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Crossing the unfamiliar road to success

A famous writer Amalie Earhart once said that “women like men should try to do the impossible for a woman who can create her own job is the woman who will win fame and fortune”.

This inspirational adage is exactly what Jenny Jane Basubas is living right now.

Jenny is a member of set 5 Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program and a parent leader handling 32 member beneficiaries. She is happily married to Ferdinand Basubas and was blessed by four children namely, Jefferson, Jennifer, Jasmine Jane and Jerwin Jake. As a parent leader, she is active and vocal on concerns and needs of her group. Her leadership skill is very evident as she takes initiative in every activity of the program.

As a mother, she knows that family life is not that easy as it may seem to be. Reality bites that she needs to make an extra effort to cope with their daily needs. Apparently, her husband’s income is not enough since his earning as a tricycle driver is not constant due to health constraints. Most of the time, her husband cannot fully concentrate on his job because of his recurring asthma.

Despite such adversities in life, Jenny opted to take it as a challenge in making her family’s situation better. She decided to enter into an unfamiliar realm, a realm dominated by men as she chose to be a tricycle driver. She does not mind if this job is for men, for her it is not about her gender that matters but rather the welfare of her family and the future of her children.

Not minding of the risk in the nature of her job, still she chose to continue not just because it is her means of earning money but also the happiness she gets in transporting her passengers safely to their destinations. A mother’s heart indeed.

As an additional income, she set aside a portion of her daily income from tricycle driving to start a small business. From the small earnings, she ventured in cooking leche flan, tocino, longanisa, embotido and kakanin which she sells during her spare time.

At the end of her busy day in the road, she returns to her home and to her kitchen back to her primary role, a supportive wife and a loving mother to her children. A mother, whose heart travels, willing to cross the unfamiliar road to success. ### By Melisen A. Taquiqui, PDO II – Isabela

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San Mariano SEA-K Associations hold People’s Congress

“Let the people’s voice be heard, towards empowerment and development”.

This was the proactive theme of the People’s Congress which conducted recently in San Mariano, Isabela, joined by Self Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran associations.

The objective of said people’s congress was to provide opportunity for people especially the poor farmers of San Mariano, Isabela who are members of the SEA-K Associations to present their issues and concerns to the legislative representatives and Local Chief Executive for their consideration in their legislative and executive agenda.

The activity was quite different from the usual gathering of people where the people are the passive listeners.  This time, it was the people who talk about their own agenda. Their voices were put forward while the guests/panelists listened and responded to their issues and concerns. These concerns were presented by the people’s representatives to the Local Chief Executive and congressional representatives.

The Federation of SEA-K Association in San Mariano, Isabela spearheaded the organization and the conduct of the people’s congress, thru a Steering Committee (SC) composed of the SEA-K Federation Officers, SLP Project Development Officer and the MSWDO. The Technical Working Group (TWG) was composed of the Municipal Links of Pantawid  and other MSWDO staff.

Moreover, Municipal Mayor Dean Anthony Domalanta of San Mariano in his speech proposed to the SEA-K Federation that it should forward a petition or its equivalent to the Sangguniang Bayan so that the Committee on Agriculture will conduct appropriate hearings regarding the issues on corn trading. He also said that he will use the proposed resolutions of the congress as his development blue print in his administration.

Here were some of the General Resolutions raised by the SEA-K members during the People’s Congress; 1) Creation of a Multi-sectoral Council for the Welfare and Development of Corn Farmers, 2) Regular dialogue between Traders and Farmers   to be Conducted/Facilitated by the LGU, 3) Development of a Financial and Technical Program Assistance for Planting and Marketing of Typhoon and Drought -resilient Crops, 4) Forging of Laws to protect and uphold the economic rights of farmers specially the marginalized corn farmers.

Majority of the SKA (Sea-K Association) members are farmers. Thus, the issues presented revolved around the Farmer – Trader Relationship which is a real concern because it involves the vulnerable poor, the masses.   ### By Ramon B. Piano, Project development Officer II

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DSWD FO 02 accepts donations for Yolanda-devastated areas

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office II is now accepting donations in cash or in kind for the Yolanda-ravaged provinces of Leyte and Samar.

A donation desk is already installed at the DSWD Field Office 02, Regional Government Center, Carig, Tuguegarao City.

Aside from cash, donations may also include drinking waters, blankets, non-perishable items, rice and clothes.

Regional Director Violeta A. Cruz said that it is important for everyone to be united and converged in times of disasters.

“Marami mang kalamidad ang dumating sa atin, magiba man nito ang ating mga tahanan, ngunit hindi matitinag ng anumang bagyo ang ating pagtutulungan at pagbabayanihan,” Director Cruz said.

Yolanda, the world’s strongest storm this year and the most powerful storm to hit land on record, hit the Philippines last Friday.

Relief operations are ongoing nationwide with several organizations, both public and private, leading efforts in different areas.

Please drop donations at DSWD Field Office 02, Regional Government Center, Carig, Tuguegarao City. For inquiries, call (078) 846-7043 or email at ###By MARICEL B. ASEJO, Pantawid Information Officer II



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DSWD Field Office II inks MOA with CSOs

Public-Private Partnership. The Geodetic  Engineers of the Philippines Incorporated engages in a MOA with DSWD for a more efficient delivery of social services.

IN PHOTO: Public-Private Partnership. The Quirino Ministers Fellowship engages in a MOA with DSWD as represented by Dir. Violeta A. Cruz.

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan- The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office II engages in a Memorandum of Agreement with eight Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) today.

The CSOs signed a MOA for taking part in the implementation of Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) and in the four areas of engagement namely: Bantay, Gabay, Tulay and Kaagapay.

Although they are already partners in the CSO-run MCCT, the Greenmeadow Development Foundation Incorporated (GMDFI) and Pangkaunlaran Development Association Incorporated (PDAI) renewed their commitment for the MCCT Extension.

Other CSOs who signed a MOA with DSWD were the Quirino Ministers Fellowship (faith-based) for the Bantay and Gabay; the Cauayan City Green Ladies Organization (NGO) for the Kaagapay and Tulay; the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (NGO) for Kaagapay; the Geodetic Engineers of the Philippines (PO) for Kaagapay; the Agape Rural Program (NGO) for Kaagapay and Tulay; and the National Auxiliary Chaplaincy of the Philippines Incorporated (faith-based) for Bantay, Gabay and Kaagapay.

The Bantay, Gabay, Tulay and Kaagapay are the four DSWD programs of engagement wherein: the Bantay is for the conduct of anti-corruption campaign and activities; Gabay for the provision of technical assistance especially during trainings of the beneficiaries; Tulay for the implementation of feedback and monitoring mechanism and Kaagapay for the implementation of projects and activities on poverty reduction.

“This MOA signing vests us the authority to deliver social services together, for the welfare of the marginalized sectors of the society,” said Regional Director Violeta A. Cruz during the ceremony.

Director Cruz also emphasized about the importance of convergence among the different sectors of the society like the public and private partnership to deliver efficient and effective public service.

The said CSOs were represented by their presidents while the DSWD Field office was represented by Director Cruz respectively. Also present during the MOA signing ceremony were Mr. Marciano D. Dameg, SWO IV, OIC- Institutional Development Division (IDD); Ms. Maricel Grace L. Gomez, Regional Program Coordinator of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and some staff of the Regional Program Management Office. ###By MARICEL B. ASEJO, Pantawid Information Officer

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Pantawid children beneficiaries compete for Poster Making, Essay Writing Contests

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office II in partnership with the Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children (RSCWC) capped the celebration of Children’s Month through a Regional Children’s Forum at Holiday Plaza Hotel, Tuguegarao City on October 29-30, 2013.

Around 60 children beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in the region joined in the 2-day activity which highlighted on the importance of compliance in the program’s health and education conditionalities and to make the children as young advocates of the program.

Aside from the discussion about the Pantawid Pamilya, there were also re-orientation about the Children’s Rights and on the functions of the Local Council for the Protection of Chidren (LCPC) and Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC). These discussions heightened the awareness of the participants about their rights and the government’s effort to promote and protect their welfare.

The highlight of the activity was the Poster Making, Essay Writing and the Jingle Making Contests on the theme “Kahirapan wakasan, karapatan ng bata ipaglaban” wherein the children beneficiaries competed and represented their respective provinces. Winners received cash prizes and certificate of recognition.

In her speech, DSWD Regional Director Violeta A. Cruz emphasized about the important role of children in nation-building so the government and the community must join effort in ensuring that their rights are being protected.

Director Cruz also reminded that as children, they also have responsibilities and obligations to fulfill in their society, especially, in their respective families. “Kayong mga bata ay may karapatang makapag-aral, kaya naman nakikita niyo ang paghihirap ng inyong mga magulang upang matugunan ang inyong mga pangangailangan. Nandiyan din ang Pantawid para makatulong sa mga gastusin niyo sa paaralan, ngunit dapat niyo ring suklian ito lalo na ang paghihrap ng inyong nanay at tatay,” Director Cruz said.

“Bawat karapatan na naibigay sa inyo ay may kaakibat na responsibilidad. Karapatan niyong mag-aral, ngunit obligasyon niyo rin na mag-aral ng mabuti,” emphasized Director Cruz to the children.

Elojah John Pagadut, a Pantawid child beneficiary of Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, and the champion in Essay Writing Contest, wrote “Sana patuloy pang mapangalagaan ang aming mga karapatan dahil bata man kaming maituring, malaki namn ang aming maiaambag upang makamit ng lipunan na ito ang inaasam-asam na kaunlaran.”

The celebration of Children’s Month is done every October, annually pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 267 issued on September 30, 1993, to recognize and emphasize the important role of children within the Filipino family and in nation building.###By MARICEL B. ASEJO, Pantawid Information Officer II

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FO2’s LISTAHANAN conducts screening of applicants for field staff

In preparation for the 2nd region-wide household assessment, LISTAHANAN has conducted screening of applicants for the field staff.

LISTAHANAN in coordination with the Human Resource Development Unit started screening started screening for the positions of Area Coordinator, Area Supervisor and Enumerator in August until this end of the year. The screening consists of written examination, computer exam and interview.

“We are very strict in the process of hiring because as much as possible we would like to hire competent field workers who fit with the work. With this, we can assure excellent quality of work during the conduct of second round of household assessment.” Ms. Delia S. Sto. Tomas, LISTAHANAN Deputy Regional Project Manager (DRPM), said.

“We are also making it easy for enumerator-applicants from the far flung areas, that’s why we do the screening in the provinces.” Ms. Sto. Tomas added.

Area Coordinators will work for 90 working days and be assigned anywhere in the province they come from. He/she will also prepare general acknowledgment of the municipality and the areas to be covered during the household assessment.

Area Supervisors will work for 60 working days and be assigned anywhere in the province. One of the duties is to supervise and direct the enumerators.

Enumerators will be engaged for 30 working days and be assigned within the municipality. They will visit the households and administer the Household Assessment Form (HAF) thru interview.

These field workers will be deployed for the household assessment to update the LISTAHANAN database. The LISTAHANAN database identifies potential beneficiaries for the social protection programs of the government and other stakeholders.###Ailyn P. Aglaua, AAV

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FEATURE: Keeping The Faith Alive

“Ang buhay po ay parang pelikula, pangit man po ang simula, nasasayo po yun kung papano mo pagagandahin ang istorya, para po maging happy ending,” said the ten-year old who wowed audience with her impeccable acting skills.

When the clapperboard kisses each other, she begins to enunciate her dialog with feelings. She moves across the stage with grace. She speaks every line with conviction. Every word she said, strike the hearts of the viewers. No wonder, she was hailed as the “Best Child Performer” during their Theater Arts Acting Workshop.

Brend Faith B. Wakit, is the pride of the Municipality of Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya. Not just that she is known as the localized version of “Maricel Soriano”, but because she can also dance and sing. Aside from her talent in acting, Brend is also a member of Bulo Galsa Primary School’s dance troupe and choir. Because of this, she is often invited to perform whenever there is an activity not just in the school, but also in the barangay.

She is tagged as “The Little Girl with Big Talents” which really makes her parents proud. Brend is a loving and obedient daughter to Mang Aurelio and Aling Dominga. She is also a caring sister to her siblings, namely: Anabelle, Marlon, Daniel and Redeline.

Mang Aurelio sustains the needs of his family, through farming while Aling Dominga is housewife. They are very grateful for the Pantawid Pamilya because the cash grants they receive augment in their medical needs, especially in the school requirements of their children.

 But the greater impact of Pantawid in their life is that, both Mang Aurelio and Aling Dominga became more responsible parents. They toil hard in order to sustain their family’s needs. They also continue to inculcate good values to their children. Despite the financial shortcomings, the Wakit family continues to live a happy life.

“Salat man kami sa pera, may maipagmamalaki naman akong mga gintong medalya ng aking mga anak. Ito ang kayamanan naming mag-asawa,” Aling Dominga gushed. Yes, the Wakit house is adorned with certificates and medals showcasing the intellectual perspicacity and talents of their children, most of which belongs to Brend.

Brend cannot just act. She cannot just sing. She cannot just dance. There is so much more to her. Because greater that those skills, she is a little girl with bright mind.

Since Grade I, she was the 1st Honor. Now that she’s in Grade 4, she continues to gain grades of flying colors. With her excellent academic standing, she often represents her school in different activities, competitions and quiz bees.

Her recent participation were in the Filipino Readathon; Masining na Pagkuwento; TADULKA (Training of Pupils and teachers in Drama and Dula-Dulaan); and Girl Scout Jamboree wherein she brought home bacons.

Brend is also a campus journalist and an officer in their classroom. With all the achievements in her little hand, Brend is more motivated to persevere for the realization of her dreams.

“Kahit mahirap po kami, masaya po ako sa takbo ng buhay namin. May mga taong handa naman pong tumulong samin. Parang sa mga pelikula po, may mga tumutulong dun sa bida. Kami yung bida, ako yung bida. Tapos andiyan yung DSWD, yung Pantawid Pamilya na kasama namin tungo sa kaunlaran”, Brend said. She also stressed that Pantawid gives her a bigger chance of having a brighter future.

“Gusto ko pong maging guro, para ang bawat bata ay maturuan ko. Pero higit po sa mga impormasyon tungkol sa mga iba’t-ibang asignatura, gusto ko pong maikintal sa isipan nila na hindi sila dapat malungkot kung naghihirap sila,” Brend said, with her eyes that shine with hope, “Kasi may mga talento at utak tayong binigay ng Diyos. Yun yung mga gagamitin natin para mas may magandang bukas na nakangiti satin,” she continued.

When the clapperboard kisses each other, she begins to enunciate her dialog with feelings. She moves across the stage with grace. She speaks every line with conviction. Every word she said, strike the hearts of the viewers. Because of her acting prowess, she was hailed as the “Best Child Performer” during their Theater Arts Acting Workshop.

But now, because of her talents and wit that inspire her contemporaries to continue to dream, continue to believe, continue to live despite life’s intricacies and challenges, BREND FAITH WAKIT of Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya is hailed as an exemplary children beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.###By MARICEL B. ASEJO, Pantawid Information Officer II


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FEATURE: The First Dumagat Teacher

IN PHOTO: Mary Ann, during her graduation ceremony.

IN PHOTO: Mary Ann, the first Dumagat teacher, during her graduation ceremony.

DUMAGATs. These people are believed to be the earliest settlers in Palanan, Isabela. They look exactly like Agtas- with the black skin and kinky hair. They also have common lifestyle; they are nomads who move from one place to another in search of food.

These natives do not have their own homes. Also, neither do they have access to education nor have job to finance their daily necessities. Since they do not have money, they solely depend on the gifts of nature for their survival.

“May mga araw na wala kaming mahanap na pagkain, kaya pumupunta kami sa palengke para humingi ng makakain,” said Bulol and Merly Donato.

But Bulol wants to make a difference and put an end to their passive attitude towards life. Thus, the couple embraced Christianity.

There, Bulol and Merly were taught how to read and write. Their fear of interacting with other people, especially to the non-Dumagats, diminished.

And the transformation of these Dumagat couple continued.

The Donato family became a beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program with the municipality of Palanan as one of the three pilot areas in region 02. “Ang Pantawid, tuluyang binago ng programang iyan ang takbo ng aming buhay,” Bulol said.

Aside from the cash grant which the couple consider a very big help to augment their financial needs, the program taught them much about their strengths and skills as human and how can they use these abilities to improve their status in life. Through their regular attendance to the Family Development Sessions (FDS), they became open-minded and empowered. Since then, their yearning to become a catalyst of change in their tribe started to ignite.

Bulol, Merly, together with other fellow Dumagats started planting fruit-bearing trees and crops for food. But since they are already empowered, they learned how to utilize what they have for their own advancement. Thus, they began selling fruits and vegetables. They used the money for buying things that cannot be found in the forest.

Because of the Pantawid Pamilya, they also recognized the existence of the government, the church, especially the schools and health centers since visiting to these facilities is part of their compliance to the program.

Cognizant of the importance of education, the hard-working parents decided to send their children to school. Luckily, fate was surely on their favor because a pastor offered a college scholarship for their second child, Mary Ann.

At first, both Bulol and Merly have second thoughts whether to send their daughter to Nueva Vizcaya or not, but when they saw Mary’s fiery determination to study and finish college, they finally let her go.

So Mary Ann, after winning her parents’ approval, went to Nueva Vizcaya and pursued Bachelor of Science in Education. For almost four years, she was not able to see and talk with her family, but she endured the agony of being away from them just to have a college degree.

Indeed, good things come to those who work hard. Just last year, Mary Ann returned to the coastal area of Palanan holding her College Diploma and License as a full-fledged teacher after passing the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET). Mary Ann came back to her family, to her community, to her municipality as the first Dumagat teacher.

Presently, Mary Ann teaches at Culasi Elementary School. She now takes charge in sending her two siblings to school. She also plays the second parent to Dumagat and non-Dumagat pupils. She teaches the children with the ABCs and 123s. But aside from the alphabets and parts of the body, Mary Ann teaches her pupils that with determination and perseverance, they too, can have a brighter tomorrow.

“Katutubo man o hindi, maitim man o maputi ang balat, hanggang mayroon kang pangarap at sasamahan mo ang pangarap na iyon ng pagsisikap at determinasyon, possible na magkaroon ng mas magandang hinaharap. Kahit sino, Dumagat man o hindi, ay kayang-kayang tumawid tungo sa kaunlaran,” Mary Ann said.

With their daughter’s achievement, Bulol and Merly cannot help but be proud and be happy. “Lahat tayo, may kakayanang umangat mula sa kahirapan. Iahad natin ng matibay at matatag an gating mga palad, dahil may mga taong hihila satin mula sa kumunoy ng paghihirap,” ended the fulfilled parents to the first Dumagat teacher.###By CHONA MAY SIMON, Municipal Link of Palanan, Isabela

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