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Two livelihood associations open rice retailing business

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) participants officially opened their rice retailing business at Bulan, Sorsogon last June 06, 2019.

Present during the launching activity were representatives from Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU), Municipal Local Government Unit (MLGU) and DSWD employees.

“SLP reaches out to the vulnerable sectors of the society primarily focusing on food security through enterprise development.” DSWD Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia, CESO II said.

The project was under Microenterprise Development-Seed Capital Fund (MD-SCF) of SLP. A total of Php 622, 750.00 was allocated for the two Sustainable Livelihood Program Associations (SLPAs) projects in Bulan town.

The Biyayang Bigasan Association and Managa-Naga (MNG) SLP Association with 25 members each ventured into the rice retailing business since their villages Purok Lapu-Lapu, Barangay Zone 2 and Brgy. Managa-Naga Bulan, Sorsogon have big population and rice is one of the basic commodities. The said associations decided to build their own rice business because of the forecasted demand especially the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P’s) families who are receiving monthly rice subsidy of P600.

SLP is a community-based capacity building program that aims to improve the socioeconomic condition of the participants. It facilitates interventions that expand the livelihood asset based on the participants (human, social, physical, natural, and financial capital) so they may either have gainful employment or successfully manage a microenterprise.

MD Track focuses on starting, expanding or rehabilitating micro-enterprises, activities. This track includes entrepreneurship, technical – vocational and soft skills training.

Moreover, SCF is a capacity-building grant given to eligible SLP participants to finance the initial operations of their enterprise/s. It provides the participants with financial capital to be able to establish and manage their sustainable microenterprise/s, which should provide a stable source of income.

On the other hand, the BLGU/MLGU will secure to assist the participants in securing the registration, other pertinent licenses such as barangay, mayor’s and retailer permit necessary for their microenterprise to officially and legally recognize the operations of the microenterprise. And, through the guidance of the DSWD, SLPAs will also undergo accreditation as beneficiary Civil Society Organization.

As of the 2018 annual accomplishment in partnership with Bicol University, SLP Program served 8,427 households were 6,518 of them assisted through the Micro-Enterprise Development and the 1,909 households assisted through Employment Facilitation Track amounting to 59,313,917.66 pesos.

It can be noted that the monitored impact of the program is relatively positive especially on households earning from their own microenterprises. The same is true for SLP households who are gainfully employed after having been provided intervention under the employment facilitation track. #PRNPOJ061119

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DSWD Bicol assists El Niño-affected Albay farmers

Legazpi City—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bicol provided additional assistance to the local government units (LGUs) in the Albay province whose farmers have been affected by the dry spell brought by the El Niño.

DSWD Bicol distributed family food packs to the farmers in Pioduran, Guinobatan, Manito, Ligao City and Tabaco City who participated in DSWD’s Food-for-Work Program with a total cost of assistance of PhP1,191,762.40.

It was reported that the province of Albay was placed under the state of calamity last April 12, 2019.

Based on the June 11, 2019 DSWD disaster response report, a total of 16 cities/municipalities are affected in Albay.

On the other hand, DSWD Bicol has coordinated with Provincial Agriculture Offices and Municipal Agriculture Offices. It has also monitored disaster relief operations through its DSWD employees deployed at LGUs.

“We will provide relief augmentation to the other areas with dry spell in Bicol. As of now, we have PhP3 million standby funds and 23,274 family food packs in our regional warehouse,” Dir. Arnel Garcia said.

The local government units (LGUs) need to submit a project proposal and official list of El Niño-affected farmers to avail of the DSWD’s Food-for-Work. The DSWD field workers will facilitate the distribution of the relief goods after the proposed community work has been done by the target beneficiaries.

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DSWD Bicol shares program updates to media partners

Naga City -The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bicol held the fourth provincial media forum last June 7, 2019 at Naga Pilgrims Hotel to give updates about its accomplishments and respond to issues.

The DSWD also conducted the same activity in Legazpi City, Masbate City and Daet last April 29, May 23 and June 6, respectively.

Dir. Arnel Garcia who has been attending the fora to personally meet the press emphasized the media’s important duty as bearers of information to the people. “Magtulungan tayo dahil nakakarating ang boses ninyo sa mga malalayong lugar para ipaabot ang tamang impormasyon. Sana ay ipagpatuloy natin ang magandang samahan (Let us work together because your voice reaches distant places to send right information. I hope we will continue our good working relationship),” Dir. Garcia said.

On the other hand, one of the highlights in the latest media forum in Naga City was about the Listahanan household assessment to be conducted this second semester. Listahanan is the agency’s information management system that identifies who and where the poor are. It makes a comprehensive database of poor families which serves as a basis for identifying beneficiaries of social protection programs.

Mr. Joy Belen, Project Development Officer IV said that the agency targets to assess 1,143,846 households regionwide. Belen also encourage the media to participate in the household assessment as watchdogs of the department.

Also, DSWD 4Ps staff Arlene Fabellare explained the process how abused cases are referred or reported.

“Abused cases must be first referred to the local government units (LGUs) for proper intervention. The DSWD will intervene when LGUs need technical assistance or augmentation support”, Fabellare said.

Ms. Cathy Andes from Social Pension Program shared the salient features of the DSWD Memorandum Circular No. 04, Series of 2019 or the Omnibus Guidelines in the Implementation of the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens. Andes said that the payout for the indigent senior citizens will now be released by the DSWD Special Disbursing Officer (SDO) every semester.

The Social Pension Program is the government’s assistance to poor senior citizens aging 60 years old and above who are frail, sick or with a disability, with no regular income or support from families and relatives, and without a pension from private or government institutions. Under the program, poor senior citizens are entitled to a monthly cash grant in the amount of Php 500 to supplement their daily subsistence, including their medical needs.

Furthermore, DSWD 4Ps staff Harry Jay Daet discussed the Grievance Redress System (GRS) of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), the Department’s flagship program that invests in human capital. The GRS is a mechanism of the program aims to capture and resolve grievances effectively and in a transparent manner.

Meanwhile, Dhonabel Cultivo, 4Ps beneficiary shared her testimony being part of the program.

“Being part of the 4Ps brought significant change to our family. This drew closer in achieving our dreams”.

The media forum has been an annual event of the agency bridging DSWD officials closer to the media. The said activity will be conducted in the remaining provinces of Sorsogon and Catanduanes on June 18 and June 26, respectively.###

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DSWD Bicol Bata Balik Eskwela campaign sends children back to school

To ensure that the children beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of Department of Social Welfare and Development in Bicol will enroll this opening of classes, said program sets a massive campaign dubbed as “Bata Balik Eskwela” in all of its covered municipalities and cities.

The Bata Balik Eskwela (BBE) campaign aims to encourage the children to return to school and continue their education so that they can fully maximize the benefits provided by 4Ps. Also, it aims to teach and inculcate to the children the value of education.

According to Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia, CESO II the target participants of the campaign are the children who are facing difficulties in continuing their studies

Among the identified reasons for not attending school are: there are significant numbers who are working in various sectors of economy to augment family’s income; children who were engaged in early marriage and got pregnant at an early age and children who are very sickly.

According to Dir. Garcia, the challenges identified which these children are facing are also addresses by the BBE Campaign.

Included in the BBE campaign are the current activities of 4Ps such as Youth and Family Development Sessions that are designed to develop a positive mind-set among the youth and parents and distribution of information materials.

Also, various interventions such as case management are administered by the program implementers in order to help these children or the whole family addressed their problems and in turn be able to make them realize the importance of sending back their children to school.

Dir. Garcia added that under the BBE, children beneficiaries will be equipped with necessary life skills so that they will realize their full potentials and decrease deterrents to their development with the end goal of enabling them to contribute meaningfully to improving the condition of their families.

Under BBE, the Parents are also asked for their commitment along providing guidance to their children, support along finances in school and active participation along conduct of community and school activities such as brigada eskwela.

The BBE is in partnership with other government agencies such as Department of Education and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

At present a total of 9,940 4Ps children continue their education and about 19,000 children were provided with interventions through case management.***GANLindio-IO4Ps









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Latest NEDA report cites DSWD programs complement government to propel 2018 economic growth in Bicol

Legazpi City—Some of the programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Bicol was cited by the latest report of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has contributed to Bicol’s fast economic growth of 8.9% last April 25, 2019 in a press briefing held in Legazpi City.

According to NEDA Regional Director Agnes Tolentino, DSWD Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) and Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan or PAMANA projects contributed to the fastest growth of the industry sector. She said that the industry sector recorded the fastest growth of 14.2 percent from 3.5 percent in 2017.

“In 2019, we expect that domestic demand will pick up as household consumption will likely improve with the Implementation of RA 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law that includes the implementation of the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT),” Dir. Espinas said.

Furthermore, Espinas inferred that improvement of household consumption will improve due to the increased cash receipts of income earners and real incomes of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries with lower personal income tax.

Both 4Ps and UCT are considered as social safety net programs of the DSWD to help eliminate poverty.

“The rest of the DSWS Bicol is happy with the progress we’re making to help the poor. The latest NEDA report affirms that our programs can fortify other government’s measures to uplift our people,” DSWD Dir. Arnel Garcia said.

In Bicol alone, there are 373,853 household beneficiaries under 4Ps in 2018. Under UCT, there 373,853 4Ps household beneficiaries, 195,107 Social Pension beneficiaries and 113,958 poor households (2018). The DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS completed 5,393 community-identified sub-projects from 2012 to present.

The DSWD Bicol was allocated a total budget of P 13.4 billion to implement its programs and services last 2018.

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Sustaining Community Volunteerism

Lumbang Water System Association (LUWASA) members flash their smiles at the water system sub-project site.

Volunteerism has never been an easy task because it takes time and effort to help a community. To sustain this for years is already an achievement.

A project may have a positive effect, but it must have long-term impacts. The organization who handles the operations and maintenance (O&M) of the project must also be self-sustaining to fully address the issues and its mission in the community.

Through maintainable efforts, the Lumbang Water System Association (LUWASA) in Barangay Lumbang, Pilar Sorsogon has set an example of sustaining the community project.

The LUWASA Incorporated was established last July 7, 2012  from the collective action of the community that aims to provide a safe and reliable water supply to Lumbang’s residents.

The water system was a community-proposed sub-project funded under the Department of Social Welfare and Development Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS) to provide safe and potable drinking water to every household in the community.

According to Jean Poseran, 35, president of LUWASA Incorporated, their community decided to propose a water system sub-project due to the difficulty to fetch water that requires them a  thirty-minute walk to reach the water source which is located in another village.

After the water system project was prioritized for funding, the community provided its greatest effort to implement the community project that will resolve their problem.

Marami ang tumutulong. Hindi iniisip kung may sweldo o yung makukuha kundi mabenepisyuhan lang ng tubig (Many people are helping in the project. They did not expect anything in exchange of their services but they helped because of the benefits of the water system will bring),” Poseran explained.

According to her, the water system originally included 11 units of Level II tap stands with 77 household beneficiaries. The Level II water supply system is a piped water with a communal water point serving four (4) to six (6) households.


On October 22, 2014, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) recognized LUWASA Incorporated as a registered organized.

For Dorris Mendez, 42, chairman of the board of LUWASA Incorporated, their organization is more confident to collect fees from the residents since they are now a SEC-registered group.

Dahil kami ay naka-register, andyan ang karapatan namin gumawa ng rules and regulations na naayon sa tamang pagpapahalaga ng proyekto (Since the organization is registered, we have the right to impose rules and regulations in accordance to the maintenance of the project),” she said.

After the registration, the organization was able to manage and extend its services to Zone 3. Also, they upgraded the services from Level II to Level III water system, a piped water supply with a private water point or house connection thus, supplying to 189 households and one (1) elementary school including free services for the day care center and barangay community garden.

According to Jerome Lipata, 33, bill and account collector, the payment was also reduced from PhP60 per cubic liter to Php30.00per cubic liter as a tariff to cover the maintenance services of the project. Through the payments, the organization was able to acquire a monthly revenue of Php20,000 to Php25,000.00.

As part of the maintenance activities, the organization checks the elbow pipeline and cleans the water tank twice a month. This is also to inspect for any defects to prevent from further damages.

Mendez also cited that everyone in the community has a responsibility for sustaining the project.

Sana po patuloy na alagaan natin ang proyekto na ating sinimulan para pwede pa ito magamit ng mga susunod na henerasyon (I hope that we keep on taking care of the project that we have started so that the future generation can still use it),” she explained. /ramsertan/

About DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS

Sorsogon has implemented DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS in 14 municipalities with a total implementation grant of Php 698,826,588.11 and local counterpart contribution of Php 15,173,647.00 from barangay and municipal local government units (LGUs) to fund community-managed sub-projects.

DSWD had allocated Pilar with Php 46,000,000.00 and local counterpart contribution of Php 2,458,287.00.

Barangay Lumbang has five (5) sub-projects from different modalities of DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS that benefitted 326 households.

Here is the list of community projects in the barangay according to its fund source:

Fund Source Name of Sub-Project Project Cost
KC1 Rehabilitation/Improvement of Farm to Market Road Php1,924,700.00
KC1 Construction of Barangay Water System Level II Php1,216,000.00
AUSAID Construction of Day Care Center Php653,466.00
NCDDP Installation of twenty (20) units of Solar Powered Streetlights Php789,840.00
BUB Concreting of Road in Lumbang Php1,000,000.00

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


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DSWD welcomes institutionalization of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) lauded the signing into law of Republic Act 11310 institutionalizing the government’s flagship poverty reduction program known as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps.

4Ps is an investment in human capital which seeks to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty by focusing on education and health of the beneficiaries. It provides conditional cash transfer to poor households around the country, It is being implemented by DSWD, in partnership with other government agencies, such as the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd), and Commission on Higher Education (CHED), among others.

DSWD emphasized that the signing of the law is the realization of the long time clamor of beneficiaries to make the program regular and permanent.  It can be recalled that beneficiaries have continuously expressed apprehensions that the benefits they are receiving from 4Ps might be stopped if the program will not be institutionalized.  It is also important to mention that they played a role in achieving this feat by lobbying for the institutionalization of the program.

The Department added that with RA 11310, the continuity and sustainability of the program can be assured. The law makes the program more robust by prioritizing farmers and fisher folks, strengthening livelihood and employment opportunities for beneficiaries, ensuring civil society organizations’ seats in the advising councils, and providing automatic coverage to Philhealth.

The Department also stated that the law will further boost its goal of helping poor families achieve a better quality of life, thereby, contributing to the reduction of poverty incidence to 14 percent by 2022, as set by the present administration.

4Ps milestones

Since its inception in 2008, 4Ps has achieved several milestones in the areas of poverty reduction, health, and education.

The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), in its launch of the 2015 Official Poverty Statistics said, “One of the major factors in this improvement of poverty reduction is the increased budget in government’s social development programs, which significantly augmented the income of the poorest households… The regularity of the cash transfer sustained for three years for many CCT beneficiaries has accorded them some resiliency to weather certain shocks.  The program also induced more economic activity in the poor barangays given the presence of a cash economy.  These conditions may have also encouraged a number of them to diversify their livelihood sources.”

Moreover, in its 2017 Socio-Economic Report, NEDA stated that, “By far, the most comprehensive program to address […] vulnerability is the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).  This program needs to be sustained and even enhanced.”

Furthermore, the World Bank in its 2018 assessment of poverty in the Philippines (Making Growth Work for the Poor) reported that “transfers from government social programs [CCT] contributed about 25 percent of the [reduction in poverty incidence between 2006 and 2015.”]

Likewise, impact evaluations on the program done and completed in 2012 and 2014 showed that the program can break the intergenerational cycle of poverty, helping poor families escape the poverty trap of being poor because they have no decent jobs or undereducated and sickly.

Based on the two impact studies, the program had positive effects on education and health of children and pregnant women.

The studies showed that program beneficiaries have higher enrolment and attendance rates and lower drop-outs as compared to non-beneficiaries.

As regards health, children-beneficiaries have increased availment of basic health services and reduced severe stunting especially to children from 6 months to 3 years old.

The impact studies also showed that more pregnant women availed of maternal health services and an increased delivery in accredited birthing facilities, as compared to those who are not covered by the program.

Meanwhile, since 2015, the program has paved the way for almost 1 million children-beneficiaries to compete high school and more than 30,000 to graduate from college.

As of March 31, 2019, the program covers 41,552 barangays in all 145 cities and 1,483 municipalities in 80 provinces nationwide with 4.18 million active households.***Social Marketing Service

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Former grantee of DSWD and CHED now a teacher

Joseph Tobias, 24, former grantee of Expanded Student Grant-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) now a Professor in Catanduanes State University.

Unlike any other students who have their parents support during college years, Joseph Tobias, 24, has to work on his own having left by his parents at an early age.

Joseph and eight of his siblings were left by their parents at an early age. He was 16 years old when his father died due to heart attack and two years after his mother died due to congestive heart failure.

Four of his elder siblings were forced to stop education to work. While Joseph committed a promise to finish until college.

Sabi ko ayoko mahinto sa pag-aaral, humingi ako ng tulong sa mga kapatid ko. Sinabi ko sakanila na pag-nakapagtapos ako, sila naman ang papag-aralin ko, [I told them I do not want to stop my studies, I asked help from them and told them that after I finished college I will send them to school],” he said.

During high school until college years, it was through the remittances of his elder siblings that he was able to finance his studies and through vending “kakanin” native foods made by his eldest sister–Ma. Josalie, 30.

According to him, there was a time that it was close to impossible that he would graduate in college.

Mahirap na walang magulang na masasandalan. Ako kasama ng mga maliliit ko na kapatid ay kailangan na gumising ng 4:00AM para magbenta ng kakanin at sinisikap namin maubos iyon para makatulong sa kapatid ko, para may makain kami at makapasok sa paaralan, [It was hard for us having no parents that we could lean on to. I and my younger siblings have to wake up as early as 4:00AM to sell kakanin to our neighbors. Oftentimes, we came late in school because we wanted to sell as much as we can to help my sister earn for us to have food on the table, and be able to go to school],” he said.

However, after a year in college, Joseph has to stop and work as a security guard in Metro Manila to support his younger siblings education and be able to save money to continue his college studies.

Yung sahod ng mga kapatid ko ay kaunti lang. Tama lang sa pagbili ng pagkain, tuition fee ng mga kapatid ko sa elementary at high school at sa school projects nila. Gusto ko silang tulungan kaya yung sahod ko napupunta sa kanila at nagtatabi lang ako sa pangaraw-araw ko na gastos, [My siblings income were very minimal. It is only sufficient to buy our food, tuition fee of my younger siblings in high school and elementary and school projects. I wanted to help them so all of my salary were sent to them and I only save a few for my daily expenses],” he stated.

But, his hopes of earning a degree still remained. Joseph save his last earning and went back to his hometown in Barangay Comagaycay, San Andres, Catanduanes. He continued his studies in Catanduanes State University with a course of Bachelor of Science in Agriculture.

To continue and be able to finance his education, he was helped by one of the faculty members providing him a small sleeping quarter in school to save money from commuting from home. He also asked for a part-time job as a janitor where he used to wake up 4:00 AM to clean the school’s comfort rooms, hallways, and classrooms.

Yung panahon na iyon, masasabi ko na maswerte ako at may mga tumutulong sa akin, [That time, I can say I am still lucky that people helped me],” he said.

It was not an easy road for Joseph having to work before going to class, and thinking where to get money for his school projects.  Until, on his third year, he was lucky to become a grantee of Expanded Student Grant-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) being implemented by Commission on Higher Education in partnership with Department of Social Welfare and Development Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Under the program, a student-grantee is entitled to a maximum grant of P60,000 per school year or P30,000 per semester for tuition and other school fees, textbooks or other learning materials, and stipend.

He said, being a grantee gave him strength and hope to pursue and get the degree he wanted. “Sobrang nakatulong iyon sa aming pamilya. Ang ginawa ko, nagtatabi ako para mabigyan ng pangklase mga kapatid ko. Tapos ang tuition fee ko secure na. Nung nagthesis ako malaki ang naitulong sa akin, [It’s a huge help to my family. What I did, I allocate some for the studies of my siblings. My tuition fee was secured. When we are doing our thesis, it is a big help],” he said.

According to Joseph, when he finally made it through the graduation, he could not stop crying because all that he had gone through was all worth it. He graduated with Academic Distinction and the degree he dreamt off.”Umiiyak pa rin ako hanggang ngayon pagna-aalala ko nung nasa stage ako para kunin ang diploma ko. Ang diploma ko ay para sa mga kapatid ko na nariyan para sa akin, sa mga magulang ko at sa lahat ng tumulong sa aming pamilya, [I am still crying until now every time I recalled the moment I was in the stage to get my diploma. My diploma is for my siblings who have been there for me, for my parents and to everyone who lends help to our family],” he said in teary eyes.

At present, Joseph is currently employed as a faculty teacher in the same school, working and earning to support his siblings.

He is also fulfilling his promise to his siblings providing support for their college education and the rest to continue to enter school.

Ako ang unang nagkakapagtapos sa pamilya o sa aming clan. Pangarap namin na magkakapatid na makapagtapos kami lahat at balang araw ay ma-aabot namin ang pangarap ng aming mga magulang–na makapagtapos kami, may magandang trabaho, magkaroon ng maganda at masayang pamilya, [I am the first to graduate in college in our family or in our clan. We all dreamt to finish our education and in the future and be able to achieve the dream of our parents–to finish our education, to have a good job and to have a beautiful and happy family],” he said.

He also left a message to people who are going through the same situation as

him saying that “If we were able to make it, surely you can as well. As my parents usually said to us, those people who have a good education are those who have a better future].”***GLindio,4Ps-Information Officer

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