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DSWD says No to Epal and Yes to Empowering Pantawid Pamilya Beneficiaries

No EpalNo more threats. No more EPAL.

 These are the main thrusts of Bawal Ang Epal Dito Campaign of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to be launched from January to May 2013 to protect the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, from undue politicking and interventions that may affect the program’s integrity.

 Bawal Ang Epal Dito confronts the issues of external pressures and eliminates the misconception of the beneficiaries about the control of politicians or parties over Pantawid Pamilya. More importantly, it seeks to empower the beneficiaries to know their rights and to be vigilant of individuals and/or groups who plan to use the program to push for their personal agenda.

 With the upcoming 2013 elections, politicians are out to use the program to gain leverage. Through the Department’s Grievance Redress System, beneficiaries continuously gave feedback that politicians are allegedly claiming to have the authority to enlist and delist them from the program.

 “Walang karapatan ang kahit sino na mag-alis ng pangalan. Ang may karapatan lang ay ang DSWD Regional Office at National Office,” [No one has the right to delist a beneficiary. Only the DSWD Regional and National Office are authorized] DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said. “DSWD lang ang may karapatang tanggalin ang benepisyaryo sa Pantawid kung hindi siya susunod sa mga itinakdang kondisyon,” [Only DSWD has the right to delist a beneficiary if s/he will not comply with the conditionalities] Sec. Soliman emphasized.

 The campaign aims to empower the public, especially the beneficiaries, by increasing their knowledge about the program mechanics and the selection and removal of households. Bawal Ang Epal Dito campaign aims to protect the households from baseless threats of removal from the program if they will not support political entities in the upcoming elections.

The Pantawid Pamilya is a human development program of the national government. It is also a social protection strategy that invests in the health and education of poor children age 0-14 years old. It is widely known as the Philippine conditional cash transfer program. As of January 9, 2013, the program has 3,843,502 household beneficiaries and operates in 1,605 cities and municipalities in 79 provinces in all 17 regions nationwide.

 In region 02, the program has a total of 92, 628 households beneficiaries from the provinces of Cagayan with 30, 467; Isabela with 44, 030; Quirino with 6, 547 and Nueva Vizcaya with 11, 548 household beneficiaries respectively. ### (Social Marketing Unit)

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DSWD installs new Director for Filed Office 02

new director—Witnessed by Assistant Secretary Javier R. Jimenez, Director of National Government Agencies (NGAs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Provincial/Municipal/City Social Welfare and Development Officers, media and DSWD staff, Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 conducted an installation program and turn-over ceremonies for the new Regional Director of Field Office 02 held at Crown Pavilion, Tuguegarao City last March 22, 2013.

Director Violeta A. Cruz is the former Regional Director of Field Office IV-B (MIMAROPA) who will now assume the responsibility of the outgoing Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia, who now also leads DSWD Field Office V.

Meanwhile, Assistant Regional Director Ponciana P. Condoy presented the accomplishments of the past years, briefed the new director on the Regional Situationer and also presented the directions for the field office for CY 2013.

Director Cruz was overwhelmed and said that it is indeed a big challenge for her as the new director to keep and continue leading the Region moving forward.

“Without a second thought, I will accept the challenge of leading this region. With the change of leadership, I will continue what Director Garcia did and will introduce new strategies to further the goals of the Region in the long run. But of course, I cannot do it alone without the support and full cooperation of the Field Office staff,” Director Cruz said during her acceptance speech.

Director Cruz added that with the support of the local government units, partner agencies and civil society organizations, DSWD Field Office 02 can surpass the challenges along the way that will confront the region.

“With all our converged efforts and unselfish commitment to deliver social services with integrity, I believe that we can do it and excel even higher in the coming years to attain the DSWD’s vision, mission and goals,” Director Cruz added. ### By Angely M. Lubo-Mercado, DSWD Regional Information Officer

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DSWD allocates 10M budget nationwide for anti-EPAL campaign

No EpalDue to the reports that there are politicians who use Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program for their personal advantage in the upcoming May 2013 election, the Department of Social Welfare and Development will launch its nationwide movement dubbed as the “anti-epal” campaign.

The “anti-epal campaign” will use of different mediums to empower beneficiaries of their rights, so that they will not be easily threatened by politicians who claim that they can delist names if they will not vote for them.

The campaign will also intensify the knowledge of the beneficiaries that only the DSWD National and Regional Office have the right to delist beneficiaries especially if they have low compliance with the conditionalities of the programs.

The P10.5 million budget will cover personnel services, maintenance and other operating expenses and capital outlay. The fund came from the DSWD’s social marketing service (SMS), a unit that helps in the development of the department’s various programs.

Presently, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, which DSWD implements, provides cash grants to more than 3 million poor beneficiaries. Enrolled families get a monthly cash grant of P500 to cover healthcare costs while each child below 14 gets P300 for education.

The “anti-epal campaign” is part of the advocacy of the DSWD to ensure that the beneficiaries know they are in the program because they are qualified beneficiaries as identified by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR).

Consequently, any DSWD staff is apprehended from being involved in any activity of a political group or figure. Anyone who will be complained will be immediately suspended even before the investigation starts. ### Social Marketing Unit, DSWD Field Office 02

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The ML Diaries

Considering the numerous task a Municipal Link is expected to accomplish, it may in a way be difficult to find time to think and reflect on the activities he/she had done at the end of the day. Most often than enough, he/she would face and focus on another task after finishing one.

However, this time, I reflected much and would like to share this experience I had during one of my home visit in the area. This experience might only be simple for some, but may also be a “wow” to others. But for me, it is definitely a “wow”!

I am a nurse by profession. During my college years, I am also well exposed to community duty so I am not new to the home visit and spot check activity. However, what make this experience one of a kind for me is because it is one of the most extreme of its kind. I cannot imagine myself walking and climbing up mountains, hiking for almost four hours in a “tree-less” mountain, under the burning heat of the sun. I termed this travel: “Way to heaven”. Why do I say so? Because as if I have reached the sky since the place is the highest peak in the barangay and one of the highest peak in the municipality. It is Sitio Pamungyen.

I have never gotten into this kind of place- only through my readings. The average hiking hours is 3 and ½ and due to the steep slope, there is no available means of transportation by land. I have found out that there are 45 households living in the place – majority is full blooded Ifugao- lives in the place. However, there were only 18 households registered in the Pantawid Program. The Sitio is located in Barangay Campamento, Diffun, Quirino.

I have observed the living condition, economic situation and health practices of the people. All of them get their supply of drinking water in the spring which they call “ubbug’. They also do “nganga” and an open pit serves as their toilet facility. They have rich supply of grains, root crops, vegetables and citrus fruits.

I felt the difficulty of people living in the place. The health facilities are very far from them and for them to avail services such as vaccine and check up; they still need to go down in the mainland. The only school in the area provides education only from day care to Grade 4. This means that children would be required to stay in a boarding house in the mainland should they want to continue their studies. There is absence of electricity in the area. I cannot imagine myself living in such place. I even thought of going back since as if the way going to the place is endless. However, the feeling of tiredness was erased when I saw and felt the happy faces and words of gratitude of the people. They were very grateful and appreciative because the government remembers them, finds time, and gives effort to visit them.

As a social case worker, I felt how lucky I am and yet too materialistic and sometimes even unsatisfied of my life. I believe this may also be applicable to others, especially those who live in the urbanized areas? Hence, with this observed situation, I would like to give them priority when they attend meetings, check up or pay out since they still have go down from the mountain at dawn and should be back before dusk since it is dangerous.

Moreover, this experience helped me to appreciate more my role as a municipal link and a case manager. What I have learned from this encounter made an impact for me to perform better in the field. I may not be able to determine how far will I go with regards the work and position I have now, but definitely, I will be, at my very best, to be an advocate for the unheard voices.

By ARVIN LONGCOP, Municipal Link, Diffun, Quirino

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They Said…

We are all aware that health is the most essential item that a human must always consider. To improve and to maintain the quality of health among families is one of the major entreaties. Immunizations or vaccines, medications these are just one of the point those are accessible in a health facilities. Nowadays, these are essential and appropriate to ensure the health of each member of the family. Nonetheless, there are some individual who does not appreciate the magnitude of these advanced sciences.

I love my daughter so much. She is my only child and I will do everything for her to be safe and healthy, away from harm and from pain. I am Nilda, a mother of only one child and I admit that I am not equipped with enough knowledge with regards to parenting, I only learn from other mothers – to what they say and to what they believe. They said that immunizations or vaccines for my child would provide ailment or would make my child sick. That is why, I am so afraid to bring my child to our health center.

Manang Nilda was so anxious with regards to the side effects of the immunizations or vaccines for her child that she even won’t eavesdrop to the advice of their health care providers: Nurse and Midwife.

I never visited our health care center, I just stayed at our house taking good care of my child; playing, tickling, feeding her, and talking to her are what I always do, Manang Nilda added.

Suddenly, the program of Department of Social Welfare and Development came: Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) with its stipulations or conditions that they as beneficiaries must conform.

We are poor, I am a plain house wife, my husband’s earnings was not enough for my family especially for my child, she said. At first she was thinking that she doesn’t have other alternatives but to abide by the stipulations of the program in order to have assistance from the said agency.

Ever since, I always bring my child to our health center for her immunizations or vaccinations.

There was a time when she got sick thinking that it was because of the side effect of the immunizations that would lead to complications just like the other mothers told to me before. I was terrified for the health condition of my child however, the health care provider educate me that it is only a NORMAL SIDE EFFECT of the immunization given to my child. They assisted me with regards to the things that I must perform, educated me or augmented my comprehension with regards to the interventions that I must perform.

Now, because of the stipulations of the program, I thought they are compelling or forcing us to track what they want to achieve but at the end of the day I was able to realize that they just want us to learn things that would help us establish and maintain a life that is sufficient for me and my family through autonomy.

By MAC PAUL VERZOLA ALARIAO, Municipal Link, Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya

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ARE YOU A SOLO PARENT?…You Can Apply For A Solo Parent Id Card

DSWD encourages solo parents to apply for a solo parent ID card to avail of their benefits.

DSWD encourages solo parents to apply for a solo parent ID card to avail of their benefits.

RA 8972 or the Solo Parent’s Welfare Act of 2000 provides for a comprehensive program of services for solo parents and their children to be carried out by concerned agencies led by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and non-government organizations.

As the lead agency monitoring the implementation of the law, the DSWD encourages Local Government Units (LGUs) to fully implement the provisions of the law to respond to the emerging needs of solo parents and their children. The LGU’s are the frontliners in providing services for solo parents and their children.

The DSWD also conducts the research necessary to develop a new body of knowledge on solo parents; define executive and legislative measures needed to promote and protect the interest of solo parents and their children; and assess the effectiveness of designed programs.

To avail of the programs and services provided by the LGUs and different concerned agencies, solo parents must first apply for a solo parent identification card (SP ID) at the local City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (C/MSWDO) where they reside.

Who is considered as a “solo parent”?

A “solo parent” (pursuant to Republic Act No. 8972, also known as the “Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2000″) is any individual who falls under any of the following categories:

(1) A woman who gives birth as a result of rape and other crimes against chastity even without a final conviction of the offender: Provided, That the mother keeps and raises the child;

(2) Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to death of spouse;

(3) Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood while the spouse is detained or is serving sentence for a criminal conviction for at least one (1) year;

(4) Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to physical and/or mental incapacity of spouse as certified by a public medical practitioner;

(5) Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to legal separation or de facto separation from spouse for at least one (1) year, as long as he/she is entrusted with the custody of the children;

(6) Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage as decreed by a court or by a church as long as he/she is entrusted with the custody of the children;

(7) Parent left solo or alone with the responsibility of parenthood due to abandonment of spouse for at least one (1) year;

(8) Unmarried mother/father who has preferred to keep and rear her/his child/children instead of having others care for them or give them up to a welfare institution;

(9) Any other person who solely provides parental care and support to a child or children;

(10) Any family member who assumes the responsibility of head of family as a result of the death, abandonment, disappearance or prolonged absence of the parents or solo parent.

A change in the status or circumstance of the parent claiming benefits under Republic Act No. 8972, such that he/she is no longer left alone with the responsibility of parenthood, shall terminate his/her eligibility for these benefits.

Who are considered as “children”?

“Children” refer to those living with and dependent upon the solo parent for support who are unmarried, unemployed and not more than eighteen (18) years of age, or even over eighteen (18) years but are incapable of self-support because of mental and/or physical defect/disability.

What is “parental responsibility”?

With respect to minor children, it refers to the rights and duties of the parents as defined in Article 220 of Executive Order No. 209 (also known as the “Family Code of the Philippines“). Article 220 provides that the parents and those exercising parental authority shall have, with the respect to their unemancipated children on wards, the following rights and duties:

(1) To keep them in their company, to support, educate and instruct them by right precept and good example, and to provide for their upbringing in keeping with their means;

(2) To give them love and affection, advice and counsel, companionship and understanding;

(3) To provide them with moral and spiritual guidance, inculcate in them honesty, integrity, self-discipline, self-reliance, industry and thrift, stimulate their interest in civic affairs, and inspire in them compliance with the duties of citizenship;

(4) To furnish them with good and wholesome educational materials, supervise their activities, recreation and association with others, protect them from bad company, and prevent them from acquiring habits detrimental to their health, studies and morals;

(5) To represent them in all matters affecting their interests;

(6) To demand from them respect and obedience;

(7) To impose discipline on them as may be required under the circumstances; and

(8) To perform such other duties as are imposed by law upon parents and guardians.

What are the employment-related benefits available to ALL “solo parents”?

Flexible work schedule. This refers to the right of a solo parent employee to vary his/her arrival and departure time without affecting the core work hours as defined by the employer. The employer shall provide for a flexible working schedule for solo parents, as long as it shall not affect individual and company productivity. In case of certain meritorious grounds, the employer may request exemption from DOLE.

No work discrimination. Employer are prohibited from discriminating against any solo parent employee with respect to terms and conditions of employment on account of his/her status.

Parental leave. “Parental leave” means leave benefits granted to a solo parent to enable him/her to perform parental duties and responsibilities where physical presence is required. In addition to leave privileges under existing laws, parental leave of not more than seven (7) working days every year shall be granted to any solo parent employee who has rendered service of at least one (1) year.

What other benefits are available to “solo parents”?

Subject to income thresholds (“poverty threshold”) set by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and subject to the assessment of the DSWD worker in the area, “solo parents” shall be entitled to the following:

Educational benefits, including scholarship programs for qualified solo parents and their children in institutions of basic, tertiary and technical/skills education, and nonformal education programs appropriate for solo parents and their children.

Housing benefits, including allocation in government low-cost housing projects, with liberal terms of payment.

Medical assistance, with comprehensive health care programs for solo parents and their children to be implemented by the DOH through their retained hospitals and medical centers and the local government units (LGUs) through their provincial/district/city/municipal hospitals and rural health units (RHUs).

How to apply for a Solo Parent ID

1. The solo parent-applicants shall bring the ff.:

  • Barangay certification certifying Solo Parent’s residency in the barangay for the last six months
  • Affidavit of circumstance stating the reason for becoming a solo parent (Note: Some LGUs may require only basic documents hence it is advisable to call the C/MSWDO first to check the required documents).
  • Certificates e.g., birth certificates of children, death certificate of spouse and other appropriate documentary support
  • Income tax return or any document that will establish the income level of the solo parent

2. The social worker receives and ensures that all documents are complete and registers the applications with an appropriate case number in the log-book Registry of Solo Parents.

  1. 3. The SP ID shall bear the following information:
  • ID number, name, date of birth, sex, address and income
  • Income Classification A and B e.g., A for above poverty line and B below poverty line
  • Names of the family members, their dates of birth and relationship with the bearer
  • For revalidation purposes, the ID shall indicate specific years and space for signatures/initials of the validating officer
  • Size of the SP ID should not be more than 2 x 3.5 inches.


  1. 4. The SP IDs shall be issued 30 days after filing of applications.


5  5. The SP ID card is valid for one year and renewable every year, subject to reassessment and re-evaluation by the social worker. In some instances, some LGUs indicate a three (3) year period, which will be signed/initialled by the social worker when revalidated.


6. 6. The C/MSWDO shall be responsible in the printing of the SP IDs. Proper control on the issuance of such shall be undertaken by C/MSWDO. If SP IDs are not immediately available for issuance after intake/assessment interview, the social worker shall issue a certificate of eligibility.


  1. 7. SP IDs shall be surrendered to the C/MSWDO when the solo parents transfer residence in another area. As transferees from another barangay, the solo parents shall secure a certification from the new barangay attesting whether or not they have already availed of SP services.


  1. 8. The availment of the seven days parental leave, in addition to the regular leave privileges provided by government agencies and private corporations is the right of every qualified solo parent. Solo parents may directly apply for parental leave with their employers, provided a valid SP ID is presented.


For more information, please visit your Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office in your locality. Solo parents may also post their queries on DSWD DOS or email at or cal (078) 846-7043. ###

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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...