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Targeting System: Boon or Bane?

The country’s incessant struggle against the “ravaging virus” of poverty has been akin to the cyclical segment of some local “telenovelas.” Indeed, the Filipino masses have become the living testaments of the government’s lifelong plight on poverty alleviation.

Hypothetically, the Philippines is still trapped into the nasty web of destitution. Sad to note, based on the report issued by the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), the poverty incidence in the country – i.e., the proportion of people below the poverty line is still relatively high. Data show that the poverty incidence was estimated 27.9% at the start of the first semester during the year 2012. This chronic malady is definitely a serious threat for the country’s journey towards economic progress. Nonetheless, such disheartening reality shouldn’t be viewed as the “endpoint” of our significant battle against this crippling disease; instead, this should be considered as a huge challenge for everyone in discovering the best antidote to terminate the viral effect of poverty in this country.

Battling the “vicious cycle” of poverty in our country is undoubtedly the paramount priority of the Aquino administration. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), one of the lead agencies responsible for poverty reduction, has continuously advocated strategic programs to address the poverty incidence of our country. Some of these programs are the Philippine Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), more popularly known as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), the Sustainable Livelihood Program and the Kapit-bisig Laban sa Kahirapan. These aforementioned programs have been tailored to converge with other programs of the government like employment, shelter, livelihood, health, education and agriculture.

The maiden step, however, in the effective delivery of these social services is to identify who and where the poorest households are in the country. Through the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR)-i.e., an information management that identifies who and where the poor households are, the qualified beneficiaries shall be given the social protection services that they need. This system aims to establish a socio-economic database of households that will be used in identifying the qualified beneficiaries of the national social protection program.

Virtually, the DSWD unceasingly desires to Distribute Social services With Dignity. That’s why the NHTS-PR was created by the DSWD to respond proactively to the challenges of social service delivery. IF these social services are implemented effectively to the poorest of the poor in the country, then, programs on sustainable development through livelihood, agriculture and employment could be easily achieved.

From all considerations, the NHTS-PR is indeed a practical means in identifying the target clienteles in the implementation of the various programs of the government vis-à-vis poverty alleviation. This is precisely a “BOON” advocacy of the DSWD in its thrust to rescue the drowning public from the quagmire of poverty.

Henceforth, every Filipino should take a part in the upholding and strengthening the DSWD’s campaign on poverty reduction. Afterall, everyone is a key role player in debugging the poverty virus of our country, Let’s all make a happy ending for this cyclical telenovela; take part, be a part of the campaign, and all together, let’s chart the course of our country towards national economic progress, via the NHTS-PR. ### By Dennis John M. Espinoza, Ph. D./Department of Education (DepEd) Region 2, (This piece won 2nd place during the NHTS Essay Writing Contest for National Government Agencies on June 14,2013 at Crown Lodge, Tuguegarao City)

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Targeting System: Boon or Bane?

In a country where the poor are dispersed across many different areas, it is important for the government to know exactly where to direct its resources so that, no matter how scare these resources may be, they will be used by the people who need them the most. That is what the National Household Targeting System aims to achieve—-to know who and where the poor are.

Once known, these underprivileged sectors of the society will be the first in line to benefit from social protection programs such as health insurance, scholarships, social pension and conditional cash transfer grants as in the case of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. This characteristic alone makes the targeting system a boon for the government and a big step towards alleviating poverty in the most poverty-stricken areas of the country.

It facilitates a more efficient and effective delivery of the limited resources of the government in that those who are most deserving of the assistance are reached out to. In a way, it also prevents those who have enough to fend for themselves to share in these resources which limits the already limited privileges that the poor should really be enjoying.

What is most notable of the system is how data was gathered in the areas identified as pockets of poverty. The Household Assessment Form does not ask the exact income a household earns like what so many social surveys in the past did. Instead, the socioeconomic status of a household is determined by other poverty indicators such as family size, state of house, presence of furnitures and fixtures, and the like. These indicators cannot hide the actual state of the household in terms of its ability to meet the family’s daily basic needs for health, education, and social protection. The inclusion of a household in the NHTS list already uplifts its living conditions as the family is able to put food on the table and to send their young children to school.

Looking at the system in the point of view of the government, the NHTS makes work easier in terms of identifying who should really be the beneficiaries of social protection programs. For planning and implementing agencies, results of the NHTS are very useful since programs and projects are more specifically designed to touch base with the poor sector. All in all, the NHTS is an essential tool in alleviating poverty where poverty hinders the development of the human potential. It may have a few minor glitches along the way but these are overpowered by the benefits that both the government and the poor enjoy—the poor are smiling and feeling happy about their privileges, and the government is given a pat in the back for hitting its target. ### By Ann Margaret Y. Lasam, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), (This piece won 3rd place during the NHTS Essay Writing Contest for National Government Agencies on June 14,2013 at Crown Lodge, Tuguegarao City)

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FEATURE: A Ray Of Light

“Opportunities that come our way must be grabbed, for they knock only once in our lives”, said Revilyn Asuncion, a beneficiary of the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT), who graduated in the Housekeeping Training provided by the TESDA Region 2 for 55 days, from April 9 to June 3, 2013.

Aling Revilyn’s family hails from Barangay General Balao, Solana, in the province of Cagayan. She is a doting mother to her 3 children: John Alvin, 9; Jedah Mae, 8 and Maria Ellaine, 7. Since her husband, Mang Alvin earns a meager income by tilling a small rice farm, Aling Revilyn dreams of having a livelihood where she can earn good value of money, to further sustain her family’s needs. But all her bright thoughts are sometimes hampered by the dimming shadows of apprehensions.

“May mga pagkakataon na nawawalan ako ng pag-asa at paulit-ulit kong sinasabi sa sarili ko na hanggang dito na lang siguro talaga kami. Ano ba ang magagawa ng katulad kong highschool lang naman ang natapos,” she said in tears.

“Ngunit totoo ngang mabait ang Diyos, at may mga taong handang tumulong sa katulad naming mga mahihirap,” and her eyes started to sparkle.

The Asuncion family is one of the beneficiaries for the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer or MCCT. This program is the modified approach on the Conditional Cash Transfer popularly known as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

The whole family is very grateful for being one of the recipients of the program. Aside from the help that it gives to support the family’s health and nutrition, education of the children, and developing more positive behavior among the parents, the program also opened doors of opportunities for the family.

Aling Revilyn together with other MCCT beneficiaries, were granted scholarship for the Housekeeping Training of Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) Region 02. Aling Revilyn and the group were also provided allowance for their food and transportation.

The 55-day training renewed Aling Revilyn’s confidence and trust in herself. She cast all the negative thoughts aside and now has a positive outlook in life.

Though she is so thankful that she receives cash grant through the MCCT, she is fully aware that the program will not last until lifetime. That is why, Aling Revilyn is now pondering on what she can do so that the sun may shine brighter for them. ###By RODOLFO CALINA URSUA, MCCT Social Case Worker/Green Meadow Development Foundation Incorporated (GMDFI), (MBA, FO2 SMU)

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FEATURE: Satisfaction Over Compensation

Volunteerism is a word that every individual understands. We know exactly the true meaning of this word. We can actually explicate and elaborate it further. We are so great in defining such word, situating fancy or impressive verses. Yet, do we really understand its meaning? And if we do, will we be able to put into realization the meaning it suggests? Why is it so hard for us to accomplish such thing if we really understand it?

 I am EDUARDO C. TUTAAN JR., Municipal Day Care Worker of Diadi, Nueva Vizcaya. I have been the MDCW of Balete Day Care Center and Bugnay Day Care Center for almost two (2) years.

 In my two years of offering my time, knowledge, skills and patience to the children who became my pupils through the supervision of the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office; happiness or satisfaction seems to be quite missing in this scrupulous field of specialization, although I must admit that teaching and caring for those innocent minds is one of my passion.

 I have always love being a role model, an educator, a second parent for the young children. However, I’m still searching for something that I do not have right now as a Municipal Day Care Worker, I want to feel something that I’ve been longing to feel. I want to feel fulfillment for what I am doing. I want to be satisfied.

When the Municipal Link of Diadi, Nueva Vizcaya, conducted the second wave for the administration of Social Welfare Indicator (SWI) of Pantawid Beneficiaries, I presented myself and offered a helping hand to Mac Pau. I volunteered myself. It is already summer anyway so it will not cause any conflict with my job as a MDCW.

 The Municipal Link was so thankful when I volunteered. He then gave me orientations and instructions regarding the administration of SWI. Fortunately, I did not encounter any difficulties in understanding the content of the SWI form since most of it are health-related.

 We walked kilometers from one house to another. We talked with the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries. The elation we feel upon seeing the smile in each beneficiary’s face overpowered the scorching heat of the sun. What made our hearts jumped in joy was when everytime the beneficiaries express how the program brought positive changes in their lives. And there, in those precious moments, a feeling unknown to me slowly reigned in my veins. I began to feel proud of what I am doing. I felt satisfaction – into a different kind of hype that I have never felt in my whole life.

 I feel so fulfilled and euphoric for taking part in the implementationof Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in Diadi, Nueva Vizcaya. Extending services to people who are in need, even in just a simple way is already a big achievement that I can be proud of.

 I volunteered. It really felt great. I will continue to be a tool to uplift the lives of our poor fellows. I will pull them from the quagmire of poverty. And no, I will not stop. No. Never. I have just begun.### MAC PAUL V. ALARIAO, Municipal Link/Diadi, Nueva Vizcaya, (MBA, FO2 SMU)

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FEATURE: Service Beyond Service

Mrs. Zessane Dawang, a Day Care Worker, is a epitome of a dedicated public servant.

Mrs. Zessane Dawang, a Day Care Worker, is an epitome of a dedicated public servant.

Community organizing is a wide-ranging job. Not just actually a job, but a life as well. Hence, to fully appreciate its nature, there is a need to maximize engagement with different people and amalgamate them to go into one direction. This becomes easier when there are people who are ready and ever willing to share themselves to make dreams come true.

This I further realized when I met Mrs. Zessane Dawang, a resident and the permanent day care worker of Brgy. San Pugo, Nagtipunan, Quirino. Mrs. Dawang has been an active partner in implementing Pantawid Pamilya in the municipality. She attends to the needs of the beneficiaries in Brgy. San Pugo. As one of the trusted person in their barangay, beneficiaries see her whenever they are in doubt or have questions. They seek her help and she is ready and willing to answer it.

According to parent leader Nora Dawang, they were assisted by Mrs. Zessane in preparing their documents during the community assembly which resulted in a 100% registration of beneficiaries in the barangay. Up to now, she provides technical assistance and models like a parent leader to the beneficiaries. She attends payout and assists them in filling up documents.

She was motivated to help the beneficiaries because she had seen them in need of her help. “Madami kasi sa kanila ang ‘di nakapag-aral. Naawa din ako sa kanila, kasi yung iba nahihiya pa at ako na yung nilalapitan nila noon pa. Pero gusto ko talaga silang tulungan. Mababait naman sila at masunurin” (A lot of them were not able to attend school. I pity them too because they are not yet that empowered. But, I am more than willing to help. They are kind and obedient, too) said Mrs. Dawang. “Gusto ko din silang makitang umangat sa pamumuhay nila ngayon” (I wanted to see them soon uplifted from their present economic and social condition) she added.

As the municipal link in the area, I am very glad and thankful for her active involvement in the project implementation. Their place is very far from the center of the municipality, yet distance is not a hindrance for her to be an active partner.

 Now, she is also a committed resource person who conducts Family Development Sessions in the area. In spite of her responsibilities as a mother and a day care worker, she is happy to serve her fellow.

 Indeed, she is an embodiment of a public servant whose ideal is service beyond service. By ARVIN T. LONGCOP-Municipal Link of Nagtipunan, Quirino

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A day in the life of a Project Development Officer

No gain, no pain!

This is the battle cry of the Project Development Officers who wish to achieve their goals in organizing beneficiaries for Self Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran Associations.

The Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the DSWD FO2 had reached the remotest barangay of the Municipality of San Mariano, Isabela, one of the Set 1 areas of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. This is the barangay of DICAMAY. It is 60 kilometers away from its town proper, a 6-hour trip.

Fearless, we went there. Highly motivated and brave enough to face whatever challenges that will come along the way. Just to recall, the municipality of San Mariano has the most number of Insurgency cases in Region 02 and, inspite of the dangers and risks inherent of its geographical location and the insurgency cases being one of the problems faced by the people and the field officers visiting the area, it is a mountainous first class municipality of Isabela, covering 90 percent of its mountainous barangays.

Given these risks, the PDOs of the Livelihood Program conquered their fears in traversing these mountainous, agricultural and forested areas, totaling 36 barangays including Dicamay, the remotest among them. We visited it during the cold weather of December, 2012.

There was no available 6X6 truck at that time, so we boarded an ordinary bus via Cauayan City. True enough, at around 7PM, we were stranded on our way due to the sticky, muddy, clay-type road. According to my seatmate, a Pantawid beneficiary, there was a heavy rain the previous night. It was good to know that the bus drivers, conductors and the male passengers helped each other by putting a thick rope in front of the bus and patiently pulled-up the bus. We, along with all the other passengers had to walk for 30 minutes to reach a safe part of the road.

The whole trip was through a muddy mountain, with its rough roads if there is any, that causes the “ups and downs” of the trip. Going up was indescribable. It was like a roller-coaster. And surprisingly, we thought the hues changed into three colors from then on: something white when we look at the sky above, something green because of the forest we were passing through and something brown because of the sticky roads of the farmlands we pass by. It was dark when we arrived at the barangay proper at 9:30 PM. Immediately, we proceeded to the house of the barangay captain for courtesy Call.

The next day, when we reached the Barangay Hall, the Pantawid beneficiaries were already there and gave us a very warm welcome. This showed their willingness and interest to join the Livelihood program that will soon improve their lives.

We conducted Community Driven Enterprise Development (CDED) Training and Self-Employment Assistance Kaunlaran (SEA-K) Training to 152 Pantawid beneficiaries. The participants actively listened and participated during the sessions. There were so much queries during the discussion and that was a good gesture because it showed their interest to the program.

Successfully, we were able to organized 4 SKAs namely: Southern Hills (20 members), Green Harvest (15), Kingsville (28) and Highlander (25) with a total of 88 beneficiaries. Most of them will invest into corn production since most of the beneficiaries are farmers; they said this will relieve them from the burdens of the high interest rates (20-25% per cropping) that they are paying to the Financer/traders.

This visit has proven our commitment to the agency where we belong and to the community that we serve. And the realization that through God, the Creator, we can reach the beneficiaries, whatever it takes! It also proved that no matter how difficult things are, if you do your best, God will do the rest.

The actors who went to this area were Ms. Katylin A. Cauilan and Mr. Jerome Verzosa, Project Development Officers of the SLP Unit, through the full support of its Unit Head, Ms. Nena T. Mayo, PDO-III. ###By: Katylin A. Cauilan, PDO II, San Mariano, Isabela


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The municipality of Naguilian in the province of Isabela is home to 1, 119 beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. Since the program landed on their tranquil and modest municipality, positive changes can be seen.

Yes, the program aims to break the intergeneration cycle of poverty, so it invests in the health and education of poor Filipino children aged 0-14 years old. Records show that there is an impressive compliance of the beneficiaries to the conditionalities of the program involving health and education.

Despite financial constraints, Pantawid Pamilya children continue to persevere in their studies. Thanks to the P500 amount of cash grant they received monthly. They may have young and innocent minds, but they greatly understand the importance of education. These children know very well that poverty cannot stop anyone from reaching his dreams and aspirations, and this is what the children of Mrs. Mary Grace Adriano strongly believe in.


“Dahil sa Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, ang aking tatlong anak ay lalong matiyagang pumapasok at ngaaral ng mabuti,” quipped Aling Grace.

The Adriano Family lives in Brgy. Quirino, in Naguillian, Isabela. She said that the program is really a big help in augmenting the needs of her children in school. Because one of the conditionlaities of the program is that children aged 6-14 must be enrolled in elementary and high school and must have an 85% of attendance, her three cuddly and smart children never fail to come to class.

But she said that it is not only for the sake of compliance that her children are attending their classes regularly, but because they have dreams, big dreams that someday they maybe a teacher, a doctor, and perhaps, even an engineer.

Yet greater that to be a professional someday is their dreams that somehow, they will rise from the ground and have a taste of comfort – something better that what they have now.

“Ito ay patunay na kahit mahirap kami, ang kahirapan ay hindi hadlang sa mga munting pangarap ng aking mga anak. Mga munting pangarap  na alam kong makakamit nila dahil sila mismo ang susi sa mga ito. Lalo na ngayon at kabilang kami sa programang Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program ng DSWD,” she continued.

Aling Grace also added that the program, through the Family Development Sessions, have helped them to be more responsible parents. They continue to nurture and support their children in the realization of their aspirations.


Another beneficiary who is very thankful to the program is Tito Pabro, 49 years old, and lives in Barangay Magsaysay, also in the municipality of Naguillian. Mang Tito just has lot of “thank you” words to say that he needed to put it in a letter.

Hindi sapat ang salitang ”salamat” sa programang ito na kahit sa maliit na halaga ay napakalaking halaga nito sa akin. Malaki man o maliit ang halagang ito ay napapagaan na ang aking pamilya. Bukal sa aking puso ang pasasalamat sa Diyos dahil ito ay sagot na biyaya na aking pinapanalangin lagi at sa pamahalaan, at sa mga taong nasa likod ng programang ito. Napagaan ang buhay namin sa tulong ng Pantawid Program,” he wrote at the start of his letter.

Mang Tito is a widower, and lives with his daughter Roselyn, 7 years old, who studies at Namay Elementary School. Since her wife died, he assumed the responsibility of being both a mother and a father.

Bilang isang ama na nag-iisang bumubuhay sa aking mga anak ay masasabi kong mahirap, ito ay dahil wala akong katuwang sa buhay na magalaga sa mga anak ko at magluto kapag ako ay wala sa bahay upang kumayod para sa aming mga anak,” Mang Tito shared.

                He works as a tenant farmer in a vast ricefield. He also earns extra income as a Construction Worker. But still, Mang Tito finds it very difficult. His salary is not enough to sustain the needs of his family.

                 “Kala ko noon ay wala nang tutulong samin, laking tuwa ko at napili kami na mapabilang sa Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program,” soon a smile lit on Mang Tito’s face.

“Napagaan ang buhay namin sa tulong ng Pantawid. Sa pag-aaral ng mga anak ko lalo na pagdating sa mga bayarin sa paaralan, mga kagamitan na kailangan nila na minsan ko lang sila nabibilhan noon,” shared a very happy Mang Tito. He also said that now, they can buy viands of pork and chicken.

Mang Tito is truly a father his children can be proud of. Being a mother and a father at the same time is not easy, but surely is rewarding, especially when you do it for the ones you love — your children.

Mang Tito ended, “Lahat ay kinakaya ko para sa aking mga anak dahil sila ay mahal ko.”

                For Aling Grace and Mang Tito, poverty is but a word. It may strike fears and desperateness to others, it may kill someone’s hopes but it will not reign over a parent’s overflowing love for his children. ###By MICHELLE TURO, Municipal Link/Naguillian, Isabela

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FO2 conducts 1st quarter meeting on MCCT

mcct picIn photo: A representative of GreenMeadow Foundation Inc., one of the CSOs partner of DSWD in the implementation of MCCT, discusses about their accomplishments.

With the aim to review accomplishments, define issues and problems encountered in the implementation of Modified Conditional Cash Transfer, the DSWD Field Office 02 led by Director Violeta A. Cruz conducted its 1st quarterly meeting with the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) at Hotel Carmelita, Tuguegarao City on May 7, 2013.

Salient discussions were tackled during the meeting which highlighted on the 1st quarter accomplishment reports of the two partner CSOs in the implementation of MCCT namely the Green Meadow Development Foundation Inc. (GMDFI) and Pangkaunlaran Development Association Inc. (PDAI).

The two CSOs were represented by their Case Workers, Family Welfare Assistants, Psychologists, MCCT CSO team leader, Board of Trustees President and their MCCT Focal Person.

“Meetings like this are very essential to thresh out problems arising in the implementation of the program, and eventually find solutions to resolve such. This is also an avenue for us to further strengthen our ties with our partners,” said Sharlyn Altavano, the Focal Person of MCCT for Field Office o2.

Also, the two partner CSOs expressed their happiness to take part in the implementation of MCCT. They said that the program has sustained the existence and operations of their organization, aside from they are given the chance to transform live of other people and not just their regular clientele.

Presently, there are a total of 100 household beneficiaries for the DSWD-Run MCCT. For CSO-Run MCCT, there is a total of 1, 231 household beneficiaries: 763 for PDAI and 468 for GMDFI respectively.

Meanwhile, the conditions of the MCCT are similar with the Pantawid Pamilya like the attendance to Family Development Sessions, attendance to Alternat

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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...