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FEATURE: Honor student draws inspiration from his mom to paint his future

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa Panginoon sa binigay niyang talento sa akin. Gusto ko din pong pasalamatan ang mga magulang ko, lalo si Mama para sa pagsuporta niya sa akin” (I thank the Lord for the talent he has given me. I would also like to thank my parents, especially my Mama for her support to me.)

In the recent poster making contest for Pantawid Pamilya field staff and partner-beneficiaries held on April 08, 2015 at the DSWD Field Office NCR, John Christophen U. Jurban, 16 years old, from Barangay South Daang Hari, Taguig City was among the 23 contestants who showcased their talent in drawing. Thanks to his perseverance and with the help of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, he is among the thousands who graduated from high school this school year.

The first of three children, John Christophen is a hard-working student who never misses a class in school. While his father is an auto mechanic, his mother, Bonnafe is a housewife. With this schedule, she is able to religiously attend to her compliance responsibilities on being a Pantawid Pamilya program beneficiary under Set 5 program implementation, such as regular Family Development Sessions, among other activities.

According to Bonnafe, not even poverty can hinder her son from going to school. “Kahit minsan walang-wala kami, basta may pamasahe, papasok pa din siya.” (Even at times when we have no resources, as long as he has transportation allowance, he will go to school.) Ms. Jurban proudly said that despite their meager income, her son managed to graduate from high school as fifth honorable mention. When asked if the program had impact to their family, Ms. Jurban immediately affirmed and added that “dati, di makasali ang mga anak ko sa mga activities nila sa school o kapag nilalaban po sila sa contest, kasi walang pambili ng project. Pero ngayon, dahil sa Pantawid, nairaraos na ng mga anak ko ang pag-aaral nila.” (Before, my children cannot join school activities or any competition outside the school because we don’t have enough money to buy their projects. But now, my children are able to submit their school requirements, thanks to Pantawid.)

Having placed seventh in the over-all ranking in his batch meant a lot for John Christophen, as he recalls his daily struggles just to reach where he is now. There was a time when he almost lost his drive to go to school due to the increasing difficulty of the topics they tackle per subject matter and the torrential submission of requirements. But just as he was about to give up, his MTAP (or the Mathematics Teachers Association of the Philippines) coach Mr. George, encouraged him by providing not only additional knowledge but also words of encouragement. What he learned from his coach is that “may mga problema na mapapasuko ka na lang. Huwag mong isipin ang hirap, isipin mo lang ano ang makukuha mo.” These restored this enthusiasm despite the heavy schoolwork.

IMG_3214.2 captionJoining the MTAP proved to be an advantage for John Christophen, as this paved the way for his recognition both within and outside the campus. For the recent school year alone, he has reaped several awards, such as being the 4th place in the Mathematics Quiz Bee and Slogan making contest, 3rd place in Math relay, 2nd place in Poster making during their English and MAPEH month celebration and Champion in both Calculation skills and Poster-making contest in Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE) and Mathematics month celebrations.

John Christophen is not only good in Math, he has a generous heart as well because he shares his knowledge through tutorial sessions to his fellow classmates who are lagging behind in that subject. To do this, he does advance reading to be able to teach his classmate the topic for the following day’s discussion. Accordingly, he revealed that he has a knack for simplifying complex formulas, to which he shares to the class after the teacher finished the lecture. Furthermore, he said that he is doing this “to inspire his classmates to enjoy Mathematics.”

DSC_4125 copy.captionJohn Christophen is one of the 93 Pantawid Pamilya High School graduates with academic excellence awards for batch 2015 who were featured in the recent Pantawid Pamilya high school graduation, which carries the theme, “Pagtatapos Ninyo, Tagumpay ng Pilipino,” and was held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on April 09, 2015. The event aimed to recognize the high school graduates and share with them a very meaningful milestone in their academic life. Moreover, the event was a venue for sharing the graduates’ experiences and their sojourns throughout their high school years.

When asked what he can say to other students who has the same struggles as his, John Christophen says “Libre lang ang mangarap. Pag may pangarap ka, gawin mo, huwag mo lang isipin ang mga problemang kakaharapin mo. Hindi lang dapat hanggang yearbook ang pangarap, huwag lang sa salita, isip, bagkus gawin mo.” (To dream is free, when you aspire for something, just do it and do not just think of the problems you might encounter and let them hinder you from achieving your goal. You should not let your dreams stay in the yearbook, nor should you just think or speak about it. Do something to achieve it.)

John Christophen already passed the entrance examinations and will enroll in Civil Engineering at the Technological University of the Philippines – Taguig Campus, under the full scholarship grant of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).  ###

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DSWD-NCR strengthens its linkage on capacity building for its partners through the SWD L-Net

Press Release/News Article

DSWD-NCR strengthens its linkage on capacity building for its partners through the SWD L-Net

One of the good practices done by the Department of Social Welfare and Development  – National Capital Region (DSWD – NCR) is the Social Welfare and Development Learning Network (SWD L-Net).  It is composed of individuals, experts or learning institutions who agree to collaborate and ensure quality delivery of Social Welfare and Development (SWD) learning programs and services. The network was organized through Administrative Order No. 20 series of 2005 (The Establishment of Social Welfare and Development Learning Network) and was piloted on April 25, 2007 in field offices NCR, CAR, V, VII and XI.

The SWD L-Net aims to enhance the competencies of capability-building providers and direct service implementers in metro manila to improve the service delivery system. Through the said network, DSWD-NCR envisions a future where capability-building providers and direct service implementers in metro manila will have access to relevant and appropriate quality capability building programs towards effective and efficient service delivery.

Objectively, the initiative will develop modules and resource materials and conducts capability-building activities that fit the need of the members and non-members. As the lead secretariat, DSWD-NCR formulates Social Welfare and Development (SWD) policies for the operationalization of capability-building programs. Also parts of its functions as secretariat are the provision of training needs assessment, consultancy and study tours.

Being a member of the SWD L-Net NCR proves to be advantageous for the Department and its intermediaries as it provides access to relevant and appropriate quality capability-building programs to address training needs relative to SWD sectoral concerns. Also, the network gives the opportunity to connect with a diverse pool of SWD professionals to mobilize training resources. Members can also promote their individual or their organization’s professional expertise in SWD capability-building programs.

Organizations, institutions, agencies, academe/schools and individual experts who provide training courses and related capability building programs especializing in  social welfare and development are invited to become members of the SWD L-Net. Also invited as members are DSWD registered, licensed and accredited SWD agencies espousing the major SWD sectoral programs operating in the region, Representatives of academic institutions providing social work and related courses, including association of schools of social work and social work educators,  recognized social work professional organizations, among others. ###

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DSWD-NCR commends the integrity and dedication of two (2) of its employees

“Noong sinasauli namin yun pera, naaalala namin yung sinumpaan namin tuwing lunes ng umaga, na hindi namin gagamitin ang aming panunungkulan sa sarili naming kapakanan o tatanggap ng suhol. Masaya na kami na nakakapagbigay-serbisyo sa kapwa at nakakapaglingkod sa bayan.” (When we returned the money, we remembered the oath we swore to keep every Monday morning that we will not use our office on our own behalf or to receive a bribe. We find satisfaction in serving others and being of service to the community.) These were the inspiring words of Mr. Sherwin Cortas, Admin. Aide IV during their commendation at the flag raising ceremony on April 13, 2015. He, together with Mr. Andy Cuadrillero, Social Welfare Officer I, returned a folded note containing Php 300.00 supposedly left as gift to the staff for their services. Ms. Hazel Militante, Protective Services Unit (PSU) Chief, commended the honorable deed done by two (2) of her staff from Travel Clearance Section (TCS), as instructed by the management. Both Mr. Cortas and Mr. Cuadrillero are on Job Order Status.

The action demonstrates compliance to Section 7, Article d of the Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. One of the prohibited acts in the said act is the “Solicitation or acceptance of gifts,” wherein “Public officials and employees shall not solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan or anything of monetary value from any person in the course of their official duties or in connection with any operation being regulated by, or any transaction which may be affected by the functions of their office.”

The occurrence happened on April 07, 2015. Prior to this, on April 01, 2015, the client offered to provide snacks for Mr. Cuadrillero while the assessment for her application was on-going, to which he politely refused. Instead, he explained that it was part of his job and that there is no need to provide anything for the services rendered. While the document is being released to the client, she asked Mr. Cortas to call for Mr. Cuadrillero but unfortunately, Mr. Cuadrillero was busy attending to another client.

andy cuadrillero copy.caption

Upon knowing that Mr. Cuadrillero cannot see her personally, the client hurriedly placed the folded note on the table where Mr. Cortas is seated. It was only after the client left when they noticed the folded note. Once opened, they saw Php 300.00 inside. Upon discovery of the money, the two staff immediately reported the incident to Ms. Maricel Barnedo, their OIC. They also tried to trace the contact details of the client. The money was kept intact at the Travel Clearance Section during the course of the search. On April 08, 2015, the client went back to the Travel Clearance Section in NCR to reclaim her money.

sherwin cortas copy.caption

On the first instance of the case, Ms. Maricel Barnedo, OIC for Travel Clearance Section felt mixed emotions. “Nung una, natakot ako siyempre kasi di basta-basta yun eh, pera yung pinaguusapan eh, pero natuwa din ako sa ipinakita nilang katapatan” (At first, I was scared because it was no ordinary matter, that’s money we are talking about, but I am also glad they showed honesty.) She described Mr. Cortas as a diligent and responsible staff, who is motivated in the execution of his functions at the releasing of travel clearances. On the other hand, Mr. Cuadrillero is described as the silent, soft-spoken type, ready to take on the assessment of the clients processing for a travel clearance. Mr. Cortas and Mr. Cuadrillero were hired on February 24 and March 26, 2015 respectively. ###

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Pantawid Pamilya Valedictorian inspires fellow high school graduates

“Batid ko na ang bawat isa sa inyo ay nakaranas ng iba’t ibang paghihirap at pagsasakripisyo upang makatungtong sa araw ng ating pagtatapos sa hayskul at ngayon ay binabati ko na kayo dahil sa karangalang iyon,” Alyannah said in her valedictory speech in front of almost 4,000 Pantawid Pamilya high school graduates who attended their graduation celebration at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

Graduated from Pasay City Science High School as the class valedictorian, the 15- year old student shared how her family struggled in their everyday life and how Pantawid Pamilya program helped her to finish secondary education.

“Naalala ko pa nga noon, kapag sinasabi ko kina mama at papa na may kailangang bayaran sa paaralan, papagalitan nila ko at sasabihing, ‘Gastusin na naman. Anak, hindi naman kami nangingitlog ng ginto.’ Pero alam niyo kung ano yung maganda, sa huli, gagawin nila ang lahat para maibigay lamang yung kailangan mo,” she enthused.

Alyannah is among the 93 Pantawid Pamilya High School graduates in 2015 with academic excellence awards from the cities of Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Taguig, Makati, Pasay and Pateros Municipality, who participated in the event organized by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Held on April 9, 2015, with the theme “Pagtatapos Niyo, Tagumpay ng Pilipino,” the event aims to showcase another milestone in Pantawid Pamilya implementation wherein a total of 333,673 Pantawid Pamilya children-beneficiaries nationwide, graduated in high school this year.


The participants of the event who came from the cities of Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Taguig, Makati, Pasay and Pateros Municipality attentively listen to the speech of the event’s guests.

The participants of the event who came from the cities of Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Taguig, Makati, Pasay and Pateros Municipality attentively listen to the speech of the event’s guests.

The event was concluded with discussion on scholarship and employment opportunities shared by the speakers from DOLE-NCR and TESDA and with the opened career booths of the different partners from NGAs and private sectors.

“Huwag nating hayaang mawala ang kayamanang ito dahil tanging mabuting edukasyon lamang ang makakatulong sa atin upang maabot ang ating mga pangarap. Nawa’y sa pagtatapos nating ito ay huwag kayong tumigil na mangarap at magsikap.” Alyannah added as she encourages her fellow students.

For her message to DSWD, she humbly said, “Isa kayo sa naging inspirasyon namin upang makapagtapos sa hayskul dahil nais naming ipakita na hindi kayo nagkamali na kami ay inyong tinulungan (as beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilya program). Hinding hindi naman iyon sasayangin at tatanawin naming malaking utang na loob sa inyo.”

Together with DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, the guests who attended the event are (from  left) DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz , DepED Secretary Armin Luistro, and Ms. Kris Aquino.

Together with DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, the guests who attended the event are (from left) DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz , DepED Secretary Armin Luistro, and Ms. Kris Aquino.

The second leg of the celebration will be held on April 23, 2015 at Smart Araneta in Cubao, Quezon City to be attended by approximately 13,000 Pantawid Pamilya high school graduates from the cities of Navotas, Malabon, Caloocan, Valenzuela, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Marikina, San Juan, Manila and Quezon City.###

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DSWD reiterates the requirements for Travel Clearance for minors

A travel clearance is a document issued exclusively by the DSWD to a Filipino child (below 18 years of age) who is traveling abroad alone or with someone other than his/her biological parents.

According to OIC – Regional Director Jacel J. Paguio, “DSWD Field Office NCR is reiterating the submission of complete requirements for a travel clearance at least two (2) weeks prior to actual date of travel”.

She also stressed the importance of travel clearance in the prevention of child trafficking and other forms of abuse that may be encountered by the minor during overseas travel.

Categorically, a minor travelling alone to a foreign country needs to secure a travel clearance. Also, a minor travelling to a foreign country accompanied by a person other than his/her parents and an illegitimate child, who is going abroad with a person other than the mother must secure a travel clearance to ensure that the child will not fall prey to child trafficking.

Children ages 13 years old below are not allowed to travel alone without an adult companion. However, for applicants who are 13 years old above and travelling alone for the first time, they must submit two (2) colored passport-sized photos taken within the last six (6) months, a duly accomplished application form, photocopies of birth certificate from NSO, a written consent from both parents if legitimate or written consent from the mother if illegitimate or the legal guardian allowing the minor to travel and a photocopy of the marriage certificate of the minor’s parents or the certificate of legal guardianship issued by the court. In case of an illegitimate minor, a certificate of no marriage (CENOMAR) from the Philippine Statistics Agency (PSA) while in the case of a deceased parent, a photocopy of the death certificate necessitates the facilitation of the travel clearance.

For minors travelling for the first time with someone other than their parents or legal guardian, the same document applies to them. In the written consent, however, the parent or legal guardian must specify the person who will accompany the minor in the travel abroad, the country of destination and purpose of travel. Please note that the assigned social worker may require additional documentary requirements during the assessment of the Travel Clearance application “to safeguard the child’s best interest and welfare and to ensure that no child shall be trafficked”.
Every travel clearance has a validity of one (1) or two (2) years from the date of issuance and shall be valid for multiple travels within the validity period as long as the conditions stipulated under the present clearance have not changed. Should there be any changes, however, a new travel clearance must be obtained. The processing fee for a clearance good for a year is Php 300.00 while a clearance valid for two years would entail Php 600.00. To save time, forms are downloadable from the DSWD website. For more details, you can visit the nearest DSWD regional office. ###

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Poverty motivates a Valedictorian Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary

Graduated from Pasay City Science High School with a prestigious academic award as the class valedictorian, Alyannah P. Terite, 15 years old, shared to the DSWD-NCR family how poverty motivated her to attain such achievement.

“Mahirap lamang ang aming buhay, walang permanenteng trabaho ang aking mga magulang kaya may mga pagkakataong naghihikahos kami… Batid ko ang hirap at sakripisyo ng aking mga magulang kaya pinili kong pagbutihin ang aking pag- aaral,” Alyannah proudly shared.

Both of her parents Erlinda, 44 and Alfonso, 37 are selling grilled street foods at a street along Cavite, and they are going home to Pasay City every day to give Alyannah and her sister Alizzah their daily allowance in going to school.

Erlinda expressed that she is proud of her two (2) lovely girls who are able to take care of themselves with a minimum supervision by their auntie. In addition, she is thankful that both are gaining academic excellence though she is not around to teach them on their assignments or projects.

With their meager income in selling street food, Erlinda admits that the cash grant they are receiving as Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary really helps much in providing the need of their children.

Erlinda proudly shared to DSWD-NCR Regional Director Ma. Alicia S. Bonoan, how her two (2) daughters managed to take care of themselves with a bonus of achieving academic awards.

Erlinda proudly shared to DSWD-NCR Regional Director Ma. Alicia S. Bonoan, how her two (2) daughters managed to take care of themselves with a bonus of achieving academic awards.

“Hindi po biro ang magpaaral sa Science High School dahil marami pong projects at assignments na talagang kailangan gastusan. Salamat na lang at may nakukuha kami sa Pantawid Pamilya pandagdag sa kanilang panggastos sa pag-aaral,” she enthused.

Meanwhile, Alyannah recently passed the University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT) where she will enroll in Civil Engineering.

“Ginawa ko ang lahat ng aking makakaya… hindi naging hadlang ang kahirapan upang ako ay makapag-aral… itinuturing ko ang kahirapang ito bilang pagsubok na kinakailangan kong lagpasan at pagtagumpayan,” Alyannah added.

The Government shall continue to assist Alyannah in her college education thru the Expanded Students’ Grant-in-aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) implemented by CHED and DSWD.

Further, her sister Alizzah, grade 7 was recently recognized as 5th honors in her class which made Erlinda and her husband doubly proud that their children excel in school amidst the struggles they are encountering everyday.

With determination and full conviction, Alyannah said “Nasisiguro kong matatapos ko ang malubak na daang iyon at makararating ako sa dulo kung saan nag-aabang ang aking inaasam na tagumpay at magandang kinabukasan.”

Alyannah’s family is among the 234,526 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in Metro Manila as of March 27, 2015 and she is one of the 93 Pantawid Pamilya High School graduates in 2015 with academic excellence awards from the cities of Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Taguig, Makati, Pasay and Pateros Municipality.

Pantawid Pamilya program is the core poverty reduction program of DSWD which invests in human capital through its financial assistance based on the compliance to health and education conditionalities of its beneficiaries.###

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DSWD-NCR pays tribute to women through artwork

Partner-beneficiaries and Field Office employees joined the 2015 regional poster making contest held on April 08, 2015 at the Field Office NCR grounds. The activity was conducted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) through the Pantawid Pamilya Regional Program Management Office (RPMO), as part of the celebration of the National Women’s Month, with the theme: “Juana, Desisyon Mo ay Mahalaga sa Kinabukasan ng Bawat Isa, Ikaw Na!”

Through the contest, the public becomes aware of the importance of celebrating the significance of women to the society. Furthermore, it promotes awareness on women empowerment especially among Pantawid Pamilya partner-beneficiaries, whose grantees are ideally the mothers of the households.

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There are two (2) categories for this contest, one for DSWD-NCR Field Office staff and the other one, for partner-beneficiaries. On this, the partner-beneficiaries must be actively participating in the implementation of Pantawid Pamilya in their local government unit. For children-beneficiaries, they must be included in the household’s family roster.

The participants made use of white cartolina as the medium for their poster. While basic artwork materials were provided by the organizers, the contestants had the liberty to bring other art materials such as markers, pencils, oil pastels, etc. to enhance the aesthetics of their artworks.

Each contestant was given 30 minutes to one (1) hour to finish the artworks on the spot. The posters will be adjudged following the criteria, namely: 25% for composition and visual impact; 25% for its relevance to the theme; 15% for creativity and artistry; ten percent (10%) for authenticity and 15% for its craftsmanship, with a total of 100%. The winner for the poster making contest will be announced on April 30, 2015.

As part of the initiative of the Field Office, additional activities for the National Women’s month celebration included The Search for the Ilaw ng Tahanan 2015 and the fora on IP/Muslim women empowerment, all of which aimed to highlight women’s roles and accomplishments in leadership and decision-making and to encourage our partner-beneficiaries to participate in policy-making in their own communities. ###

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The DSWD-NCR congratulates scholars of Tulong Aral ng Petron; upholds DepED’s mandate for quality education

The Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region joined the Tulong Aral ng Petron (TAP) Foundation, World Vision Development Foundation, Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) and the Department of Education (DepED), in congratulating the TAP scholars who graduated this school year together with their parents in a special ceremony held recently at the San Miguel Corporation Headquarters in Mandaluyong City.

Some 455 scholars from different schools in Metro Manila attended the momentous event. Of these, 379 are graduates from the elementary level as the TAP’s 7th batch of graduates for elementary; while 76 are graduates from the high school level, making them the 3rd batch of TAP graduates for high school.


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Mr. Arjay Torno, Valedictorian and TAP scholar from Tala High School in Caloocan City delivered an inspiring speech, which carried the thoughts and feelings of his fellow graduates.

He appreciated the people who have been part of his journey as a high school student, saying “always remember that we are not the only character in our story. There are people behind us for support. These people are our very supportive families especially our parents and our endless loving God.”

Meanwhile, Regional Director Ma. Alicia S. Bonoan expressed gratitude for the 13 years of partnership with Petron Foundation, together with DepED and the local government units by her concluding message “ako ay taos pusong nagpapasalamat sa Petron Foundation, Inc. sa patuloy nilang pagbibigay ng pag-asa sa mga kapus-palad na kabataan upang mabigyan ng pagkakataon na magkaroon ng maayos na edukasyon tungo sa pag-abot ng kanilang mga pangarap. ###

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