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DSWD-NCR joins other national government agencies in the “Oplan Pagyanig”

The Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) joined the national government agencies in the conduct of the first quarter nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill recently entitled “Oplan Pagyanig.” It handled the intake of the identifying information of the victims and the provision of family starter kits and food packs through the Disaster Assistance Family Access Card (DAFAC).

DAFAC is a comprehensive data intake tool developed by the DSWD to immediately capture salient and necessary information about the victims in a brisk and responsive manner.

Meanwhile, different scenarios were depicted during the exercise. These were derived from the results of the Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study, 2004 (MMEIRS, 2004) where an earthquake with an estimate intensity of 7.2 magnitude is set to happen along the West Valley fault, showing the worst case scenario for Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

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Part of the drill scenario is the simulation of rescue operations in the onslaught of an earthquake. The MMDA Rescue Team demonstrated the proper way of conducting a rescue operation, particularly when the victims are trapped under a collapsed building. All participating national government agencies took their part seriously during the simulation.

Convened by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), “Oplan Pagyanig” was held at the LRT line 2 Santolan station depot, and was headed by the Office of Civil Defense – National Capital Region. (OCD-NCR) and the LGU of Marikina.

The participating national government agencies include the DOH, the DILG, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), the NCR Police Office (NCRPO), and the Joint Task Force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (JTF-AFP). These form the incident command post (ICP) of the sub-emergency operations center (Sub-EOC) of the east quadrant located at Santolan station of the LRT 2. ###

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DSWD-NCR upholds transparency in fiscal management; inks Budget Partnership Agreement (BPA) with partner CSOs

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Fiscal management is defined as “the ability to develop and manage financial systems through responsible stewardship of fiscal resources.” So how is this relevant to social welfare and development? It is imperative for all national government agencies to disclose the utilization of their respective allotted budget. For the Department, one of the strategies to obtain balanced fiscal management is through the BPA, where the allocation of the budget is sector-focused and needs are determined through consultation process during the annual budget preparation.

In its continuing efforts to confirm that there is no corruption in the agency, the DSWD – NCR recently signed the Budget Partnership Agreement with nine (9) Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

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Following the administration’s Open Government Partnership, the BPA creates an opportunity where CSOs and other Social Welfare and Development Agencies (SWDAs) may actively participate in the budget process. It provides a constructive partnership between national government agencies and private entities in the monitoring of the implementation of various programs, activities or projects of the government. This procedure highlights the importance of transparency in all government transactions and processes.

The BPA is in line with the Department’s “four areas of mobilization” initiative, particularly the “Bantay” or the unbiased monitoring of projects and activities that is anchored on transparency and good governance. Also included in the areas of mobilization are “Tulay” which refers to creation of partnerships to bridge external assistance to social protection programs; “Kaagapay” or the implementation of the anti-poverty programs; and the “Gabay” or the mechanism of extending necessary technical assistance.

In line with this, the Department issued the Memorandum Circular No. 14, series of 2013, called the “Terms of Reference (TOR) for the DSWD Conduct of the National and Regional Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) Consultation for the Annual Budget Preparations.” The issuance institutionalizes the conduct of CSO consultation and forging of the budget partnership agreements (BPAs) between the DSWD and the CSOs at the national and regional levels, as a component of the national agency budget process. ###

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Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary dreams to be a Social Worker

In front of her fellow Pantawid Pamilya parent leaders in Quezon City, Cherry Cayubit, 41 years old, proudly shared how her eldest child Riza Ella, 16 years old and graduating in high school, was inspired to take bachelor’s degree in Social Work because of her.

During the roadshow of DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman in Quezon City on February 26, 2015, some 150 Parent Leaders from QC shared their stories of change gained by the families from the program, through the small group workshop.

Meanwhile, on the latter part of the program, eight (8) PLs shared their stories in the plenary session with Secretary Soliman, staff and their fellow parent leaders.

As representative of their group, among the subject of Cherry’s testimony is her child who was previously uncomfortable with her duty as parent leader of the program in their area.

“Dati ang sabi ng anak kong panganay, ‘Ma, ano ba naman ‘yang ginagawa mo?… lagi na lang may tao sa bahay naten… ang daming nagpupunta…’ di na tayo nawalan ng bisita.’ Pero ngayon, kapag wala ako at may nagpunta, ang sagot na niya ay ‘wala po si Mama eh, bakit po? Kailangan niyo po ba ng BUS o GRS form?’ at tinuturuan niya pa sa pagsagot ang mga members,” she shared.

Cherry confirmed that she was relieved when her eldest child finally accepted that she is really committed to be a Parent Leader.

“Laking tuwa ko ngayon na tanggap na ng anak ko yung klase ng responsibilidad ko… at may bonus pa, na-inspired daw siya sa ginagawa ko kaya ang sabi niya ay kukuha daw siya ng kursong social work sa kolehiyo,” Cherry narrated.

In 2014, Cayubit family received livelihood assistance under the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of DSWD-NCR which Cherry used to put up a sari-sari store. This now serves as their major source of income in addition to the meager income of her husband, Danilo, a construction worker.

Cayubit family is among the 38, 721 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in Quezon City who are being monitored for compliance in the program conditionalities.###







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Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary acquires strengthened faith upon inclusion in the program

“Noong una, hindi ako naniniwala sa Diyos at hindi ko hinihikayat ang aking pamilya na magsimba tuwing Linggo kasi kung talagang may Diyos, ‘di dapat kami mahirap… pero ngayon, nararanasan kong ‘di lang pala ako oridnaryong tao, kundi importanteng tao ako”(At first, I don’t believe in God and I am not encouraging my family to attend Sunday mass at church because if that so called ‘God’ really exists, then we should not be poor… but now, I feel that I’m not only an ordinary person but I’m an important person a s well) ” Jovy Dulang said while delivering her testimony in the recent Inter-City Learning Visits of Beneficiaries in Marikina City.

On February 18, 2015, a total of 100 Parent Leaders of the Pantawid Pamilya program from the cities of Marikina and Manila actively participated in the said activity where they were given an opportunity to meet and interact with other program beneficiaries from other LGU and learn from their success stories.

In the activity, Marikina group proudly showcased their urban gardening project which benefited 1,000 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries while the Manila group boldly presented the Patrol Solid Waste Management Project in Parola, Tondo where the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries actively participate as “ecopatrollers” which has been a source of income for their families.

These inspired the partner-beneficiaries to replicate their good practices in their respective areas which is among the objectives of this learning visit.

As mechanics for the workshop, the beneficiaries were divided into five (5) groups where they freely shared to their small groups their stories of change as beneficiaries of the program. After this, a gallery viewing was done followed by the gathering of all the participants to hear their testimonials where Jovy was one of those who shared their stories.

According to Jovy, the acquired knowledge from the Family Development Sessions (FDS) has capacitated them as a family, and more importantly has enriched them spiritually. Her family’s faith in God has deepen.

“Since most of our FDS is being facilitated by a Pastor (from I-Help), I can now feel that we are spiritually guided; that it is not the money that really matters in order to build and maintain harmonious relationship in a family… it is actually the faith in God,” she affirmed.

Jovy also shared that as beneficiary of the program and as a Parent Leader, she now appreciates their worth as “poor” as she is now involved in various community activities with her fellow beneficiaries. Among her most memorable experiences is when she witnessed the approval of the 2013 national budget in Malacañang by President Benigno S. Aquino III .

Jovy also proudly disclosed that her eldest child, Angel Dulang, 21 years old, recently graduated with a degree in BS Education major in Math at the Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology.

Due to the priceless changes brought by the Pantawid Pamilya program to Jovy’s family and to her fellow partner-beneficiaries, all participants of the activity confidently yelled the lines of “Kaya ko ang Pagbabago!.”

From the activities of gallery viewing where each one was able to see the output of other groups and with the testimonial of their fellow

Jovy with her statement shirt saying: “Kaya ng Pinoy Tumawid sa Kaunlaran” while discussing to the other groups her team’s output during the small group discussion.

Jovy with her statement shirt saying: “Kaya ng Pinoy Tumawid sa Kaunlaran” while discussing to the other groups her team’s output during the small group discussion.

beneficiaries, the participants of the activity went home with new learnings on the good practices and inspirational success stories of their co-participants which they will also share to other Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in their community.

Meanwhile, another Inter-city Learning Visit was held on February 20, 2015 in Valenzuela City where 100 Parent Leaders from the said LGU and Muntinlupa City also did the same activity.###  

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GRACES is the only beneficiary of PhilHealth fun run in NCR

The Golden Reception and Action Center for the Elderly and other Special cases (GRACES) is the sole beneficiary of the NCR leg of the PhilHealth’s 2nd Simultaneous Fun Run held on February 15, 2015. According to PhilHealth, 80% of the total proceeds from the NCR leg will be turned over to GRACES.

Some 12,ooo runners and enthusiasts participated in this event nationwide, which was simultaneously held in 13 cities, such as Baguio, Tuguegarao, Dagupan, Subic in Olongapo, Lipa, Lucena, Naga, Iloilo, Cebu, Tacloban, Davao, and Koronadal. Moreover, the runners chose from 20K, 10K, 5K and 3K race categories.

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Dubbed as “PhilHealth Ready, TSeKap, Go!” the Run carried the theme “Ensuring Universal Coverage for All Filipinos,” and is one of the major activities to celebrate their 20th anniversary. The fun run promotes active, healthy lifestyle and the importance of preventive care among its members. It also aims to increase public awareness on PhilHealth’s different health care benefits and how to access these.

Sole beneficiary for NCR
Each PhilHealth regional office identified the institutions that will benefit from the event. GRACES was chosen for NCR because it serves a vulnerable sector, the elderly.

Located at Bago Bantay, Quezon City, GRACES is one of the residential care facilities under the management of DSWD-NCR. It provides temporary shelter and basic home life services to the paraplegic, senior citizens who were either neglected, unattached and with Alzheimer’s disease. To date, the facility is serving 157 senior citizens. ###

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Former street children find inspiration in family camp

Almost a year ago since they joined the DSWD family camp in May 2014, Carl Jasper, Princess, Angelo and Jules aged 18, 16, 15 and 17, respectively, still remember the event that made them realize how enjoyable it is to be in a beautiful house. Thus, it encouraged them to finish their studies for them to have one in the future.

Aside from being in a beautiful house, the children also expressed gratitude that they are among the participants of the camping where they acquired learnings such as the value of education, proper hygiene and rights of the children, among others.

Carl Jasper Gabrido was reached-out from the street in 2012 as he was seen wiping the windscreens of private cars and public utility jeepneys without being bothered on the risks that he may incur on the street due to the said work.

With no financial support from his father who left them years ago, and as second to the eldest among his four (4) siblings, Carl Jasper decided to take it to himself and earn to help his mother in supporting the needs of their family.

Meanwhile, Princess Pineda was among the rag vendors in Manila wherein 2 years ago, at the age of 14, she can already skillfully dance her way to the window of every vehicle in the road to sell rags.

On the other side of Manila streets, there were Angelo Guevarra and Jules Ianne Escultura. They were “barker” and windscreen wiper a year ago and just like Carl Jasper, they are also unaware of the danger in their lives for doing such street activities.

In 2014, after being reached-out from the streets, the four (4) children became active participants in the learning sessions at District V, Manila activity center for children where the Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) street facilitators referred the reached-out children from nearby areas.

The children affirmed that they all have a house where they can sleep at night; however, due to their respective circumstances, they voluntary engage themselves to street dwelling.

“Nung nakaranas po kameng tumuloy sa magandang bahay doon po sa Island Cove (in Cavite), parang nagising po ako na hindi dapat ako lumalaboy sa kalsada… dapat pala pahalagahan ko ang edukasyon ko para balang araw ay magakaroon ako ng magandang kinabukasan,” Angelo said while reminiscing his family’s experience in the camp.

“Isa pa po sa talagang nakapagpasaya sa amin ay yung nagka-bonding kaming pamilya. Simula kasi ‘nung iniwan kame ng tatay ko ay hindi na kame nagkasama-sama para magsaya bilang isang pamilya,” Carl Jasper added.

Just after the camping, Carl Jasper, Angelo and Jules decided to go back to school, hoping that when they finish their studies, they may also bring such unforgettable experiences to their family.

Fortunately, the three recently finished their Alternative Learning System (ALS) at Adamson University wherein if they will pass in the qualifying exam they took on January 25, 2015, Carl Jasper and Jules will be recognized as high school graduates while Angelo will already be considered as elementary graduate.

“Pangarap ko pong maging pulis, para makatulong ako sa pagsagip sa mga batang lansangan na katulad ko, sana ay mabigyan ‘din sila ng pagkakataong mai-pagpatuloy ang pag-aaral at masimulan ang pagbuo sa mga pangarap nila,” Jules shared.

The three children were enrolled as scholars at Adamson University through the facilitation of District V, Manila activity center staff and the DSWD-NCR’s street facilitator who are monitoring the performance and other activities of the children.

Further, Princess is now in her 3rd year level at Manuel L. Roxas High School wherein every after her class, she always proceeds to the activity center where she spends her whole afternoon away from the raging vehicles on the street.

The children proudly narrate their experiences during the family camp on May 2014.

The children proudly narrate their experiences during the family camp on May 2014.

“Nung nakasama po kame sa camp, nalaman ko na karapatan ng bata ang makapaglaro at makapag-aral, ‘dun namulat ang kaisipan ng aking pamilya na hindi dapat ako mamalagi sa kalsada lalo na at babae po ako,” Princess said.

Princess dreams to be a nurse someday while Carl Jasper and Angelo want to be an Information Technologist and Engineer, respectively, in the future.

These children are among the 525 individuals in Metro Manila who were reached-out by DSWD-NCR in 2014, under the Comprehensive Program for Street Children, Families, and Indigenous Peoples especially Bajaus, for provision of social services and referral to the concerned LGUs or residential care facilities for temporary shelters.### (DSWD FO-NCR, Social Marketing Office, Feb.10, 2015)


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DSWD-NCR establishes partnership with Open Heart Foundation Worldwide, Inc.

DSWD-NCR establishes partnership with Open Heart Foundation Worldwide, Inc. (OHFWI), through a Memorandum of Agreement for the foundation’s continuous support in managing the library and day care room inside the Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC).

Photo shows DSWD-NCR Regional Director Ma. Alicia S. Bonoan (seated on the right), beside Ms. Rosalinda Tabios-Perez, Executive Director of OHFWI together with Mr. Teo Gatmaitan Manager, Business Process of Western Union Foundation and RSCC staff and residents.###

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I’m a 4Ps Scholar

By: Rose J. Bongon


They call us the lower class, the twerps, a burden to the government. They dub us dependents, supposedly merely after government doles. They call us the poorest of the poor, the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

Let me tell you people, we are less fortunate but we are not stupid. Yes, we are receiving a certain amount from the government, to alleviate our current situation, which is the program’s primary objective. But, is it really a basis for social discrimination and bullying?

I am a 4Ps scholar, one of the beneficiaries of the Expanded Students’ Grant-In-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA), to be particular about it. So, what do you think? I am giving you the freedom to say something about it. Are you one of those judgmental persons or among the rational ones?

When I first heard about the opportunity to avail myself of the ESGP-PA, I thought of my dreams becoming possible. It was as if chance had found a deserving student who desired to make a difference in her life, in her family, and in her society. Eventually, I became a lucky grantee. I consider that a significant gift that drew me closer to achieving my aspirations.

For me, tuition and other school fees, academic and extracurricular expenses, the purchase of textbooks, the lack of stipend and transportation fare ceased to be constant worries in the pursuit of a college degree. Each grantee is entitled to P30,000 per semester, and that has been making a difference.

But, the difference includes social discrimination and bullying. Some fellow students say something to this effect: “Those 4Ps scholars, they already have the scholarship, and they’re also given special treatment.” Those students who belong to well-off families look down on us when they learn that we are ESGP-PA grantees, as though we were unsightly.

The worst thing was when, in class, a professor presented his opinion on the program’s “dependency” on the government and how our expenses as grantees were being shouldered by taxpayers including himself, all because of irresponsible parenthood. His opinion just seemed so biased. It appeared that he did not realize: What could this mean, how could this affect, an ESGP-PA grantee in his class?

These have happened, not just to me, but also to my fellow 4Ps scholars. It’s like being a 4Ps scholar is a sin, that being less fortunate is a sin.

We are not the proponents of this program; we are merely the chosen recipients. I’ve come to think: What if everyone is a 4Ps beneficiary? Will their views still be the same? Will the treatment be just and fair? Why does social hierarchy matter a lot in building a community? Irrationality will never unite a country.

This is not all about irresponsible parenthood; this is reality. Poverty is present in the country. We are not building a poverty society. In fact, we strongly want to get out of that status. We strive to lift our families out of poverty and eventually give back to the economy.

I feel that I should just shut my mouth whenever they throw gibberish at us and degrade the ESGP-PA. Yet my open mind cannot fathom the fact that those words come from supposedly educated people who should know better than us. It is just a manifestation that someone can be educated but not learned.

Still, I extend my thanks to the government for providing a great opportunity for deserving students to complete tertiary-level education. I will focus on the positive goals. We’ll eradicate poverty; we don’t need irrationality. We are less fortunate, but we are not stupid.###

Rose J. Bongon, 20, is a third-year IT student at Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges. She is associate editor of The Spark (the official CSPC school–community publication) and blogs at

Note: This was published in on February 5, 2015.

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