priority recipients of free fertilizers, seedlings, and farm machineries in partnership with the Department of Agriculture.

MSWDO Camante also shared that LGU Laoac has funded sustainable livelihood programs for poor households like making Tupig (a popular native delicacy) and vinegar so the beneficiaries can have other sources of income. (by: Jaymante Pearl B. Apilado, Administrative Assistant III, NHTS-PR/Listahanan)

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Do not fear change – Sec. Dinky

revised PR Pix of Sec.Dinky“We should not fear change. Embrace the change and may this new beginning continue (pertaining to doing development together with the people for poverty alleviation),” Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Sec. Corazon “Dinky” Soliman said during the recently held “Consultation Dialogue with Sec. Dinky” at Kultura Splash Wave Resort, Pugo, La Union attended by delegates from DSWD Field Offices 1, 2, 3, and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

With the ongoing transition for the incoming administration, Sec. Dinky met with the four regions to discuss the journey DSWD took for the previous six years and thank the staff for their commitment and dedication.

Sec. Dinky with DSWD FO1 delegates headed by Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo with Assistant Regional Director for Operations Marlene Febes D. Peralta and OIC-Assistant Regional Director for Administration Nora D. Dela Paz.

Sec. Dinky with DSWD FO1 delegates headed by Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo with Assistant Regional Director for Operations Marlene Febes D. Peralta and OIC-Assistant Regional Director for Administration Nora D. Dela Paz.

Sec. Dinky recalled that DSWD used to be in the bottom in terms of budget priority but is now one of the top five agencies with the highest budget allocation because the DSWD employees have shown quality service in addressing poverty.

By June 30, Sec. Dinky will already turnover her position to incoming DSWD Sec. Judy Taguiwalo. Even though she will no longer be involved in the Department, she is still willing to help the next administration and her remaining DSWD colleagues since addressing poverty takes time.

“We do not want to see them (next administration) fail. Their success means continuing growth and reduced poverty,” she added.

Further, Sec.Dinky informed her DSWD co-workers who attended the dialogue to continue the convergence that everyone created not only within the Department but beyond DSWD since convergence is the most important delivery mechanism in helping the poor and the vulnerable sectors. (by: Jaymante Pearl B. Apilado, Administrative Assistant III, NHTS-PR/Listahanan)

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Manong Barbero is skilled with hair rebonding too

Manong Larry works at Jinrod Barber Shop (beside the market) in Bauang, La Union.

Manong Larry works at Jinrod Barber Shop (beside the market) in Bauang, La Union.

Haircutting in barber shops is usually done by men like Larry Nisperos of Brgy. Payocpoc Norte Este, Bauang, La Union. However, Manong Larry is not your typical barber – he is an on call barber with an exceptional skill in hair rebonding too.

A former farm helper planting rice during rainy season with a wage of Php200.00 per day, Manong Larry learned the craft of haircutting and hair straightening last July through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development – Field Office 1 (DSWD FO1).

Manong Larry together with 19 co-beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in Bauang, La Union was provided a free 15-day skills training on hair straightening with haircutting leading to hairdressing National Certificate II (NC II) plus training kits amounting to Php10,116.00 by SLP in partnership with The Great Provider Educational Center of Northern Luzon, Inc. (The Great Provider), a TESDA accredited school.

According to former Bauang SLP Project Development Officer II Xavier James L. Bretana, Manong Larry topped their training class and because of his innate talent in haircutting and hair straightening, he was then chosen by the trainers of The Great Provider as their assistant in their succeeding trainings.

Keen on learning more and has a passion to be a trainer, Manong Larry was provided another pre-employment assistance fund by SLP worth Php5,000.00 for his enrollment to get NC II in hairdressing and be a licensed trainer.

Last March, Manong Larry already achieved his dream to become one of the trainers of The Great Provider. He is now teaching other Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries on hairdressing for 15 days from Monday to Friday, earning a total of      Php7,500.00.

Aside from being a trainer, he is also being paid Php300- Php1,000.00 a day as a part-time barber and hair rebonder. Manong Larry proudly shares the changes that transpired in their life,  “Simmayaaten ti panagbiagmi, saan a kas idi damo nga agkurang ti kasapulanmi. Dakkel a banag daytoy tulong ti SLP kaniak ta masuportarak ti pamiliak pati tay kaanakak. Makaited ak pay ti balunda nu maminsan nu saan a makapaw-it ni Manang ko kadakuada, isu a dakkel ti panagyaman ko ti naitulong iti SLP (Our life is better now unlike before when our source of income was not enough. The assistance provided by SLP is a big help since I can already support my family and my niece/nephew. Sometimes, I even give them allowance if my sister cannot send them money, that is why I am so grateful for the help from SLP).” (by: Jaymante Pearl B. Apilado, Administrative Assistant III, NHTS-PR/Listahanan)

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DSWD’s research agenda calls for partners’ proposals

DSWD FO1 convened public and private partners and encouraged them to conduct mini studies and researches with the theme “Pantawid Pamilya as Platform for Social Protection” for possible research grant.

Gathered inputs during the recently held Regional Consultation Dialogue will further enhance the research areas on social protection policies, social protection programs, stakeholder empowerment, and organizational development.

“The research agenda will not only help the Agency improve its systems and processes on its policies and programs but also identify gaps on its growing complexities and challenges on human resources and logistics. Also, the expected output of funded researches will be policy notes or think papers which will be presented during the National Research Conference in August 2016 and share with policy makers and legislators to maximize its purpose,” said Research Officer III Zoe Dominique R. Cunanan of DSWD Central Office who served as the resource person.

Studies on core poverty reduction programs especially on the convergence strategy and on statutory programs are also among the focus of mini-studies or researches.

A strong and effective link with the stakeholders as the DSWD does its steering functions will be the end goal of researches along stakeholder empowerment.

As mentioned, areas on the social protection policies such as meaningful devolution, standards regulation, and international commitment are also areas of study.

These research agenda will be promoted among incoming graduating students and those completing their graduate studies. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)

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Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in Vigan City, IS now baking

1Pandesal and Pastries of Pantay’s Pantawid (4Ps) Bakery which offers freshly-baked banana cake, carrot cake, pan de sal, pan de coco, spanish bread, and monay is now open to the public. This is the only bakery in Brgy. Pantay Fatima which operates from 4:00 AM to 7:00 PM every day catering also to nearby barangays.

After a two-week baking training at the Vigan Skills Training Institute, 41 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in the said barangay were equipped with necessary skills in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO1), City Government of Vigan, and the Barangay Local Government Unit. These Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries are now also National Certificate II (NC II) holders.

2Through the DSWD FO1’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), these business neophytes were provided with starter kits such as oven, mixer, display cabinet, tray, among others and were sponsored with their training fee, meals, and transportation allowances during the training. The City Government of Vigan’s “Pagsapulan Raniag iti Masakbayan” shouldered the renovation of the old Barangay Health Center into a bakery. Project Development Officer Jerelee Portillo requested the City Government of Vigan to provide additional capital worth PhP3,000.00 each which the association utilized in putting up a variety store.

Jonabel Abigania, Parent Leader Advocate and Association President, is optimistic as she envisions their business to flourish and expand into a cooperative though they just opened their business less than a month ago. She plans to supply with bread and pastries all Parent Leaders in Vigan City who are store owners.

She also feels proud that all of them are mothers who are now also skilled entrepreneurs.

To ensure efficient sales management, they employ daily bookkeeping and monthly inventory with the assistance of the SLP for sustainability. All proceeds are being deposited in the bank through their Treasurer.

For the next months, SLP will implement another skills training for microenterprise in Vigan City such as Security Guard for potential employment, Fish Tilapia Culture, and Catering NC II.

The SLP is a community-based capacity building program that seeks to improve the socio-economic status of program participants. It is implemented through the Community-Driven Enterprise Development approach, which equips the program participants to actively contribute to production and labor markets by making use of available resources and accessible markets. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/ Pantawid Pamilya)

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Kalahi-CIDSS and the Media: Partners in Spreading the CDD Advocacy

The media partners raise their questions and concerns on Kalahi-CIDSS during the Open Forum.

The media partners raise their questions and concerns on Kalahi-CIDSS during the Open Forum.

Strengthened partnership for extensive advocacy propagation—this is the aim of the recently conducted Kalahi-CIDSS Media Forum.

Media partners from the provinces of Region 1 were gathered in Baguio City to engage them in spreading the news of Community-Driven Development (CDD) to the partner beneficiaries and stakeholders.

Kalahi-CIDSS aims to empower the deprived and disadvantaged through CDD, a strategy that gives the power to the people to manage resources and decide on ways to achieve development. The Program recognizes the need for spreading its hopes and ambitions to build up CDD advocates and champions.

ARD Peralta reiterates the media’s important role in creating CDD advocates during the opening amenities of the Media Forum.

ARD Peralta reiterates the media’s important role in creating CDD advocates during the opening amenities of the Media Forum.

“With the vast coverage of the media, it can widely stir involvement, influence change, and harbor unity among the key role players of sustainable development,” Assistant Regional Director for Operations Marlene Febes Peralta welcomed the media professionals.

Community empowerment was also emphasized to be the main objective of the Program. The local development projects and infrastructures are just the end results of the participation and cooperation of the beneficiaries.

Media partners committed their active participation in informing and reaching the various publics, stakeholders, partners, and beneficiaries about the fruits of CDD in attaining progress. This partnership hopes to intensify awareness about Kalahi-CIDSS and its mission through various advocacy activities and media efforts. (Helen Veryan Valdez, Social Marketing Officer, Kalahi-CIDSS NCDDP)

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Left but not alone: Haven for Women keeps ‘them’

HFW_Wild CatA homosexual street-smart abandoned by her partner who gave birth to a baby boy has turned into a skillful woman. Code named Wild Cat is now among the inspirations at the Haven for Women.

Having experienced a broken family led her to seek attention from drunkards, addicts, and delinquent friends. She tried to survive on her own but never contained her rebellious heart.

According to her, she did not reach high school but her abilities and friends led her to work as a call center agent and a real estate broker in Manila.

When she got pregnant, she wanted the baby to be adopted by anyone upon giving birth. Upon talking with a Social Worker in her hometown in La Union, she was referred to the Haven for Women, that time on her 9th month of pregnancy.

Turn- Around Made Easier

Wild Cat appreciated her attendance to Mother’s Class, among other psychosocial interventions in the Center. Patience was built and love for her child grew naturally. Referring to her son, “Hindi lang siya ang meron ako, ako lang meron siya (He is not the only one I have, I am the only one he got).”

She was restored emotionally, spiritually, socially and has begun relating with others in the Center. She even finished her Alternative Learning System (ALS) modules.

At present, she is engaged in ‘water bonsai’-making, one of the trainings sponsored by the Center for resident-clients. She was able to raise at least Php 5,000.00 from this and still propagating.

She is NCT II- accredited in hair cutting but also wishes to be trained on welding for future work abroad.
At present, the Haven for Women is the temporary home of 40 resident-clients, most of them victims of incestuous rape and physical abuse. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)

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