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Bridging over Troubled Water via Grassroots Participation

Children are happy to walk through the cable bridge, a DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS sub-project, instead of crossing the river using a small boat at Barangay Sipaco, Lagonoy, Camarines Sur.

Out of a million impossibilities, there is always one way that gives humans the will to stand strong amidst all problems being faced. This is what the community of Barangay Sipaco in Lagonoy, Camarines Sur are firmed of.

To reach Barangay Sipaco, people must travel for two (2) hours from Naga City to Goa, another town adjacent to Lagonoy. They will take a two-hour boat ride from Tamban port, 28 kilometers away from Goa’s población,

The journey is not easy as travelers deal with strong currents especially in the afternoon.

Accessibility has been noted as one of the major problems of the community making it difficult to haul products and deliver services from the central business district.

According to Ulysses Buela, 43, a community volunteer of Barangay Sipaco, students are very prone to danger who cross the river to attend classes. There were reported cases of drowning due to unforeseen flooding.

Seeing this as a need to settle, the community decided to construct a cable-bridge sub-project through the Department of Social Welfare and Development Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS).

Even Erson Barera, 33, Community Empowerment Facilitator (CEF) of DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS shared his dreadful experience while traveling from Barangay Sipaco to Tamban Port.

Biglang nagkaroon ng sama ng panahon noon sa sobrang alon akala namin hindi na kami makakadaong kaya linabas ko ang rosary kaya patuloy kaming nagdarasal hanggang makarating kami sa Tamban (Due to unexpected bad weather, the waves are too strong. We thought we won’t be able to make it, so I get my rosary and keep on praying until we reach the Tamban port),” Barera recounted.


Just like the big waves of the ocean, the Sipaco community also has been washed away with issues in the implementation of the sub-project.

Nagkaroon ng isyu sa mga responsibilidad ng mga community volunteers at barangay dahil sa hindi naiitindihan nila ang grassroots participation (We have an issue on the responsibilities of community volunteers and the barangay in implementing the cable bridge sub-project since they don’t fully understand the grassroots participation of the program),” Buela said.

To sort out the issue of misconception between the barangay and community volunteers, the community conducted a barangay assembly where the technical staff of DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS explained thoroughly the features of the program.

Nagkaliwanagan ang bawat panig sa mga responsibilidad ng community volunteers at barangay sa proyekto (Both sides have fully understood the responsibilities on the sub-project implementation),” Barrera also explained.


 Other than the sub-project, the community gained more than what they have thought such as knowledge, organizational management and unforgettable experience.

Dahil sa proyektong ito, naka-survive ang mga tao dito dahil makakatawid na ang mga estudyante ng ligtas at mas mapapadali din ang hanapbuhay namin (Due to this project, we have survived because the students can cross safely and our livelihood will be also easier),” Buela happily stated.

Mas napalakas pa ang samahan namin sa komunidad at nag-enjoy sila sa pagiging volunteers dahil sa marami silang natutunan (Our bond together became stronger and they [residents] enjoyed as community volunteers because they’ve learned a lot),” the volunteer added.

Despite the life-threatening experience, Barera sees his work as a path to help more communities.

Para sa community, gagawin mo talaga para makatulong ka, isusugal mo talaga ang inyong sarili anuman ang kalagayan sa gitna ng dagat (For the community, you will really do your best to the point, you have to gamble with your life whatever happens in the middle of the sea),” the facilitator said. /ramsertan/

About DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS

Camarines Sur has implemented DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS in 34 municipalities with a total implementation grant of Php 724,329,777.44 and local counterpart contribution of Php 35,285,663.94 from barangay and municipal local government units (LGUs) to fund community-managed sub-projects.

DSWD had allocated Lagonoy with Php 70,314,730.00 and local counterpart contribution of Php 5,977,970.00.

The construction of the cable bridge was completed last December 13, 2018 with a total project cost of Php 9,604,503.75 that will benefit 150 households.

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

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DSWD Bicol initiates Gender and Development (GAD) training to address workplace issues

Legazpi City—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bicol spearheaded a capacity building activity on Gender Statistics Collection and Identification of Gender Issues in the Workplace in Legazpi City last May 15-16, 2019.

“Aside from client-focused interventions, DSWD Bicol would like to improve more on implementing interventions for our workers and the organization,” DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia said.

Also, the training would like to ensure and sustain gender mainstreaming activities in DSWD.

The 26 members of the DSWD Bicol’s Gender and Development (GAD) Focal Point System underwent a two-day training with Atty. Arlene Alangco, regional director of Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Bicol.

For the first day, she discussed Basic Human Rights Concept, CHR powers and functions, Magna Carta of Women, Anti-Sexual Harassment Act and Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act. On the second day, she talked about Gender Mainstreaming, GAD FPS, gender data disaggregation, workplace issues and the roles of Committee on Decorum and Investigation of sexual harassment

Thus, participants are expected to establish gender statistics and identify gender issues in the workplace to be included in the 2020 GAD Plan and Budget (GPB).

Last 2018, the DSWD Bicol spent P210 million for GAD-related programs and activities. For the same year, DSWD Bicol served 166 women in difficult circumstances and 101 children in need of special protection by providing counselling services, referral for legal, medical, and psychological assistance and helping clients serve barangay/temporary protection order file appropriate charges to perpetrators.

GAD FPS is a group that in DSWD that ensures gender mainstreaming and implement Magna Carta for Women at DSWD Bicol.

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In line with the celebration of Labor Day, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) in partnership with Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region V launched “SIBOL” campaign last May 1, 2019.

The activity highlighted the photo exhibit and selling of locally made products by SLP program participants and introducing to the general public the SLP program and services.

Aileen Mae B. Barcela, Regional Monitoring and Evaluation Officer (RMEO) of SLP calls for the support in promoting and patronizing the SLP program participant’s product and services.

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 base of the participants (human, social, physical, natural, and financial capital) so they may either have gainful employment or successfully manage a microenterprise.

SLP-Sibol Campaign aligns its communication strategy to the Sustainable Livelihood Framework (SLF) and focuses on affirming the growth of SLP participant’s capabilities and bridging livelihood opportunities towards inclusive economic development.

Furthermore, SIBOL stands for “Solidarity and Inclusivity in Bridging Opportunities for Livelihoods”, defines the purpose or rallying call for a common goal “Building capabilities, Bridging opportunities, Boosting inclusive growth”.#PRNPOJ05/05/2019

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LGU Mandaon leads 1st CDD Congress and Municipal Bayani Ka! Awards

Community volunteers and partners attended the 1st Community-Driven Development (CDD) Congress and Municipal Bayani Ka! Awards last May 7, 2019

The municipality of Mandaon, Masbate spearheaded the 1st Community-Driven Development (CDD) Congress and Municipal Bayani Ka! Awards last May 7, 2019 at the Municipal Covered Court.

The first Municipal Bayani Ka! Awards was conducted in 2016 which was by the Local Government Unit (LGU) Bato in Catanduanes in collaboration with the Area Coordinating Team (ACT) but there was no CDD Congress at that time.

These activities were adopted from the Department of Social Welfare and Development Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services’ (DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS’) CDD Congress and Bayani Ka! Awards which are now on its second and fifth year, respectively.

The CDD Congress which started in 2017 was designed to discuss the experiences and “bayanihan” stories of community volunteers and stakeholders of DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS implementation.

CDD is a globally recognized strategy in which residents were the ones who identify their specific needs in the community, decide a possible intervention and implement the applicable solution.

While the Bayani Ka! Awards was launched in 2014 to recognize the exemplary communities and partners that engaged in DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS and whose efforts remarkably furthered the compassionate collective action in their respective municipalities.

According to Alberto Jazul III of Municipal Coordinating Team, the LGU Mandaon funded Php200,000.00 to conduct the two (2) activities.

Here is the list of municipal awardees:

Thematic Areas – This category was anchored on DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS’ social and environmental safeguards. It is also to recognize different sectors who contributed to the program implementation.

The nominees were evaluated based on Bayani Ka! Awards’ criteria particularly on their vision (16%), action (20%), persuasion (16%), ability (16%), integrity and inspiration (16%) and advocacy (16%) to determine the municipal winners for each sub-category.

Sub-Category Description Awardee
Gender and Development The community actively promotes gender equality in the community, from participation to decision-making.

Annie Padios of Barangay Alas

Improved Local Governance The community brings together the residents and their local government unit and takes steps to ensure that people participation and government transparency and accountability are ensured.

Barangay Local Government Unit of Alas

Youth The community actively engages residents or community volunteers aged 15 to 30, who eagerly promote and participate in compassionate, collective action in the community.

Donna Mae J. Dela Cruz of Barangay Nanipsan

Person with Disability The community ensures that there is reasonable accommodation, which encourages resident PWDs to not only surpass his/her disability and people’s expectations but also to participate in compassionate, collective action in the community.

Ricky Domili of Barangay Alas

Environmental Protection The community actively promotes environmental protection for the benefit of the entire community.

Barangay Tumalaytay

Senior Citizen The community actively promotes and engages residents aged 60 or above to participate in compassionate, collective action in the community.

Arnulfo Marcus of Barangay Cabitan

Program Implementation – This category was anchored on the Community Empowerment Activity Cycle (CEAC), a platform used by DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS to engage communities in a facilitated process of community analysis, planning, project implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

The nominations were judged according to their performance on the program implementation and attainment of program standards.

  • Best Barangay Secretary – Jerry A. Delos Reyes of Barangay Bugtong
  • Best Barangay Treasurer – Restituta M. Basas of Barangay Poblacion
  • Best Procurement Team – Barangay Mabato Bato and Barangay Nailaban
  • Best Project Implementation Team – Barangay Nailaban
  • Best Audit and Inventory Team – Barangay Nanipsan
  • Best Barangay Representation Team – Barangay Poblacion
  • Best Operation and Maintenance Association – LAPO of Barangay Lantangan
  • Best Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) – BSPMC of Barangay Pulo Dacu
  • Best BSPMC Chairperson – Edward Tutanes of Barangay Tumalaytay
  • Most Supportive Barangay in DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS implementation – Barangay Pulo Dacu, Barangay Ayat and Barangay Bat-ongan
  • Barangays with most active participation during Barangay Assemblies Cycle 1 to Cycle 3 – Barangay Nanipsan and Barangay Centro

During the awarding, Edward Tutanes, a community volunteer of Barangay Tumalaytay who was hailed as Best Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) Chairperson shared the importance of constant communication in managing people to resolve such issues that may arise in implementing their community project.

“Volunteerism doesn’t end in just one project in order to have a productive community,” he added.

The BSPMC is the overall management of the community project who oversees the sub-project implementation, monitoring, maintenance and sustainability after the completion of the project.

On the other hand, the Regional CDD Congress and Bayani Ka! Awards will be conducted in Legazpi City on the second week of June 2019.

Kalahi-CIDSS is a poverty alleviation program implemented by DSWD designed to empower citizens through honing their capacities in analyzing their local situation, identify community needs and implement small scale community projects in collaboration with their LGUs. /ramsertan/

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DSWD gears to update the list of poor in Bicol

Legazpi City- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bicol through the Listahanan is now preparing for the 3rd round of household assessment to be conducted in July-December of this year.

“With this, we can check the progress in the lives of the previously identified poor and determine a new set of poor households who will be prioritized as recipients of government’s programs,” DSWD Bicol Regional Director Arnel Garcia said.

Bicol region ranked fifth among the 17 regions nationwide with the highest targets for assessment which will cover 1,143,846 households regionwide. Having a huge target, the agency needs to engage 3,670 workers. This comprises 2,383 Enumerators, 477 Area Supervisors, 95 Area Coordinators, 477 Encoders, and 238 Verifiers.

The department advise all jobseekers to prepare their application letters and resumes for submission to the agency as soon as the authority to hire has been approved and details of the vacancies have been posted in DSWD Facebook page and other information bulletins.

Meanwhile, Garcia encouraged the public to participate in the household assessment to be conducted this year. The public must be aware and has close coordination with the barangay officials for the schedule of assessment.

“The participation of the community is very essential, that’s why we wanted them to get involve to ensure that no poor households should be left behind,” Garcia explained.

The first Listahanan database was completed in 2011 wherein 461,242 households were identified as poor in the Bicol region. The Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) has been its main user.

In 2015, the DSWD has identified 372,451 poor households out of the 1,082,582 households assessed in the region. From this, beneficiaries were identified for the department’s Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT), a cash aid given to the poorest of the poor in effect from the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.

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, the DSWD should update the data 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 identifies who and where the poor are. The list of poor makes available to national government agencies (NGAs) and other social protection stakeholders which serves as the basis in identifying beneficiaries of their programs and services thus allows them to focus resources to those who need assistance the most.##

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DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS funds 33 community projects in Bicol

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS) funded 33 sub-projects in five (5) municipalities of Bicol for fourth cycle implementation with a grant allocation of Php 63,791,550.00.

The sub-projects refer to the community projects generated through DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS planning process using the Community Empowerment Activity Cycle (CEAC). The partner barangays designed, implemented and maintained these projects to respond needs or problems identified during the Participatory Situation Analysis (PSA).

The table below shows the breakdown of sub-projects funded by the program according to municipality with its corresponding grant allocation.

Talisay Camarines Norte


Magarao Camarines Sur


San Jacinto Masbate


Uson Masbate


Mandaon Masbate





These community projects were selected during the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum – Participatory Resource Allocation (MIBF-PRA), where interventions or projects are ranked based on the criteria agreed by community volunteers representing each barangay.

On the other hand, the program will also fund 38 as-built community projects in 18 municipalities amounting to Php 19,496,404.84. /ramsertan/

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Bangladesh Government Officials visits DSWD Bicol for its good practices

DSWD Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia, CESO II

Daughter of Prime Minister and Chairperson of National Advisory Committee of Autism and Neurodevelopment and Saima W. Hossain

Sixteen senior government officials from Bangladesh came in Bicol Region for a two-day study visit (May 1 -2) to learn about the experiences of the community, the good practices implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office V.

The study visit was led by the daughter of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and Chairperson of National Advisory Committee of Autism and Neurodevelopment Saima W. Hossain.

Other delegates are Director General, Additional Secretary of Department of Women Affairs (DWA) Badrun Nessa, Additional Secretary, Health Service Division Habibur Rahman Khan, Additional Secretary Anwar Hossain, Director General of Bangladesh National Nutrition Council Mohammad Sha Nawaz, Head of World Food Program-Bangladesh Rezaul Karim, Chief Operating Officer of Shuchana Foundation Malka Shamrose, Programme Director of Maternity Allowance Programme A J M Rezaul Alam Bin Ansar, Secretary of Ministry of Women and Children Affairs Kamrun Nahar, Director of Maternal Neonatal Child Reproductive Health Care Mohammad Sharif, Additional Secretary Md Aynul Kabir, Additional Secretary Cabinet Division Shahan Ara Banu, Deputy Chief Shakil Akhter, Addtional Secretary of Finance Division of Ministry of Finance Habibur Rahman, Programme and Policy Officer of World Food Program of Bangladesh Masing Newar and Mamunur Rashid.

Also present are DSWD Undersecretary Camilo Gudmalin, Deputy Program Manager for Operations Irene Dumlao, Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia, and other DSWD field staff.

According to Hossain, she aimed at knowing the challenges faced by the Program and how it has been addressed and the good practices being implemented. “Through this visit, I would like to understand the programs and services being implemented for the poor families including the persons with disabilities who are vulnerable and marginalized. What are the things they are needed for support to come up with strategies, focused ideas and solutions that could be implemented in our country,” she said.

Rezaul Karim, head of the United Nations World Food Program- Bangladesh expressed his immense gratitude to DSWD Bicol for hosting the activity. He said that the visit would be an excellent opportunity to get detailed information and discover the good practices being implemented by the Region.

Also, H.E. Asad Alam Siam, Ambassador to the Philippines, Bangladesh Embassy mentioned that they would like to learn from the successful implementation of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in Bicol that can be useful for common future projects and future cooperation.

Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia said he aims the delegates to deepen their understanding of the programs and services extended by DSWD, share and exchange information and expertise that are beneficial to both countries to effectively deliver its services to those who are in need and establish linkages and network.

During the visit, Mr. Mohammad Aynul Kabir, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs gave an overview of the profile and primary front line services being implemented in their country.

After which, Assistant Regional Director Arwin Razo shared the latest accomplishments of 4Ps along with the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) and Listahanan.

He further discussed the effective strategies being applied on how the Region was able to attain more than its target and shared its best practices.

Citing of which are the conduct of Youth Development Session to selected beneficiaries that are not compliant to the conditions of the Program and the reporting, analysis and lobbying strategies to supply the gaps along the implementation of 4Ps. As to the disaster response, are the conduct of training along camp coordination and camp management for other agencies, cash for work during Mayon Phreatic explosion and deployment of Satellite communication during disaster and other best practices.

Moreover, Marilyn C. Valeza, Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian of National Nutrition Council presented their major programs and good practices and Mr. Cedric Daep of Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office presented the Disaster Risk Reduction Application supporting sustainable development.

Municipal Mayor Ann Gemma Y. Ongjoco, presented the profile of the Municipality of Guinobatan, and the best practices implemented by the local government in support to the implementation of 4Ps.

The Municipality of Guinobatan was selected as the area to be visited by the Bangladesh delegates on its second day to have the opportunity to encounter with the community residents.

The delegates are scheduled to visit Guinobatan West Evacuation Center, Maguiron and Muladbucad Grande Health Centers and the communal garden in Barangay Calzada Guinobatan, Albay.

Also, they will have an opportunity to witness the conduct of Family Development Session and the showcase of livelihood products of beneficiaries of SLP.***G.Lindio,IO-II


Assistant Regional Director Arwin O. Razo

Bangladesh Delegates with Local Government Officials of Guinobatan, Albay

Guinobatan West Evacuation Center


Daughter of Prime Minister and Chairperson of National Advisory Committee of Autism and Neurodevelopment and Saima W. Hossain expresses her love for children–carrying a baby of  a beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program at Maguiron Health Center, Guinobatan, Albay


Focus Group Discussion with beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program at Muladbucad Grande, Guinobatan, Albay


Bangladesh Delegates planted trees at the communal garden maintained by beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of Barangay Calzada, Guinobatan, Albay


Bangladesh Delegates with Key Officials and DSWD Bicol Staff and Local Government Staff of Guinobatan

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DSWD does not enlist beneficiaries for CHED’s tertiary education subsidy

Mr. Joy Belen III, Project Development Officer IV explains the Listahanan project to the TES grantees of Bicol University and how they became beneficiaries of the TES

Legazpi City- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bicol clarified today that the agency is not enlisting students to become beneficiaries of the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

“We would like to inform the public that the DSWD does not provide any scholarship program. We do not facilitate the enlisting of beneficiaries for any scholarship,” DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia said.

He further explained that the DSWD’s Listahanan data was used by CHED thru the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UNIFAST) in identifying beneficiaries for the TES.

“The database was already completed hence we cannot modify it. Also, as per Executive Order (EO) 867, Listahanan serves as the basis for government agencies involved in social protection programs and should be updated every four years ,” Garcia added.

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 in accordance to its implementing rules and regulations (IRR).

As indicated on the IRR, TES prioritization will apply on the following categories: 1) continuing grantees of Expanded Students’ Grants-in-aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGPPA) 2) students included in the Listahanan 2.0 ; 3) Students residing and studying in private higher education institutions (HEIs) in cities/municipalities with no existing State University & Colleges (SUC’s) or CHED-recognized Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs) ; 4) those not in the Listahanan 2.0 but show proof of indigency such as BIR certificate of no income, or barangay certificate of indigency, and ranked according to per capita income.

According to CHED-Unifast V Regional Coordinator Ms. Fau Rey, for this year’s implementation, students who fall in categories 1-3 only were prioritized and have been processed.
“For the 1st semester of 2018-2019, 13,626 students qualified for the TES from 117 schools in the Bicol region came from the Listahanan 2.0 data,” said Rey.

Under the TES, students’ beneficiaries will get an amount of Php 40,000-60,000 per year to cover for tuition fees, books, transportation, supplies, room & board, and other school expenses.

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,” explained Garcia.

Director Garcia also cleared that being interviewed by the DSWD’s Listahanan will not automatically enroll in any program. He said that Listahanan does not offer nor provide program benefits because it is a tool that puts faces to the poor. It is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are which serves as the basis of different agencies implementing programs for the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized sectors.###

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