DOLE turns-over 300k worth livelihood assistance to PWDs

The Department of Labor and Employment officially turned-over on Febuary 2, 2017 the 300 thousand worth of Canteen Establishment cum Bread and Pastry Livelihood Assistance to the Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center-III of Department of Social Welfare and Development- Field Office IX.

In Photo: (L-R) Sylvia Delos Santos, LEO III; Leila Awis, AVRC Superintendent; Amri Halilula, Vice Pres of UCBA; DOLE Assistant Regional Director YahYah Centi; Protective Services Unit Chief Josefina Reyes; Ian A. Lahi, Chief LEO, Zamboanga City Office.

The said project will be managed and benefited by 40 PWD members of the United Clients Builders Association (UPCBA) that will help them engage and start livelihood activities through the supervision of the center.

Chief LEO for Zamboanga City, Ian Lahi urged the beneficiaries to take care of the assistance given to them so it will help them and their families.

Assistant Regional Director of the Department of Labor and Employment Region IX,   Mr. YahYah Centi also expressed his appreciation to the PWD clients and has encouraged everyone to value the opportunity given by the Government to them. “One thing’s for sure we are committed to you. This is about giving you hope, this is about giving you optimism. This is about hope in your dreams, hope in your realization and hope in your day to day. DOLE and DSWD has always been a partner.” Centi said.

The ceremony was attended by the members of United Clients Builders Association, PWDs and DSWD staff.

The PWD clients of AVRC who are members of the said association underwent trainings under the Technical Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) on Baking and Pastry Production for fifteen days. AVRC-III Superintendent, Leila Awis said that the realization of the said canteen will be implemented as soon as the repair and construction have already been finished

The clients under the AVRC undergo several phases such as Social Rehabilitation, Training, On-Job Training and Placement. The center seeks to assist persons with disabilities in achieving the highest level of physical, social and economic adjustment by maximizing their residual capacities through a wide range of social and vocational activities. ##


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DSWD readies Adoption Consciousness week activities

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office IX has prepared series of activities that will highlight the Adoption Consciousness Celebration this Month.

The celebration that will run from February 11-19, 2017 is anchored on this year’s theme:” Pagmamahal Palaganapin, Legal na Pag-ampon ating gawin. “

DSWD Regional Director Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo urged the public to actively engage in the advocacy on legal adoption. “I encourage everyone to seek for consultation and inquiry in the office to consider adoption as an opportunity to build new families for our children. Our workers are ready to facilitate and assist the prospective adoptive families to ensure legal adoption processing”, Atty. Solamillo said.

The celebration is set to kick-off with motorcade and will highlight other activities such as Holy Eucharistic Celebration with Adoptive Families and RSCC clients, Adoption Help Desk in Malls, Adoption Information Caravan in some National Government Offices and Adoption Forum for Local Government Units within the week-long celebration.

Media guesting will also form part of line-up activities that will aid in the advocacy and publicity support of the program.

In 2016, DSWD Field Office IX has recorded 25 Local Adoption and 7 Inter-Country Adoption. ##


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DSWD kicks-off 66th Anniversary Sportsfest

The Department of Social Welfare and Development through the General Administration and Support Services Division (GASSD) and Policy and Plans Division (PPD) hosted the week-long Sportsfest in celebration of the department’s  66th Anniversary with theme “Sama-samang paglilingkod na may malasakit” from January 23-26, 2017 at Tebi and Sean Recreational Center.

The festivity kicks-off with a parade of the five participating teams each represented by the DSWD employees. DSWD Regional Director Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo said in her message “this week is dedicated for your sportsfest. May we value the essence of the celebration with sportsmanship and trust, may we nourish our hearts with more compassion to serve the poor”.

“We may be divided by colors but we are woven by spirits. A spirit that is resilient and caring, quench by the tests of time. It is indeed manifested by transformation brought by our department that upheld the legacy for 66 years and counting”, Atty. Solamillo added.

Igniting the spirit of sportsmanship and camaraderie was the ceremonial lighting of the torch that saw all five colors of pink, blue, green, yellow and orange come together as one.

Among the lined-up events for the Sportsfest Week includes Basketball, Bowling, Volleyball, Table Tennis, Chess, Scrabble, Dart and Domino simultaneous with Bingo Socials and Pinoy Games and also the Search for Mr. and Ms. DSWD 2017.

The department is extending its appreciation to the Drum and Lyre Corps of Tetuan Central School, and to the Zamboanga City Police Office for joining and making the parade possible.###

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DSWD provides wellness activities for employees

The Department of Social Welfare and Development through the Protective Services Unit hosted week-long wellness activities for its employees as part of the 66th year anniversary celebration from January 10-13, 2016 at DSWD Conference Room.

DSWD Regional Director, Atty. Araceli Solamillo said that these activities will help the employees assess and check their conditions through various health and wellness services. “I believe that providing the staff with necessary care, health and support services will help them achieve efficiency and balance lifestyle at work.” She expressed.

“As implementers of various social welfare programs and services of the department, it is important for the staff to maintain their physical and mental condition to provide our clients with prompt and efficient delivery of social services” Atty. Solamillo added.

Among the services rendered to the employees are BMI screening, Dietary Counselling, Massage and Reflexology Services, Fasting Blood Sugar Check-up, Dental Services and among others.

Meanwhile, the DSWD Field Office IX has recorded good number of Blood Donors as it also hosted its first Blood Letting Activity in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross-Zamboanga Chapter. The agency has accumulated good number of rare blood types which is a good indication of possible donors in the future.  The agency is looking forward to have this kind of activity in a regular basis in order to help not only the staff but also other clients should there be a need for blood request.

The DSWD is extending its appreciation to the City Health Office of Zamboanga, Philippine Redcross-Zamboanga Chapter, VISTA Massage through the Area Vocational and Rehabilitation Center and all partners who served and responded in the invitation.

The activity resonate this year’s anniversary theme, “Sama-Samang Paglilingkod na may Malasakit”.

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Dipolog City as third class city is surrounded by rolling hills to the southeast and Sulu Sea to the North. Known as the Orchid City, It has been a two-time Presidential Awardee for Child Friendly Municipalities and Cities (PACFMC) following the conferment on the “Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance” by Council for the Welfare of Children and Department of Interior and Local Government in 2015. The city continues to implement the 4 gifts for the children (survival, development, protection and participation) and child friendly governance for the past 8 years now. Thus, it is noteworthy to know that the local government including the local barangay units have been implementing different programs that encourage participation and promotion on the protection of children as key factors toward championing its rights in creating a liveable community for them. Along this line, children are empowered and catered in the city as main actors in the realization of goals and nation building. With all these significant recognitions, there are Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program partner-families who have been blessed with exemplary children in their respective communities who contribute to them.

As the crickets begin to fade off their lullabies at night, the dawn starts to change and radiantly paints the hues of the skies with warmth. The beaming rays of the sun peep towards the small community of Brgy.Olingan, Zamboanga Del Norte.

At 5:30 am, the daily morning routine of young Reynald A. Baguio, a 13-year old, along with his brothers, starts the day by fixing their beds, feeding their animals, watering the backyard vegetables in the garden. They together sit for breakfast and prepare themselves for school. His mother Florenda, 35, trains them to become responsible children by means of helping in the daily activities at home. During weekends, Reynald joins his father, Rey, 37, to go on fishing using their small banca for a living. He braves the waves in order to help his parents sustain their livelihood while his two siblings wait for their comeback near the shores and organize the fresh fish. They sell them among neighbors. Selling the fish has been his father’s way of earning income.

At his very young age, Reynald has already manifested significant leadership traits which are characterized by being an epitome to his followers–his brothers and friends. Being the eldest among the triplets, Reynald knows how difficult their life is. He can recall the days when they had less food to eat. All of them endure eating hot plain porridge with salt just to suffice their daily meals. His parents really have to take and exert tremendous effort to sustain the basic family needs such as food and education. Meanwhile, considering that they are trio, the level of attention and equal care have also become the challenge of the parents; nonetheless, they are doing a  great job in raising them well with equipped character and embedded values to emulate from.


Reynald at home serves as the leader and initiator for Reymart and Reymond. At his age, he empowers them by becoming a proactive brother. He also acknowledges his brothers’ strengths and weaknesses, and he assures that equal treatment and sensitivity are employed. His brothers, however, reveal that Reynald is very active in school and has the academic edge and advantage among them. Reynald serves as their personal tutor in terms of their homework. Like other boys, they play Basketball as their favourite sport. They visit the nearby plaza, just like today’s young kids do, to balance between school and physical play.

Reynald and Reymond are identical in physical features while Reymart is the fraternal twin counterpart. Each one has unique characteristics to tell, but Reynald has indeed manifested exemplary sort of contribution in his family. Hence, they execute “togetherness” to uplift their living condition and to see that everyone reaches their goals.

-Back Story-

Florenda, Reynald’s mother, recounted the days when she almost died after giving birth. She suffered from an excruciating pain, coupled by fever and bleeding due to her pregnancy. She was unconscious for three days due to her very delicate delivery. Since she was insentient, she did not know how things flowed. Because of her condition, the doctor had a partial belief that she could die anytime. The doctor and her husband patiently waited for her to wake up. That was the time where her life was either one way of saying goodbye or one miracle way of living again to the real world. On a very fortunate note, she finally survived. When she woke up, consuming the air of hope, she realized that she had three babies. She was held in reverence and brought by pleasure when she knew the outcome of her bittersweet pregnancy. However, she had no idea how to begin with instant three sons. Her husband, a fisherman, had little income from his fishing. As a matter of fact, she and her husband had to endure a sort of predicament where they asked financial and medical assistance to some people to aid the needs of the triplets. Some even dealt with taking a child of other parents legally to become their own, but for one, she didn’t like the idea and rather stood up the promise in raising her sons through her own will and perseverance. In 2008, they became recipients of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.”


“Gusto ko maging Engineer para kung sakaling matanda na ang mga magulang ko at gusto nilang lumipat sa magandang bahay, ako ang bubuo at kukumpleto sa hiling nila (I want to become an Engineer because when my parents get old and when they want to transfer to a beautiful house, I will build and complete their dream),” he said. It is evident how Reynald wanted to repay the sacrifices of his parents by dreaming Big. Apart from knowing his life’s dream, he also excels in literary activities (i.e. oration and storytelling), performing arts (i.e. singing and dancing) and visual arts (i.e. drawing), and sports (i.e. playing chess). Evident from his versatile skills, he is an example of a well-packaged kid. His dynamic talents have brought him in many performing stages, competition venues and resounding applause as well.


Reynald’s greatest inspiration is his family. His family serves as his driving force to beat the endless struggles with gumption and passion. With this kind of inspiration, it leads him to execute excellence and greatness in school, hanging medals around his neck and handing him certificates with different honors and privileges. In his Elementary days (2009-2015), he was a consistent honor student with various awards. To support this, last March 2016, he actually graduated as valedictorian and received special recognition such as ABS-CBN Excellence Award, Best in English, Best in MTAP, Best in Reading, Best in Art, Journalist of the Year, Leadership award, Band Member of the Year, MLhuillier Academic Award and among others. In addition, he was also recognized with consistent Perfect Attendance under the project WATCH (We Advocate Time Consciousness and Honesty) of the school.  These achievements are best proof that nothing is impossible as long as he has an unconditional support from his family. Along with, this only shows that we all have the right and privilege to enjoy and to inspire in whatever ways we can amidst the chaotic notion that has been implied herein, and that is “poverty”.

At present, he is now on his 7th grade at Alberto Q. Ubay Memorial Agro-Tech Science High School in Dipolog City. Reynald steadily maintains his good grades, travelled to places and competed in various local and regional level competitions. He is the Classroom Vice -President, Sgt. and Arms of the MAPEH Club,Treasurer of the Chess Club and Grade VII representative of the Supreme Student Government.


As his personal advocacy, Reynald wants to encourage people to plant trees to save the environment. He maintains his concern for nature, for he has been joining several Purok Pintakasi, Tree Planting and Coastal Clean-up activities conducted by their Local Barangay. He is also active in attending the monthly Youth Development Session (YDS) rendered by his teachers. Reynald once revealed that one of the significant learnings he had among the several topics in the sessions was the Emergency Preparedness. He believes that being prepared during disasters will not only save him but also other people from casualties and other possible repercussions. For once, he never fails to attend the session because he knows it will help him change and develop his personal and social awareness.

Another notable contribution of Reynald was being a member of Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC). BCPC is a preventive program mandate issued by the Philippine Government to all Barangay’s. It is an established council that looks after the protection of its children.  He was chosen to be the child representative to be exposed, educated and informed on the important social issues such as Child abuse and Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC). “Nalaman ko kung papaano ako makakatulong sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay alam sa Pinuno ng Barangay at ng Council kung sakali mang may mga report ng pang aabuso sa mga bata”. He shared. Reynald was also chosen to sit as Child representative in the Barangay Investment Plan for children where he joined several projects conducted such as Garbage collection and income generation.


His strong determination and robust faith to God become his armor to step up a good fight. “Takot sa Diyos, eto ang pinapahalagahan ko dahil sa lahat ng anggulo ng aking buhay, kung mayroon man akong pinanghahawakan sa lahat ng oras yun ay ang makibagay sa lahat ng nakapaligid sa akin,” he added.

Reynald remains his positivity towards his goals in life. As he grows up, he improves himself and manages to hone his skills through involvement in various activities.

And as the sun bids farewell, the dusk turns in quiet shift. The rays go off at six yet stars spark in brilliance sleek. When young Reynald finishes the day and sleeps, he always wakes up with great goals to leap.

When he takes the life’s journey step by step, he only not brings pride, splendour, and inspiration among his loved ones. He goes back home with a humble spirit and remains the child in him. At the end of the day, Reynald will always be the Clever Son of the South.


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DOH confers RED ORCHID Award to DSWD-IX

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office IX was recognized by the Department of Health as a “RED ORCHID Awardee” for having garnered a total score of 102.13% based on the set of criteria for implementing a 100% Tobacco-Free Environment and following the World Health Organization’s “MPOWER” Framework.

The DOH Red Orchid Awards is the Search for 100% Tobacco-Free Provinces, Municipalities, Cities, Government Offices, Government Hospitals and DOH Centers for Health Development.

The said award follows the World Health Organization (WHO) FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON TOBACCO CONTROL Article 8 that recommends adoption of measures to provide protection from exposure to smoke in indoor workplaces, public transport, indoor places, and other public places, as well as REPUBLIC ACT 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 that provides protection from exposure to tobacco smoke.

DSWD IX has undertaken major steps which paved way towards behavioral modification among the smokers. Advocacy activities were conducted through lectures, development and reproduction of IEC materials and poster making contest in order to generate materials on graphic health warnings.

In 2014, the agency created the DSWD Tobacco Control Committee to adopt and promulgate a 100% Smoke-Free Policy within the Field Office premises. Guidelines were formulated and disseminated to ensure a common understanding of the program.

Along with this campaign, Twenty-three (23) staff of DSWD underwent training on smoking cessation and counselling. Since the policy was implemented, there are four (4) confirmed quitters of smoking.

The agency was nominated for the Red Orchid Awards and subsequently passed the validation at the regional and national levels.The awarding ceremony was held on November 10, 2016 in Royce Convention, Zamboanga City.

In 2009, the Department of Health (DOH) issued Administrative Order No. 10 on COMPREHENSIVE 100% SMOKE-FREE ENVIRONMENT POLICY that calls on the absolute smoking ban in DOH offices, hospitals and attached agencies and encouraging local government units to do the same in their health facilities and other public places; while the Civil Service Commission issued Memorandum Circular No. 17 in 2010 on SMOKING PROHIBITION BASED ON THE 100% SMOKE-FREE ENVIRONMENT POLICY in all government agencies. (With Reports from Dr. Gracia Gacrama) ##


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Zambo Siege Survivors return to school for Solidarity

Three years after the tragic dawn of September 9, still visible are the ruins of struck bullets and the dilapidated classrooms that are ready for renovation and re-construction.

The memories of the past have flashed back. Through the painful scenarios that have captured right before them, a resilient community has emerged and triumphed through the challenging years.

The teachers and parents who came back as the gates have finally opened to begin the 6-day Brigada Eskwela 2016 truly made them more ready enough to move forward and begin anew.

After more than a year of enduring the makeshift classrooms in Zamboanga City East Central School, finally, the students from Sta.Barbara Central School can once again enjoy the comforts of having their classrooms in the learning corners of their original school.

Sitti Nurhiya Alih, a Pantawid Parent Leader from Sta.Barbara whose family has been displaced due to the conflict, was forced to stay at the Grandstand Evacuation Center when their humble abode was swallowed by a huge fire and razed down to the grounds at the height of the crisis. “Tupok na tupok ang bahay namin, hindi namin inaasahan na aabot sa ganon dahil akala namin sa loob ng tatlong araw matatapos na”

With high hopes, she only wished that they can go back to their home to begin a better life but she’s grateful enough to know that finally her 4 children won’t be spending too much in order to reach their school from the Asinan Transitory Site where they were temporarily stayed for refuge. “Ang mga anak ko tuwang tuwa dahil dati rati kailangan nilang gumising ng alas singko ng umaga kung saan kailangan ng dalawang sakayan para makarating sa paraalan. Kapag dito na silang muli, malapit na at  malalakad na lamang ito mula sa Transitory Site”

The school which was under the conflict area was one of the greatly affected during the first few weeks of heavy exchange of fires between the armed groups and the military forces in the 21-day Zamboanga Siege.

Armed with broomsticks and cleaning paraphernalia, Pantawid Pamilya including MCCT Beneficiaries of Sta.Barbara and Zone 4 joined the Brigada Eskwela kick-off with an overwhelming presence together with other stakeholders.

Sitti Nurhiya together with other 17 Parent Leaders and members of the program actively submitted themselves to participate in this nationwide school maintenance week. “Bilang constituent ng Sta.Barbara dapat namin ito muling itayo, laking pasasalamat na makakabalik na ang mga anak namin dito. Ito po ay taus puso naming inihahandog para sa aming mga anak at sa ikakaunlad ng paaralang ito”

The activity is a heart-warming comeback where beneficiaries have played great roles in the significant re-opening of the campus. Prior to the kick-off activity, School Principal Ms.Daisy Ebrada recognized the presence and help of the beneficiaries especially in the detachment of makeshift classrooms and the immediate transfer of school properties from the Zamboanga City East Central School to Sta.Barbara Central School. “Simula nung kame ay nagkaroon Pre-Brigada Eskwela, naging malaki na ang kontribusyon ng mga beneficiaries lalong lalo na mabilis na pagtransfer.Kahit mga babae ay nagagawa nilang magbuhat ng mga upuan at libro. Araw araw sila ang katuwang namin dito” She added.

The school principal said that the classrooms may not be enough to accommodate the standard proportion student size since there are only twenty two available classrooms including the two newly constructed rooms for all grade levels. The rest of the school buildings that are still under construction are part of the Zamboanga Z3R project plan. She knew that the pressing challenge might be the increase of enrolees during the enrolment period, but she’s certain enough that this can be managed.

The activity has once again recorded its success as different stakeholders expressed their contribution for the school through their commitment to contribute in the renovation works.

The Brigada Skwela has indeed enforced solidarity among stakeholders in all walks of life whose goal is to provide the students with safe, clean and conducive facilities in order to facilitate better learning experiences in preparation for the opening of classes on June 13. It is a proof how possible community involvement participated by the different partners can be fostered through remarkable volunteerism and upholding Bayanihan spirit.

This year was anchored on the theme: “Tayo para sa Paaralang Ligtas, Maayos at Handa mula Kindergarten Hanggang Senior High School” ##

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DSWD begins search for Pantawid model Families, Exemplary kids in Zampen

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office IX has once again opened its doors for the annual Regional Search for Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya and Exemplary Child.

Now on its 3rd year, the Regional Program Management Office of Pantawid Pamilya through the Social Marketing Unit significantly recognizes the achievement and contribution of beneficiaries in the region who are role models in their manifestation of change.

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development is a human development program of the Philippine government that invests in the health and education of poor households particularly of children 0-18 years old. It is a developmental program that uses conditional cash transfers to poor households based on their compliance with verifiable conditions that have been identified and agreed upon by the beneficiaries.

The family as the primary beneficiaries of the program plays a vital role in its success. The children on the other hand, are actors towards emphasizing the importance of their role in the Filipino Family, Community and Nation-Building. In order to document the impact of the Family Development Sessions and the benefits of the program specifically in the strengthening of family relations and children empowerment as young advocates of the program, The Search for Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya and Exemplary Children are being conducted. It aims to encourage the partner-beneficiaries to maintain a good standing in the community serving as an inspiration and encourage other families and children to exercise positive values and productivity

The said search went through layers of selection process in the provinces of Zamboanga City-Isabela Cluster, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga Del Sur and Zamboanga Del Norte through the conduct of Municipal, Cluster and Provincial Searches. The winners will be officially endorsed and shall be the provincial nominees to vie for the Regional Search competition.

The winning beneficiaries will be honoured during the Regional Search proper on July in Zamboanga City and shall become Zamboanga Peninsula’s entry for the National Level Search.

Last year, the family from Municipality of Aurora, Zamboanga Del Sur who manifested resiliency after raising 5 children and survived the fire that razed their house in ashes emerged as the Regional Winner. On the other hand, a female kid from Tictapul, Zamboanga City who have been very active in community initiatives and activities was recognized and hailed as the Regional winner.

The regional search this year will employ field validation as tool to improve the validation process as reflected in the submitted packaged documentation from the Provincial Operations Offices of Pantawid Pamilya.

The said search is in line with the nation’s celebration of National Family week every September and National Children’s Month in November.

The winning beneficiaries shall become program ambassadors and will be part in all advocacy efforts of the Department. ##











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