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“It is while we are young that we envision what we want to be in the future.”

This is true especially to those children who have parents who are financially capable to support their every dream. But how about those with less in life? Those abandoned, neglected, orphaned or children born with ailing or unsupportive parents? Could they even afford to dream?

Working with children as Municipal Link of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program opened my eyes to various reality. Most of the children that I work with, no matter how miserable their situation might be, still create and hold on to their dream because for them dreaming is what keeps them going.

One of them is Raffy Orolfo, a fifteen year old minor grantee of the program from Barangay Caranan, Pasacao, Camarines Sur. For him, the hardships that he experienced in life serve as an inspiration to strive harder and persist in his dream of a better future.

Raffy lives with his two siblings and ailing father. Their small house, which is made up of hollowblocks for walls, “anahaw” as roof, cemented floor and with few salvaged materials on some sides, is being shared with two other families. On the “sala”, is where Raffy and his family live, eat, cook and sleep. On the other part, which was supposed to be the bedroom, lives his father’s married nephew, and on the other side, lives his father’s married niece.

Way back in 1982, when his father Miguel was still agile and working, the latter met Raffy’s mother, an Ilonga. The couple got together but Raffy’s mother refused to get married. They stayed together for 22 years in Bulacan and had six children, three girls and three boys. In 2004, his father started feeling the onset of his arthritis, which made him unable to work and provide for the family. He had severe arthritis- giving him swollen feet, making him almost paralyzed. Upon experiencing difficulty, Raffy’s mother, started having affairs, became a drunkard and eventually left them, taking with her, her three daughters. While his father Miguel, with nothing left but hope, took them back home in Pasacao in 2007.

Without anyone to turn to, Raffy then at his young age, took on the responsibility of providing for their family’s basic needs. Their situation may have deprived him and his siblings of an easy life but never did it diminish his spirit and determination to persevere and realize his dreams. Even with all the hardships, he did not give up. He worked hard to support himself through school believing that education could give him the life he wanted.

During school days, before and after school, Raffy, only in Grade 5, would fetch water for an eatery owner known to them as “Tiya Bibi”. In return, the latter provides his breakfast, lunch and supper. He also runs errands in the eatery.

They are very grateful of their neighbor’s generosity for they often survive the day through left-over being given to them. On Saturdays, Raffy washes clothes and earns P25.00 for 10 pcs. of shirt washed. They use said amount in buying rice while as for their viand, they most of the time borrow or “utang” at a nearby sari-sari store.

Meanwhile, his brother, Orlando, only in Grade 2, buys and sells scrap materials during weekends while Mark Anthony, also in Grade 2, has been informally adopted by a retired couple from the school in which the siblings go to.

But life for them is really hard. It is not every day that their neighbors could give them food. There are times that they have missed meals. As for Raffy’s schooling, even if he works double time he still could not cover all his school needs like projects and school contributions. He and his siblings walk to and from school because they don’t have money for their tricycle fare.

Becoming a Pantawid Pamilya Beneficiary

Although known as the Summer Capital of Camarines Sur, Pasacao remains as one of the third class municipalities in the said province and has initially 3,662 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, of which Raffy is included.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is a human development and right-based program of the national government that utilizes the conditional cash transfer scheme to help poor families realize their children’s rights to health and education.

Raffy and his family are thankful to Pantawid Pamilya because it has helped them a lot. In times when the siblings have no earnings, they utilize the grant for their food and daily needs.

His personality may be that of a shy, reserved boy with few words, yet has strong determination to survive in a kind of existence he only knew– that of “hand to mouth existence.” His life is a testament to the Bicolanos ingenuity, the perseverance to endure the hardships thrown his way and his journey to what he envisions as a better and wonderful future.###by:annalindalorejo.municipal link (amayor.4PsIO)

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Bicol Gets 1.07 Billion for Poverty-Reduction Projects in 2013

The Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), a multi-funded project of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), aids 2,051 communities with P1.07 billion for continued implementation this 2013.

With project coverage of 70 municipalities in all provinces of Bicol, Kalahi-CIDSS provides poverty-reduction projects to address local needs in the poorest areas in the region.

Kalahi-CIDSS project operates in different implementation processes with funding from the government and other international agencies. All provinces will receive grants to target poor communities. Albay will receive P149 million, Camarines Sur with P360 million, Camarines Norte with P97 million, Catanduanes with P48 million, Masbate with P197 million and Sorsogon with P218 million.

Kalahi-CIDSS is a community-driven development (CDD) project in the Philippines which strongly advocates the involvement of local communities in the design and implementation of development projects to address the issue of poverty in the country. It aims to improve local governance by employing the participation of the people in the communities in the development process.

Community residents consensually decide on what type of poverty-reduction projects they need for funding. Common projects include: public goods or access projects such as pathways, farm-to-market roads, health centers, water systems, day care centers and school buildings; community enterprise projects such as solar dryers, rice mills and community markets.

The selection of Kalahi-CIDSS project areas is based on the 2009 Philippines poverty statistics of National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB). The regional poverty incidence among families is 36% where 45 in every 100 Bicolanos are poor.

To date, there are 70 municipalities implementing Kalahi-CIDSS project in different modalities. ###jmarbella

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DSWD Turns Over Additional Core Houses in Albay

One of the best factor in the successful implementation of a project is when the beneficiaries themselves collaborate and unite in the project implementation.

This is the case of the core shelter project by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Local Government Units with more than a thousand typhoon victims and displaced families in Bicol provided with permanent and decent shelters. As of press time, the DSWD has already turned over a total of 8, 268 units regionwide.

In the municipality of Daraga, a certificate of completion and occupancy was received by 1, 528 core shelter beneficiaries from Ms. Corazon Pitero, head of the Social Protection Unit. She was joined by Daraga Vice Mayor Carlito Baylon, LGU officials and Ms. Yolanda Guanzon, the Provincial Social Welfare Officer.

Ms. Pitero explained that the core shelter project is provided to indigent families who were rendered homeless due to disaster. Core shelter is a structurally strong and environment friendly shelter units which can withstand 180 to 220 kph wind velocity, intensified four earthquakes, floodings and other similar hazard. It is a restoration and rehabilitation strategy that uses work teams to provide labor for the construction.

Each family beneficiary was given materials and that they built the houses with vigour and dedication.

While the DSWD was responsible for the shelter units for their counterpart, the LGU of Daraga provided additional construction materials while the Provincial Government’s counterpart is the relocation site.

The families relocated are from barangays; Alcala, Binitayan, Bañag, Busay, Bañadero, Cullat, Tagas and Malabog. These families were left homeless during the series of strong typhoons which stricken Bicol for the past years.

Meanwhile, an additional of 135 core shelter units will be turn-over in the municipality of Polangui. The family beneficiaries will receive their certificate of completion and occupancy from Asst. Regional Director Felix M. Armeña.###eejerusalem-dswdsmu

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DSWD Field Office 5 Has New Regional Director

Director Arnel B. Garcia was installed as the new Regional Director of DSWD Field Office 5, during a simple turn-over ceremony on January 8, 2013 at the DSWD Conference room, Legazpi City.

He was installed by Asst. Secretary Javier Jimenez, Chief of staff, Office of the Secretary Garcia will assume the post vice Director Remia Tapispisan who will be transferred to Region VIII.

In his acceptance speech, Director Garcia said that the success of the implementation of the department’s programs and projects is the efficient implementation of the staff and the support of the DSWD partners. Hence, he would sustain the strong partnership of the field office with the DSWD partners. “We need convergence”, he said. He also envisions having a pre-devolution relationship in a devolution scenario with the Provincial/City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers.

“We do not pray for lesser targets but we pray for a broader shoulder”, Director Garcia said.

A psychology and social work graduate, Director Garcia has been with the department for about 29 years. He rose from the ranks and started as a Project Assistant under the SEA Foundation. He became a Social Welfare Analyst, Social Welfare Officer IV and Director III. Because of hard work, commitment and love of work, he acquired the plum post as Regional Director for almost five years now.

The turn-over ceremony was attended by partners’ Regional Directors, Civic Society Organization, NGO’s, and some local chief executives from the province of Catanduanes, Masbate, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte. Catanduanes Governor Cua was also present. ###eejerusalem-dswdfo5-smu

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DSWD Forge Partnership with Albay Province for the Construction of Evacuation Center

A memorandum of agreement (MOA) has been forged between the provincial government of Albay and the Department of Social Welfare and Development duly represented by Albay Governor Joey Sarte Salceda and Director Remia T. Tapispisan for the construction of a pilot evacuation center.

As recommended by Governor Salceda, the 10.8 million worth of evacuation center shall be constructed at San Jose Elementary School, Malilipot Albay.

The department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) being the over–all responsible on disaster response, aims to break the culture of most disaster victims who refuse to go to evacuation centers just to be able to take care of their properties.

As explained by Director Tapispisan, bringing these evacuation centers nearer to their place of residence and located at most convenient  and safer place, the department is assured that the loses of lives due to this practice of most disaster affected population will be minimized if not eradicated at all.

This evacuation center cum multi-purpose center will be used as classroom during normal times and evacuation center during disasters and calamities. It is estimated to accommodate 1,000 families affected by flooding, lahar flow and land slide from the barangays of Malilipot namely; San Roque, Canauay, Calbayog and San Jose.

Present during the MOA signing were Malilipot Mayor Herminio Bitara, Mr. Cedric Daep, Director, Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Officer and DSWD Asst. Regional Director Evelyn M. Lontok. ###eejerusalem, SMU-dswd5

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People Say What They Really Want: About 500 Community Proposals Presented for Kalahi-CIDSS Funding

After communities conducted a participatory investigation and research identifying the most pressing need in their village, about 500 community proposals from the barangays under the municipalities covered by the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) project were presnted.

“People living in the communities know more about their current local conditions and making them identify their priorities is important in the formulation of development plans,” Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Dir. Remia T. Tapispisan said.

Community proposals were made by a group of trained community members. They are called the Project Preparation Team (PPT), elected by each of the barangays during the Barangay Assembly (BA) for the validation of the identified needs in the community, are taught the key processes and tools to identify, select, and design appropriate solutions to address such problems.

Community proposals are presented during the prioritization activity where the community volunteers, municipal and national governments, non-government organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations (CBOs) and other groups and individuals within a municipality are gathered. This is called the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum- Participatory Resource Allocation (MIBF-PRA) in which community proposals are prioritized for funding.

MIBF is a criteria-based allocation of development investments wherein all the barangays within a certain municipality decide what community proposals should be approved for funding. The grant a municipality receives is equal to the total number of barangays multiplied by Php450,000. These funds are directly downloaded to the community accounts once the community proposals are approved for implementation.

George Borja, a community volunteer from Sorsogon celebrates with the villagers of Tupaz because of the forthcoming fulfillment of a long-time dream. Out of 22 barangays of Prieto Diaz, their barangay was one of the prioritized projects with a community proposal of motorized bancas amounting to Php1.2 million.

Inot, gusto kong pasalamatan itong nagboto sa samuyang proyekto pero mas gusto kong pasalamatan su mga nagpaunod dahil naging mahiwas ang saindong pagunawa. Sana sa mga masunod na arog kaining pagtiripon, pirmi tang pairalon ang pagunawa asin pagparaya ta iyo yan ang mabukas ning dalan pasiring sa kauswagan [I would not only thank those who voted for our project but also those people who understood where we are coming from. I hope that we keep our compassion towards one another because this will take us to the road of development],” George Borja said.

As part of its expansion in 2012, Kalahi-CIDSS is currently being implemented in Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Sorsogon and Masbate with a total of 19 municipalities. ###jmarbella

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Legazpi City Pilots the Urban Kalahi-CIDSS in Luzon

he city government of Legazpi, as the pilot area in Luzon, will formally accept their local engagement in the implementation of Urban Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in December 5, 2012.

The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) will be signed between Mayor Geraldine Rosal and DSWD Director Remia T. Tapispisan at Legazpi City Hall. Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda is expected to join the said activity with other key local government unit (LGU) officials.

The Urban CDD Program was previously implemented in the National Capital Region (NCR) specifically in Malate, Manila and in the province of Cavite. The target roll-out for Legazpi City will be on January next year.

Selection Process

Based on the data from National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) in 2009, Legazpi City with 30.7 poverty incidence (PI) has the highest among the component cities in Luzon qualifying for the Urban Kalahi-CIDSS implementation.

After the consultation dialogue between DSWD and key government officials and stakeholders during the preliminary validation, the urban barangays of Rawis and Bitano were identified to implement the said project considering the factors of income vulnerability, disaster risks vulnerability and land tenure issues. According to the 2010 data from the National Household Targeting System (NHTS), both Rawis and Bitano have been listed with high magnitude of poor households in Legazpi City.

Grant Funds and Community Subprojects

The barangays of Rawis and Bitano will receive one million each from the World Bank with a complementing counterpart of 30 percent of the indicative total project cost provided by the city government of Legazpi.

The project management team of DSWD expects that community enterprise and livelihoods are considered to be the major sub-project category in Urban Kalahi-CIDSS.

What is CDD?

CDD is the mechanism used Kalahi-CIDSS which has been proven effective in reducing poverty in the country and in Bicol region. Through CDD, the people in the community play a direct role in a research to identify existing needs, project design and development to address these needs, project implementation, setting-up community associations, and management and operation and maintenance of completed sub-projects.

Kalahi-CIDSS is the flagship poverty-alleviation program of the Philippine government aimed at empowering the communities by honing their skills to participate in their local development process. It is one of the core social protection programs of DSWD along with Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipno Program and Sustainable Livelihood Program targeting the poorest households.###jmarbella


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Poverty remains the most crucial social problem that needs to be dealt with in the Philippines. What is precisely the nature of this dilemma? Being the 12th  most populated country in the world, the major cause of this is the rapid population growth which resulted to high unemployment rate.

Over the years, poverty rate stays constant because of its limitation to create jobs while increasingly its demand.

Addressing widespread poverty is the country’s great challenge especially its reduction. Augmenting this scenario, the Department of Social Welfare and Development came up with poverty alleviation programs known as DSWD’s Convergence Network also referred as Tatsulo.

In the line is Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan- Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) wherein it empowers communities, strengthen local governance and speed up development in the barangays. Next is Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program also known as 4P’s is a human development program that invests in the health and education of poor households, particularly of children aged 0-14 years old. It uses conditional giving of cash grants based on compliance to certain conditionality’s whereas Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) is a multi-stakeholder program that aims to improve the socio-economic status of its participants. It does this through a community-based capacity building program that enjoins the community participants from the planning until the implementation and monitoring phases.

A targeting system was formulated to set up a unified criterion in the selection of the poorest population. This gave birth to DSWD’s National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR). It is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are.

The system makes database of poor households as reference in identifying potential beneficiaries of social protection programs. It aims to establish an objective targeting system and reduce the leakage of social services to non-poor and minimize exclusion of the poor.


NHTS-PR looks into the poverty incidence of provinces/municipalities/cities for the purpose of prioritizing the areas to assess. This also determined the method of assessment to implement. There are two methods being used, Saturation or complete enumeration for municipalities with 50% and above poverty incidence and Pockets of poverty which applies to municipalities/cities with 49% below poverty incidence. It is a segment or portion of the community where clusters of poor usually reside.

After identifying which process best fit in the area, household assessment is the next step wherein it is conducted by enumerators using the household assessment form (HAF), a two page questionnaire with 34 variables.

All the information gathered in HAF is then encoded to a web application and subjected to Proxy Means Test. Proxy Means Test (PMT) is a statistical model that estimates the income of households using the proxy variables indicated in HAF. These include family composition, education of household members, housing conditions and access to basic services.

NHTS –PR also implements On-Demand Application (ODA)– a process of ensuring complete coverage of poor households and Validation-a process that assesses accuracy of the list of poor and non-poor households with the community to ensure that all qualified will be included in the database. Local Government Units (LGU’) performs key role during these processes.


The assessments were completed last December 2009. The NHTS-PR was able to assess and subject to Proxy Means Test (PMT) 10,909,456 households in the 17 regions, 80 provinces, and 137 cities and 1,493 municipalities nationwide. Of these, 5,255,118 were identified as poor.

In Bicol region, a total of 775,014 households were assessed and subjected to PMT in the six (6) provinces, seven (7) cities and 107 municipalities regionwide. Of these, 461,242 were identified as poor.

Data from NHTS-PR Field Office V is currently being used by DSWD for its Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program(4P’s) and other stakeholders  such as Philhealth RO V, Department of Health (DOH)RO V, Intervida Philippines, Department of Agriculture, National Nutrition Council (NNC), Department of Agrarian Reform and  71 LGU’s in Region V.

Time is a thief for NHTS-PR, after commencing last 2009, the group will be updating its database in 2014.The team is advocating for full cooperation of the communities for the re-assessment to ensure all poor households will be included in the database.###crbarrameda

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