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DSWD celebrates 63rd Founding Anniversary, honors loyalty awardees

In line with the 63rd Founding Anniversary celebration of the Department of Social Welfare and Development with the theme “DSWD @ 63: Kaagapay sa Pagbangon at Bagong Simula,” the Field Office 02 had prepared a one-day festivity which included the showcasing of talents and awarding of recognitions among DSWD employees last January 24, 2013.

The celebration commenced with a Thanksgiving Mass and was followed by Parlor Games which were participated by the staff. The highlight of the one-day celebration was the recognition of the committed employees who have rendered 10 to 40 years of dedicated service in the department.

This years’ Loyalty Awardees are: Mr. Andres Binarao, Ms. Mylene Attaban, Mr. Celso Arao with ten years of service; Ms. Socorro Domingo with fifteen years of service; Ms. Brigida Apongol, Ms. Crisencia Ulnagan, Ms. Rosemari Bartolome and Ms. Marisa Hamor with twenty five years of service; Ms. Rizalina Mandahay with thirty years of service; and Ms. Ponciana P. Condoy with forty years of service.

In her message, Ponciana P. Condoy, Assistant Regional Director said that her forty years in service have contributed a lot to her personal growth and professional development.

“Dito sa DSWD ako nagkaedad — responsibilidad, abilidad at integridad, kaya masaya akong naging bahagi ng departmentong ito sa loob ng apat na dekada,” ARD Condoy said. “It gives me a very rewarding sense of fulfillment to be able to serve my fellow, especially the vulnerable and disadvantaged ones,” she continued.

Meanwhile, the Field Office has also awarded plaque of recognition to Ms. Imelda Decena for being shortlisted in the evaluation made by Central Office for the “Best Social Worker” category of this year’s Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence or PRAISE Awards. Decena, together with two other nominees from other regions, competed in the category in the national competition.

The PRAISE Awards is usually given during DSWD anniversary celebration to managers, technical workers and administrative support staff who have rendered outstanding performance in their respective jobs.


In her message, DSWD FO2 Regional Director Violeta A. Cruz emphasized that DSWD employees should maintain their dedication and commitment in serving the poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged sectors of the society with integrity in line with the department’s vision, mission and goals.

Director Cruz also lauded the efforts of the staff in their display of bravery and heroism during difficult times, especially in Yolanda-ravaged areas.

She also encouraged everyone to be more enthusiastic as the agency gears towards better, faster, smarter and bolder delivery of social services.

“Let our burning desires to serve and protect the welfare of the less fortunate continue to ignite in our hearts,” Director Cruz finished. ###By MARICEL B. ASEJO, Pantawid Information Officer II


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In photo: Aling Mely Andres ventures on vegetable vending as she is one of the recipients of SEA-K program in Cordon, Isabela.


“Action indeed is the key foundation to all success. “

This is how Mely P. Andres shares her ideal in life that in able to attain success in life, one must act and find solutions to every problem.

Aling Mely P. Andres or “Manang Mely” as she preferred to be called by her peers is a widow with 7 children. She grew up in Aurora, Isabela but decided to settle down in Cordon, Isabela where she presently lives with her children. Her husband, Rodolfo M. Andres who was a soldier died not in bullet but from asthma attack.

With tears in her eyes, Manang Mely narrated that life was so difficult for her after the death of her husband. Vegetable vending was the only source of income in able for her to sustain the needs of her family.

Until one day, the Self Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran of the Department of Social Welfare and Development came in their barangay and considered those individuals with entrepreneurial skills. Fortunately, she was counted as one of the recipients of P10,000.00 capital assistance from DSWD which she treated as an augmentation to her existing venture. With burning desire to give her children a better future, she expanded her project. She rented a stall in the public market and increased the volume of vegetables she displayed. Eventually, she became a member of the Association of Market Vendor in her municipality.

As a mother of 7 children, Manang Mely wakes up at 4:00 am to cook food for the family and goes to market at 6:00 am to buy commodities for display in her stall that was just good for the day’s selling. At lunchtime, she would close her stall and headed for home to cook their food then back to market after. Any vegetable left will then be sold at a bargain price without sacrificing her capital. Her endeavor became a routine from Monday to Saturday. Her older children helped in the household chores. On Sunday, she would devote the day with the Lord, had some rest and laundry at times. For Manang Mely, faith to God is her weapon to survive and she believes that the SEA-K program has become the instrument in their survival.

Joining the program for how many years, Manang Mely focused on the schooling of her children. She firmly believed that earning a diploma will lead them to a life better than hers. Her income and savings were all invested for the schooling of her children. None was bought for her material comfort. Rain or shine, she never stopped selling unless she is not feeling well.

“Dahil sa pagbebenta ko ng mga gulay, napalaki, napag-aral, at napagtapos ko ang aking anak.” Manang Mely shared.

Manang Mely never thought of re-marrying for the reason of fulfillment seeing her children grow and happiness serving them all.

Because of SEA-K program, she gained confidence having a bigger capital to roll with the end goal of providing for the education of her children—this was her dream, to give to her children what she had not reached due to poverty.

Her strategy managing her family was worth emulating. She gathered her children for a meeting. Manang Mely presented to her kids their living condition and solicited understanding from her older ones to study well and help the younger ones to finish their studies.

At last, while standing in her stall, she would reflect how she survived the battle. She already had a soldier who never ceases helping his younger siblings. She already has 2 children as Overseas Filipino Workers who never forget to support the remaining students in the family. She could not believe herself how she made her kids into schooling all by herself.

“Kung mahirap ka, magtiyaga ka, lakasan mo loob mo,” stressed Manang Mely as we parted ways. For Manang Mely, her endeavor in vending venture has brought success in the lives of her children especially in education. Indeed, Manang Mely made a right decision when she had not given up in the middle of her battles, but rather invests in her children’s education.  A widow’s desire considered as an achievement that poverty even was unable to hamper. ### By Maricel T. Balisi, Project Development Officer II

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DSWD FO2 supports Typhoon Vinta’s victims

In photo: Regional Director Violeta A. Cruz and Division Chief Lucia S. Alan assess the damages brought by Typhoon Vinta in one of the Core shelter sites in Gonzaga, Cagayan. Photo by Rommel Gamiao, SWO II

Tuguegarao City (November 1, 2013) —Just after the onslaught of Typhoon Vinta which occurred yesterday affecting Northern Luzon particularly the province of Cagayan, Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 Regional Director Violeta A. Cruz together with Office of the Civil Defence Regional Director Norma Talosig and Department of Interior and Local Government Regional Director Marlo Iringan joined forces during the initial ocular survey to assess and validate damages brought about by said typhoon.

As of 5:00 pm today, DSWD disaster monitoring report has registered 23, 504 affected families or 101,986 affected persons with 1, 409 reported totally damaged houses and 9,444 reported partially damaged houses with zero reported casualties.

Most of these reported victims are from the municipalities of Gonzaga, Sta. Teresita, Appari, Camalaniugan, (under District 1) Ballesteros, Lasam, Sanchez Mira, Sta. Praxedes, Iguig (under District 2) of Cagayan Province.

The family victims under District 1 affected municipalities have received a total of 1,000 family food packs assistance amounting to P250, 000.00 while family victims under District 2 affected municipalities have also received a total of 1,000 family food packs also amounting to P250, 000.00 from DSWD.

Regional Director Violeta A. Cruz said that the Field Office has sufficient stockpile of 2,000 family food packs and a total of 4, 000 prepositioned family food packs to 65 evacuation centers region wide. These family food packs are ready for augmentation support at any given time to affected families or Local Government Units per their request while a total of P198,961.60 is available at the Field Office as standby funds.

Moreover, the Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) Offices of Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino are still in a 24-hour duty to ensure the retrieval and validation of reports from their respective Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (PDRRMCs).

Also, the Disaster Reduction and Management Team or DMRT stationed at DSWD Field Office II is still active in monitoring updates on reports and the status of weather condition in the provinces thru the SWAD Teams.

The SWADs are reminded to ensure that the relief assistance extended to the affected families shall be supported by the Disaster Family Access Card (DAFAC) and completed Relief Distributed Sheet.

Trained social workers on Critical Incidence Stress Debriefing (CISD) were also advised to be ready for deployment in the event that their services will be needed.

As of now, the Field Office is tapping volunteers from the Media, Academe and other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the region ready to assist in the repacking of foods and other non-food items for stockpile and additional augmentation support if the needs arise. ###By Angely Lubo-Mercado, Regional Information Officer

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DSWD, RCMB culminate elderly Filipino week celebration

Tuguegarao City—Cognizant of the important role of older persons in nation building, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 in collaboration with the Regional Coordinating and Monitoring Board led the culminating activity for the week-long celebration of the Elderly Filipino Week celebration on October 10, 2013 at Crown Pavillion, Tuguegarao City.

This annual celebration is done every first week of October by the virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 470 issued by former President Fidel V. Ramos on September 26, 1994 to increase public awareness on the different issues concerning the older persons’ sector.

This year’s theme was “Nakatatanda: Pagtulungang Isulong, Benepisyo’t Karapatan Tungo sa Maginhawa at Masayang Pamayanan” wherein around 450 Senior Citizens together with the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs Officers and Federation of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines Officers joined and participated in the event.

The one-day culminating program highlights the significant roles of the elderly in the society wherein they are recognized by giving various free services offered by different regional line agencies like medical check-ups sponsored by the Department of Health, massage therapy, personalized grooming and haircutting sponsored by scholars of Cash for Training Program of TESDA and DSWD. A photo booth was also installed at the venue wherein the Senior Citizens showed their best smiles and creative poses in front of the camera.

In her opening message, DSWD Regional Director Violeta A. Cruz stressed that we should not just recognize our elderly for a week or two, but everyday, we should show our love, respect and recognition to them.

“We should always honoring our elderly, we should always show our support and love to them because someday, we will soon become one, we will soon be part of the older person’s sector”, Director Cruz added.

On the other hand, there was also an awarding of ceremonial checks to the municipalities of Solana, Penablanca and the city of Tuguegarao as fund transfer which is now new the mode of payment to fast track the distribution of social pension to our Senior Citizens and also to strengthen partnership with LGUs in the effective delivery of programs and services.

Also, there was an actual distribution of social pension to more than 200 Senior Citizens who were present in the event covering the third quarter of the year.

The Social Pension for indigent senior citizens is the provision of monthly pension to qualified indigent senior citizens in the amount of 500 pesos as assistance stipulated under the Republic Act 9994 otherwise known as “The Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010”.

In Region 02, there are 8,851 indigent senior citizens (aged 77 years old and above) who are beneficiaries of Social Pension. ### By: ANGELY M. LUBO-MERCADO, DSWD Regional Information Officer

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I help without expecting something in return—a volunteer says

“I think this is my calling, this is my commitment, I am happy being in service of other people especially to our elderly persons. I help without expecting something in return for this came from the heart”.

This is how Aling Remedios or Emie as she prefers to be called by her peers started our interview. I was stunned and amazed in her statements for I barely hear words such like those. It really came from within, sincerity and genuineness really transpires in her face as she does her routine activity with one of her clients.

Remedios Espano, 44 years old with 4 children is an active volunteer for the Community-Based Home Care Program for Older Persons in Iraga, Solana, Cagayan, a pilot area in Region 02. The Community-Based Home Care Program accurately addresses the physical and psychological needs of the older persons and persons with disabilities who are in need of care and attention. As a result of the said program, older persons and persons with disabilities are well taken care of and thus, they felt loved and respected. Despite their situations, they turned out to be lively and happy and have a feeling of belongingness since they are not detached from the community and families around them. The said program helped those beneficiaries especially the older persons with the help of the volunteers considering that most of the young generations are leaving the community to seek for better opportunities.

While many people have multiple interests and varied talents, Aling Emie preferred to share her time, skills and capacity in care giving for the older persons in her barangay. She narrated that in 2000, she started in the volunteer service with 5 clients which she religiously attended their needs everyday.

When I asked her what motivated her to continue her chosen vocation, she smiled and said, volunteering changed how I view life positively just as I hope volunteering will be manifested in everybody’s heart. In my everyday visit to my clients, I have learned something new, I have gained a meaningful experience, I have developed a person-to person connections with my clients which will forever live on in my heart.

Anybody will be awed with the dedication and commitment shown by Aling Emie. The willingness and enthusiasm she possessed in helping other people despite her own status in life does not hinder her to continue in her passion—helping without expecting something in return.

At present, Aling Emie attends to the needs of Lola Victoria Singson, 69 years old who live with her husband Lolo Pacifico, 74 years old. The old couple has no children, thus, it is really hard for Lolo Pacifico attending to all the needs of Lola Victoria. Their source of income is purely from farming wherein Lolo Pacifico still manages to augment their daily needs including the medicines of Lola Victoria. In 2009, Lola Victoria cannot able to walk; she cannot able to perform even in attending her hygienic activities due to her swollen legs and arms.

However, despite her daily chores as mother to 4 children, Aling Emie still manages to devote her time visiting Lola Victoria. She even cooks food for her whenever Lolo Pacifico is not around. Undoubtedly, she treats Lola Victoria as extended member of her family. With her untiring effort to take care for Lola Victoria, happiness filled her heart as she witnessed Lola Victoria walks. Aling Emie further discloses that she cares for her clients. She values the bonds that exist between them.

As I talk to Aling Emie, I suddenly realized one thing—I find that everyone needs love, everyone can give love and that love is what everyone wants. Undoubtedly, Aling Emie’s good deeds enable me to learn an important lesson—making someone happy makes you happy and they go on and make others happy and it goes on like a chain. Indeed, I salute this woman.

As we parted ways, Aling Emie left me a very empowering message to those who have heart to render volunteer works. “I guarantee anyone who will volunteer will feel better not just physically but emotionally and psychologically. It is not about who you are or what you do, all I know is that when you render volunteer works, a smile will shine and embed in your face, the hours and time we share to our elderly or to anyone else who need our service are worth enough than any money we able to receive,” Aling Emie emphasized.

Aling Emie is one of the volunteers or group of individuals who contribute time, service and resources for a “not-for-profit” cause, in the belief that the assistance rendered would be beneficial to others and satisfy personal need to help.### (By: ANGELY M. LUBO, DSWD Regional Information Officer)

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FEATURE: In Their Own “Eden”

One positive thought in the morning can change how a whole day unfolds.

Yes, life offers lots of tribulations that can make anyone kneel on their feet, but if one person can still manage to smile amidst the hardship, then his spirit will not be easily swayed no matter how strong the wind is. Through it all, the Pariñas Family stands still. And they stand strong.

The Pariñas family, headed by Eddie and Merlinda, is one of the 2,024 beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in Diffun, Quirino. They may not have enough riches, but with their four children, they have all the happiness in the world.

Brood of Young Achievers

When you enter at the Pariñas’ house, a wall which frames all the certificates of the children’s participations to various activities and competitions are displayed. What adds glimmer to the wall of frames are the medals that flaunt the bright minds of the siblings.

Their eldest, Edleen Joy, a 4th year high school student, is doing well in class as she aspires to be a Teacher. She is also a member of the Drum and Lyre Corps and Drama Club of her school. Above all, she is skilled in taking good pictures and writing witty captions as the Photojournalist of their publication.

Next is the 10-year old Justine Edison who wants to wear the badge of service, honor and justice as a Policeman. He is also a consistent honor student and excels most in Science subject.

Dressed in white suit, that’s how Cristina Kate, in Grade II, sees herself in the future. Though she’s just a little girl, she has high hopes of becoming a Doctor. During her Grade I, she bested her classmates as she emerged as the 1st honor, and she continues to gain grades of flying colors. Aside from that, the little Cristina also wowed many people for her body-shaking and foot-stamping grooves as she was hailed as last year’s “Dancer of the Year.”

The other kiddo who gives pride to the Pariñas clan is the five-year old Marian, who is in Kindergarten. She may only be five, but she already began to reap recognitions that truly make her mama and papa proud.

“Life is like a mirror, it becomes more beautiful when you smile at it.”

Cliché as it may sound, but this is what Aling Merlinda believes in. “Mahirap ka na nga, tapos malulungkot ka pa, eh di mas bibigat ang buhay mo. Pero kung nagagawa mong maging masaya sa gitna ng mga problema, kahit papano ang mga pasanin ay nagiging magaan,” she said. True to her words, Aling Merlinda maintains optimism in her everyday life.

Because of her positive attitude towards life, many blessings knocked at the doorsteps of the Pariñas’ residence.

Aling Merlinda is employed as a Secretary in their Parish Church. This made her more hopeful that someday they will have a better life. She also has several engagements in the community.

When the conduct of census comes, she takes part as a barangay population worker. Currently, she is the Business Manager of the Parents-Teachers-Community Association (PTCA) of Diffun West Central School.

Interacting with different people is never difficult for her since she used to be a Parent Leader for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. But when her stint ended, she passed the title to other fellow beneficiary.

“Malaking tulong yung pagiging Parent Leader ko nuon, kasi napraktis yung pakikipag-usap at pakikihalubilo ko sa mga tao, na magkakaiba ang ugali at pananaw sa buhay,” shared Aling Merlinda.

When she was a Parent Leader, she relays announcements like the schedule of Family Development Session and updates to her fellow beneficiaries. But her greatest legacy to her members is to be positive despite financial shortcomings, despite life’s other challenges. Needless to say, Aling Merlinda surely inspired other Pantawid Pamiya beneficiaries to have an optimistic outlook in life.

She may no longer be a Parent Leader, but Aling Merlinda continues to be a loving wife to Mang Eddie, who works as a Jeep Driver. Hand in hand, they both work for their children.

The couple said that they now have bigger savings for their family’s future since the cash grants they receive help in financing the school expenses of their children. “Yung cash grant kasi na natatanggap namin, talagang nakalaan para sa pag-aaral ng mga bata. Tapos sa gamot din. Napakalaking tulong ng programa sa tulad namin, kasi ngayon kahit papaano may naitatabi na kami mula sa konting kita naming mag-asawa,” said Aling Merlinda.

A Happy Family

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is a poverty alleviation program of the national government that invests in the health and education of poor Filipino children aged 0-14 years old. The programs provide cash grants to the family beneficiaries in exchange of compliance to certain health and education conditionalities.

But greater that the augmentation support that Pantawid Pamilya gives, is the transformation of behavior among the family members, the parents and the children. Positive outlook amidst struggles and hope for a brighter future, through the program, these values were inculcated in the minds and in the hearts of the Pariñas family.

They may not have it all together, but as long as they are together, they have it all. The Pariñas family has their own place of paradise. And no wealth in the world could ever top that. ###By MARICEL B. ASEJO, Pantawid Information Officer II

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NHTS conducts Essay Writing Contest for NGAs

The National Household Targeting System (NHTS) conducted an Essay Writing Contest for national government agencies (NGAs) on June 14, 2013 in Tuguegarao City.

Seventeen NGAs joined the said contest with the representatives of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Education (DepEd) and National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) as the top three victors.

Marydine L. Cambri of DILG bagged first place; Dennis John M. Espinoza of DepEd garnered second place; and Anne Margaret Y. Lasam of NEDA got third place.

The winners received plaques, cash prizes and some tokens.

“The NHTS is really beneficial to our data users. It made the works of our data users more convenient. They will no longer experience the hardship of choosing potential beneficiaries of their social protection programs. Through NHTS, the list is already there. It gives not only the figures but the faces and location of poor households,” Director Violeta A. Cruz said.

“The NHTS is highly commendable, because of their efforts and initiatives in conducting an essay writing contest as part of their advocacy efforts. I think, this is the first time that a NGA conducted an essay writing and it is good to note that there is an activity only for NGAs” , Cambri said.

Moreover, Ms. Pasencia T. Ancheta, Deputy Regional Manager, NHTS said, “We are happy that the participants responded on our invitation. This only shows the good relationship between NHTS and partners. We hope that our partners like NGAs are more encouraged to be our data users.”

The contest is one of the advocacy efforts of NHTS to continuously inform, educate and popularize NHTS among NGAs and other partners.

NHTS a special project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are.

The theme of the contest was “Targeting System: Boon or Bane? “. ###Ailyn P. Aglaua, AA-V, NHTS

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RSCC receives P1M check from PhilHealth

“This amount will be a lot of help to the children of RSCC, especially on their medical needs. We are very grateful for this donation that you extended to us,” said DSWD Field Office 02 Regional Director Violeta A. Cruz after receiving the check amounting to P1, 193, 270. 00 from PhilHealth during the Turn-Over Ceremony at Hotel Roma, Tuguegarao City last June 14, 2013.

The amount was the proceeds of the PhilHealth Run held in the city last February 17, 2013. The Run was initiated by PhilHealth in cooperation with the Department of Health- Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) which was simultaneously held in other eighteen sites and aims to raise amounts for the benefit of social institutions in the country.

Regional Vice-President Oscar Abadu of Philhealth said that they were able to raise the large sum of money because they exceeded the target number of runners from 3,500 to 5,000 respectively.

In return, Director Cruz said that the money will be used for the treatment of five children with medical cases, and for the education and other needs of the residents at the center.

The Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC) is a center devoted to abandoned, neglected and abused children which is supervised by the Department of Social Welfare and Development. For region 02, the center is located at Lingu, Solana, Cagayan.

“This is the biggest donation we received so far, and we will be forever grateful to PhilHealth for this gift,” ended Director Cruz. ### By MARICEL B. ASEJO, Pantawid Information Officer II

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CSO Accreditation Notice


The public, whether an individual, group or organization is invited to submit to DSWD any derogatory report or information on the CSOs who are applying for accreditation to implement programs/projects using government public funds. Check the list of CSOs here...