Archive | news

How I Met Two Former Cave Dwellers Who Became Core Shelter Beneficiaries

Mylene Ramos (leftmost), her youngest child (middle) with a DSWD FO2 worker looks on during their time in the cave.


“The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least.” Unknown.

We were making our way back to Tuguegarao City from Manila one chilly night last October when our Officer-In-Charge informed us that we will be making a short stop in the Municipality of Cabarroguis, Quirino. I was ready to put my weary feet on my bed that night but duty called, so we made another stop before finally heading home.

It was about an hour past midnight when we traversed the rustic province of Quirino. It wasn’t all that dim that night but the lights weren’t as bright as it was in the city. We reached our destination, the place where we will be spending the night, at about two in the morning and after doing my normal night rituals, I fell asleep.

I woke up at six, not really enough to recharge my body but I felt fine. We ate fried fish and had some coffee and that was enough to get me going. I remember seeing how the clouds were ready to pour rain that day but luckily for us, it didn’t.

While I thought that reaching the town of Cabarroguis was the deepest we would go on the trip, I was mistaken when I realized that the festivities that we will be gracing was still a few knots away.

Our Officer-In-Charge informed me that the program we will be going to is a core shelter inauguration. The roads we took to get to the place were not yet paved, it was bumpy and I swear our driver might have needed to change tires after completing the trip that we had. But I was eager to see how the core shelter looked and how it could somehow enhance the lives of the people that these houses were given to.

The Arrival

I saw a large smoke as we reached the area and I thought someone might have burned something unnecessarily but I was glad to know that the community in the area were just preparing lunch for the festivities. First thing I did after getting out of the vehicle was to take pictures, first of the core shelter houses, second was the people there and third, the view of the mountains behind the houses. The view was breathtaking indeed. I didn’t know how such a nice place can hide in a little-known place for so long. I might not have been the first to take pictures there but I’m sure glad I took one.

While I was roaming around the community, passing time while waiting for the program to start, I happened upon an unsuspecting couple who were gladly talking to our officer-in-charge. My curious side wanted to get near to get to hear the conversation so of course I did.

The couple were both warm when talking but they were also guarded, given that we were strangers to them. They were talking about how happy they were that they can finally have a dwelling place strong enough to take rains and typhoons. Their youngest child was busy clutching her mother’s left leg while we were talking to them.

Michael and Mylene Ramos as I saw at that time, weren’t different from my previous encounters with beneficiaries of the different programs and services of the agency. They were poor yes but through the assistance that they were getting and also their hard work and dedication, they were finally getting themselves out of the clutches of poverty. Little did I know that there was more to them than meets the eye.

Mr. and Mrs. Ramos have four children ages 18, 16, 10 and six. Michael does fishing and Mylene, corn farming. They said that on good days they would gain about P200. Good enough, they said, to buy their necessities on a daily basis. Again, these information weren’t unusual for remote rural dwelllers.

Time in the Cave

What really got me was when they talked about the time they spent living in a cave near the core shelter area years ago. Mylene said they were forced to vacate their former dwelling place after a storm battered their house to the point where it was uninhabitable anymore. Fearing for their safety as a family, they decided to leave their house and run to a nearby cave.

They brought nothing but themselves. After the storm passed, the couple went back to their wrecked house to see what they can salvage. They got a few wet clothes and a few cooking utensils. Michael said it wasn’t much but it was more than enough. He said the fact that they weren’t hurt was way more important than saving as many house tools as possible.

They started almost from scratch. Michael said doing his job was harder given that he had to walk farther than usual to go fishing. Mylene also had a hard time cooking as woods were scarce in the cave. They also had to deal with making sure their children are taken cared of especially since they had a toddler at the time.

They lost their house and almost all that were in it but what wasn’t lost was their determination to push through, start over and build themselves back up again. They slowly learned to adapt to the place they were staying. They said the nights were lonely because they had no lights, it was cold and they had to deal with the fact that serpents can come and harm them. Couple those with the fact that their children were growing and staying in a cave wasn’t really ideal to their development.

Luckily, the couple were chosen as Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries. They said the help they have been constantly getting has been really helpful and that they were able to stay afloat because of it. Through all of their troubles, they were able to send their children to school because they were determined to make the lives of their children better than theirs.

The family stayed in the cave for three years. An eternity for others, even for the less fortunate ones. But help would come in the form of them becoming core shelter beneficiaries. The couple said that the day they were informed that they would be provided a new home, a real home that is, was one of the best days of their lives. The family didn’t really desire for it to happen, they were happy with what they had, but they were nonetheless thrilled to accept the new house. They thought about their children, not necessarily themselves. Giving their children a decent place to stay in was what they were aiming for.

Fast forward to today and the family is in a better place. I was surprised to hear that the couple said they wouldn’t change anything that happened to them. They said the experiences they had in the cave can’t really be replaced by anything else. However hard and unpleasant it might have been, there really is beauty in the struggle.

The Departure

So I took photos of the houses, of the families, of the program, even the pets roaming around the place. We were there for about two hours but it seemed like it went by faster. Suddenly I didn’t want to leave the place. We had to, of course.

I never wanted to leave them. It felt as though I had more to ask them.

My father died a couple of days after our visit in Quirino. Tragedy can really change your perspective on life. Departing Quirino wasn’t the only sad thing to occur to me, my father departing was even more painful. I didn’t know how to go on, I still don’t after how many months. He has been there, at least the fact that he was alive, for my whole life and now he isn’t anymore. But I always go back to my visit to Quirino and meeting the Ramos Family and I realize that we are more than capable of withstanding tragedies than we’ll ever know. They were determined and they survived. They were strong. Maybe I am too.

“There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn, people we can’t live without but have to let go.” Nancy Stephan ### By: Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, OIC-Regional Information Officer

Posted in featured, newsComments (0)

SICAT Confers Graduate Certificates to 145 SLP Skills Training Participants

OIC Lucia S. Alan, SICAT Superintendent Perla V. Lucas (in green), SLP Isabela Provincial Coordinator Maricel Balisi (fourth from right) with graduates.

With the theme “Akmang Kasanayan at Kaalaman Tungo sa Magandang Kinabukasan”, the DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) in partnership with Sourthern Isabela College of Arts and Trades (SICAT) led the conferment rites of SLP Skills Training program participants last February 26, 2018 at Santiago City, Isabela.

The partnership was set to capacitate the 145 program participants from ten municipalities of the province of Isabela to ensure higher productivity and employability on chosen livelihood endeavor.

Program participants proceeded with NC II qualifications including Shielded Metal Arc Welding, Front Officer Services, Bread and Pastry Production, Beauty Care, Galing Masahista, Tailoring, Dressmaking, Electronic Products Asembly and Servicing, RAC Servicing, Computer Systems Servicing, Electrical Installation and Maintenance, Driving and Automotive Servicing NC I.

The participants were also given starter kits that correspond to their qualifications.

The ceremony was graced by the presence of Officer-In-Charge Lucia S. Alan, Provincial Coordinator Maricel T. Balisi, Vocational School Superintendent Perla V. Lucas, Vocational Instruction Supervisor Engr. Dominador D. Dizon, San Mateo MSWDO Emily Carino, SLP Field Project Development Officers and SICAT Faculty.

In her remarks, Guest Speaker DSWD Field Office Officer-In-Charge, Lucia S. Alan challenged the program participants to realize the technical and theoretical skills gained on the learning opportunity. She further emphasized the significance of the proper utilization of the awarded starter kits for their micro-enterpise.

“Tandaan natin, kayo ang bida ng inyong buhay, ang DSWD, TESDA, SICAT at iba pang ahensiya ng gobyerno ay pawang mga “extra” lamang na nagbibigay ng tulong at gabay sainyo”, Ms. Alan said. ### By: Melisen Taquiqui, SLP Social Marketing Officer with a report from: Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, OIC-Regional Information Officer

Posted in featured, newsComments (0)

DSWD FO2 Holds Adoption Consciousness Month Celebration

ARRS Focal Person Rosario Corpuz (middle) and ARRS staff May Asuncion (right) during their appearance in the Tipon-Tipan sa PIA on February 9, 2018.

The Adoption and Resource Referral Section (ARRS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (DSWD FO2) will hold a series of activities in line with the Adoption Consciousness Month Celebration this February.

The celebration with the theme “Pagmamahal Palaganapin, Legal na Pag-aampon Ating Gawin!” aims to promote legal adoption as a manifestation of unconditional love and care to abandoned, neglected and surrendered children and urges families with children entrusted to them to legalize their adoptions.

The first in the set of activities lined up was an appearance by ARRS Focal Person Ms. Rosario Corpuz and Ms. May Asuncion along with Atty. Noel Mora, member of DSWD FO2’s Regional Child Welfare Specialist Group (RCWSG) in the Tipon-Tipan sa PIA program last February 9, 2018.

In the said program, Ms. Corpuz urged the importance of legal adoption and foster care to nurture a safe environment where children can heal and thrive.

Atty. Mora added that legal adoption is “free, absolute, voluntary and unconditional” to encourage families to follow the process of legal adoption.

A roundtable discussion with representatives from the Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Health (DOH) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) will be held on February 14, 2018 at DSWD FO2 to seek support of the agencies in the promotion of legal adoption.

A simultaneous hanging of streamers with the theme of the celebration will also be held on the same day as well as the launching of adoption help desks in SM City Cauayan and SM Center Tuguegarao Downtown on February 14-15, 2018.

The culminating activity of the Adoption Consciousness Month Celebration will be a fun run to be held on March 3, 2018. ### By: Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, OIC-Regional Information Officer

Posted in featured, newsComments (0)

DSWD FO2 Leads Approval of Cagayan Valley Regional Disaster Response Plan

With the aim of improving efficiency in the delivery of services during disaster response situations, the Cagayan Valley Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CVRDRRMC) steered the approval of the first Cagayan Valley Regional Disaster Response Plan (CVRDRP) on February 2, 2018 at Hotel Carmelita, Tuguegarao City.

The CVRDRP, which was operationalized as a result of the creation of the National Disaster Response Plan (NDRP), is an operational plan that offers well-designed concepts and procedures for all the agencies and networks throughout the region to follow in disaster risk reduction and management.

The CVRDRP has designs that cover three activity phases namely: Pre-Disaster, During Disaster and Post Disaster which enhances the recovery and rehabilitation of affected constituents and improves the effectiveness of agencies that are mandated by the plan to serve affected constituents.

Under the said plan, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (DSWD FO2) is tasked with the protection of Internally Displaced Population (IDP), Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) and the management of Food and Non-Food Items (FNFI).

Officer-In-Charge, Ms. Lucia S. Alan, represented the office in the signing of the CVRDRP with the concurrence of regional directors and heads from other regional agencies.

Mr. Franco G. Lopez, Social Welfare Officer IV, OIC-Head of DSWD FO2’s Protective Services Unit and overall head of the agency’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Unit, said that the approval of the CVRDRP is another step towards making Cagayan Valley more resilient in dealing with disasters and other natural calamities.

Region 2 people are resilient when it comes to preparedness and even with the effects of disasters, they can immediately (recover) because of their (resilient) attitude and with this plan, we will be able to achieve our goal of zero casualty during disaster situations,” Mr. Lopez added.

Mr. Lopez added that the approval of the plan would not cost additional administrative cost to the agencies involved when doing disaster operations and would in fact lessen overall expenses because the said plan focuses on eliminating duplication of function across agencies and other institutions.

The CVRDRP corresponds with “The Practical Guide for National Crisis Managers” and “The National Crisis Management Core Manual” authorized by Executive Order No. 82 of 2012 issued on September 04, 2012 which confers ideas and rules for national crisis management. ### By: Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, OIC-Regional Information Officer

Posted in featured, newsComments (0)

447 SLP Skills Training Participants conferred Graduation Certificates


OIC Lucia S. Alan, leftmost, speaks during the conferment of certificates last February 01, 2018 in Isabela School of Arts and Trades in Ilagan City, Isabela.

The Isabela School of Arts and Trades (ISAT) in Ilagan City, Isabela awarded certificate of completion to 447 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries under DSWD FO2’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) last February 01, 2018.

The graduates, who come from 16 municipalities across 3 districts in the Province of Isabela, were presented with their certificates for different competencies by the Officer-In-Charge of DSWD FO2, Ms. Lucia S. Alan, along with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Region II Regional Director, Dante J. Navarro, TESDA Isabela Provincial Director, Romeo O. Talosig, ISAT Vocational School Superintendent, Igmedio S. Casticon and SLP Isabela Provincial Coordinator, Ms. Maricel Balisi.

“It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul,” Ms. Alan said in quoting William Ernest Henley to challenge the graduates to use what they have learned in school to better their lives and uplift themselves out of poverty.

All the 447 graduates of the said school were also conferred the National Certificate (NC II) by the TESDA which makes them eligible to work for positions that fit their skills.

“You… have been instrumental in molding us to become globally competitive through proper skills training and development,” Melo Jane L. Somera, one of the graduates said of the agency and the school in her speech during the conferment rites.

Ms. Maricel Balisi said that most of the participants who were conferred with certificates have already started working and the awarding serves as a culmination of their journey towards being eligible to work in areas where their skills can be used.

Ms. Balisi added that the trainings conducted by the program enhances the “employability and profitability” of the participants as they are capacitated with skills that can be used for livelihood purposes.

The program was also used to distribute tool kits which the participants can use for their livelihood endeavors. ### By: Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, OIC-Regional Information Officer




Posted in featured, newsComments (0)

DSWD reaches out to poor communities, conducts info drive

Committed to its goal of providing “Maagapu at Mapagkalingang Serbisyo,” the   Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 conducts information caravans (Caravan) at the grassroots level highlighting its programs and services.

The first in the series of three caravans was held simultaneously with this year’s observance of the Indigenous Peoples Month in Basao, Gattaran, Cagayan on November 21, 2017 with the Indigenous Peoples actively participated.

Joining the Department were representatives of Department of Health, PhilHealth and Department of Agriculture who presented their programs and services for indigent sectors, consultation and provided  free services and products such as free seedlings from the Department of Agriculture.

Among the featured programs during the Caravan were the Protective Services Programs, Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens and Centenarian Act of 2016.

The same Caravan was held in Lagum, Peńablanca, Cagayan and Baligatan, City of Ilagan, Isabela on November 23 and December 13, 2017, respectively.

“We appreciate this information drive going as far as remote areas to educate the residents on the different programs and services of DSWD, how to avail them and bringing partner agencies that also provided their services,” said Ms. Excelsis de Leon, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer (MSWDO) of Peńablanca, Cagayan. ### By: Gela Flor R. Perez, Regional Information Officer II



Posted in newsComments (0)

80 na Parent Leader ng Pantawid Pamilya sa Rehiyon, Sumailalim sa Pagsasanay

Tuguegarao City – Walumpung Parent Leaders (PLs) ng programang Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (Pantawid) ang sumailalim sa pagsasanay sa Crown Pavilion ng lungsod ng Tuguegarao sa dalawang magkahiwalay na iskedyul ng Agosto 9-11 at Agosto 14-16.

Ang mga kasapi sa pagsasanay ay mga Parent Leaders na galing pa sa iba’t-ibang munisipyo ng apat na probinsiyang sakop ng programang Pantawid sa rehiyon.

Pinamagatang “Capability-Building for Parent Leaders” ang para sa mga unang lebel o nagsisimula pa lamang na mga PLs ang unang session. Tinalakay dito ang mga kaalaman at mga pagbabagong napapaloob sa programa ng Pantawid, ang mga responsibilidad ng isang parent leader at ang iba’t ibang pamamaraan ng pakikipagkomunikasyon.

“Skills Enhancement Training for Parent Leaders as Program Advocates” naman ang pamagat sa mga nasa pangalawang lebel na mga PLs. Tinatalakay rito ang mga istratehiya ng pagiging isang epektibong lider at ang pagkakaroon ng adbokasiya sa pagpapaunlad ng programa.

Ayon sa mensahe ni Assistant Regional Director for Operations, Lucia S. Alan, “Sa pamamagitan ng pagsasanay na ito, nais naming iparating ang pagkilala ng ahensiya sa anking kagalingan at katalinuhan ninyong mga parent leader at ang pag-asang kayo ang magiging katuwang namin sa adbokasiya ng programa.”

Posted in newsComments (0)

88 LGUs get Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance

Dir. Ching Condoy (center, handing the Certificate of Recognition) joined by other representatives of the member agencies of the Regional Sub-Committee on Welfare of Children (RSCWC) during the awarding ceremony.

The Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children – Region 02 (RSCWC) conferred the 2016 Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance (SCFLG) award to 88 local government units (LGUs) in Cagayan Valley to recognize their commitment in creating and ensuring a child- friendly environment and governance.

Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (FO2) Director Ponciana P. Condoy handed over the certificates of recognition and seals to the local chief executives and representatives of LGU awardees during the Regional Awarding Ceremony held on July 24, 2017 in Tuguegarao City. Dir. Condoy is joined by the members of the RSCWC during the said awarding ceremony.

The sixteen (16) Most Eligible LGU’s for SCFLG for 3 consecutive years and four (4) 2015 Presidential SCFLG awardees were presented with plaque of recognition.

The 16 most eligible LGUs for 3 consecutive years are as follows: Itbayat, Batanes; for the Province of Cagayan: Sta.Teresita, Alcala,Buguey,Penablanca; for Province of Isabela: Alicia, San Guillermo, Sta. Maria, Burgos, Jones and San Mateo; for the Province of Nueva Vizcaya: Bagabag and Ambaguio, and for the Province of Quirino: Aglipay and Nagtipunan.

The 2015 Presidential SCFLG awardees are Santiago City, Independent Componet City and  Ilagan City, Component City, while the shortlisted municipalities for the 2015 Presidential Awarding Ceremony are Mahatao, Batanes and Roxas, Isabeal.                                                                    

The Child-Friendly Philippines framework promotes child-friendly local governance wherein local government units (LGUs) give priority to children in their planning, budgeting, legislation and delivery of services and is able to assure that all children enjoy their rights classified as survival, development, protection and participation. One of the strategies developed to achieve a Child-Friendly Philippines is the Seal of Child Friendly Local Governance (SCFLG) which is a recognition system for LGUs that deliver positive results for children’s well being.

The Seal of Child Friendly Local Governance is complemented by the Department of the Interior and Local Government Memorandum Circular (DILG MC) 2014-80 issued on July 7, 2014 endorsing the Child Friendly Local Governance Audit (CFLGA) to all Provincial Governors, City and Municipal Mayors, the ARMM Regional Governor, DILG Regional Directors, and other concerned parties. Likewise, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Education (DepEd) issued Administrative Order No. 03 s. of 2014 and Memorandum No. 97 s. of 2014, respectively, for the designation of representatives to the Child Friendly Local Governance Audit Team otherwise called the Interagency Monitoring Task Force (IMTF).

LGUs that will pass the CFLGA will be conferred the Seal of Child Friendly Local Governance by the CWC.

Other highlights of the awarding ceremony were the recognition of the Child Labor-Free Establishment in the region by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the signing of the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1 on the Implementation of “Help me Converge Program to Address Child Labor” by all members of the RSCWC. ### By: Gela Flor R. Perez, Regional Information Officer II

Posted in newsComments (0)



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...