DSWD FO2 Spreads Unconditional Love Through the Promotion of Legal Adoption

Tuguegarao City – The Adoption Resource and Referral Section (ARRS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (DSWD FO2) recently conducted a series of activities in line with the celebration of Adoption Consciousness this February.

The celebration, which was conducted from February 9 to 17 this year, aims to spread understanding of legal adoption for people to fully accept the process and to eliminate cases of simulated birth, illegal adoption, and the like.

With this year’s theme “Pagmamahal Palaganapin, Legal na Pag-aampon Ating Gawin” (Spread Unconditional Love through Legal Adoption), daily quote cards were shared by the field office through social media on the success stories of individuals/parents who went through legal adoption to drumbeat this year’s theme from February 8 to 17, 2019.

The field office is also currently airing its radio plug on legal adoption on one radio station per province of Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino that will last throughout the month of February.

Radio guesting were also done by ARRS staff in the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Cagayan to spread awareness on legal adoption on top of help desks that were set-up last February 16-17, 2019 at the SM Center Tuguegarao Downtown to share information on legal adoption to prospective adoptive parents and individuals. The same help desk was also set-up in SM City Cauayan in Isabela province.

As a culmination to this year’s round of activities, Ms. Lucia Alan, DSWD FO2’s Assistant Regional Director for Operation (ARDO), Mr. Marciano Dameg of the Protective Services Division (PSD), Ms. Rosario Corpuz of ARRS and members of the Child Welfare Specialist Group (CWSG) appeared on Tipon-Tipan sa PIA on February 19, 2019 to answer questions from the media on legal adoption and foster care.

During their appearance, the team also commended the efforts of Dr. Enrico Babaran, DSWD FO2’s retainer doctor, for his efforts on regularly giving free medicines to center residents to ensure their health and wellness. ###

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St. Paul University of the Philippines (SPUP) Community Development Center Foundation, Inc. Bags Award from DSWD

February 15, 2019 – The Pagkilala sa Natatanging Kontribusyon sa Bayan (Panata Ko sa Bayan) Awards of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), awarded the Best Non-Government Organization (NGO) representing Luzon to the SPUP Community Development Center Foundation, Inc. today at the Landbank of the Philippines Auditorium in Malate, Manila.

The Panata Ko sa Bayan Award aims to acknowledge and recognize the invaluable support of individuals, groups, and organizations who have generously shared their time and resources, in helping the Department carry out its mandate of improving the lives, as well as provide a better opportunity for the poor, vulnerable, disadvantaged, and marginalized sectors.

The award was received by Ms. Noemi T. Cabaddu, Chairman of the Regional Area-Based Network (RAB) and Executive Director of the SPUP Community Development Center Foundation, Inc. and Sister Merceditas Ang, University President of the SPUP with assistance from DSWD Field Office 02 Regional Director, Leonardo C. Reynoso.

The NGO first received Level 1 accreditation from DSWD Field Office 02’s Standards Section in 2016, which is mandatory for licensed Social Welfare and Development Agencies (SWDAs) to ensure quality in the delivery of their programs and services targeting vulnerable sectors of their community.

The Level 1 accreditation is valid for three (3) years and failure to get accredited can be ground for the revocation of the license of SWDAs.

The SPUP Community Development Center Foundation, Inc. received their Level 2 accreditation last October 22, 2018, passing the mandatory requirements as set in level 1 along with more stringent requirements along the five (5) work areas of standards in the accreditation namely: Administration and Organization, Program Management, Case Management, Helping Strategies/Interventions and Physical Structures and Safety.

To date, the SPUP Community Development Center Foundation, Inc. is the only NGO in the region with a Level 2 accreditation from the Standards Section of the field office. ###

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Love Knows No Limits

* To maintain the privacy of the individuals mentioned in this article, their names were changed.

It is easy to love people when things are going well, and the outlook seems rosy all the time. When things and circumstances turn for the worse however, so is the attitude and the lack of love that is apparent. This makes Jhun and Marie’s story impressive.

The couple has been living for four years together but were not blessed with a child. Despite this, they made efforts to try to build their own house hoping that it will be ready in time for a child that could complete their lives. They purchased a land and though their house was eventually made with light materials, the couple aspired to one day build a house worthy of the family that they aspire to have.

But Christmas came early one day six years ago, when Jhun was given a newborn child from a mother who, fearing she wouldn’t be able to provide for the needs of her baby, decided to give the child to a couple that would be able to.

“Masaya ako nung una ko siyang makita. Naramdaman ko agad na siya na yung hinihintay namin para mabuo pamilya namin,” Marie recalled.

The child who became the embodiment of all the couple hopes and dreams for, eventually filled the gaps missing from the couple’s marriage. They became the child’s foster parent with the assistance of DSWD.

“Anak na ang turing ko sa kanya noong una ko pa lamang siyang makita. Minahal na namin siyang agad,” Jhun added.

But the positivity and the radiance that the child brought somehow turned to challenges later, however. The child experienced illnesses such as Acute Respiratory Infection at just 7 months old, Atopic Dermatitis at 3 years of age, Impetigo at 4 and again at age 6 and Pneumonia at 5 years in addition to all the normal sicknesses that a child experience. The couple nonetheless took these as opportunities to develop as parents and not a blockade in line with DSWD’s mission of protecting the vulnerable and the disadvantaged.

As if these experiences weren’t already enough, the child was diagnosed with Gross Developmental Delay at just 11 months. For ordinary individuals, the news would’ve been devastating specially in a culture that prefers perfection in almost everything, even the children that we care for. But not for Jhun and Marie. They considered the diagnosis as a temporary setback in their road to happiness and contentment.

The couple started bringing the child to twice a week physical therapy at the Cagayan Valley Medical Center (CVMC). Years of therapy bear fruit as the parent’s determination led to incremental development in the child’s motor function. At 16 months, the child could already hold her bottle with her hands unassisted. At 32 months, she developed even further by being able to raise her hands, achieve head control and sit with some support.

“Hindi natin mapipili ang mga nangyayari sa atin. Yung sitwasyon namin kay Angel, tinatanggap namin ng buo dahil ito ang binigay ng Diyos sa amin. Biyaya siya sa amin. Mamahalin namin siya at aalagaan sa abot ng aming makakaya,” Jhun said.

At 4 years of age, she was brought to a Stimulation and Therapeutic Activity Center (STAC) after referral by a social worker to continue her therapy. At five years of age, the child was able to minimize the use of her wheelchair and shifted to using a stationary chair instead. Now at six years old, the child still relies on her parents when being fed. She also still cannot indicate her bladder and bowel needs and still unable to dress and undress herself.

Despite all these challenges, the parents are hopeful because their love for their foster child is greater than the problems they face. They make sure to work together to give all the needs of their child. Making them stronger is the fact that the child can now utter words such as mama, papa and dede. She also shows cognitive development by being able to identify colors, shapes, numbers and animals by pointing.

They are also preparing for the future of the child as they started a small broiler buy-and-sell business in 2016. The couple jointly manages their business and hopes to one day expand their business to include home-for-rent opportunities.

“Gusto ko po na gamitin yung lupa na nabili namin para magpatayo ng bahay na pwede naming ipaupa sa iba. Sa ganoong paraan, mas makakaipon kami para sa kinabukasan ng aming anak,” Marie said.

The Road Ahead

With the help of the Adoption Resource and Referral Section (ARRS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (DSWD FO2), the couple are now finalizing all the documentary requirements to process the legal adoption of the child. Ms. Rosario Corpuz, Social Welfare Officer II and Head of the ARRS, said that the diligence of the couple in meeting the requirements needed would lead to the swift processing of the adoption.

“Nakikita natin yung pagpupursige nila para maibigay ang mga kailangan para sa adoption. Kapag nakumpleto lahat ito, maaari na nating maipasa para maproseso na ang kanilang adoption,” Ms. Corpuz said.

Aside from the legal requirements for adoption, the couple capacitates themselves to improve their rearing skills, with Marie recently attending the National Training on Capability Building for Foster Parents in Davao City last July 24-27, 2018.

“Natutunan ko sa training kung papaano alagaan ang mga batang kagaya ni Angel. Mas naiintindihan ko na ngayon yung mga kailangan niya kaya ako ay masaya na napasali ako sa training. Magagamit ko ito para sa preparasyon ko para sa adoption kay Angel,” Marie said.

With the couples’ continued development as parents, their plans for adopting the child moves one step closer to becoming a reality as the days pass. Indeed, love knows no limits.

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Second Chances

People make mistakes. Failure of whatever kind is a basic reality of living. We do fail regardless of position or stature in life. But failure is an opportunity for improvement, of learning to get back up armed with the teachings brought about by failure to be able to finally reach a measure of finite success.

The Foundation

John (not his real name) started out just like every other kid, with playing and school the recipe of his daily living. Like most kids, he preferred playing instead of studying. He was wide-eyed and had grand plans for when he grows up.

John also had the support of his parents and relatives who believed that he can be successful in the future. Like a good soldier, he marched on through the challenges of life and school.

The Swerve

Unbeknownst to him or to his social circle, life’s challenges would veer for the worst. John’s friends whom he considered people he could trust started to introduce him to illicit things. Youthful indiscretion led John to think that doing so would be okay and that he would earn the favor of his friends by following suit, never knowing then the consequences of what he was getting himself into.

John got deep into criminal affairs and though he wanted to stop, the pull of the group and of the illegal drugs he was beginning to take on a regular basis was too much to pass up on. This went on for years and he thought nothing bad would really happen because he was just having the time of his life.


As faith would have it, life had other plans for John. He got caught in 2012 and in doing so got charged with violating Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Being a minor at that time, he became a Child in Conflict with the Law (CICL) and was transferred to the Cagayan Valley Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (CV-RRCY).

“Hindi ko noon iniisip mga ginawa ko hanggang sa mahuli ako. Mas inuna ko ang barkada at masamang gawain ng hindi iniisip ang magiging dulot ng mga ginagawa ko. Bata kasi ako noon at hindi ko pa alam masyado ang tama sa mali,” John recalled.

The social workers assigned to John took the opportunity to teach him the right ways and correct his path. John initially resisted at the idea of being made to change in such a facility and wanted to get out as soon as possible but he eventually recognized his mistakes and put all his efforts into making his ways better.

“Yung bata, kahit alam mong nagkamali, alam mong kayang magbago kasi nagpursige siya noong nandito siya sa CV-RRCY. Binago niya ang kanyang ugali at pananaw sa buhay. Bata pa kasi siya noon at hindi pa niya alam ang maling ginawa niya,” said one social worker who attended to John when he was at the facility.

The process was long and arduous and there were times when John would resist correction. But as iron sharpens iron, his steely belief in sticking to his bad ways was met with a focused approach by center staff to make him change. Days and weeks went by and changes did happen to John’s ways and beliefs.

John finally straightened his ways after months of stay in the center and eventually got released from the CV-RRCY in 2013. He was then referred to a Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (TRC) in Manila for further rehabilitation. His case eventually got settled and after some time, John was able to finally be reunited with his family.

“Masaya ako noong nakalabas ako at kinuha ko yung pagkakataon para mabago buhay ko,” John said.

Looking back, John was happy that the experience helped him mature and realize what’s wrong from what is right. He said the experience taught him to value life and the changes that such a life-altering experience can give, a priceless opportunity he learned from the missteps of his younger self.

“Natutunan ko simula ng nandoon ako sa CV-RRCY na mahalin ang Panginoon, yung sarili ko at yung mga taong naniniwalang kaya ko pang magbago pati na yung mga pangaral na dapat may pangarap at hindi pa huli ang lahat, na dapat maniwala lang ako sa sarili ko na magbabago ako,” John said.

Looking Ahead

John, now 24, strives to one day protect and abide by the law that he once broke and serve as a policeman. He is now finishing up his degree in Criminology and is expected to graduate this year. His steely determination now shifts into bettering his career and refocusing a life that was once in so much negative pressure.

He now accepts responsibility into the wrongs of his past and aims to use his learnings to shine a light into other people that may be experiencing the same thing and to always hope and pray for the best.

“Natutunan kong dapat sa tamang mga tao sumama dahil kung sila ay mabuti, magandang mga bagay din ang maidudulot nila sayo,” he said.

John also now has his own family, tending to the needs of his 2-year-old toddler along with his wife, who currently works as a social worker. He understands the heightened responsibility being a parent gives and he realizes the need to protect the future of his family by working hard to better himself each day. He also wants to provide as much as he can to make sure his child reaches his potential and to never fall into the trap that once plagued him.

“Gusto kong maibigay lahat ng pangangailangan ng aking pamilya. Hindi na lamang yung para sa akin ang iniisip ko ngayon. Mayroon na akong pamilya at nais kong maibigay lahat ng kailangan nila. Masaya ako na baguhin ang aking sarili araw-araw at talaga ngang hindi pa huli sa taong marunong magsisi,” John concluded.

Indeed, second chance is sweet if there’s a heart willing to change.

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Ayuda mula sa DSWD para sa mga Nasalanta ng Bagyong Ompong, Ipinamimigay na

Tuguegarao City – Nagsimula na ang distribusyon ng ayuda para sa mga nasalanta ng Bagyong Ompong na may totally-damaged houses sa mga probinsya ng Cagayan at Isabela noong Disyembre 19, 2018.

Ayon sa pinakahuling datos ng Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (DSWD FO2) ng Enero 4, 2019, 6,496 na mga benepisyaryo na mula sa 14 na munisipalidad ng probinsya ng Cagayan at 8 na munisipalidad mula sa probinsya ng Isabela ang nabigyan na ng ayuda na may kabuuang halaga na PHP 194, 880,000.00.

Ang mga benepisyaryong kabilang sa mga totally-damaged houses ay makakatanggap ng halagang tatlumpung-libong piso o Php 30,000.00 bilang Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA).

Ang ESA ay ayudang ipinapamahagi ng DSWD alinsunod sa mandato ng Pamahalaang Nasyonal upang matulungan ang mga nasiraan ng tirahan sa pagsalanta ng mga kalamidad tulad ng bagyo.

Ang makakatanggap ng naturang ayuda ay ang mga benepisyaryo sa buong rehiyon na sumailalim sa household assessment nitong huling bahagi ng taon na nakapasok sa batayan ng ahensya para sa ESA.

Magbibigay din ang ahensya ng Cash-For-Work (CFW) na nagkakahalagang Php 62,762,300.00 na naglalayong hikayatin ang mga naapektuhan ng bagyo na ayusin ang mga pasilidad at mga common structures sa kani-kanilang mga lugar upang ito ay maisaayos muli at magamit kapalit ang ayudang CFW.

Sa naging pahayag ni DSWD FO2 Assistant Regional Director for Operations (ARDO) Lucia S. Alan, kanyang ipinaalala sa mga tumanggap ng ESA na gamitin ang halagang ito upang maipatayo o maiayos muli ng mas matibay ang kanilang mga tahanan para sa kanilang pamilya at maging ligtas ang mga mahal sa buhay sa pagdating ng sakuna.

Ipinapaalala rin ng ahensiya na mananatili itong apolitical sa pagdadala ng Maagap at Mapagkalingang Serbisyo sa mga napapabilang sa mababang sector ng lipunan.

Tinatayang nasa Php 637,973,400.00 ang kabuuang ayuda na ibibigay ng ahensya para sa mga nasalanta ng bagyong Ompong sa rehiyon. ### Social Marketing Unit, DSWD Field Office 02

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DSWD FO2 joins RDANA Team in the Conduct of Damage Assessment in the Region

Tuguegarao City – Staff from the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (DSWD FO2) joined a team that also includes members coming from the Department of Health (DOH) and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in the conduct of Rapid Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (RDANA) in the provinces of Isabela, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya.

The endeavor, which started last November 1, 2018, had the group divided into 4 teams, with two teams assigned in the provinces of Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya, another team to the coastal Isabela towns of Dinapigue, Divilacan, Maconacon and Palanan and another team assigned to conduct RDANA to the rest of the municipalities of Isabela.

To date, three teams have already finished doing their assessments while the team assigned in the coastal towns of Isabela is awaiting the chopper that would fetch them and take them back to Tuguegarao City.

The OCD, again in partnership with the DSWD and DOH, will conduct a post-RDANA meeting today, November 5, 2018, to discuss the results of the RDANA and come up with plans for the rehabilitation of affected areas.

According to the latest report coming from the Disaster Response and Management Division (DRMD) of the field office, there are 17,119 partially-damaged houses and 1,857 totally damaged houses in the region. The consolidated data comes from reports of different local government units (LGUs).

A total of 13,353 family food packs amounting to P4,801,920.00 has been given by the DSWD to affected families and individuals in the 3 provinces. ### By: Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, Social Marketing Unit

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Field Workers Go Beyond Call of Duty to Help Typhoon Rosita-affected Families

Reina Mercedes, Isabela – Shekina Glorie Sario’s thoughts were to go home Monday evening to be with her family as Typhoon Rosita began its onslaught in Isabela Province, knowing how hard it is to leave family members during disaster situations.

But as it is when it comes to disaster situations, she chose to stay in the Municipal Action Team (MAT) office to monitor the situation and consolidate reports that would be needed for submission to the DSWD Regional Office.

“We needed to sacrifice in the name of public service. Kinailangan nating isakripisyo ang oras at panahon natin para mabigyan ng serbisyo at tulong ang ating mga kababayan sa Reina Mercedes,” Ms. Sario mentioned.

Aside from conducting visitation and helping the local government unit (LGU) in assessing the needs in evacuation enters to ensure the welfare and protection of evacuees, the MAT team also led the distribution of relief goods to affected families and individuals.

“Kahit basang-basa sa ulan, isinakripisyo natin ang ating panahon at oras na para sana sa ating mga pamilya para makapagbigay ng sapat na serbisyo sa mga mamamayan ng Reina Mercedes,” Ms. Sario added.

During the typhoon’s peak, a total of 12 evacuation centers across 14 barangays were opened in the municipality, thereby guaranteeing that the MAT’s hands were full when it comes to responding to the needs of the evacuees.

A total of 443 families including 1,615 individuals were affected in the municipality as of the latest report coming from the field office’s Disaster Response and Monitoring Team (DMRT).

To augment the needs of affected families in the area, a total of 200 family food packs were distributed by DSWD directly to affected families.

Despite all of these, Ms. Sario and the rest of MAT Reina Mercedes stayed true to their mandate of quick and prompt service even when it means sacrificing sleep and rest to get the job done.

“Basta mabigyan natin ng serbisyo ang ating mga kababayan, kaakibat man nito ay pagod at puyat. It is fulfilling to help people without hoping for anything in exchange,” Ms. Sario concludes.

As of this writing, the MAT Team led by Ms. Sario continues to do response operations in the municipality to cater to the needs of affected families in the area. ### By: Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, Social Marketing Unit

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MAT Gonzaga Masigasig Tumulong sa mga Pamilyang Apektado ng Bagyong Rosita

Gonzaga, Cagayan – Ngiti ang namutawi sa mga labi ng mga batang tumira sa Gonzaga People’s Gym, Gonzaga, Cagayan na nagsilbing evacuation center sa lugar noong nanalasa ang Bagyong Rosita.

Lunes ng gabi ng magsimulang magparamdam ang Bagyong Rosita dahilan para ilikas ng Local Government Unit (LGU) katuwang ang Municipal Action Team (MAT) ng Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) na nakatalaga sa lugar ang mga residente ng Barangay Caroan, Barangay Cabanbanan Norte, Barangay Minanga at Barangay Pateng dahil na rin sa banta ng malakas na hangin na maaaring magdulot ng mataas na daluyong ng tubig.

Aktibo ring tumulong ang MAT Gonzaga sa pangangasiwa ng pamamahagi ng mga pagkain para sa mga apektadong pamilya sa evacuation center.

Dagdag pa rito, naglagay din ng telebisyon upang maaliw ang mga tao.

Hindi naman alintana ng mga bata ang bagyo na nananalasa dahil napanatiling protektado ang evacuation center.

“Sa anumang oras, ang DSWD staff ay handa, maagap at maaasahan upang malagpasan ang anumang sakuna sa pamamagitan ng sama-samang pagbibigay ng serbisyo at kalinga na siyang nagpapakita ng tunay na pagmamalasakit at pagmamahal sa kapwa,” pahayag ni Karen Kaye Macapulay, Municipal Link ng MAT sa lugar.

Patuloy pa rin ang ginagawang pagbabantay ng MAT Gonzaga para sa mga naapektuhan ng Bagyong Rosita.

Base sa huling datos ng DSWD, 4,213 na pamilya na may 14,169 na indibidwal ang naapektuhan ng Bagyong Rosita sa probinsya ng Cagayan. ### By: Margaret G. Arao, Listahanan Information Officer

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