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LDN Family is NorMin’s Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya

A family from Lanao del Norte province is the official nominee of Northern Mindanao to the national elimination of Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya 2013.
A native of Barangay Libertad, Kauswagan town of the said province, the Mabanta Family bested four regional nominees coming from Bukidnon, Camiguin, Misamis Occidental and Misamis Oriental provinces.
The Mabanta Family will compete other regional nominees throughout the country this August.
Dagoc Family of Kuguita, Mambajao, Camiguin earned second place while the nominee from Balintawak, Kibawe, Bukidnon got the third slot.
The event aims to recognize families who have religiously followed the conditions of the program and to recognize families who embody or demonstrate adopting the Filipino values and strong family ties.
Written By Oliver Badel Inodeo, Pantawid Pamilya Information Officer

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Livelihood improves in Sapang Dalaga

The municipality of Sapang Dalaga is known to be one of the sources of the food basket of Misamis Occidental. Coco farming, fruits, and vegetables growing and aquamarine products are the main source of people’s income of the municipality.

The Boundary 4P’s SKA, which is composed of 30 Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries, is one of the Self-Employment Assistance Kaunlaran – Association of the Department of Social Welfare and Development based in Boundary, Sapang Dalaga, Misamis Occidental.

Through the DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program, which provides capability building, technical and financial assistance to individuals who are interested to improve their family economic status, the Boundary 4Ps SKA has availed the seed capital assistance for their fruit vending, a small scale business to augment additional family income as one of the income generation project.

The scheme identified by its members is fruit buying and selling. The products are bananas, lansones, durian, marang, papaya, and other fruit trees available in the area.

Aside from receiving cash grants from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, which focuses on investing human capital by allowing families to send their children to school and to health centers for regular check-ups, the same members are now enjoying benefits through the Sustainable Livelihood Program. Apparently, their products sold are now highly demanded throughout the area which stabilized their livelihood and income.

The Sustainable Livelihood Program generates greater impact on poverty reduction, maximize the resources and enhance the local skills, knowledge, and collaborative actions between stakeholders for sustainability of outcomes.

Written by Ma. Prima O. Aba, Project Development Officer, and Charmaine P. Tadlas, Regional Information Officer

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Regional General Assembly Captured Moments

Regional General Assembly Captured Moments

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office X recently conducted its Regional General Assembly last June 26, 2013 at Chali Beach Resort, Cugman, Cagayan de Oro City. The once in two years activity is an important event to update the department on the latest news and important matters affecting the staff and management in the field office.

The one day activity was filled with interesting activities that surely provided the DSWD employees with the necessary knowledge and important information very much needed to be effective in working with the agency.  Ms. Purita Santa, Assistant Regional Director for Administration welcomed all participants to the activity and wished that the event be fruitful so that the department may benefit from the said gathering.

During the said activity, important matters were discussed/presented. Ms. Portia Roldan, OIC-Chief of the Institutional Development Division presented to the body the latest on the Performance-Based Incentive System-Performance Based Bonus. Ms. Roldan emphasized that the bonus will be given to personnel bureaus or delivery units in accordance to their contribution to the accomplishment of the department’s over-all targets and commitments.

Next presenter was Mr. Joseph Manuel Aguja, Training Specialist II who presented the Feedback Report Template, the proper way of completing requirements for any department staff who would be having  official travel for trainings, workshops, and seminars. Ms. Christine Leyva, Human Resource Development Unit also presented Memorandum Circular No. 6, series 2012 or the Strategic Performance Management System, an important tool at monitoring the competence and effective services of the employees of the department.

ARDA Santa then discussed policies and procedures for department employees traveling abroad. Several misconceptions and matters were clarified during the presentation, which definitely enlightened the agency employees on rules and regulations covering government employees regarding the matter.

A special presentation was also given by Ms. Aloha Jaudian, Representative from the Department of Labor and Employment who shared information about the Kasambahay Law, which definitely gave the DSWD employees a clearer picture of how the law works.

Issues and concerns were then discussed to ensure that operations at the field office would be as smooth as possible. Add to the day good food and exciting games and prizes, the Regional General Assembly was definitely a success. A whopping 165 employees attended the activity, all in the mood for ensuring unity and camaraderie in the workplace.

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DSWD advocates laws on Solo Parents’ and Domestic Workers’ Welfare

Fuelled with the felt needs of being equipped and updated with the existing different major legislations, the Department of Social Welfare and Development conducted Advocacy Forum on June 21, 2013 held at Cagayan de Oro City.

The forum was attended by 50 participants consists of Local Social Workers, and Solo Parents advocates as well as people’s organization representatives.

The invited speaker is presently the Deputy Provincial Prosecutor of Misamis Oriental specialized in Family Court cases, Atty. Malou Romualdo- Sumalpong. She clearly emphasized that Republic Act No. 8972-An Act Providing for the Benefits & Privileges to Solo Parents & their Children, Appropriating Funds therefore & for other purposes.

This Act declares that it is the policy of the State to promote the family as the foundation of the nation, strengthen its solidarity & ensure its total development. The law was enacted to response to the growing number of solo parents who find it difficult to cope with the effects of solo parenting.

Furthermore, the speaker thoroughly shared the details of the new law on Republic Act No. 10361 also known as “The Batas Kasambahay.” The law elaborates the new approved rights & privileges of the domestic workers and employment terms and conditions as stipulated in the Memorandum of Agreement.

Written by Hacelyn B. Barrero, Focal Person

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DSWD Field Office X Participates in the 2nd Northern Mindanao Career Advocacy Congress

The DCAREER ADVOCACY CONGRESSepartment of Social Welfare and Development – Field Office X participated in the recently concluded 2nd Northern Mindanao Career Advocacy Congress held last May 24, 2013, at Pryce Plaza, Cagayan de Oro City.

Represented by the DSWD – FO X Human Resource Management Unit, the whole day affair was conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment – X and participated by various regional government agencies, guidance counselors and school administrators from various private and public schools around the region, representatives from the local government units, the media, and other stakeholders.

The Career Advocacy Congress aims to strengthen the labor trends in the region through strengthened cooperation and partnerships with the various stakeholders in the region.  Ms. Christine Z. Leyva, Unit Head of the Human Resource Development Unit, DSWD FO-X saw the Advocacy Congress as a welcoming development, especially that the activity could now be a venue for the department to introduce existing and upcoming projects and programs.

Ms. Leyva took the opportunity to introduce to the participants the forthcoming implementation of the National Community-Driven Development Program the department will carry out starting July 2013.  “The Career Advocacy Congress is the perfect venue for us to introduce the NCDDP and also a venue to promote the job opportunities for the said program since we will be hiring more than 400 employees in implementing the region-wide project,” Ms. Leyva said.

The conduct of the 2nd Northern Mindanao Career Advocacy Congress was just among the Inter-Agency partnership activities in the region that aims to promote development and sustainability in Northern Mindanao.  Participants of the said activity has seen the significance of the activity and are hopeful that there will be more activities such as this one that will follow in the future.

“The activity does not only showcase programs and job opportunities of the various government agencies and the private sectors, but a good venue in strengthening Private-Public Partnership that will ensure harmony and cooperation among stakeholders in improving lives of people in Northern Mindanao especially in developing tools that will aid career paths for our youth in the region,” Ms. Leyva said.

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To say that the conflict situation in Northern Mindanao is the cause of poverty in the region, especially in Lanao del Norte is an understatement. There is more to the problem of poverty in the region than the existing rift between the Maranaos and the Christians. What is bringing about the problem is more likely the status quo that both groups will never co-exist and live in harmony, and that the problem will persist because of the different stories to the situation.

This may be true and will always be true if not for the inaction of those directly affected.  If the people in the region lose all hope of having a more peaceful and harmonious relationship with those they share almost everything with, then the next generations will suffer the hardest. But believers fend off what skeptics strongly consider inevitable. Believers still hope that the problem will only become a thing of the past.  Believers hold on to a dream that one day, everyone will live in harmony and that religion or race will not be the determining factor for partnership and solidarity among communities in the region.

This dream is what the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA Pillar 2) Program brings to the equation. The national government’s program and framework for peace and development which is implemented in areas affected by conflict and communities covered by existing peace agreements is now in partnership with Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services(Kalahi-CIDSS). Now, the government can push on the delivery of basic needs to municipalities and communities affected by armed conflict in the region.

Mateo R. Benitez Sr., a volunteer for the program shares his stories of hardship, uncertainties and hope.  Stories of the endeavors he had volunteering for the Kalahi-CIDSS (PAMANA) project.


Manong Mateo is a resident of Barangay Libertad, Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte.  A retired Armed Force of the Philippines combatant, he has had his share of being in the forefront of battle, especially in areas in Mindanao facing armed insurgents said to be one of the causes in the on-going problem of conflict in Lanao del Norte.  Having been retired, he now spends his time doing backyard farming, something he says he does well.

Barangay Libertad is among the few barangays in Kauswagan right along the highway, the first barangay after the municipality of Linamon, LDN.  The community is composed of 90% Christian settlers and only 10% are Maranao.  With the implementation of PAMANA in the area, Manong Mateo, having to have a lot of free time, volunteered for the project and ended up being named as the Project Implementation Team Chair, something he felt uncomfortable in being part of, but still managed to be part of.

FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE (Shared by Mr. Mateo R. Benitez)

Ever since I was a young gentleman, it has always been this way.  There was always that gap between Muslims and Christians.  I remembered when I was serving in the Armed Forces before; it was hell for us when war broke out here in areas in Mindanao, especially Lanao.  It has always been the civilians who are caught off-guard and suffer a lot on these conflicts.  They say it started when Christians started stealing lands from fleeing Muslims evacuating war-torn communities in Lanao.  They said that Christian families who were well-off started titling lands and massive land grabbing left out Muslims squatting on lands they supposed to own before.

If you ask a Christian, he would definitely say they have acquired land through their ancestors or bought it from the true owners. For Muslims/Maranaos, they would definitely claim they owned vast lands in the region only to be stolen from them by educated Christians waving in their faces land titles they do not even know existed.

This is why there are certain barangays or sitios in municipalities in Lanao del Norte that has a bulk of its settlers either Christians or Maranaos.  It is hard to mix them up.  There would definitely be constant quarrelling and violence because of the history of conflict between the two. Even the new generation develops a certain sense of prejudice against one another.  There is that sense of urgency that if we would do nothing about it, this will forever haunt the generations to come.


When PAMANA started out in Kauswagan, we didn’t have any idea what the project was.  We have DILG-led PAMANA and KC PAMANA but both started almost at the same time so we did not have means to gather that much data on how it worked, not until we had our orientation. But what amazed us was the KC PAMANA. It was the first time for a government funded program I have encountered that the community was the one choosing the project to be funded.  Then and there I knew this was going to be a good program for the people of Brgy. Libertad.

For years, our barangay has been suffering from the lack of a good source for potable water. During the Participatory Situational Analysis, hands down, water was the biggest problem for our community.  This prompted everyone to do their best so that our dreams of having water in our barangay would definitely come true. We have had plans of having water system projects before but our biggest problem was that the sources were too far and too dangerous.  It had to pass through Muslim areas, and for a Christian community to benefit from anything from Maranao territory, this was as close to impossible.

We had Php 300,000 pesos for our sub-project – the funding for KC-PAMANA per barangay. For a water system project, this was insufficient. We were told that a water system project would cost more or less a million pesos, and this would depend on how far the water source would be.  With the help of our Kalahi-CIDSS Area Coordinating Team (ACT), we looked for ways to achieve our long awaited opportunity of having potable water in our households.

We had a bit of progress when another neighboring barangay, Brgy. Tacub, also planned of having a potable water system sub-project. This was beneficial for the both of the barangays since we could share funds to spend on looking for a source and after working on the site for the source, just split the lines for both of our barangays later on.  Php 600,000 is way better than Php 300,000.

Another progress for the sub-project was when DILG allowed the use of the DILG-led PAMANA project funds to be merged with the KC-PAMANA funding.  Add to the mix a grant from ASISI Foundation, a Non-Government Organization aiding water system projects in the province and counterpart from the Local Government Unit and the Barangay LGU.  Barangay Libertad and Barangay Tacub now have more than 2 million pesos to fund our water system sub-project.

But amidst these progresses, one thing still hindered the implementation of the sub-project.  We had no source for our water system. No one would dare cross Maranao territory for we all know that this is still a delicate issue since all of us know that the conflict in the area started with territorial disputes.  But Kalahi-CIDSS magic sparked something that all of us never imagined of happening.  During one of the meetings the ACT held attended by Brgy. Captains, Barangay Sub-Project Management Committees, Municipal Inter-Agency Committee and members of the Sanguniang Bayan, problems of each barangay implementing the KC-PAMANA were discussed. Ms. Teofreda Dingal, KC-PAMANA Area Coordinator explained to everyone that even though different barangays were working on different sub-projects, the purpose of having these sub-projects were not just necessarily  to unite people within the community but to unite different communities and barangays.  She said that the aim for the program is to unite everyone in the municipality of Kauswagan, a step at healing wounds brought about by the long struggle of the people of Lanao del Norte in dealing with conflicts of indifference.

When it was time to share our problems, without hesitations, Brgy. Chairman Paruk Panalondong offered to share their resources and allow our barangays to have our source at Sitio Kudal, Brgy. Barason, offering our volunteers safety in their area and also promised us help in working for the sub-project.  We were all astonished to hear this. Indeed, everyone in the room felt the sincerity of all parties after realizing how important the KC-PAMANA project was for the communities in Kauswagan. What we witnessed that day was the start of the process of healing wounds brought about by years of conflict.


Even though we had more than 2 million pesos to fund our potable water system for two barangays, the construction of the reservoir and the distance of the source to our barangays (10 Kms) ate up almost all of our funds.  We decided that everyone from Barangay Libertad and Tacub would do “pahina” (some form of Bayanihan or volunteer work) so we had scheduled volunteers to work on the reservoir and in putting into place the large water pipes from the source to our doorsteps.

We worked from Sunday to Saturday, eight hours a day, for two weeks.  We fought the heat of the sun and the harsh rain, but no one dared giving up.  What drove us to finish our sub-project on time was the determination for our barangays to have potable water the soonest.  We were also touched by the gesture of Maranao residents in the areas we passed through helping us dig holes to place the water pipes and even provided us water to drink.  Indeed, what Chairman Panalondong promised us was fulfilled.  We really saw the effects of KC-PAMANA working as we worked our way towards our barangays, inching closer and closer ate the prize that awaits us at the finish line.

In the end, we had our water.  Something most off us only dreamt of in the past.  But what KC-PAMANA has given us is much more than potable water in our households.  It has given us hope that one day, the conflict situation that has hounded us for years will soon come to an end. Soon, race or religion will no longer be a hindrance for peace and unity but an important tool to unite all of the communities in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte.  Soon, the stories we will tell our children are no longer the stories of division and conflict but stories of success. Stories of how we have overcame our differences for the sake of our future and for progress.

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10,361 children in Northern Mindanao are now reported healthy again by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Previously reported as “malnourished” by the DSWD a year ago through its health assessment, the nutrition status of these children, coming from the five provinces of the region, has now normalized at present.

DSWD’s report revealed that in 2012 about 18.59% of the 94,829 children found in Northern Mindanao were malnourished, and this raised a great concern for the social welfare department.

The Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) was then implemented by the DSWD to provide food to children, particularly those found in the Day Care Centers, in addition to their regular meals.

The DSWD provides augmentation support for feeding programs implemented by the local government units in Day Care Centers through delivery of indigenous foods and/or locally produced foods equivalent to 1/3 recommended energy nutrient intake (RENI).

In addition, the parents, children, and including the caregivers are also given support by improving their knowledge, attitude and practices by educating them on proper nutrition and health education. This way, according to DSWD, will improve and sustain the nutrition status of the children.

The SFP is currently being implemented in all the provinces in Northern Mindanao and the nutrition status of the children in the region has been constantly monitored by the DSWD and the local government units.

Written by Charmaine P. Tadlas, Regional Information Officer

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The Regional Reception Center for the Youth (RRCY) celebrated Independence Day with the theme “KALAYAAN 2013: Ambagan Tungo sa Malawakang Kaunlaran” last June 11, 2013.  Various activities were conducted some of which included a lecture given by SPO2 Loudivina A. Fuentes from the  Philippine  National Police of Gingoog City which was participated in by 54  residents and staff from the Center  .

SPO2 Fuentes stressed to the Center residents that independence can  be achieved not only for  a country but more so individually.  She also encouraged the residents to finish their studies in order for them to become professionals someday.

Requirements for interested aplicants to the Philippine National Police was also discussed.  The residents were refreshed on the importance of celebrating Independence Day as they were also participative and attentive during the discussions. (Marivel T. Oyan/Mitzie Santiago)

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January 2022