Archive | news

When Strength Is Gone

Dolores holding ‘baki’ (bamboo container) used when picking shrimps, snails and shells in the river and her stove purchased out of her stipend.

Dolores holding ‘baki’ (bamboo container) used when picking shrimps, snails and shells in the river and her stove purchased out of her stipend.

Single and loner  Dolores Sucapen, 80 years old, is a mirror of strength among poor senior citizens in Sugpon, Ilocos Sur, particularly those  who are also managing living alone until the end of their days.

 Living in the heart of this mountainous town bounded north by the Amburayan River, Dolores is determined to thrive more to support her daily needs particularly on food.

 Most often, she gathers ‘kusipeng (native snail)’ and ‘kangkong’ leaves for meals. If failed to do so, she bears  to eat just plain rice.

 Because of this situation, she was relieved upon receiving for the first time the stipend from Social Pension Program. ‘Nabang-aran ti barukongko (my heart felt lighter),’ she exclaimed. ‘Nu awan daytoy, kasanon (if this ends, what will happen to me?), she sighed.

Stipend on Food and Home Facilities

 Her daily food intake slightly improved with the stipend she receives. With this, she is now able to buy milkfish and ‘galungong’ whenever available. She also buys and stores rice in her kitchen. There was even a time when somebody stole her rice stored as mentioned.

 Also, the stipend she received was used for basic necessities at home  such as gas stove, spade, and pails. The spade is being used during rainy season to remove the soil being eroded from the mountain at the back of her house.

Dolores and her charcoal portrait during her younger years.

Dolores and her charcoal portrait during her younger years.

Accordingly, she wants to buy important things while the stipend is still available. As said, she wants to acquire items that could be

used for  a longer time.

 All the while, Dolores has also a clay stove ready to be used when her LPG runs out and she has no money to buy one .

 Worry Leaks

 Despite being adjusted living alone, Dolores thinks much of the coming days when all her strengths will be gone. Who will take care of me?, she gasped. As experienced, if she will not give any penny for a simple task from among her neighbors, nobody wants to give the favor.

 With much thinking about this concern, she regularly gathers twigs and dried tree branches and piles them for future use. She is afraid that when she can no longer move any further, she will have no firewood to use.

 Above all, she entrusts her life to her Creator who will make way for her remaining days especially when her end has come.  (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Regional Information Officer)

Posted in newsComments (0)

Left Home Not To be Left Behind

Hyacinth Joy R. Singasing (left) and Eleanor A. Luvida (right) while actively participating in their class.   Hyacinth Joy R. Singasing (left) and Eleanor A. Luvida (right) while actively participating in their class.

Hyacinth Joy R. Singasing (left) and Eleanor A. Luvida (right) while actively participating in their class.

Both living in Brgy. Banga, Sugpon, Ilocos Sur, Hyacinth Joy R. Singasing, 12,  a Grade 8 student and Eleanor A. Luvida, 16, a fourth year student are determined and dared to trek the winding, slippery road and stride their  legs for an hour or more just to reach Sugpon National High School and pursue their Secondary education.

They are two of the children benefitting from the Agsugpon Tayo Project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO1).

“Saan ko kayat a maipada kadagiti nagannakko. Isunga agadalak a nasayaat agsipud ta mamatinak a siak ti mangital-o ti panagbiag iti pamiliami”  (I do not want to be like my parents. By my small ways and means, I believe that I can change our family’s status by studying hard) said Eleanor.

Hyacinth Joy also uttered, “Kalikagumak ti maaddaan ti nasayaat a masakbayan tapnu matulongak to met dagiti nagannakko babaen ti innak panagadal.” (I want to have a bright future so that in return, I can help my parents. So I must study hard.)

This is the driving force of the two students, not only for themselves alone but more for their families hoping that someday they will spin the wheel and bring them to the top. Both of them foresee that the realization of their dreams and success is now within their grasp through the Agsugpon Tayo Project.

Pieces of Advice in lieu of School Allowance

“Numanpay, agkurkurang ti maipabalonmi kadaytoy balasangmi, babaen ti panangbagbagami kanyana, isu ti mangpunno ti pagkuranganmi. Kanayon nga ibagbagak kanyana nga agadal a nasayaat ken agsingsingpet kadagiti pakidagdagusanna.” (Though we cannot provide her with enough money for her school expenses, giving her pieces of advice would suffice our lackings. I always tell her to devote herself in her studies and behave well in the house of her Foster Parent) said Abraham Luvida, 48, father of Eleanor.

Leaving their parents for a week-long schooling is a struggle for Eleanor and Hyacinth Joy. They always keep in their mind the pieces of advice of their parents as they leave their house in the weekends for school. They will be staying in the house of their Foster Parents in the Poblacion near the school.

Gilbert B. Singasing, 30, father of Hyacinth Joy expressed that he is really grateful for the Foster Parents who let her daughter be accommodated in their house and considers her as their daughter as well. “Natibker ti pakinakemko nga

adda ti nasayaat a kasasaad a kanayon ti balasangko, numanpay awan kami a mangkitkita kenkuana ti panagbasana.”  (Though we are not there directly at her side to guide her and attend to her needs, I am confident that she is in good hands.)

Foster Parent Cares

Like the biological parents, Vice Mayor Daniel C. Lańo Jr. being the foster parent of 24 students, one of them is Eleanor for four years also prays for the latter to graduate because this is the best way to bring transformation for her family. Vice Mayor Lańo views his role as very important so he makes sure that Eleanor goes to school regularly and encourages her to focus on her studies always. According to him, constant monitoring really helps in guiding Eleanor to the right path leading to her dreams. He also added that being a foster parent is a pledge not to be broken with due respect to the biological parents.

For almost four years being a foster parent, Vice Mayor Lańo realized that with the intervention brought about by the DSWD in the Agsugpon Tayo Project, the obligation of both parties is highlighted and strengthened so with the students as well through meetings and other activities.

Silbina R. Antok, 29, is now a mother of two with Hyacinth Joy already a part of her family. Considering that Hyacinth Joy is her niece, she full heartedly accommodated her to stay in their house. Silbina said that being the foster parent of Hyacinth is a great responsibility for her because her parents entrusted Hyacinth Joy to her.

More and More for the Future  

Mr. Romeo S. Venancio, the School Principal proudly stated that when Agsupon Tayo Project came into the picture, drop rate decreased because many students from far flung areas in the municipality enrolled already especially those grantees who stopped going to school. This led to the achievement level of the school to increase from 84% to 90% during the SY 2012-1013.

This is also being manifested by Municipal Mayor Fernando C. Quiton Sr. That is why he wants expansion of the project so that all youth in their locality will be sent to school through strengthened relationship of the Biological Parents and the Foster Parents. Having seen the project’s great impact, he also wants it to be institutionalized, that in the end it shall be solely sustained by the Municipality.

By Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Administrative Assistant V, Listahanan/NHTS-PR

Posted in newsComments (0)

Political Aspirants Not To Use Pantawid Pamilya Program- Dir. Castillo

DSWD is now on-guard to the Pantawid Pamilya Program’s vulnerability  to be used again for political intent as the  Barangay and Sangguninang Kabataan Elections is coming near.

Thus, said Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo in  response to the allegations that the Pantawid Pamilya Program was used to draw in more registrees/voters with the notions that this will make them  stay  in the Program or for them not to be delisted.

These unjust  political strategies threatening beneficiaries to gain their favor  are but evident  only in few isolated areas in the Region, Director Castillo explained.

The Family Development Sessions are maximized avenue to  discuss these immediate concerns through DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilya staff and civil society organizations (CSOs). Partner non-government organizations such as RECITE had conducted simultaneous and continuous advocacy on the do’s and dont’s and their rights as Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries-voters  previously.

Also, Dir. Castillo  encourages the beneficiaries to know their rights and increase knowledge on the mechanics of the Program so that they will not be manipulated or threatened.

DSWD will  again launch the “Bawal ang Epal Dito” campaign  which will further insulate Pantawid Pamilya and its beneficiaries from being used by politicians and groups for political advancement, Director Castillo mentioned.

For the same concerns, the beneficiaries and concerned individuals could send a text to Pantawid Pamilya hotline 0918-912-2813 or visit nearest City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II and Allan O. Lulu, Pantawid Information Officer)

Posted in newsComments (0)

DENR’s National Greening Program assists Pantawid Beneficiaries produce 250,000 seedlings

At least 250,000  seedlings were grown by  25 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries at Villacorta, Mabini, Pangasinangreening engaged in the DENR’s National Greening Program intended for the reforestation of said barangay.

 These beneficiaries were organized as Villacorta Green Thumb  Self Employment Assistance Kaunlaran Association. DSWD awarded then with capital assistance amounting to Php 200,000.00 which was used to purchase seedlings from DENR. After three (3) months, DENR staff validates and buy each seedling ( with 30 cm length)  at  Php 5.80.00 giving each member expected sales of Php50,000.00.

 Seedlings were nurtured in a nursery established in an area near the reforestation site. This one-cycle nursery establishment required each beneficiary to  produce 10,000 seedlings but were given additional  1,000 seedlings for  mortality rate.

 Short- gestating production forest trees such as Kakawate, Ipil-Ipil and bamboo were planted in three separate nursery stations.

 The Green Thumb  SKA subcontracted with DENR’s organized people’s organization to produce 500,000 seedlings and  to plant the same in 455 hectares reforestation site. By 2013, each member will be engaged again  to plant 1,000 seedlings per hectare  and earn Php2,500.00 per hectare. They will also be registered as people’s organization with DOLE or SEC so that they will be contracting directly with the DENR.

 Other than this tree plantation project, the beneficiaries are also being prepared by DENR for agri-cash cropping such as ginger and fuel wood plantation in their assigned area.

 (By: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)

Posted in newsComments (0)

Day Care Workers’ Convention gathers 486 Child Advocates

The Day Care Workers and other development partners during the Convention held at Supreme Hotel, Baguio City.

The Day Care Workers and other development partners during the Convention held at Supreme Hotel, Baguio City.

Region 1  Day Care Workers convened recently for the  2nd Convention of the Regional Federation of Day Care Workers, Inc. giving highlight on  the Early Year’s Act,  Awarding of Loyal Day Care Workers (at least 30 years in service), and Contests on Birit King/Queen and Story Telling.

The crucial role of Day Care Workers in the development of  child’s emotional  security, social competence and intellectual capacity was emphasized by DSWD Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo. “The role of Day Care Workers or Child Development Workers is indispensable. It requires sincerity and dedication,” Director Castillo further mentioned.

 Also, the Day Care Workers were commended for the continued service despite minimal subsidy.

 To monitor the health status of Day Care Children, the World Health Organization (WHO) – Child Growth Standards,  it was agreed that  Barangay Nutrition Scholars and Barangay Health Workers will work on it in cooperation with the Day Care Workers.

On Early Year’s Act implementation, the Day Care Workers were advised for continuous education  and to pass the accreditation to compete with other qualified Child Educators, hence,  staying in the service is assured.

On Local Council for the Protection of Children (LCPC), the 1% allocation from the Internal Revenue Allocation shall be pushed for Day Care Children Services through activities included in the Work and Financial Plan.

As break-away events, the Story Telling and  Birit King/Queen were facilitated and declared the  winners namely (first prize to third prize): Marilou Lagmay,  Batac City; Teresita Rubas-Laoag City; and  Ptr. Violeta Dela Cruz, Urdaneta City for Story Telling. Winners for the Birit King/Queen  were  (first prize to third prize)  Guian C. Gamet, Banna,Ilocos Norte;  Rocelyn Yapching, San Fernando City, La Union ; and Imelda Juan,  Laoag City.

The  event was initiated by the Regional Federation of Day Care Workers of Region under the leadership of Blanchelita Dumlao. A minimal registration fee was collected to suffice the logistics/board and lodging of participants. (By: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)

Posted in newsComments (0)

DSWD Calls for More Foster Parents – RA 10165

In adherence to Republic Act 10165 otherwise known as Foster Parents Act, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1  announced the need to increase the number of foster parents.

Foster parents shall be responsible to take care of the abused, abandoned, neglected and surrendered children from DSWD as stipulated in RA 10165. As reported, there are 21 licensed foster parents with  children in their custody .

Republic Act 10165 seeks to institutionalize and promote foster care by giving foster parents and donor agencies tax incentives. The foster parent can reflect the child as his dependent for tax exemption.

Also, the child can be enrolled as dependent in PhilHealth for medical security.

With DSWD, a monthly subsidy amounting to Php 2,000.00 for each fostered child will be provided. However, as need arises, other support services could also be extended.

In a Forum recently concluded by DSWD, it was agreed that a pool of foster parents will be created to readily accept children for foster care. As explained, the law provides respite care whereby a foster parent can take a rest for a week and place temporarily his foster child to other licensed foster parents.

More importantly,  DSWD Dir. Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo reminds the interested individuals/couples to imbibe willingness and kindness in this endeavour as this is a call for social responsibility and social justice for children who could be the future leaders and nurturers of mankind.

Furthermore, Social Welfare Office IV Clarivel Banzuela informed the needed requirements for foster parents application are as follows: birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), medical certificate, police/NBI clearance, any proof of income and family picture.  (By: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)

Posted in newsComments (0)

A Turning Point (DSWD’s Poverty Reduction Programs Story)


Nory and Jose in their shellcraft enterprise.

 Thus, the statement of Nory Lalaguna, a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary who braved the challenges of being a poor with no one to lend a hand until DSWD’s poverty reduction programs  came to assist her and family.

 Nory at 49 lives a simple life with her 8 children and husband Jose at Barangay Guyoden at Santiago Island, Bolinao, Pangasinan.

 Four (4)  years back, her son Adrelle, now 17 years old but still  looks like 8 years old suffered from anemia. Since they have no money to send her to a physician that time, they just prayed that God will do miracles in their lives. It was timely that  Pantawid Pamilya  Program came. With the cash grant Adrelle was able to drink formula milk and eat more nutritious food that helped regain his health. Now, he is stronger and lives a normal life despite his physical condition (dwarfism).


Behavioural Change Pushed

 With 8 children as inspiration and in compliance to the conditionalities of Pantawid Pamilya Program, Nory’s husband Jose slowly transformed into a better person. He used to be a  cockfighter, drunkard, and gambler, but now, a God-fearing and more responsible father.

 Jose works as farm labourer earning a minimum of Php 200.00 a day. He works hard not to entail any debt from anybody. ‘Mas maganda nang maging mahirap  kaysa nangungutang’ (It is better to be poor than in debt),  he boldly mentioned  in one of the home visits done.

Also, Jose helps Nory finish her shellcraft novelty items making even up to late hours of night.

 Moreover, Nory’s leadership and confidence were enhanced, she being a Parent Leader who regularly talks with 149 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in their barangay.  Her access to basic government services also improved with the opportunities provided  by the Program.

 With Pantawid Pamilya Program, Nory’s children were also encouraged to attend to school even if they still work at ‘danggit’ production to earn additional allowance. Accordingly, most of the children in the island work in ‘danggit’  making. With the Program, many children went back to school.

Capital Assistance Works

 Hard work and innovativeness helped Nory increase her income with the capital assistance provided by DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program. She started hog raising with Php 5,000.00 capital. Instead of the commercial hog mash, she cooked fish gills from  ‘danggit’ production and added rice bran for her pigs. At present she has 9  growing pigs.

 Nory’s shellcraft production is also earning at least Php 500.00 a week. She used to hand shellcraft novelty items to dealers, but she realized a better income with direct selling. Recently,  she produced Php 7,500.00 worth of shell necklace ordered by the Department of Tourism. (Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)

Posted in newsComments (0)

A Social Worker’s Hand for Better Communities

Ang pagiging ordinaryong mamamayan ay hindi hadlang para makatulong at makagawa ng maganda para sa susunod na henerasyon (Living an ordinary life  does not hinder a helpful heart to share and do good works for the next generation).    It only takes the  principle of a good heart and willingness to extend one’s self in order  to create bunch of  smiles  among the less fortunate individuals.

 This is the inspiration of Clarivel Banzuela, Social Welfare Officer IV  of DSWD Field Office 1 in working for  her  mangrove planting project and provision of used clothing, school supplies and food  to needy families at Bonoan, Boquig, Dagupan City.

 The Moulding  of a Social Worker at DSWD

 Clarivel started her stint as a Houseparent in 1998 in providing substitute parental care to women and children victims of abuse, who later on developed special heart for these clientele groups over the period of four (4) years. Afterwards, she became the lone Social Worker handling the court cases of 60-70 Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL) undergoing rehabilitation. Having worked with the CICL, she came to realize that although they are considered perpetrators they also need utmost care as part of their case management.

 When she was promoted as Social Welfare Officer II handling court –related cases, extreme challenges came her way that harnessed more her skills in creating a difference in the lives of the people she dealt with. Literally, she climbed  mountains, swam rivers, and conquered hazards of any form during rescue operations. Clarivel performed with efficiency and hardwork. Now, she could proudly say that she had helped restore the normal social functioning of a thousand persons who are now empowered individuals.

 Despite Caseloads and Performance Contract, Extension Services  Started

 In 2008, Clarivel started providing used clothing, shoes,  and school supplies to at least 5 families, now numbering at 50 families in  Boquig, Bonoan, Dagupan City.  She collects this hand over clothing from friends and neighbours who have some extra goods. Some of the items though are newly bought particularly the school supplies.

feedingOver the years, it became a practice that during Christmas Season, a simple feeding activity and gift giving happen in their home. Also, prior to opening of classes, newly bought and recycled school supplies are given to school children.

 These activities became a family bonding, whereby everyone in the family is encouraged to collect and store the goods ready for the sharing time.

 ‘May  mga taong hindi naman mayaman pero nakakatulong sa ibang tao,’  (There are people who are not rich but are helping other people). These are some of the words coming from the community  she  helped.

Assisting Youth in Mangrove Planting

 The mangrove planting project  started with Clarivel’s children Carlo and Ciara who both led the Youth for Environment Schoolplanting Organization on a 3-year consecutive stint as presidents, one after the other.

 Because of this, Clarivel and husband Romeo, assisted their children along with other 30 youth members in cleaning the riverbanks and in planting mangrove seedlings. They cook  and serve free hot soup or any available snacks for the group.

 Since 2010, Clarivel together with her  family members  claim to have maintained at least 500 meters mangrove plantation along the riverbank of the Longos River.

 The Banzuela, a  Family  Worth Emulating

 BanzuelaClarivel and her family received the Jollibee Family Value Awards in 2012.  This Award gave high remarks to the Banzuela Family on their activities that are focused  on  promoting a safe environment through mangrove planting and sharing collected extra used items from the families in their neighbourhood to other families who are in need.

 They received Php 100,000.00 cash incentive from Jollibee and continue on with said projects without expecting anything in return but to really help other families in the simplest way they can.

 Dream Big

 Clarivel also dreams of setting up functional and strengthened organizations in the community bringing timely and appropriate services to women and children victims of abuse. This is a concept she would like to work on to develop as a social technology.

 Also, as an ambassador of good family values by the Jollibee Corporations, she wants to tie up a community project whereby a livelihood project will be funded from the proceeds of  collected recyclable materials dubbed as “Dunk  for Mother Earth.” Another project in an identified barangay is a family counselling center and e- library where low educational parents can access the internet and learn  things like social issues and current events especially those that are significant to them.

 For Clarivel, taking the small steps will always lead to a great achievement, whether recognized or not,  so long as it  is felt by the needy individuals. (By: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)

Posted in newsComments (0)

Leadership Brand


Related Sites