Archive | March, 2015

From Arms to Farms: Former rebel puts faith back in government

“Aduna gihapoy pag-asa para sa mga komunidad nga anaay kagubot (there is still hope for armed-conflict communities),” says Malik Macabato, barangay chairman of Tingintingin, Kauswagan, this province.

In 2008, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front attacked the 4th class municipality that affected hundreds of families in various barangays, inclu ing Tingintingin, a community 12 kilometers away from the municipal proper  –  with an impossible terrain that public transportation is made avail able only once a day.

Malik – a husband and a father – is also a former rebel and known to be influential by his neighbours who also held defiance and dis trust against government interventions.

Malik and the rest of the community used to think that going against the government is the only solution to solving poverty, a belief assumed by their group for generations.

“Ang akong huna-huna sa una, sirado na gyud, nagtu-o ko nga ang pag gamit sa armas mao ra gyud ang rason nga mahimo kita nga gamhanan isip usa ka lider (I was closed-minded, and I believed that the use of arms or guns makes you a powerful leader),” Malik said.

People in the community think the same way as Malik. Sarah, one of the volunteers, says that many of them believed that there is no more chance for peace and development in their community.

However, this started to change when the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services Payapa at  Masaganang  Pamayanan (Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA) was introduced to their community.

Shifting Paradigms

When Malik was elected as the barangay chairman in Tingintingin, he was able to attend capability building trainings related to community development and genuine peace and development facilitated by the Department of Interior and Local Development (DILG). These sessions eventually gave him a different perspective

Malik recalled that he learned a lot about good governance and how a community can attain genuine peace and order. “Ug ang pinaka importante sa tanan, nahibaw-an nako nga ang gobyerno naglihok lang man diay para sa among kaayuhan (and most importantly, I realized that the government was only doing its job to the best interest of our welfare), he says.

Confidence in government

When Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA was presented to their community in 2013, Malik led the community by personally adopting and conveying to his neighbors the concepts and strategies of Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA, particularly in guiding the community to development.

Through the modality using the Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach, the community started to participate in barangay activities and increased their knowledge in poverty alleviation in their society.

“Tungod sa Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA daghan mi nahimo nga mga proyekto sama nalang sa dalan gikan sa umahan paingon sa merkado, panubig, bularanan sa mga produkto, ug para pud sa lugar sa panglawas ug kahusay ug kalinaw (Because of Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA, we were able to construct several sub-projects such as Farm to Market Roads, Water Systems, Solar Driers, Health and Peace Centers),” according to one of the volunteers who work closely with Malik.

Further, Malik managed to convince his constituents to practice organic farming since he himself practice the same. And because his neighbours saw the positive side of the technology, the people willingly accepted the system.

“Nalipay gyud mi nga gitudlu-an ug gi ingganyo mi ni Kapitan mag tanom pina-agi sa maluntarong agrikultura, nga diin daghan ug mas dako among kita ug dili lang ana, labaw na gayud dili siya maka daut sa atong kinaiyahan (we are happy that Barangay Captain Malik taught and encouraged us to do organic farming. The technology has helped us to have better income. Not only that, it has a great impact to our environment),” shared by Noreen, one of the volunteers.

Malik says that the community is thankful to the government because their programs have made them realize that insurgency is not the solution to their community problems.  Instead, he added, they have learned that by just cooperating and involving themselves in community activities, peace and development is attainable.

“Gikan sa pakig batok paingon sa pagpalambo sa umahan (from arms to farms),” Malik added.

written by: Luis T. Arquiza, dswd

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DSWD Feeds 132,500 children

Cagayan de Oro — Over 132,500 children here are being fed by the Department of the Social Welfare and Development through its Supplemental Feeding Program (SFP).

SFP is the government’s response to hunger and malnutrition in the country by providing hot meals to children enrolled in day care centers.

In coordination with local government units, the DSWD implements the program by also teaching parents on proper menu and food preparation, and guiding the children on proper table etiquettes, including washing of hands before taking meals.

SFP is done with a duration of 120 days per day care center.


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IP Pantawid scholar encourages lumad children to finish studies

Cagayan de Oro City — A Higaonon Pantawid Pamilya college scholar here is urging his fellow lumad children to finish their studies.

Marlon Mandago, 24 of Tagmaray, San Luis, Malitbog, Bukidnon, is a third year student of Mindanao University of Science and Technology, taking up Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, major in Physical Sciences.

At a very young age, Marlon has witnessed the economic struggle of his parents who are laborers of a vegetable farm in the hinterland municipality of Malitbog, some 42.6 kilometers off southeast of here.


Looking at the miniature of the future school campus of Mindanao University of Science and Technology, Marlon Mandago, 24 of Tagmaray, San Luis, Malitbog, Bukidnon wants lumad children of Higaonon Tribe like him to finish studies. Mandago is a third year student of MUST taking up Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, major in Physical Sciences. He is a scholar under Expanded Student Grants-In-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation of Pantawid Pamilya of DSWD. Photo by Oliver Badel Inodeo, DSWD Northern Mindanao.

Looking at the miniature of the future school campus of Mindanao University of Science and Technology, Marlon Mandago, 24 of Tagmaray, San Luis, Malitbog, Bukidnon wants lumad children of Higaonon Tribe like him to finish studies. Mandago is a third year student of MUST taking up Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, major in Physical Sciences. He is a scholar under Expanded Student Grants-In-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation of Pantawid Pamilya of DSWD. Photo by Oliver Badel Inodeo, DSWD Northern Mindanao.

During his elementary days, Marlon recalled that his parents would take home P50 each a day after rendering services to the vegetable farm. Now, it has increased to P100 a day, but, still below the daily minimum wage standard which is P284.

“I don’t want to go through what my parents had gone through,” Marlon said, adding that he is determined to finish his college education.

“That is why I am encouraging IP communities to prioritize education because it will lift us out from poverty to prosperity,” Marlon said.

Marlon is the eldest of the Mandago siblings. His family is living with his grandparents until now.

End Violence against women

Living in a patristic-influenced community, where men dominate, Marlon is calling lumad women in his community to assert their rights.

“They should not just mum if they are right, they should assert their rights,” stressed Marlon when ask on his insights to the celebration of Women’s Month.

Also, he calls an end to violence against women, although he disclosed that he seldom heard of complaints on violence against women and children in his community.

He also encouraged members of his tribe to continue upholding a high respect to women.

Preserving Higaonon’s Heritage

Marlon fluently speaks Higaonon language despite being influenced by Dumagats, a term used for urban setllers.

Even inside MUST campus, located at the heart of this highly urbanized city, Marlon opts to use his dialect in communicating with fellow lumad.

Marlon disclosed he has a friend from Talakag, Bukidnon, some 87 kilometers off south of this city, who speaks Higaonon dialect.

Despite his exposure to big cities like Cebu, where he spent his secondary formation, Marlon said he wants to keep and preserve the traditions of Higaonons. One of those is on marriage and on their beliefs.

Marlon said he will certainly pass those traditions to his children in the future.

Thankful to DSWD

Marlon is thankful to DSWD for helping him reach for his dream-that is, to finish a college degree.

If not for the college scholarship under the Expanded Student Grants-In-Aid Program-for Poverty Alleviation of the Pantawid Pamilya of DSWD, Marlon said his dream would be a bleak one.

In 2012, the Pantawid Pamilya in partnership   with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) launched and eventually rolled-out the ESGPPA for Pantawid Pamilya households, whose members are about to enroll or are currently enrolled in college.

The scholarship program aims to contribute to the thrusts of the National Government in addressing poverty alleviation by providing higher education to poor households, giving them better opportunities of being employed, and thereby lifting their families out of poverty.

Under the program, children of the household beneficiary will have an opportunity to pursue tertiary education provided that they qualify for the said scholarship.

Currently, Northern Mindanao has more than 2,037 college scholars who are enrolled in the different State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) duly recognized by CHED.

Pantawid Pamilya is a human development program of the national government that invests in the health and education of the poor households by providing monthly cash grants to beneficiaries, provided that they comply with the set of conditions required by the program.

As for his community, Marlon disclosed that DSWD is one of the government agencies “that help people build a peaceful life.”


Marlon with Vice President for Student Affairs of MUST, Dr. Juana Dela Rama (fourth from left); ESGP-PA focal person of DSWD, Cherrylou Acobo (extreme right); and fellow scholars of MUST.


With DSWD’s intervention, Marlon believes that “Kaya ko ang Pagbabago dahil sa tulong nga Pantawid Pamilya at DSWD.” (I can make a difference because of the help of Pantawid Pamilya and DSWD.”###smu

Written by Oliver Badel Inodeo, DSWD Northern Mindanao

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Partner awards RD Solamillo

The Philippine School of Science and Technology in Cagayan de Oro City has awarded Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo, Regional Director of DSWD Northern Mindanao, ‘for making a huge difference in the life of the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya.’ The school, a TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) accredited, trains Pantawid Pamilya household members under the Skills Training for Employment and Productivity, and Partnering Scheme of the Sustainable Livelihood Program of DSWD.

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Travel Clearance for Minors

Required Documents to Support Application for Certificate of Travel Abroad for Minors:

I. Travel Clearance

1. Duly accomplished application form

2. A copy of NSO Birth Certificate

3. Notarized Affidavit of Consent signed by both parents (with valid IDs/passports)

Written consent signed by both parents if minor has a previous clearance from the DSWD or his / her parents personally appear in our office presenting their valid ID card. Faxed copy or email (scanned) documents is acceptable if parents are in abroad or in other place.

If parents are abroad, the Affidavit of Consent and support signed by both parents should be authenticated at the nearest Philippine Consulate Office where the parents are, together with a Special Power of Attorney for the person processing the document at the DSWD.

In the Consent of Parents, please indicate the following:

  • Destination
  • Purpose
  • Name of the Traveling Companion
  • Who will shoulder the expenses

4. A photocopy of the Marriage Certificate of the minor’s parents

5. In case of an illegitimate minor, a certificate of no marriage of the Mother (CENOMAR)

6. In case of a deceased parent, a photocopy of the death certificate of either parents

7. In case of abandoned children, Affidavit of 3 Disinterested Persons attesting to the Circumstance of Abandonment of parents/parent (with valid IDs)

8. In case of study abroad, Acceptance from the school where the child is to be enrolled.

9. In case of On-the-Job Training, Conference, Convention / Youth Summit, Study Tours, Sport/School Events, Math and Science Olympiads, a Certification from school and Invitation from the sponsoring organization

10. In case for medical purposes, medical certificate of the child

11. Two (2) pieces passport sized picture of minor taken within the last six (6) months

12. Photocopy of passport of the traveling companion

13. Photocopy of the passport of the minor, if the minor already has a passport

14. Personal Appearance of the minor at the DSWD office for assessment / interview of the social worker

15. Assessment Report of the Social Worker where the applicant is residing:

  • Iligan City – Ms. Evelyn Madrio (City Social Welfare and Development Office of Iligan City)
  • Misamis Occidental – Mr. Christopher Requina (Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office of Misamis Occidental)
  • Parts of Misamis Oriental-District 2, Gingoog City, and Camiguin – Ms. Rosanel Pague (DSWD Field Office)
  • Bukidnon Province – Ms. Mayetta Dayata / Ms. Hacelyn Barrero (Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office of Bukidnon)

16. Payment of P300.00 per travel clearance issued.


II. For Subsequent Traveler

1. Certificate of travel previously issued

2. Written consent signed by both parents, if minor already has a passport or is a subsequent traveler already. Faxed copy or email (scanned) documents is acceptable if parents are abroad or in other place.

3. Photocopy of the passport of the traveling companion

4. Two passport sized picture of minor taken within the last six (6) months

5. Assessment Report of the Social Worker where the applicants is residing:

  • Iligan City – Ms. Evelyn Madrio (City Social Welfare and Development Office of Iligan City)
  • Misamis Occidental – Mr. Christopher Requina (Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office of Misamis Occidental)
  • Parts of Misamis Oriental-District 2, Gingoog City, and Camiguin – Ms. Rosanel Pague (DSWD Field Office)
  • Bukidnon Province – Ms. Mayetta Dayata / Ms. Hacelyn Barrero (Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office of Bukidnon)

6. Photocopy of the passport of minor, if minor already has a passport.

*All original documents must be photocopied (1 copy only) and bring all the original documents.

*Processing will take 1-3 days.


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Woman victim: The abuse just had to stop

Mae (not her real name) is a victim of verbal abuse by her ex-boyfriend, whom she thought would be someone she could love and spend the rest of her life with. But she started to think twice about that dream when he started to abuse her emotionally and verbally.

Sige lang ko niya siyagitan ug makasakit nga mga pulong – nga wala kuno koy pulos. Iya kong paka-ulawan sa kadaghanan ug atubangan sa iyang mga barkada (He would shout hurtful things to me – that I was worthless. He would ridicule me in front of the public or when he is with his friends,)” she recalls.

Sa pila ka tuig, iya kong gi-abusar. Ug tungod niana halos mu-tuo na ko nga basin tinuod pud iyang ginapamulong nako. Gikaminusan na pud nako akong kaugalingon (for years, he had been doing that to me. And because of that I started to believe that maybe he was right. I felt ashamed about myself.)”

After being constantly harassed and abused by her ex-boyfriend for almost four years, she finally took the courage to report her case to the authorities.

Naay gamay nga tingog sa akong huna-huna nga gasulti sa ako nga gikinahanglan na gyud nga maundang kini – nga gikinahanglan nako depensahan akong kaugalingon sa legal nga pamaagi. Ang katong tingog maoy naghatag kanako ug kaisog nga mu-report sa otoridad (there was deep voice inside me telling me that this has to stop – that I have to fight for who I am, legally. That voice gave me the courage to finally report my case to the government authorities).”

While her case is currently being handled by the DSWD and the courts, she is now residing at the Regional Haven for Women run by the Department for adult women under very difficult circumstances.

Nakita nako ang akong panimalay dinhi nga nagpahinumdum sa ako nga naa koy pulos – nga ako adunay katungod (I have found a home here where I am reminded that I am not worthless at all, that I am somebody with rights),” Mae says. “Kumpara niadtong mga niagi nga mga tuig, makaingon gyud ko nga arang-arang na ko sa akong gibati ug sa spiritwal nga kabahin (compared to what I have been through for the last few years, I could definitely say that I am getting better emotionally and spiritually).”

Mae is one of the 52 women who are currently residing at the Haven today, receiving counselling, psychological therapy and even medical interventions, while their cases are still being handled. The residents also receive livelihood trainings and seminars to prepare them for their reintegration to their families and communities.

Rosanel Pague, Center Head for the Haven, believes that a lot of women are still out there who are experiencing abuse and exploitation because they are too ashamed to admit that they were victimized. “The first step is to report their case and seek counselling from social workers or from spiritual leaders. Reporting their case is just one of the things that we need to do to stop violence against women.”

Kailangan gyud sila musumbong sa mga otoridad nga gi-abusar sila (they need to report to the authorities that they were abused),” Mae says, referring to the women victims who are too ashamed to do so. “Kay kung dili, magpadayon gyud sila nga magpuyo sa kapildihon ug sa kasakit (because if not, they will continue to live defeated and violated).”

Written by Charmaine P. Tadlas, DSWD

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‘4Ps scholars become academic achievers’

Cagayan de Oro City — Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries are now proving to the public that they are worth the government’s investment.

Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries John Paul Ambaic, 17, and Mae Ann Ternate, 17, are among the eleven academic achievers of the 56 grantees of Expanded Student Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) who were declared by MSU-Naawan as awardees for the 1st semester of the school year 2014-2015.

In a simple ceremony inside the campus’ function house, the university administrators conferred the award with the presence of all Pantawid Pamilya college scholars, DSWD and other stakeholders during the recently concluded ESGP-PA Family Day on February 27, 2015.

A spark of hope

John Paul, a native of Barangay Mahayahay, Manticao, Misamis Oriental and a freshman student of MSU-Naawan taking Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, Major in Mathematics, is ‘thankful to the national government, especially to DSWD, for giving me a chance to achieve my dreams.”

Holding back his tears while talking and sitting beside his mother, John Paul disclosed that when he graduated from high school, he had doubts that we he would be able to attend college because his parents could not afford to pay for the tuition fees.


Now that he is a Pantawid college scholar, John Paul said he is assured of his future. “Makatabang na gyud ko sa akong mga manghod ug ginikanan kung makahuman ko.” (I can help my younger siblings and parents if I finish my studies.)

John Paul is the eldest of three Ambaic siblings, a fate that made him realized that he has a responsibility to finish studies and help his younger siblings finish their study as well.

John Paul’s mother, Lucel, also shared that having his son finish a college degree would mean that  supporting the whole family to lift out from poverty is possible.

With the high expectations coming from his parents, John Paul is not only determined to finish his studies, but, determined to maintain academic achievement.

No more promissory notes

Mae Ann feels a sigh of relief knowing that she will no longer be making promissory notes to the school registrar and cashier after being placed under ESGP-PA this second semester.


Mae Ann, resident of Barangay Gimaylan, Libertad, Misamis Oriental, disclosed that her excellent performance in academic is not guarantee her to finish her studies because her parents could hardly send her to MSU Naawan, a state university in Misamis Oriental, due to financial instability.

Now that she is a scholar, Mae Ann assured her parents and MSU Naawan Board of Regents that she will finish her study with flying colors.

A freshman Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Mae Ann said ‘maka-relax na jud ko, maka-focus nako sa akong pagtuon.’ (I feel relaxed and I can focus on my studies now.)

Third of the four Ternate siblings, Mae Ann considers Pantawid Pamilya as an instrument of the national government to help poor deserving students achieve their dreams. “Gihimo jud nga instrumento ang Pantawid Pamilya aron makatabang sa mga pobre.”

ESG-PA is a college scholarship program of DSWD, Commission on Higher Education and Department of Labor and Employment for Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries.

In Northern Mindanao, there are 2,037 scholars under the Program enrolled in eight CHED accredited state college and universities.###smu

Written by Oliver Badel Inodeo, DSWD Northern Mindanao


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Workers trained for Second Round Assessment

The first batch of the newly-hired workers are now being trained in preparation for the Second Round Household Assessment of the Listahanan formerly known as the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), which is scheduled within the first semester of this year.
According to Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo, Regional Director of the DSWD Field Office X, the trained area coordinators will be deployed in various areas in Northern Mindanao. Part of their responsibilities will be handling area supervisors and enumerators in the areas where they will be deployed.
Modules on how they will be handling various scenarios they and their teams will encounter in the field during the conduct of the household assessment are discussed in the four-day training.
Ms. Morena Fernandez, Chief of the Policy and Plans Division, reminded the area coordinators to take their roles and responsibilities seriously as their function in the household assessment is crucial. She also emphasized to them the high hopes that the Agency has for them as they have been the chosen few among the thousands of applicants in the region.
The training aims to equip the area coordinators with the necessary skills before they will be deployed in the field, and to ensure that they would be able to come up with reliable and exact data from the households that will be assessed. They are also expected to be part of the training team in the next batches of training for area supervisors and enumerators which will be conducted by province in the succeeding weeks.

Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) is the information management system that the government uses in identifying who and where the poor households are needing the various programs and services of the government and other major stakeholders. The database of Listahanan is being centrally managed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Written by Mitzie S.Santiago, DSWD

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March 2015