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The act of caring speaks in a universal language. It knows no bounds and transcends the barriers of time, culture and economic conditions. A simple act can definitely make a huge difference, touching every inch of a weary soul, lifting a dampened spirit and re-assures that even in the most difficult time, there is hope. For most, this unselfish deed restores faith in humanity.

For a very long time, mothers have innately epitomized unconditional caring. They put so much value on building a home fostered out of care. Their being radiates an atmosphere that defines selflessness. It is undoubtedly manifested from the moment they carry and deliver another life. Above all, they consistently put the welfare of their family, children and people that are dearest to their hearts first even it means sacrificing their own.

Humble Beginnings

 Caring has been the definition of the life of Ms. Zenaida B. Dumayag, a mother and a Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program beneficiary from Baggao, Cagayan. She was raised in one of the inaccessible Sitios of Barangay Asinga-Via, situated approximately 20 kilometers from the municipality’s town proper. At an early age, she became mindful of the limitations that her community had to offer. She has known poverty since then, a hand-to-mouth living that became the norm in their locality. Growing up with so little did not dampen her heart with has so much to give.

Not too long ago, she built her own family and married Bobby R. Dumayag.  Life as a married couple became more challenging especially when their family started to grow in number. Having four children to raise and with the limited opportunity to earn, they struggled to make ends meet. Even if they had a piece of land to toil, they lacked the resources to maximize its potential, instead becoming laborers for privately-owned farms. They took pride on their calloused hands and sun-kissed skin and wore it as badges of hard work.

To augment their daily necessities, her husband would trek in the nearby mountain just to gather “yantok”. He’s beyond grateful when he is able to bring home a bundle and sell it for an average of P150.00. As Ms. Zenaida recalled, there were instances when she couldn’t serve three meals in a day for her children. There even came a point where debt became their constant resort; a cyclical habit that became the reason why they eventually lost their farmland due to unpaid interest.

The Road to Sustainability

In 2016, Ms. Zenaida was encouraged to be part of the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). She received Seed Capital Fund (SCF) amounting to P10, 000.00 and was given the opportunity to lead the Asinga-Via SLP Association in their barangay. With the capital at hand, she decided to venture in backyard swine production and started with two piglets. With her innate ability to care, her project prospered. She was always on top of it and made sure that the piglets were well kept. After earning P14, 000.00 on the first cycle, she decided to purchase one sow and engaged in piglet production. With her perseverance, her sow was able to produce six piglets and eight piglets on the ensuing cycle.

A private buyer from Amulung, Cagayan now serves as her regular client and purchases her produce at an average of P8, 000.00 per pig. With the good standing of their association, the members including Ms. Zenaida were able to receive second cycle release of their SCF which covered her expanding project.

Since the inception of her project, the additional income augments the daily needs of her family. It also helps her provide the school fees, weekly allowances, board and lodging needs of her children in college. She was able to set aside a portion of her gains to gradually improve their house. Somehow her qualms during typhoons had lessened because they now have a more concrete and decent shelter. Likewise, they now have access to electricity which they previously just dreamt of having. She recalls the nights where they take refuge on the faint light of a kerosene lamp.

Her project may have reaped just enough for the family but it did not hinder her from giving more to others. In 2017, she opened the doors of her home to strangers, a family of six. For two years she gave the family of Mr. and Mrs. Ibanez a roof and cared for them like her own kin. She unselfishly shared whatever resources they had and even enrolled one of their children in kindergarten.

A Better Future

Every life that she touches reminds her of the days when she had nothing. She knows how it felt like to have nothing and this became the very reason why she is so passionate on what she does. She expects nothing in return and only thinks of ways to extend care to others.

For years, the adage that says, “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving” has been the path of Ms. Zenaida. Every selfless deed humbles her and provides her a sense of fulfillment. Today, she continuously finds means to sustain and improve her project. She knows that her venture has a long way to go but with sheer grit she is positive that a better future lies ahead. ###Written by: Melisen Taquiqui/SLP Social Marketing Officer


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DSWD FO2 Awards Listahanan 2 Results to Cagayan Valley Center for Health Development

Tuguegarao City – The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 2 (DSWD FO2) thru the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) or Listahanan awarded a Certificate of Appreciation and the Listahanan 2 Data Base containing the list of poor households in Region 2 to the Cagayan Valley Center for Health Development (CV – CHD) on October 7, 2019.

Acting Policy and Plans Division Chief, Ms. Pasencia T. Ancheta explained that the data was gathered in 2015 and by virtue of Executive Order 867 series of 2010, the data shall be used by different National Government Agencies (NGAs) for their social protection programs.

Assistant Regional Director for Operations (ARDO), Ms. Lucia S. Alan personally awarded the certificate and flash drive containing the list of poor households to the Regional Director of the CVC-HD, Dr. Rio L. Magpantay during their Flag Ceremony.

ARDO Alan thanked the CVC-HD for having completed the requirements for the data sharing and foremost, has the interest to use the Listahanan data base of the DSWD.

Director Magpantay commended the efforts of DSWD for providing them the list which will be helpful in giving necessary assistance and priority to those who really need it the most. “Let our departments continue to be partners in the delivery of services to the marginalized sectors,” he added. ### By: Christopher Soriano, Listahanan Regional Field Coordinator

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Striving Towards a More Functional Balai na Inammu

Tuguegarao City – Staff from the University of Cagayan Valley (UCV) conducted an assessment of the functionality of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (DSWD FO2) Balai na Inammu, the field office’s learning hub located adjacent to the main building, today, September 24, 2019.

The facility, formerly called the Regional Learning and Resource Center (RLRC), houses the field office’s library materials for information and use by field office staff as well as guests looking for knowledge materials on social welfare.

The UCV evaluators, led by the school’s Community Extension Services Office Director, Ms. Gregoria J. Gocal, expressed their admiration to the uniformity of the materials in the Balai na Inammu, remarking on the usefulness of the materials to the needs of facility users.

In conformity to the use of internet for learning and knowledge transfer, the facility also houses a built-in KOHA System, an open source automation collectively designed by programmers for librarians worldwide for efficiency in cataloging books and for easy access to the inventory of materials that the facility has.

The system was jointly installed by Cagayan State University (CSU) staff, UCV staff and the field office’s Information and Communication Technology Management Section (ICTMS).

The current iteration of the Balai na Inammu had a soft launching last March 20, 2018 that was graced by DSWD Undersecretary for Special Concerns, Camilo G. Gudmalin, this after the facility was reconfigured after it sustained damages from Super Typhoons’ Lawin in 2016 and Ompong in 2018.

The Balai na Inammu was borne out of the commitment made by members of the field office’s Social Welfare and Development Learning Network (L-NET), with members coming from the academe, National Government Agencies (NGAs) and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs).

Regional Director Fernando R. De Villa, Jr. meanwhile expressed his thanks to the continued collaboration within and among L-NET members and hopes the learning materials can be used to further foster education and knowledge transfer along social welfare.

To date, the facility houses 875 learning and knowledge materials, excluding outdated materials for scanning by the field office’s Records Section before disposal. ###

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Every bean comes in various shapes, sizes and colors. From the moment it is burrowed in the soil, to the constant drizzle of water, the dash of fertilizer until finally the bud comes out to feel the warmth of the world, each has a story to tell, of the countless phases it had gone through. The process of reaching maturity requires the right play of elements. It involves the art of waiting that does not rush time nor force abrupt growth. Likewise, it is essential that all must come together in harmony until it blossoms and the pod reaps a harvest.

Just like every life resting on the social plane, all began as a tiny sprout reared and tested through time. But then again not all were nurtured equally. Most kept their pace and bloomed effortlessly. Some struggled to flourish due to unfavorable circumstances and were hindered from reaching their full potential.

As dawn breaks, the untiring hands of a mother gather tiny golden beans. Amidst the difficulty to mobilize her hands, she patiently soaks each batch of beans. When it becomes saturated, she continues on to the process of grinding. Under a low fire, the extract is continuously stirred for almost three hours. After the grueling process, the mother finally gets a taste of her sweet labor, warm, creamy and smooth milk that eases her weary soul.

Miram C. Macasaddu was born with congenital hand deformities, a Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program participant from the municipality of Benito Soliven, Isabela. Even long before, she knew that she was one of the many who will struggle to flourish. But despite physical limitations, she strived to fight life’s adversities but somehow felt that her efforts were not enough. Before finishing third year high school, she built a family and married Ernesto Macasaddu. To be able to add to the meager income of her husband as a utility worker, she peddled vegetables, snacks, and other things she could sell in the neighborhood. As she tried to withstand poverty, yet another challenge tested her faith. Her husband battled cancer and eventually passed away. It was a trying time when she had no choice but to sell whatever asset was left and resorted to debt. The circumstance not only drained her financially but also left her alone in raising her four children. She doubled her efforts and saw an opportunity to earn more and became a seller of soy milk under a private employer in Ilagan City. Through her dedication, she eventually learned the process of soy milk production. In mid-2017, a couple venturing in soy milk processing convinced her to be their processor. With a hope that this opportunity will give her a good break, she accepted the deal. Unfortunately, again the odds were not in her favor. For four months, she struggled to solely process an average of nine kilos of soybeans/eight hundred 800 bottles of soy milk a day and only brought home an average of P200.00 for her efforts.

Then in 2018, the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) brought courage for Ms. Miriam to finally earn commensurate to her efforts. Her spirit of entrepreneurship was re-kindled as she was given the chance to lead the organized association in Barangay Sta. Cruz, the Sweet SLP Association. Along with other eight members they were provided with Seed Capital Fund (SCF) amounting to P165,000.00. Through her initiative, she shared her expertise on soybean processing and the group decided to venture on the project. The SCF was used to purchase raw materials, packaging materials, tools and equipment for the production of soy milk and soy coffee. In a weekly basis they produce an average of 1,400 bottles of soy milk sold at P10.00 each and process an average of eight (8) kilos/ 20 bottles of soy coffee sold at P100.00 each. It translates to a weekly average net income of P4,800.00 for the group which helps each member to meet ends. Particularly for Ms. Miriam who exited from Pantawid since her children were no longer eligible, the project helped her finance their college education. Apart from that, the members earn P200.00 per production for their labor. They distribute their products within the municipality, selected schools in nearby municipalities of San Mariano, Naguilan, Reina Mercedes and Cauayan City. To reach a wider market, they are currently processing their certificate of product registration under the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA). The group has already been able to purchase two additional units of freezer from their profits as part of their continuous commitment to expanding their enterprise.

Ms. Miriam’s biggest take away in SLP was the opportunity to prove that her capacities are way bigger than her physical limitations. The endeavour stirred her leadership capabilities and gave her the chance to make a difference. Just like a bean slowly turning to a bud, she defied all the circumstances and gracefully blossomed in her own way and time. ### Written by: Melisen A. Taquiqui, SLP Social Marketing Officer


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Thriving Through Vegetation

The town of Sta. Praxedes, a 5th class municipality which is the smallest in province of Cagayan, boast a total of 10 barangays with a total of 1,134 families and a population of 4,436 as of 2017.

The municipality has been no exception to the ravages of past typhoons, floods and erosions that has afflicted other areas in the region. Families living below the poverty threshold are the most affected because their houses are made mostly of light materials that are easily destroyed by strong winds.

Past disasters have caused damages to numerous houses and other infrastructures, including rice fields, crops, and other agriculture and fishery facilities.

Abridging Difficulties

Elizabeth C. Salino, 51, from Purok 1, Barangay Salungsong, has experienced her fair share of calamities in her town. She says that though disasters often bring challenges that take time to resolve, she, with the help of interventions given by National Government Agencies (NGA) and the local government unit (LGU), comes through the difficulties better equipped to handle future adversities.

Elizabeth and her husband, a farmer and an occasional driver, helped raised their five children through sheer will and determination.

The major challenge that was faced by the couple which was recounted by Elizabeth was the struggle to ensure that there was food on the table for their family to partake. The seasonal nature of her husband’s trade made it all the more daunting for them to make ends meet.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (DSWD FO2) through its Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (CCAM) thru Cash for Work (CFW) was introduced in the area in 2018 as part of the agency’s program along disaster response to help affected families and individuals.

The program offers provisional employment and provides income augmentation to affected families and individuals to keep them from migrating or abandoning their communities in search of new sources of income by participating or undertaking preparedness, mitigation, relief, rehabilitation or risk reduction projects and activities in their communities or evacuation centers.

As part of the agency’s partnership with LGUs, the latter chose the CFW area/program with the help of the identified community.

Sta. Praxedes Communal Garden

With the health, well-being, food security and the spirit of volunteerism of community members being priorities, communal gardening was identified as the chosen CFW of the municipality.

Elizabeth became one of 400 identified participants of the endeavor. She was elated when informed of the opportunity because, as she recalls, looking for work opportunities was a challenge especially in rural areas like her town. Looking back to her experience, she considers being a part of the program a turning point in their constant struggle to put food in their table.

Ayaw naming masira itong oportunidad na ibinigay sa amin ng DSWD dahil para rin naman ito sa amin at kami rin ang makikinabang dito (We do not want to waste the opportunity given to us by DSWD because we know that we will benefit from this), Elizabeth says.

Masayang maging parte nitong programa, lalong-lalo na sa mga katulad kong magulang… para meron po kaming pinagkaka-abalahan (I am elated to be a part of the program especially for parents like us to have something to be busy with), Elizabeth adds.

The town boasts 3 communal gardens across Barangay Centro 1, Centro 2 Day Care Center and Capacuan Elementary School wherein beneficiaries plant a variety of vegetables, herbs, fruits and spices in the available spaces in garden patches but also in pockets, pots and vertical walls. All vegetables also come with their name tags for easy identification.

Mr. Franco G. Lopez, head of the Disaster Response Management Division (DRMD), visited the communal gardens last August 15, 2018 and observed the innovativeness of the beneficiaries, using recyclable materials such as empty bottles, cans, basins, pails, trays, sacks, tires, bags and other disposable containers coupled with the use of organic materials for gardening and to ensure protection of the environment.

The beneficiaries also use grass cuttings, rotten leaves, fruit peelings, animal manure and other degradable materials to aid in their gardening task.

Turning Point

For Elizabeth, being given the opportunity to work in the community garden has seen her be able to provide nutritious food for her family, a task that she has embraced since starting her one of her own.

Sa luwag noong aming community garden kapag namunga na mga halaman, napupunan hindi lamang mga pangangailangan namin pero para na rin sa mga kasama kong nagta-trabaho doon (With the wide area of the community garden, when the plants start bearing produce, our food needs and those of my fellow workers are met), Elizabeth mentions.

She says that she’s more confident now knowing that there’s a constant source of food for her family. Elizabeth adds that the opportunity provided to her has taught her the value of maximizing the resources given to her.

The Road Forward

The community gardens in Sta. Praxedes, Cagayan, for the short period of time that it has been implemented, has seen a reduction in food insecurity in the area as well as improved vegetable intake for the beneficiaries and their families as well as strengthened family ties.

Elizabeth for her part is thankful for the opportunity given to her and looks to a future where she is more equipped with skills to take on life’s many challenges.

Malaki pong pasasalamat sa DSWD na binigyan niyo kami ng ganitong opportunidad (I thank DSWD for this opportunity that was given to us), Elizabeth ends. ### With a report from: Mia Edsel Carbonell, Disaster Response and Management Division Information Officer

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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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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...