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Rainbow in Bayanihan

The LGBTQ of Piña, regional winner for Gender and Development category of 6th Regional Bayani Ka! Awards aspires for community development through the empowerment of poor and marginalized sectors.

“Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it’s a good place to start.” – Jason Collins, first openly gay athlete in U.S. pro sports

This statement livens up the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA) community of Barangay Piña in San Jacinto, Masbate by taking part in the implementation of community projects geared towards empowerment and local development.

Jhonnel de los Santos, 34, day care worker who is part of LGBTQIA was voted by community members through a barangay assembly to oversee the implementation of pathway sub-project as Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) chairperson.

This barangay road was funded through the Department of Social Welfare and Development Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS).

According to Barangay Captain Jhony Almencion, the main source of livelihood of the barangay is farming while selling of gravel and sand for construction serves as a sideline.

The community proposed the construction of barangay road to ease the travel of students and delivery of agricultural products.

Ang hirap ng dinadanas namin noong kami ay nagaaral pa lamang kapag inaabot kami ng baha hinihintay na muna namin ito humupa at ang hirap din kapag putik (It was difficult when we were still going to school because we had to wait for the flood to subside and we experienced the difficulty of walking in muddy roads),” he explained.


To finish the sub-project with flying colors is already a feat. But, the community is not an exception when experiencing difficulties.

According to Jhonnel, they have difficulty in organizing the community for an assembly because some do not believe in the DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS program.

Tinatak ko sa isip iyon na pagsubok na kailangan malampasan kaya ini-encourage o ipinapamulat ko sa mga tao na totoo yung program sa pamamagitan by purok na invitation sa pag-attend ng barangay assemblies (I set the problem as a need to solve so I encourage or enlighten the residents that the program is indeed real by inviting them by zone to attend the barangay assemblies),” he said.

Jhonnel also said that as a gay, he also faced discriminatory remarks from others questioning his ability as BSPMC chairperson who leads the implementation.

Marami nagsasabi na hindi ko kaya kasi bading o bakla ako pero ang sarap sa pakiramdam na maraming tao pa rin ang naniniwala sa akin na kaya ko (Many said that I won’t be able to make it because I’m gay but it’s pleasant that many people also believed in me),” he added.

Using the trust given by other community members, Jhonnel set aside the discrimination and dedicated his time and effort in implementing the project diligently.

The volunteer also emphasized that the barangay became one family during the implementation.

Dito sa aming barangay ay parang isang pamilya. Kami ay nagtutulungan at sama-sama sa mga pangarap namin (Here in our barangay, we are one family that help each other and together in achieving dreams),” he recounted.

Jhonnel also inspired fellow LGBTQIA to participate in the program like Jose Rey Lignes, 35, a community volunteer of Barangay Danao by sharing experiences and words of encouragement.

According to Rey, when their intervention was not prioritized for funding by DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS on its third cycle of implementation, Jhonnel encouraged them not to give up on proposing their community project for the succeeding cycle because all their sacrifices will be put to waste.

Ini-encourage kami niya na lahat na pagod namin ay mawawalang saysay kapag sumuko kami so ngayon na Cycle 4 nakapasok kami sa DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS (He encouraged us that all our efforts will be useless if we decided to surrender. Through his advice, we are now part of the Cycle 4 implementation of DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS),”

Every barangay in a target municipality must undergo the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum (MIBF) for every cycle of DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS to identify the prioritized projects to be funded.


Before, the barangay council would decide the project on their own during sessions. Through DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS, the community is already part of the decision-making process for the development of their barangay.

Sa Kalahi-CIDSS, lahat ng community tulung-tulong kami na magpaplano kung ano ang dapat na gawin na proyekto (In Kalahi-CIDSS, all in the community are helping in planning for the projects they deemed fit),” Barangay Captain Jhony said.

Bilang punong barangay, ang gagawin ko po ay kasama na ang community sa pagpaplano ng development plan dahil mas kumportable kami kasama ang community dahil wala kaming makakaligtaan kung ano ang problema ng community (As barangay captain, I will include the community in the preparation of the development plan because we [council] are more comfortable with the residents and no problem will be left out in the community),” he continued.

To date, the construction of barangay road is on its 67% physical accomplishment.

Taking initiative despite differences in gender, age or religion is a good indication that everyone knows the rights and responsibilities as a community member. /ramsertan/

About DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS

Masbate has implemented DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS in 20 municipalities with a total implementation grant of Php 991,115,029.96 and local counterpart contribution of Php 55,064,765.38 from barangay and municipal local government units (LGUs) to fund community-managed sub-projects.

DSWD had allocated San Jacinto with Php 44,758,400.00 and local counterpart contribution of Php 2,626,049.00.

The construction of barangay road has a total project cost of Php 5,806,460.00 with local counterpart contribution of Php 305,603.00 that will benefit 48 households.

For more details about DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS, follow this link: 

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DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS to recognize community groups at 6th Regional Bayani Ka! Awards

Seven (7) community groups will be honored during the 6th Regional Bayani Ka! Awards at Casablanca Hotel on Thursday, July 25.

The Bayani Ka! Awards is an annual event of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS) to recognize community volunteers who took the initiative in improving their communities.

The recognition also aims to develop a pool of champions that will help in promoting the institutionalization of community-driven development (CDD).

CDD is a globally recognized strategy that empowers communities in planning, budgeting and implementing community projects or interventions needed in their communities.

The organizations were nominated by the DSWD employees deployed in different municipalities implementing the said program. The nomination is based on the impact and engagement of the volunteer groups who actively participate in the implementation of the program.

These organizations were classified into eight categories: gender and development, elderly, youth, promotion of just peace, sustained community volunteer group, persons with disability (PWD), improved local governance and environmental protection.

The nominations were judged through a desk review held last May 15 at Fiesta Ballroom Suites and Restaurant, Legazpi City, Albay. The technical working group is composed of partner-agency representatives and selected DSWD workers.

Each regional winner will receive a development incentive worth Php 10,000.00 which will be added to the group’s developmental funds.

Here is the complete list of winners:

Gender and Development Category

WINNER: LGBTQ OF PIÑA – Brgy. Piña, San Jacinto, Masbate

Elderly Category

WINNER: Alas Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee -Brgy. Alas, Mandaon, Masbate* (Regional Winner for two categories)

Persons with Disability (PWD) Category

Winner: Alas Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee – Brgy. Alas, Mandaon, Masbate*

Youth Category

Winner: Mabini Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee – Brgy. Mabini, Uson, Masbate

Promotion of Just Peace

Winner: Solar Panel Barangay Bugtong Organization – Brgy. Bugtong, Mandaon, Masbate

Sustained Community Volunteer Group Category

Winner: Mambalite Planters and Workers Association – Brgy. Mambalite, Libmanan, Camarines Sur

Improved Local Governance Category

Winner: Local Government Unit of Mandaon – Mandaon, Masbate

Environment Protection Category

Winner: Matang Lawin Fisherfolk Association – Brgy. Salvacion, Libmanan, Camarines Sur

In line with this, the department will also give special citation to the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Bula for its exemplary efforts on CDD institutionalization through the Municipal Talakayan ordinance approved last February 6, 2019.

The Municipal Talakayan is an evaluation tool which has been designed as face-to-face interaction with the people and the government to discuss the overall development of municipalities being assisted by DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS. /ramsertan/

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DSWD’s identified poor households to benefit on NFA’s rice subsidy program

Legazpi City- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bicol has provided the number of poor households in Bicol to National Food Authority (NFA)  Region V last July 11, 2019, which will serve as their reference in the prioritization of beneficiaries of the Focused Rice Distribution Program to be implemented this September.

According to NFA Regional Manager Henry Tristeza, NFA rice will only be available to the consuming public in the accredited rice distribution outlets in the 40 provinces in the country with high poverty incidence as reported by the Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA). In Bicol, it includes the provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, and Sorsogon.

“The DSWD’s Listahanan data will enable us to determine areas or barangays in need of NFA rice distribution outlets,” said Tristeza.

Under Executive Order 867, all national government agencies (NGAs) are mandated to use the Listahanan data for their programs and services to the poor. Likewise, this should be updated every four years.

Other national government agencies such as Philhealth, Department of Health (DOH), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), among others, use the Listahanan data for their poverty reduction programs.

Listahanan is an information management system that aims to establish a database of poor households that serve as a basis in prioritizing the poor as beneficiaries of social protection programs.

Meanwhile, DSWD Director Arnel Garcia clarified that the data to be shared by the agency shall be solely used for purposes of social protection activities which comprise programs and activities that seek to reduce poverty.

In 2015, the DSWD has identified 372,451 poor households out of the 1,082,582 households assessed in the region.

To date, there are two (2) NGAs, four (4) P/LGUs, and two (2) academic institutions that accessed and utilized DSWD’s Listahanan 2 data.

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DSWD Bicol delegate bagged second place for the National Gawad Usbong












(Left to Right): USEC Glen Paje, ASEC Joy Segui, Churchill V. Lacang, President Rizal Vegetable Growers Association, Mary Jean Noleal, President-San Roque Handicraft Association, Violeta Lorilla, Treasurer- San Roque Handicraft Association, Editha T. Manlangit, Employment Facilitation grantee, USEC Mark Allan Jay G. Yambao, Earl Maximillan A. Cecilio, Regional Program Coordinator for Operations, ASEC Rhea Peñaflor, Dir. Restituto B. Macuto, National Program Manager, and Jose M. Mariñes,Employment Facilitation grantee.

The entry of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office V was hailed as the second place winner for the Gawad Usbong for Employment Facilitation (EF)-Sikap category last June 19, 2019 at Sequoia Hotel, Quezon City.

Editha T. Manlangit, 36, from Bislig, San Andres, Catanduanes, received the Second Place National Gawad Usbong Award.

Editha used the assistance to complete the documentary requirements needed for a regular position as a Pharmacy Assistant in Citizen Drug and General Merchandise (Main), Concepcion, Virac, Catanduanes. It opens a lot of opportunities, career advancement and trainings that hones her personality to be a better worker. SLP provides an avenue to change her life, from a plain housewife to a pharmacy assistant.

Furthermore, EF-Sikap category is awarded for outstanding SLP beneficiaries on service and clerical support workers through SLP’s Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) modality and Skills training.

EAF is a grant to acquire the employment requirements, such as legal documents, medical exams and licenses, as well as meal, lodging and/or transportation allowance within the first fifteen days of guaranteed employment. Each program participant may receive a maximum of Php 5,000.00.

Before, she was a casual employee who earned Php 250.00 daily but it’s not enough to support her family needs. She dreamt of a better future for her family and decided to apply for a job abroad, but knowing the consequences outside the country she chose to stay in the province and hoping for a greener pasture through a gainful employment opportunity.

Working as pharmacy assistant for almost 6 years, her employer provides opportunities for career growth through trainings. She attended   two trainings in Legazpi City namely: (1) The Responsible Pharmacy Assistant Practical Training and (2) Professionalization of Pharmacy Support Workforce through Outcome-Based Learning. Likewise, she earned NC III and completed the competency requirements in Pharmacy Services through her employer and SLP.

According to her, she is very thankful to the program and she will continuously work harder to pursue her dreams to give a brighter future to her family.

Sulong Bayanihan 2019 is the main celebration of the Sustainable Livelihood Program’s milestones in promoting and facilitating the continuous development and strengthening of efforts to solidify the convergence of families and communities towards identification and building-up of program champions and advocates.

With this year’s theme: “Bayanihan ng Pamilya at Pamayanan,  Kampeon ng PagSibol at Kabuhayan”, the SLP and its community of champions uphold the significance of sustainability in various initiatives for microenterprise development and employment facilitation. Through the unwavering support of SLP’s partners and stakeholders, the essence of PagSibol and the stories of change and growth are rekindled and relived in the minds and hearts of the communities that DSWD serves.

Through parallel or break-out sessions, composed of the SIBOL Kabuhayan panelist, each of the national finalists for each category presented how their livelihood assets have grown through the SLP intervention, organizational development, contribution to local economic development, behavioral change, their business model viability, roadmap for diversification or expansion, and details of their employment success or endeavors.

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DOLE recognized as outstanding DSWD partner

Russel Ulysses I. Nieves, Provincial Field Officer DOLE-Catanduanes, sharing his testimony on the partnership with DSWD.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) -Catanduanes was awarded as the Outstanding Regional Partner in the implementation of DSWD-Sustainable Livelihood Program projects last June 19, 2019 at Sequoia Hotel, Quezon City.

The recognition of DSWD’s notable partner “Sibol Kaagapay” are partners who have walked the extra mile in the provision of support and have shared valuable resources in the spirit of partnership and convergence toward microenterprise development and employment facilitation of program participants.

Sulong Bayanihan 2019 is the main celebration of SLP’s milestones in terms of promoting and facilitating the continuous development and strengthening of efforts to solidify the convergence of families and communities towards identification and building-up of program champions and advocates.

“The key to nation’s development and success, is convergence.”, Russel Ulysses I. Nieves said.

The convergence training initiative by the stakeholders was able to complete two batches of trainings on Heavy Equipment Operations (HEOs) with a total of 147 beneficiaries. All of the graduates are now gainfully employed in the construction industry.

Additionally, three Sustainable Livelihood Program Associations (SLPA’s) with 108 participants benefited from the engagement of SLP and the partner. Rizal Vegetable Growers Association received farm inputs/ tools for vegetable production. The 25 members of the SLPA are now engaged in vegetable farming and continuously supplying naturally-grown vegetables in the locality. Likewise, two SLP associations namely Dororian Fisherman SPLA in Gigmoto and Bugao Fishermen SLP Association in Bagamanoc received (fiber glass) fishing boats from the partner for sustainable fishing enterprise.

The partnership provides and establish network and linkages for the sustainability of DSWD-SLP projects.

Furthermore, the partnership was able to address five major impacts:

  1. Skills Development –provided life training skills to 29 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries;
  2. Job Generation – all of the training beneficiaries were employed by members of the construction industry association.

Some were able to work abroad as legitimate/licensed Heavy Equipment Operators.

  1. Poverty Alleviation – the income of the families of the beneficiaries were enhanced.
  2. Able to support the high demand for HEOs by construction industry that significantly complemented the “Build-Build-Build” flagship program of the present administration.
  3. Beneficiaries were provided with licenses (Driver’s License – Restriction Code 2 and NC II) and Social Protection to include SSS,Pag-Ibig and Philhealth.

The continuous partnership provides and establish network and linkages for the sustainability of DSWD-SLP projects.

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DSWD does not issue certification for scholarship’s entitlement

Legazpi City- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bicol clarified on Friday that the agency is not issuing certification for inclusion as beneficiaries of the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

“The Listahanan database has already been shared to CHED thru the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UNIFAST) and its up to them to establish their own verification mechanism based on their eligibility criteria,” DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia said.

Listahanan is an information management system that aims to establish a database of poor households that serve as a basis in prioritizing the poor as beneficiaries of social protection programs.
“DSWDs mandate is to share Listahanan’s list of poor households who will be prioritized for the implementation of programs and services for the poor thus does not implement any program”, Garcia added.

Meanwhile, the agency clarified that being a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary will not automatically entitle them of TES.
“The basis of Pantawid Pamilya came from the Listahanan 1 conducted in 2009-2010 while for the TES was derived from the Listahanan 2 result from the 2015 household assessment,” Garcia explained.

He said that for TES concerns, the public may directly inquire to the CHED’s office located at CHEDRO Building, EM’s Barrio South,Brgy. 2, Legaspi City or to the school’s TES focal person.
Under the Republic Act No. 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, the TES offers qualified students to pursue a college education without paying tuition fees and other school fees.

Under the program, students’ beneficiaries will get an amount of Php 40,00060,000 per year to cover for tuition fees, books, transportation, supplies, room & board, and other school expenses.

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DSWD 5 to hold learning exchange visit for Partners

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office V Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program will be conducting a learning exchange visit for partner government agencies and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on June 19-21, 2019.

The activity aims to provide a wider, deeper understanding and better appreciation of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. It also aims to clarify issues about the program and develop recommendations in enhancing the policies of 4Ps in the Region.

According to Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia, the activity will also serve as a venue for the beneficiaries to express their thoughts, experiences on how they are able to benefit from the services provided to them, how their living improved through the convergence efforts of the programs and services both internal and external partners.

A total of 50 participants from CSOs and government agencies including DSWD 4Ps staff will attend the said activity.

The learning exchange will be a two-day visit in Ligao City in the barangays of Tuburan, Cabarian, Santa Cruz, Catburawan and Maonon.

Regional Program Coordinator, Priscilla C. Saladaga said the partners will visit rural health stations and secondary schools of the said barangays.

Also, the partners will interview 4Ps beneficiaries, local officials, and government partners who directly provide assistance to 4Ps beneficiaries.

She added that Ligao City was identified due to its notable active performance along the implementation of programs of DSWD and received the highest number of social services last 2018.***GANLindio

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Uplifting people through convergence of programs

Ave Ibañez explains the community’s plan for the operation and maintenance of their evacuation center project to the DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS staff.

“Para sa akin ang DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) ay isang paru-paro na naguumpisa siya bilang uod pero habang tumatagal ang proseso dito makikita yung ganda niya hanggang sa paglipad niya (For me, DSWD is like a butterfly that started as caterpillar but as the process goes we can see the beauty until it flies).”

This is what Ave Ibañez, 35, a mother of three (3) children of Barangay Balocawe, Dimasalang, Masbate said when comparing DSWD to a butterfly on the beauty of the social welfare programs.

Usually, people misinterpret poverty equals laziness but it’s not the case. This is the lack of opportunities and connections that poor people cannot grasp.

Seeing this as a challenge to resolve, the national government through the DSWD implements the three (3) Promotive Programs namely, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) and Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) focusing on the upliftment of the well-being of poor families.

Pantawid Pamilya is a conditional cash transfer program that invests in the health and education of poor households while the Kalahi-CIDSS uses the Community-Driven Development (CDD), an approach that helps communities to achieve improved access to services and to participate in more inclusive local planning, budgeting and implementation.

Moreover, the SLP is capacity building program that provides access to opportunities that increase the productivity of the livelihood assets of poor, vulnerable and marginalized communities.

Many people have benefitted from these programs and one of them is Ave Ibañez.

Ave described Barangay Balocawe as a peaceful community with people helping each other to transcend from the abyss of poverty.

She also recounted that Barangay Balocawe before was not yet reached by the government and its programs and services.

Noon, mahirap ang Balocawe pero sa ngayon, medyo nakikita ko na may kaunlaran na (Before, Balocawe is poverty-stricken but as of now, I can see developments here),” she explained.

She also furthered that when Pantawid Pamilya entered their community, other programs followed including the non-government organizations (NGOs).


As of May 30, 2019, there are 195 beneficiaries of the program Pantawid Pamilya in which 163 are females while 32 are males.

According to Ave who is also a parent leader of Pantawid Pamilya, other than the cash grant being received by beneficiaries, the Family Development Session (FDS) implemented by Pantawid Pamilya also molded the beneficiaries into good parents and citizens.

A parent leader of 4Ps serves as a link of the program and beneficiaries and assists in the updating and monitoring fellow recipients.

Ang tulong hindi lang yung cash grant pati rin yung Family Development Session ng 4Ps kasi mino-mold kaming mga beneficiaries bilang isang magulang, kung paano ka huwamak ng pera at maging involved sa komunidad (Other than the cash grant, the Family Development Session of 4Ps is also a great help because it molds us beneficiaries as parents, budget our finances and how to be more involved in the community),” she said.

Pinakanapulot ko kung paano i-develop ang sarili ko, tingnan ang future ng aking pamilya (I learned self-development and plan the future of my family),” she continued.


In line with this, the community has also observed great improvements in the livelihood aspect. The sources of livelihood are coconut production, farming and fishing.

To create more employment opportunities in the barangay, SLP assisted in the implementation of communal piggery cum hog fattening benefitting 38 participants with project cost of Php570,000.00 and Sikap Community Store benefitting 14 participants with a project cost of 210,000.00

Malaki ang tulong ng SLP katulad ng community store kasi sa halip na itatakbo pa namin sa bayan dito na mismo sa barangay kami nakakabili ng aming mga pangangailangan (SLP helped a lot especially the community store. Instead of buying goods at downtown Dimasalang, our basic needs are already made available in the barangay,” Ave expressed.

Operating a community store and hog fattening also built rapport among the group particularly on using the capital fund.

Mas nagiging kilala yung mga kahinaan ng bawat isa kaya tulong-tulong. Ano man ang kalakasan ng isa, pupunan niya kung anuman ang kahinaan ng iba (Since people know each other’s weaknesses, they help each other. Whatever abilities the person may have, he or she will supplement the shortcomings of others),” she stated.


The community also had trouble in finding a safe place to stay in times of disasters particularly during the typhoon Yolanda.

Ave who serves as community volunteer recounted that the community saw this a top need to resolve so they have decided the construction of evacuation center under DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS.

The construction of the project amounting to Php2,259,490.00 also functions as a day care center, training center and venue during the FDS.

According to Ave, she will never forget what the staff of DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS said to her about community volunteerism.

Sa DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS, hindi mo mapapansin ang pagod mo bilang isang volunteer kundi tingnan mo yung ibinigay sayo na training yung kaalaman na hindi na mananakaw sayo kailanman (In DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS, you wouldn’t care the weariness as a volunteer but consider the training provided as an opportunity for knowledge won’t be stolen from you),” she stated.

To date, Ave is also part of the operation and maintenance of the community project in which the barangay allocated Php10,000.00 for the sustainability of the evacuation center.

It is not an easy task for Ave as a parent leader, SLP member and community volunteer of the three (3) programs, despite the benefits she is also part of uplifting the lives of her community from poverty.

Ave also thanked the government on creating programs that will benefit the communities.

“Lubos akong nagpapasalamat sa pamahalaan kasi tiningnan nila yung kakulangan ng komunidad hindi sila nagdalawang isip na maiangat at maimulat ang tao sa kahirapan. Hindi habambuhay na mahirap (I am gratefully thankful to the government because they saw what the community needs and never doubted on uplifting and awakening people from poverty. Being poor is not for a lifetime),” she added.

Not only DSWD can be a butterfly but also a person’s life. Undergoing metamorphosis is the best process to learn, experience and fulfill our human existence. /ramsertan/

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