DSWD holds Forum to Strengthen Partnership on Sustainable Livelihood

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office IX through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) held its Partnership Forum in LM Metro Hotel, Zamboanga City on October 1, 2019.

Attended  by Participants from the different Government Agencies, Private Sector, and other institutional partners, the forum intends to provide updated and appropriate planned programs and services to be implemented for possible collaborative efforts and support from duly established partners and stakeholders for sustainable implementation in the community where the program implementers of Sustainable Livelihood Program work.

The Sustainable Livelihood Program is a capability-building program for poor, vulnerable and marginalized households and communities to improve their socio-economic conditions through accessing and acquiring necessary assets to engage in and maintain thriving livelihoods.

The activity also aims to ensure partnership and collaborative efforts in the implementation of developmental programs and services of the communities; To emphasize prioritization of Sustainable Livelihood Program Associations and SLP products in implementing partnership initiatives with the NGAs as mandated by the Central Office, and; To strengthen collaboration with National and Local partners in promoting and delivering employment opportunities, economic ventures and skills enhancement.

In his message, Regional Director Nestor B. Ramos underscored the importance of gathering the SLP stakeholders,  “Reducing poverty is not only responsibility of one sector, like national government but also includes private sector. We cannot achieve development on poorest of the poor without our partners.”

“We are inviting you in a hope of touching your heart in helping us reduce the poverty. I wish this forum of partnership will not only start today but also continue in the future. Let us continue to communicate with each other, look at how we can contribute to reduce poverty.” Director Ramos added

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A Heart’s Desire

Joan France, a 24-year old gal, is from Balangasan, Pagadian City.  She is the eldest daughter of Julieta Nillas-Piedad and Francisco Piedad.  Just like any other teenager, she dreamed of finishing her college degree. Her parents want to make her dream possible. Even her father works as laborer and her mother is a housewife; they find ways to shoulder all the expenses especially her daily allowances, petty contributions and school projects. Joan had to budget wisely her php30.00 daily allowance which is for her transportation to and from the school, and the remaining ten (10) pesos is for her snacks.  However, she prefers to use her php10.00 for their photocopy fees of her lessons so she can study at home.

There were also times that Joan felt difficulty in paying for Intramural’s fee in school during her college days.  She was hesitant to ask money from her parents because she knew that her parents were also paying her younger sister’s tuition fees. 

The time came that her parents decided to stop her from going to school because they couldn’t afford to support her financial needs.  Her parents’ decision pained her so much. She didn’t want to stop studying because she wanted to become someone in the future. So, she decided to work as “kasambahay” (housekeeper) of Ms. Esterlita Dela Torre, the City Public Accountant of Pagadian City.

As a working student, she strictly manages her time in order to cope up and adjust herself as she had to work during the day, and attend classes at night.  She does her household chores early so that she won’t be late in her classes. Just like anyone who losses hope, she felt like giving up because she was exhausted especially during examination period.  She studies while at work, such as reading her notes while washing laundries. She needed to double time her phase to cope up with all the subjects she had to study.

 “I’m proud of myself that I could get through these till I became one of the scholars of DSWD’s Extended Student’s Grant in Poverty Aleviation (ESGP-PA).  I feel blessed and grateful for I didn’t have to work day and night,” Joan proudly said. It was not easy being a “kasambahay” while studying.  She was able to focus more in school and participating in extra-curricular activities.  That led her to get her desired degree, she finished Bachelor of Science in Social Work at Western Mindanao State University External Studies Unit of Pagadian City.

The time came when Joan needs to go for Social Work Review, which means she needs money for the expenses. Fortunately, her mother, Julieta, was a member of Borrowers Cooperative SLP Association (a 2015 project) where her mother borrowed money from with a low interest monthly rate. Joan was determined to make all the efforts of her parents and herself become worth it.  Her prayer was answered and she was very grateful when she successfully passed the licensure examination.

However, Joan didn’t apply for offices that are related with her degree. She availed a Pre-employment Assistance Fund (PEAF) of Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) worth Four Thousand Five Hundred Fifteen Pesos (Php4,515.00).  She used the fund to pay her employment processing fees in Mang Inasal. She had her managerial training in Manila and deployed her in Pagadian City in September 2016. Currently, she works as an Assistant Restaurant Manager and she is earning fifteen thousand pesos (Php15,000.00) every month.“Despite of the challenges I’ve been through for where I am now and what I have, all these are fruit of my effort, hardwork, determination, and persistence.  Poverty is not a hindrance to what you want to become. It is always a choice and initiative on how to get what you wanted. There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs,” an inspiring message from Joan France N. Piedad, RSW/Assistant Restaurant Manager.

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KIA beneficiaries receive livelihood aide through DSWD

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through the Sustainable Livelihood Program special projects and Presidential Management has awarded the dependents of the Killed in Action soldiers on September 6, 2019 at LM Metro Hotel, Zamboanga City.


As can be recalled, an encounter between the Abu Sayyaf militant group and the 44th Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on April 6, 2016 took the lives of 18 soldiers and wounded 53 troopers at Sitio Bayoko, Baguindan, Tipo-Tipo, Basilan Province.

The Malacanang through former President Beningo Aquino ordered the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to provide further assistance to the members of the bereaved families along with the cash allocation amounting to 300,000.

The Approved project costs of P300,000 will be awarded to each dependent in two tranches where the first tranche shall be equivalent to 70% of the approved projects costs while the remaining 30% shall be awarded after implementation, assessment and liquidation of the initial livelihood funds.

DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Baustista led the formal turn-over ceremony together with Regional Director Nestor Ramos and Assistant Director for Operations Fatima Caminan.

Following the said turnover of cash assistance, a Basic Business Management Training to these beneficiaries was organized to provide technical inputs as required by the Program itself. The said 3 day training ushered the participants to draw out plans, learn basic skills on financial recording and financial management to identify strategies for resource mobilization.

DSWD assured for further monitoring on their business enterprises three months after the release of their respective funds.

The provision for families of KIA and WIA soldiers is covered under the Special Projects of the Sustainable Livelihood Program in collaboration with the Presidential Management Staff of Malacańang.

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DSWD Capacitates SLP Implementing PDO on Good Practice and Knowledge Management

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office IX conducted training on Good Practice Documentation and Lessons Learned cum Orientation on Knowledge Management for Sustainable Livelihood Program Field Implementing Project Development Officers (PDOs) on August 13-16, 2018.

Thirty Five Monitoring PDOs were capacitated in a 4-day training workshop held in Bamboo Garden, Dipolog City, Zamboanga Del Norte. The said activity aims to demonstrate knowledge and skills in documentation and effective packaging of Knowledge Management products complementing the Sustainable Livelihood Program.

Monitoring Project Development Officers are responsible in ensuring proper interventions are provided to its program participants through evaluation of its impact. Part of their role is to identify good practices in every SLP association which can later be developed into a knowledge product.

Aside from the importance of Knowledge Management Framework, the Art of Capturing Tacit Knowledge was also discussed which enabled the participants to understand the principles, approaches and tools used for better appreciation and application. This has anchored their role in the processes leading up to knowledge management. Meanwhile, participants were also trained on Basic Writing, Photo and Video Documentation to strengthen their skills in capturing and developing success stories in their assigned municipalities.

The said activity was filled with interactive and informative brainstorming, lectures, structured learning exercises and other group activities to ensure application of the capacity building inputs to the participants

Knowledge Management refers to the management of organizational knowledge through a systematic and specific process for acquiring, organizing, sustaining, applying, sharing, and reviewing tacit and explicit knowledge in implementation to enhance SLP program and organizational performance.

###BernelySheilainede Leon

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Empowered Aling Carmen

Carmelita Polinar, 51 is commonly known as Aling Carmen. She is a mother to her four loving children- Marj, Drin, Mica and Joyjoy. She is married to Alfredo Polinar, a full-time farmer. The couple raised their family through pure hard work and perseverance. Carmelita was a Barangay Secretary for almost nine years and spends her free time helping her husband Alfredo in their small farm. The couple planted rice and corn and maintain vegetable garden and planted root crops like cassava and camote which they sell to their neighbours to have an additional income to augment the daily needs of their growing family.

Carmen recounted that it was never easy being a parent. Having almost no leisure time to spend with her family, the couple have to spend most of their time working to be able to support their kids. Alfredo earns around Php4,000.00 every harvest from their rice and corn farm which happens every four months. While Carmen works as Secretary in the Barangay Office of Lala, Pagadian City since 2008-2017 and earns Php4,000.00 every month. The income of the couple is really not enough for the family but with the couple’s hard work and unconditional love for their children, they always try to find possible ways to provide for their family, even if it means working for extra time. Carmen even recalled that in 2010, they have to sell their cow to pay for the installation of Electricity of their home.

In 2012, Carmen was luckily included in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. She was really thankful and seen it as a big help for their family.  In 2015, she heard about Sustainable Livelihood Program being introduced during one of their regular Family Development Session. She got interested and encouraged her co-beneficiaries to avail of the program. She led the organization of the group. In the same year (2015), with the cooperation of the members of their association composed of 96 Pantawid beneficiaries, they were granted with Seed Capital Fund under Micro-enterprise Development Modality amounting to Php 672, 000.00. They utilized their Capital Fund in Agri-loans; Microlending, and Wholesale of rice.

The Lala SLP Association offers money financing services to farmers to finance their farms and livestock production. Aling Carmen emphasized how much the livelihood program brought positive change to the members and their families and the community as a whole.

“Makita gyud nimu ang kausaban”, Aling Carmen stated.

She recounted that prior to SLP intervention, the community especially farmers have a really hard time sourcing out finances for their farm inputs, they mostly resort to Private Lending Services with higher interest rate. Plus they have to spend extra expenses in individually purchasing fertilizers and insecticides where they need to travel downtown. Their income from the farm is actually insufficient as they have to pay for extra expenses incurred before the harvest.

Now, farmers in Lala, Pagadian City are thankful to SLP for they were offered with agricultural loans with minimum rate and Lala SLPA is also engaging buy and sell of farm inputs at a lower price so the farmers will have lesser expenses and higher income.

While leading the association, Carmen decided to give up her work as a Barangay Secretary and focused her time with her family and the SLPA, since she need not to worry anymore for their expenses because they have established income-operating projects from the loan grant of the SLPA. Aside from their farming, they have also additional livestock production like piggery. The couple can now provide their children with their needs. Their daughter Marj, is now preparing for the Social Workers Licensure Exam while Drin is now studying in College as a full scholar student and Mica is in Junior High School and Joyjoy is now raising her own family.

Last 2018 Barangay Election, Aling Carmen tried her luck and file for Barangay Kagawad Candidacy and won. From a Barangay Secretary of 8 years, Aling Carmen is now officially serving the constituents of Barangay Lala, Pagadian City as a Barangay Kagawad. She is very happy for the opportunity given to her. She expressed her gratitude to 4Ps, SLP, and DSWD as a whole. As she said, her experiences with the programs of the agency have helped her become the person she is today. Her leadership skills were enhanced throughout the period and she can now spend quality time with her family since she can now manage her own time. She challenges her co-beneficiaries to strengthen cooperation and work towards the development of everybody.

“Ako silang gi-challenge nga mu-cooperate para sa paglambo sa asosasyon ug tarungon ug dala nga pirme magmakatinud anon sa pagdala sa asosasyon para masustain nila, ug sa mga ng kaproblema nga asosasyon, ako gi-challenge nga bangonon nila kaimka tabang man gihapon sa atua, sa atuang pamilya, ug sa atuang mga anak.”Aling Carmen challenges her co-beneficiaries.

Aling Carmen expressed her gratefulness to SLP, 4Ps and DSWD for she considered the program a huge help to them as individuals, family and community. Aside from the financial aspect which has a big contribution to all beneficiaries, she also acknowledged how much the program has helped not only herself but also co-beneficiaries enhanced their social skills.

“Mapasalamaton kayo ko sa SLP sa among nadawat nga livelihood nga nakatabang kayo namu ug dako, sa amung barangay labi na namu nga nanginahanglan aning asosasyon, Among dako kaayong pasalamat sa SLP labaw na nakatabang sa mga panginahanglan sa amoang mga anak. Unta mapadayunon ni ug makatabang pa sa mas daghan nga katawhan. Mao ni among pangandoy nga mapadayunon ni.

Mapasalamaton kayo kosa DSWD, una ani sa 4Ps nga mao dyuy una nga nasugdan nga naorganize mi ug na grupo mi ug nahatagan mi aning livelihood nga among gidawat nga karon dako na kaayong natabang sa amua, sa amuang barangay.” Aling Carmen gratefully said.


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Haligi ng Tahanan

Daghan pangarap sa buhay pero kay pobre og kulang sa financial, ako gihapon kayanon para sa mga anak.” Said Geneboy.

A hardworking husband and a loving father of three children, Gene Boy D. Ojas, 43 grew up in Libuganan, San Miguel, Zamboanga Del Sur. Gene Boy’s wife, Evelyn Ojas, 37 is a resident of Manila who is still there looking for a job. They have three children, two of them are already attending school, the eldest is currently a grade 9 student and the latter is a preschooler and the youngest is still an infant. 

Being the lone income provider of the family Gene Boy incomes 30,000 pesos quarterly from farming crops such as corn or coconut. He also earns 500 to 600 pesos from their small sari-sari store. This money is just enough for his growing family expenses. Accordingly, the family expenses sums up to 200 pesos including his children’s allowance. Their monthly electrical fee is 380 pesos and he sends 3,000 pesos to his wife and their baby at Manila.

 “Lisod kay dili permamente ug dugay ang kwarta nga ginakuha sa copras ug maisan, dili dayon ka makahatag sa mga kinanglanon sa imong mga anak para sa ila ginaeskwelahan.” Geneboy sighed.

This is Gene Boy’s every day battle. Being the sole provider he works diligently looking for work and extra income such as, taking care of carabaos and livestocks. He doesn’t smoke and drink nor have any other vices. He is a family-oriented man focused on earning for his family.

Gene Boy’s hardworking and never tiring effort for his family have grown enough trust and attention among the society and being a 4P’s member of the Barangay he was recommended to join the SLP association. The members of the association then assigned Gene Boy to be their caretaker for the livestock.

Ako sila dayon giingnan nga kong ako ang ila pillion nga mag caretaker sa baboy dili gyud sila mag mahay. Naa ko experience ug naa ko oras ug dili suha suha nga ihatag sa pag-alaga sa mga baboy.”

True to his words Gene Boy has enough experience taking care of livestock such as hogs because during his younger days he already experienced raising such. He now serves as the caretaker of the livestock of the association earning an added income of 4,500 pesos a month. He is now relieved that he can now give extra allowance to his children when they need it.

Dili na parehas sa una nga mag ingon ko nila ‘paabuton sa nato nak ha ang kwarta sa maisan o copras’ kung naa sila kinanglanon sa ila mga project.” Said Gene Boy.

He is very happy that he can now give immediately to his children unlike before. Gene Boy still continues on being hardworking.

Maintain lang gihapon, dili asa-asa muadto, dili pasmohon ang baboy, tan awon gyud ang trabaho, dapat systematic ka.”

Pasalamat dako kay ako ang napili nila, lipay sila kay ang baboy dali nag dako, lipay ko kay dili nako mag pa abot tulo or upat kabulan para maka income.” – Gene Boy

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Buug Subanen Workers Association (BSWA) placed 3rd in the Sulong Bayanihan 2019

The Department of Social Welfare and Development-National Program Management Office conducted Sulong Bayanihan 2019: Solidarity and Innovations in Bridging Opportunities for Livelihoods (SIBOL) in Sequoia Hotel, Quezon City, Metro Manila.

The 3-day activity was attended by beneficiaries coming from the different regions of the Philippines wherein they showcased and competed through various kinds of micro-enterprises and employment opportunities. Together with them also are the regional staff of each regions who are the Regional Director, Regional Program Coordinator, Social Marketing Officer, Provincial Coordinator and Project Development Officer.

Buug Subanen Workers Association (BSWA) is the finalist under transform category which is Technology, Resources and Nutrition for Sustainable Food Reserves and Manufacturing. Their association was represented by Ms. Rosel Alolor who is their auditor. The association produces rice wine and organic coconut vinegar that is very popular and always present especially during weddings and subanen rituals. The BSWA placed 3rd and won a certificate and cash prize amounting to php5,000.00.

Engr. Allan T. Bacatan Provincial Director of TESDA was also present during the activity. He was nominated by DSWD-SLP Dipolog as Outstanding Regional Partner. He received certificate of recognition during the Awarding of Outstanding Regional Partners together with the other partners from the different regions.

The award is given for extensively contributing and exerting great efforts for the implementation, resource mobilization, provision of support and technical assistance, strengthening of market linkages and network, and partaking in the success of the Sustainable Livelihood Program in the region.

During the awarding ceremony everyone, especially the program participants, were attractively dressed with their different cultural representation.

Sulong Bayanihan 2019: Solidarity and Innovations in Bridging Opportunities for Livelihoods (SIBOL) is an annual activity. It aims to deliver services more effectively and efficiently by gathering insights from field implementation through the (1) showcasing of leadership and good practices of SLP Associations (SLPAs) in enterprise and organizational management across different industries; (2) synthesizing experiences in matching labor market supply and demand through employment facilitation; and (3) presenting partnership models to various stakeholders.

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Chef Masiba

Food is one of the biggest aspects of a culture, and cooking is one of the greatest skills a person can ever have. That is why Edna G. Masiba, a Pantawid beneficiary grabbed the opportunity given by Sustainable Livelihood Program through Skills Training.

Edna, married to Edilberto, has five children. Edilberto farms for a living while Edna works as a day care worker at the barangay office of Muyo in Buug. Edilberto could only harvest every after three (3) months and would earn at least P5,000.00per month while Edna earns P5,000.00 from her job as well. As estimated for a family of 7, the daily expenses may amount to at least P500.00 a day for food alone. It was truly a struggle since all of their children are attending school, two of them were in college, one in high school, and two in grade school.

                As described by Edna, they did not have furniture at home, since it was the least of their concerns, they prioritized the welfare and academics of their children. Since their home was far from the schools in the area, the children going to college had to spend P50.00-100.00 for fare alone.  They were lucky enough if their father could take them and fetch them from school, but this was not a regular thing since their father usually starts at the farm early, living them to commute to school themselves. Life is tough for them during those times despite of their parents’ sacrifices and efforts to earn a decent living. The other children were forced to walk from their residence to school and end up having their shoes torn. Living in a far-flung barangay in the municipality was such a struggle because children, or students, needed to wake up early and get home late, since they need to walk to and from school. Fortunately, there are times when good Samaritans allow them to hitch on their habal habal.

                Providing adequate allowance for her children was not easy, as she had other expenses they had to spend on. To make things worse, the El Niño Phenomenon took a hard blow on them, when they were not able to harvest goods from their farm, and they did not earn anything for 3 months.

                Fortunately for the family, DSWD became an opportunity for improvement for them, as Edna was given a slot to be a Pantawid beneficiary.  She decided to be a full-time housewife since her husband needs more of her help in attending to the children. Edna was also chosen to be one of the beneficiaries of the Sustainable Livelihood Program projects on Seed Capital Fund for barangay Muyo and was elected as president of their association. Aside from this, she was also given the opportunity to be one of the participants of the Skills Training in Cookery National Certificate II on November 2017 since this was the most relevant training for their skills. Edna as a pantawid beneficiary said she used part of the financial assistance with the approval of her children to cook viands and sell it to the people in the neighborhood so that she could contribute and assist to the needs of their family.

                Through the training on Cookery NC II, Edna was able to widen her knowledge on cooking and was able to use or apply her learning on the training in their SLP Food House. She is currently working as a full time Head Cook of the SLP Food House which of course adds to their family’s income. She is also cooking pre-ordered meals from significant personalities like the Mayor of the Municipality and other LGU workers since she was able to establish a good impression on her cooking.Slowly she was able to provide enough baon for her children; and is also able to reward them with their wants. Also she was able to acquire furnitures and appliances to improve the comfort of the family at home.  Moreover, she could now send her three (3) remaining children to school without being frustrated with all the dilemmas that they will encounter along the way.

Unang-unasa ating PoongMaykapal, I’m so thankful na ganito ang narrating ko, mga taong naging instrument niya tulad ng mga sa government agencies na nag-facilitate sa mga projects, sa DSWD mismo dahil sakanila man itong under na programa and then, sa mga workers nito at lahat. So, nagpapasalamat din talaga ako dahil naibigay nila kung ano talaga ang nararapat sa mga tulad namin. Wala man akong masabi dahil hindi ko ma-measure kung gaano ako nagpapasalamat sa kanilang lahat.”


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