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Woman fights poverty by training her family to complement her business

Cagayan de Oro City – Starting a business with limited resources is a challenge, especially for women.

For Susana Cabreros, 51, a housewife living in Zone 1, Upper Carmen, this city, life has not been easy. Her husband is a “motorela” driver who earns with only a meager income until they put up a tailoring business, with a group of women beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (Pantawid Pamilya), benefiting from a P10,000 micro-finance scheme provided by the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Susana is now a businesswoman earning a decent income by heading the Upper Carmen Sisterhood Association with 15-woman members who have engaged in tailoring business here. Each of the members shared P10,000 to put up a capital of P150,000 to start the business. The group specializes on making jersey tee shirts and shorts, bags jogging pants, polo shirts, among others.

“I always have a daily income to defray the cost of our daily needs,” she said.

With the new business, she can fulfill her dream to secure her children’s education and provide a better life for her family.

Engaging children with the business

The tailoring business is just four months in operation.

But, Susana is optimistic her group will go beyond the members’ expectation as they are earning. Susana is earning an average of P200 daily which augments her husband’s income from driving.

Aside from that, her eldest son, Ryan, who is now married, is in-charge of printing the t-shirts, short pants, jogging pants, and other orders of their customers. Ryan is good in silk screen and rubberized printing. He gets P100 by just printing a pair of basketball uniform.

Susana’s eldest sister, Florenda Degomio, who is also a member of the group, is the master cutter of the shop. She is in-charge also of training four other sewers of the shop, ensuring quality and aesthetic value of their services and products. The shop started with only Florenda and Susana as cutters and sewers. Susana and her elder sister were forced to train the three other sewers of the group for three months which, consequently, yielded a positive response and result.

“They can perform now without our supervision,” said Susana.

Designing bags, shirts, and pants is not new to Susana. She learned designing from her previous work from a private tailoring company based in this city. However, most of the products of the shop is made out of following the catalogs they bought.

But if the customer wants customized designs for bags, t-shirts, and pants; her 12-year old daughter, Crystal, is ready to do it for them. Crystal has been into customized designing since the start of the operation of the shop.

Susana disclosed that Crystal only helps her design after studying. She considered the participation of the members of her family as individual training in preparation for better future.

“I am just thankful that with DSWD’s help, a better life for poor families like mine can happen,” Susana expresses. “I see now that I CAN make a difference in fighting poverty by what I am doing now.”

Susana’s family is one of the Set 1 beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya who received grants from SLP in Northern Mindanao.

SLP is a community-based capacity building program of DSWD that seeks to improve the socio-economic status of program participants. It is implemented through the Community-Driven Enterprise Development (CDED) approach, which equips the program participants to actively contribute to production and labor markets by making use of available resources and accessible markets.

On the other hand, Pantawid Pamilya is the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program of government implemented by the DSWD so that families are able to get financial assistance, provided they comply with certain conditions imposed by Pantawid Pamilya, which include seeing to the health and education needs of their children.

Written by Oliver Badel Inodeo, DSWD


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DSWD, CHED open 1,706 slots for college scholarship

Cagayan de Oro City – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Commission on Higher Education here has opened 1,706 college scholarship grants for Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (Pantawid Pamilya) beneficiaries.

Cherrylou Acobo, focal person for Students’ Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (SGP-PA) of DSWD Northern Mindanao, disclosed that the slots is an additional opening for the program which aims at contributing to the national government’s thrusts in effectively addressing poverty alleviation by increasing number of graduates in higher education among poor households and to get these graduates employed in high – value added occupations in order to lift their families out of poverty and contribute to national development.

Of the number of slots, Acobo revealed that CHED is now processing 3,584 applicants, who are Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries coming from the different towns and cities of the region.

She added that applicants will be ranked according to their respective ratings after taking an examination administered by state universities and colleges accredited by CHED.

“Those who will be included in the first 1,706 ranking will be admitted for further screening process of their chosen SUCs,” Acobo said.

Meanwhile, CHED also announced on the additional accredited SUCs which can accept and enroll SGP-PA grantees for school year 2014-2015. These are Bukidnon State University in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon; Misamis Oriental State College of Agriculture and Technology in Claveria, Misamis Oriental; Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte; Northwestern Mindanao State College of Science and Technology in Tangub City, Misamis Occidental; and Camiguin Polytechnic State College in Mambajao, Camiguin.

As of second semester of school year 2013-2014, Northern Mindanao has 212 scholars enrolled at Mindanao University of Science and Technology (MUST) campuses here and in Panaon, Misamis Occidental and at Central Mindanao University in Maramag, Bukidnon.

A student – beneficiary  is entitled to a maximum of P60,000 grant per school year. It means that the scholar will receive P10,000 a semester  for  tuition fee (based on the national average tuition fees of SUCs) and other fees; P2,500 for textbooks and other learning materials; and P3,500 a month for board and lodging, transportation, clothing, health and medical needs, basic school supplies and other related costs.

A scholar has to carry a full load per semester as prescribed in the curriculum and finish within the required period of the program; maintain a satisfactory academic performance in accordance with the policies and standards of the SUC; render a return service of two years after graduation in the Philippines except for highly critical courses determined by local industry and government services; and adhere to terms and conditions as stipulated in the contract. (Written by Oliver Badel Inodeo, Pantawid Pamilya Information Officer)


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Persons in crisis can avail assistance from DSWD through AICS

To provide efficient and effective protective services for the poor, marginalized, and vulnerable individuals, the Department of Social Welfare and Development based in Northern Mindanao is strengthening its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS).

The AICS is implemented to provide a range of services, such as immediate rescue, and provision of direct financial assistance, psychosocial support, and material assistance including medical, transportation, financial, and burial and other services.

The beneficiaries of the AICS shall be the walk-in and referred clients of the DSWD. Priority shall be given, first, to beneficiaries belonging to indigent families under Listahanan – the DSWD’s National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction, second, to families belonging to the informal sector, and third, other poor, marginalized, and vulnerable or disadvantaged families.

Assistance are in the form of transportation, medical, burial, food and non-food, and educational. DSWD, however, emphasizes that these assistance can only be availed based on the assessment and recommendation of the DSWD social workers and/or other authorized personnel, duly approved by the authorized officials of the Department.

Financial assistance amounting to not more than P3,000 may be released immediately to the beneficiary duly approved by DSWD, while a maximum assistance of P10,000 may be extended to clients seeking medical, burial, and transportation assistance through issuance of Guarantee Letter to service providers, such as transport companies, medical institution, pharmacies, and funeral services.

Certain requirements however are requested from the beneficiaries seeking assistance: For medical assistance, clinical abstracts or medical certificates, hospital bills, prescriptions, laboratory requests, barangay certificates or valid ID of the beneficiary, referral letters if applicable should be submitted; for burial assistance, funeral contract, registered dead certificate, barangay certificate or valid ID of the beneficiary, permit to transfer / health permit, or referral letter if applicable; for transportation assistance, barangay certificate or any valid ID of the beneficiary, police blotter, and referral letter if applicable; and for educational assistance, enrollment assessment form or certificate of enrolment or registration, school ID of the student, barangay certificate or any valid ID of the barangay and referral letter if applicable.

A beneficiary can avail of the assistance only once within three (3) months. Availment of assistance beyond this limit, however, must be supported by a justification based on the special need of the beneficiary per assessment of the DSWD.

DSWD is now partnering with public hospitals and other concerned government agencies, transport companies, funeral parlors, drugstores and pharmacies, hospitals and other services providers to ensure that referred clients are efficiently and effectively assisted.

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Secretary Dinky Soliman inspires DSWD Workers in Northern Mindanao

Cagayan de Oro City – “It is more fun to do the impossible.” This was what Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman shared to more than 900 DSWD workers in Region 10, quoting Walt Disney’s statement, during the conduct of her “Roadshow” yesterday, March 5, 2014, here.

Presenting the various challenges the Department of Social Welfare and Development may face in 2014, Secretary Soliman expressed that the core challenge of the Department is to address the situation of poverty by increasing the people’s resiliency. This is done by improving the strategies of implementing social protection programs and services.

The DSWD head said that the Philippines’ weather patterns have changed dramatically and those natural events have become “bigger, stronger, and harder,” narrating the series of calamities that hit the country, including super typhoons Ondoy, Sendong, Pablo, and Yolanda.

Because of this, she challenged the DSWD and the rest of the government’s adequate capacity to respond to the needs of the Filipinos “faster, better, and bolder,” by making a laser-sharp precision of identifying who, where and how vulnerable the people are through Listahanan, the Department’s National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR).

The secretary also said that several innovations shall also be done in the implementation of the social protection programs of the DSWD, which includes the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Community-Driven Development, and Sustainable Livelihood Program, among others.

With this in mind, she said that the DSWD’s aim is to move 2.3 Million Pantawid Pamilya families to self-sufficiency by 2016, increase the number of Listahanan-identified poor families covered by at least two social welfare and development programs from 3.9 million to 5.2 million, and increase the number of provinces with majority of their municipalities/cities having a fully-functional all local social welfare and development offices by 2016.

“This may seem impossible, but if we make our moves organized and coordinated, then it is possible,” she says.

All of this is done using the DSWD’s approved budget of P93.7 Billion for 2014.

The DSWD’s vision is to have a society where the poor, vulnerable, and the disadvantaged individuals, families, and communities are empowered for an improved quality of life. Towards this end, the DSWD will be the world’s standard for the delivery of coordinated social protection programs and social services by 2016.

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Seven LGUs to adopt DSWD projects

Cagayan de Oro City — Seven municipalities and a non-governmental organization in Northern Mindanao are set to adopt and implement projects of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The local government units from the provinces of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental, through its mayors, signed a memorandum of agreement with DSWD in order to adopt and to replicate projects for the advancement of the welfare of the vulnerable sectors of the society.

Among the projects adopted individually are Share Computer Access Local and Abroad (SCALA), Modified Social Stress Model (MSSM), Sheltered Workshop for Older Persons and Persons with Disability; Youth Productivity Service (YPS), and Family Drug Abuse Prevention Program.

SCALA is a community based basic computer literacy program that aims to enhance the employment opportunities of disadvantaged youth. It includes installation of training facility with appropriate equipment. The program is implemented in partnership with the Engineers without Borders of Canada and the local government units while MSSM is an assessment tool for social welfare for case management in or der to know the individual needs of the clients why they engage in such conditions that are hazardous to their well-being.

Meanwhile the YPS is an integrated skills and job placement project for out of school youth led by LGUs from Region X in partnership with Consuelo Foundation and other government agencies such as TESDA while FDAPP is community-based program that educates and prepares families and the communities on the adverse effects of drug abuse. It involves the promotion of family life enrichment activities to enhance cohesiveness, bonding and harmonious relationship among family members. It also equips the families with parenting and life skills towards a drug free home.

The municipalities include Kibawe, Quezon, Manolo Fortich, and Don Carlos; all of Bukidnon province and Balingoan, Talisayan, and Gitagum; all of Misamis Oriental. The Youth with A Mission, an NGO in this city, is also adopting a project of DSWD.

The Social Technology Bureau is responsible for the development and enhancement of customer- driven social protection technologies addressing the current and emerging needs and issues of the poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals, groups or families.

Meanwhile, DSWD is conducting a research study on the situational analysis of child laborers in minging, pyrotechnics and deep-sea fishing area in Northern Mindanao.

The team has conducted enumeration in the villages of Pagatpat, Kauswagan, Consolacion, Iponan, and Canitoan here and later in Natumulan, Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental and Gango, Libona, Bukidnon.

The study aims to describe, analyze, and understand the phenomenon of child laborers, families, and communities who are engaged in the worst form of child labor.

The identified areas are considered as mining and quarry communities. (Written by Oliver Badel Inodeo, Pantawid Pamilya Information Officer)


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DSWD discusses programs and services with Congressman Flores

Cagayan de Oro City – Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo, Regional Director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development discusses the agency’s social protection programs and social services to Congressman Florencio T. Flores, Jr., particularly for the second district of Bukidnon.

In his visit to the DSWD in Cagayan de Oro today, February 28, 2014, Congressman Flores laid down his concerns and queries of the programs and services of the DSWD implemented in the district to better understand on how he could help the people of Bukidnon by partnering with the social welfare department.

Photo and Caption by Charmaine P. Tadlas, DSWD

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Congressman Roque and DSWD discuss strategies to better serve people in Bukidnon

Cagayan de Oro City – To strengthen the social services being provided to the residents of the second district of Bukidnon, Congressman Rogelio Neil Roque and Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo, DSWD Regional Director met today, February 28, 2014, to discuss strategies on how both the legislator and the agency can better serve the constituents of the provincial district. The discussion covered agreements on how they can deliver social services that are convenient for the disadvantaged, especially those found at the far-flung areas.

Photo and Caption by Charmaine P. Tadlas, DSWD

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Training and Perseverance: Key to Successful Business

Cagayan de Oro City — Everyday is a chance to fulfill and achieve one’s dream.

This is true to the life of a Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (Pantawid Pamilya) beneficiary here as she tries to realize her dream business.

Georgy Sosobrado, 39 of Phase 3 Macanhan, Carmen this city, said she complements the meager income of her husband, Anecito, who is a multicab driver, through her tailoring shop.

Despite operating for only four months now, Georgy is not new to the business as she earned her skills in cutting, designing, and sewing from her mother who is also helping her at the shop.

Out of the nine siblings, only Georgy followed the footsteps of her mother who is always at the shop to help carry-out her dream business.

Georgy started to establish her tailoring shop specializing on curtains, pillow, eco-bag, bead works, gowns, among others October last year when she and fourteen members of Faithfulness Macanhan 4Ps SEA Kaunlaran Association availed of the P150,000 loan from the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.


Georgy, who is blessed with six children, can still manage to do some household chores and care for her family after a hard day’s work.

She disclosed that she learned how to manage her time after she underwent trainings on management with the SLP when her group availed of the benefits of the program.

Aside from this, she also learned management of a business during Family Development Sessions of Pantawid Pamilya.

This leader of the SKA of SLP is also the Parent Leader of Cluster 3 of Carmen this city.

Georgy also pointed out the importance of learnings from her trainings under SLP and Department of Trade and Industry because her group has to earn in order to pay the P5,000 monthly rental of space of her shop located along the bustling Vamenta Boulevard, Barangay Carmen here.

DTI taught the group of Georgy and other SKAs of SLP in packaging their products, ensuring quality and durability so that they can earn patronage of their customers.

But she quickly added that it is the informal training she got from her mother, who taught her perseverance and determination in all circumstances at young age, inspired her to continue to look for other effective in rearing her children.


Since not all 25 members of her group know how to sew, design, and cut textiles for clothing, Georgy assigned 21 of them to canvass and promote the tailoring shops to prospective customers in schools and other agencies of the government.

This strategy, she said, can attract prospective customers to avail of their services.

She found it effective way of luring customers that resulted in growing income of their business.

However, Georgy lamented that only eight members of her group are religiously looking for orders from customers.

Lately this month, the city government of Cagayan de Oro brought samples of their eco-bags during the CDO Business Forum in Makati City.
The Field Office of DSWD, through SLP, has also linked them to the Department of Tourism for possible market of their bead works as it is good for pasalubongs (token).

For now, all she can do is to continue to manage and operate the business with unceasing determination to boost everyone’s income of her group.

SLP is a community-based capacity building program of DSWD that seeks to improve the socio-economic status of program participants. It is implemented through the Community-Driven Enterprise Development (CDED) approach, which equips the program participants to actively contribute to production and labor markets by making use of available resources and accessible markets.

On the other hand, Pantawid Pamilya is the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program of government implemented by the DSWD so that families are able to get financial assistance, provided they comply with certain conditions imposed by Pantawid Pamilya, which include seeing to the health and education needs of their children. (Written by Oliver Badel Inodeo, Pantawid Pamilya Information Officer)



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July 2020