Zamboanga Peninsula is a hub of diverse culture and beliefs. It is home for many brothers and sisters of various faiths that share a harmonious relationship despite the differences. This harmony is seen in its people as they live their lives helping one another for the betterment of their individual communities.

Though some beliefs are conflicting between and amongst people in some parts of the region, respect and genuine desire to help wins over differences. This story of a Community Facilitator tells exactly how dissimilarities in beliefs and culture are set aside in the name of public service.

Madznie Amilassan-Hali, a Community Facilitator under Modified Conditional Cash-Transfer (MCCT) Program in Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte, is a native that embraces her religion of Islam. In more occasions than not, Madznie deals with clients who are as diverse in many ways as they are.

As a Community Facilitator, it is her duty to facilitate the project proposals of the beneficiaries and to monitor the sustainability and progress of the project. One of her assigned barangays identified piggery as their proposed project. It is not unknown to many that pig (or pork) is considered ‘haram’ or forbidden in Islam. A believer must not have a direct contact to such.

“As her immediate supervisor, I was expecting that she would decline the project as it goes against her beliefs. But being professional as she is, I was proved wrong. She took the project and handled the monitoring very well. Now that is professionalism with utmost dedication,” says Ma. Cleofe Solamillo, Provincial Link of Zamboanga del Norte.

DSWD upholds its mission to reach out to the poor, disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals without biases and prejudices. Anchored by their core values: Maagap at Mapagkalingang Serbisyo, Serbisyong Walang Puwang sa Katiwalian, at Patas na Pagtrato sa Komunidad, the department, together with its people, continues to serve the public with utmost dedication and commitment.

Madznie’s brand of genuine public service reflects the core values of DSWD. She is able to maintain professionalism in performing her duties and at the same time, follow and keep her strong faith and good relationship with Allah.

Regional Director of DSWD-9, Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo, always emphasizes the importance of respect in all aspects of life.

“We pay as much respect to our colleagues especially those in the field as we do to our beneficiaries. They are really the pillars of this institution that continuously and wholeheartedly give passion and dedication to deliver the mandates of the department. Their service shows the Malasakit of DSWD as the lead agency in promoting social welfare,” says Regional Director Solamillo.