Anthony Edward : Adopting a child is our God’s greatest gift

Anthony Edward Adoption

What are you praying for?

Some may want a beautiful house or modern gadgets that make their life more convenient. Others may want to travel around the world and experience different cultures and traditions. But for married couple namely Anthony Edward and Ella Garcia, all they asked for is to have a child.

“We always pray to have a child.” said Anthony Edward in front of the Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR)’s staff during its flag raising ceremony.

“I felt to be the happiest man when my wife got pregnant. Unfortunately, we lost our baby in her womb. Back then, we were upset but we needed to bear the pain,” he muttered.

The couple opted to undergo In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) process in Taiwan to avail the said medical procedure. IVF is a fertility treatment in which sperm and eggs are combined in a laboratory. The resulting embryo or embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus, where they grow into a baby. Apparently, it failed and the doctors said that they will not going to have a child.

“We lost our hopes. Every day I pray to God to please bring back my child, the child that I lost, those two weeks of heartbeat,” he continued.

The couple almost given up until they have learned about the adoption, a socio-legal process of providing a permanent family to a child whose parents have voluntarily or involuntarily relinquished parental authority over the child. They decided to adopt and the DSWD-NCR assisted them throughout their adoption journey with a child named Jacob.

He happily shared, “In our tenth wedding anniversary, in God’s perfect time and perfect will, He gave us our perfect child. Coincidentally, Jacob was born on May 21, 2014, the day when we were told that we can’t have one. He is our God’s greatest gift.”

He shared that, “to build a nation, we must first build a family, one child at a time,” Today, the couple lives happily with Jacob and they feel very grateful to the DSWD-NCR for being God’s instrument in answering their prayer. ### (FO-NCR, Social Marketing Office)

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Newly elected officers of the Regional ABSNET Federation take oath


The newly elected officers of the Regional Area-Based Standards Network Federation (RAF) in the National Capital Region took an oath as partners of the Department of Social Welfare and Development towards the effective and efficient delivery of social services to the disadvantaged individuals, families and communities, held during flag ceremony of FO-NCR on February 9, 2016.

The Area-Based Standards Network (ABS-NET) comprised of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) was organized as one of DSWD’s partners and networks in the delivery of social services to the needy constituents. It also helps other NGOs in facilitating the registration, licensing and subsequent accreditation of their programs and services with the DSWD. This requirement seeks to ensure that these NGOs operate within the standards as set and regulated by the Department for all social welfare and development (SWD) agencies

The following are the newly elected officers of RAF:

Chairperson – Luis Ortiz, Executive Director, Friendship Home of Father Luis Amigo Inc.,

Vice Chairperson – Lilia Orioste, Field Director, Children International Inc (Quezon City)

Secretary – Elder Arrizabal, Program Head, ADD Foundation International Inc.


Sectoral Representatives


Mely Reluya – Executive Director, White Cross Inc

Rev. Ruel Diagracia – Executive Director, Alap sa Bata ng mga Guro-Kalinga Phils., Inc



Linda Perez – Executive Director, Open Heart Foundation Worlwide Inc

Father Marciano Evangelista – President and Project Director, Tuloy sa Don Bosco Foundation Inc.


Families and Communities

George Shields – National Director, Presiding Elder of Christian Light Foundation Inc.,

Naomi David – President/ International Coordinator, CFC – Education Foundation Inc.



Marilyn Torrevilos- President, Women’s Action for Integrity and Success, Inc (WAIS)

Carmelita Nugui – Executive Director, Development Action for Women Network Inc.,


Persons with Disabilities

Lily Tanco – Presidents/ Founder, CereCare Foundation Inc.


Older Person

Rizaldy Daen – Social Services Head, Hospicio De San Jose

Bro. Abinas Min – Assistant Regional Servant – The Regional Servant of the Missionary Brothers of Charity


On this, the Department continuously recognizes the vital role of its partners in governance, particularly those of the NGOs, the Local Government Units (LGUs), Faith-Based Organizations, and People’s Organizations (POs), among others. DSWD also incessantly exerts efforts at enhancing its partnership and collaboration with various intermediaries and stakeholders.###  (FO-NCR, Social Marketing Office)

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Children with special needs led the celebration of EGV’s 52nd founding anniversary

Opened by the graceful doxology of its residents, the Elsie Gaches Village through a ceremony on February 5, 2016, concluded the center’s celebration of its 52nd founding anniversary held in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.

Maria Haley while delivering her welcome remarks to the attendees of EGV’s 52nd founding anniversary celebration.

Maria Haley while delivering her welcome remarks to the attendees of EGV’s 52nd founding anniversary celebration.

In her opening remarks, Maria Haley a resident of EGV for 11 years expressed his endless gratitude to the staff and benefactors of the center as they unselfishly provide the needs of children like her.

“Ito ang araw ng pasasalamat ng biyaya ng lugar na ito na siyang aming naging tahanan at kumalinga sa aming mga puso…ito ang araw ng aming walang hanggang pasasalamat sa inyong lahat sa inyong walang sawang pagtulong at pagsuporta sa amin,” Maria said.

Meanwhile in her key note message, Civil Service Commission Chairperson Alicia R. Bala recognizes on how the center empowered the residents as showcased by Maria Haley who is amidst her condition was able to effectively deliver her opening message to the attendees.

“EGV is the first and probably the largest haven for children with special needs which is being ran by the government and I think this is something that DSWD should be proud of. Ako ay natutuwa kanina noong si Maria Haley ang nagbigay ng pambungad na pananalita I thunk this is the first time that I’ve been in a service center in NCR na ang nagbibigay ng pambungad na pananalita sa isa sa ating residente. Ibig sabihin, ito ay pruweba na ang inyong patuloy na pagtulong sa kanila ay marami ng idinulot na pagbabago sa kanila… marunong na silang magsalita sa harapan ng tao, marunong na silang ngumiti, manguna sa pagdadasal at marami pang iba,” Chairman Bala shared.

As representative of EGV’s benefactors, Mr. Manuela Vergel de Dios, Agency Manager of Wealth Coaches Phils. narrated how his family was emotionally and spiritually moved by the residents of the center.

“Six (6) years ago my son shared to me one night that his school had a field trip in EGV, we ended our talk with him saying ‘Daddy

Ms. Teresita Valentino, Head Social Worker of EGV (from left), CSC Chairman Alicia Bala, Mr. Manuela Vergel de Dios and DSWD-NCR Regional Director Vincent Andrew T. Leyson during the awarding of plaque of appreciation to partner benefactors of the center.

Ms. Teresita Valentino, Head Social Worker of EGV (from left), CSC Chairman Alicia Bala, Mr. Manuela Vergel de Dios and DSWD-NCR Regional Director Vincent Andrew T. Leyson during the awarding of plaque of appreciation to partner benefactors of the center.

thank you’ when two hearts connect, no further explanation is needed. Three (3) years after it was my turn to experience EGV together with my officemates we were given guided tour of the place as part of our pre-Christmas celebration. The welcoming smile and the super sunshine personalities of the residents finally gave me a better appreciation on why my son had such an earth-moving

experience 3 years ago, but what really move us are the adults in scrub suits that remain so focused in taking care of the residents, feeding them, prepping them to sleep, giving them medicine as if they were their own children. They are not really care givers but they serve as parents of these children. Since then, our group chose to help the center,” Mr. De Dios humbly shared.

As part of the celebration, a total of five (5) benefactors/ donors and ten staff were recognized by DSWD-NCR for their exemplary efforts in significantly contributing to the operation of EGV.

The program was closed by the message of DSWD-NCR Regional Director Mr. Vincent Andrew T. Leyson where he highlighted that “children with special needs need special people so please let us continue supporting them.”

EGV is a residential care facility being managed by DSWD-NCR which caters mentally challenged persons with underlying medical/ special needs and is now handling 607 residents. ###



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Non-social worker happily joined and stays at DSWD

grace 1Mary Grace L. Pagaran, 34 years old, a graduate of BS Psychology and now an industrious City Link of the Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) since January 17, 2011.

Even before being an employee of DSWD, Mary Grace is already looking forward to join the manpower of the Department as she wants to be an instrument in delivering the necessary programs and services to our poor constituents.

“Pangarap ko na po talaga ang makapagtrabaho sa DSWD noon pa. Ang iniisip ko lang noon, mahirap siguro makapasok dito dahil hindi naman ako Social Worker. Pero sa pagpapalawig ng Pantawid Pamilya program, nagbukas po ito ng job opportunity para sa mga katulad ko at marami pang gustong magserbisyo sa bayan,” Mary Grace shared to the attendees of the DSWD’s 65th founding anniversary rite in Malacañang Palace.

Beside His Excellency President Benigno S. Aquino III and DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, Mary Grace narrated on how being a City Link inspired him to take a second course of BS Social Work at the Philippine Women’s University (PWU) where she will graduate this June 2016.

“Iniisip ng karamihan na tamad ang ating mga benepisyaryo. Pero sa totoo lang, sila ang pinakamasipag na gumigising sa umaga at kumakayod buong araw. Sadyang kulang lamang sila sa oportunidad na maiangat ang kanilang sarili at kakayahan. Ito ang iniaalay ng ating pamahalaan sa kanila—pag asa,” Mary Grace said.

Mary Grace also delivered an expression of gratitude from a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary from Manila City named as Nanay Aida as she said “ sabi nga ng isang benepisyaryo, ito lang ang unang pagkakataon na naramdaman nila ang pagkalinga ng pamahalaan… nakakapagpalakas po ng loob ang ganoong mga salita. At kung tutuusin, isa lang si Nanay Aida sa milyun-milyong natutulungan natin sa DSWD dahil sa napakalaking suporta at paniniwala ng ating administrasyon sa ating mga programa.”grace 2

In her closing spiel, Mary Grace happily said, “ang pasasalamat sa akin ni Nanay Aida ay pasasalamat niya sa ating kasalukuyang liderato, at pasasalamat ko naman sa pamunuan ng DSWD. Buong puso kong ipinagmamalaking ako’y bahagi ng kapita-pitagang kagawarang ito.”

Mary Grace is among the currently hired 299 field staff of DSWD-NCR called as “City Links” who are monitoring the compliance of the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries to the conditionalities set under the program.###








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Friends of Elsie Gaches Village Inc. and Sisters of Charity of St. Anne Inc., continue partnership with DSWD

friends of EGV and Sisters of Charity of St. Anne IncThe Friends of Elsie Gaches Village (FEGV) and Sisters of Charity of St. Anne Inc, (SCSA) inked a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Social Welfare and Development to continue their commitment to assist the Elsie Gaches Village, a residential care facility that provides care, protection and rehabilitation to Persons with Disabilities (PWDS), specifically persons with intellectual impairment located in Alabang, Zapote, Muntinlupa City.
The partnership aims to improve the services, facilities and program implementation of the Elsie Gaches Village to better serve its residents, staff, volunteers and partners.

Repairs and maintenance of building and other facilities; medical laboratory exam of the residents; sponsorship salary of the 61 private sponsored staff and other supplies were also among the support to be provided by the FEGV and SCSA.
Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman appreciated the unwavering support of the said stakeholders so the center would be able to deliver more quality services to its clientele.
Sisters of Charity of St. Anne Inc. is a religious organization while Friends of Elsie Gaches Village Inc., represented by Ms. Beatriz M. Zobel as Chairperson Emeritus, is a non-stock, non-profit corporation in the form of a foundation with primary purpose of assisting government institutions in the care for the mentally and physically handicapped persons. ### (FO-NCR, Social Marketing Office)

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Challenges of a poor, from NCR’s exemplary child 2015

john ramon 1 “Bata pa lamang ako, namulat na ang aking kaisipan sa mga kahirapan ng buhay. Dinaanan ko ang maraming pagsubok, na minsan ay napapaluha na lamang ako dahil napapaisip ako na tila ayaw ko na…” said by John Ramon P. Gadia, NCR’s Pantawid Pamilya exemplary child 2015.

As he delivers his speech in front of the officials and staff of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) at the Malacañang Palace during the celebration of the Department’s 65th founding anniversary, John confidently narrated his challenges in life before being a beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilya program.

“Naiisip ko na hindi ko na kayang sumabay sa iba pa na mas nakaaangat sa kanilang mga buhay. Pero hindi ako sumuko dahil alam ko na makakamit ko rin ang inaasam kong tagumpay,” John emphasized.

For once, John defeated poverty after he graduated as Valedictorian in elementary which followed by his admission to a premier science high school in Makati City where he is currently studying in Grade VIII.

“Hindi lamang po basta pandagdag sa pantustos sa aming pangangailangan sa tahanan at paaralan ang dulot ng Pantawid Pamilya. Tinutupad din nito ang aming mga pangarap na makaranas ng de-kalidad na edukasyon. Higit pa, binibigyan po nito ang mga mahihirap ng oportunidad sa buhay – oportunidad na magkaroon ng ginhawa at maramdam ng kalinga,” he added.

Graduated in San Antonio Village Elementary School in 2014, John also served as the President of their school’s Supreme Pupil Government which for him enhanced his leadership skills that he is now applying in accomplishing group projects.

John’s mother is a helper while his father is an on-call driver. He admits that the income of his parents cannotjohn ramon 2 fully support the needs of his family, thus, Pantawid Pamilya is such a huge help for his study as well as to his other siblings.

Meanwhile in his speech, His Excellency President Benigno S. Aquino III commends John Ramon for maximizing the assistance of the government as an outstanding student who excels amidst the challenges he encountered.

As of January 5, 2016, there are already 228, 994 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in Metro Manila who are being monitored for health and education compliance to conditions set under the program.

Under the Aquino administration in 2014, Pantawid Pamilya was expanded to cover high school students wherein from 0-14 years old children, it is now covering aged 0-18 in consideration to the K-12 program of the Department of Education (DepED).###

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DSWD centers in Metro Manila get 1st level accreditation for quality services

centersThree centers and residential care facilities being managed by the Department Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) namely Marillac Hills, Sanctuary Center and INA Healing acquired 1st level accreditation for meeting the standards set by the government. Awarding of the certificates was conducted during the DSWD flag raising ceremony on February 1, 2016 at Batasan Hills, Quezon City.

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman recognized the DSWD-NCR on its achievement which signifies the delivery of quality social protection programs and services to the clients and residents of the said institutions. Meanwhile, the new DSWD-NCR Regional Director Vincent Andrew T. Leyson said that the Field Office would continue its efforts to develop its C/RCFs within set of standards.
Inang Naulila sa Anak Healing Center helps mothers who are grieving over the loss their children, while Sanctuary Center caters to abandoned, neglected, and unattached women mental patient aged 18-59 years old. Further, Marillac Hills serves young girls, 17 years old and below, who are youthful offenders, sexually abused, exploited, and unwed mothers. ### (FO-NCR, Social Marketing Office)

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DSWD-NCR meets with other agencies to strengthen social services

RDC meetingTo further strengthen the coordination between line agencies for better delivery of social protection programs and services, the Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) reconvene the members of the Regional Development Council – Sectoral Committee on Social Development and Sub Committee on Social Protection (RDC-SCSD-SCSP) on January 26, 2016 at Ramada Manila Central, Binondo, Manila.

This was attended by representatives from PhilHeath, Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), Department of Trade and Industry-National Capital Region (DTI-NCR), National Nutrition Council- National Capital Region (NNC-NCR), Commission on Higher Education – National Capital Region (CHED-NCR), Department of Education- National Capital Region (DepED-NCR), Department of Health- National Capital Region Office (DOH-NCRO), Department of Labor and Employment-National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR), Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), Philippine Information Agency- National Capital Region (PIA-NCR), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC).

DSWD-NCR Regional Director Vincent Andrew Leyson shared that the Sub-Committee on Social Protection (SCSP) aims to ensure that all social protection programs, projects and activities of the national government agencies of NCR are supported by the Regional Development Council. Further, it can also recommend policies to RDC with regards to the implementation of social protection programs and services in the regional level.### (FO-NCR, Social Marketing Office)

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