Who would’ve thought that a simple endeavour would cause ripples of inspiration in the community? That’s exactly what happened to the Sta. Maria Small Farmers Association in Zamboanga del Norte. Their endeavours in their communal Bio-Intensive Gardening (BIG) have brought about many other projects with various partner-stakeholders that would benefit not just Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries but also those poor families that are not covered by the program.

The establishment of BIG in the area was identified as an approach to poverty alleviation under BUB project in 2013. The objective of this initiative was to help Pantawid Pamilya household beneficiaries augment their income through vegetable gardening and merchandise. This also ensures that the daily consumption of the beneficiaries of the program is nutritional and organic. This BUB project was approved in 2014 under DOLE program and services.

Pantawid Pamilya and Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) joined hands in organizing the group that would supervise and monitor the progress of the project. 25 household beneficiaries committed to devote their time and energy in cultivating the communal garden.

In partnership with the Local Government Unit, the Municipal Agriculture Office conducted a Capability-Building training to the members of the organization to enhance their level of awareness and knowledge on bio-intensive gardening and capacitate them on their specific roles and functions as members of the organization.  Furthermore, DOLE assisted the organization through provision of gardening tools including cash assistance as start-up capital on their communal gardening.

Every Tuesday, the group convenes to discuss issues and concerns that affect their project. The dedication and perseverance of the group paid off as they were recognized as model project for Convergence Initiative of the convergence strategy. Based on the Social Welfare and Development Indicators, the communal gardening has addressed many issues particularly on food, malnutrition, extra income, and literacy concerns of the beneficiaries.

As of the recent update, the group was able to expand their communal garden to a wider area within the barangay. The fruit of their labour has sprouted inspiration to partner-stakeholders and encouraged them to be part of the project.

Child Fund thru Xaesfi project, an NGO that supports poverty alleviation by providing sponsorships to certain causes, has recently partnered with Sta. Maria Small Farmers Association in their gardening efforts. Moreover, the Barangay Officials are now involved in the project in line with their endeavour to eradicate malnutrition in their area.

The association gains attention from partners as they stand firm on the purpose of their project. They continue to receive support and assistance from various stakeholders which gives them even more inspiration to persevere and continue the cultivation of vegetables and fruits thru Bio-Intensive Gardening.

Bookkeeping of the Sta. Maria Small Farmers Association


Actual vegetable planting


Meeting on the involvement of BLGU in the gardening


Supplemental Feeding sponsored by BIG partnership

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DSWD-9 hails Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya and Exemplary Pantawid Children 2018

After a thorough quest conducted across the region, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office IX (DSWD-9) has finally named this year’s Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya and Exemplary Child.

A humble family from Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur, Hamol-awon Family, was hailed as Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya 2018 while a 14-year old girl, Jane Marian R. Alberastine from Gutalac, Zamboanga del Norte now holds the Exemplary Child 2018 title.

The regional search was conducted last July 18 (Desk Validation) at LM Hotel and July 19 (Awarding Ceremony) at KCC Mall de Zamboanga. The activity was a subsequence of the district, municipal, and provincial level competition held last May and June 2018.

The objective of the activity was to recognize family-beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program who maintain strong family ties, demonstrate positive Filipino values, create positive impact in the community and empower children and family beneficiaries for an improved quality of life.

Partner-stakeholders on family and human development sectors were invited to judge the competition, to wit: Mr. Adbulnasser Tiking from Human Development and Empowerment Services (HDES), Ms. Heidi Berdin from the Commission on Population, and Ms. Leonora Barahim, Gender and Development Focal of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

In an interview, Hamol-awon family emphasized their key advantage for winning the competition.

“We put God in the center of everything we do. We know that He will not put us in a situation that we cannot handle. And if the situation is too much for our family to handle, He will surely put His instruments to help us out. Just like the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and other programs of the government that continue to support and uplift our lives and of many other poor families,” Kristine Bernadette Hamol-awon said.

Meanwhile, 3 other families namely Atilano family from Capisan Zamboanga City, Jumawan family from Katipunan,Zamboanga del Norte, and Pilanga family from Olutanga, Zamboanga Sibugay were ranked 2nd, 3rd, and 4th placers in the Huwarang Pamilya category.

For the Exemplary Child category, Lovely Cris Cagas from Pitogo, Zamboanga del Sur won 2nd Place and Best in Talent award for her performance that showcased her original composition on the social issues of today. Angeline Esteban from Sibulao, Zamboanga Sibugay was the 3rd placer and Bai Jasmine Yusofh from Malangas, Zamboanga won 4th place.

The winning family and child will represent Zamboanga Peninsula in the upcoming national competition for Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya and Exemplary Child on September and November, respectively.

Hamol-awon Family from Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur Regional Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya

Jane Marian R. Alberastine from Gutalac, Zamboanga Sibugay Regional Exemplary Child

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The Heart of Pantawid Family

The Department of Social Welfare and Development, as an agency that protects the well-being of the people, stands by the slogan “May Malasakit”. This resonates to its mandate to care for the public and their security by ensuring that efficiency of services is delivered while pouring out the compassion and care for their well-being.

This mantra is imbued in the core values of the department and its employees to embrace the call for true public service.

Dionisia Caritan Abne, a 57-yr old Pantawid beneficiary of Barangay Bagong Silang, Siay, Zamboanga Sibugay have personally experienced the warmth of the department’s care towards its clients.

Her husband, Antonio, strives hard to provide the needs of their seven children amid his meager monthly earning of P1,400. Her husband expressed the difficulty to afford and sustain the daily expenses of the household due to the minimal income that he gets from rubber tapping. Life got even tougher for the couple after one of their children suffered from an illness that led to loss of his limb.

Ruel, son of Dionisia and Antonio, had an untreated wound on his leg for 10 years. This caused severe infection that slowly affected his flesh and bones. The family was left with no choice but to get Ruel’s leg amputated. Every day, he glides his buttocks on the floor so he can move around the house. Looking into the mobility and difficulty of their son, this gave Dionisia and Antonio so much pain in the heart knowing that they cannot even afford to have their son checked for medical assessment.

During one of the monthly Family Development Sessions (FDS) in Barangay Bagong Silang, Municipal Link (ML) Ruth Palumbarit immediately felt empathy upon knowing the situation of Abne family.

This led Palumbarit to commit and help the family even if it means going beyond her expected duties as a Municipal Link. She immediately conducted a home visit to personally meet Dionisia’s son for assessment and see what assistance could be given to the family.

She prepared an assessment report and presented it to the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office and Municipal Mayor for possible assistance. Palumbarit also referred the case to DSWD’s Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU) and was given the family an amount of P10,000 for medical assistance.

Through the kindness of the worker and the people who extended help from her referrals, Ruel Abne’s leg amputation was given for free and was provided an artificial leg and crutches for his easy mobility after the recovery.

Abne family was grateful for the opportunity and assistance rendered to them through its Municipal Link. Now, Ruel Abne is already on his 3rd grade in Elementary and can already mingle with his classmates with comfort and confidence in his heart.

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, being one of the programs of the DSWD, does not just end by providing social assistance and but also maximizes its efforts through regular case management. Through this mechanism, the pressing interventions needed by certain family beneficiaries to further cross the bridge towards an improved quality of life can easily be addressed. The workers, on the other hand, ensure that they care for the beneficiaries not just because they are clients of the program but because they are also part of the circle called FAMILY.

Ruel Abne wears his artificial leg and crutches.

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4Ps withholds addition of beneficiaries

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) FO IX clarifies withholding of additional beneficiaries on the country’s conditional cash transfer program commonly known as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

This is in response to the volume of queries received by the agency in their social media account. The said withholding of potential beneficiaries follow the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to improve the management of the program’s system and to focus on uplifting the lives of its current beneficiaries.

DSWD Field Office IX Regional Director, Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo, said that the program aims to ensure the veracity of the beneficiaries’ data encoded in their system.

“We are currently strengthening our monitoring and validation on the current status of our Pantawid beneficiaries. We are encouraging them and the public in general to help us particularly in strengthening our Grievance Redress System (GRS) as this is very helpful in our goal to have an accurate data of our beneficiaries,” Atty. Solamillo said.

The GRS is a component of the Pantawid Pamilya that caters queries on beneficiaries’, provides status and updates, and validates filed complaints and act upon to provide necessary actions.

To date, Pantawid Pamilya has already delisted 280 households from monitoring period December 2017 to June 2018 due to various reasons: 14 of which was due to ineligibility or those households that no longer qualify as per guidelines of the program; on the other hand, majority of the delisted households or a total of 266 households was due to voluntarily waiving their benefits.

The department serves a total of 289,755 household beneficiaries in the entire Region IX under the regular program while 29,578 households are under the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) program for Indigenous Peoples.

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A BIG Story and Beyond

BIG Establishment

It is often said that success is for those who work for it. It is for those who take initiative and take risks to explore opportunities and possibilities that may work. Success is always for the people who creatively use their resources for the betterment of their lives. This is a story of Armanoches Group’s Bio-Intensive Gardening (BIG) in Barangay Namnama, Titay, Zamboanga Sibugay.

The group has 35 members that started the communal gardening in August 2017. It was a bit of a struggle for the Municipal Link, Dexielyn Garingo, to introduce the idea without budget allocation. But because the beneficiaries understood the purpose of the initiative, they have shed out funds from their own pocket to kick start with their gardening.

In a 400 sq-meter land, the group decided to plant string beans, Chinese white cabbage (pechay), eggplant, okra, Malabar spinach (alugbati), water spinach (kangkong), and radish.

After a month of continuous effort and cultivation, the group had noticed the fruits of their hard work. They have harvested their produce and sold it at a low price to gain support from their neighbours. The 20.3 kilos harvested pechay were sold at 40 pesos/kilo. The string beans were sold at 5 pesos per bundle while the eggplants were priced at 20 pesos per kilo.

Their first harvest have brought them a total profit of Two Thousand Forty Seven Pesos (P2,047.00). Beyond the monetary gain, it brought them joy to know that their effort paid off. Mr. Reynaldo Corpuz, one of the members, expressed his delight to this result as it was presented to the group.

“Sa sugod ra jud diay kapoy huna-hunaon ni, pero ug magbunga na padayon na ni basta tarungon ra ug atiman (It is only difficult in theory but once it starts to flourish, everything will go smoothly with proper nurture),” Corpuz said.

Because of this result, Armanoches’ group was able to encourage all of the seven other groups in their barangay to start communal gardening as well.

5 months later, their cash-on-hand has already reached PHP 29,199.00


Beyond BIG

In January 2018, the group was informed that the area where they planted their vegetables will already be used by the land owners. Though it was unfortunate, the group did not lose hope and they immediately thought of an initiative to keep their capital rolling. They harvested all of the remaining produce, sold them, and were able to increase their capital to PHP 33,426. The group planned to look for another area for their communal gardening.

In the meantime, while they are still looking for another area for their gardening, they decided to invest in duck-raising. They were able to purchase 150 female ducks and 100 ducklings. 80 male ducks were bigheartedly given to them in support to their endeavour.

The Barangay Council provided them 50-meter fishing net to serve as fence of the duck-raising area.

The group convened and discussed about their plans for the communal gardening. They agreed that the gardening must still be continued hence they decided to contribute 100 pesos each as an additional fund for their gardening.

Luckily, a former Pantawid beneficiary, Mrs. Norvilla T. Diego, generously offered her land for the group to cultivate and re-establish their gardening.

Their new investment and their communal gardening are now in business.

They supply eggs to Talania’s compound owned by the Municipal Mayor and they also deliver eggs to barangay Kitabog balut vendors.

Currently, the group is now working on their registration as an association.


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Poverty is one, if not the biggest, challenge in the country that many Filipinos suffer from. In fact, on its second round of assessment, the Listahanan, a database management system of the DSWD that identifies who and where the poor are, identified over 5.2 million households as poor. This pressing problem stems many other problems such as problems in education, health and nutrition that make Filipinos even poorer.

One of the country’s efforts in addressing these issues is by creating a mindset of positive outlook and assisting the poor households by providing them cash grants through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. The beneficiaries were introduced to several components of the program that may help them uplift their lives from survival state to self-sufficiency.

The Bio-Intensive Gardening (BIG) was launched to further assist the beneficiaries in their needs particularly on nutrition and extra income. Several initiatives by the members were also noted along with the launching of this endeavor.

The Kayaban Group from Barangay Palomoc, Titay, Zamboanga Sibugay was  established for one simple goal –that is to plow a communal garden that could provide sufficient and nutritious food for its members, generate  additional income & savings, and develop positive outlook among the 308 family beneficiaries in the area.

As recounted by the members themselves, sweat and tears were invested to establish the group and encourage a behavioral and lifestyle change. Parent Leader Lucila Banuag together with 15 other members never let go of their grip on hope and persevered to influence one another to  be able for them to succeed and achieve their goal.

Parent Leader Banuag regularly checked the attendance of the members while they sought the help of their Municipal Link (ML), Ramoga to encourage more members to join their group. The ML assisted them in the establishment of the garden particularly on the coordination with the LGU for possible support such as vegetable seeds.

As days and months went by all of the members noticeably appreciated and now actively participate in their communal garden with the commitment to spend time despite their individual responsibilities to their families and other livelihood activities.

In December 2017, the group was able to see the fruit of their labor. The group has generated their first income and agreed that a portion of it will be used in their group Christmas Party and some will be kept as an additional capital for their project.

Back in the days, when a household beneficiary experiences financial difficulty, the immediate answer to such problem is a loan shark or a lending company that offers money with high interest in return.

Their BIG project has opened doors for them and let them explore many other alternatives in addressing financial issues –alternatives that are even healthy.

In January 2018, the group received vegetable seeds from the Municipal Agriculture which helped them save some amount for other cultivation materials. At present, the group members already opened their own group bank account and deposited a pretty decent amount from their communal income and continue in their income-generating activity.

Everyone shows dedication and commitment in maintaining their communal garden as the source of their additional income. The ML has observed that the members developed a sense of responsibility and accountability as they take on their individual roles in the group.

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Barangay Canaan’s Fountain of Inspiration

 When he was younger, Dioscoro Igcalinas was not aware of his physical condition, instead he focused his attention on his studies until he reached grade six. Growing up his age, he eventually realized that he has a disability.

“Kahit na meron akong kapansanan ay patuloy kong ipinaglaban ang aking sarili upang makamit ko ang aking pangarap sa buhay na makatulong sa aking mga magulang”, he said.

He was made to understand that what he lacks is not something he has to be ashamed of. He continued his studies, he learned how to read and write using his feet at first, later he learned writing with his arms until he finished high school, related by his brother Liberato Igcalinas.

Dioscoro, now 29 years old recalled how he was back then. He used to be so quiet and shy because of the thought that he is different and he felt that people was unsure about his capabilities and that he could not be able to contribute much in terms of the activities in their barangay.

Which is why when Kalahi-CIDSS was introduced in Barangay Canaan, Liloy in 2014 he didn’t take part of the program yet. He was merely a spectator, he was observing how the program was implemented and while doing so he got interested.

Sa aking pag-oobserve noong may mga dumating sa aming barangay na nag-orientation kabahin sa Kalahi, nindot og maayo ang tumong sa kalahi kay kining makatabang sa komunidad sa among barangay, sa 2nd cycle, doon na ako nag-isip na hindi mag-alinlangang na sumali as Kalahi volunteer”, he furthered.

Kalahi-CIDSS NCDDP is one of the poverty-alleviation programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development which uses community-driven development (CDD) approach, a globally recognized strategy for achieving service delivery, poverty reduction, and good governance outcomes.

Despite his condition, he really wanted to help their barangay and to make sense in the community. He wanted the people to realize what they can do for the community because there is so much that Canaan needs in terms of the services from the government.

Just like their old day care center, the foundation wasn’t as solid as they’ve expected and they also lacked health station. With this, they had a hard time accessing health services from the local government. Barangay Canaan is quiet far, atleast 7 kilometers from Poblacion Liloy, which would take them awhile before they could avail of the medical services in town.

Driven with all these in mind, Dioscoro put aside his shyness and earned the trust of his fellow volunteers by putting him in charge as the Project Preparation Team Chair.

He couldn’t help it, said he was so nervous while campaigning for their proposed sub-project during the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum.

What they went through wasn’t easy for anyone, from the beginning when they were attending Barangay Assembly, “kinailangan na 100% ang serbisyo namin sa Kalahi dahil sa napakaraming proseso na kailangan naming tugunan”, shared by Dioscoro.

“Tinuruan kaming mag-analyze sa problema sa komunidad tuwing PSA at hindi naman po nagkalisod dahil suportado naman kami ng barangay officials, at nang lahat ng mga volunteers dito”, he added.

 The people did not disappoint them when they got their sub-project prioritized. The construction of Day Care Center was completed on May 29, 2016 under cycle 2, while the Barangay Health Station was completed on November 8, 2015 under cycle 1 KC-NCDDP implementation.

With the efforts poured by Dioscoro together with his fellow volunteers in Canaan, their barangay was hailed as the Bayani Ka! Awardee for the category “Person with Disability”, for ensuring  a  reasonable accommodation, which encourages resident PWDs to not only surpass his/her disability and people’s expectations but also to participate in compassionate, collective action in the community during the 4th Regional Bayani Ka! Awards.

This award seeks to recognize exemplary communities that are engaged in DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS.

Diocoro credits his fellow volunteers for helping him out because he knew that he could not do this on his own, saying “tayo po ay may tagsa-tagsang talento na maipakita o magawa sa komunidad, hindi tayo dapat mag-alinlangan sa pagtulong”.

He is grateful to the program as well for acknowledging him and the community and more importantly he is grateful to the positive changes it has brought him and to the Barangay Canaan as a whole.

Although the program may come to an end in the Municipality of Liloy, but he vows to continue to be an inspiration to other PWDs just like what he did with the program and also his service to the community as a matter of fact he is a Youth Leader in their barangay. They actively conduct seminars on religious teachings and sports activities to ensure values-formation and direction among their youth. ### JGA


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Over 1,000 Pantawid Senior High School and College graduates recognized in nationwide Recognition Day

More than 1,000 Senior High School and College graduates attended the recently concluded recognition day for Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who finished secondary and tertiary education this year. These graduates mainly come from the National Capital Region and representatives from the other 16 regions across the country.

The event was dubbed as “Araw ng Pagkilala 2018” was held on May 07, 2018 at SM City North EDSA Skydome, Quezon City, Metro Manila. The objective of the activity aims to celebrate the milestones of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in its education component by highlighting the accomplishments of its graduates.

Anchored by the theme “Itawid ang kabataan sa mas maunlad na kinabukasan,” the activity provided an avenue where graduates shared their stories of inspiration in their journey to success. Moreover, the activity also provided the participants technical know-how to secure an employment and introduced them to various opportunities to sustain their gains.

Aside from the DSWD dignitaries, also present during the event were CHED Commissioner Ronald L. Adamat, Ph. D., Unifast Deputy Executive Director Nicholas Tenazas, TESDA Supervising TES Specialist Juan Asuncion, DOLE’s Career Guidance Advocacy Program (CGAP) Mr. Nick D. Romano, and beauty queens/social welfare advocates Ms. Nicole Cordoves and Ms. Catriona Gray.

Region IX was represented by Senior High School graduate Marie Therese V. Medallo (With Honors) from Regional Science High School and ESGP-PA grantee Eujean F. Dotusme (Academic Awardee) from Western Mindanao State University.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to represent our Region for “Araw ng Pagkilala 2018”. It was a noble history for the DSWD as they successfully fulfilled the aim of providing education for poor Filipino students. Kaya laking pasasalamat ko po sa programang hatid ng DSWD at maging ang mga partner agencies nito upang ituwid ang mga kabataan tungo sa maunlad na kinabukasan. Ang mga kwento ng buhay ng mga representatives ng bawat rehiyon ay isang inspirasyon sa bawat isa,” Eujean Dotusme, ESGP-PA grantee, said.

Dotusme led the ceremonial pledge entitled Panunumpa sa Pangarap together with the regional representative of Region 10 during the event.

Medallo and Dotusme are both academically outstanding in their respective alma maters. Medallo graduated with honours while  Dotusme was a Dean’s

Lister and a recipient of several awards such as Proficiency in Student Teaching (Gold), Leadership Award (Gold), and Service Award-Gold.

This year, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program will have the first batch of Senior High graduates under the K-12 Program and the last batch of college graduates under the Expanded Students’ Grant-in Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA). More or less 200,000 program beneficiaries graduated in Senior High School and 30,000 ESGP-PA grantees finished a college degree.

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