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DSWD-NCR Conducts Pantawid Pamilya Children’s Festival 2018

In celebration of the 26th National Children’s Month (NCM), the Department of Social Welfare and Development National Capital Region (DSWD NCR) through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program conducted the Children’s Festival 2018 at Icon Hotel Timog, Quezon City on December 8-9, 2018.

Around 120 children beneficiaries from the 17 Local Government Units in the region participated in the event focused on the theme: “Bata, Magkaisa Tungo sa Bayang Mapagkalinga.” During the activity, participants tackled how they could attain a bayang mapagkalinga: a nation that gives children the freedom to express their feelings and thoughts and recognizes their rights.

The theme also focuses on children beneficiaries defining a “safe space” for children in the community. This coincides with the Council for the Welfare of Children’s  (CWC)  NCM theme, “Isulong: Tamang Pag-aaruga para sa Lahat ng Bata” with a call on children’s participation and unity by using the word magkaisa, and widening the  perspective on proper care for children by incorporating the concept of a bayang mapagkalinga.  

Participants showcased their talent in singing, acting, spoken poetry, and visual arts through presentations that highlighted the event’s theme.  

Children were also educated about the importance of CyberSafety and learned tips on how to safely navigate the internet. They were also informed about the key issues on CyberSafety ranging from Cyberbullying to Online Chatting, Online Gaming, and Online Pornography.

 The advocacy campaign by DSWD’s partner government agency, the Department of Education (DepEd) and Stairway Foundation Inc. was launched in recognition of an urgent need to protect and guide children in their use of the internet. It also addresses the need to protect Filipino children from cyberbullying and online child abuse. ###

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DSWD-NCR Representative Wins Pantawid Pamilya National Exemplary Child Search 2018

Justin Dale O. Dela Cruz from the National Capital Region bagged the 3rd runner-up award in the Pantawid Pamilya  National Search for Exemplary Children on December 1, 2018 during the celebration of the “Araw ng Kabataan” held at SM North Skydome.

At a young age, Justin, a 4Ps child beneficiary from Malabon City, has experienced several hardships in life. Despite his mother’s passing in 2014 due to rheumatic heart disease, he continues to maintains his positive outlook in life. Justin is passionate about helping his community and wants to become a policeman or fireman.

“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa DSWD dahil sa paglulunsad ng iba’t-ibang programa para sa aming mga kabataan at  sa Diyos dahil sa  pagkakaroon po ng ganitong karangalan. Gusto ko po sabihin sa kapwa ko kabataan na kahit bata tayo, tayo ay may magagawa at balang araw tayo rin ang magtutulong-tulong para umunlad ang ating bayan,”Justin said after receiving his award.

The title of Pantawid Pamilya National Exemplary Child 2018 was awarded to  Jay Mark C. Gac-ang, who represented Region X. Meanwhile, Ma. Kaitlinn Cayne S. Lubrico from Region 6 was declared as the first runner-up. Kristine Nicole S. Bumadilla from Region 1  placed second runner-up in the competition while Adeli D. Tan of MIMAROPA  won 4th runner-up. The finalists, who bested 12 other candidates from different parts of the Philippines, received respective cash prizes and plaques.

Since 2012, the Search for Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya Children recognizes children beneficiaries of the program who set excellent examples at home, in school, and in the community where they belong.

DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista congratulated all the exemplary children from the different regions during the awarding ceremony. He underlined the important role of children in the society. “Sa lahat ng mga batang nandito ngayon, sa mga batang punong-puno ng pangarap,  sa mga batang hindi sumusuko  at patuloy na lumalaban upang mabuhay, sa mga batang may pagpapahalaga sa kanilang pamilya, bayan at komunidad: kayo ang natatanging yaman ng ating bayan. “

He also emphasized the positive impact of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.  “By empowering children and their families through 4Ps, these children are able to realize their potential, develop self esteem, value themselves, become capable, wholesome, productive, respectful, loving, resilient, confident and well-adjusted human beings.”###

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EGV Joins in 19th WAPR Annual Mini-Olympics 2018

Actual photo of the Annual World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation at Elsie Gaches Village Alabang Zapote Rd. Alabang Muntinlupa City.


The Elsie Gaches Village (EGV) together with other allied professions supported the Annual Mini-Olympics 2018 of the World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation (WAPR), the activity was held last November 29, 2018 at EGV.


This one day activity was led by the Algon Foundation together with UP-PGH, Cavite Mental Health, Veterans Hospital, and National Center for Mental Health and participants from Sanctuary Center. The activity started with the opening amenities, acknowledgement of participants from different agencies and homecare centers, Parade of participants, Cheering presentation.  Twenty six (26) residents from EGV were selected to participate on the different activities the activity. The activity gave the residents/ clients the opportunity to socialize with different people from different institution and increase their social participation skills thru sports.


At the end of the activity, the residents of EGV won one (1) Silver and one (1) Bronze medal in badminton and basketball category.


The activity aims to raise awareness on Mental Health, promote the rights of person with psychosocial needs, strengthen the relationship and promote sportsmanship and values formation.


Elsie Gaches Village will be hosting the 2019 World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation.



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Journey Towards a Better Future

Aisha speaking during a DSWD-NCR event

An old saying goes: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Aisha Salombata Sabral, who hails from Lamitan Basilan and is a member of the Sama-Badjao tribe, knew she had to gather up the courage to begin her journey towards a better life.

Aisha was born in Basilan on 1987. She describes her life in her hometown as quiet yet content. They lived in a house made of light materials which is located in the middle of the sea and traveled through Vintas. She was raised inthe traditional way of the Sama-Badjaos.

During her childhood, she recalls her parents sold fish either house-to-house and sometimes in the wet market to sustain their daily basic needs. While it was simple, she remembers her life during these times as blissful.

But it all changed on 1998, when armed conflict started in Mindanao. Her family was caught in the crossfires of Basilan. Due to the dir  and dangerous situation in their hometown, their family decided to go to Manila to find better fortune. She was only 12 years old then.  

However, contrary to their expectations, their living conditions in Manila was miserable. Without a place to stay, they resided at the Baywalk strip. She deems it her most unforgettable experience in her life.  In order to survive, her family had to ask for alms. “Lagi po kami namamalimos at nanghihingi ng pera kung kani-kanino,” she recalls.

When she had children, they were forced to still live in the streets. Her children were frequently sick due to their living conditions; they inhaled all the dirt and pollution. They slept on laid out cardboard boxes. There were also times they had to wake-up early in the morning because the place they stayed at for the night were restricted for illegal dwellers like them. “Awang-awa po ako sa sarili ko dahil pinagtatabuyan po kami at wala kaming magawa, ” she said.

She also shared that she brought along her daughter while asking for alms on jeepneys in Burgos Kalayaan area in Makati City. She wanted a better life for her family but she did not know of any other way to improve their lives.

This all changed when they were interviewed and were registered in the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Homeless Families (MCCT-HSF) under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

The Sabral family was registered under the MCCT-HSF Program on April 15, 2015. They bagan receiving provisions on   Alternative Family Home (AFH) and other Social Service Interventions depending on their need. She was also recommended to work as a Street Assistant last October to December of the previous year. She was described as a good worker who did her job well and delivered reports on time. Currently, she is a Day Care Asssitant at Barangay 704, endorsed to Capital Assistance under LGU fund and Livelihood assistance under Heleos Foundation which was tapped as partner by the undersigned. Meanwhile, her husband Allan Sabral, is selling hand-made accessories.

At present, the family is still   maintaining their AFH and continuously supports her children andhas been compliant to all conditionalities. Aisha has also represented the IP sector in various activities such as PLs trainings, IP Forum and other IP activities. She is an active parent leader to her members. She  has talked and shared her story to all other IPs and Non-IP leaders and has touched their hearts too.

She hopes her story will be an inspiration to other IPs like her. She also expressed her gratitude to the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, which has helped her to reach the good place where she is now.

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Sibol Negosyo: Manggapis Water Station and Sari-sari Store

Ms. Jocelyn Manggapis of Barangay Western Bicutan, Taguig City used to solely rely on her husband’s salary to provide for their family’s needs. However, through her participation in the Sustainable Livelihood Program’s Micro-enterprise Development track, she was able to establish a water refilling and sari-sari store business.

#SLPSibol #SibolNegosyo

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Finding the Superhero Within

Oftentimes, we underestimate how one act of courage or kindness towards other people can change the world. We think that for us to have a significant impact, we need to be superheroes with superhuman qualities to save humanity or to improve our daily lives.

But for Justin Dale Dela Cruz, small acts can have a big effect. He believes that for bigger change to happen, it must begin in him. He believes that the adversities in his life will not be a hindrance to his dream of becoming a superhero. Instead,  He views each challenge as a  motivation to strive harder to  reach his dreams.

Childhood Memories

Sino po ang kasama ni Mary Jane Dela Cruz?”

Justin’s earliest memories of his mother are their trips to the hospital and him raising his little hand whenever the doctor asked this question. When he was grade one, he remembers carrying their bags down the halls of Philippine Heart Center while his mother tries to catch her breath.

He remembers holding his mother’s hand through every ultrasound and every check-up as she battled against rheumatic heart disease. Meanwhile, his father worked hard as a metal crafter to earn money for their family and his mother’s hospital expenses.

A young Justin with his mother, Jane, who passed away due to rheumatic heart disease in 2014

According to his Lola, the little boy’s mature demeanor for his age has made Jane confident in Justin’s capabilities.

Unfortunately, his mother’s heart became too weak and she succumbed to the disease in 2014.  While he remembers the gloomy hospital trips, his fondest memories of his mother are of her positivity and strength.

“Palagi po siya nakangiti, kahit nahihirapan siya. At ang huling bilin niya po sa akin ay mag-aral akong mabuti at bantayan ko po lagi ang kapatid ko,” Justin said, with tears welling in his eyes.

Life after His Mother

After his mother died, Justin’s father, Joel Dela Cruz, had to juggle different jobs in order to sustain the need of his two sons and to also repay some of the debt the family has due to his mother’s hospital expenses. Their home was also destroyed and was only rebuilt with the help of his father’s family.

In order to have a steady income to provide for his children, his father decided to work in Cavite as a service crew for a restaurant grill. Without a mother and father to look after them, Justin and his brother were entrusted to their grandmother, Ana Dela Cruz, who also lived in Malabon.

Living without his parents by his side has not been easy for Justin. Due to his family’s circumstances, Justin became responsible for his older brother, John Tyron. Though older by several years, his brother had a weak body and was often bullied by his classmates. Justin always came through for his brother and often fended off anyone that would pick on him.

He was determined to fulfil his mother’s wishes despite growing up facing varying difficulties in life. He is a consistent honour student that excells in various subjects. He  actively participates in extra-curricular activities, never letting his challenging circumstances affect his studies, such lack of resources. Like his mother, Justin’s disposition always remains positive; he is even deemed as the joker of their class.

Justin is also Lola Ana’s little helper. His Lola describes him as an industrious and resilient boy. After school activities, he helps in delivering the different goods that their family sell. These include homemade detergents, Boardwalk and Avon products, and meat products such as longganisa. Despite his busy schedule due to his school and his engagement in the community, he makes time to help with the chores around the house.

Justin also immersed himself in the art of Balagtasan. He believes that poetry is a powerful way for him to convey his feelings and his beliefs.  His passion began when he joined a sabayang bigkasan competition when he was in Grade 5.

He said his favourite piece is Jose Rizal’s Sa Kabataang Pilipino, which greatly inspires him to become an open-minded youth that can have a strong impact to the society.

Justin performs his favorite poem, “Sa Kabataang Pilipino” by Jose Rizal.

Committment to Helping Others

Justin’s admiration of Jose Rizal’s works and teachings has awakened his strong sense of altrauism and desire to help the community.  Justin was also determined not to let other children experience the things that he went through. He wants them to be healthy and strong individuals that could also give back to the community. “Ayoko pong maranasan ng ibang bata ang mga bagay na naranasan ko. Iniisip ko po lagi kung paano ako makakatulong sa ibang tao,” he said. Because of this, he decided to join organizations or groups that could help other people.

Justin has been an active volunteer member of Save the Children, an international non-governmental organisation that promotes children’s rights, provides relief and helps support children in developing countries since he was in Grade 3.  As a volunteer, he teaches other students about the importance of hand washing and eating healthy during Health and Nutrition Sessions. Justin also teaches other children to read every Saturday during the NGO’s Reading Camp Sessions.

Aside from his volunteer work in Save the Children, Justin is also a youth volunteer for Red Cross. He is knowledgeable in first-aid and providing basic emergency medical care thanks to the various trainings he completed. He has rendered duty hours in their local Health Center as a Red Cross volunteer. Because of this, his  family members fondly call him their “Little Doctor” who is capable of treating minor cuts and injuries. In October,  Justin became part of the night-monitoring team deployed due to the red alert status declared by MMDA in Metro Manila due the Bagyong Ompong.

Justin, a Boy Scout Patrol leader, instructs his school mates during an earthquake drill.

Justin is also a Tugatog youth volunteer, a member of the local church choir, and a  Boy Scout Patrol leader.

Justin’s hard work in the community and his excellent academic standing did not go unnoticed. On April 3, 2018,  he was awarded a leadership award  by the Office of the Vice Mayor of Malabon. He was also awarded during the State of the Children Address by the Local Government Unit of Malabon.

Passion Overcomes the Odds

Justin wants to continue helping people when he grows up, either as a policeman or a fireman. He became a  Felicance Fire and Rescue volunteer on September 2018 to be one step closer to this dream and to help more people in need. He has completed the basic orientation and training to become a fire volunteer and has experienced responding to several fire incidents.

When asked if he gets scared when he responds to disaster incidents or accidents, he said any fears he have are weaker than his desire to help others. “Tumutulong po ako dahil naiisip ko na kung ako o ang pamilya ko ang nangangailangan ay may mga maaasahan din po kami.”He believes that his volunteer work  is a way to encourage other members to give back to the community as well.

Despite his hectic schedule, Justin prioritizes his studies in order to maintain his grades. His family’s strong support of his studies and work in the community is also vital to Justin’s ability to balance his academic duties and his community work.   Ultimately, he believes that his education will be his doorway towards success. “Mahirap man po kami ay naniniwala akong madami pa akong magagawa. Kakayanin ko po ang lahat, kahit sabay-sabay.  Kung maayos po akong makakapagtapos, matutupad ko po hindi lang pangarap ko at ng aking pamilya na makaahon sa kahirapan at mas madami pa po akong matutulungan.” #










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From Farming to Giving

Pick-up and delivery of seedling with School Focal and Community Organizer

According to Albert Einstein, “It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.” This quote shows humanity’s capacity for generosity. Generosity, after all, is one of the fundamental traits that makes us human. It also helps us to become more understanding of the needs of those around us and become more self-aware of our actions.

This principle of generosity may be the foundation of the establishment of the school garden at Mt. Heights Tala. The school garden at Mt. Heights High School started through the initiatives of the City Link assigned at Barangay 183 North Caloocan of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and the school Principal Ms. Amelia Batalla. The school principal wanted to have partnership with the Pantawid Pamilya members because she knew that most of the members were mother. She thought that it will be effective and efficient if the efforts are coming from the members.

The objective of having a school garden was to help the Pantawid members with their food consumption and for the school feeding program. It started through a meeting with the people involved in the initiative like the Community Organizer, City Link, School Principal, and Pantawid Pamilya members.

On August 6, 2018 the school had a kickoff event for the establishment of the school garden. Pantawid Pamilya members, students, City Link, Child Welfare Assistant and Community Organizer which conducted a demonstration activity for the Pantawid Pamilya members on Urban Farming given by the City Agriculture Staff or Parks Administration of Caloocan were present during the event.

Through partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources National Capital Region, the school received 46 seedling trays or 4,600 seedlings to start the school garden. According to the Pantawid Pamilya members, the school garden helps them lessen their daily expenses because provides food for their families, at the same time they are happy because they can also help the school in providing the food for feeding program.

This December, when the Community Organizer visited the school garden the Principal proudly show their garden which was very fruitful and overflowing of vegetables. According to Ms. Batalla, the Pantawid Pamilya members were already harvesting the produce and also used the produce for the feeding program.

While having produce to harvest is a positive impact of the project, the unity and cooperation shown by each person involved is what truly makes the initiative remarkable. The Pantawid Pamilya members who work in the garden were very thankful because they were given a chance to be involved in Urban Gardening.

They also appreciated one of the main of the garden, which were to give and share the produce to the needy especially for those students who were attending the feeding program. They said this motivated them to work harder in the garden.

In three months since they established the school garden they have faced many challenges. Despite these obstacles, they were able to overcome it. Effort, time, commitment, care, and patience are the key ingredients to the success of their garden, according to the members.

Having concrete goals and objectives has helped the project become succesful.  The Gulayan sa Barangay project aims to help the Pantawid Pamilya members to be self-sufficient through gardening aside from food consumption they can also use it for marketing which they can sell the produce and be their additional income. Department of Social Welfare and Development is capacitating the members to be more proactive and knowledgeable in a way that they can stand on their own in pursuing their different dreams for their family.

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Shining Amidst Adversity

Maxine Makakua (rightmost), along with other regional winners of the Search for Pantawid Pamilya Exemplary Child 2018 during the conduct of Araw ng Kabataan

“Go placidly amid the noise and haste…”

These are not just the opening line of 1927 poem written by Max Ehrmann entitled “Desiderata”. For Maxine, the very words that continuously prompts our hero’s selfless acts of kindness towards other children.  It encourages her to academically perform and actively participate in different extracurricular activities. The phrase is her favorite from the poem that kindles our protagonist’s undying desire to give own family’s life a lot better. These qualities make our star one of the shiniest ones that ever radiated in the Pantawid Pamilya universe— one that tirelessly glitters and inspires other wanderers.

Being the second child in a family with three (3) children, Maxine, equally loves both her siblings and says that they make family struggles lighter. The eldest of them, Princess Macryl who is, like Maxine,is  from a Special Science Class at Araullo High School and  the youngest, Prince Marcky who excels and tops class shimmer in Makakua’s galaxy and together, the three (3) siblings make such perfect constellation that brightens the days of their parents despite poverty and hardship.

Maxine recalled how their life was changed by Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Mahirap po talaga kasi po hindi naming alam kung saan manggagaling ang panggastos sa araw-araw naming pamumuhay at hirap pagkasyahin ang kaunti lang po na mayroon kami. Pero po nang dumating po ang Programa, malaki po ang pinagbago hindi lamang dahil sa nabawasan ang mga problema at nadagdagan ang mga pantustos sa gastusin sa eskuwela kundi dahil nakatulong ito upang ma-refer at magkaroon ng pormal na pagsasanay si papa sa TESDA bilang electrician kaya talagang nagamit niya ito dahil nagbukas po ito ng pintuan at oportunidad na makapagtrabaho sa ibang bansa,” she said. (It was difficult because we didn’t know where to get money to sustain our daily living and we also had hard time budgeting the small amount of money we had. But when the Program came, it has changed many things for it did not only lessen our problems and added budget for school expenses but also assisted my father to receive formal training as electrician at TESDA wherein the skills my father acquired were used which opened opportunity to work abroad.)

Our achiever, even during her elementary days at Apolinario Mabini Elementary School, had demonstrated her potential for greatness. Maxine bagged countless recognitions from storytelling, Balagtasan, Quiz Bee and Singing contests. Her winning streak was continued upon entering Junior High which brought more distinction from participating inDramatic Duologue Contest to Speech Choir Contest where the piece Desiderata really marked Maxine’s perspective in life.

Maxine’s parents limitlessly show support by being present in all the scholastic activities being participated by their child and by pushing Maxine to do desired things for, Merry Cel, Maxine’s mother, believes that nothing, not even poverty can stop Maxine max to reach dreams in life and that their social status can never hinder.

These are just only few things that made Maxine deserving for the title Pantawid Pamilya Exemplary Child 2018 1st Runner-up.

Now, our hero serves as a volunteer for Joy Kiddie Center, a children-focused non-government organization where Maxine tutors younger kids who enjoy listening to our champ’s applause-worthy playing of angklung, ukulele, chimes and other musical instruments. Maxine explained that service to youth, through blessing of strength and talent given by god, gives such fulfilment and happiness that no amount of money can pay. Maxine aspires to be a chef one for yet another selflessly innocent reason—to let others enjoy dishes Maxine prepared.

Truly one who sees a silver lining in every cloud not only is blessed but is also a blessing to others like Maxine, our star, who despite experiencing poverty, shines luminously with pride and selflessness.

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