Archive | February, 2015

Manuel Borres: the epitome of a public servant

Below is a write-up of Manuel Borres’ outstanding performance making him as the National Awardee for Best Division Chief – Support of the DSWD.

To be of service to people.   This is a common yet a quote with a very significant meaning. Sir Manny, as he is fondly called in the Office, have lived up to the ideals of being a public servant and has remained humble despite of what he has achieved in life.

Childhood Years

Born and raised in Catarman, Camiguin, he finished his elementary education in Catarman Central School . Known to be very active in school, he was always in the top section of every year level and graduated as one of the top ten students. He graduated in Camiguin National High School. He finished his Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree at Liceo De Cagayan University. He was a working student at the Department of Agrarian Reform then from second year college up to the time he graduated. On his final year in College, he took the Civil Service Exam and passed which paved the way for him to government service.

Commendable career path

Career wise, Sir Manny, is one of the few who has been blessed with a very commendable career path.    He had his first taste of employment as a casual clerk with a government agency way back 1974 with a daily salary of P8.00. He was then promoted a year after with the position of Acting Statistical Aide. His first engagement with the Department of Social Welfare and Development started in 1989 when he was hired as a Project Evaluation Officer based in Surigao del Norte. Two years after, he rose from the rank to that of being a Supply Officer II at the regional office. He held this position for thirteen years.   He was then promoted as Administrative Officer V in 2004 up to 2007.   On the same year, he was again promoted as Chief of the General Administrative and Support Services Division. He held this position until July 15 of this year when he was designated as OIC- Assistant Regional Director for Administration.


Despite of the high position he has acquired, friends and colleagues can attest that he still remained the same person they have known before and until now. They vouched for his good nature, humble, and generous character.

As for Mr. Efren Villanueva, one of his friends and staff before puts it, “Mr. Borres as an immediate supervisor, was very approachable and this never changed through the years . When we make official requests,he immediately approves and makes the necessary action . He is really fit for his position. He knows how to set his boundaries. He is also very open to suggestions”.

Mr. Martin Canguit, formerly the Accounting Unit Head and now the GASSD OIC-Division Chief at the regional Office, attests that “Mr.Borres immediately takes action to whatever tasks is at hand. His support to his staffs both work-related and even personal matters is also without fail. His work attitude and his dealings with his co-employees never changed even when he already rose from the ranks. He is also good in linking with partner agencies and other organizations.”

One of the things that Ms.Evelyn Cortes (Administrative Officer) admires in Sir Manny is his being a democratic manager. “He always gives his subordinates the chance to participate in the decision-making. His management in the division pushes us to be more productive, which often results in high quality and high quantity outputs which boosts our morale as subordinates. Each unit has shared responsibilities. Though, at times, he has the final say but, he still asks around for inputs and possible solutions. When urgent concern arises, he easily acts and delegates it to concerned staff and he is always there for us 24/.”


Aside from being the Division Chief for the GASSD, Mr.Borres was also designated as the Regional Project Coordinator for the Sustainable Livelihood Program. He was actively involved and aware of the activities of the program at the regional level. He made sure that whenever available, he would represent the Regional Director in the turnover of checks to beneficiaries of the livelihood program.

“ Sir Manny is very supportive in our activities and the Sustainable Livelihood program as a whole .Be it an administrative concern or logistical concern like provision of vehicles to staff on official travel. He never fails to be present when invited in major activities like turn-over of checks to beneficiaries, Program Review and Evaluation Workshops (PREW) .As far as the program implementation is concerned, He is also very involved in helping out resolve concerns that may arise. When we conduct trainings, he makes sure that he gives the welcome message to our participants. During the turn-over of checks to beneficiaries, he always encourages and reminds the beneficiaries of their social responsibility to participate in all activities and pay their roll backs in order to sustain the program and that other beneficiaries may avail of the program”.  

Being the Division Chief of a big and varied Division, the General Administrative & Support Services Division, is indeed a big responsibility. It entails a lot of decision making and a lot of concerns needing immediate attention not to mention his involvement in almost all the Committees within the Regional Office.

He also represents for and in behalf of Regional Director Solamillo in various organized committees with partner Agencies and organizations.

Mr.Borres is the Action Officer for DSWD X in the Regional Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (RLECC) in Region 10. For Ms. Sonia Bacasmot (RLECC Secretariat), “Mr. Borres as the Action Man of DSWD X, is very supportive, approachable, gives inputs and advices and regularly attends our meetings except when he is on official travel. He is very concerned on issues relating to social welfare and those concerning the disadvantaged sector in our society and he really gives inputs as much as he can in related issues tackled”.        

He is also the representative of the regional Office in the Regional Intelligence Committee. The said committee in their regular meetings tackles issues and concerns which primarily focus on security measures and updates between and among government agencies. As a representative, according to a reliable source from the Secretariat (name withheld for security reasons), “Mr. Borres on his part , aside from being very active is very much concerned about the security and sustainability of the programs and services of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and raises issues and concerns relative to the implementation of the Agency’s programs and services and the security of the field workers particularly . Personally, Mr. Borres has learned to imbibe and practice the importance of document security as well as personal security”.

Best Practices

One of the innate skill that Mr. Borres has is his ability to easily coordinate and link , be it with partner Agencies and even to International Non government organizations like the World Food Programme. After Yolanda hit Tacloban, regional offices were directed to augment relief goods and manpower in Tacloban. The regional office then had no funds available for the transport of relief goods. Mr. Manuel Borres coordinated and requested the World Food Program to help provide for the trucks to be loaded with the relief goods which the Head, Mr. Dragoslav Djuraskovic immediately responded positively. In order that the delivery of relief goods in Tacloban be not delayed,he also coordinated with officials of the Philippine Ports Authority to give priority to the cargo trucks loaded with the relief goods in ferrying it across the Lipata port to San Ricardo, Southern Leyte.

Mr. Borres is also responsible in overseeing and fastracking the installation of the CCTV cameras within the perimeter of the regional office as well as in the construction of the dormitory, the cafeteria, the Crisis Intervention Unit and Sustainable Livelihood Program. He really pushes hard his staff to perform tasks as efficiently as they can.

 Other affiliations

Despite his hectic schedules, Mr. Borres is also active in joining organizations. His being an active member of the Free and Accepted Mason of the Philippines proves that his affiliations outside the workplace are also significant for him. For Mr. Roy Urot , one of their higher officers, says that “Mr. Borres is very proficient when it comes to performing his tasks as member of their organization. In fact,he has held the highest position equivalent to a President of an organization the past few years. His support, participation and attendance even in their charity work and community services were without fail. Being able to hold the position as head of our organization is no big joke and this just proves that the man holding such position is really dependable, responsible and worthy to be in that place”.

Commitment to Self and Others

Sir Manny’s main goal in life is to be of service to people. He may not be a social worker but, he has truly inculcated in himself the traits and character of a service- oriented and committed social worker. He considers helping others as a source of happiness as well as a gift to other people in need. Regardless of whoever comes to him and ask for help, and regardless if that person would also give and help him in return, does not matter to him. For as long as he can be of help, he would always be willing to extend it to others. Truly, this just shows the heart and blood of what it is to be a public servant.

Mr. Manuel Borres is a loving dad to two adorable and equally-successful daughters Mabeth and Riza and wife, Ms. Isabelita Borres, the Regional Director of Department of Education Region 3.

His story as he rose from the ranks is an inspiration to those aspiring to become the best of what they have and what they can. His testimony proves that in order to be effective in one’s profession, you do not only do things for your personal gain but, it would be more meaningful if you do it by inspiring and motivating others to push hard to bring out the best in them, and in their career.

Written by Mitzie S. Santiago, DSWD

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Persons with Disabilities Participates in Community Organizing and Strengthening Organization Seminar

Northern Mindanao – The National Council for Disability Affairs in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development is presently conducting a Seminar on Community Organizing and Strengthening of Organizations of Persons With Disabilities.
The three-day seminar is participated in by forty-five Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) from Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental, and Guimbal, Iloilo.
The said forum was designed to promote the various Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) continuous capability building, empowerment and self-reliance towards building a non-handicapping environment for everyone.

After the said seminar, participants which include PWD leaders and their families are expected to be equipped with relevant knowledge, attitudes, and skills to strengthen their organizations.

Professor Angelito Manalili, one of the resource persons of the seminar stressed that “ In Community Organizing, it does not imply changing People’s participation per se, as it is in living and putting your shoes in the lives of the communities that you are able to discover the real picture and that, only through this, one is able to realize that there exists initiatives of the people done and what it only lacks is motivation and a deeper understanding of the silence of the poor”.

He further added that community development on one hand, involves building of self-reliant communities through helping them build and develop with what they have.

Written by Mitzie S. Santiago, DSWD

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PhilHealth to DSWD: We will fast track processing of health benefits of Pantawid Pamilya grantees

Cagayan de Oro City — The Regional Office of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) here has promised the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Northern Mindanao that it will fast track processing of health benefit claims of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (Pantawid Pamilya) grantees.

Chief Social Insurance Officer of PhilHealth Region 10, Ian Alfredo T. Magno said health benefit claims submitted by accredited hospitals will be processes immediately, as long as Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries will present the authentic and official identification card issued by DSWD Northern Mindanao.

Magno, along with Social Insurance Officer Fatmah Guiling and Social Insurance Assistant Remea Vera Dacut, visited DSWD Northern Mindanao to discuss issues and concerns relative to hastening the processing of claims.



Pantawid are issued their Member Data Record and PhilHealth Identification Number which will serve as their pass when availing of health care benefits at any accredited facilities in the country.

As Sponsored members, they are entitled to full benefits including the recently introduced case rate payments for 23 medical and surgical cases wherein they no longer need to pay in excess of the PhilHealth set benefits in government facilities.

They can also avail of the ‘Z’ benefit package for catastrophic illnesses such as childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia, breast and prostate cancer, and kidney transplant, with financial coverage of P210,000, P100,000 (each), and P600,000 respectively. PhilHealth has initially partnered with selected reference and contracted government hospitals nationwide to provide the Z benefits.

Pantawid beneficiaries also enjoy primary care benefits such as consultations, regular blood pressure monitoring, and promotive health education on breastfeeding and counseling on lifestyle modification and smoking cessation. Medicines for diseases like asthma and acute gastroenteritis with no or mild dehydration, upper respiratory tract infection/pneumonia and urinary tract infection are also provided for by accredited healthcare providers.

To ensure access, PhilHealth has automatically accredited all DOH licensed hospitals as Centers of Safety.

Guiling emphasized that PhilHealth will only honor untampered ID.

In case of lost, Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries can present certification duly signed only by either the Regional Project Coordinator (RPC) or Provincial Link (PL).

Pantawid Pamilya RPC Kenneth Haze Sanchez disclosed that municipal links are not allowed to issue certification for PhilHealth benefit claims.###

Written by Oliver Badel Inodeo, DSWD Northern Mindanao.


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DSWD calls families to adopt children

Cagayan de Oro City — The Department of Social Welfare and Development is encouraging families to adopt children who are now under its custody.

Elena Palma, social welfare officer for the Department, says that about 12 children in the Regional Reception and Study Center for Children, a residential facility of the DSWD based here are available for foster care or for legal adoption. Their ages range from zero to seven years old. Another nine children are also currently being assessed to be declared as available for adoption.

“There is now an increasing number of children who need families to love them, to take care of them; these little ones need to be integrated with good families and communities which are necessities to the well-being of a child.”

Legal Adoption

Adoption, which is defined as a socio-legal process of providing a permanent family to a child who se parents have voluntarily or involuntarily relinquished parental authority over the child, is the State’s protection of the child which requires sufficient study to make certain that the placement is suitable and presents no hazard to the child’s growth and development.

Adoption is for children who cannot be reared by their biological parents and who need and can benefit from new and permanent family ties.

Republic Act 8552, otherwise known as the Domestic Adoption Act, states that the process of legally adopting a child involves several steps such as application of interested parents, preparation of home study report, approval and disapproval of application, matching or family selection, pre-placement and placement of child, supervised trial custody, finalization of adoption, issuance of adoption decree and amended birth certificate, and conduct of post-adoptive services. This process would usually take six months to a year.

Couples who have underwent the legal adoption process for their adopted children revealed that the process was all worth it — they now have a child that they can love and care for, and who also loves them in return.

Simulation of Birth Certificates

The DSWD also reminds families that simulating birth certificates is punishable under the Philippine Law,. Those found guilty of simulating birth certificate may be punished with imprisonment of six years and one day to 12 years, and a fine not exceeding P50, 000.

DSWD will be observing the Adoption Consciousness Week on February 21-27, 2015 with lined up activities advocating legal adoption.


Written by Charmaine P. Tadlas, DSWD

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I’m a 4Ps scholar

They call us the lower class, the twerps, a burden to the government. They dub us dependents, supposedly merely after government doles. They call us the poorest of the poor, the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

Let me tell you people, we are less fortunate but we are not stupid. Yes, we are receiving a certain amount from the government, to alleviate our current situation, which is the program’s primary objective. But, is it really a basis for social discrimination and bullying?

I am a 4Ps scholar, one of the beneficiaries of the Expanded Students’ Grant-In-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA), to be particular about it. So, what do you think? I am giving you the freedom to say something about it. Are you one of those judgmental persons or among the rational ones?

When I first heard about the opportunity to avail myself of the ESGP-PA, I thought of my dreams becoming possible. It was as if chance had found a deserving student who desired to make a difference in her life, in her family, and in her society. Eventually, I became a lucky grantee. I consider that a significant gift that drew me closer to achieving my aspirations.

For me, tuition and other school fees, academic and extracurricular expenses, the purchase of textbooks, the lack of stipend and transportation fare ceased to be constant worries in the pursuit of a college degree. Each grantee is entitled to P30,000 per semester, and that has been making a difference.

But, the difference includes social discrimination and bullying. Some fellow students say something to this effect: “Those 4Ps scholars, they already have the scholarship, and they’re also given special treatment.” Those students who belong to well-off families look down on us when they learn that we are ESGP-PA grantees, as though we were unsightly.

The worst thing was when, in class, a professor presented his opinion on the program’s “dependency” on the government and how our expenses as grantees were being shouldered by taxpayers including himself, all because of irresponsible parenthood. His opinion just seemed so biased. It appeared that he did not realize: What could this mean, how could this affect, an ESGP-PA grantee in his class?

These have happened, not just to me, but also to my fellow 4Ps scholars. It’s like being a 4Ps scholar is a sin, that being less fortunate is a sin.

We are not the proponents of this program; we are merely the chosen recipients. I’ve come to think: What if everyone is a 4Ps beneficiary? Will their views still be the same? Will the treatment be just and fair? Why does social hierarchy matter a lot in building a community? Irrationality will never unite a country.

This is not all about irresponsible parenthood; this is reality. Poverty is present in the country. We are not building a poverty society. In fact, we strongly want to get out of that status. We strive to lift our families out of poverty and eventually give back to the economy.

I feel that I should just shut my mouth whenever they throw gibberish at us and degrade the ESGP-PA. Yet my open mind cannot fathom the fact that those words come from supposedly educated people who should know better than us. It is just a manifestation that someone can be educated but not learned.

Still, I extend my thanks to the government for providing a great opportunity for deserving students to complete tertiary-level education. I will focus on the positive goals. We’ll eradicate poverty; we don’t need irrationality. We are less fortunate, but we are not stupid.

Rose J. Bongon, 20, is a third-year IT student at Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges. She is associate editor of The Spark (the official CSPC school–community publication) and blogs at

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DSWD inspects BUB projects

Convergence Focal Zosimo Butil (right) of DSWD Northern Mindanao inspects day care centers in Ozamis City, Misamis Occidental, funded under Bottom-Up Budgetting. With him is Ludy Raras, City Social Welfare and Development Officer of Ozamis City. (Photo by Sanjev Tan, City Link of Ozamis City.)

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February 2015