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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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One can see that Norminda and Merlyn’s smiles evidently reflected a sense of relief, peace, and deep appreciation to the government as they showed off their newly constructed houses that were funded through a shelter assistance provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

According to Norminda and Merlyn, it took perseverance, patience, and faith to finally put up their houses and get back to their feet. They said that they have learned the value of working with other people in the community and essence of unity itself.

Norminda Bado and Merlyn Malasado were two of those affected by Tropical Storm Sendong that hit Iligan City in the early morning of December 17, 2011.

Their families had to suffer the effects of the storm like having to lose their home which is located just at meters away from the river bank and had to stay in a nearby evacuation center that accommodated hundreds of families that survived the calamity. Having lost all their possessions, their livelihood has been disrupted and their children had to go through an emotional recovery from the trauma.

Like all other hundreds of families that evidently underwent the same bitter experience, Norminda’s family and that of Merlyn’s were desperate for assistance from the government. Eventually, they were introduced to the Neighborhood Association for Shelter Assistance (NASA) implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

NASA is a shelter assistance that is meant to assist family victims of disaster to acquire decent shelters. It is made available to family-victims whose houses were totally or partially destroyed by either natural or man-made disasters.

Unlike other shelter assistance provided by the government, the NASA, strengthens community organization and encourages community-building. With the help of the local government, the beneficiary-families are organized into an “association” with a maximum of 30 members living in proximity with each other to promote collective action in realizing goals of the project.

In the group, they are mobilized to elect their own officers and identify their own committee that shall canvass, market, and purchase their construction materials for their homes, and monitor their shelter construction. They shall also hold regular meetings to identify and discuss issues and concerns and difficulties encountered in the implementation of the shelter project and work out solutions for these at their level.

Moreover, the association is also encouraged to put up Shelter Maintenance Fund to which they can contribute for a member’s need for house repair due to subsequent disasters through a form of loan as agreed by the other members of the association.

Each family that is a member of the association is provided with P50,000.00 for the construction of their houses and is paid P215.00 daily by the DSWD as they construct their own houses.

All of these features were gone through by Norminda and Merly’s association and it proved a sense of “bayanihan” for all of them.

Grabe gyud akong kalipay. Nakabalik mi sa among mga tiil, nakatukod mi sa among balay, ug nakahimo kami ug asosasyon nga makatabang kanamo isip usa ka komunidad. Salamat sa programa nga NASA. (I am overjoyed. We are now back on our feet, we now have a house of our own, and we even have an association that can help us as a community. My thanks for NASA.),” says Merlyn.

Today, Norminda and Merlyn’s families along 533 other families are now living in comfortable homes in Iligan City constructed through community participation, unity, and group determination.

Written by Charmaine P. Tadlas, Regional Information Officer

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“Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan.” (The youth is the hope of the nation.) A cliché of sorts that has been used again and again for generations to emphasize the important role of the youth in nation building. Well, who else would inherit the future? Certainly the youth of today. But the question looming in the horizon is, would the future be bright and prosperous with what the youth of today possess? Are they capable of facing the challenges the future brings?

Northern Mindanao is among the many provinces in the country facing problems with basic education. Every year, prior to the start of the school year, local and national news agencies banner headlines of the government’s incapability of addressing problems such as shortage of classrooms that would cater the growing number of students per year, enough number of teachers to captain the classrooms, and even question the elementary and high school curriculum; whether it fits the perfect educational needs of the students.

With the ballooning of the population to a whopping 100 million plus, and the still prevalent problem of the lack of resources to maintain a sustainable education program, the future of the present generation’s youth seems bleak. Now, how could the country’s future be positive if the youth that are depended on already has an uncertain present situation?

The Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), the country’s premiere anti-poverty portfolio of the Department of Social Welfare and Development geared at alleviating the poverty situation through multi-stakeholder participatory project implementation approach, in its 10 years of existence, has aided in the thrust to answer glitches related to shortages in infrastructure (classrooms). For 10 years, barangays of the municipalities in Northern Mindanao under the Kalahi-CIDSS have been blessed with school buildings and daycare centers that until now has been catering to a lot of children in the communities.

Barangays who have determined the need for school classrooms through their barangay assembly or the Participatory Situational Analysis activity were given the opportunity to be prioritized for funding of their sub-projects through the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum prioritization process. With Kalahi-CIDSS, communities now had the opportunity to be the answer to their own problems; the force to lead them to progress with the Community-Driven Development strategy it utilizes.

Kalahi-CIDSS could only do so much to provide for the needs of the communities. There are those barangays, who even though exhibited the dire need for such services/infrastructure, still fall short of the prioritization process. It still boils down to who gets to be prioritized depending on the criteria set by the Municipal Inter-Barangay Forum (MIBF) comprised of the representatives from all the barangays in a certain municipality.

Good thing is, hope has been restored. Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), has tapped DSWD (Kalahi-CIDSS) to aid in funding classrooms and daycare centers as long as project documents are complete. Now hope is restored for those barangays who were not prioritized during the Kalahi-CIDSS cycle. The project proposals they have prepared before and are already available could now be used for proposal for the AusAID funding.

To date there are already 2 completed sub-projects in the municipalities of Calamba, Misamis Occidental (Daycare Center), and in Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte (1 unit – 3 Classroom building). 18 more are on-going (Kapatagn, Lala – LDN, and Calamba Mis. Occ.), and 26 are on the process of approval for fund release (Kapataga, Lala, Bacolod, Sapad, Magsaysay – LDN, and Calamba and Lopez Jaena – Misamis Occ.). As much as possible, these Day Care Centers and classrooms will answer the shortage of school buildings the region is facing right now. In no time, there will be enough classrooms to cater to every student in the region.

It is still a long way to go but the people’s perseverance and enthusiasm is the key factor at the success of the project. “We are glad that we have good partners in advancing our fight to end poverty with the partnership of DSWD and AusAID. But we must also put into consideration the commitment of other stakeholders just like the Provincial Government Units, Local Government Units, the Department of Education, NGO’s, various school organization (Parents-Teachers Organizations), last but not least our community volunteers. They are well as important as the DSWD and the AusAID,” Engr. Abobacar Tocalo (DSWD FO X Project Development Officer – AusAID) said.

Indeed this endeavor will only be achieved with the participation and service of every stakeholder. Nothing is impossible as long as everyone shoots for the same goals. The Kalahi-CIDSS has proven that it is possible for communities to be empowered and be able to face their own problems. With Kalahi-CIDSS, communities were able to build a strong foundation, one that is rooted on unity and convergence.

The CDD strategy has indeed built the confidence of communities to face different challenges. The KC-AusAID implementation is no less different. Communities will strive to ensure that their efforts ensure the future of their children; the future of our country.

Article by Marko Davey D. Reyes – Social Marketing Officer (Kalahi-CIDSS)

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nhts-pr malitbog studentsDubbed as the “Home of Future Millionaires,” the municipality of Malitbog certainly has a lot to boost of.  Located 40 kilometers from the regional capital-Cagayan de Oro City, Malitbog is home to a number of residents most of whom are actively engaged in agriculture.

Along with its rich agricultural produce, it also has in its bosom the cleanest river in region 10: the Siloo River. Despite its remote topographical location, the people of Malitbog, particularly the Local Government unit of Malitbog, has always been receptive to change and development.  It has opened its doors to new ideas, strategies, and systems of the government. One of which is the utilization of the NHTS-PR data for the implementation of various social protection programs and services in their locality.

The NHTS-PR or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction is an information management system that the government uses in identifying who and where the poor are and is being spearheaded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.  It aims to address poverty reduction through a scientific and target- focused strategy.

After it has executed a Memorandum of Agreement with the DSWD, the municipality of Malitbog used the NHTS-PR data that has been shared to them particularly in the updating of their Comprehensive Land Use Plan for 2012-2013.

The Municipal Comprehensive Land Use Plan (MCLUP) is an authoritative and legitimate document projecting a better quality of life for the people through its various programs, projects, and activities designed for local governance, socio-economic, and infrastructure.  Through the NHTS-PR database utilization, they are assured to have an adequate and accurate land use data.

The NHTS-PR data also ensured that they have the updated data needed for allocation of national and local funds in the local government unit.

The data was also utilized to identify their beneficiaries for the Livelihood Assistance under Community Fund for Agricultural Development (CFAD).  This is a component project under the Mindanao Rural Development Program of the Department of Agriculture with the World Bank as the donor entity.

The World Bank has extended a total funding allocation of 7.5 million wherein 10 associations with 448 member beneficiaries were  organized,  listing of which were based on the NHTS-PR data shared to the Local Government Unit of Malitbog.

These beneficiaries are presently engaged in draft animal dispersal, banana production, post-harvest facility, goat production, cassava production, chicken production and corn production.  The municipality was also a recipient of three farm-to-market roads under the Municipal Rural Development Plan.

Another significant use of the NHTS-PR data was in the identification of 50 families for the socialized housing project of the National Housing Authority.  This project was designed for the homeless/landless giving priority to families living in hazard prone areas.

The data was also the basis for replacement of senior citizens availing social pension as well those beneficiaries qualified for livelihood assistance such as the Sustainable Livelihood Program (formerly SEA-K) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Forty out-of-School Youths, who were identified from the list, have also availed the Cash for Training Program of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and DSWD as well as the endorsement of four family heads for employment to the Department Of Public Works and Highways.  In addition to this, the LGU of Malitbog was also able to recommend 63 students for scholarhship grants  under the Priority Development Fund.

As Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer of Malitbog, Ms. Norma Mabatid considers the data as very useful and informative as far as identifying deserving beneficiaries is concerned.

This is a clear manifestation of how the NHTS-PR data can be very useful and significant in addressing the needs of the locality through its various programs and services.  Through the utilization of the data, Local Government Units can assure to the constituents that programs and services are being rendered to those deserving poor households.

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