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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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Region 1 Child Development Workers plead passing of their Magna Carta

DCW Convention

Incoming Gabriela Partylist Representative Arlene Brosas pledged to support Child Development Workers on the passage of their Magna Carta starting anew with the incoming administration.

This was highlighted during the recently held Convention of the federated Child Development Workers and Service Providers in Baguio City graced by Rep. Brosas.

With this, Rep. Brosas encouraged the Child Development Workers to equip themselves, make their voices heard, and gather allies who will push for the salary hike and other welfare due to their selfless work.

DSWD Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo who also graced the occasion expressed appreciation to these workers having been in the service for a long time despite the low honorarium they are receiving.

Having been an assessor of Day Care Centers and Workers in his early years in the DSWD, Director Castillo reminded them that socialization and informal teaching are still among the most effective way to nurture and instill holistic development among the innocent children. “Let us not take away from them their expression of childhood; playing is their way of learning,” Dir. Castillo said.

Workers should also learn from the children. “There is no better way of teaching but through learning,” Dir. Castillo added.

Foremost, Director Castillo urged the workers not to overlook the welfare of these children instead to always give prime for their protection and development.

Other topics that updated the Day Care Workers include: Appreciative Inquiry, Appreciative Interview, New Early Learning Framework/Curriculum, New Standards/Guidelines in the Registration, and Granting of License to Operate and Recognition to Child Development Centers and Learning Centers.

The new standards/guidelines set Child Development Centers’ rigid assessment on Health and Safety, Interactions and Relationships Between Staff and Children, Physical Environment, Staff Qualifications/Development/Continuing Education, Curriculum, among others. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)


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‘Disability is a blessing’ – PWD rep to the 9th International Abilympics in France


The Team Philippines (above photo) and the competitors (below) during the opening program proudly waving the Philippine Flag

Four out of nine from the Philippines who attended the International Abilympics at Bordeaux, France came from Region 1- three of them graduates of DSWD-Area 1 Vocational Rehabilitation Center (AVRC1).

“I thank God for every blessing, I even consider my disability as a blessing which already brought me to different places,” Jennifer V. Garcia, an orthopedically-handicapped who competed for Word Processing, said in an interview. She is currently employed at AVRC 1 and is also a graduate on sewing and Basic Computer Literacy.

Other contestants from Region 1 are: Preciosa Paz Quinio, hearing impaired for Photography; Annie Rose Rumbaua, orthopedically-handicapped for Cookery; and Jerome Marzan, hearing impaired for Webpage Development.

This fete to the 9th International Abilympics was jointly facilitated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and Abilympics Philippines Incorporated (API).

With the theme “Common Skills, Uncommon People”, the four-day professional skills competition brought together from 33 countries 650 contestants who competed to showcase their vocational abilities in various trade and technology areas. The said international event was conducted on 21–28 March 2016.

Coach Purita P. Cueto, DSWD AVRC1 Senior Manpower Development Officer said, “It is heartening to see people with disabilities showcase their skills and talents confidently thus inspiring fellows from different nations.”

DSWD FO1 Dir. Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo who served as a Judge on Waste Re-use was among the officials of Team Philippines.
According to the four competitors, honor, pride and experience were added in a remarkable part of their being with this international competition even though they did not win. Ms. Garcia then conveyed her warmest gratitude to the organizers especially the DSWD for the support and wonderful opportunity given.
Prior to the said international event, series of activities were undertaken to gauge the contestants’ preparedness and competitiveness under the supervision of Mr. Gilbert Caronongan, Abilympics Focal Person from TESDA. AVRC-1 led by Mrs. Elizabeth C. Manuel, Training Superintendent II, also provided every means of support while the competitors underwent comprehensive training to ensure their win.
Team Philippines ranked no.14 over-all, bringing home 1 silver medal in Waste Re-use. (by: Elizabeth C. Manuel, AVRC Training Superintendent II and Iryn D. Cubangbang, IO II )

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ESGP-PA stories in a Coffee Table Book soon to be launched

DSC_0445DSC_0388Twenty-four selected grantees of the Expanded Students’ Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) from all provinces of the region personally wrote their own stories of struggles and challenges in their quest for a better life through finishing their college.

The ESGP-PA aims to address poverty by increasing the number of higher education graduates 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.

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).

It caters to deserving college students under Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program with a maximum grant of P60,000.00 per academic year.

With the supervision of the Social Marketing Unit of the DSWD Field Office 1, these ESGP-PA grantees were guided with principles of writing, duly discussed by Kalahi-CIDSS Regional Capability Building Specialist Jomara S. Chan.

Their outputs were enhanced with the expertise of DSWD Field Office 1 Information Officers and Information Officer I of the Philippine Information Agency Region 1 Joanne P. Dilim.

According to Ms. Dilim, the government indeed works to uplift the poor’s quality of life. She feels proud of the grantees accepting their present life situation with optimism to achieve their ambitions with the ESGP-PA.

There are 2,503 ESGP-PA grantees (Ilocos Norte-754, Ilocos Sur-668, La Union-689, Pangasinan-392) in the entire region enrolled in various State Universities and Colleges.

The participants claimed that they have learned a lot from the writeshop which they believe can be used in the future. They also added that it was a great privilege for them to write and share their own story and be an inspiration to others, which they consider as a treasure to keep.

All the stories will be compiled in a Coffee Table Book which will be launched in September during the Pantawid Pamilya Family Day Celebration. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/ Pantawid Pamilya)

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Clearance for minors traveling abroad (MTA) must be secured first – DSWD

The blue card or MTA clearance for minors traveling abroad is applicable only to those who are not accompanied by either of the biological/adoptive parents.

MTA Processing Officer Nelson Nisperos (in red shirt) while attending an application

The applicants need the following: consent of parents, birth certificate from Philippine Statistics Authority (formerly National Statistics Office), marriage certificate of parents or certificate of no marriage for solo parents, passport size colored photo with white background, and photocopy of the passport of accompanying person.
Those who have acquired dependent visa/ resident visa in other countries are exempted.

Processing Social Worker Nelson Nisperos explained the need to prioritize the MTA clearance or blue card prior to booking or scheduling of activities abroad as they might not secure one because of inconsistencies or if assessment reveals hazard to the children.

Initial assessment is done by Social Welfare Officers II assigned at Provincial Operations Offices at Luisa Bldg., Vigan City; NSO Bldg., Laoag City; Alexander Bldg., Poblacion, Urdaneta City; and Duque Bldg., Burgos St., Dagupan City.

On custody cases filed in court, the DSWD may not release any clearance unless the finality or court decision is presented. This happens to ex-couples who fight for the custody over their child/children.

The processing of clearance for minors travelling abroad ensures the legality and validity of travel as well as the travelling children’s best welfare and interest. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)

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