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A tailor’s masterwork starts with pieces of fabric which harmoniously interacts with needles and threads. It is a form of art that narrates how an ordinary piece of cloth transforms to various patterns and designs with each detail speaking intricacy, ingenuity and passion. More than these, it unfolds the way of life behind these creations.

Every rhythm of the sewing machine resonates the untiring steps behind the pedals. Rolls of thread, countless needles and yards of fabric are the first and the last to be touched by these meticulous hands. These hands and feet pay no attention to the twinge and numbing effect of the sewing process.

The mothers are locals from the municipality of San Pablo, Isabela. A third-class municipality situated in the boundary of the Provinces of Isabela and Cagayan. The community relies on agriculture as its primary economic activity producing rice and corn as its main commodities. Most of the mothers were plain housewives and accepted laundry service for a living. Some were long-time farm laborers of privately-owned lands earning P150.00 a day. Others rely on the income of their husbands on whatever side line jobs available in the area. The long period of waiting for harvest season were perhaps the longest days before they can serve a decent meal on their tables.

In 2016, the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) opened opportunities for the generation of alternative income. Through a partnership with the Isabela School of Arts and Trades (ISAT)-TESDA, skills training on various qualifications were made available for SLP participants. The nine mothers namely, Daisy Maltu, Damiana Asino, Brigida Dabo, Merlina Melchora, Rosemarie Fernandez, Gina Jose, Teresa Baquiran, Venus Palete and Jhovielyn Allauigan took the opportunity to gain life skills and underwent a 48-day Training on Dressmaking NC II. After the training, each received a unit of portable sewing machine and decided to establish a group enterprise under San Pablo Dressmakers SLP Association (SLPA). To further support the endeavour, SLP provided capital augmentation through Seed Capital Fund amounting to P120, 000.00.

The members were able to purchase heavy duty sewing machine, measuring tools, complete set of fabrics and other necessary materials for the project. Their sewing/ tailoring services accommodate the demands of their clients within San Pablo, nearby municipalities of Tumauini, Cabagan, Delfin Albano and adjacent municipalities of Cagayan. They gained expertise on producing quality ready-to-wear clothing, uniforms, gowns and costumes.

With their dedication to their craft, they gained regular clients particularly students and teachers from Cagayan State University, University of St. Louis Tuguegarao, Isabela State University, St. Paul Vocational Industrial High School, Simanu National High School and Delfin Albano National High School. Their market linkage expanded since the group was able to tap eight regular festival/events coordinators. They design and create costumes to be used for street dancing, drum and lyre and other festival competitions. The group earns an approximate weekly income of P5, 000.00 per contract apart from their individual average earning amounting to P300/day. On days were the demand is high, they earn as much as P25, 000.00 per contract.

Through their income the members were able to steadily provide the needs of their children; some acquired assets such as motorcycle, appliances and home improvement; while others ventured on individual projects such as animal domestication.

In the coming days, they plan to improve their production area as part of their expansion. As a way of giving back, they share their skills and transfer their learning to some mothers and younger generations in the community. The enterprise not only provided the group with a regular source of income but also shed hope for others.

Today, it is apparent that the project brought changes on their outlook in life. The mothers learned the value of maximizing their time and effort to improve their craft. They take pride on every piece of creation they sew out of passion. Their hearts are full when they see the delight on the eyes of their clients. More than the monetary gains, the compliments and appreciations became their driving force to do better. Their entire SLP journey made them realize that their pieces of dreams can be stitched in one tangible piece, as long as one is determined to embrace change. ### Written by: Melisen A. Taquiqui, SLP Social Marketing Officer

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Additional Augmentation Arrives in Batanes as DSWD Kick Starts its Early Recovery Measures

July 30, 2019 – As part of the field office’s augmentation and early recovery measures, two additional social workers are now in Itbayat, Batanes to conduct psychosocial intervention to affected individuals and families from the earthquake that struck the province of Batanes on Saturday, July 27.

Joining them is one project development officer (PDO) to assist in warehouse management and assessment of damaged houses.

To date, they join a three-staff field office team that has already extended burial assistance to three clients at P10,000.00 each and eight clients provided with food assistance in the amount of P35,000.00 for a total of P65,000.00. The team will extend additional financial assistance to others affected within the week.

The field office staff also assisted the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) of Batanes and the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) of Itbayat in the conduct of a thorough and quick validation of damaged houses.

The team has been given 9 days for the assessment of houses to be followed by a consolidated report that will be the basis for extending additional assistance through the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA)  program of the agency, as per commitment given by DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista during a cabinet meeting conducted in Batanes Airport last July 28.

The augmentation team also brings an additional P1,000,000.00 as replenishment to the Protective Services Fund to be used as additional financial aid in Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) office Batanes.

Meanwhile, two (2) trucks from the National Logistics and Resource Management Bureau (NLRMB) delivered 6,400 vacuum-packed rice and 60 pieces of folding beds while another truck from DSWD Region 1 brought 125 family tents and 400 boxes of sleeping kits to the field office on July 28 as additional augmentation.

1,000 family food packs (FFPs), 25 family tents, 60 folding beds and 400 sleeping kits will be ferried directly to Itbayat, Batanes from Port Irene in Sta. Ana, Cagayan through a Bureau of Fisheries (BFAR) vessel on Wednesday.

Regional Director Fernando R. De Villa, Jr. has also coordinated with the Philippine Coast Guard through Commodore Ed Fabricante for possible transportation of field office food stocks from Basco, Batanes to Itbayat.  The vessel is currently in Manila awaiting 100 tents, 400 sleeping kits and 10 rolls of laminated sacks from the NLRMB.

Affected families from San Rafael, Sta. Maria, Sta. Lucia and Sta. Rosa at still at the evacuation area in Itbayat’s town plaza for concerns over aftershocks.

As of last report, there are a total of 63 individuals injured, 9 casualties and 2 missing persons as per report coming from the Batanes Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO). ###

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Batanes Earthquake Victims Receive Assistance from the Field Office

July 28, 2019 – Five (5) individuals were given psychosocial and food assistance after being airlifted from Itbayat, Batanes yesterday by an air force plane to be taken to Batanes General Hospital (BGH) for immediate medical attention in the province’s capital, Basco.

The said interventions, given by social workers of the Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) Batanes, were meant to help the victims recover from the disaster they experienced.

The victims were also given financial assistance amounting to P5,000.00 each as part of the agency’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) as further aid.

DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista also convened with other cabinet members earlier today in Batanes Airport for a briefing with President Rodrigo R. Duterte to address the relief operations that are being conducted to address the aftermath of the earthquake.

SWAD Batanes Team Leader Amparo Tobias travelled by motorboat to Itbayat, Batanes at 10 AM today to closely work with Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) staff and the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) of Itbayat for immediate provision of DSWD support/assistance.

As of the 3 PM progress report of the field office, a total of 9 lives were claimed, 63 individuals injured, and 2 missing persons as per report coming from the Batanes Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO).

A total of 158 Family Food Packs (FFPs) were accommodated by the C130 flight going to Batanes today to augment the existing 200 FFPs prepositioned in Basco, Batanes to be delivered in Itbayat, Batanes. ###

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Field Office Starts Relief Operation for Batanes Earthquake Victims

July 27, 2019 – The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (DSWD FO2) through its Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) office in Batanes has started its response operations for those affected by the earthquake in the said province earlier today.

In a conference call with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and members of the Cagayan Valley Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CV-RDRRMC) at 10:00 AM today, the field office ensured partners of the readiness of the field office to respond to those affected by the earthquake.

SWAD Batanes is closely monitoring the progress of the situation with the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) and Municipal Social Welfare and Development Offices (MSWDOs) of the province for immediate processing of DSWD support and assistance.

The SWAD team has also been instructed to assist bereaved families and injured individuals through the provision of financial assistance through the field office’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS).

The field office has a total stockpile and standby funds amounting to P12,888,820.41 including a total of 29,132 Family Food Packs (FFPs).

There are already 432 bags of standby rice, 144 cases of sardines and 300 cases of corned beef ready for utilization in the province. An additional Protective Services Fund amounting to P700,000.00 is ready for utilization by SWAD Batanes to the affected families and individuals.

As of the latest report, there have been 8 casualties and 60 injured from the earthquake subject to validation and further confirmation. ###

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The shore is a silent witness of change. It sees the days where the vast sea radiates calmness. On some days, the shore catches the raging crash of the waves and the uneasiness of the rumbling waters as if a storm is about to pass. It also sees how the sea reflects the sky and displays the varying color palette. It is the everyday bystander that both feel a fisherman’s bliss after a bountiful catch or a fisherman’s gloom after going home empty-handed.

The shore has been the comfort abode of a young lad from Buguey, Cagayan. It was her playground, a place where she untiringly built her sand castles along with her dreams.  She grew up knowing what the shore and the sea can offer.

Life along the shore might seem steady for some but not for Ms. Melva C. Sebastian. Her childhood memories would entail long days with her parents going off to shore to make ends meet. On her second year in high school, she was forced to quit her studies due to financial constraints. Her parents could no longer afford to sustain her education since the priority was to ease their empty stomachs. That very moment gave her qualms for her future.

The long stretch of the shore resembles Melva’s long journey amidst poverty. In 2005, she built her own family and married Marcos Sebastian, a fisherman from the same town. Their union was blessed with two children. To sustain the needs of the family Melva worked as a house helper while her husband earned a percentage basis income in fishing. Only about four years into their marriage however, her fate was put to the test. Her husband suffered from a toxic goiter, an autoimmune disorder that halted him from working. Melva was left the burden to provide for their family without minding her own struggle as a differently abled person. Aside from being a house helper, she doubled her efforts and engaged in “makidusdos”, a local term for gathering native grabs along the mangrove forest and did side line job as a laborer in oyster culture farms. The condition of his husband worsened as he also started suffering from heart complications. She was consumed by guilt since she couldn’t consistently suffice the medication of her husband. The circumstances left her no choice but to enter into a cycle of debt.

Just like the shore that withstood the test of time, Melva typified a strong character that withstood whatever life may bring. In 2017, the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) shed light to a mother longing for an alternative source of income. It gave her the opportunity to be part of Sunrise SLP Association and received capital augmentation amounting to P15,000.00. She ventured in oyster culture/production as her former employer lent a portion of their fishpond. The capital was used for the purchase of raw materials for oyster culture such as spot collector/oyster hangs, bamboo, rope and the like. A portion of the fund was also use to purchase crab seeds for her secondary project.

She now gathers an average of about two kilos of oyster daily and earns an average income of P6, 000.00 per month. She directly delivers her produce to a private buyer, an oyster          sauce maker on her barangay. On one hand, she earns an average gross income of P3, 500.00 every production cycle on her crab venture. As part of her expansion, she started to assemble spot collector/oyster hangs where she earns an additional weekly income of P700.00-P1, 000.00. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) served as her regular client on her spot collector/oyster hangs and earns an average of P7,000.00 per order. The steady income supports the daily needs of her children and the medication of her husband which she previously struggled to provide. With a teary eye, she even mentions that she can now somehow pamper her children. She can occasionally treat them outside and buy them new clothes and toys. More than the material things, the delight from the faces of her children makes her sacrifices worthwhile. For her, the opportunity did not only provide her means to bring food on their table but also restore her faith for a better future.

Looking back on the days where the waters seemed indifferent against the shore, the best picture on those days were of Ms. Melva struggling to fight life’s adversities. Bringing the lessons from her past, she now faces life with so much hope and positivity. She is more than thankful for the changes that SLP brought for her family. In the near future she plans to put up her own oyster sauce processing as part of her diversification plan and will consistently find ways to improve her chosen endeavour. “Dakkel nga pagyamyamanak nga naikan nak iti SLP ti puhunan tapnu maadanan nak iti sariling nga negosyo, manipud idi malaganan nak met ten nga masustener iti agas ni mister ku (I am immensely grateful that SLP provided me with the initial capital to start my own business, since then I can now sustain the medication of my husband),” Ms. Melva said. Written by: Melisen A. Taquiqui, SLP Social Marketing Officer

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Field Office Starts Payout for Social Pension Beneficiaries

June 26, 2019 – With the validation of Social Pension Program beneficiaries close to completion, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office 02 will be commencing with the payout of 6,001 validated beneficiaries from Tuguegarao City tomorrow, June 27, 2019.

Of the 49 barangays of the city, 31 will be catered tomorrow while the remaining 18 will be catered on June 28, Friday.

The said payout will be for the first and second quarter assistance of the beneficiaries with each beneficiary getting P500 per month for a total of P3,000 for the first semester of the year.

The scheme for payouts was changed this year to per semester instead of the usual quarterly payouts to give way for the validation of beneficiaries that started last April 27, 2019 in accordance with the qualifications mandated under Republic Act No. 9994 or Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 which is strictly being adhered to by the agency.

Under the said law, an elderly who is 60 years old and above is qualified to receive the assistance if he/she is sickly, frail or with disability, without financial assistance or permanent source of income to support his/her daily subsistence and basic medical needs and without any pension from other government or private institutions.

The payouts for this year will have grievance desks to cater to questions of individuals about the program including the validation process that the field office conducted.

The field office meanwhile will be coordinating with local government units (LGUs) for the next schedule of payouts as it looks to finish distributing the cash assistance as soon as possible.

A total of 218,659 program beneficiaries in the region across the provinces of Batanes (1,444), Cagayan (77,281), Isabela (101,753), Quirino (13,138) and Nueva Vizcaya (25,043) was targeted for validation by the region. ###

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Listahanan Shares Data on Poor Households to LGU Lal-lo

June 14, 2019 – Upon the completion of the requirements for data sharing, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (DSWD-FO2) spearheaded by the National Household Targeting Section (NHTS) also known as Listahanan awarded the List of Poor Households in Lal-lo, Cagayan to its Local Government Unit (LGU).

The data requested by LGU Lal-lo will be used to identify the individuals or families in need of the programs and services as well as for the Disaster Risk and Management Plan of the municipality.

Through the Listahanan data, LGU Lal-lo aims to provide necessary aid to households with unsanitary toilet facilities and unsafe water sources, conduct household visits to those who do not regularly go to health facilities, provide assistance or intervention addressing constituents’ education needs and determine job employment, skills, training or investment purposes for career employment.

As stipulated in Executive Order 867, series of 2010, the Department of Social Welfare and Development is mandated to implement the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) to establish a system for identifying who and where the poor households are and serve as the basis in the selection of beneficiaries of social protection programs.

True to its mandate, the DSWD-FO2 is actively advocating the utilization of the Listahanan data to establish an objective targeting system. ### By: Margaret G. Arao, Listahanan Information Officer

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DSWD FO2 Conducts Consultation Dialogue for Listahanan 3

Tuguegarao City – As part of the preparation for the Listahanan 3rd Round of Household Assessment that will begin later this year, Director George JT D. Aliño of the National Household Targeting Office (NHTO) led a consultation visit and inspection to the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (DSWD-FO2) last May 24, 2019.

The consultation visit aims to personally motivate field staff working for the National Household Targeting Section (NHTS) for the conduct of the assessment and to personally listen to the issues and concerns of the field office.

In his discussion, Dir. Aliño narrated the process of finalizing what he dubbed as the heart of the Listahanan Project, the Proxy Means Test (PMT), the statistical tool used to identify who and where the poor are based on the data gathered from the household assessment.

Another highlight from Director Aliño’s discussion is the Enhancement of the Listahanan Manuals which is being updated based on the results of the Pilot Test/s and the recommendations from a consultant.

Moreover, a detailed Grievance Redress System shall be incorporated in the Operations Manual which includes the improved Local Verification Committee (LVC) process and a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with DILG to strengthen partnership with barangays.

Director Aliño also presented the timeline of the whole project cycle informing that it was extended from the original 11-month period to 15 months to ensure the quality of data in the final list of poor households.

On the second day of the visit, Dir Aliño went to inspect the encoding station of the NHTS and other possible areas that can accommodate the said process.

Furthermore, the Director believes that Listahanan is the heart of the agency because it is where the list of beneficiaries come from, thus, it should be kept complete, truthful, and accurate. ### By: Margaret G. Arao, Listahanan Information Officer

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CSO Accreditation Notice


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