Archive | March 1st, 2016

Bajau community receives livelihood skills training

Bajau hands-on training on weaving last February 17 to 19, 2016 in Iligan City

Bajau hands-on training on weaving conducted last February 17 to 19, 2016 in Iligan City (Photo Credits to Mr. Francis Flores)

DSWD staffs with the Bajau participants and their finish products

DSWD staffs with the Bajau participants and their finish products (Photo Credits to Mr. Norman Pacturanan)

Iligan City — The Department of Social Welfare and Development in collaboration with the local government of Iligan City provided a 3-day skills training on weaving to the Bajau community last February 17 to 19, 2016 to contribute to the improvement of their socio-economic status through capacity building that will prepare them in their micro-enterprise ventures and other livelihood opportunities.

The Bajau in the Philippines are often referred to as the ‘sea gypsies‘, people that live not only by the sea, but often on the sea. Officially known as the Sama or Samal, these groups are an indigenous fishing icon and their lifestyles are unique in many ways. The Bajau are traditionally from the numerous islands in and around the Sulu Archipelago. They are heavily drowned around the coastal regions of Mindanao and the northern regions of Borneo. The distraction and conflict in their places of origin caused them to elope and seek refuge from other places, mostly living in the streets.

Begging involving Bajaus have become one of the prominent problems in almost all cities of the country. In Iligan City, the community of Bajau exist for about 10 years now with a population of more than 100 households. Although some of them have already considered fishing as their source of livelihood, majority are still relying on begging for survival.

The project came about through the Bottom-Up-Budgeting (BuB) program where the civil society groups identified this as of poverty related issues of the city. Making this as a priority, through BuB program, the communities such as Bajaus are assured to receive a community-based and need-based projects.

“This training would open not only livelihood opportunities but more importantly it would open a lot of minds and hopefully we can attract more supporters to create more projects similar to these, for our indigenous peoples”, says Mr. Norman Pacturanan, the BuB Focal Person for DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program.

The BuB program implemented through DSWD, sought for alternative means of livelihood for the Bajau taking into consideration their culture and traditions. Nomadic in nature, the department sees the important of giving these people with life-skills related training making it more sustainable.

Written by Jamila M. Taha, DSWD

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Every Child Deserves a Family

Mae Singganon, a worker of the Department of Social Welfare and Development-10 is an Adoptive Parent. She and her husband were former foster parents until they decided to fully adopt a child. Mae said “Nakadecide mi as a couple nga mag adopt ug bata. Nagfoster parents mi, sa kadugayon sa pagstay sa bata nadesisyonan namo nga pirmanente mag sagop ug maghigugma sa bata (We decided as a couple to adopt a child, we were foster parents, as time went by we decided to legally adopt the child under our care to care for and love him).”

Mae also affirms their role as parents to the child “kami sa akong bana, amo gyud giisip nga bahandi siya gikan sa Ginoo, ug wala gyud namo isipa nga lahi siya kaysa amo, kabalo mi nga gikinahanglan gyud sa bata ang paghigugma ug pagamping (I and my husband, we always think that our child is a gift from God, it never crossed or minds that he is different from us, we know that he needs love and care).”

Mae also said “malipayon kaayo ko kay lahi ra gyud ang feeling sa naay bata, double time gyud pirme kay naay trabaho- atiman sa bata, adtu una pag-sweldo – among pirme isulti ‘asa ta mangaon?’ pero karon, magunahay gyud mig uli gikan trabaho kay mahinangop mi sa bata, karon kada sweldo mapaingon na para sa diaper, gatas, ug para savings sa iyang pageskwela (I feel very happy, it’s a different feeling having a child, we always double time because we have work and taking care of the child, before if it’s payday – we always say ‘where do we eat?’, but now, we rush home from work because we miss our child, if it’s payday now, it goes to diapers, milk, and savings for his education).”

Mark Anthony Viernes of the DSWD under the Adoption of the Adoption Resource and Referral Section, said “Siguro ang uban gahuna-huna nga mga adunahan ra ang pwede mag adopt ug bata, unsaon man nato nang daghan kwarta kung dili sila interesadong mu-adopt, dili sila andam nga musagop ug bata, part nasa assessment nga pagabuhaton sa mga social worker”(I think that some have the notion that only the rich can adopt a child, what need do we have of money they are not interested to adopt, not ready to foster a child, this is part of the social worker’s assessment).

“In terms sa financial capability, pwede man pud nato sila mahatagan ug interventions, mga services nga pwede pud nato matabang sa mag-adopt,isa sa assessment nga basehan kung makahatag ba ug basic needs sa bata (In terms of financial capability, we can give interventions, services that we can help those who will adopt, it is also a basis if the couple can provide the child’s basic needs)”,Viernes continued.

Viernes also emphasized the importance of matching the prospective adoptive parents and the child adoptee.

“Importante pud nga naay local matching conference, aduna kitay mga listahan sa mga bata ug sa mga mag-adopt, naa kitay ginatawag ug Regional Child Welfare Specialist Group nga sila ang magreview, abogado, pediatrician, psychologist, social worker, during sa matching, ginatanaw pud ang aspeto sa hulagway sa magtiayon ug sa bata,atong tanawon nga dili ra kaayo maglayo ang pamanit, ug uban pang pisikal nga aspeto, isa na sa mga konsiderasyon (a local matching conference is important, we have a list of children adoptees and a list of prospective adopters, we have what we call as Regional ChildWelfare Specialist Group comprised of a lawyer, a pediatrician, a psychologist and social worker to review during the matching, they also look into the physical aspects of the adopter and adoptee, one consideration is we see to that skin tone and other physical aspects are closely related).”

Jan Rey Flores, of the DSWD also said “ang Foster Care usa ka programa nga gahatag ug alternatibong pamilya para sa kabataan, usa kini ka tempraryo nga pag-alima sa bata tungod kay para mapreparar para sa umaabot nga pagbutang sa iyang pamilya pinaagi sa adoption,kini base sa RA 10165 o ang Foster Care Act of 2012 (Foster Care is a program that provides alternative family care for the children adoptees, it is a temporary care for children to prepare them for their upcoming adoption, this is through the RA 10165 orthe Foster Care Act of 2012).”

“Fulfilled kaayo ang feeling, ug andam na kami pagdakosa among baby unsaon namo pagsulti sa iya – dili namo ihikaw kaniya kay iya nang katungod nga mahibaw-an ang tinuod, palangga kaayo sa akong pamilya  ang among baby (I feel very fulfilled, and we are ready when he grows up and how we are going to tell him, we will not deprive him of it, it is his right to know the truth, our families love our baby too)”, Mae enthused.

Mae concludes with a message for their child “Hinaot nga mudako siya nga buutan, mahinadlukon sa ginoo,ug sa kinatibuk-an maayo nga bata(We hope that he grows up well-mannered, God-fearing, and overall a good child).”

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) celebrates February as the Adoption Consciousness Month. This year’s theme is “Legal na Ampon Ako, AnaknaTotoo”.

DSWD-10 addressed inquiries and concerns about the adoption process through a series of Adoption Desks, February 17 at SM City CDO and February 18 at the Centrio Ayala Mall. Mall-goers’ inquiries were entertained by personnel from the agency’s Adoption Resource and Referral Section.

DSWD is an active advocate of legal adoption in the Philippines. For more information on how to go through the adoption process, they can visit a social worker at DSWD located at Masterson Ave., Upper Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City. You may call us at (088) 858-8134 or Email at You may also visit our website at

Written by Shaun Alejandrae Yap Uy, DSWD

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March 2016