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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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LGU Sta. Teresita uses NHTS database for Social Protection Programs

LGU Sta. Teresita together with their beneficiaries during the distribution of facilities in their Bawat Bahay, May Kubeta program.

The municipal government of Sta. Teresita, Cagayan has been using the data-base of the National Household Targeting System (NHTS) to identify the beneficiaries of their social protection programs.

Ms. Marivic T. Viesta, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer said that the data-base which includes the list of poor households in the region and other types of related data was used in two of their programs – “Bawat Bahay, May Kubeta” and Bahay Mo, Patitibayin Ko”. The 1st involved the provision of materials such as toilet bowls, cement and mixed gravel for the construction of sanitary toilets which benefited 31 poor households in barangays Aridowen, Caniugan, Villa, Simbaluca and Simpatuyo. The 2nd entailed the furnishing of materials such as plywood, nails and galvanized iron sheets to improve the houses of 20 poor households.

“The two programs were implemented last year, but we will continue them as long as we could again find deserving beneficiaries thru the NHTS data-base.”, Ms. Viesta said.

Using the NHTS data base, LGU Sta. Teresita was able to identify 25 beneficiaries from the barangays Caniugan, Centro East and West, Buyun, Luga, Simbaluca and Simpatuyo for the DSWD Cash for work program wherein the beneficiaries cleaned the public market, national high way, canals, municipal park and a lot more.

“The NHTS data-base is really useful for us in choosing deserving beneficiaries of our programs. This way we can give assistance of the real poor.”, Viesta added.

NHTS is a special project of the DSWD that has identified who and where the poor are.(Ailyn P. Aglaua, Administrative Assistant V, NHTS-PR)

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Aling Delia is a loving housewife and a budding entrepreneur rolled into one. She attends to her husband and children’s daily needs. Also, she has a small business of buying and selling tobacco.

She buys dried tobacco leaves from Benito Soliven and rolls it ready for selling. She buys the tobacco for P100 pesos per bundle and sells it for P130 pesos per bundle too.

Since her family is in Set 1 of Pantawid, they will graduate this year. Aling Delia is sad of the fact that their receiving of cash grant will soon end. She has second thoughts whether they can already manage to survive on their own or not.

But come what may, Aling Delia and her family will defy the odds just to uplift their condition.

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Aling Delia said, taught them to be more responsible parents and citizens. They also use the money to buy for medicines and school materials. Aling Delia even bragged that the contributions of her children to school were already taken care of.

But greater than the transformation of their behavior, the Pantawid Pamilya has also equipped them with knowledge and an empowered spirit which serve as their armor against life’s tribulations.

Aling Delia is very active in their community, Barangay San Pablo, San Mariano, Isabela.


Just like any other parent leader, Aling Delia has many responsibilities like spearheading the conduct of meetings, monitoring of the use of cash grant and those who might use if for gambling and advising parents on how to treat their children.

Aling Delia is very popular in their place; she is called as “Ate Delia” and proves to be a very effective parent leader adored by her members.

She is also the President of the SALBABIDA SKA (Self Employment Assistance Kaunlaran Association).

Last June 2011, Aling Delia’s Salbabida SKA received an amount on P75, 000 pesos from DSWD Field Office II to put up a small business in their barangay. The Salbabida has income generating ventures like a mini-grocery, selling of “balot” and “penoy”, and the making of “baki” which is made up of bamboo where chickens can lay their eggs.

When asked why Salbabida is the name of their SKA? Aling Delia said, “Diba kasi ma’am pag nalulunod ka, salbabida ang sasagip sayo? Kaya yun ang pinili kong pangalan namin. Kasi ito ang sasagip sa amin sa kahirapan.”


Aling Delia’s betterhalf,  Mang Ricky , 47 works as a Tricycle Driver and at the same time, a Palay Farmer. He also spends most of her free time as a Barangay Tanod. He makes sure that barangay San Pablo is peaceful. Together with his colleagues, they often stay at waiting sheds to watch out for those who might cause trouble.

Just like his wife, Man Ricky is also active in community organizations. He is the president of the Parents and Teachers Community Association (PTCA) of San Pablo Elementary School. He spearheads the formulation of plans that can contribute in the improvement of the school and its students. They also conduct monthly general cleaning of the school.


Aling Delia and Mang Ricky are blessed with three smart children. They are Carol, 15, in 3rd year highschool and wants to be a Flight Attendant; Derick, 12, 1st year highschool, Seaman; and Jenny, 8, Grade 3, Teacher.

The three are honor students and are active in extra-curricular activities. They are members of their school’s drum and lyre corps.

The Abella children are very ambitious, but are very much motivated. They know that they have to toil hard if they want to be successful. And sure they can, with the love                 and support of their parents; nothing can hinder them from grasping success.


Knowing the fact that they are about to graduate from the program at the end of the year, Aling Delia and Mang Ricky are saving up for their children’s future. They really wanted that Carol will become a Flight Attendant, Derick as a Seaman and Jenny as a Teacher.

They also make extra income through their vegetable garden which has a vast array of trees, vegetables and plants. Name it, they have it: gabi, munggo, sitaw, bitwelas, santol, saging, kamoteng kahoy, suha, malunggay, papaya and mangga.

Little by little, the Abella family is reaping what they have sown. With Aling Delia and Mang Ricky’s hard work and their children’s impressive intellectual perspicacity, the Abellas are halfway there. ###By MARICEL B. ASEJO, Pantawid Information Officer

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DSWD-SM Foundation, partners in Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan for Farmers

Echague, Isabela—To empower the marginalized farmers with updated agricultural farm technology on high value crops so they can produce a bountiful harvest even on a limited space, Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 thru a Memorandum of Agreement had committed to help the marginalized farmers enhance their profitability together with SM Foundation, Inc, Department of Agriculture, Harbest Agribusiness, Corp., and Isabela State University.

Launched at Isabela State Universty-Echague Main Campus last April 11, 2013, the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Farmers Training Program is the main livelihood advocacy program of SM Foundation, Inc., which is implemented in partnership with DSWD, DA, Harbest Agribusiness, Corp. and in cooperation of Local Government Units and Non-Government Organizations.

Around 160 farmers from different municipalities in Isabela are set to join the training program of which, 50 slots are allotted to the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program beneficiaries from the municipalities of San Mariano and Echague, ISabela.

The program involves a 12-week modular, classroom lectures and hands-on training on high value crop production, product development, marketing and basic bookkeeping.

DSWD Field Office 02 thru its Sustainable Livelihood Unit will also conduct entrepreneurial skills training for the participants coinciding with the agricultural training that will be conducted by Harbest Agribusiness, Corp.

At the end of the training program, the farmers’ produce will be introduced and sold to SM stores in nearby cities to give them an opportunity to become suppliers. ### By Angely Lubo-Mercado, DSWD Regional Information Officer

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