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DSWD implements Government Internship Program; employs 80 youths

Legazpi City—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region V employed 80 youths in its offices and various local government units (LGUs) as part of the annual Government Internship Program (GIP).

The GIP is implemented by the DSWD in its 16 regional offices. There are 19 GIP participants deployed at DSWD Regional Office V while the others are scattered all over Bicol region (except for Masbate and Camarines Norte) at the local government units (LGUs).

GIP is one of the components of the Kabataan 2000 program of the government. It aims to provide in-school youths and out-of-school youths an opportunity to learn about the government and develop skills by hands-on experience to work in the government which they can use if they decide to join public service in the future.

“The GIP is also a chance for the youth participants to learn life skills in the workplace and earn additional money to defray a part of their school fees,” Dir. Arnel Garcia said.

The target participants are selected based on the following qualifications: a) 18-25 years old; b) Educational background (High School graduates, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Certificate holders, Alternative Learning System (ALS) certificate holders); c) in good health condition; d) monthly family income not more than Php8,022.00; e) Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippines (PYAP) member; f) Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiary.

Lloyd Lara, DSWD Region V youth focal person, was able to identify and assess a total 120 GIP applicants last March.

Under this program, the GIP participants will receive PhpP217.50 daily stipend for 30 days based on the 75% of the current regional minimum wage rate. Payment will be computed based on the actual working days rendered and accomplishment report is required as basis for payment.

The GIP participants can claim their stipend after completing 30 days at the DSWD Region V while a cash payout will be scheduled for those deployed at the LGUs.

The program already commenced last April 16, 2018 and is expected to end on May 28, 2018. They are expected to perform office work, perform community work and assist in the implementation of DSWD programs and projects.

Radley Nuñez of Malinao, Albay is one of this year’s GIP beneficiaries who is currently deployed at the DSWD’s Office of the Regional Director. He is expected to receive a total of PhP6,525.00 if there are no attritions during the 30-daywork duration where he plans to buy school supplies and entrust the remaining money to his parents.

“Ang GIP ay isang paraan ng pamahalaan para ihanda kaming mga kabataan sa pagiging future public servants (The GIP is one of the government’s way to prepare our youth as future public servants),” Nuñez said.

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DSWD Bicol warns public against bogus validators

Legazpi City – The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Bicol warned the public against bogus validators whose taking advantage of the ongoing validation in the region by selling medicines posing as the agency’s field validators.

The report emanated from concerned residents and victims along with the barangay officials of barangays Sagrada and San Vicente in Iriga City, Camarines Sur.

The victims were accordingly “surveyed” by two men who introduced themselves as the staff of the DSWD. The fake validators are asking several questions, appearing to be really validating.

As the interview progresses, they asked the respondent to buy medicines worth Php 1,499.00 which are according to them is exclusive to Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries at a promo price of Php 499.00. Moreover, a complimentary raffle ticket will be given once they avail the promo, with a promising prize of house and lot from Camella.

The DSWD immediately notified the local government unit of Iriga City about the incident and secured their commitment to take actions on the matter to stop them from further deceiving the public.

Meanwhile, DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia said that DSWD does not collect any fee or sell products to the public to make them eligible beneficiaries to any program of the agency.

Garcia also said that the official validators wear big identification cards with their name, photo duly signed by him.

They conduct house to house interviews to update and check the information of the households to be included as beneficiaries of the UCT.

The DSWD advised the public to report any similar case to the Area Supervisors and Area Coordinators assigned in the provinces or thru the Municipal/ City Social Welfare and Development Offices.

They can also send an email to or message on its official Facebook page or call at 052-480-5670.

The validation which started in March this year is the eligibility check mechanism of the agency for the Unconditional Cash Transfer Program (UCT), which aims to ensure that households who will benefit from the program belongs to the poorest 1st to 7th income deciles and will be able to physically receive grants.

Listahanan is an information management 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.         (with report from Donna Osial, PO II & Area Supervisor-Camarines Sur)###

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Communities, partners vie for Regional Bayani Ka Awards

(From left to right) Ms. Ruth Fay Belarmino, Local Government Operations Officer V of Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region V, Corporal Joana Marie Sodsod-Ayab PA of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 2nd Civil Relations Group and Ms. Marian Monsalve, Social Welfare Officer II of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region V assess the entries for the environment protection category of Regional Bayani Ka! Desk Review at Fiesta Ballroom, Legazpi City last April 24, 2018.

Legazpi City –Various community-based organizations from the different provinces of Bicol Region competed during the Regional Bayani Ka! Desk Review last April 24, 2018 at Fiesta Ballroom, Tahao Road, Legazpi City.

The desk review is part of the selection process of Regional Bayani Ka! Awards to identify the exemplary communities and partners of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS). The Bayani Ka! Awards aims to recognize volunteers for their initiative in improving their communities,

These communities and partners have been implementing and promoting community-driven development (CDD) approach in their respective localities wherein the people were able to participate in more inclusive planning, budgeting and implementation.

Nominations were classified according to their category such as gender and development, elderly, youth, promotion of just peace, sustained community volunteer group, persons with disability (PWD), improved local governance, indigenous peoples’ welfare and environment protection.

These qualified entries were judged according to their vision (16%), action (20%), persuasion (16%), ability (16%), integrity and inspiration (16%) and advocacy (16%) to determine the regional winner for each category.

The grand winner for each category will receive P10,000.00 as cash prize and plaque of recognition from the DSWD.

Also, the winners will be announced on June 14, 2018 through a culminating activity and awarding ceremony.

They will also represent Bicol Region for the National Search of Bayani Ka! Awards. #PRRAMS24APRIL2018

For more information, you may visit the official Facebook page: @dswdfo5 or DSWD Region V.

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Single Mom earns college diploma despite poverty

Rigie May R. Marbella, graduate of Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in Bicol University Polangui Campus, a proud ESGP-PA grantee, an Honorific-Academic Awardee

Being a single mother while pursuing college degree is a huge struggle, but for 23-year-old Rigie May R. Marbella of Barangay Millabas, Pilar, Sorsogon, balancing her life as a student and a mother has inspired her to achieve her life’s goal.

“May” as she is fondly called by her friends got pregnant at the age of 19. However, it did not break her spirit and pursued to continue her studies. Today, she is on her way graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with Honorific-Academic Award from Bicol University (BU) Polangui Campus.

In her facebook post, she expressed her thanks to her family which became her strength to persevere. “Maraming Salamat po Ma Gina and Pa sa inyong walang sawang pagmamahal at pag-unawa sa akin. Napakaswerte ko dahil kayo ang naging magulang ko. Hindi man tayo mayaman at madalas kapos sa pera, pero hindi ninyo ako pinabayaan. Kahit na kahihiyan ang ibinigay ko sa inyo noon, mas naramdam ko ang pagmamahal kaysa sa panunumbat na siyang naging dahilan upang patawarin ko ang sarili ko. Salamat po sa lahat ng hirap at sakripisyo. Salamat din sa mga kapatid ko dahil nanatili tayong buo sa kabila ng lahat [Thank you, Mother Gina and Father, for your tireless love and understanding. I am lucky to have you as my parents. We may not be rich and oftentimes we do not have enough money but you did not abandon me. Although, I gave you shame, but, I felt much of your love instead of blame—which made me forgive myself.  Thank you for the hardships and sacrifices you made. Thank you to my siblings because our family remain complete and whole despite of what happen],” she stated.

Her struggle as a Mother

Rigie May with her three-year old daughter

After four years of being employed in various companies in Metro Manila, she found out that she was pregnant on her four months in her first year in college. “May scholarship sana ako pagtapos ng High School pero hindi ko gusto ang kursong education noon kaya naglayas ako at nagtrabaho bilang cashier sa isang electronics company, sa iba’t ibang factory sa Manila para kumita at matulungan ang pamilya ko [I could have a scholarship after High School but, before, I do not like the education as my course so, I ran away from home and worked as a cashier in an electronics company and various factories in Manila to earn and help my family finance their daily expenses],” she said in an interview.

Having experienced the hardships of being employed with no permanent job, and with minimum earnings, she opted to pursue her college and embrace the course – education given the opportunity to be a grantee of Expanded Student Grant-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA)

ESGP-PA is an educational grant which gives priority to the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) by providing them opportunity to get college education, increase their chance to get better employment in the future and ultimately uplift the lives of their family so that they become contributors to national development.

The ESGP-PA is implemented by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

According to May, she do not regret having a three-year old daughter but she recalled that the odds are heavy, stressful and college life pushes her to cry many times. “Sobrang hirap. Ang hirap mag-aral habang iniisip kung saan kukuha ng pang gastos sa mga susunod na araw, kapag sabay-sabay ang deadlines ng projects, kapag wala ng gatas si baby tapos sasabayan pa ng sakit. Pero lahat ng yun ay pwede naman pala malagpasan. Lahat ng hirap, pagod, puyat, hiya at kapal ng mukha ay magkakaroon din ng bunga sa huli [It was so hard. It was so hard to study while you were thinking where to get money for your expenses on the following day, when the all the deadlines on our projects are overlapping, when my baby have no more milk and at the same time she is sick. But, all these can be surpassed. All the adversities, weary, sleepless nights, shame, countenances paid off in the end],” she shared.

Her suffering was even aggravated back in the year 2015, when she was still pregnant and was hospitalized due to eclampsia with severe anemia and occurred for four times. “Pangalawang buhay ko na po ito, sabi nila mamatay na po ako noon pero laking pasasalamat namin dahil pati si baby ay nabuhay [This would be my second life, they said I could have died but we are grateful because even my baby survived and lived],” she said while wiping her tears with her hands.

May said that a lot of people ask her how she could possibly finish school with a baby. But, she has learned not to care, even though other people’s judgments hurt her and her parents, and that stereotypes do not define people.

Nagpapasalamat sa magulang ko ng sobra sa pagtanggap nila sa akin at sa pagsuporta sa kabila ng lahat. Sila ang naging sandigan ko. Tinulungan nila ako sa pag-aalaga sa anak ko tuwing kailangan kong iwan siya upang bumalik sa paaralan, kapag hindi ako makauwi kasi wala akong pamasake at delay ang allowance namin [I thank my parents this much for accepting and supporting me all the way. They were the ones I depend on. They took the responsibility of taking good care of my daughter when I have to leave her and go back to school, when I could not go back home because I have no money, and when my allowances are delayed], she said.

Some single parents — and grandparents — nearly collapse under the strain of working and raising children. But other parents rise to the challenge. May wants to tell all single mother saying “life is tough but they can do it.”

“I want to express my deepest gratitude to DSWD in partnership with LGU Pilar Municipal Mayor Carolyn Reyes, to BU for giving me this chance to change my life. Thank you Ma’am Arvie and DSWD staff — Team Pilar for all the support and encouragement. I am very blessed to be an ESGP-PA grantee,” she added.

Her Success

I am proud that I have a daughter and I offer what I have achieved to my daughter, parents, my siblings, relatives who helped me, to all my friends, to all the schools Magurang Elementary School and Polangui North Central School for my field study 1-6. My practice teaching would not be this memorable, to all my classmates, to my best friend Honey Jhoanne, thank you,” she added.

Rigie May’s story is a vivid proof that teenage pregnancy may not hamper a woman’s ambition in life. “Pero heto ako ngayon. Suot na ang simbolo ng tagumpay. [But here I am now, wearing the symbol of my success],” she proudly said.

May plans to take a review class and pass the licensure examination and have a good job. “Malaki po ang pangarap ko sa aking pamilya, anak. Balang araw, alam ko maabot din namin ang lahat ng aming pinapangarap at ginhawa [I have huge plans to my family, my child. In the near future I know we can attain our dreams and have a financially stable life],” she said.

Also, it is huge for her to be an inspiration to others and left all people who are in the same situation saying that “look around you, there are still good people who will guide and help you, a miracle is just another term for hard effort, so if I can, you can.” ***GLindio, IO-4Ps


Rigie Mae with her parents and younger siblings

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DSWD Region V warns public of epal

Legazpi City—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region V advised the public of incumbent government officials claiming credit for its existing programs in relation to the forthcoming elections.

This followed after incidents were reported by the DSWD field workers in Camarines Sur that the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) of DSWD appeared to be funded by a certain politician that has announced to run in the 2019 local elections.

Ang pera mula DSWD ay ginagamit sa pamumulitika. Ang akala ng mga tao ay pera ito ng pulitiko (The DSWD fund is being used for politicking. People think it is the politician’s money),” DSWD Dir. Arnel Garcia said.

He announced earlier this month that the DSWD will not tolerate any form of propaganda at the expense of its programs and services for the poor. He has ordered its field workers to closely monitor the ongoing ESA payout and provide assistance to the local government units (LGUs).

Huwag lokohin ang mahihirap dahil alam ng taumbayan kung kanino galling ang pondo ng ESA. Hindi po yan galling sa bulsa ng sinuman. Ang DSWD ay nagpadaloy lamang ng pondo ng bayan (Do not mislead the poor because the people know the source of fund for ESA. The funds do not come from anyone’s pocket. The DSWD only disbursed the people’s money,” Dir. Garcia added.

ESA is the provision of limited financial or material assistance (or both) to family-victims of disasters whose houses are either totally or partially damaged. The per capita cost ranges from ₱10,000.00 to ₱30,000.00 per family.

The aftermath of typhoon Nina in 2016 left thousands of Bicolanos in Catanduanes, Albay and Camarines Sur homeless. To aid the affected families, the ESA funds were downloaded to the municipal/city local government units (LGUs) for the totally damaged houses while the provincial LGUs received the cash assistance for the partially damaged houses. DSWD tapped the LGUs to facilitate the payout to the ESA beneficiaries. The ESA payout schedule is set in two batches which will be announced by the respective LGUs. To date, DSWD released a total of PhP 2,412,450,000.00 to the LGUs for ESA payout.

On the other hand, the “Bawal and Epal Dito” Campaign started in 2013 under the stint of former Secretary Dinky Soliman that aims to insulate the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program from undue politicking.

According Dir. Garcia, DSWD Region V will continue to promote the said campaign to empower its clients and beneficiaries under the national government programs. This campaign is not limited to ESA or 4Ps but also encompasses the entire implementation of other DSWD programs.

“Ang taumbayan ang maghusga, kapag epal huwag iboto dahil linoloko lang nila ang mahihirap,” he added.

For ESA queries, the concerned individual or party may consult the Municipal Action Team (MAT) assigned in the municipality.

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DSWD Bicol clarifies delayed 4Ps cash grants

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bicol clarified that the delay of release of cash assistance to 4Ps beneficiaries in the Region was due to the seven-day extension requested by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to download the funds to its partner conduits that are responsible to directly release the cash grants to the beneficiaries.

The pay-out which was supposed to start last April 17 will be rescheduled on April 24. The cash assistance that will be received by the beneficiaries on the said re-scheduled date covers the month of January 2018 along with the education grants which includes P500 for children in High School or P300 for children in elementary, health assistance amounting to P500.00, rice subsidy amounting to P600.00. Also, it includes the assistance for the Unconditional Cash Transfer Program (UCT) amounting to P2,400 (200.00 per month) for the whole year (January – December 2018).

A total of 258, 215 beneficiaries are affected of the delay. These beneficiaries include the Indigenous Peoples under Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program (MCCT) and those who are without LBP cash cards who received their grants through over-the counter pay-out.

However, those beneficiaries who have LBP cash cards, have already received their cash assistance last March 2018.

According to Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia, DSWD is saddened about the delay of pay-out. “We understand the clamor of beneficiaries for not receiving their cash assistance on time. We also know that they needed the assistance for health and education specially, that some of their children will graduate or will enroll for the next school year,” he said.

“At this point, we ask for the patience of our beneficiaries and we ensure that the cash assistance meant for them will be received by the beneficiaries themselves,” he added.

In addition, the cash assistance for the month of December 2017 is set to be included in July 2018 pay-out which includes the cash assistance for the months of April – May 2018.

For the cash assistance for Months of February to May 2018, it will be released in accordance to its scheduled pay-out but can be subject to change upon advisory of DSWD Central Office.***GLindio-IO-4Ps.

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Poor seniors to get additional aid under government’s cash transfer program

Poor senior citizens under the Social Pension Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development will be receiving an additional cash aid this year.

DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia said that around 2.8 million Social Pensioners nationwide will soon to benefit in the added assistance under the government’s Unconditional Cash Transfer Program (UCT) as integrated into Republic Act 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

The TRAIN is the first package of the comprehensive tax reform program (CTRP) envisioned by President Duterte’s administration, which aims to correct a number of deficiencies in the tax system to make it simpler, fairer, and more efficient.

The UCT on the other hand is a social welfare program under the TRAIN Law which seeks to provide cash grants to poor households and individuals who may benefit from the lower income tax rates but may be adversely affected by the increase on taxes on fuel, automobiles, and sugar products.

Under the program, the senior citizens under the Social Pension Program are eligible beneficiaries including the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) households, and the poor households identified by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) or the Listahanan. The UCT cash grant shall be provided one-time to the identified beneficiaries amounting to Php 2,400 in a year or Php 200 per month. This grant will increase in 2019-2020 to Php 3,600 or Php 300 per month.

Director Garcia explained that a Social Pension beneficiary shall be entitled to a separate UCT grant even if he/she belongs to a 4Ps household or Listahanan identified poor household.

He said that there are 195, 107 active Social Pension beneficiaries in Bicol Region who will benefit from the new program. The department targets to distribute the cash grants in July –August 2018.

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 seniors are entitled to a monthly cash grant in the amount of Php 500 to supplement their daily subsistence, including their medical needs.

The program has been established through Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 which aims to improve the living condition of indigent senior citizens and to protect them from neglect and deprivation.##

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DSWD Bicol renewed its partnership with Ago General Hospital and PAKISAMA Bicol

MOA Signing. Reigonal Director Arnel B. Garcia (center) together with representatives from various Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)


The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bicol has renewed its partnership with two Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in support to Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries through signing a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) held during the First Quarterly Meeting with Partner Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) at Fiesta Ballroom, Legazpi City, today, April 10.

The signing of the agreement was participated by DSWD Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia and two CSOs, namely, Ago General Hospital and Pambansang Kilusan ng Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA) Bicol. Ago General Hospital was represented by Ms. Remedios A. Lorilla while PAKISAMA Bicol was represented by its Coordinator Arnel Basquinas.

Under the agreement, the Ago General Hospital will implement the “No Balance Billing” scheme which would mean that 4Ps beneficiaries who are automatically qualified as Philhealth members, will no longer pay for any balance if they are discharged from the said medical facility.

According to Lorilla, it will be the government and the hospital or other institutions who will take care of the bills.

On the other hand, the PAKISAMA Bicol agreed to provide livelihood and entrepreneurial skills trainings to 4Ps beneficiaries. Also, they will help provide linkages for the beneficiaries to get a job or be employed in various institutions, organizations in the Region.

In addition, PAKISAMA Bicol will help in facilitating the conduct of Family Development Session (FDS). Some of the topics included for discussion are “Paghahanda sa Buhay Pamilya at Partisipasyon ng Pamilyang Pilipino sa Gawaing Pangkomunidad.”

The FDS is a monthly activity being conducted to beneficiaries of the Program. It is a venue for educational, interpersonal, interactive and adult learning engagement that aims to empower and strengthen the relationship and ties among family members and the community.

The renewal of partnership covers the 4Ps beneficiaries in the entire Bicol Region. Its duration shall be one (1) year commencing its effectivity and renewable upon the consensual agreement of the parties.

Regional Director Garcia, expressed his gratitude to CSOs for their full and continuous support in extending help and provision of assistance to vulnerable sectors and the poor.

Other CSOs were represented by Lydia B. Repuya of Sorsogon Integrated Health Services Foundation, Eduardo Tupas of Cebuana Lhuillier- Masbate, Mary Joy De La Cruz of JLO Big Heart Foundation, Erudita D. Madrid of Philippine Tuberculosis Society Incorporated, Steven Guinan of National Auxiliary Chaplaincy of the Philippines, Mary Jonelyn Ardales of Camalig Bank Foundation Incorporated, Alex Basabe of Universal Peace Federation, Raul B. Diata of Federation Associations for Communities and Children’s Empowerment Incorporated, Natividad A. Lanuza of International Holistic for Life and Progress Incorporated, Augustus P. Onturia of Kabalikat Civicom, Donsol Chapter, Rose Rivero of Philippine Red Cross, Erma H. Areola of Women’s Federation Incorporated, Pilar, Sorsogon.***GLindio,IO-4Ps.

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