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DSWD, members of TG FM continue to distribute free face masks for poor families

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), together with other member-agencies of the Task Group Face Mask (TG FM), continues to distribute free reusable face masks for the poor constituents of various local government units (LGUs).

A total of 1,125,000 pieces of cloth face masks were turned over to Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso Moreno on February 23. Other LGUs in NCR and in the regions are also scheduled to receive free reusable cloth face masks for distribution to poor families in their respective areas.This is in line with the presidential initiative entitled “Libreng Face Mask Para Sa Masa”.

The project aims to strengthen the government’s strategic plan to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 infections by enabling and encouraging the public to follow the minimum public health standards and also to support the micro, small, and medium enterprises whose operations were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other government agencies comprising the TG FM include the Department of Health, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Procurement Service of Department of Budget and Management, Office of Civil Defense, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and Department of Science and Technology- Philippine Textile Research Institute.Maagap at

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Lovermin Villasis—a story of empowerment

Lovermin Villasis is an all-around construction worker. As unique as his name is, his dedication to DSWD KALAHI-CIDSS is hard to find. In the municipality of San Fernando, Bukidnon, Lovermin is infamous for spearheading KALAHI-CIDSS sub-projects. He’s built/repaired water systems and a three-classroom school building for Indigenous People learners. Each sub-project has a heartfelt story to tell about Lovermin and his zeal. “He never backs down from any challenge until the project is finished” People would describe him.

It all started in 2017 when he became the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee or BSPMC head for the construction of potable water system (gravity driven) from KALAHI-CIDSS in sitio Sagulayan, barangay Kibongcog. Armed with his skill and eagerness to learn the process, the sub-project was completed and provided a better quality of life to the IP community.

When unfinished sub-projects in barangay Bonacao and Namnam seemed impossible to revive, Lovermin was the man of action. But the most challenging was the unfinished Classroom Construction for Lumads (CCL) in sitio Kiranggle, barangay Dao. “The physical accomplishment was about 30%. Only the roofing and flooring were done. Some of the materials were looted,” he said

Aside from the 9-hour mountain climb, armed struggle is also present in the area. No supplier would take the trouble to revamp the project. But not Lovermin.

With the funding from KALAHI-CIDSS, and the support of the local government and the cooperation of the community, the sub-project had a new beginning.

Lovermin formed a group that he called PPMS: Panday, Plumber, Mason Skills. He and his men, together with IP volunteers, were head on to the challenge.

Hours of hiking ascent as men sweat blood to reach Kiranggle to deliver construction materials in this faraway sitio. If a sack of cement costs 260 pesos, manual hauling is at 500. Resources were limited, but Lovermin would beat any skilled man when it comes to planning and strategy—thanks to his friend engineers who guided him all the way.

Every night in sitio Kiranggle, Lovermin and his friends beat their loneliness with a guitar and improvised percussions, as if celebrating the project’s near completion.

The school building was finished and was turned over to the community. An insurmountable goal at first—but insurmountable was never at Lovermin’s vocabulary.

In barangay Little Baguio, potable water system from KALAHI-CIDSS also gave residents new hope, likewise in barangay Kibongcog and Iglugsad just recently, where Lovermin and other stakeholders linked arms in the spirit of bayanihan.

“Ang programa mao’y naghatag kanako og kadasig, nga diay, ang potensyal sa tawo mohinay-hinay og saka. Dili ra diay ko usa ka construction worker, pwede pa diay ko mahimong usa ka manager nga modumala sa proyekto.”

Lovermin believes in the objectives of KALAHI-CIDSS and can vouch for the effectiveness of community-driven development.

“Kung kini pa lang nga konsepto ang gihatag sa atong pangaggamhanan, mao’y silbi systema, wala’y pobre. Tanan nga social services ug panginahanglan sa katawhan mahatag gayod.”

Lovermin is a story to tell about the impact of community-driven development in effectively addressing the needs of a community and empowering people to reach their true potentials.

Lovermin points at the households in barangay Iglugsad who will benefit from the water system project that he led together with barangay officials and community volunteers.

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115M worth COVID-19 response projects to benefit 6 towns in Bukidnon from DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS

132 barangays in six municipalities of Bukidnon will implement COVID-19 response projects this year under the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services-National Community-Driven Development Program (Kalahi-CIDSS NCDDP).

Still adopting the Disaster Response Operations Procedure (DROP) to fast-track pandemic response, DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS-X received Php115, 419,950 worth of funding from the World Bank to implement Community-Based Response for COVID (CBRC) projects in Bukidnon.

This includes construction or rehabilitation of isolation facilities/health centers, purchase of medical supplies, tools, and equipment, repair of water systems, and economic recovery efforts such as cash for work projects, construction of roads, pre and post-harvest facilities, along with others.

Five towns are set to implement CBRC first this year, namely: Dangcagan, Maramag (new Kalahi-CIDSS areas), Damulog, Don Carlos, and Kadingilan. While the municipality of Kitaotao will follow on the second semester.

DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS uses the Community-driven development (CDD) approach in empowering the community to identify and implement projects they most need, especially during this pandemic.

Social preparation activities are underway led by the Regional Program Management Office with its Area Coordinating Teams in place for this year’s program implementation.

Besides CBRC projects, DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS-X is also implementing small-scale infrastructure projects using CDD among Indigenous Peoples (IPs) under the PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (PAMANA) IP-CDD modality.

Moreover, the RPMO sets its eyes on implementing CDD projects for the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-Asa (BP2) Program this year under the Kapangyarihan at Kaunlaran sa Barangay (KKB) modality.

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DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS-X closes 2020 with 271 completed sub-projects

Community-driven development efforts in region 10 reached 97.32% accomplishment for 2020, delivering sub-projects that address communities’ most urgent needs during this pandemic.

Earlier in 2020, Kalahi-CIDSS adopted the Disaster Response Operations Procedure (DROP) under the National Community Driven Development Program (NCDDP), allocating more than Php120 million COVID-19 response sub-projects (SPs) in health, sanitation, and economic recovery.

Out of 213 SPs, 206 are completed (96.71%), and seven are still ongoing in towns San Fernando and Quezon, Bukidnon. Covered areas for DROP also include Damulog, Kalilangan, Kibawe, Kitaotao, Malitbog, and Pantar, Lanao del Norte.

Top 10 Kalahi-CIDSS funded SPs for 2020 include: 86 Isolation/Quarantine Facilities, 48 Access Roads, 27 Tribal Halls, 27 Disaster Equipment/Tools, 19 Water System, 18 Barangay Health Stations, 18 Cash for Work, 8 Pre & Post Harvest Facilities, 5 Electrification / Lighting, and 4 Day Care Centers.

Kalahi-CIDSS Regional Program Management Office-X implements other modalities, namely MAKILAHOK (Strengthening Community Participation in Local Development) completing 19 SPs (100% accomplishment), PAMANA IP-CDD (PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn Community-Driven Development Program for Indigenous Peoples) with 29 SPs completed (100% accomplishment), KKB (Kapangyarihan at Kaunlaran sa Barangay) and CCL (Construction of Classrooms for Lumads) totaling 278 SPs carried out in 15 local government units.

DDSWD Kalahi-CIDSS-10 reports 82.74% grant utilization or Php118 million from the Php 142 million released grant. It has a total of Php156 million grant allocation. The program logs 130,040 households benefitting from the completed SPs, exceeding 1.25% from its target . Furthermore, the sub-project implementations promoted income-generating opportunities to 4,029 workers, with 830 women in paid labor.

The Kalahi-CIDSS NCDDP has secured additional funding for 2021 in 6 municipalities, along with IP-CDD in 11 municipalities (39 barangays) and KKB with 11 municipalities/cities.

DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS uses the community-driven development approach, a proven strategy in poverty alleviation that empowers local communities to identify and implement public projects they most need. It puts people at the center of development as key decision-makers and implementers, thereby facilitating empowerment and effective social service delivery.

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Tribal Hall ignites hope to rebuild IP community

“Kato ra gyung naa’y dakong gugma ang maka-ako og-anhi diri” (Only the bighearted will go through great lengths to come all the way here) said one resident.

Not everyone has the chance to visit this village in their lifetime. Either a 4×4 vehicle or a tough motorcycle with an experienced driver is needed to reach this corner of the landlocked province of Bukidnon.

The journey is not for the timid, it is for the bold to voyage through steep mountain slopes and brooks. With rolling hills, panoramic mountain views and overlooking deep valleys, sojourners will surely relish on the beauty of nature, but will also hold their breaths in the course of an exhilarating ride.

The sun must be up to dry out the muddy pathways from the previous day’s afternoon rain. Along the way, road excavation works are done as heavy equipment operators work all day to pave the roads that are once impassable.

Without a compelling cause, one will never bother to travel this remote area.

They call it barangay Kiulom, in Kitaotao, Bukidnon where the Matigsalug tribe lives. They are a distinct sub-group of the indigenous people known as the Manobos. Nestled between the boundary of Davao and Bukidnon, this self-sustaining indigenous community dwells along the banks of the Salug River (now called the Davao River), thus coining their name from the words matig, meaning “from,” and salug, meaning “river.”

But three years ago, the peaceful Matigsalug community faced a great ordeal. The day before Christmas in 2017, Typhoon Vinta, the deadliest tropical cyclone to strike Mindanao, took a heavy toll in barangay Kiulom, destroying homes, properties, livelihood, and all government-initiated projects in the area. They were grateful for reporting no deaths, but they had to rebuild their lives from scratch. 

Rescue came from the local government and other agencies and non-government organizations. Houses were built courtesy of an NGO and community settlements were established. En route to Kiulom, tiny color-coordinated houses of red and white are a common sight.

Reaching the barangay proper, visitors and residents need to cross the Salug river. Children swimming under the nagging heat of the sun pull a “gakit”, a raft made out of bamboo that will transport anyone to the other side of the river as their little bodies navigate the waters. It’s twenty pesos each for that favor, and the children return to bask in the water like there’s no tomorrow.

In sentro Kiulom, less than a hundred households gather in community. They rely on solar power. Access to clean water is at a nearby spring, and farming is their source of livelihood. Corn, rice, squash, banana, and various root crops are grown with the eager expectation of pulling a harvest after a few months. Then it’s time to come down from the mountains. They only do small-scale farming because they can only carry what they can. If not on a horse, it means a half-day’s hike carrying their produce until they reach the nearest marketplace about 30 kilometers from the highland.

The routine is the same every day. They go farming in the morning and come home by the afternoon. But the sense of community among the Matigsalug tribe is deeply embedded in their culture. After a day’s toil, the tribe gathers to settle any disputes and issues led by a Datu and his council. For the IPs, a harmonious community comes first. Live at peace with everyone. Reconcile and be considerate to others. Humble down.

Recently, this ancient customary practice is held comfortably in a Tribal Hall with tulugan that the IPs built with the help of the DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn Indigenous Peoples-Community-driven Development (PAMANA IP-CDD) program.

The IPs manually hauled Lawaan, a type of hardwood, from the mountains. Construction materials from the lowland barangay were transported through the rivers with the gakit. The IPs gave their blood, sweat, and tears for this project.

For what? For their identity. For peace. For community.

“Di gyud mi makatukod og sama niini kung kami lang” (We can never build something like this on our own) said barangay kagawad Manuel Sumaliray. It’s a dream come true to have the tribal hall in their generation today, he said.

The building serves as a trial court, a worship hall, a community center, and an accommodation for visitors. They will no longer gather under a tree, or at someone else’s abode. They now welcome visitors without worrying where they should spend the night.

The construction of 1-unit Tribal hall with tulugan under the DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS PAMANA IP-CDD is the first government project in barangay Kiulom after Typhoon Vinta.

“Ang DSWD pa gyud ang niantos nga mianhi diri” (It’s only the DSWD who persevered to get here) Tribal secretary Meliton Uban said.

For a long time, the IPs were isolated, ostracized and far removed from societal progress. But if there’s one thing that they’ve learned, it’s realizing that the government is on their side.

“Nakita na gyud sa pangagamhanan nga duna’y mga Indigenous People. (The government has finally recognized the Indigenous Peoples) Tribal Chieftain Datu Berto Andip said.

This recent development gives them hope that more projects will come to aid them in rebuilding their community. Projects that are tailored to their needs, customs, worldview, and value system.

“Kini na ang sinugdanan” (This is the beginning) Datu Andip said with a cheerful tone in his voice.

There are many things to learn from the IPs about keys to life. The value of simple living, the treasure of community, and the virtue of hard work. For the IPs, one cannot eat if he does not work. Faith is indispensable. With it, they are never discouraged. Integrity enhances all other values. Keep this and everything will follow.  

The IPs have also well-understood that careful stewardship of the environment is paramount to their survival and their children’s future.  The land and natural resources on which they depend are inextricably linked to their identity. To them, the spiritual, social, ecological and economic aspects of life go together and not against each other. 

On a typical day, the Philippine flag is seen hanging at the Tribal hall’s balcony. It reminds anyone that despite the peaceful, traditional way of life of the IPs, they are one of the most marginalized populations in the country. Not only access to basic social services remains a challenge in their communities today, they are under a threat because of exploitation and destructive forms of development.

Ms Ma. Shirlene Sario works as the Provincial Officer of the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in Bukidnon. She says that the intangible heritage of the IPs, the wealth of their traditional knowledge is key to solving a myriad of challenges in the country today.

“Government must return to being a true Filipino. If we will just respect our original culture, we will solve a lot of problems”. She said.

Here are the hopes of the Matigsalug IPs. They want a sustainable livelihood earning that can buy coffee, sugar, noodles, soy sauce, salt, cooking oil, garlic and onion to fill their pantry. That’s the ultimate grocery list. They want a better road, better water system, and reliable electricity to charge their handheld radios at night. They wish to have new pairs of their traditional costume, too. They want accessible schools for their children.

When the DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS conquered the distance in barangay Kiulom, it opened a host of possibilities to realize the IPs’ dreams and aspirations. With their unquenchable zeal and resilience to rise from their situation, it pushes others to attempt great things, too.

Together with them, we can be the instrument to realize this.

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Transparency Boards for SLP Association accountability

It is very important to be transparent especially on the financial report aspects in order to sustain an organization. The Project Development Officers of the Sustainable Livelihood Program are responsible within their areas of responsibility to ensure that the association’s livelihood projects are sustained and are functional by introducing social technologies that enable them achieve it. To reach this goal, trust and confidence among its members in the association is an important foundation. With this in mind, SLP association officers of Pantao Ragat create transparency boards in their respective livelihood project sites to showcase the cash flow, projects (proposed/approved), achievements, and other important documentation.

All verifiable information is accessible to all members.

This lessens having to answer many queries, address complaints, and conflicts among members. Any doubts by a member will simply have to verify information posted on the transparency board.

Transparency and accountability should be the culture in every organization especially in all SLPAs. The most important person to lead the organization in setting this culture are our transformational leaders with the guidance of DSWD workers in guiding them towards a sustainable project and self-managing association.

SLPA Officers are tasked to provide updates in posting financial statements and other pertinent documents.

Story and photos contributed by Joanne M. Siete, Project Development Officer II

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DSWD launches ProdukTodo e-Commerce platform

From left to right: Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista, DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) National Program Manager Restituto Macuto, Resellee Chief Executive Officer Marc Concio,and Shopmasy/ RAF International Forwarding Phils. Inc. Marketing Manager Nancy Marquez inspect the featured products of SLP participants during the launching of the e-Commerce platform, “ProdukTodo.”

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), launched its e-Commerce/Online Marketing Platform dubbed as “ProdukTodo” on December 22 at the DSWD Central Office.

ProdukTodo is one of the strategies of SLP to mainstream the products of its participant by providing market linkages and advantageous networks through the application of concepts and principles of social marketing, e-commerce, and other technology-aided methodologies.

Likewise, ProdukTodo serves as the platform, staging area, and market facilitator for eligible and good quality products and services of the SLP Associations and individual program participants.

In his message, DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista highlighted the importance of the initiative to fully support and facilitate the positive changes in the participants’ livelihood development efforts.

Sa pamamagitan ng ProdukTodo, mas malawak ang mararating ng mga produkto ng ating mga participants at magkakaroon sila ng pagkakataon upang mas mapagbuti ang kanilang mga kaalaman, kakayahan, at kasanayan sa mga negosyong kanilang napili at nasimulan,” said the Secretary.

He also congratulated and thanked the implementers of the SLP, together with their partner stakeholders – the Shopmasy and Resellee, for their steadfast efforts in pursuing innovation to address the challenges of translating human capital into gainful financial contributions that will benefit the clients of the Department.

As DSWD’s lead strategy in building capabilities and bridging livelihood opportunities to its target communities and individuals, the SLP has been on a persistent endeavor to further strengthen its network of support and relevant interventions in the context of livelihood development.

As of October 2020, there are 7,778 families provided with assistance under the different modalities of SLP nationwide.

Through SLP, the Department will continue to ensure the provision of gainful livelihood opportunities to members of the poor and marginalized sectors. ###

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DSWD commits continuous aid to informal sector workers in tourism sector

(From left to right) Philippine Tour Operators Association, Inc. President Mr. Cesar Cruz; Light Rail Transit Authority Deputy Administrator Paul Chua; Department of Trade and Industry Small Business Corporation Officer Ms. Grace Dalisay; National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary Rose Edillon; NEDA Undersecretary Mike de la Rosa; Department of Social Welfare and Development Assistant Secretary Rhea Penaflor; Philippine Association of Convention/Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers, Inc. President Joel Pascual; Department of Tourism (DOT) VII Regional Director Shalimar Tamano; DOT-Tourism and Promotion Board Chief Operating Officer Atty. Anthonette Velasco-Allones; and Bohol Governor Arthur Yap pose during a press briefing on December 8, 2020 held at the Bellevue Hotel, Panglao Island, Bohol as part of the Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions, and Exhibitions and Events (MICE+E) Familiarization Trip to Bohol organized by the TBP on December 7 – 10. 

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) committed to continue to assist informal sector workers in the tourism industry whose livelihood have been severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

This was emphasized by DSWD Assistant Secretary for Specialized Programs Rhea B. Peñaflor  during the recently concluded “Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions, and Exhibitions and Events (MICE+E) Familiarization Trip” to Bohol organized by the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) on December 7 – 10, 2020. The activity was attended by the stakeholders and representatives from the member-agencies of the government’s National Task Force on Recovery. 

“Sustainable Tourism is an important driving force, our fuel to socio-economic development and poverty reduction. It generates employment both in formal and informal sectors,” Assistant Secretary Peñaflor said as she discussed the role of sustainable tourism in the country’s way to recovery during a press conference held in Panglao, Bohol on December 8.

According to the Assistant Secretary, eligible families from the informal sectors whose livelihood were affected by the pandemic are given Livelihood Assistance Grants (LAG) under the DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program, one of the agency’s social protection programs.

In Bohol alone, DSWD Field Office VII reported that a total of 2,803 families with grants amounting to P17, 910,000 have been provided with LAG, as of November 4, while an additional 1,206 families with a requested allocation of P18,890,000 are targeted to be served and are awaiting the implementation of the program. 

“We commit to the Department of Tourism – Tourism Promotions Board to provide support through our social protection programs like Livelihood Assistance Grants to these informal sector workers whose livelihood were affected by the pandemic,” Assistant Secretary Peñaflor added.

The MICE+E Familiarization Trip to Bohol aimed to validate and inspect the general preparedness of the tourism industry in the new normal, as part of the government’s recovery efforts.

The National Task Force on Recovery, led by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), is mandated to focus on the development of programs, projects, and innovative delivery mechanisms applicable to the new normal. DSWD is a member of the Task Force and sits as the Chair of the Sub-Task Group on Social Recovery.###

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April 2021