From Rubbish to Works of Art

The Filipino creativity is among the best there is. Through time, Filipinos have captured the attention of the world for their limitless imaginations and originality. The Filipino has been admired in the field of the arts and crafts for coming up with extraordinary works, using simple yet interesting mediums/materials.

Imagine having to come up with great pieces of art using trash; materials one would consider already useless. In a world where people waste more than what is required for sustenance, having to come up with ways to dispose them is quite difficult, especially disposing waste properly.

But how about using trash and turning it to something useful? It would be great not just for the people who throw away the waste, but also for Mother Nature. This was what Mrs. Tomasa Baptista Galbinez has come to perfect.

Mrs. Tomasa Baptista Galbinez or Nana, as what she is fondly called in their community, is a retired teacher, and a community volunteer for the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS Project) in Poblacion, Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte. At 83, she is among the oldest community volunteers for Kalahi-CIDSS. She has been a volunteer for Kalahi-CIDDS for 3 years, but not even once has age been a problem for her even if being a volunteer requires ones presence in the field; eating up time and energy.

Nana has found passion in volunteering. She said that it was in volunteering that she has found her purpose since she believes that one’s existence is given meaning by what one does. It was also in Kalahi-CIDSS that she got to do another thing that she was very passionate about, and this was being artistic.

“When we were doing our Drainage Canal sub-project for cycle 2, I noticed we were using up a lot of cement. Since I was monitoring the project daily, I had some ideas on how to minimize the trash we had in the area”, Nana said.

There were between 40-70 sacks used per day, and what others would see as garbage, she saw something else. She noticed that the yarn used in sewing the cement sacks close were similar to the twine she used in knitting, something she loves doing. What she did was collect all the sacks used. She then collected all the yarn from the sacks and kept them until they were enough for a piece of knitted masterpiece.

Soon enough, she was able to collect enough, and right after she finished her job on the field volunteering, she would work on her masterpieces at home. During the 2nd cycle of implementation alone, she was able to make four (4) knitted table covers and three (3) scarfs made out of intricate designs.

During the 3rd cycle implementation, she was able to do more, even Kapatagan municipal mayor, Atty. Benjie Y. Baguio was ordering table covers from her, because he found the designs unique.

“I was doing it as my hobby, and never did I ever imagined people to buy my work, and what was amazing was no less than Mayor Baguio bought some of my work”, Nana shared happily.

But she did not stop there. She noticed that the inner covering of the cement sacks was made of material similar to that used in making brown envelopes but were sturdier. She made use of the material, making envelopes out of them, using it in filing Kalahi-CIDSS documents. She even shared the envelops to other barangays implementing the project.

Other volunteers in their community were amazed of how Nana was able to do all those things at her age. They were inspired of how resourceful she was. “I am doing all of these because I believe our community will benefit from Kalahi. I can do what I love with Kalahi, and I get materials from the garbage in the project”, Nana jokingly shares.

Indeed Nana was able to do things she definitely loves while volunteering for Kalahi-CIDSS. It is amazing how an old lady would be able to stay under the heat of the sun all day, monitoring progress of their sub-project, and right after that still has the energy to do what she does best; knit. Her contribution to Kalahi-CIDSS is priceless.

Nana has ensured that sub-project implementation was kept environmental friendly by limiting waste materials in the area. But above all, she made the most of her significance in the project by simply being an inspiration to everyone. Just like her masterpieces, she leaves people in awe of how well she has lived her life; in service.

Written by Marko Davey D. Reyes, DSWD

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Why Community-Driven Development?

There is no denying that amidst countless efforts of the Philippine Government and its different attached agencies, the struggle for attaining and maintaining the best program that would ensure sustainable growth and development for our communities is still up for debate. The government is still addressing pressing issues that has contributed to problems of poverty all throughout the country. But with every solution possible, there also lies every possible contributing factor for failure.

To defeat poverty, it is necessary to fight factors contributing to its existence. To defeat it, a comprehensive action must be done; an effective action that will end the intergenerational poverty cycle in the country.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development, the country’s lead agency in the promotion of the rights and welfare of the underprivileged, has strategically molded an approach to address poverty through its Tatsulo Program. Among the programs, the Kapit-Bisisg Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services Program (Kalahi-CIDSS), a Community-Driven Development project, is implemented to target poor communities to have the opportunities to resolve their own problems that contribute to their being poor.

The Community-Driven Development (CDD) is a developmental program approach which is proven and effective in promoting community empowerment; especially poor communities. It is a participatory type of development program where communities are encouraged to participate in governance to ensure that their needs are properly addressed and that resources are allocated and used for the community’s needs.

DSWD in Northern Mindanao has been implementing CDD through its Kalahi-CIDSS Program. Poor municipalities in Lanao del Norte and Misamis Occidental have been recipients of the program.

Communities who implement Kalahi-CIDSS appreciate the uniqueness of the project. Its multi-stakeholder approach ensures an inclusive delivery of the needed services to poor communities. Local Government Units (Provincial/Municipal/Barangay), Civil Society/Non-Government/People’s Organizations, beneficiaries, work hand in hand to implement the project.

Ana C. Defamente, a Kalahi-CIDSS volunteer from San Isidro, Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte was ecstatic on how she felt for Kalahi-CIDSS during one of the project’s culmination activities in Kapatagan.

“Kini ra gyud nga programa nga ang benepisyaryo magbuot unsay angay idapat ug ponduhan nga project. Ang kwarta, ang katawhan pa gyud ang maghawid. Anaa pay mga trainings sa amo nga mga volunteers aron makakat-on mi unsaon pagpadagan ug proyekto sa goberno. Makasiguro gyud ka nga dghan ka makat-unan sa proyekto”, Ana shares with so much enthusiasm. (This is the only program where the beneficiaries are themselves the ones who would choose what project to make and fund. The budget is being handled by the people. And there are trainings to capacitate volunteers on how to run government projects. You can really ensure that you learn a lot from this project.)

The project also ensures strengthened ties with Local government units. In the process, CDD supports poor LGU’s in the local development. Through a participatory process, LGUs become more effective leaders in addressing the needs of the community while the community members are empowered to participate in governance and demand social accountability from their leaders.

Atty. Benjie Y. Baguio, municipal mayor of Kapatagan acknowledges the impact of the project in the progress his municipality is accomplishing right now. He says that the project has encouraged participation of communities in various programs and services of the LGU. He says that true progress would only be attained by Kapatagan if people themselves would be included in planning and implementation of programs.

Again, to defeat poverty, it is necessary to fight factors contributing to its existence. This will never be done by a few people or the government alone. It is quite necessary that the people who are directly affected be given the opportunity to be capacitated so that they themselves be able to break themselves from the horrific grip of poverty.

So, why Community-Driven Development? Because it gives the poor the opportunity to do something about their problems. CDD ensures that progress is inclusive. It ensures everyone the opportunity to be part of the solution. It ensures transparency and accountability. This has been proven effective through the implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS; together with the other Anti-poverty programs of the Department, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and the Sustainable Livelihood Program.

Written by Marko Davey D. Reyes, DSWD

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Not just “housewives” anymore: Lanao women take on the lead to community development

Lanao del Norte – Gina works on her clients, day in and day out. She goes around each day, attending to her patrons; working on manicures and pedicures, she does it with all humility and a big glaring smile.

Gina is among the many women we have today who are challenged with the realities of life; challenges of customs and traditions that limit women from opportunities. But this was a thing of the past, says Gina. Now, women in her hometown are empowered to rise from the stereotyping of yester-years.

Gina Pagente is a 40 year old resident of Barangay. Poblacion, Kauswagan, this province, married to Rolly for 15 years now, and a mother to a teen daughter. She has expended her days obliging on her role as a mother and wife, basing her worth in the family and society on how well she does her job as a woman.

Having to live in a community of mixed cultures (a mix of Maranao and Bisayans) there is always that tendency for conflict to brew within communities. She says that even though she was a Christian, they are submitting themselves to the customs and traditions of the Maranaos to eliminate any chance of building conflict within their community.

According to Maranaos in their neighborhood, the Maranaos are patriarchal; men heads over the family and community, and women are in charge of the household. Seldom do women work or even expose themselves in the community.

This practice is cascaded down from generations to generations, and even cascaded to the community, to the Bisayans in their barangay.

Gina shares that because of this, there is that tendency for women to be dependent on their husbands; an alarming matter she says, because there are families who are not well off, who needs more than a pair of hands working to provide for the family’s needs.

Rolly, her husband works as a Civilian Security Staff with the Municipal Government Unit of Kauswagan. She shares that because her husband’s job is temporary and that his salary is sometimes delayed, they have problems budgeting for food and their other needs.

“To help in raising income, I have tried learning how to do fingernail cleaning – pedicure and manicure. In this way I would be able to have additional income to cover other expenses for the family,” Gina shares.

Slowly but surely, she was able to raise money to buy basic materials for pedicure and manicure. She did home services since she is unable to work regularly at parlors because she still needs to attend to her husband and child. But what she was earning was covering ground for their family’s expenditure.

But since she was relying on regular patrons, there were days when she had no customers. There were times when she was unable to buy new materials until she finally ran out of nail coloring materials, and she couldn’t afford to sharpen her materials.

With little opportunities for women within their municipality, and even in their neighboring municipalities, she said it was hard to find another job when her previous job failed.

She was again a stay-home mom. She had a lot of time on her hands. So much time that she was able to be part of the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) Project under the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Service (Kalahi-CIDSS) Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in the municipality of Kauswagan.

She was amazed of the mechanics of the program. She said that it was unique since it was them who would implement the program and handle the funds directly, and that she was attracted to it because of the conduct of the Participatory Situational Analysis where they were the ones who would determine what sub-projects to fund, depending on the community’s needs. But what she embraced the most was that the project ensured equal rights and opportunities both to men and women.

Poblacion started implementing their drainage canal since the village has been suffering from problems with flash floods for a very long time. People were hired to work on the sub-project. Gina was fortunate enough to be hired as a timekeeper at the sub-project site. For a few days, she was earning two hundred pesos.

“At least I would be proud to say that I am part of the project, because I volunteered for it and because I worked on it”, she said.

In the four days that she was able to work as a timekeeper, she was able to raise money to buy nail polish materials and sharpen her pedicure/manicure kit. This led her to take on her pedicure/manicure job again. Soon enough, she was able to accept home services again. The income she earned was more than enough to put food on their tables and spent on the different needs of her child in school.

“One good thing was that women were allowed to work for an infrastructure project. We have been used to women being underestimated when working in this type of work, especially working with a lot of men,” Gina said.

Even Rolly is thankful that Gina was able to help them with their needs through the opportunities she had with Kalahi-CIDSS. He says that rather than spend her time at home, she spends it volunteering, and that he was happy seeing Gina happy.

Gina thanks Kalahi-CIDSS for all the opportunities she had in being part of the program. She says that Kalahi has drawn the resiliency in her. “With all the problems we have in our lives, Kalahi reminds me that as long as I am alive, there is always an opportunity to defeat poverty. I CAN make a difference,” Gina says with conviction.

The Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA project has been advocating gender equality in the project implementation. There are equal opportunities ensured both for men and women, regardless of what the job is, as long as men or women are capable of doing the job. In fact, several Maranao communities have adopted this practice, allowing women in working in the field, specifically during the sub-project implementation.

To date, Gina Pagente is among the 116 women laborers equally compensated for their services during the PAMANA implementation in the region. This number grows by the minute as the PAMANA project continues to empower communities with history of armed conflict.

Together with the DSWD’s promotion of peace in the region are efforts of promoting gender sensitivity in PAMANA implementing communities.

Written by Marko Davey D. Reyes, DSWD

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RRCY Celebrates Fire Prevention Month with Fire Brigade Training

Gingoog City – The DSWD Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY) at Gingoog City joined in the celebration of the Fire Prevention Month by conducting fire brigade training, participated by the residents of the said institution last March 14, 2014.

Residents and staff from the center were provided with different activities and lectures to enhance their knowledge and promote necessary skills in fire prevention and response.

This year’s celebration, with the theme “Isulong ang Kaunlaran Sunog ay Iwasan, Kaalaman at Pagiingat ay Kailangan” was aimed at equipping citizens with the necessary information on how to prevent and handle fire incidents. Senior Inspector Ronald L. Quimson, City Fire Marshal of Gingoog City avidly led the activity, together with the other Bureau of Fire Protection officers, FO2, Julius A Adiba, and FO3 Michael G. Mandin.

The whole day activity started off with the discussion of the importance of the month-long celebration, especially to members of the community, emphasizing active involvement of the citizenry in prevention of fire incidents.

Fire drills and fire incident simulations were done during the activity, where residents were taught about fire prevention in various settings, classification of fire and what responses are applicable for each classified fire, firefighting techniques, and trainings on how to use various equipment in responding to fire incidents.

At the end of the training, the members of the Bureau of Fire protection encouraged residents to be firefighters someday, adding up that being a firefighter is a very noble act, worthy of recognition.

The DSWD Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY) is a rehabilitation center for youth/children in conflict with the law and is currently catering to 42 clients with pending criminal cases from all over Region X.

Written by Marko Davey D. Reyes and Rosita B. Orillo, DSWD

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DSWD to Conduct Orientation to 2014 GPBP Implementing Municipalities

Cagayan de Oro – Three teams will be fast tracking the conduct of the Grassroots Participatory Budgeting Process (GPBP) Project Orientation for 2014 implementing municipalities/cities under the Community-Driven Development (CDD) modality. This is the first activity to signal the implementation proper of the GPBP project in new municipalities and cities in Northern Mindanao.

Three (3) Teams composed of Regional Project Management Office staff from the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) will be conducting the Orientation in municipalities/cities in Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental and Lanao de Norte.

Topics to be discussed during the said orientation covers the roles of the different stakeholders (eg. Local Government Units, Barangay LGU, Civil Society Organizations, etc.) during the project implementation.

Another topic covers the Modified Community Empowerment Activity Cycle (CEAC), the activities that comprise the implementation of the CDD, which covers activities from social preparation stage, volunteer pool capacity trainings, implementation proper of funded sub-projects and preparation of the Operations and Maintenance plan.

Also included in the orientation are the Engineering and Financial systems, which has a unique set-up because of its community participation/multi-stakeholder approach which ensures transparency and accountability among those part of the project implementation.

Bukidnon areas include the municipalities of Kalilangan, Kibawe, Kitaotao, Pangantucan, Libona, San Fernando and Sumilao. Misamis Oriental areas include Cagayan de Oro City, Claveria, Gitagum, Medina, Opol and Talisayan, while Lanao del Norte areas include Kauswagan, Lala, and Poona Piagapo.

GPBP, formerly known as the Bottom Up Budgeting Process (BUB) has been entrusted to the DSWD’s CDD Program for the 2nd straight year. 2013 implementation includes municipalities of Kalilangan, Kitaotao, Malitbog – (Bukidnon), Mahinog – (Camiguin), Bonifacio, Oroquieta City, Tangub City – (Misamis Occidental), Poona Piagapo and Salvador – (Lanao del Norte). Twenty two (22) sub-projects are being implemented for the 2013 cycle, which will almost triple in the 2014 cycle.

Written by Marko Davey D. Reyes, DSWD

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Free Career Service Exam Tutorial/Review for DSWD Staff

Cagayan de Oro – DSWD Field Office 10 employees taking the Civil Service – Career Service Examination on April 6, 2014 are up for a treat as the Human Resource Management Unit (HRMU) has effected a free tutorial/review classes for field office staffs.

Mrs. Christine Leyva, Human Resource Management Officer, said that the initiative was in response to worries of several employees who will be taking the exam because they don’t have the convenience to study/review regularly but are cramming on free time during the weekends.

Regional Director, Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo acknowledged the initiative stating that it was a good activity that would promote career advancement among Department staff. Director Solamillo supported the tutorial classes by approving Special Orders for the volunteers who would be handling the classes.

The tutorial/review classes, which will conclude on the 4th of April, 2014, are being handled by Ms. Glofelia J. Uayan (Abstract Reasoning), Ms. Divorrah Meneses and Mr. Philip Waye Mappala (English & Grammar Composition), and Mr. Guilbert Emverda (Math), all of whom have volunteered to be part of the initiative, seeing the importance of the review classes to their fellow employees.

The group, which is composed of 36 reviewees, meets Mondays to Fridays after office hours.

Written by Marko Davey D. Reyes and Ms. Christine Z. Leyva, DSWD

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Kalahi-CIDSS Culmination in Kapatagan, LDN: Showcasing Convergence

Lanao del Norte – “Ang mga programa sa DSWD usa sa dakong rason sa pag-lambo sa Lungsod sa Kapatagan.” This is the statement of Atty. Benjie Y. Baguio, Municipal Mayor of Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte in his opening speech during the conduct of the Kalahi-CIDSS Project Culmination Program held at the Municipal Gymnasium in Kapatagan last March 8, 2014.

The Culmination Activity was graced by no less than Department of Social Welfare and Development Assistant Secretary Camilo G. Gudmalin, who was pretty much impressed from the feat Kapatagan has achieved in three (3) cycles of the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS).

The program highlighted the impact of the Kalahi-CIDSS project to communities in Kapatagan. The Municipality was able to implement 3 cycles of the program, completing 34 sub-projects (infrastructure projects) under the Kalahi-CIDSS Additional Financing, 24 school building/day care centers funded by the AusAID, and 3 LGU funded sub-projects completed using the Kalahi-CIDSS system.

Beneficiaries and stakeholders also shared their experiences volunteering for the project and shared how the program has empowered them and their communities to face challenges that have factored in problems of poverty in their communities.

The Municipal LGU and Barangay LGU has also expressed their gratitude to the Department stating that the Kalahi-CIDSS program has aided in providing their Barangays and the Municipality a venue to address their deficits due to budget constraints.

DSWD Assistant Secretary Gudmalin noted how well stakeholders managed to work hand in hand to make the program successful. He commended the united efforts of the Provincial government of Lanao del Norte, the LGU of Kapatagan and the different Barangay Units for their support (technical and cash counterpart) and all the volunteers from the different barangays who have unconditionally worked through sun and rain just to complete their sub-projects.

With the completion of these sub-projects, there is an increase of the supply side for the other programs of the Department, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) to be exact.

Before, 4Ps beneficiaries had a hard time complying with their conditional obligations because of lack facilities within their communities. Now, there are schools, day care centers and health stations within a few steps away from their homes, all because of Kalahi-CIDSS. As for SLP, beneficiaries are able to use Solar Dryers from Kalahi-CIDSS for their products; a convenient help for their livelihood.

Assistant Sec. Gudmalin was all hopes that the Kalahi-CIDSS sub-projects would be well taken care of so that the next generations would be able to benefit from it.

The Kalahi-CIDSS is one of the Convergence Strategy programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development which utilizes the Community-Driven Development approach in the project implementation. Through the program, a Community Empowerment Activity Cycle (CEAC) is employed for the community to define their utmost needs, conceive a plan of resolving their problems, and capacitating volunteers so that they will be competent in implementing sub-projects that will answer to their necessities.

Written by Marko Davey D. Reyes, DSWD

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DSWD FO 10’s Celebration of Week-long Anniversary Successful

Cagayan de Oro City – With emphasis on coordinated efforts in stepping up to heed to the challenges of the times, the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Northern Mindanao celebrated its 63rd anniversary with the theme, “Kaagapay sa Pagbangon at Bagong Simula”.

The week-long celebration kicked-off last January 27, 2014 with a celebratory mass followed by the opening of the Sports Festival that showcased the importance of sportsmanship and camaraderie that would definitely come in handy in promoting Convergence among staffs of the different programs of the department.

The Field Office staff were divided evenly to four (4) groups for the Sports Fest, who in their capacity tried to out play and outwit opposing teams to win in the various ball games. But at the end of the day, the teams still managed to relieve the importance of the games, which was fellowship and solidarity.

The celebration climaxed with the culmination activity (Gala Night) on the 30th of January, 2014 in Cagayan de Oro City.

The celebration was a formal dinner which showcased the different successes of the department, including the acknowledgment of the different partners from the region in the different endeavors in 2013. Retirees and awardees of the field office were also recognized for their undying support and contributions to the department.

Regional Director, Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo, focused her message on the department’s thrust to be the country’s premiere foundation of social welfare services, taking into account the theme for the celebration which aims at the department’s lead on the relief and rehabilitation efforts on calamity-struck communities and impoverished population.

Atty. Solamillo emphasized the big role of the department in stepping up to the challenges of the social needs of the Filipino people in these “ever changing times” we have right now.

The 63rd DSWD Anniversary celebration in the region was a success thanks to the cooperation of the DSWD field office staff and the collaboration of the different committees who prepared for the programs and activities under the guidance of the Regional Director.

Written by: Marko Davey Reyes, DSWD

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September 2021