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Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries’ savings turn into microenterprise


The Pantawid Pamilya- women-entrepreneurs in Binmaley, Pangasinan with their bangus processing project as main activity of their group named Maseet-Maanus SLP Association. Also in the photo is the monitoring Project Development Officer Gilbert Cariño.

Maximizing the abundance of bangus (milkfish) in Binmaley, Pangasinan and the small savings from cash grants propelled 50 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries to venture into bangus processing which has now become the pride of their organization Maseet- Maanus SLP Association.

The Bangus Processing Project that began in March 2014 with only Php 1,400.00 start-up capital now has a revolving fund of more than Php 70,000.00.

The Association produces boneless bangus, smoked bangus, relyenong bangus, shanghai bangus, embutidong bangus, and bangus sardines from freshly harvested bangus immediately processed to preserve the natural taste.

This is the response of the beneficiaries to the sustainability of positive changes happening in their empowered lives. Accordingly, this project will help families meet their financial needs even after the Pantawid Pamilya ends. “Kailangan magkaroon ng savings para may mahuhugot pag may mga emergency na pangangailangan (There is a need to save for emergency purposes),” Ginalyn Perez said.

Aside from increasing the production, the revolving fund is also used to finance urgent financial needs of fellow Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries for them to refrain from accessing private financing groups.

The humble beginnings

From nothing to impressive outputs is the best description of the Maseet-Maanus SLP Association. Their production site they established on their own is a 5×4-meter room made from bamboo and scrap materials attached to a neighbor’s house. A small yet tidy production site where they keep their equipment for their deboning and smoked fish processing is a good start.

In a week, a single production cycle gives the Association a Php 1,200.00 net. The regular market outlet of their products are their neighbors and those in the adjacent barangays. Their products labelled MM’s are sold during trade fairs sponsored by DSWD and other government agencies. At times, they need to produce bulk deboned bangus; a market outlet in Manila once ordered 73 packs of deboned bangus which gave them Php 6,600.00 gross amount.

The profit is deposited to the Association’s bank account for additional capital and savings mobilization. The members benefit from this through loan scheme of the Association with a minimal interest. This system is imposed to address the basic daily requirements of the members and to gain additional capital for the Association.

LGU support
The enthusiasm seen among the beneficiaries engaged in this microenterprise encouraged the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Binmaley to support their training needs and other materials for their production site.
At present, LGU-Binmaley is already preparing for the appropriation of funds to repair an old barangay hall to be the new production site.

The food processing technologies training was coordinated with Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Pangasinan State University. Meanwhile, DSWD continues to monitor the improvement on the production process as to quality, marketing strategies, and product labelling.

The new mother-thing

The members revealed that they used to gamble or play cards and talk about each other’s lives as past time activities or just stay at home to care for their children and spouses.

The coming of their bangus processing somehow changed their activities. They are now scheduling at least 1 day for their production. For two hours, they sell their products to their neighbors and to nearby barangays.

With this endeavor, they are given at least Php 100.00 as their wage in selling their own products. “Ang samahan at tuloy–tuloy na pag-angat ng aming negosyo ang iniisip namin. Dito na kami yayaman talaga (We think of the association and the continuing progress of our business. We will be rich with this),” said Rowena Tolentino.

The Association also served as a support group with the sharing of their problems and family concerns. Accordingly, they are happy that the earnings of their husbands are now augmented. Their minimal wage is enough to buy weekly needs on sugar, coffee, and other kitchen needs.

The group is also active in regular barangay clean up activities. Two (2) of the members are now trained as trainer on bangus products processing accredited by TESDA. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Regional Information Officer)

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Tanauan gets back on its feet after ‘Yolanda’


Guests participate in the releasing of doves to symbolize that Tanauan is now moving forward one year after ‘Yolanda’.

Tanauan, Leyte – To symbolize that normalcy is back in this town, a soft opening of the new town plaza and amphitheater was held on Saturday, November 8, after Typhoon Yolanda hit this municipality and damaged these vital structures here a year ago.

It was led  by  Municipal Mayor Pelagio Tecson, Jr. and attended by Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman,  Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson,  Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin,  Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, and Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla.

They were in town to attend activities commemorating the first year anniversary of ‘Yolanda’.

Also present were Leyte Governor Dominico Petilla, Javier Mayor Sandy Javier, and Injap Group of Companies representative Hera Barrameda.

Injap, a private company based in the Philippines that through its subsidiary Mang Inasal Philippines, Inc. owns and operates fast food restaurants, funded the rehabilitation of the town plaza and the construction of the amphitheater.

Solemn commemoration

The event started with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by the march of dignitaries towards the memorial ground and offering of flowers for all those who perished during the onslaught of ‘Yolanda’.

The memorial ground was once a mass grave but the local government decided to convert this into a memorial and placed all the names of those who died from the typhoon.

The site now paves the way for a more solemn commemoration every year.

Mayor Tecson, in his message of salutation, recalled  the magnitude of devastation in their municipality but commended the resiliency of the townfolks.

“The typhoon may have been so strong yet it failed to break the spirit of the people,” Mayor Tecson said.


A salute to honor those who perished during Typhoon Yolanda at the memorial ground in Tanauan Plaza.


Since December, the local government already started providing shelter assistance to survivors with damaged houses.

Mayor Tecson said in a cheerful tone, “Dating nipa, ngayon yero na. (Before, [the roofs of the houses] were just nipa grass, now they’re galvanized sheets).”

He added that around 100 families have already been transferred to permanent shelters.

The local government, in partnership with the national government and non-government organizations (NGOs), is accelerating the construction of more permanent shelters.

He also happily announced that there had been 30% increase in the number of establishments operating in the town which are helping their economy to recover.

He said that rehabilitation efforts will continue to build a better Tanauan.

“The best way to remember our lost loved ones is to show them that we are moving forward,” the Mayor expressed.

As a symbol of that, the local officials and the heads of national agencies present released doves into the air, which was followed by the release other doves in the area.

No one left behind

For his part, Sec. Singson shared the good news on the approval of the Tacloban-Palo-Tanuan road dike project, which will serve as protection against another storm surge as high as four meters.

The other cabinet secretaries then gave words of encouragement to the people of the Tanauan.

Sec.  Gazmin said, “We should continue to harness our spirits so we could rise amid many adversities. The national government, local government , NGOs, and foreign friends are behind you and working with you to build a stronger Tanauan and  a stronger Leyte.”

Sec. Roxas then shared the ‘one government approach’ of the Aquino Administration emphasizing, ” Kahit gaano kahirap basta tulong-tulong, kaya natin. Walang iwanan (No matter how hard it is as long as we are together, we can do it. No one shall be left behind).”

The rehabilitation effort of the local government got praises from Mayor Javier.

He also thanked the cabinet members, saying, “Sila na binigay ang lahat, nagplano, nagpundar ng tulong na sobrang dami, kahit sila ay binabatikos (They planned and gave their full support and assistance to us despite being continuously criticized).” ###

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Permanent shelters handed over to survivors to mark ‘Yolanda’ anniversary


A ‘Yolanda’ survivor receives his Certificate of Occupancy.

Tacloban City, Leyte – As part of the activities to commemorate the first year anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda, several cabinet secretaries were here on Saturday, November 8, to lead the turnover of completed permanent shelter units to typhoon survivors.

Some 122 housing units in Ridge View Park, Barangay Cabalawan and 28 units in Villa Sofia, Barangay Tagpuro were distributed to survivors who were drawn at random.

These permanent houses, which also have complete electric and water facilities, are part of a tie-up project of the National Housing Authority (NHA) and the city government.

It was initially agreed that the certificates of occupancy will be handed over by Mayor Alfred Romualdez and NHA General Manager Chito Cruz to the beneficiaries as part of the partnership of the local government unit (LGU) and NHA, with Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Secretary Panfilo Lacson of the Office of Presidential Assistant for Recovery and Rehabilitation (OPARR), and Secretary Rogelio Singson of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) witnessing the distribution.


Sec. Soliman takes a look at a housing unit at Ridge View.

However, Mayor Romualdez was not able to attend the 1:30 pm event so he sent City Administrator Atty. Jenny Lyn Polistico-Manibay and Maria Lagman, the head of the Shelter Cluster of the LGU, instead.

Sec. Soliman observed that the event exuded a positive atmosphere with the survivors looking forward to live in their new houses.

Marissa Abraham, 40, one of the beneficiaries of a unit in Ridge View said, “Safe na kami sa baha. Salamat sa tulong na pabahay ng gobyerno (We are now safe from floods. Thanks to the shelter assistance of the government).”

Another beneficiary, Emma Tambulungan, also expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to start anew.

Salamat sa gobyerno sa panibagong bahay at buhay na matatamasa namin (Thank you to the government for this house that will help us start anew),” she shared.

Sec. Soliman encouraged the survivors saying, “Patuloy po kaming tutulong at sasabay sa inyo sa pag-unlad.  Tayo ay sama-samang tatawid palagpas sa kahirapan (We will continue to help and walk with you towards development. Together, we will fight poverty).”

For his part, Sec. Lacson reminded the beneficiaries to value what have been given them.

Tuloy pa rin ang tulong na ibibigay ng gobyerno sa hanapbuhay bukod sa pabahay. Kaya tulong-tulong tayong mahalin natin itong pabahay (Aside from shelter assistance, livelihood assistance will continue to be provided. So, let’s take care of these houses),” he said. ###

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Cabinet execs visit Ormoc on ‘Yolanda’ anniv, laud progresses there


Sec. Soliman and Sec. Mar Roxas lead groundbreaking for the community evacuation center.

Ormoc City, Leyte – One year after Typhoon Yolanda ravaged this city, Department of Social Welfare and Development  (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman expressed her admiration for the continued rehabilitation here.

Sec. Soliman together with Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Secretary Panfilo Lacson, and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin were here on  Saturday, November 8, to attend activities commemorating the first year anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda.

“I can see that all repairs on major buildings are done, more restaurants have opened, and commerce has increased,” Sec. Soliman remarked.

She commended City Mayor Edward C. Codilla for his leadership in bringing normalcy back to the locality.

The cabinet officials sat as panelists during a media forum where they gave updates on rehabilitation efforts and responded to questions.

Sec. Soliman was asked to explain about the Disaster Assistance and Family Access Card (DAFAC) and Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA).

She explained that the Disaster Assistance and Family Access Card (DAFAC) was implemented in cooperation with the City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Offices to ensure the equal food distribution to ‘Yolanda’-affected provinces in Eastern Visayas. It aims to monitor the status of affected families and whether a family is underserved or overserved though the logs in the cards they hold.


‘Yolanda’ survivors visit the Tzu Chi Great Love Village where shelter units are being constructed.

For the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA), Sec. Soliman explained that the certificate of occupancy is needed to ensure that the recipients of the assistance will not be evicted from their house.

She added that typhoon victims with totally damaged houses will receive P70,000 cash assistance each and those with partially damaged houses will receive P30,000 cash assistance each.

After the forum, the executives participated in the groundbreaking of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Community Evacuation Center.

Then, they proceeded to the Tzu Chi Great Love Village in Barangay Lilo-Ann which can accommodate 2,000 housing units.

As of November 3, some 37 units have already been completed.  The beneficiaries of this housing village will come from 12 barangays of the city.

Mayor Codilla entered into a usufruct agreement with Tzu Chi Foundation for the use of the 50-hectares land.

To lighten the day’s event, officials and staff of Tzu Chi Foundation led the presentation of the “One Family Song”, which talks about the value of unity, through sign language.

The national agency heads and other guests gladly participated. ###

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A dream come true for a ‘Yolanda’ survivor


Olivia Fuentes waiting for the arrival of Pres. Benigno Aquino III during the turn over ceremony of the certificate of occupancy.

Guiuan, Eastern Samar“Grabe! Sobra-sobra akong nagpapasalamat sa Panginoon at sa gobyerno dahil sa paggawad sa amin ng pabahay dito sa Cogon Resettlement Site  (I am extremely grateful to God and to the government for giving us shelter here in Cogon Resettlement Site).”

Typhoon Yolanda survivor Olivia Fuentes, 40, could not contain her happiness after receiving a certificate of occupancy to their new house from President Benigno Aquino III during the turn over ceremony at the Cogon Resettlement Site on Friday, November 7, a day before the first year anniversary of ‘Yolanda’.

Olivia is one of the 44 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who are among the 132 families who have moved to the transitional shelters from tents after the typhoon wrecked their houses.

In his message, Pres. Aquino stressed that although the houses are transitional, they are sturdy, still in accordance with the “building back better” principle used to guide reconstruction and recovery efforts in disaster-hit areas.

“Gaya po ninyo, naiinip din ako. Pero kailangan po natin idiin na hindi p’wedeng idaan sa bara-bara ang ating ‘build back better’ (Like you, I also become impatient. But we need to emphasize that we cannot be lax in implementing our ‘build back better’),” Pres. Aquino said.

With the President were Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman,  Presidential Adviser on Rehabilitation and Recovery Secretary Panfilo Lacson, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson,  Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Executive Director Alexander Pama, and National Housing Authority General Manager Chito Cruz.


Olivia recounted the times when she dreamt of having her own house.

“Pangarap ko talaga ang magkabahay para sa pamilya ko kahit noong hindi pa dumadating ang Bagyong Yolanda. Kaya noong nagkaroon ng shelter assistance mula sa DSWD at lokal na pamahalaan, natuwa talaga ako  (It is my dream to have a house for my family even before Typhoon Yolanda came. So I was very glad when DSWD and the local government offered shelter assistance),” she said.

Every morning, Olivia holds the picture of the shelter units mounted on the wall of her small tent, which has been her home together with her six children and her husband after the typhoon destroyed their house.


Shelter units at the Cogon Rettlement Site in Guiuan, Eastern Samar

“Kapag hinahawakan ko ‘yong picture ng shelter units, nagdadasal ako nang taimtim. Sinasabi kong magkakaroon ako nito at lahat ng pangarap ko matutupad sa loob ng bahay na ito (While holding the picture of the shelter units, I am praying deeply that I will have this and all my dreams will come true in this house),” she added.

When Olivia finally received the news that she will be a recipient of the shelter unit at the Cogon Resettlement Site, her heart was suddenly filled with greatest happiness and relief.

In her head, she saw a montage of scenes revealing her family’s pains and struggles in surmounting the challenges brought by the wrath of ‘Yolanda’.

With her voice slowly breaking she said, “Iba talaga ang tinuro sa amin ng Bagyong Yolanda at ang experience namin sa pagtira sa tent. ‘Yung pinagdaanan namin na hirap ang sumukat ng aming katatagan bilang pamilya. Kaya palagi akong nagdadasal at nagpapasalamat sa mga tulong na dumadating sa amin tulad ng Pantawid Pamilya[ng Pilipino Program] at ng pabahay na ito (The lesson brought by Typhoon Yolanda and our experience in leaving in tent is unparalleled. The adversities we went through measured the resilience of our family. Thus, I always pray and I am always thankful for the assistance given to us like Pantawid Pamilya and this shelter assistance).”

Pantawid Pamilya is one of the programs of the national government being implemented by the DSWD that provides cash grants to poor Filipino families in exchange of education and health conditions. The objective of the program is to keep children aged 0-18 years old healthy and in school.

“Malaking tulong ang cash grants na nakukuha ko sa Pantawid Pamilya lalo na noong pagkatapos ng ‘Yolanda’. Ibinibili ko ng gamit sa eskwela at pamasahe ng anak ko sa pagpasok sa school. Kaya nagpapasalamat ako na may Pantawid Pamilya (The cash grants that I receive in Pantawid Pamilya are great help especially after Typhoon Yolanda.  I use the grants to buy school supplies and for the transportation allowance of my children in going to school. That is why I am thankful that there is Pantawid Pamilya),” Olivia proudly said.

Aside from the shelter units, the 132 families also received Pabaon Packs containing 25 kilos of rice, canned goods, cereal drinks, coffee, family kits (kitchen utensils, blanket, plastic sheet and jerrycans), and a hygiene pack composed of bath soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste.

“Masaya ako sa mga tulong na ito ng gobyerno. At sigurado akong tuloy-tuloy na ang aming pagbangon dahil kaya na namin ang pagbabago (I am happy with the help given by the government. And now I am certain that we will have a continuous recovery because we can face the challenges of change),” she concluded.

Now, with ticket number 18 in her hands, the lot number of her new abode and her lucky number, she is joyfully preparing her family for their occupancy of their new home, where she will rebuild her life and fulfill her aspirations for her family.

Indeed, a dream come true for Olivia and for the rest of the 132 families. ###

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A Stride in a Milestone

DSWD Assistant Secretary Rodolfo Santos addressing his message to the first batch of KC-NCDDP training completers.

DSWD Assistant Secretary Rodolfo Santos addressing his message to the first batch of KC-NCDDP training completers.

Graced by the presence of DSWD Asec Rodolfo Santos, the commencement for the first batch of trainees in “Basic Training for AreaCoordinating Teams” for KC-NCDDP was successfully held at Hotel Veniz, Baguio City, October 10, 2014.

Twenty-six (26) trained staff from four Area Coordinating Teams (ACT) from Ilocos Sur, namely:  Alilem, Burgos, Nagbukel, and Quirino,  received their certificates of completion after the 10-day training and workshop on the process, procedures, frameworks, systems, and other related topics relevant to the implementation of the KC-NCDDP in the Region. The event was also witnessed by batches 2 and 3 training participants. The exercise even became more meaningful with the attendance of KC-NCDDP National Program Manager Benilda E. Redaja, Assistant Regional Director for Operations and KC-NCDDP Regional Program Manager Marlene Febes D. Peralta, KC-NCDDP Deputy Regional Program Manager Orson C. Sta. Cruz, Regional Program Coordinator Virginia P. Sesay, National and Regional Specialists, Officers, resource speakers and facilitators.

Asec. Santos spoke to the completers and upcoming completers of the training, giving them inspiration not to give up to the challenges that they are about to come across subsequent to their deployment after their training. He also personally awarded the certificates to the training completers, together with KC-NCDDP NPM, Dir. Redaja, ARDO/RPM Peralta, and DRPM Sta. Cruz.

The commencement exercise lasted for an hour and was immediately followed by dinner. A well-participated “Socialization” activity followed thereafter. The activity was attended by all the participants from all three batches and the National and Regional Officers and Specialists, training resource speakers and facilitators.  Every ACT and special groups who also attended the training prepared a presentation. Games, food and fun were served and enjoyed by all the participants.

The night’s intention to recognize the first tread of the KC-NCDDP staff was attained. The program’s milestone has just begun to root. (by Jomara S. Chan, KC-NCDDP SMO)

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DSWD FO1 residents show off rehabilitation results

2014 children's moDSWD Field Office 1 (FO1) continues to enhance effective rehabilitative activities to its clients, among which were presented by client-residents from the five (5) centers and institutions during the Children’s Month Celebration kick-off event recently held at the Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY).

Graced by the Regional Committee for the Welfare of Children (RCWC) Chairperson Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo and members from various agencies, the kick-off event was also attended by media people from DZAG-Radyo ng Bayan, DZSO- Bombo Radyo, DZNL-Aksyon Radyo, Philippine Information Agency Region 1, and ABS-CBN Baguio.

Child representative to the RCWC Caila Jean Munar who is currently a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program also served as an inspiration to the event. Her participation to the Committee is among the innovations suggested by Focal Person Mary Grace Rendon to the RCWC.

Like regular children in the mainstreamed communities, children in the centers and institutions enjoyed games and simulation therapy activities facilitated by Dr. Mary Grace Del Castillo and Psychologist Mary Ann Dacanay.

Residents from the Home for Girls portrayed a news program exposing various exploitations and abuse of children with psychosocial interventions of DSWD highlighted at the end of their presentation. Modernized tinikling and clay pot dance were gracefully presented by residents of Haven for Women and their dependents.

The residents from Haven for Children and the RRCY performed their lyrical and jazz dances before the audience which brought more fun and excitement to the resident clients while musical bands from RRCY and Area 1 Vocational Rehabilitation Center sang songs from the current and older generations.

The meeting with the media and the RCWC Meeting revolved on the programs and services of partner agencies promoting children’s rights and welfare along survival, protection, development, and community participation as their basic rights. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)

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DSWD FO1 hails worth-emulating moms at work

family weekDSWD Field Office 1 awarded three (3) female staff who possess good values, resilience, and capabilities displayed in their homes and at work.

Assistant Regional Director for Operations Marlene Febes D. Peralta, OIC- Assistant Regional Director for Administration Nora D. de la Paz, and OIC Chief Helen O. Nerona were awarded with bouquets of flowers and certificates of appreciation by Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo during the Family Week Celebration held at the Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY) on September 27, 2014.

This event was witnessed by at least 250 DSWD staff, RRCY resident-clients, members of the Regional Inter-Agency Committee for Filipino Families, and media representatives from DZNL Aksyon Radyo and DZAG- Radyo ng Bayan.

Also, signing of commitment to be better parents and children was facilitated by Ms. Clarivel C. Banzuela to emphasize their roles and functions in unifying their families.

Moreover, parlor games and simulation learning exercises were conducted among the children of DSWD staff and RRCY clients. Talent presentations and most liked family photo uploaded on Facebook were also awarded with cash prizes.

As Regional Director Castillo said, this year’s celebration of the Family Week served as an instrument to show appreciation to families giving their best in coping with the challenges of times and at the same time strengthening individuals to continue loving and caring for their families. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)

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