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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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Kalahi-CIDSS grants three sub-projects in Sigay

Community volunteers singing a song they composed about their need for a cable footbridge to convince other barangays to give them priority for the Second Cycle.

Community volunteers singing a song they composed about their need for a cable footbridge to convince other barangays to give them priority for the Second Cycle.

Volunteers from three barangays went home relieved and excited after the recently conducted Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum for Participatory Resource Allocation (MIBF-PRA) of the Municipality of Sigay, Ilocos Sur. Subprojects of Barangays Matallucod, San Ramon, and San Elias were chosen and prioritized to be given grants to implement their sub-projects.

The MIBF-PRA is a venue for the residents to unite and decide which barangay needs help the most.  Out of seven barangays in the Municipality, the three were chosen because of their grave need for the proposed subprojects.

Community volunteers portray their need for a water system, showcasing the problems that arise due to the insufficient supply of clean water in their barangay.

Community volunteers portray their need for a water system, showcasing the problems that arise due to the insufficient supply of clean water in their barangay.

Matallucod was granted P469,484.75 for a Slope Protection that would protect their homes from landslides specially during strong and heavy storms. San Ramon will soon have clean and safe water for their daily consumption after the improvement of their Water System costing P460,849.13. Residents of San Elias were thrilled when their Local Government Unit promised to provide P332,438.53 to complete the cost of their Cable Footbridge amounting P1,528,247.10.

“Idi First Cycle, second to the last kami. Tatta, second place kamin (During the First Cycle, we placed second to the last. Now, we are in second place),” said San Ramon Barangay Captain Andy Ambiso who also thanked the other barangays for voting for them.

The community volunteers still have a long way to go to finally realize and complete their sub-projects, but with unity, they know they are strong enough to go for their most wanted development. (by Helen Veryan C. Valdez, Regional Social Marketing Officer, Kalahi-CIDSS NCDDP)

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SLP, window of opportunity

Alquisa, a Pantawid Pamilya parent leader, is now a DSWD employee assigned in the Municipality of Sta.Catalina, Ilocos Sur.

Alquisa, a Pantawid Pamilya parent leader, is now a DSWD employee assigned in the Municipality of Sta.Catalina, Ilocos Sur.

Teaching a woman to fish so she can feed herself and her family for a lifetime is a long-term benefit that Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) offers to Pantawid Pamilya grantees like Darleen M. Alquisa, a Parent Leader (PL) from Brgy. Salindeg, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur.

Alquisa, happily married with four children, is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Two of her children are Pantawid Pamilya beneficaries while the other is a scholar of the Department of Social Welfare and Development – Field Office I (DSWD-FO1) through the Expanded Students’ Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA).

Saan met lang nga iyur-uray ti maawat ti maysa a Pantawid. Igaed ko pay lang a makaalaak pay lang ti pagtrabahuak a pangnayon ko ti panagbiag mi (I’m not just waiting for the cash grants from Pantawid Pamilya. I still strive hard to get a job, so I can financially contribute to the needs of my family),” Alquisa said.

The City Links in Vigan City always encourage Alquisa and her fellow Pantawid Pamilya grantees to actively participate in all the trainings and workshops of SLP that will allow them to manage a sustainable micro-enterprise or link them to apply for any locally available job to improve their standard of living.

Her business is now managed by her sister-in-law of which she is earning Php 250.00 a day.

Her business is now managed by her sister-in-law of which she is earning Php 250.00 a day.

Alquisa then was given an opportunity by SLP to attend a training on Basic Food Preparation and Cookery and was also given a Basic Cooking Set worth Php 6,000.00 so she can start her small business of selling street foods.

Even though Alquisa is now 43 years old, she is still keen and determined in grabbing any opportunity to work in DSWD-FO1 since expenses in the education of her children are increasing. She first became an encoder of Social Welfare and Development Indicators (SWDI) of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), then an Enumerator of the Special Validation conducted by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) for Social Pension (SocPen) and Modified Conditional Cash Transfer-Families in Need of Special Protection (MCCT-FNSP). She was also hired last year as an Area Supervisor of NHTS-PR/Listahanan during the Second Round of Household Assessment and Validation Phase. She is now a Project Development Officer II of SLP.

Alquisa and her family are grateful for all the assistance and opportunities that they received from the different programs and projects of DSWD-FO1 to uplift their way of life.

Teary-eyed, she narrated “dakkel a talaga ti nagbaliwan ti panagbiag mi, nababa ti estado iti panagbiagmi idi. Arig na saan kami pay a manganen ti mamintallo ti maysa nga aldaw ken usto nga oras. Idi gamin, ti pammigat laeng tay inauna nga anak ko ket kape ken innapoy. Itattan mamintallo kami metten a mangan ti uneg ti maysa nga aldaw. Makameryenda payen dagiti annakkon (Our life has improved from a low state of living. Before, we were not even eating on time and three times a day. In the past, the breakfast of my eldest child was only coffee with rice but now we already eat three times a day and my children can even eat merienda).” (by: Jaymante Pearl B. Apilado, Administrative Assistant III, NHTS-PR/Listahanan)

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DSWD-NCIP Partnership Garners Recognition

In the recently conducted Regional Recognition for Innovative and Excellent Practices held at Manila City, Kalahi-CIDSS Field Office 1 brings home the Gawad Kalahi Award for Innovation and Breakthrough in CDD Management for Effective Engagement with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

The Region 1 delegation upon receiving the Gawad Kalahi Award for Innovation and Breakthrough in CDD Management for Effective Engagement with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples during the Regional Recognition for Innovative and Excellent Practices held at the City of Manila.

The Region 1 delegation upon receiving the Gawad Kalahi Award for Innovation and Breakthrough in CDD Management for Effective Engagement with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples during the Regional Recognition for Innovative and Excellent Practices held at the City of Manila.

The partnership between the Department of Social Welfare and Development and NCIP of Region 1 was noted due to its effective partnership in giving due consideration to the Indigenous Peoples who are residents and beneficiaries of Kalahi-CIDSS. The Program ensures that policies on social safeguards are met to protect the rights of the IPs and all sub-projects implemented are participated by them.

DSWD Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo, Assistant Regional Director for Operations Marlene Febes D. Peralta, Regional Program Coordinator Virginia P. Sesay, and Deputy Regional Program Manager Orson C. Sta. Cruz led the FO1 delegation in receiving the award handed by National Program Manager Benilda E. Redaja.

Partnerships with other government and non-government agencies are vital in Kalahi-CIDSS to ensure smooth Program implementation. With Ilocos Region still gearing towards the end of the first cycle, it is indeed notable that it has already created deep affiliation and understanding with its partner agencies. Kalahi-CIDSS Region 1 expects to continue this effectual working relationship to best serve its stakeholders especially the marginalized IPs who dominates 10 out of the 11 Kalahi-CIDSS areas. (Helen Veryan C. Valdez, Regional Social Marketing Officer, Kalahi-CIDSS NCDDP)

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FDS lover mother sets Pantawid Pamilya-inspired rules in her house

Picture1Every mother wants the best for her children and always brings out the best in them. As they say, “Mother knows best.”

Milagros S. Gascon, 46, Parent Leader, and a mother of three, from Brgy. Buyong, Calasiao, Pangasinan believes this mother-child ideology. She said, “Ang tungkulin ko sa aking anak, asawa, at miyembro ay lalo pang pinapatatag ng mga natututunan ko sa buwanang pagdalo ko sa Family Development Session (FDS) (My responsibility to my child, husband, and members is strengthened by the lessons I learn from attending monthly FDS.)”

She thinks of ways to augment the income of her husband, Herardo, 53, a project officer of a lending company waging PhP8,000.00 a month. Meanwhile, Milagros seasonally earns PhP4,000.00 a month from selling mangoes, vegetables, fish, and the like every market day. “Bago ako uuwi sa bahay, bibili na muna ako ng mga kakailanganin namin sa araw-araw kaya wala din natitira sa napagbentahan ko (I buy groceries and our other everyday needs first before going home so what I earn from selling also runs out.)”

She added, “Ang magiging kahihinatnan ng isang bata ay nakasalalay sa kung paano siya pinalaki. Kaya dapat gabayan sa tamang paraan ang mga anak (The upbringing of a child dictates who he/she will become. So guiding them the right way is a must.)”

She keeps her head high as she shared her youngest child Maria Kissandra’s academic achievements. Maria Kissandra topped her Grade 4 class last school year. Since Grade 1, Maria Kissandra has been on top of her class and was awarded as most outstanding during her pre-school.


Motherly mandate

 Strictly no room for foul words. Gossiping is not allowed. Excessive liquor drinking is banned. Thumbs down to gambling. Honor God above all. Milagros strongly employs these rules inside and outside their house. She explains, “Wala akong pinalalampas kahit sinuman na lumabag sa mga ito lalo na kung kapwa ko benepisiaryo. Pinagsasabihan ko sila agad. Kaya nga dumadalo tayo sa FDS para matuto. Magsimula ang lahat ng mabubuting bagay sa ating mga magulang para sundan tayo ng ating mga anak (I never allow anyone especially my co-beneficiaries to break these rules. Right there and then I remind them. That is why we are attending FDS to learn good values. We, parents, should start doing good deeds so that our children will accordingly follow us.)”

“Ang isang kagaya kong Parent Leader ay dapat maging isang magandang halimbawa sa lahat (A Parent Leader like me should be a good example to everyone),” she humbly uttered.


Four joyful years of being a Parent Leader, to infinity and beyond

 Milagros is grateful because unlike other beneficiaries in their barangay, her husband is very supportive in all her endeavors for the Program. She narrates, “Tuwang-tuwa siya dahil alam niyang doon ako masaya sa ginagawa ko. Malaking-malaki talaga ang puso ko sa kapwa ko (He is very happy because he knows I find joy in what I do. I really do have compassion for my fellow.)”

“Kagustuhan siguro ng Diyos na mapabilang ako sa Pantawid Pamilya kaya sabi ko malaking pagpapala ito para sa akin. Kaya noong wala pang napipiling Parent Leader, nagpresenta na ako dahil gustong-gusto ko talagang maglingkod (Maybe, it is God’s will that I became part of Pantawid Pamilya so it is a great blessing to me. So when no one was chosen to be a Parent Leader yet, I volunteered myself to be one),” she recited. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/ Pantawid Pamilya)

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