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Dipolog City as third class city is surrounded by rolling hills to the southeast and Sulu Sea to the North. Known as the Orchid City, It has been a two-time Presidential Awardee for Child Friendly Municipalities and Cities (PACFMC) following the conferment on the “Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance” by Council for the Welfare of Children and Department of Interior and Local Government in 2015. The city continues to implement the 4 gifts for the children (survival, development, protection and participation) and child friendly governance for the past 8 years now. Thus, it is noteworthy to know that the local government including the local barangay units have been implementing different programs that encourage participation and promotion on the protection of children as key factors toward championing its rights in creating a liveable community for them. Along this line, children are empowered and catered in the city as main actors in the realization of goals and nation building. With all these significant recognitions, there are Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program partner-families who have been blessed with exemplary children in their respective communities who contribute to them.

As the crickets begin to fade off their lullabies at night, the dawn starts to change and radiantly paints the hues of the skies with warmth. The beaming rays of the sun peep towards the small community of Brgy.Olingan, Zamboanga Del Norte.

At 5:30 am, the daily morning routine of young Reynald A. Baguio, a 13-year old, along with his brothers, starts the day by fixing their beds, feeding their animals, watering the backyard vegetables in the garden. They together sit for breakfast and prepare themselves for school. His mother Florenda, 35, trains them to become responsible children by means of helping in the daily activities at home. During weekends, Reynald joins his father, Rey, 37, to go on fishing using their small banca for a living. He braves the waves in order to help his parents sustain their livelihood while his two siblings wait for their comeback near the shores and organize the fresh fish. They sell them among neighbors. Selling the fish has been his father’s way of earning income.

At his very young age, Reynald has already manifested significant leadership traits which are characterized by being an epitome to his followers–his brothers and friends. Being the eldest among the triplets, Reynald knows how difficult their life is. He can recall the days when they had less food to eat. All of them endure eating hot plain porridge with salt just to suffice their daily meals. His parents really have to take and exert tremendous effort to sustain the basic family needs such as food and education. Meanwhile, considering that they are trio, the level of attention and equal care have also become the challenge of the parents; nonetheless, they are doing a  great job in raising them well with equipped character and embedded values to emulate from.


Reynald at home serves as the leader and initiator for Reymart and Reymond. At his age, he empowers them by becoming a proactive brother. He also acknowledges his brothers’ strengths and weaknesses, and he assures that equal treatment and sensitivity are employed. His brothers, however, reveal that Reynald is very active in school and has the academic edge and advantage among them. Reynald serves as their personal tutor in terms of their homework. Like other boys, they play Basketball as their favourite sport. They visit the nearby plaza, just like today’s young kids do, to balance between school and physical play.

Reynald and Reymond are identical in physical features while Reymart is the fraternal twin counterpart. Each one has unique characteristics to tell, but Reynald has indeed manifested exemplary sort of contribution in his family. Hence, they execute “togetherness” to uplift their living condition and to see that everyone reaches their goals.

-Back Story-

Florenda, Reynald’s mother, recounted the days when she almost died after giving birth. She suffered from an excruciating pain, coupled by fever and bleeding due to her pregnancy. She was unconscious for three days due to her very delicate delivery. Since she was insentient, she did not know how things flowed. Because of her condition, the doctor had a partial belief that she could die anytime. The doctor and her husband patiently waited for her to wake up. That was the time where her life was either one way of saying goodbye or one miracle way of living again to the real world. On a very fortunate note, she finally survived. When she woke up, consuming the air of hope, she realized that she had three babies. She was held in reverence and brought by pleasure when she knew the outcome of her bittersweet pregnancy. However, she had no idea how to begin with instant three sons. Her husband, a fisherman, had little income from his fishing. As a matter of fact, she and her husband had to endure a sort of predicament where they asked financial and medical assistance to some people to aid the needs of the triplets. Some even dealt with taking a child of other parents legally to become their own, but for one, she didn’t like the idea and rather stood up the promise in raising her sons through her own will and perseverance. In 2008, they became recipients of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.”


“Gusto ko maging Engineer para kung sakaling matanda na ang mga magulang ko at gusto nilang lumipat sa magandang bahay, ako ang bubuo at kukumpleto sa hiling nila (I want to become an Engineer because when my parents get old and when they want to transfer to a beautiful house, I will build and complete their dream),” he said. It is evident how Reynald wanted to repay the sacrifices of his parents by dreaming Big. Apart from knowing his life’s dream, he also excels in literary activities (i.e. oration and storytelling), performing arts (i.e. singing and dancing) and visual arts (i.e. drawing), and sports (i.e. playing chess). Evident from his versatile skills, he is an example of a well-packaged kid. His dynamic talents have brought him in many performing stages, competition venues and resounding applause as well.


Reynald’s greatest inspiration is his family. His family serves as his driving force to beat the endless struggles with gumption and passion. With this kind of inspiration, it leads him to execute excellence and greatness in school, hanging medals around his neck and handing him certificates with different honors and privileges. In his Elementary days (2009-2015), he was a consistent honor student with various awards. To support this, last March 2016, he actually graduated as valedictorian and received special recognition such as ABS-CBN Excellence Award, Best in English, Best in MTAP, Best in Reading, Best in Art, Journalist of the Year, Leadership award, Band Member of the Year, MLhuillier Academic Award and among others. In addition, he was also recognized with consistent Perfect Attendance under the project WATCH (We Advocate Time Consciousness and Honesty) of the school.  These achievements are best proof that nothing is impossible as long as he has an unconditional support from his family. Along with, this only shows that we all have the right and privilege to enjoy and to inspire in whatever ways we can amidst the chaotic notion that has been implied herein, and that is “poverty”.

At present, he is now on his 7th grade at Alberto Q. Ubay Memorial Agro-Tech Science High School in Dipolog City. Reynald steadily maintains his good grades, travelled to places and competed in various local and regional level competitions. He is the Classroom Vice -President, Sgt. and Arms of the MAPEH Club,Treasurer of the Chess Club and Grade VII representative of the Supreme Student Government.


As his personal advocacy, Reynald wants to encourage people to plant trees to save the environment. He maintains his concern for nature, for he has been joining several Purok Pintakasi, Tree Planting and Coastal Clean-up activities conducted by their Local Barangay. He is also active in attending the monthly Youth Development Session (YDS) rendered by his teachers. Reynald once revealed that one of the significant learnings he had among the several topics in the sessions was the Emergency Preparedness. He believes that being prepared during disasters will not only save him but also other people from casualties and other possible repercussions. For once, he never fails to attend the session because he knows it will help him change and develop his personal and social awareness.

Another notable contribution of Reynald was being a member of Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC). BCPC is a preventive program mandate issued by the Philippine Government to all Barangay’s. It is an established council that looks after the protection of its children.  He was chosen to be the child representative to be exposed, educated and informed on the important social issues such as Child abuse and Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC). “Nalaman ko kung papaano ako makakatulong sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay alam sa Pinuno ng Barangay at ng Council kung sakali mang may mga report ng pang aabuso sa mga bata”. He shared. Reynald was also chosen to sit as Child representative in the Barangay Investment Plan for children where he joined several projects conducted such as Garbage collection and income generation.


His strong determination and robust faith to God become his armor to step up a good fight. “Takot sa Diyos, eto ang pinapahalagahan ko dahil sa lahat ng anggulo ng aking buhay, kung mayroon man akong pinanghahawakan sa lahat ng oras yun ay ang makibagay sa lahat ng nakapaligid sa akin,” he added.

Reynald remains his positivity towards his goals in life. As he grows up, he improves himself and manages to hone his skills through involvement in various activities.

And as the sun bids farewell, the dusk turns in quiet shift. The rays go off at six yet stars spark in brilliance sleek. When young Reynald finishes the day and sleeps, he always wakes up with great goals to leap.

When he takes the life’s journey step by step, he only not brings pride, splendour, and inspiration among his loved ones. He goes back home with a humble spirit and remains the child in him. At the end of the day, Reynald will always be the Clever Son of the South.


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DSWD concludes children’s month celebration

The Department of Social Welfare and Development field office IX, as the lead agency that protects the welfare of the children, celebrated the culminating activity of the children’s month with an advocacy campaign.

Prior to the culmination of the celebration, several activities were initiated by the department to advocate the protection of the rights and welfare of the children particularly against child pornography.

The department recently had its soft-launching of the #StopChildPornPH campaign, an online platform which aims to promote and strengthen public awareness on child pornography in the country.

Activities that are targeted to the young audiences were also conducted such as story-telling and film-viewing for grade school pupils of Tetuan Central School, on-the-spot poster-making contest for secondary and tertiary levels, info-graphics lay-outing contest and bite-sized video-making contest.

DSWD National Focal Person, Sayna Darwin, said that these endeavors involve the youth and children in this campaign for them to be able to protect themselves from threat and abuse of perpetrators.

This advocacy is getting a very positive response from the stakeholders particularly on the education sector that showed support in the different activities initiated by the department.

The culmination was held at the Tetuan Central School and was graced by various social protection advocates. Winners of the different competitions are as follows:

Poster-making Contest: Jena Criselle F. Baliton from STI College Senior High School (1st place), Aldrin A. Pantilanan from Ayala National High School (2nd place), Al-zhahid I. Puntukan from Talon-Talon National High School (3rd place);
Infograhics Lay-outing Contest: Ruiz B. Delos Santos and Rosette I. Paragas from WMSU (1st place);
Bite-sized video-making contest: “Jorgesa” by Charisse Macaso and Ruiz Delos Santos from WMSU (1st place), “Bintana” by Jean Patrick F. Gonzales and Judith C. Francisco from WMSU (2nd place).

#StopChildPornPH campaign is being pilot-tested in 5 regions to include regions 9, 3, 7, 10 and NCR.







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DOH confers RED ORCHID Award to DSWD-IX

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office IX was recognized by the Department of Health as a “RED ORCHID Awardee” for having garnered a total score of 102.13% based on the set of criteria for implementing a 100% Tobacco-Free Environment and following the World Health Organization’s “MPOWER” Framework.

The DOH Red Orchid Awards is the Search for 100% Tobacco-Free Provinces, Municipalities, Cities, Government Offices, Government Hospitals and DOH Centers for Health Development.

The said award follows the World Health Organization (WHO) FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON TOBACCO CONTROL Article 8 that recommends adoption of measures to provide protection from exposure to smoke in indoor workplaces, public transport, indoor places, and other public places, as well as REPUBLIC ACT 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 that provides protection from exposure to tobacco smoke.

DSWD IX has undertaken major steps which paved way towards behavioral modification among the smokers. Advocacy activities were conducted through lectures, development and reproduction of IEC materials and poster making contest in order to generate materials on graphic health warnings.

In 2014, the agency created the DSWD Tobacco Control Committee to adopt and promulgate a 100% Smoke-Free Policy within the Field Office premises. Guidelines were formulated and disseminated to ensure a common understanding of the program.

Along with this campaign, Twenty-three (23) staff of DSWD underwent training on smoking cessation and counselling. Since the policy was implemented, there are four (4) confirmed quitters of smoking.

The agency was nominated for the Red Orchid Awards and subsequently passed the validation at the regional and national levels.The awarding ceremony was held on November 10, 2016 in Royce Convention, Zamboanga City.

In 2009, the Department of Health (DOH) issued Administrative Order No. 10 on COMPREHENSIVE 100% SMOKE-FREE ENVIRONMENT POLICY that calls on the absolute smoking ban in DOH offices, hospitals and attached agencies and encouraging local government units to do the same in their health facilities and other public places; while the Civil Service Commission issued Memorandum Circular No. 17 in 2010 on SMOKING PROHIBITION BASED ON THE 100% SMOKE-FREE ENVIRONMENT POLICY in all government agencies. (With Reports from Dr. Gracia Gacrama) ##


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SLP Participants undergo National Certificate-II Training

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The Department of Social Welfare and Development- Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) is currently conducting skills trainings on Electrical Installation (EI) NC-II, Motorcycle/Small Engine Servicing (M/SES) NC-II and Food Processing (FP) NC-II.

The said trainings aim to enhance the ability of SLP participants for higher productivity and profitability. In partnership with Technical Vocational Institute, 1 and All Technical School Inc., these activities specifically target to provide the knowledge and skills necessary of the participants to be able to establish and manage their sustainable microenterprise/s, which should provide a stable source of income.


The trainings simultaneously started last October 17, 2016 and is expected to run for thirty (30) days for EI NC-II, 25 days for M/SES NC-II, and 25 days for FP NC-II. Starter kits will be provided after the training to allow the participants to apply their newly acquired knowledge for their microenterprise.

The four hundred forty nine (449) participants of this activity are also Pantawid beneficiaries coming from the different municipalities of Zamboanga Sibugay Province.### Bernely Sheilaine Nemil


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DSWD 9 acquaints elderly on disaster preparedness

Senior citizens are more likely to be adversely affected during calamities as they account for more than double of the mortality rates during emergencies. This was one of the things that the Department of Science and Technology Resource Persons emphasized during the forum on disaster preparedness yesterday.

The said forum tackled on disaster preparedness for Senior Citizens facilitated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office IX with the help of the Department of Science and Technology, who provided the resource persons during the one-day activity.

Ms. Thelma Diego, focal person for disaster preparedness from DOST pointed out that the older people should be better prepared during any disaster through continuous education and awareness to reduce their vulnerabilities.

The topics discussed include Early Warning Devices, Hydromet Hazards and Geological Hazards presented by Ms. Maribel Enriquez, the PAG-ASA Bureau Chief and Mr. Alan Labayog, Philvocs Zamboanga Officer-in-charge.

DSWD 9 Senior Citizen Focal Person Jamila Arasid said that while a lot has been done for senior citizens in the country, their vulnerabilities during disaster have yet to be addressed, however, accessibility to programs and services and availment to their rights and privileges still remain to be the major concern among the older people.

Meanwhile, DSWD 9 Regional Director Atty. Araceli Solamillo expressed support to the recently signed Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 10868 of the Centenarian Act of 2016 last week. The law states that all Filipinos who have reached 100 years old and above will be honored with a Centenarian gift worth P100,000 which serves as a longevity incentive.

“We are especially excited for the Filipinos centenarians who will be conferred with the recognition that they rightfully deserve and since we believe that one of the signs of a compassionate society is its responsiveness to the needs of its elderly members.” Solamillo said in a statement.

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Elderly people in residential homes receive early Christmas gifts from DSWD9, government agencies


As part of the activities pipelined for the 2016 Elderly Filipino Week celebration, the Department of Social Welfare and Development spearheaded the visit to two of the residential homes in the city yesterday where over 50 elderly are sheltered and taken care of.

DSWD Field Office IX together with Philhealth, Department of Health, Department of Education, Department of Publics Work and Highway, Department of Science and Technology, Commission on Higher Education and Philippine Information Agency, visited Home for the Elderly in Mampang and We Care Nursing Home located in Sta. Maria, Zamboanga City.

In the photos, the members of the Regional Inter-Agency Committee for Senior Citizens are seen handling and distributing food and non-food items such as walker, medical and hygiene kits, biscuits and juices.

The visit aimed to provide opportunities for key NGA partners to show respect, gratitude and tribute to the elders which forms part of the objectives of the annual celebration which is to raise awareness on the rights and privileges of the senior citizens and their significant contribution in nation building.

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Sec. Taguiwalo witnesses completion of skills training of Zambo siege survivors

DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo (2nd from left) congratulates and engages in light banter with the graduates who were displaced by the 2013 Zamboanga siege.

DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo (2nd from left) congratulates and engages in light banter with the graduates who were displaced by the 2013 Zamboanga siege.

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo personally congratulated the 320 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Zamboanga City who completed their technical skills training program yesterday which was initiated and funded by the DSWD Regional Office IX in partnership with the Zamboanga City local government, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and Our Lady of Triumph (OLT) Institute of Technology.

Aside from Sec. Taguiwalo, the graduation ceremony, staged at MGM Gymnasium in Ozamis City, was attended by DSWD FO-IX Regional Director Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo, DSWD FO-IX Asst. Regional Director for Operations Consejo H. Usman, and other program partners.

The graduates were the last batch of IDPs affected by the 2013 Zamboanga siege who have undergone carpentry and masonry training, and housekeeping training in state-of-the art facilities offered and provided by the OLT through the Department’s Disaster Rehabilitation Fund worth P17M.

Since July 2016, the technical skills training program has already produced over 500 graduates who were immediately sent to Manila for job placement with the help of the OLT’s national and international employment partners.

In her message for the graduates, Sec. Taguiwalo emphasized that the Department will continue to monitor the progress of the program recipients. She also commended them for their efforts to transition from being mere recipients of assistance to becoming productive members of the society.

“Hindi na lamang tayo mga biktima at survivors ngayon, tayo ay mga victors na ngayon dahil napagtagumpayan natin ang lahat ng mga pagsubok na dumaan sa buhay natin. Naipakita natin na kahit na anong kalamidad ang pinagdaanan natin, mayroon tayong angking kakayahan at dignidad para bumangon (We are no longer victims and survivors. We are victors now because we have won and surpassed life’s challenges. We have proven that despite the unfortunate calamity we have encountered, we still have the capacity and dignity to stand up and achieve triumph)”, Sec. Taguiwalo said.

Meanwhile, the LGU of Zamboanga also provided additional P2,000 financial assistance to each of the families of the graduates for their other expenses.

September 2013 was when the people from Zamboanga witnessed three weeks of intense firefight between the Moro National Liberation Front and the government troops which left hundreds of civilians and soldiers from both sides dead, thousands of homes destroyed and over a hundred thousand people from Zamboanga involuntarily displaced. MNLF members were protesting the failure of the government to implement the provisions of the peace pact signed in 1996.

With President Duterte extending his hand of peace to different Moro groups including the MNLF, hopes are high towards attaining a just and lasting peace in Mindanao and in the whole nation. A just and lasting peace makes it possible for DSWD to deliver its many services to the people and in the long run, a just and lasting peace will improve their quality of life

Secretary Taguiwalo said that all Filipinos should support the peace talks between the government and the MNLF. “We should all work together to bring peace to the Philippines. Ending armed conflict can be done through collective efforts focused on bringing about social justice.” ###

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DSWD 9 extends aid to wounded troops in Sulu, Basilan clash

The Department of Social Welfare and Development has started extending assistance to wounded soldiers in the military operations that are being conducted in some parts of Sulu and Basilan against the Abu Sayyaf Group.

Through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program, the department has been able to provide financial, medical and burial assistance to six wounded and two killed soldiers with the total amount of 45,000 pesos.

Aside from the said monetary aid, DSWD has also been conducting hospital visits and counseling/ stress debriefing to the families of these soldiers.

DSWD is also making some necessary assessment on what other suitable services that can be provided to the dependents, such as educational, livelihood, and employment opportunities through skills training.

PHOTO BMeanwhile, the DSWD field office 9 has also been in constant coordination with Provincial Social Welfare and Development Offices of Sulu and Basilan with regards to the relief operations done in some villages and municipalities where evacuees are sheltered temporarily.

Last September 6, the department sent 5,000 family food packs worth P1,800,000.00 for over 4,000 IDPs. As of September 20, 2016, there are already 4,456 families served by DSWD and PLGU. Currently, the available standby funds and stockpile of relief goods is amounting to P1,003,337,662.10###

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