Woman Butchers Gender Stereotypes

In a world where physical strength rules and where generally men dominate, where does a woman stand? The answer is at a slaughterhouse.

Meet Luzvilla Quicay-Salbidos or simply Bella, a 43-year-old mother of four, who works at a slaughterhouse as a Butcher. To many, it may seem odd that a woman is working at a slaughterhouse where physical strength and endurance are two of the major qualifications for a job. But Bella does not seem to care, and neither do we.

Bella shares her story in an interview.

We visited Bella at her workplace all the way in Bangkerohan, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay as we are searching for empowered women who demonstrates strength and perseverance amidst gender stereotyping issues.

Her hands are still soaked and wet from the work that she has been doing in the slaughterhouse since 2 in the morning. Her fingers are all pruney and wrinkled as she welcomes and tours us in her workplace.

It is a big, high-ceiling room with plastic curtains that cover the doors. The floor is wet and a little bit slippery. You can definitely smell the flesh of the meat and the moisture build-up inside the room.

Bella shares that out of 35 employees in the slaughterhouse, 33 are men and only 2 of them are women. According to her, despite the overwhelming difference in ratio, her gender does not define the quality of work or the performance that she gives.

Kailangan hindi ka malamya kumilos, parang lalake ka rin kumilos. Makisabay ka sa kilos nila na mabilisan. (Acting clumsily is a no no. You must keep up with the fast pace performance of men.)” Bella said.

As a mother of four boys, Bella inculcates this aspect to her children. She says that gender roles have never been an issue in their household. Ever since, she has taught her children the value of gender equality. As a matter of fact, her boys learned to do household chores that are typically considered and are associated with women in a stereotyped society.

Sabi ko hindi porket lalake kayo ay hindi na kayo gagawa ng gawaing bahay. Ganon yung sinasabi namin sa kanila, gender-equality. (I tell them just because they are men does not exempt them from doing household chores. We teach them about gender-equality,)” Bella added.

Gender-equality is discussed in the monthly Family Development Sessions (FDS) of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries as one of the modules that are taught to 4Ps beneficiaries. FDS is a monthly meeting of 4Ps beneficiaries where they learn modules on parenting, financial management, gender and children rights, among others.

Back to Bella’s workplace, her husband, Ronald, greeted us with a smile on his face and a butcher knife on his hand. He had just finished his duty and was waiting for Bella for them to have breakfast together.

They both work in the same slaughterhouse and earn 200 pesos from butchering and cleaning a whole cow. They start working from 2 in the morning until to 2 in the afternoon.

After their shift in the slaughterhouse, they go back home to take care of their new business venture in rice-retail that they hope would help them in their financial stability. They also prepare for the arrival of their kids from their online schooling.

Posted in newsComments (0)

IP Communities receive livelihood kits from 4Ps

85 Indigenous People (IP) families from the Municipality of Mabuhay, Zamboanga Sibugay have received motorized boats as livelihood kits from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) under the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) track.

Turn-over Ceremony of Motorized Boats to MCCT Associations in 4 Barangays of Mabuhay, Zamboanga Sibugay Province

Four barangays and associations benefited from the initiative namely: Taguisian Islanders Association (42 beneficiaries); Tandu-Comot Taguisian Islanders Association (22 beneficiaries); and CaliPam (Caliran and Pamansaan) Islanders Association with 21 beneficiaries.

The turn-over of livelihood kits was possible through the Support Service Intervention (SSI) feature of the program which aims to uplift the socio-economic status of the MCCT beneficiaries through services such as Cash For Work (CFW), livelihood assistance, grassroots organizing activities, family camp, and rent subsidy for Homeless Street Families (HSF) and IP Itinerant beneficiaries.

The Department has utilized a total amount of P360,000 for these motorized boats livelihood SSI.

According to the MCCT Focal in DSWD-9, Germiah Bongabong, “the 4Ps program does not only provide grants for the beneficiaries. More than that, we engage and empower them through capacity building and skills trainings so they themselves could create livelihood opportunities in their communities.”

Missong A. Hadjael, 35, a member of Sama Tribe in the municipality of Mabuhay, Zamboanga Sibugay, recounted his story as a beneficiary of the 4Ps MCCT as he gratefully rides his new motorboat.

Missong Hadjael on his first ride on the newly turned-over motorized boat to their association.

“Malaking tulong ito sa aking pamilya para matustusan ko ang mga pangangailangan nila, lalo na sa pag aaral ng anak ko… natutugunan ang aming pangkabuhayan, gaya nito napabilanga ako sa isang asosasyon na kung saan kami ay nabigyan ng pumpboat na magagamit namin para madagdagan pa ang aming pangkabuhayan. (This is a big help to my family so I could provide their needs especially in the education of my children.. our livelihood needs are met such as this motorized boat which we acquired from being part of the association),” Hadjael said.

The DSWD provides cash aid to the IPs, especially those living in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs) through its Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program. As of today, the program has a total of 95,653 active beneficiaries in Region 9.

DSWD’s Memorandum Circular No. 2 series of 2018 states that the cash transfer program is a sub-component of the 4Ps, which uses a modified approach in implementing the conditional cash transfer program for poor families, including homeless street families (HSF), IPs, and Families in Need of Special Protection.

Turn-Over Ceremony held at Pamansaan, Municipality of Mabuhay, Zamboanga Sibugay last February 23, 2021

Photos by: Abnier Muallam (Community Facilitator)

Posted in featured, newsComments (0)

DSWD strengthens policies on 4Ps implementation

As they continue to improve their programs and services, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recently approved stiffer policies in the implementation of the country’s conditional cash transfer program known as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

One of which is the newly released Memorandum Circular 38 or the Guidelines on the Commission of Prohibited Acts by Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Beneficiaries during State of Calamity or National Emergency that provides for stiffer policies against erring beneficiaries.

This came about as a result of the reports received by the program implementers that there were beneficiaries who misused the grants under the Social Amelioration Program particularly for illegal activities.

It can be recalled that the Department declared a public health emergency last March 2020 which put the compliance of program conditionalities of 4Ps on force majeure and allowed program beneficiaries to received cash assistance as stipulated in the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

“We continuously improve the implementation of our program by ensuring that our beneficiaries adhere to the guidelines set in our Implementing Rules and Regulations. These policies certainly protect our beneficiaries so they would not resort to activities that would worsen their level of well-being,” OIC-Regional Director of DSWD-9, Fatima S. Caminan said.

Caminan added that the circular hopes to guide the beneficiaries and help them understand that the benefits that they receive are financed through government funds. As such, they are reminded that cash assistance must be put to a good use and should not be spent outside of what it is intended for, more so for illegal activities. These policies encourage the program beneficiaries to be more responsible and prudent in the use of the benefits afforded to them.

If a member of the household beneficiary will be found out engaging in any prohibited act as stated in the circular, release of cash grants shall be automatically suspended and erring member together with the rest of the household would need to undergo case management. Reinstatement of household shall be based on the recommendation of the case worker assigned.

4Ps which was enacted into law in April of 2019, is the government’s major poverty alleviation program that invests in health, nutrition, and education of the poor eligible households. These alongside with the psychosocial and psycho-educational component provided through the Family Development Session leading the beneficiaries to an improved and sustained well-being.

Among the program conditionalities include enrolment and attendance of children aged 4-18 in school; deworming of at least twice a year for children aged 6-14; pre and post-natal check-ups for women; preventive check-ups to children aged 5 and below and attendance to monthly Family Development Session.

Currently, the program is being implemented nationwide covering more than 4.3 million households of which 287,165 are active households that received SAP in Zamboanga Peninsula as of previous period.

Posted in newsComments (0)

Serbisyo Caravan: Serbisyo sa Tanan (Service to All)

When we were told about how difficult it is to get to Sitio Logdeck, Barangay Tampilisan, Municipality of Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay, we did not exactly know what challenge we accepted until it was time to go. Boy, it took us a whole-day trekking on numerous hills, barefoot walking on muddy trails, crossing over rivers, and climbing on rocks to be able to reach the target beneficiaries.

It was September 23rd of 2020 when we first visited the area of the Subanen Tribe in Sitio Logdeck. It is a community where public facilities and services are barely present due to its geographical location. Acknowledging the needs of the locals, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program-Provincial Operations Office (POO) of Zamboanga Sibugay pledged to return to the area and introduce them to other agencies that cater to vulnerable individuals and families.


During the first visit in the area, the team had identified a few immediate and long-term concerns that need to be addressed. Some of the long-term needs include the source of electricity in the barangay and the construction of school buildings to cater to 3rd graders and higher.

As of today, the community only caters to grade 1 and 2 pupils. 3rd and higher graders need to walk 9 kilometers down and uphill and through rivers to attend to school. The POO has already referred this concern to the Department of Education to which the latter responded with a commitment to provide additional grade level and school building in the area.

To help the locals in their immediate concerns, the POO has coordinated with various offices to include the local government unit of Kabasalan, the Department of Agriculture Research Division, Office of the Congresswoman Ann Hofer, Department of Health, Provincial Office of the Health Officer and Governor, Pharmacist and Dental Association, ZAMSURECO 2, Municipal Agricultural Office  (BFAR), 102nd brigade / 44TH Infantry Battalion, business sector, and private individuals with the same yearning to help the community.

Together, they conducted a Serbisyo Caravan activity dubbed as “Tabang Logdeck 2” last December 2020 which converges frontline agencies to address the welfare and other concerns of the indigenous tribe.

The tribal leader called the Timuay, Antonio Ocnip, expressed that the Serbisyo Caravan was the first time that the government and private sector have ever visited their community for such assistance and services.

Apparently, it is their first time to receive gifts, food packs, hygiene kits, family kits, groceries, toys, slippers, among others.


The Serbisyo Caravan also served as an avenue to introduce the locals to more sustainable ways of living. The Municipal Agriculturist, Ms. Miladel Capitanya, introduced the new programs of the Department of Agriculture such as the Rice Program: focusing on Highland Rice, High Value Development Crops Program, Livestock Developing Program, Organic Program, and the Dis-advantage of using Roundup Weedkiller.

Furthermore, Mr. Justein Sampilo, the Science Aid of Department of Agriculture Research Division taught them how to raise and propagate a plant called Trichanthera, and a weed called Signal Grassto feed their livestock naturally and safely without costing them a penny.

Sampilo also discussed the proper way of planting a new variety of hybrid “adlay”, “pechay”, eggplant”, and “tomato” for consumption. Mr. William Roldan, an Agriculture Technician of BFAR, gave a lecture on how to propagate hybrid “tilapia”.

With that knowledge, the indigenous people wasted no time and immediately dug in a vacant lot that is owned by the IP community. And at last, the first-ever fishpond in the barangay was established.

One of the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries stated that they used to be able to eat fish only when the program releases their cash grants. Now, with their newly created fishpond, they will be able to eat fish anytime they wish.

Taking Care of the ‘ChikiTeeth’

They say that the ‘chikitings’ or the children are our future and so it is our responsibility to take care of them and teach them how to take care of themselves.

Unusual as it may sound, but the indigenous children in Sitio Logdeck have never tried nor seen a toothbrush and a toothpaste. It is a strange activity for them because their parents have never taught them to brush their teeth. This is not a thing to them, and it has been this way since the early generation of their tribe in Barangay Tampilisan.

The children seemed to be so interested and curious about it that they even tasted the toothpaste to see if it is any good.

The Municipal Link demonstrated the proper way to brush teeth; the children enthusiastically observed and tried it on their own.

Other Services

The 44th Infantry Battalion headed by Staff Sergeant Roldan Librando provided free haircut services to the indigenous people of Logdeck.

Parlor games for children and Supplemental Feeding were also held by the Zamboanga Sibugay POO Team.

Through the help of concerned private individuals, various offices and establishments, the Serbisyo Caravan was able to provide tokens, gifts, seedlings, medicines and vitamins, breads, and many other useful kits to the indigenous people of Sitio Logdeck.

Serbisyo Caravan is an initiative of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program that aims to converge stakeholders and service providers to address the immediate needs of a community especially ones that are hardly reached by government agencies. The abovementioned Serbisyo Caravan was held last December 16-18, 2020.

The Department would like to send its gratitude to all agencies, offices, and individuals that extended help and effort to contribute to the well-being of the IP community in Sitio Logdeck, Barangay Tampilisan, Municipality of Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay. This proves that no family who needs help is left behind if we work together for a common goal. Truly, Serbisyo Caravan is a service for all.

Posted in newsComments (0)

Duterte: 4Ps beneficiaries in priority list for COVID vaccine

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has announced recently that vaccine for the Novel Corona Virus 2019 will soon be available for Filipinos and the first to receive it are those who belong to the poorest sector particularly the members of DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

4Ps family beneficiary from Zamboanga City during health consultation with DOH.

During his public address, President Duterte reiterated that his administration will ensure that the poorest of the poor will be prioritized along with the security forces once the vaccine arrives, the earliest on April 2021.

“Ang mauna sa bakuna..ay yung mga taong nasa listahan ng gobyerno na tumatanggap ng Pantawid. Ito yung mga mahirap.. (The first to receive the vaccine are those who are in the government’s 4Ps list.. They are the poor ones),” says Pres. Duterte.

The Chief Executive added that the vaccine will be free for poor Filipinos.

However, as much as the government wants all Filipinos to get the vaccine for free, due to limited resources, there will be prioritization in its distribution. And some may have to pay for the vaccine, especially those who can afford to pay for it.

Danny, a 4Ps beneficiary from Zamboanga City who recovered from Covid-19, expressed elation towards this good news.

“Wala may kinsa gusto maka-covid pero kung matakdan ta mga pobre, at least matabangan ta sa gobyerno kung naa nay vaccine (Nobody wants to acquire the virus but in case we get infected, at least the government will be able to help us once the vaccine is in),” Danny said.

The DSWD is yet to receive the policy governing this. The Department will be making the necessary preparations as soon as the guidelines are in place and the vaccine has been cleared for public use by the authorized agencies. 

Meanwhile, DSWD calls on 4Ps beneficiaries to wait for further announcement through its official social media platforms.

4Ps is the national poverty reduction strategy of the national government with DSWD as the lead agency. It invests in the health, nutrition, and education of poor households for an improved well-being.  It is implemented nationwide with more than 4 million household beneficiaries. ###

Posted in newsComments (0)

DSWD resumes monitoring of 4Ps health compliance

True to its mandate to uphold the value of health, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) under the implementation of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) resumes monitoring of compliance to program conditionalities particularly on health component starting this current period (August-September 2020).

With this resumption, the Department urges program beneficiaries to visit health center facilities and coordinate with their barangay health workers.

This is to further ensure that the 4Ps family beneficiaries remain healthy and in good condition amid threats of the Corona-Virus disease and other health threats that may arise such as malnutrition, vaccine-preventable diseases, among others.

Furthermore, DSWD advises beneficiaries to know the details on how to avail health services such as health center visit, home visit, and other health-related activities while following the guidelines set by their city/municipal health office and/or the Department of Health.

It can be recalled that the Department has waived compliance of beneficiaries to the conditionalities of the 4Ps program since the uproar brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. This was possible through the signing of a resolution on Force Majeure effective last February.

Under Rule No. VIII Section 15 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the RA 11310 or the 4Ps Act, the Department Secretary may suspend monitoring of compliance of beneficiaries under a ‘force majeure’ circumstance.

Because of this, the beneficiaries became entitled to cash grants even without compliance to program conditionalities such as sending their children to school, pre/post natal check-ups, regular and preventive check-up for children 5 years old and below, de-worming for children aged 14 and below, and attendance to Family Development Sessions (FDS).

The resumption of health compliance monitoring consequently means that the grants intended for health will only be granted to beneficiaries once they comply with health conditionality.

However, monitoring of education compliance and attendance to FDS still remain suspended until further advisory.

Meanwhile, DSWD studies the possibility of utilizing technological advancements as we transition to the new normal without the need for mass-gathering such as the newly-introduced e-FDS.

Posted in newsComments (0)


Though she is from a barrio called “Binuangan”, which literally translates to either fooled or taking something light-heartedly in the English language, Sheila Mae Dagondong, a 30-year old mother of 2 from Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte is very much serious in her advocacy to help her community in this trying times when the world is covered in fear by a pandemic.

The Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) has literally frozen life as we know it – establishments were closed, passenger vehicles were nowhere in the streets and highways, people stay indoors, the town was a bit of a ghost town, and the economy is at a brink of falling.

As a mother and a future educator, what concerns Sheila most is how it poses a threat to students’ education and development since they are on indefinite holiday break. She understands how important learning and education is as she, herself, also currently struggles to finish her studies for better future.


All her life, Sheila has been a devoted follower of God. She serves in the Pentecostal church; she attends daily bible reading activities, youth camps, and other religious activities.

When she married her husband, Jeffrey, she has brought her entire family to serve the Lord as well. Together, they actively participate in church activities as the core foundation of their family relationship.

Their religious commitments and participations have enabled them to be part of their community even as a member of the Pure Bagobo tribe.

Since both of them have not finished their education, they had to strive to provide for their growing family. Jeffrey, as the head of the household, hits the road as a driver in order to bring food on the table.

In 2014, they became part of the country’s conditional cash transfer program, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) under the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer program for Indigenous People (MCCT-IP).

Sheila claims that being a member of the program opened a lot of doors of opportunities for her and her family. She was able to attend trainings that developed her skills and boosted her confidence such as Parent Leader training, ECCD training, and skills training on cookery among others.

The learning that she has acquired form these trainings have helped her in her own home and in leading the group of 4Ps members in her barangay.

She and her husband have also received a scholarship grant as members of a tribal group who are given priority opportunity by the school where she is enrolled in.

Currently, she is taking up Bachelor of Science in Education major in English.

Now that her husband, her children, and her self all go to school to finish their studies, Sheila thinks that she is much closer to the fulfillment of their individual and family goals.

And while it is difficult to juggle studies, work, and family, Dagondong family is all up to the challenge knowing that the government is on their back.


Sheila has always believed that to serve the Lord, one must serve His people.

During the Community Quarantine period, she volunteered to be of service in the barangay by assisting in the orderly implementation of SAP, packing and distribution of relief goods in their area, and community cleaning as a safety measure against the virus.

She also volunteered to help monitor those who are in quarantine. Her main task was to keep track of the body temperature and report unusual conditions of the Persons Under Monitoring (PUMs).

Though she knows how dangerous the task is, not only to her but also to her family, she said that she must do her part in the name of bayanihan to heal from this crisis.


As a future educator, Sheila understands the importance of uninterrupted learning especially with children.

With COVID-19 lurking around, the government had ceased classes in all levels since mid-March. It is still uncertain when classes will resume or how classes will be back to normal. Nonetheless, Sheila believes that, with proper caution and safety protocols practiced, children may still continue learning amidst crisis.

Along other Parent Leaders and Pantawid members, they were able to gather a couple of children in their community and teach them moral values, art, and music while classes in their regular schools are suspended.

Sheila thinks that other than educational purposes, this is also one way to unload the stress amongst children brought about by the pandemic.

And though she is not yet a professional teacher, it is never too early to teach young minds especially in the situation that we are in right now.

Posted in featuredComments (0)


Magsasagawa ng isang ‘disinfecting activity’ ang tanggapan ng DSWD Region 9 mula July 16 hanggang July 17 upang masiguradong ligtas ang pagbibigay ng #SerbisyongMayMalasakit sa publiko.

Pansamantalang nakasara muna ang opisina sa loob ng dalawang araw at muling magbabalik ang operasyon nito sa Lunes (July 20).

Gayunpaman, maaari pa rin kayong mapagsilbihan sa pamamagitan ng aming hotline at online platform na nakasaad sa larawan.

Maraming salamat sa inyong pag-unawa.

Posted in AdvisoryComments (0)

Quality Policy

No to Tobacco Industry

Transparency Seal

Citizen’s Charter

DSWD Implemented Infra Projects



GAD Corner




CLICK TO VIEW Updated DSWD FOI Manual 2019

Related Sites