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Rose from Pauper

Life is like a wide open sea where everyone has their own battle of wave to compete with. Anna is one of the wanderers who are determined to never embrace inconvenience and difficulties of life.


Anna Rose was originally from Negros Occidental, circumstances forced her to put an end to her education in high school when her family became financially incapable of supporting her needs. Since their only livelihood is farming and due to the increasing demands of their family’s daily needs, she needed to get a job. She tried her luck in Manila as a helper in a Filipino-Chinese family. She was lucky to encounter a decent employer whom she served for 11 years, from 1995-2006.


While working hard at her job, Anna met Felix who later became her better half. Felix Sonor is a native from Brgy. Balakan, Salug, Zamboanga Del Norte who has the same reason with Ana that they’ve end up in Manila. He worked different kinds of job such as grocery-warehouse errand, noodle maker, assistant baker and eventually end up as a factory worker in Industrialized Metropolitan.


In 2006, Anna Rose and Felix decided to settle and build their own family. They lived in the interior elevated barangay Balakan by the mountain of Salug Municipality, Zamboanga Del Norte. Even though they did not have their own house to live in, Felix’s brother offered a temporary simple room for them to stay. It was not really the “conducive” type of space, it didn’t have a decent kitchen, but they made do, as long as they had clean utensils.

The couple were not employed at that time which made Felix decide to drive a “habal-habal” to be able to cover for their primary needs. He earns P400.00-800.00 pesos a day, but it wasn’t healthy because he had to work till dawn and did not get enough of sleep.


On the other hand, Anna Rose helped by selling fuel in bottles. She borrowed 1,500.00 from her parents to be able to do this. This was a good idea since there were a lot of habal-habal in the area and it was convenient for the drivers to buy from her rather than travel farther to get their tanks filled up.


maningkamot dyud og lihok para mabuhi ug makakaon, bisan ug bag ong panganak mubangon jud para naay income”.


At one point, they saw an opportunity to own their own lot, which had a lot of coconut trees they could make money from. But they did not have the amount to be able to pay for their down payment for the lease, which was only 6,000.00. this was a nig blow to the family’s chance for an improved life.


In 2011, when Anna Rose became a beneficiary of Pantawid Pilipino Pamilya Program she hoped that it will be their access towards a better tomorrow. She did not disappoint herself; she later on became a part of Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). She is now a member of Balakan Farmer SEA-K Association of which she received a financial assistance amounting to Php5,000.00 under Seed Capital Farm modality of SLP. She used this to augment capital for her sari-sari store. She gave her all and managed to survive. She also tried selling different products such as stir fried banana which is salable to students since they are positioned in front of the elementary school. It went well as a supplementary income to their business which is also a venue for them to some more open possibilities, income generation, and investments.


Wala mi naghired ug motabang namo sa pagbantay sa tindahan or sa pagluto sa saging kon dili kaugalingong paningkamot ra”.



Felix and Anna’s two lovely children are now in Grade 5 and Grade 1 living healthy and energetic. They now live in a comfortable house, it has a roof made of galvanized iron, wood and bamboo walls, that according to them is comfortable to live in.


Okay na dyud ang among pamuyo og tuluganan kaysa sauna.” Said Anna.


They were able to acquire more than 5 properties in the different areas of Salug, Godod and Liloy municipality.


Instead of driving habal-habal, Felix now drives a multi-cab as for their delivery services of copras, rubber and even as a transport for passengers. They now own a house and lot which they acquired through installment basis; they also utilize it as warehouse for their firewood business. They already invested in some financial institutions for their savings and micro financial activities. In fact, she also set up small lending for farmers in need as stimulant and other useful item for their farm. She offered P5,000pesos to the farmers and in return after harvest with 40 kilos of rice as interest after harvest. They can procure for a bigger purchase for their sari-sari store, able to buy appliances and capable of buying necessary things that they were not able to acquire before. Truly, Anna and Felix reaped what they have sewn.


Sana mapadayon pa dyud ang programa para ang uban pud  nga tawo sama nako sauna matagaan ug higayon nga makatabang pud sa ilaha nga gamiton pud sa maayo ang kwarta para dili mawala ug mulambo. Gusto unta ko nga sa mga tawo nga sama nako sauna ila pod masulayan ang akong naagian karon para pod sila maningkamot sa paglambo. Nagpasalamat ko sa DSWD, sa programa sa 4Ps, og Sustainable Livelihood Program, sa ilahang gihatag kay dako kaayo ug katabang sa among kinabuhi.” Said Anna gratefully.

At the moment, Anna Rose and Felix continue to help other people who are in need. Through their experiences in the past, they want to alleviate other people’s lives through their assistance so they can be able to stand on their own too. Just like them, today.


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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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“Weaving the Future”

Along the roads of some barangays in Ramon Magsaysay Municipality, you will see rolled weaved bamboo strips displayed that will catch your attention. These are called “Amakan”. Amakan production is known to be the livelihood of people in this area. One of the residents known for making quality Amakan is Jocelyn M. Arias, 47.


Jocelyn has eight children, six are living with her while the other two are away from her trying to make a living too. She has been a widow for almost 3 years now.she lived a life that was simple, but difficult. She was originally from the municipality of Dimataling. When an armed conflict occurred in their place, they fled to their relatives in Ramon Magsaysay. There, she met her hardworking husband to be, Robert. He works as a laborer in a coconut and corn farm. He sometimes helps harvest fruits or sometimes cut coconut trunks and he gets paid a small amount of money. He makes up to a thousand pesos for these, but these does not happen in a daily basis. He sometimes brings home 3 sacks of corn which can cover-up their 5-month consumption. However, a lot of times, during the off season, there are days that he does not have a job.


With the situation she and her husband are in, Jocelyn took initiative to find a solution. She does home manicure services in their neighborhood or to her good friends. She cearns 300.oo, the most, doing this. Their income goes for their payment for their electricity, water, food and school requirements. They do not have to worry about their rice since Robert provides for it. Doing manicure is just Jocelyn’s sideline, which she learned while watching others do it way back high school. Even if doing manicure services make faster money, weaving Amakan is still a better option, and income is bigger. Therefore she sees to it that she never misses a day doing it.


“Nag tan-aw ra ko mag suon-suon ko sa igsoon sa akong bana. Hangtod sa naapil ko sa ilaha, maglala og magloti. Dili nako sayangon ang panahon nga wla koy ginabuhat kay daghan mi sa akong pamilya.” Jocelyn said.


Jocelyn taught her children how to do manicure and make and Amakan weaving too.


“Magtinabangay dyud mi. Bata palang sila ako na sila gitun-an para makahibalo sila kay magkatigulang biya ko. Para naa sila kahibaw nga mobuhi nila.” Jocelyn stated factly.


During summer and semestral breaks, her children spend their time helping her weave Amakan. They can produce up to 20-35 rolls in a week. It costs 50pesos per roll which makes them earn 1,000-1,750pesos per week. However, when classes start, production of their Amakan becomes low. From a maximum of 7 rolls a day, it goes down to just 1-2 rolls.


“Dili man pod nako ipa-focus ang mga bata nga maghimo sila kay ga eskwela sila. Akong pangandoy nga makahuman dyud sila kay pobre gud mi. Wala koy ipabalon nila kung mangaminyo sila puhon. Maayo ng grado walay mag ilog kung gusto mo eskwela. Gabii ra mi magbuhat kay moskwela sila tanan sa buntag” Jocelyn said.


Even if life is hard, Jocelyn makes sure she provides for their children’s needs in school, as well as their daily basic needs. Just as she thought things could not get any worse, a tragic event happens.   In 2015, her husband died due to colon cancer, an illness that we all know is hard to cure. This event left her struggling to provide for her family, alone. She exhausted all her energy, to produce Amakan rolls, the only way she could help the family survive.


“Nangita dyud ko og pamaagi para makabalon akong mga anak, para malipay pod sila og magkogi moeskwela.” She said.


Fortunately, she was a member of DSWD’s Pantawid Program and this came in as a big help. It was laso because of this program that she later on she also became a member of the Sustainable Livelihood Program. She has been a member of Bobongan Sustainable Livelihood Program Association since 2016.

The association where Jocelyn belongs to started operating on July of 2017. The association started a store in barangay Bobongan which was strategically built along the road. Jocelyn is confident that she can earn money through this association because they roll their money through their production. Her Amakan production is purchased by the association regularly and sells them at the store. This has become an advantage for her because it was easier for her to dispose her products. Jocelyn is everyday thankful for the creation of their association and be part of it.


“Pobre god ko, wala koy asa nga panginuhaan. Maskin unsa kalisod nako, dili dyud nga dili mi makakaon kay ang SLPA namo dili man moundang. Sigurado ko nga maka-income dyud ko.” Jocelyn said.

“Nagpasalamat ko sa SLP kay nakatabang ni sa pagpa-eskwela sa akong mga anak og sa among pang adlaw-adlaw nga panginahanglan. Dako pod og katabang ang asosasyon sa amoa, salamat sa kining proyekto nga gihatag sa amoa nga nakasuporta dyud sa amo.” Jocelyn happily said.



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A Blessing to Nurture

They say happiness can be described in many ways. It can be the love and support from your family, a catch-up from your long distance friend, or just a one-scoop ice cream on a cone, but for the Pasil Family, it is the trust, dedication and hard work for the betterment of every member of their family.

Mrs. Salome B. Pasil, 53, a resident of Brgy. La libertad, Gutalac was married to Mr. Edgardo Pasil Sr. of Labason. After being married, she and her husband decided to settle for good in Canuto Enerio, Gutalac, Zamboanga del Norte. They tried their luck in their humble community living together with their relatives. Through the years of being together, the couple was blessed with nine children.

Having ample knowledge on farming that they have acquired through experience, they were able to start to make a living by raising their neighbors’ pigs and cattle. The couple also planted vegetables and root crops for their daily consumption. In that way, they would also spend less.

At the time when the couple had only (three) 3 children yet, their daily income was only php 130.00 a day which is barely enough to support their daily needs. The increasing needs of their young children made Mr. Edgardo Sr. worked as a Bus Conductor but the income generated from this job could still hardly feed his family.

Luck went in their favor when Salome inherited a portion of land from her grandparents. This made them invest in live stocks, they bought their own pigs, cows, chickens and carabaos. These have slowly improved their lives and they were delighted by the changes it brought them.

Their family became a Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiary in 2008. They received a cash grant from the program which served as additional aid to support their children’s education and other needs. They took a small portion from the grants to augment their existing livelihood.

Salome was elected as the president of Canuto Enerio Sustainable Livelihood Program Association. An association that was formed with forty three members in (YEAR) under the Sustainable Livelihood Program.

It was challenging for her to handle her members she said, however she bravely accepted the responsibility. The said association went into the business of buy and sell of rice, corn and farm inputs.

Salome shared that the association was a big help in her gardening. They were able to provide help and assists their members who are also in pressing need. Even Salome was able to get support from the association as she was also able to borrow fertilizer for her vegetable farm which resulted to good production.

Salome together with her husband plant various kinds of seedlings like okra, string beans, squash, eggplant, and more. Her vegetables were harvested in different times of the year. There were monthly, every after two months or quarterly harvests.

Just like any other starting businesses, they too had a share of struggles. Salome’s heart was torn when her vegetable harvest came in less than expected, and therefore less profit for the family. However, she used her loss as their inspiration to do better next time. She made sure to check on her vegetables from time to time, making sure they are growing properly with quality. She sacrificed her time by doing this, but this paid off when harvest comes.

During harvest season, Salome admitted that she and her husband cannot reap everything on their own. They needed help and decided to hire neighbors who are interested to help them and get paid in an amount of P200/day.

The vegetables from their farm were picked up by their regular buyers; some were also sold in the market. However, they also sell some in her sari-sari store. Teachers, workers and people nearby became her regular customers because she sold the vegetables cheaper compared to the ones sold in the market.

Salome earns php300-400 a day when harvest time begins, while php200-300 from her sari-sari store wherein she sells basic daily needs. There is no time to waste for Salome because they have children who are going to school.

Salome continuously engages in planting vegetables, she and her husband grab opportunities when there are free trainings and seminar workshops given by different agencies. Through these, it enable them to widen their farming knowledge. As time goes by, their vegetable production became better.

“Musuroy sa amoa ang Barangay official para magpahibalo nga naay ihatag nga seminar. Amo pod adtuon para madongagan among nahibaw an. Basta bahin sa ika angat sa among kinabuhi, moapil dyud mi. Para molambo dyud mi.” Said Salome.

The Pasil Family was also active in various Religious organization, barangay activities and school activities of their children. The family was also a member of the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development or CARD, a non-government organization that aims in promoting household food, security and microfinance development.

The family became a role model in their community because of how they treated the people around them. Mr. and Mrs. Pasil received a prodigious award of “Parents of the Year” recognized by the Canuto Enerio National High School. They also placed second in the recently concluded Provincial Search of Huwarang Pamilya 2018 held in Dipolog City last June 20, 2018.

The family now manages their own Sari-Sari store and owns a vast land area for their farm and coconut trees. They also invested in live stocks and are currently earning a minimum of 500.00 pesos per day. Salome and Edgardo’s hard work and effort paid-off which made way for their children to eventually become a Registered Nurse and a Mechanic.

“Kayod ng kayod lang, naa ra dyud maginansya kadugayan”, Salome said.

The Pasil family showed that everything could be done through hard work. This is what the family wants everyone to adopt, because they believe that their hard work is their savings; Savings that can be useful and withdrawn anytime when needed.

“Nagpasalamat ko kay dakong tabang dyud ang DSWD sa amoa. Ang ilang tabang paningkamuton dyud namo og palambo sa maskin unsang pamaagi.” She added.

###Bernely Sheilaine Nemil (SMO)/Ranny Dahili (Monitoring PDO)

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DSWD capacitates SLP Monitoring PDOs on Knowledge Management

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office IX recently conducted a training on Knowledge Management Cum Technical Session on Monitoring Tools for Sustainable Livelihood Program Field Monitoring Project Development Officers (PDOs) on July 3-6, 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.

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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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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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SLP Stakeholder’s Forum for Convergence of Livelihood Interventions held

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) FieldOffice 9 through Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) held its Stakeholder’s Forum in Astoria Hotel, Zamboanga City on June 13, 2018.


Participants from the different National Government Agencies (NGA), Private Sector, Civil Society Organizations (CSO), and other institutional partners joined the said activity. The SLP recognized the importance of building strong relationships and convergence of livelihood interventions with these future stakeholders.

The SLP aims to raise awareness and appreciation of stakeholders on SLP processes. Also, SLP desires to strengthen partnership with existing stakeholders.

The activity discussed the program’s component and operations of SLP. SLP is a capability-building program that provides access to opportunities that increase the productivity of the livelihood assets of poor, vulnerable, and marginalized communities, in order to improve their socio-economic well-being.

SLP Special Projects Focal, Frances P. Cantillo, presented the opportunities data of served beneficiaries and future participants that need assistance. Through these data the stakeholders can assess and see the opportunities that can be serve as interventions to the beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, the participants also impart the nature of their services and what they can compromise to support or compliment the program’s assistance to the beneficiaries.

The program recognizes that forming key partnerships with various stakeholders are vital to the achievement of the program’s targeted results as well as generate additional resources and/or opportunities for target participants.

Key issues and frequent challenges encountered by partners when engaging with the DSWD were also addressed during the activity.

The activity highlighted a day of sharing and inquiring about the program and what the participants can propose for the betterment of the program’s clients. The activity culminated with the agreement to develop a regional partnership plan with specific plan action for each participating agency/partners.

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