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DSWD FO 1 recognizes Pantawid Pamilya Focal Persons

First four picture from the left: Education Focal Persons
Last two picture from the left: Health Focal Persons

To recognize the invaluable efforts and services of partner stakeholders or Pantawid Pamilya Focals from the schools and health facilities who have been crucial to the successful implementation of the Program, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO 1), through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, conducted the first ever Search for Pantawid Pamilya Focal.

Partner agencies particularly the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Health (DOH), through the assigned Pantawid Pamilya Focals contribute in the compliance verification monitoring process and policy development. This highlights their critical role in the Program implementation

The Pantawid Pamilya Focals are in-charge of monitoring the compliance of Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in the health and education conditions of the Program.

The pioneer contenders for this search are: Ms. Rhyndel Fuertes, Teacher I from Dingras National High School, Dingras, Ilocos Norte; Ms. Marivic Cabrera, Master Teacher III from Nagbukel National High School, Nagbukel, Ilocos Sur; Mr. Zhandy Picardo, Teacher III from Aringay National High School, Aringay, La Union; Ms. Rudencia Edrosolan, Teacher III from Sto. Domingo Elementary School, Sual, Pangasinan; Ms. Olivia Lagula, Midwife III from Sarrat, Ilocos Norte; and Ms. Wilma Yukee, Midwife II from Bangar, La Union.

Since the implementation of Pantawid Pamilya, these teachers and midwives designated as Pantawid Pamilya Focal Persons have consistently delivered their functions with passion and considered it as a mission not an additional obligation.

Two Focal Persons (one each for education and health) will represent the Region to the National Partnership Summit on 31 May 2019. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Pantawid Pamilya Information Officer)

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Wellness services provide good income to housewives of San Carlos City, Pangasinan

 “Nanmaliw ya dalan su DSWD-SLP onpian makala kami na NC II ed panagmasahe tan makaanap na regular ya trabaho (The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 through its Sustainable Livelihood Program helped me secure a National Certificate II (NC II) in massage therapy and find a regular job).”

From a homemaker to becoming the family’s breadwinner, Gina T. Navarro of Brgy. Isla, San Carlos City, Pangasinan provides for the needs of her family by rendering massage therapy  and beauty care services in one of the resorts in the City. Her husband needs to stay at home to recover from a head injury sustained from a car accident in 2017.

In 2017, Gina was among the 40 DSWD-SLP served participants in San Carlos City who underwent a skills training conducted by Maxima Technical and Skills Training Institute, Inc. and received NC II in Beauty Therapy and Straightening with Entrepreneurship from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the same year.

Just in time when a resort is in need of wellness staff a month after receiving their NC II, the DSWD-SLP endorsed its served participants where six (6) of them were successfully hired. The resort later shouldered the training and securing of NC II on Beauty Care to expand their knowledge and skills in manicure, pedicure, and foot spa.

Bukod ed komisyon mi ya PhP80.00 kada sakey oras ya panmamasahe, iitdan da kami ni na PhP100.00 ya allowance kada agew. (Aside from the PhP80.00 commission for every one hour massage, we are entitled to a PhP100.00 daily allowance),” shared Gina. She earns an average of PhP340.00 to PhP700.00 a day depending on the demand. Her clients often give her tip for her excellent service. To maximize productivity during her day-off, she renders home service massage.

Some of her batchmates prefer to use their skills as their part-time income opportunity as they need to attend to their family. They do on-call home massage and hair treatment services during their free time to augment their family income.

Ag mo pupulyanan ya nu anto ka natan et umman ka la. Awaten mo may pagkakataon tan mantiwala ka ya kayam su manmaliw a maruong ed apilem ya trabaho. Napan-aralan met ya amin (Do not allow yourself to be stuck at where you are. Grab opportunities and believe that you can be good at your chosen craft. Everything can be learned, anyway),” she added. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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DSWD-SLP supports shell souvenir making in Bolinao, Pangasinan

Known for its white beaches, enchanting caves, and breath-taking waterfalls, the town of Bolinao in Pangasinan never fails to wow local and foreign travellers. As a way to remember the beauty of the town, one must take home the best souvenir in town there is — seashell crafts.

The seashell souvenirs as products of the creative hands of the Bolinaos come in many lovely designs — chandeliers, wind chimes, Christmas lanterns, key chains, and bags, among others.

The high income potential of seashell souvenir making encouraged 10 Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries in Brgy. Balingasay to seek livelihood assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) in 2015.

On the same year, the members were organized into Balingasay Women’s SLP Association receiving a seed capital fund of PhP10,000.00 each from DSWD GAA 2015 fund.

Gemma Gamueda, the Association President, said that she makes the souvenirs during her rest time from doing household chores, usually in the afternoon or at night while watching her favorite telenovelas. “Matrabaho ang paggawa pero nakasanayan na namin (It requires a lot of processes, but we are used to it),” she shared.

The members usually need an hour walk to the shore to glean sacks of free seashells or buy them at PhP60.00 to PhP75.00 per big can. These are dried up under the sun for a day or two. After which, the shells are cooked with chlorine for about five minutes in a big wok to attain their white color while making the shells more durable. These will be dried up under the sun again for a day. Some are dyed with colors for aesthetic purposes prior to designing.

The small lanterns are sold at PhP10.00 to P35.00 per piece while the prices of the chandeliers range from PhP60.00 to PhP250.00 depending on the size and design. Businessmen buy products from the association and sell them in retail in pasalubong centers and hotels in town while others are sold by bulk in Divisoria in Manila. During off-peak season, each member earns PhP1,200.00 monthly while during “Ber” months where Christmas lanterns are in demand, each member can earn as much as PhP4,000.00 to PhP5,000 monthly.

Minimum wage earners ang mga asawa namin kaya malaking tulong ang kita namin dito. Masaya kami na umaabot sa iba’t ibang lugar ang aming mga gawang-kamay at nakakatulong kami sa turismo ng Bolinao (Our profits greatly augment the minimum wage of our husbands. We are happy that our handmade products have reached many places and we are helping the tourism industry of Bolinao),” said Gemma.  (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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Real beauty never fades

Old age may have drawn wrinkles on her face, removed her eyesight, and weaken her body but her sanguinity remains through the years. She loves to be groomed beautifully by her daughters with some face powder and lipstick on her face, and some fancy jewelries to complete her daily look.

Her beauty radiates not only from the outside but can also be mirrored through her jolly personality. This is the 105-year old lola Emilia Viloria Cabotaje from Brgy. Aquib, Narvacan, Ilocos Sur who often cracks jokes and sings funny Iluko melodies. Don’t start a debate of who is more good-looking, because she will insist that she is the most beautiful of all. Ask if she can eat “bagnet”, she says that she is just waiting for her teeth to grow before she can taste one of her town’s most delectable dishes.

Embracing life together. Lola Emilia’s daughters promise to take care of her until God permits.

Ni nanangmi ti liwliwami. Makapaalis ti kinaragsak na iso nga talaga nga al-alagaanmi  (Our mother is our stress-reliever. Her cheerfulness is contagious that is why we really take good care of her),” said her 74-year old spinster daughter Lola Emerencia. They live in their old family house together with 78-year old Lola Rosalina, also lola Emilia’s daughter.

Reminiscing the past, life was not beautiful as it may seem. Her childhood was spent in the fields helping his father earn a living because her mother died at a very young age. Later, she was married to a poor farm tenant of whom they were blessed with six children. “Narigat ti biag ngem iso ti nakem ni Apo (life is hard but that is God’s will)”, said the old woman still in her smiles. She believed that her blindness was caused by prolonged and extreme exposure to the sun.

The centenarian cash gift she received was deposited in the bank for future use. Lola Emilia and Lola Rosalina are DSWD social pensioners while Lola Emerencia is a private pensioner. Their combined monthly stipends are used in buying their daily needs, and Lola Emilia’s diapers, and vitamins. They believe that her soft skin is the product of drinking three glasses of milk daily. She used to smoke native tabacco and drink “shoktong”, a local wine for the old back then.

Despite her daughter’s unconditional love and untiring care for her, lola Emilia’s prayer is for her eternal peace to be granted the soonest so her daughters can rest from all the burden she is causing them. “Agyamanak kenni Apo ta nadanon ko daytoy a paset ti biag kon, mabalin ko aginanan (I thank God for allowing me to reach this age, I can now rest)”, she added. But for her daughters’ love for her, they are willing to endure all the hardship as long as they are intact and together. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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DSWD FO 1 Home for Girls Advocates Child Sexual Abuse Awareness

PEQNHS students perform their original jingle composition entitled “Be the Solution”

In support to this year’s National Awareness Week for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation, the DSWD Field Office 1 Home for Girls (HFG) staged a child protection advocacy activity with the theme “A Fourfold Solution to Child Protection: Information Technology (IT) Works” held at President Elpidio Quirino National High School (PEQNHS), Agoo, La Union.

The activity endeavors to raise awareness on the current issues and challenges on child protection and to highlight the role of IT, including social media, in addressing child violence and exploitation. This initiative further underscored the significance of child participation as an effective approach to let the children take the lead to protect their own rights.

Assisted by their mentors and coaches, 42 student leaders from six (6) public and private high schools in Agoo, La Union competed in the short film making, jingle making, and impromptu speech.

The competition commenced with the viewing of three (3) short film entries from PEQNHS, Don Eufemio F. Eriguel Memorial National High School (DEFEMNHS), and Saint Mary’s Academy (SMA). The DEFEMNHS bagged the special award on the Most Socially Relevant Film while SMA was recognized as the Youth Choice Awardee. Entitled “Tsokalate”, the PEQNHS’ entry wowed the audience with its impressive cinematography and storyline and was hailed as the 2019 Champion. The film narrated the story of a child who suffered from repeated sexual abuse by her father and her journey towards healing and empowerment .

Moreover, student leaders from DEFEMNHS, PEQNHS, SMA, and Agoo Kiddie Special School (AKSS) competed in the original jingle making competition. Composed of five (5) members for each group, the participants showcased their songwriting, singing, and dancing skills depicting the advocacy on child sexual abuse prevention through the aid of IT.  AKSS bagged the 2nd place with its jingle entitled “AEGIS” while SMA was hailed as the winner with its original jingle entry pegged as “Bata at Pag-ibig.”

The highly anticipated impromptu speech competition was participated in by five (5) schools namely Agoo Academy, DEFEMNHS, PEQNHS, SMA, and Polytechnic College of La Union. Given a five-minute speech time, the participants were asked the question, “If you are one of the candidates for a senatorial post, how will you maximize child participation as an effective and practical strategy to promote child protection which will highlight your advocacy?”  With the confidence and forthright answer of the contestant from PEQNHS, the participant bagged the 2nd place. On the other hand, imparting the advocacy on awareness and promotion of programs on children empowerment, the student from SMA was hailed as the frontrunner.

HFG Center Head Noemi D. Escalona thanked the different schools in the promotion of child sexual abuse awareness. Meanwhile, Head Teacher III and PEQNHS OIC Gaspar Calletong extended his gratitude to DSWD for its initiative to eliminate child sexual abuse and further encouraged the Department to strengthen its advocacy on child protection to larger audience, particularly to schools. #By: Roulyn B. Bangud, Home for Girls

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Waste papers turn into beautiful crafts

Earrings are made using the paper quilling method.

Dagupan City – The DSWD Field Office 1 (DSWD FO 1) through the Area I Vocational Rehabilitation Center (AVRC I) partnered with the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) to train 46 persons with disabilities (PWDs) from all over Region 1 on Appropriate Paper-based Technology (APT), a cost-effective way to produce creative and personally designed furniture or other objects using waste papers.

The participants, who will become trainers in their respective local government units, only used corn starch as a paste to patch waste papers into beautiful artworks and applied varnish or waterproof paint to seal the completed pieces such as but not limited to chairs, wall crafts, display items, and other useful products. Aside from APT, NCDA also imparted the technology on paper crafting and quilling to the participants to produce colorful earrings. The Council pledged to help in marketing the products to known suppliers particularly in Carmona, Cavite.

According to Dandy Victa, NCDA’s Technical Cooperation Division Chief, the Council has piloted the APT project to provide appropriate trainings and skills enhancement to PWDs to improve their creativity leading to environment-friendly livelihood options. The initiative that complements the Duterte administration’s socio-economic agenda in investing in human capital development to meet the demand of businesses and private sectors further focuses on waste reuse and recycling to counteract wastage and depletion of natural resources, thereby supporting the climate change adaptation and mitigation projects of the government. “Dahil sa APT training, nadagdagan ang aking kaalaman sa paggawa ng magagandang produkto. Ang aking gustong gawin ay lampshades dahil mahilig ako sa mga produktong pang-display. Iro-roll-out ko ang mga natutunan ko sa kagaya kong PWDs pagbalik ko sa Urdaneta City (This APT training improved my knowledge in crafting beautiful products. I want to make lampshades because I am fond of display products. I will roll-out what I have learned to my co-PWDs when I get back to Urdaneta City),” shared Rosemarie dela Cruz, Treasurer of Persons with Disabilities Affairs Office (PDAO) in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan.

In 1977, APT techniques were developed in Zimbabwe by Bevill Packer to make furniture, toys, and household items as well as some equipment for PWDs. # By: Darwin T. Chan, Social Marketing Unit

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DSWD partners with SLC and SALAKNIB

The Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development – Field Office 1, Saint Louis College (SLC), and SAngguniang LAkas Para Sa Katarungan at Kapayapaan Na Naglilingkod Sa Inang Bayan (SALAKNIB) entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to build capability projects enhancing the development needs of the RRCY residents and staff.

DSWD Field Office 1 head (seated in green top) Dir. Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo together with the representatives of the SLC and SALAKNIB poses for commemorative photos in the beginning of their journey towards helping RRCY clients and staff.

In line with the Department’s mission, the DSWD recognizes participation of volunteers since they contribute in improving economic and social capital, and serves as catalyst that encourage the people to work together to discover their potentials and capabilities. Moreover, these groups complement the efforts of the Department in achieving an effective implementation of its programs and services.

The MOA Signing further introduced SLC’s Danggay Agtutubo project to enhance the psycho-spiritual formation and development of the clients through a conduct of activities such as recollection and short course for Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL). On the other hand, SALAKNIB will focus on capability building relative to paralegal services, and rights and developmental awareness of the residents.

On the onset of partnership initiative, SLC students donated toiletries, towels, and blankets for the use of the clients.

RRCY Head Leah Mylen Lucero expressed DSWD’s gratitude for the stakeholders’ interest and enthusiasm to provide services to the Center’s residents. “The partnership will be a great help to our clients. This is a start and will surely move to a bigger project in the future,” she said.

The partnership originally started through an unexpected visit of SLC Parish Priest Valentine M. Narcise with SLC staff in RRCY. After the partnership meeting initiated by the Center and engaging with some DSWD activities, the group was able to recognize the possible collaboration between the organizations. #By: Nicole Kasandra A. Lipawen, Social Marketing Unit

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DSWD-SLP supports dried fish producers in San Fabian, Pangasinan

Most of the barangay folks of Nibaliw Navarte in San Fabian, Pangasinan rely on fishing and dried fish (daing) production as their viable livelihood. However, due to limited financial capital, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries are engaged in debt cycle from loan sharks.

To address this issue, 21 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries were organized as The Delicious Dried Fish SLP Association by the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 through its Sustainable Livelihood Program. After being accredited by DSWD as a Civil Society Organization, the Association received PhP302,000.00 Seed Capital Fund (SCF) in February 2019 to augment their existing resources.

Part of the SCF was utilized in purchasing starter skits such as banyeras (fish tub), bilaran (a rectangular frame with net), sacks of salt, and other fish drying tools.

At present, the Association hires a freezer truck to transport an average of 1,000 kilos of various fish species from Malabon City to San Fabian at least twice a week. The processing of dried fish takes place immediately to ensure the products’ high quality.

The fishes are dried up in the barangay’s vacant lot while the finished products are stored at the association president’s small daing storage facility.

At times when the members are free from their usual livelihood engagements outside the association, they help in the dried fish production and enable an additional earning of PhP3,000.00 for working at least 8 days a month for the Association’s business. Apart from this, the Association also earns an average of PhP10,000.00 to PhP15,000.00 weekly of which they unanimously agreed to be saved in a bank for future use.

The finished products are being delivered to Bugallon and Lingayen, Pangasinan; Agoo, La Union; and Baguio City. Some wholesalers and retailers directly go to the production area to buy.

Nagpapasalamat kami sa DSWD-SLP dahil natulungan kaming pahalagahan ang tunay na diwa ng pagkakaisa, kooperasyon, at hardwork. Hindi na namin kailangang problemahin kung saan ulit mangungutang  ng puhunan (We thank the DSWD-SLP for helping us realize the true importance of unity, cooperation, and hardwork. We no longer worry where to loan capital.),” said Eleyna Ceynas, SLP Association President.

The Association projects to purchase an electric drying machine to be used during rainy season.

The Cayanga Dried Fish SLP Association and the TG Rain or Shine SLP Association in San Fabian engaged in dried fish production are DSWD-SLP assisted associations as well that received a Seed Capital Fund of PhP329,925.00 and PhP420,000.00, respectively. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)

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