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Albay and municipal LGUs forge MOA on DSWD’s poverty-reduction projects

Albay inked the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with its six prioritized municipalities under DSWD’s PLGU Engagement Pilot this January 24 at Hotel St. Ellis.

The said municipalities were Polangui, Oas, Pioduran, Jovellar, Guinobatan and Manito. DSWD has provided a grant of P100 million while the Provincial Government of Albay has P75 million for its counterpart contribution.

The poverty-reduction projects were as follows:

Polangui Rehabilitation/Improvement of Danao-Matacon Farm to Market Road
Jovellar Construction (Rehabilitation/improvement) of Bautista-San Vicente Farm to Market Road
Pioduran Rehabilitation/Improvement of Buyo-Palapas Farm to Market Road
Manito Concreting of Centro-Nagotgot-Banao-Inangmaharang Farm to Market Road
Oas Improvement/Repair of Batbat-Cabaloaon-Balanac Farm to Market Road

ADB has also been an active development partner wherein they provided support to strengthen capabilities in this pilot project.

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DSWD’s pilot areas on PLGU engagement join in learning exchange on CDD and DRRM

Dir. Arnel B. Garcia of DSWD Field Office V cordially welcomed the local officials of Compostela Valley headed by Board Members Moran Takasan and Macario Humol, both from second district, last January 21, 2014 at Hotel St. Ellis. He emphasized that disaster risk reduction is an integral part of poverty alleviation projects.

Legazpi City- local officials of Compostela Valley and Albay joined in the five-day learning exchange on community-driven development (CDD) and disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) in Hotel St. Ellis which started last January 20, 2014.

The learning exchange is a support mechanism for both provinces to share best practices on CDD and DRRM strengthened by DSWD and Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Both Albay and Compostela Valley are pilot areas of DSWD’s engagement of provincial local government units (PLGUs) in enhancing their role in CDD project. To date, development projects in the said provinces will start its implementation early this year with a funding support from DSWD and the counterpart contribution of the PLGUs.

The formal engagement of PLGUs seeks to test ways on how to strategically link CDD implementation to the PLGUs that carry the mandate of integrating municipal level poverty reduction priorities with broad sub-national level development directions. PLGUs can provide the missing vertical link between the barangay, the municipal, and the broader provincial development plan.

On the other hand, the learning exchange included Albay as the model in DRRM wherein it showcased its proven strategies and best practices to achieve its zero casualty goal. The discussions highlighted the smooth implementation of DRRM in the province by establishing a clear delineation of roles and functions within the PLGU and partner agencies.

Compostela Valley was lambasted by Typhoon Pablo in 2012 and with that, its provincial local officials with selected municipal DRRM officers conferred with the disaster management experts of Albay to adopt successful practices and cascade its learning to the grassroots.

Lectures from Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Office of Civil Defense, Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) were also featured to highlight their main roles in DRRM.

Moreover, Philippine Red Cross and Children International presented the experiences of non-government organization (NGOs) in responding to disasters.

As part of their field visit, the delegates went to the Climate Change Academy (CCA), sanitary landfill and emergency shelters in Legazpi City, Camalig’s evacuation center and relocation site last January 23. They also had a talk with Mayor Alice Morales of Malinao on the integration of DRRM to Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) and their best practices about CDD.

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16 LGU’s in Bicol inks MOA on Listahanan

Sixteen (16) Local Government Units in the region inked a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 5 through its information management system dubbed as “Listahanan”.

Listahanan is the country’s database of poor households which makes available to national government agencies and other social protection stakeholders as reference in identifying potential beneficiaries of social protection programs.

The provincial orientations conducted last December with the Local Chief Executives, P/C/Municipal Social Welfare Officer and P/C/Municipal Planning and Development Officer caught their attention to enter to a Memorandum of Agreement with the department.

They likewise expressed their support to the upcoming household assessment to be conducted this year.

The municipalities of Del Gallego, Garchitorena, Baao, Tinambac, Magarao, Milaor, Ocampo, Nabua, Ragay & Sagñay in Camarines Sur province, San Lorenzo Ruiz in Camarines Norte, Bagamanoc, Catanduanes, Baleno and Palanas, Masbate, Jovellar and Polangui Albay were among the LGU’s who requested the data.

The data sets will contain list of poor households with their basic information such as names, date of birth, age and address.

Such information will be used by LGU’s as a primary targeting mechanism in determining potential beneficiaries or recipients of the programs and services. This is to ensure that the benefits of their program go to those who really in need.

Data Monitoring

The Listahanan’s data is protected under a memorandum of agree­ment, which ensures that the data will be used only for its intended purposes.

A MOA is required if the information be­ing requested includes the names of family or household members.

Also, as stipulated in the MOA, the data user must integrate Listahanan in all its social marketing activities  highlighting or emphasizing the use of the targeting system in identifying beneficiaries of its social protection programs and projects.Provide regular feedback on data utilization and resolution on complaints regarding beneficiary eligibility and ensure the confidentiality and use of requested data only for purposes agreed upon.

At present, DSWD 5 has a total of 37 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with various organizations utilizing the Listahanan’s data.###crbarrameda

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Sorsogon and Masbate received capital assistance from DSWD

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 5 has recently released the amount of PhP 4, 224,530 as livelihood assistance under the Bottom-up Budgeting in the provinces of Masbate and Sorsogon.

Ms. Generosa Millete, Project Development Officer II and the acting Regional Project Coordinator of the livelihood unit have turned-over the check in the said provinces with the following breakdown:

For the province of Sorsogon, the following were benefited of the capital assistance:

Magallanes     –           PhP 650,000.00

Pilar                 –           PhP 605,000.00

Donsol             –           PhP 1,349,220.00

These will be invested in the conduct of various skills training like food processing and preservation, dress making, masonry, engine repair, carpentry, welding, etc.

Meanwhile Mayor Percival Castillo of Mobo, Masbate received the amount of 1.1 million from Ms. Millete. According to Mayor Castillo the amount will be used to fund various trainings like cut flower raising, bio-intensive gardening, nursery management and seed banking. About 206 qualified individuals from the women, senior citizens, youth sector and agrarian reform beneficiaries are the participants.

The town of Aroroy Masbate has likewise received a cash grant of Php 520,000.00 with 100 SEA-K beneficiaries. The group will venture on noodle production.

Botton-up Budgeting is an approach in preparing the budget proposal of agencies taking into consideration the development needs of the poor cities/municipalities as identified in  their respective local poverty reduction  action plans that shall be formulated with strong participation of basic sector and other civic society organizations.  # # # #eejerusalem

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Liga ng mga Barangay in Malinao, Albay oriented on DSWD’s Listahanan

The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Bicol oriented the Liga ng mga Barangay on Listahanan, the country’s information system that identifies who and where the poor are nationwide. The half-day activity was held last January 16, 2014 in the municipality of Malinao, Albay.

“We want the barangay level especially the barangay captains to be aware and updated on the social welfare programs being carried out in our municipality”, explained Rose Bonaobra,Municipal Social Welfare Officer.

Bicol Regional Field Coordinator Joy Belen III led the orientation noting the significance of the project in delivering social protection programs for the poor.

“The cooperation and support of the Local Government Units especially in the barangay level plays a vital role in the successful implementation of the project. “said Belen.

Listahanan will be conducting its database updating this 1st-2nd quarter of 2014 covering 1.08 million households in the region.

Barangay Captains from the 29 barangays were among the participants along with the representatives from Simone of Cyrene.###

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Perseverance and hard work counts

Like the past countless morning, Jenny greeted the crowning of roosters with a sigh of desperation. The sight of the children sprawling on the bamboo floor made her quiver in fear thinking how to get through that another day with less stress.

Jenny Malabat , 29 years old of Barangay Mactan, Cawayan, Masbate is a plain housewife with four siblings three boys and a girl. The poor housewife describes her surrounding and their makeshift shanty to be engulfed by darkness that she could hardly see the horizon. Her husband Allan is a tenant of a one hectare rice land in their barangay yielding approximately 30 sacks of rice every harvest and 10% of its produce is his share. He also tends hogs and carabao for a neighbor. In exchange for this he is given a calf or piglet every time that these animals give birth. Allan also renders carpentry services to their neighbors when requested.

The family’s house which stood in the middle of a farm in Barangay Mactan was made of light materials: its roofing and walling were made of cogon grass, the flooring of bamboo Aside from their house susceptibility to natural calamities, it was too small for them.

Life for Jenny was so hard especially that they have four children to feed and send to school. But for the Malabat, life must go on. “We have to work hard in order to help both ends meet:, Jenny quipped.” Buti na lang napakasipag nang aking asawa” bared Jenny. It was in 2007 when the eldest son of Jenny graduated in high school. Jenny wanted her son to pursue his studies in college but her son has resistance to continue his studies. In order to provide work for her son Jenny sold one of their carabao and bought a tricycle for his son to operate.

In 2009, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program embraced the province of Masbate and Cawayan is one among the eight towns where the program was piloted.The Malabat family is one among those who qualified for the program. Jenny said that the program brought a lot of hopes to them. Sending their two children to school and providing the health needs of the children is not anymore a problem to the family as shared by Jenny. Before the inception of Pantawid Pamilya, she could hardly settle the children’s obligation and could not even buy at least two sets of uniform for the children. Now they are able to settle the children’s school fees and provide the health needs of the children. The couple aims high for the future of the children and also envisions that someday they are able to have their house improved.

According to Jenny, Pantawid Pamilya has also helped mold their personality. From a shy housewife she is now able to relate with her neighbors and she and her husband now actively participate in the community activities.

It was in the year 2011 when the DSWD introduced the Self- Employment Assistance- Kaunlaran (SEA-K) Program in Cawayan. During the identification of the potential beneficiaries, Jenny was adamant. To her mind, SEA- K is just one of the many false promises of the government. But because of curiosity, Jenny attended the orientation until she found herself already a member of the Mactan SEA-K Association. With a capital loan of P5, 000 she ventured on vending cooked food and set-up a small store Del Carmen High School, a neighboring barangay of Mactan and also opened a sari-sari store in their residence.

A year after its project implementation Jenny found out that the project is gaining profit and she was able to pay the monthly roll back. With that realization, Jenny out of her savings, she started to give some amount to her husband to buy materials for their house renovation. Allan, has augmented the money given by Jenny. From their joint resources, the couple was able to have a new house constructed. An abode made of cogon grass and bamboo, the Malabat now have a house which they can call a home. A home not anymore vulnerable to disaster and have enough space for the family.

“ A dream come true for me, my husband and my children”, shared Jenny with glee. Now, Jenny has fully paid her loan. She also started to save at BPI Globe Banko in Cawayan. The family now owns four “habal-habal” which serves as a public transportation in their locality. This means an additional income of the family and they are also able to employ some neighbors as “habal-habal” drivers. Jenny also proudly disclosed that they are able to help a neighbor find a living by giving them a unit of tricycle for freel “I feel happy and proud that I am able to help my neighbor have a regular source of livelihood. “ Hardwirk, thrift and perseverance really counts.” quipped Jenny. From our savings we were also able a one hectare farm lot.

In one of the FDS attended by the couple, Jenny was asked on how her project was managed. Jenny could hardly articulate her happiness. Jenny confides that she is saving money out of her earnings from the store and her husband is working hard too. “ Wala siyang bisyo, Ang sabi ng aking asawa, ang isang pirasong sigarilyo ay siya lang ang manginginabang samantalang kung ang bibilhin ay asin lahat kami ay makakatikim.” We have high ambitions for our children. We want them to finish college as we don’t want them to be like us that we were not able to continue higher education. I have to take advantage of this opportunity given by the government. # # # #eejerusalem

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“May Kita sa Lansangan”


Cleaning up. With perseverance, Alexander A. Biola, 31, of Barangay San Roque, Legazpi City, clears the drainage canal in Barangay Rawis, Legazpi City. Apart from helping maintain the cleanliness of the city, he said he is grateful of his job as he can now able to sustain the needs of his family.


“Determination leads to success” these are the words that bounded his life to provide the needs of his family.

Alexander A. Biola, 31, of Barangay San Roque, Legazpi City, in the province of Albay was among the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program who was absorbed by the Department Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as a regular road maintenance employee.

The doors of opportunity was opened to “Alex” as he fondly called by his friends when he was able to perform beyond what is expected to him during the Trabahong Lansangan Project- a joint project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and DPWH providing employment opportunities to Pantawid pamilya beneficiaries.

Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia of DSWD said in the Trabahong Lansangan Project, beneficiaries are provided with livelihood opportunities for six months within a year, apart from receiving their stipend. “The DPWH, employ beneficiaries for road maintenance, declogging of drainage laterals, and street sweeping,” he added.

Pasalamat ako nin marhay sa oportunidad na ini ta nagkaigwa ako nin trabaho, kung bako sa proyekto dai kutana ako magkakaigwang ngunyan na regular na income [I am thankful for the opportunity, If not with the trabahong lansangan project, I would not have a regular income now],” he said.

In maintaining the road regularly, Alex received a salary of P409 daily. “Dakulang tabang na po ito samuyang pamilya, [It is a big help to my family]” he said.


What he had gone through

Alex could not imagine how he was able to cope up with the challenges he had. “Trabaho ko lang kaidto sa construction, tapos problema ko po ang pagpapakain sa aking pamilya, pati gatas ni baby [I only worked in the construction before and providing food for my family and milk to my baby is a daily struggle], he utter in a soft voice.

It was even harder for him when his 10 months old baby Alynna was diagnosed with pneumonia. “Grabe ang paghadit ko sa aki ko, maray ngani ta nagamit mi su Philhealth na itinao samuyang mga benepisyaryo. Nalibre kami sa ospital. [I am so worried about my child. But I am thankful that we were able to use the benefits coming from Philhealth which was issued to Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries. We avail the medical service for free],” he related.

Beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya can avail health insurance benefits through Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth). The Pantawid pamilya beneficiaries and their qualified dependents are provided with insurance coverage for hospitalization in PhilHealth accredited hospital and non-hospital facilities.

In addition, they are entitled to the No Balance Billing Policy when admitted in non-private accommodation beds of government hospitals for any of the 23 cases covered under case payment; when availing of outpatient surgeries, hemodialysis and radiotherapy in non-hospital facilities; when availing of outpatient packages for tuberculosis, malaria, HIV/AIDS; and when availing of the services under the Maternity Care Package and Newborn Care Package in accredited birthing homes and lying-in clinics.


A Dream to Pursue

Alex said it was his willpower, determination, and his family why he was able to little by little improve his family’s ways of living. “Maski mapagal pero kinakaya para sa pamilya. Abo ko na maranasan kan mga aki ko ang hirap ta wara sindang inadalan arog mi.  Ang pangarap mi man sana na mag-agom ay makatapos hangang college ang samuyang mga aki. Iyo sana ito ang mapapamana namuya sa inda, [Even though it is tiring but I am trying hard for my family. I do not want my kids to experience hardship because they had not finished their education, like us. Our dream for our kids is for them to finish college. It is the only treasure we can give to them],” he said.

Alex would not bother the sun’s heat or the awful odors of drainage canals while doing the clearing. He said he is proud of his job. “Maugma ako ta nakakatabang ako sa paglinig kan banwa. [I am grateful of my job because in this way I can help attain the cleanliness of my Municipality.],” he said. His areas of assignment are barangays of Cabangan, Padang, Bigaa, Arimbay, Rawis and Bunot in the City of Legazpi.

In addition to his living, Alex would sell lumpia to his neighbors during weekends. “Nung nagkatrabaho ako, nakaipon kami, kaya nagtinda ako ning lumpia pandagdag kita. Nakaka-P300 man ako sa sarong aldaw. [When I got hired, we were able to save money from my income. I earn P300 daily from selling lumpia] he said.

The cash grants that their family received also helps a lot in financing the education of his children and maintaining good health of his family members. “Nagpapasalamat po ako sa tabang na itinao kan gobyerno. Ang pangadyi ko lang po ay sana diretso na mapakaray an samong pamilya sa pagkaigwa kong trabaho ngunian. Gigibuhon mi man an gabos ming makakaya para maging maayos ang samong pamilya. [I am thankful of the help provided by the government. I prayed that our family will continue to improve now that I have a regular job. I will also do the best that I can to improve my family’s well-being],” he firmly said.

Alex may have a lot of problems to encounter along the way to pursue his dreams for his family but as he said “all is possible for a man with deep faith and determination.” ***G.A.N. Lindio, Information Officer Pantawid Pamilya.

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Amazing Story of DSWD FO 5 Staff, Surviving a Chopper Crash: A Second Life


Around four in the afternoon of December 6, 2013 (Friday), on our way to La Paz, Leyte, to distribute relief goods for the victims of typhoon Yolanda, we are about to land in the said area, when, without warning the pilot forced to land for the second time, it was shaking violently, and there was panic inside the chopper.

I was seating near the area where the gunman was situated and suddenly I heard an incredibly loud cracking sound from the back of the chopper, it was probably the elisi that was smashed and there was a strong vibration. I did not think that we will going to crash or die. I was just all the time praying to God to calm myself. Then, I rolled out of the chopper and people came to help us.

This is how Danny Franco Bitara, 29, a Municipal Link of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office 5 Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program relate his story, surviving the recently Huey chopper crashed together with his co-DSWD staff Naome Mongaya, two pilots and two gunman of Air Force of the Philippines named Staff Sgt. Cristobal Amorin, Sgt. Quirubin Perez, Sgt. Angelito Anterola and Sgt. Henry Roque and two loader.

“It was my two little sons David Jofen, 3, Danielle Joseph, 3 months old, and my wife Julma, 27, that was in my mind,” he said in a low tone of voice seemingly very emotional recalling of what had happen.

Before the Crash

Daniel voluntarily joins the team in assisting the relief distribution in going to the Province of Borangan in Eastern Samar. Then, on December 3, 2013 he was tasked to go to Tacloban, Leyte to be the person in-charge of dispatching and sending DSWD staff to distribute relief goods to respective municipalities greatly hit by said typhoon.

For his last day in Tacloban, Leyte, having enjoyed of what he is doing, he was tasked in assisting and facilitating the relief distribution in La Paz, Leyte. “Masaya ako dahil, nakakatulong ako sa mga tao dahil wala naman ako pinansiyal na maibibigay sa kapwa ko kaya pinagbubutihan ko ang trabaho ko para sa mga nangangailangan,” he said.

He added that he was also overwhelmed of meeting new people with higher position. “Hindi ko man lang nga na foresee na mangyayari yun sa akin. Naiisip ko lang when I was in the air, what if the plane crash? What will happen to my family?” But he said it was just at the back of his head. He was more focused in looking the area and extent of damage brought by the said typhoon.

A Second Life

Pangalawang buhay ko na po ito,” he added. When he got out of the chopper, he was still conscious and terrified. He said everything was in pieces all around him. He saw the pilot and his companions hurt. People dragged them away from the chopper.

“I couldn’t feel any pain. I was lying under the shades of the tree, and I heard people’s voices around and they help me go to the nearest hospital using a motorcycle,” he stated. In his way to Burawin District Hospital for first aid, he said it was still a hard thing for him as he still needed to cross a river and walk.

Grabe ang experience ko pero pasalamat po ako at nabuhay pa ako,” he stated.

Assistance Provided

Having heard about the situation, the DSWD immediately provided assistance to its staff. According to Danny, Secretary Corazon Juliano – Soliman, Assistant Secretary Vilma Cabrera two other companions immediately went to the hospital where Danny was confined to provide assistance.

Danny felt severe stomach pain, and it was suggested to transfer him to Tacloban for further check-up. On the following day (December 7, 2013), there he undergone physical examination and find out an internal bleeding.

“I was operated but now I am fine,” he added.

The DSWD Field Office 5 provided financial assistance to Danny and immediately contact his family. “Nagpapasalamat po ako kay Director Arnel B. Garcia and Sec. Soliman and the people who help me dahil hindi po nila ako pinabayaan,” he said.

His Maxicare which is also one of the benefits provided to DSWD staff under contract was also utilized as assistance to such this kind of emergency cases.


His Realization

The pain and injuries Danny felt was a thing that makes him realize that life is beautiful and God loves him and his family.

He added that his cut in his stomach may have faded over time but it will always remind him, his lucky escape. He has no regrets only happiness and thankfulness for those who saved him.

My experience made me stronger. I love my job, and I felt it was my mission to help the people. I was even more committed now to continue what I am doing. I hope he could be able to inspire others to love their work, would not lose hope, trust God, and would not stop from helping the people who are in need,” he ended. ***G.A.N. Lindio

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