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After the 4-month delay in pay-out to the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program beneficiaries in Region IX, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) have already disbursed a total amount of 1.2 billion pesos allocated for the 4 months compliance to the program’s conditionalities.

The said grant benefited more than 200,000 compliant Pantawid households across the region covering two periods. As per database, Pantawid Pamilya has a total of 289,755 household beneficiaries in the entire Zamboanga Peninsula under the Regular Conditional Cash Transfer (RCCT) program.

Meanwhile, P128,682,100 was disbursed by the department for the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) program beneficiaries. MCCT beneficiaries are those households that belong to the Indigenous People (IP) sector.

The abovementioned figures are based on the consolidated report dated September 25, 2017.

On the other hand, DSWD has released a statement regarding the delay in payout in Isabela City.

“We all know that Landbank facilitates the payout of Pantawid Pamilya grants through a conduit. While the procurement of conduits for the City of Isabela is still in process, DSWD secures that beneficiaries continuously comply with the conditionalities of the program,” said DSWD-9 Regional Director Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo.

DSWD is set to conduct payout in various municipalities in the region within the month of October for period 3.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is a social protection program of the national government under the Department of Social Welfare and Development. It invests in health and education of poor households especially of children aged 18 and below.

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Sama-Bajaus benefit from Livelihood Farm Input

The Department of Social Welfare and Development(DSWD) 9 in partnership with Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Zamboanga City turned-over inputs for seaweed farming to Sama Bajau beneficiaries in Sitio Bactus, Brgy. Talabaan, Zamboanga City.


Out of the forty (40) beneficiaries belonging to the 1st batch, twenty seven (27) were given materials needed for seaweed farming. The thirteen (13) others were given capital assistance for fishnet fishing, mat weaving and Sari-Sari Store.


Twenty seven (27) Sama Bajaus have also received their fishing paraphernalia to help them start their individual livelihood in agar-agar farming which was given by BFAR. An operational grant amounting to five thousand (5,000) pesos was also given to them last August 15, 2017 to enable them to start the livelihood project and ssistance from the Comprehensive Project for the Sama Bajau under Social Technology Unit of DSWD.


DSWD-STU aims to, increase the income of Sama Bajau through giving them access to the Comprehensive Livelihood Assistance Program; provide opportunities for other livelihood projects and enhance their skills in basic management by providing sustainable training/workshop; promote leadership and organizational skills among the Sama Bajau heads of the family thereby facilitating their reintegration to the program and to build their capacity to become self-reliant and self-sufficient through Comprehensive Program for sustainable livelihood projects.

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After 4 months delay in pay-out to the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program beneficiaries, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will conduct a series of disbursement activities in Zamboanga Peninsula.

The pay-out is set to be conducted from August 29 until September 22 this year. This will cover periods 1 and 2 or 4 months equivalent of cash grant.

A total amount of 1,331,901,900 pesos will be disbursed to 481,178 households who have been compliant to the program’s conditionalities in the past 4 months to include some members of the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) program and retro payments.

However, the pay-out does not cover Isabela City due to its on-going bidding for the conduit that will facilitate the pay-out in areas of the mentioned city.

It can be recalled that the pay-out for the Over-The-Counter (OTC) has been delayed for a few months while the beneficiaries who hold ATM cards continuously enjoy their grants which triggered alarm for the beneficiaries in OTC.

“The pay-out activities are done through our conduit and LandBank. It was due to it that we had delays in our pay-out. However, we assure the beneficiaries that they will definitely receive their grants for the months that they have complied with the conditionalities,” said DSWD-9 Regional Director, Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo.

Solamillo added that DSWD continuously improves its implementation of the program to serve its clients better.

Pantawid Pamilya is only one of the poverty reduction strategies of the national government implemented by the DSWD which focuses on human capital investment through provision of education and health cash grants including rice subsidy to eligible poor households with children 0-18 years old with the primary aim to break the inter-generational poverty cycle.

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DSWD promotes Listahanan 2 database to social protection stakeholders

Zamboanga City- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) officially presented the guidelines on the utilization of the Listahanan 2 database during the regional awarding of the 2017 Seal of Child-friendly Local Governance on August 16, 2017 at Grand Astoria Hotel.

“We are now inviting the Local Government Units (LGUs), National Government Agencies (NGAs), Non-government Organizations (NGOs), and other stakeholders in Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, and Zamboanga del Sur to use our database considering that we already have the general guidelines for data-sharing,” said Michael D.S. Mustafa, Regional Focal Coordinator of Listahanan-9.

According to him, a stakeholder who will be requesting for statistical data generated by Listahanan 2 will only need to write a request letter addressed to the regional head. “They need to enumerate the specific data needed, the purpose of the request, and the timeline of the release of data,” Mustafa said.

Meanwhile, for those who will be requesting for Personal Information (PI) or Sensitive Personal Information (SPI), a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the stakeholder and the DSWD is needed. He also mentioned that all requesting parties are required to designate one Data Protection Officer (DPO) who shall plan, implement, and evaluate policies for data privacy and security. The stakeholder will also be required to submit an annual report on how the data was utilized in the implementation of social protection programs and services.

The Listahanan 2 is said to be the result of the household assessment conducted by the National Household Targeting Unit (NHTU) in 2015.

For this year, “our tentative target in data-sharing…since the guidelines were only approved by former Sec. Judy Taguiwalo last month, will have to be two provinces, one Highly Urbanized City (HUC), two NGAs, and two NGOs,” Mustafa said although it is still under negotiation due to the upcoming On-demand Application (ODA) activity scheduled in September this year.

“Despite the fact that some of the areas for ODA assessment are very critical, we will still push through to ensure the integrity of the database since we were not able to penetrate the remaining 21 barangays in Isabela City in 2015 due to security reasons,” added Mustafa.

The Listahanan as an information management system is the mechanism for identifying poor households who shall be recipients of social protection programs and services in the Philippines as stated in Executive Order No. 867, s. 2010. This targeting system accordingly uses a proxy means test (PMT) methodology to estimate the level of economic welfare of a certain household based on its socio-economic and demographic characteristics.

“The Listahanan is a response of the DSWD to contribute in the improvement of social protection programs of the government and in the equitable distribution of services and resources among the poor. It is well said that the Listahanan database is ‘sigurado, kumpleto at totoo’,” ended Mustafa.

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When Love Defies Sickness

“In sickness and in health… ‘Till death do us part.”

Gemma and Ereneo Laquio can never forget this wedding vow that they have uttered to each other 32 years ago.

In a little sitio in Patalon, Zamboanga City called Miluao, love flourished between two individuals like seeds of plants in an abundant land. In today’s generation, Gemma and Ereneo are what we can consider as “childhood sweethearts.”

They started dreaming of a happy family amidst having little in life. Because they wanted to provide their newly established family a secure and healthy living, the couple decided to move to Sibuco, a municipality in Zamboanga del Norte, where Ereneo owns a lot. The couple lived a simple yet happy life in the province where farming was their lone source of income.

Just when they thought that they had finally reached their humble dream of a simple life together with their five children, a frightful event happened in the area where they reside. They were caught at the middle of exchange of bullets and gun powders because of a political war. Gemma and Ereneo had never feared so much as they did at that time –not a fear of their own death but a fear for their children’s future.

Though doubtful with their decision, they moved back to Zamboanga City and started anew.

Ereneo underwent rigorous training and worked as a security guard earning 100 pesos daily while Gemma stayed at home taking care of their children. And with their new beginning, came another blessing in the family –a blessing of life with their youngest child.

During this time, Gemma also celebrated her 42nd birthday. They can vividly remember how happy they were celebrating these two significant occasions in their life.

Little did they know that this happiness would demand a heavy price. A day after Gemma’s birthday, Ereneo suffered from stroke which caused half of his body to be paralyzed. He could not stand and could barely move because of his condition. But more than his physical body, he felt as though his entire family was not able to move because of this catastrophe.

He felt bad knowing that his wife needed to stand and provide for their family, a role that he should have held as the head of the household. Many times, Gemma would cry at night having faced with the responsibilities of taking care of her husband, children, household chores and money for their living. Gemma had to work in a canning factory at night and attend to her kids and husband in the morning.
In today’s generation, we hear many stories of women who leave their partners when faced with grim adversities. But this was never the case with Laquio family. And though Gemma knew how difficult her life would be in the next days, she promised to keep her vows to her husband and her family.

“Di gyud naku biyaan akung pamilya. Kay kana man gyud ang gipangsabot sa pamilya, walay biyaay.
(I will never abandon my family. That is what family means, no one is left behind),” Gemma said.
With all determination, she went to talk to the owner of the vacant lot in front of their residence, Mr. Roland Maravilla. She offered to take care of his lot by maintaining a beautiful garden of vegetables and fruit trees. Fortunately, Mr. Maravilla gave her his permission.

Gemma started selling vegetables in the neighborhood and she also sell fried banana to augment their income to support home expenditure and school dues.

Ereneo, on the other hand, had never given up despite his illness. Seeing his children and wife having a hard time with their status, he encouraged himself to continue fighting and defying his sickness. He strived so hard to be able to stand and move again. Once he was able to stand, he started to do one-hand lifting to recover from his condition. Day by day, he was determined to push himself to the limit on his way to recovery.

One sunny day, Gemma was surprised to see her husband plowing their garden. Shocked as she was, Gemma knew that this is her husband’s way of saying that he will never neglect his responsibilities as the head of the family. It was when she knew that everything will be alright.

Laquio children also supported their parents with the little things they do especially in school. They would help by selling yema in school and fried banana after class. They sometimes would offer their classmates tutorial in exchange for little amount for their baon. Gemma and Ereneo have always known how bright and helpful their children were.

The children also made sure that they are always at the top of their class to get a scholarship that they need. Without a doubt, as consistent honor students that they were, they were able to get academic scholarships and land part-time jobs as working students.

In fact, Gemma was able to put up a small sari-sari store from the money that their children gave them from their extra school allowances.

Currently, their eldest son already graduated with a vocational course while 2 of their children graduated with degrees in Education and are currently working. And though they are now working professionals, they still help their parents cook and sell bananas just like the old times.

In 2015, Laquio family became part of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. The program, according to Gemma, helped them especially in values formation and new learning that they acquire through the Family Development Sessions (FDS).

Laquio family has also been active in community activities especially in their barangay and during FDS. In fact, they sometimes serve as Resource Speakers where they share their family values and how they manage their family among other Pantawid families.

When asked about their advice to other families in the community, Gemma left us with a beautiful message that had us thinking about the true meaning of family.

“Katung nanumpa mi sa simbahan 32 ka tuig ang nilabay, dili lang storya ang among gipanaad kun dili ang among pagtuo nga panalipdan ang among pamilya. Kung naa moy problima og wala moy lain maduolan sa pamilya lang gihapon modangop. Kana lang ang pamaagi para masulban ang problima. (When we gave our vows 32 years ago, we didn’t simply created words for the ceremony. We gave our devotion to protect each other and always be the fortress of our family. If you are faced with a heavy problem and you feel like there’s nowhere to go, take a tight grip to your family. That’s the only way you can face your problems with courage),” Gemma added.

This is perhaps the true essence of a family that is worth emulating. The values and the story of Laquio family serve as inspiration to many families especially to those that go through a rough journey. The positivity that Laquio family gives to their fellow Pantawid families shines bright and are evident in their daily relations with the community.

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DSWD warns 4Ps beneficiaries of Fake Rice

An isolated incident was reported to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on the distribution of fake rice in Bantayan Island, Cebu last month. According to the report, six (6) 4Ps beneficiaries who received the fake rice felt ill after consuming the goods allegedly distributed through the program after a scheduled pay-out.

Because of this incident, the department has issued a statement emphasizing that the rice subsidy grant given to complaint Pantawid beneficiaries are given in a form of cash and not through distribution of actual rice. This is in compliance with the 2017 General Appropriations Act (GAA) provision.

Regional Information Officer of DSWD-7, Leah Quintana, said that the department did not and does not engage in any rice distribution activity in relation to the provision of rice subsidy to Pantawid beneficiaries in any part of the country.

“DSWD’s rice subsidy is given to the beneficiaries in a form of cash either through their cash cards or over-the-counter payment from our Landbank accredited conduits. We did not distribute rice nor do we provide actual rice to the recipients of rice subsidy during pay-outs. It is always in a form of cash,” Quintana said in an interview.

DSWD also added that the beneficiaries of rice subsidy-cash grant have the prerogative where to purchase rice/goods for their consumption and that the department does not endorse any rice retailers for that matter.

The department, together with the National Food Authority (NFA), had conducted an investigation on the reported incident. Samples of rice were taken from the beneficiaries for investigation purposes and it was found out that the samples were indeed real rice and not fake as initially reported.

Meanwhile, DSWD urges the public to report any suspicious activities that are not formally announced by the department. Furthermore, DSWD warns the public not to immediately believe unverified news especially on social media as this may be hoax and may cause alarm to many.

Complaint beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program receive P600 monthly rice subsidy on top of the regular cash grants intended for health and education. Orientations, seminars and skills development trainings are conducted among Pantawid beneficiaries on how to manage their finances, resources and family during the monthly Family Development Sessions conducted by the City/Municipal Links in coordination with the Barangay Local Government Unit and other partner stakeholders.

Pantawid Pamilya is only one of the poverty reduction strategies of the national government implemented by the DSWD, which focuses on human capital investment through provision of health and education cash grants to eligible poor households with children 0-18 years old, with the primary aim to break the inter-generational poverty cycle.

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Struggle for Success

Hamida Ordonez, 43 started her life in Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay Province. When she was younger, her family moved to Isabela City since her father worked as a logging driver.

Hamida married Sanny, 46 and recounted the days when their life was too difficult to bear. Their humble dwelling is made of make shift hut, in the upper regions of Isabela, Kapayawan. Their life was hard and challenging where it came to the point that the only meal served in their table was boiled banana with garlic and onions. Amid the struggles of having a family at a very young age, Hamida still managed to attend school. She walked for several kilometers from Kapayawan, the farthest and most critical area, to the city proper where she tried to finish high school.

Unfortunately, she had to leave her family in search of better opportunities. In the early 2000s, she decided to work overseas and leave her children with her husband. Things became better, whatever she earned overseas, she sent back to her husband, and they used it for their children. Sanny managed their finances very well and set aside some amount to be used for business. In 2004, Hamida came back to Isabela and continued her studies. Whatever was left of the money they set aside, they used for their needs, and also invested in a small “sari-sari” store business. After years juggling between being a mother, a wife, a student, and a vendor, in 2009, she finally graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Elementary Education at Claret College of Isabela.

In 2013, she started a business selling fishballs and tempura near a local school. This was also the year when PAMANA was introduced to them. One day, a Project Development Officer (PDO) and their Barangay Chairman went to her and asked her to select 30 beneficiaries. Fifteen for the Pantawid Program, and another Fifteen women.

Hamida was hesitant and told their chairman about it. She was afraid because it involved money and she never wanted to have to do anything with money. She was afraid of having the responsibility of having to handle a huge amount of money. But still the chairman chose her to be the leader of the group. She still insisted not to take responsibility, but the chairman told her, if she would not be the leader, then they would not push through with this project. This was when she decided to take the risk because she also wanted to help the other people in the group, to uplift the status of their lives.

Hamida and the group then started their own meetings and decided on which business they wanted to push through, they had to consider many things and one of the most difficult aspects was their distance from the city proper where they had to get their stocks from. To add to the difficulty, more than the distance, they also had trouble since there were no decent roads from their area to the city. The group had regular meetings and some of the members were starting to become reluctant, they were arguing that the project was not legitimate and was only done because elections were fast approaching. The members thought that this was propaganda and that this was a form of campaign. Hamida explained to them that they needed to wait, that they needed to undergo the process and that members needed to go through seminars. But the members grew even more reluctant as days passed.

February of 2014, long after the elections, the cheque was finally released to the group, but even then, the members were still unconvinced and things got a little out of hand. The members accused Hamida of stealing their money since she could not show the money to them yet. She was accused of having spent the money for “shopping” and even their new barangay chairman believed on this. Again, she had to call a meeting to explain to the members that the money was not to be distributed to them just yet. She explained to them that they needed to open a bank account named after the association. They then tried to open their own account and deposit their capital fund. They needed a lot of requirements and payments to be able to do this, but since the group did not have actual money yet, Hamida used her own money to pay for the fees and all the expenses to be able to process their application. The group also needed to ask for certification from DOLE to be able to start their business; this was given to them after several weeks from application.

After all the necessary processes were fulfilled and approved, they started the construction of their business. They began construction of their business beside the Ordonez’s residence; they had the help from an engineer from the City Hall. During the construction of the building, the members had “bayanihan”, they helped each other build their business which lessened their expenses to 75,000pesos. The construction did not take a month to finish, and they started to follow up on other needs for the business. They had bidding for the suppliers of the business and they followed the required processes. They also decided and assigned procurement officer, a bookkeeper; business manager, inventory officer and all of the officers fit their job description.

June 21, 2014, when all requirements and all papers were accomplished, they finally opened their business. They spent 209,000pesos for both the building and supplies. The store opens at 7AM and closes at 6PM. They took turns in managing the store and they were given 50pesos each, they needed 2 staff during operations apart from the secretary who needed to be there every day. On the first month of business, they earned 80,000pesos. They had regular meeting on the 3rd Tuesday of the month, and agreed that their income will be equally divided after 6months.
They also practice the act of giving, when a family member belonging to the barangay dies, they offer snacks and other commodities to the family as well as for the people who come to visit and vigil.

Hamida’s association is doing good and have been a reliable source of help for the members of the association, as well as their community. It has given the members extra income which they badly need, at the same time the community is having the benefit of convenience especially for their needs, from textiles to school supplies and other basic needs. The association has an average of 50,000pesos per month and still expanding. They are now venturing into the cassava business. They already purchased the basics for cassava production and also a carabao.

Up to this day, Hamida invites other people to join them in their association in her quest to help others uplift their life the same way the association has done for her.

“malaki po talaga ang pasasalamat namin sa DSWD in behalf of Kapayawan kase lahat po kame natulungan. Laking pasasalamat na may programa silang ganyan, pantawid at PAMANA.”

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The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) clarifies issues on the discontinuation of the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program saying that the country’s conditional cash transfer program will not end in 2019.

The statement has been issued after rumors circulated nationwide that many beneficiaries will be delisted from the program and that it will end in two years.

In a statement given by the department’s Secretary, Judy M. Taguiwalo, she clarified that only the counterpart financing of the World Bank specifically the Social Welfare and Development Reform Project II (SWDP II) amounting to 450 million US dollars and Asian Development Bank (ADB) is set to end in 2019.

Meanwhile, DSWD continuously develops and improves the system of the program for better delivery of services to its clients. A recertification, review and tracking of beneficiaries will be conducted to ensure that significant progress is monitored and evident in the lives of the beneficiaries.

“We are currently reviewing our program for improvement and enhancement of systems. This will also open doors for us to be able to introduce other DSWD’s programs and services that may help our beneficiaries become stable and sustainable in their level of well-being,” DSWD-9 Regional Director, Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo said.

Regional Director Solamillo added that no beneficiary will be cut off from the program without passing through thorough validation and review process.

Payout of cash grants and compliance to the program conditionalities shall continue to be monitored in the duration of the recertification.

The ongoing 4Ps program review is being done also in line with efforts to review the Philippine social protection framework. There is an evident need to put together a social protection framework which is in line with the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) that aims for a more universal and transformative kind of social protection scheme.

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