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“Kanus-a man ta manghawa dinhi, Ma? (when are we leaving, Ma?)” Rasmiah Asi’s five-year-old daughter asked as she was laying her head on her mother’s lap. They were at the bleachers watching her brothers running around the basketball court without any slippers on. “Let just wait for God’s time, dear. (Hulatan lang nato ang panahon sa Ginoo, anak.)” Rasmiah replied.


Rasmiah, together with her husband and children have long been living in an evacuation center in a small village in the municipality of Munai, Lanao del Norte. Having been victimized by the armed conflict that occurred in 2008 in the rural town of Munai, the Asi family joined hundreds of residents who ran for safety in evacuation centers.

Having six children to care for, both Rasmiah and her husband struggled to make ends meet while living uncomfortably in makeshift beds, sacrificing their privacy and health due to the overcrowded evacuation center.

Without much choice, Rasmiah’s husband can only do menial jobs during those times and rely on relief goods that were provided to them by the government. Her children had stopped going to school because her small food-vending business closed down and they were running out of finances. Having no relatives to ask for support, their family waited and waited for hope.

For many nights, Rasmiah would stay awake and watch her family sleep on the basketball court’s cemented floor. She’d glance on the other families who suffered the same fate like her family did. “Even if the armed conflict ends, we may never be able to go anywhere at all. We have nowhere to go but here,” she remembers. Those nights were filled with questions and prayers of desperation.


Upon hearing of the national government’s effort to help them through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Rasmiah could not help but cry tears of joy. This was the time she had been waiting for.

Pantawid Pamilya is the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s response to the education and health needs of poor families, particularly of children aged 0-14 years old. While provided a cash grant to a maximum of P1,400.00 on a monthly basis, the families are also expected to comply to their co-responsibilities to the program by ensuring that their children are attending school and that their health are being attended to through regular health center visits.

Three of Rasmiah’s children have regularly been receiving the cash grant and have started going back to school.

“The cash grant may not be too much, but as a mother who is pained by the fact that she cannot send her own children to school because she could no longer afford to, I believe this is enough. I am truly happy that they are now back to school,” Rasmiah shares.


Aside from seeing her children going to school again, she was overjoyed when she learned that she was also qualified to avail the benefits of the DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

The SLP has enabled her to go through numerous trainings and skills enhancement workshops so that she can re-open her food-vending business. In addition, she has also received an amount of P5,000.00 as her seed capital in re-opening it.

“When I received the money, I immediately bought supplies for my business. I was actually grinning from ear to ear!” she recalls.


Although the peace and order situation may not have completely stabilized in the town of Munai, this did not stop the Asi Family from having a good life they rightfully should. In 2011, they finally transferred to their new home built through Rasmiah and her husband’s perseverance and hard work.

“There is just a blissful feeling when you see your children sleeping comfortably and peacefully in their own home. It is a relief knowing they are back to school, I have my business again and that my husband can finally find a good job and never have to be worried with our supply of food back home,” Rasmiah smiled.

“I guess those tearful nights of prayers did it,” she added.

Written by Charmaine P. Tadlas, Regional Information Officer

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Poverty is never a hindrance to success. One can succeed no matter what his/her status is in life. The state of being in poverty does not necessarily mean all hope is lost.  All one needs is perseverance, hard work, and a crack at that opportunity that would lead you to success.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development, with its three core anti-poverty programs; the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Community Driven Development), and the Sustainable Livelihood Program (formerly SEA-K) provides just about that opportunity.

The programs provide everyone that opportunity of breaking away from the cycle of poverty. For instance, the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the department aims to deliver opportunities for groups to improve their socio-economic capacity by providing capital seed funds for new entrepreneurs, thus improving their standard of living.

One fortunate group who availed the program’s seed fund is Sinuza 4Ps SKA. They were fortunate enough to be a beneficiary of the program.  The group originated in Barangay Sinuza, Tudela, Misamis Occidental. The group is composed if 30 members, all of them coming from marginalized families.

The problem of scarcity and financial difficulties in providing for their family’s needs was the force behind their determination to be part of the Sustainable Livelihood Program. The 0% interest rate for the loan scheme was very enticing that is why the group chose to go with the Sustainable Livelihood Program.

They presented their proposal for the project, and fortunately, they got the loan. After receiving the loan, they immediately went to work.  They attended workshops conducted by several agencies, but it was one of the Department of Trade and Industry’s trainings which aims to encourage displaced workers and unemployed persons to engage in their own business and learn different skills in crafts amid the global financial crisis. Tea making (out of Luyang Dilaw) it is. The project grabbed their attention. It was something they wanted; something they saw themselves successful in.

The group attended the Luyang Dilaw Tea Livelihood Training last March 2012 held in their own Barangay, and in no time, they were able to muster the craft. Starting with P 6,000.00 as capital, the group tried saving as much budget as possible.

Fortunately for them, the main ingredients for the Tea are native to their area, making them save some of their budget.  Today, the group supply different organizations, stores and municipalities with their products.  Their products are reaching as far as Lanao del Norte, and even the DSWD Regional Office in Cagayan de Oro City.

Their success from scratch is a story worthy of telling.  Now, they are able to provide their families with the basic needs they were unable to provide before. They owe their success to themselves; for dreaming and for persevering.  The DSWD and its programs are only channels for success. It is still ones heart and determination that ensure success.  The DSWD core anti-poverty programs are your partners; your aid in progress and growth.

This success story of the Sinuza 4Ps SKA are among the many success stories the department has encountered. The department is willing to be of help to everyone who dreams of making it big in their own craft. THE SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOOD PROGRAM IS AT YOUR SERVICE.

Written by Admeela Cyndy E. Padilla II, Project Development Officer, and Marko Davey D. Reyes, Social Marketing Officer

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The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office X is in need of volunteers to do re-packing of relief goods to be sent to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban City.

The Field Office, which is based in Cagayan de Oro, has been identified by the agency, as one of the satellite offices to ship relief goods to the affected city in Region 8. The Field Office is expected to send out 50,000 to 100,000 family food packs daily to Tacloban City for the families affected.

Re-packing of the goods will start tomorrow, November 12, 2013.

Interested individuals and groups may register at DSWD Field Office X, Masterson Ave., Upper Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City.


Written by Charmaine P. Tadlas, Regional Information Officer, DSWD-X

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DSWD Field Office 10 readies food, non-food, funds for TS Yolanda

Cagayan de Oro City —                The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office 10 here has readied its food and non-food items, including a P4 million standby fund in preparation for the powerful cyclone Yolanda.

Lawyer Araceli F. Solamillo, DSWD Field Office 10 Regional Director, disclosed that a total of 11, 858 family food packs are now ready for distribution to requesting local government units in the region.

Food Packs include coffee, rice, sardines and corned beef.

Meanwhile, packs of non-food items are also prepared here for distribution to possible victims of Tropical Storm Yolanda.

Non-Food items include basin, pail with cover, kettle, blanket, mosquito net, plastic mat, slippers, towel, ladles, mugs, knife, cups, bowl, spoon, plates, plastic water container, hygiene kit, frying pans, and thermos.

The regional director has also activated its Quick Response Team whose members willrender 24 hours duty starting today.

The QRT is composed of trained camp managers, psycho-social processing experts, and other personnel of the field office.

DSWD’s Disaster Risk Reduction Focal Person GlofeliaUayan also disclosed that cluster system approach among national and local government agencies is also activated as a powerful cyclone moves closer to the country.

Uayan said DSWD and other members of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council are aiming for zero casualty.

Solamillo has also advised residents of flood-prone, low-lying, and coastal areas to be alert and be prepared in case of evacuation. (Oliver Badel Inodeo- Pantawid Pamilya Info.Officer )


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The DSWD Field Office 10 joins in the celebration of the National Anti-Poverty Commission’s observance of the National Week for Overcoming Extreme Poverty with the theme, “Working Towards a World Without Discrimination. The Department strengthens the thrusts to overcome problems of poverty with the Tatsulo Program composed of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), and the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

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Haven Culminates Nutrition Month Celebration


With this year’s theme,”Gutom at Malnutrisyon , Sama-sama nating Wakasan”, the Regional Haven of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 10 celebrated Nutrition Month with a day-long activity .

Under the lead of  Ms.Nimfa Rivera, the Regional Haven Center Head with the assistance of the staff and houseparents , activities lined up included cooking contest, poster making contest and jingle making contest.

A lecture on the importance of eating healthy go, grow, and glow foods and on healthy lifestyle was conducted by Ms.Rechel Grace Ceniza (Nutritionist-Dietitian I).   Ms. Rosana Padilla, Joana Berro , and Evangeline Isidro from the regional office acted as the judges of the various contests.  Awarding of prizes marked the end of the whole day activity.

The Regional Haven for Women is a facility of the Department of Social Welfare and Development for disadvantaged women from ages 18 to 59 years old who were victims of forced prostitution,illegal recruitment,sexual abuse,armed conflict.  The facility  also serves as a refuge for battered women and women in detention. (Jasmine Mercado Ranao/Mitzie Santiago)



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Regional Haven for Women Celebrates Family Day

In observance of the Family Day Celebration, the Regional Haven for Women of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 10, had an outdoor beach activity which was participated by the residents of Haven and some members of their families and friends.

With this year’s theme, “Unity Across Generations: A strong Family, a Strong Society “ the whole day activity started with a welcome message by Ms. Nimfa Rivera, Center Head of Regional Haven  which marked the start of fun-filled activities for the residents, staff and visitors .

With the houseparents facilitating and leading the parlor games, residents enjoyed participating and winning some prizes prepared for them.  Another highlight of the activity was the recognition of the birthday celebrators from the month of April to September.

It was indeed a day of relaxation,fun and laughter for  the staff, houseparents , and the residents particularly who felt that they are all part of a big family.

The Regional Haven for Women is a facility of the Department of Social Welfare and Development for disadvantaged women from ages 18 to 59 years old who were victims of forced prostitution,illegal recruitment,sexual abuse,armed conflict.  The facility  also serves as a refuge for battered women and women in detention. (Jasmine Ranao-SWO I/Mitzie Santiago)

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Poverty has always been continuously defined in many ways. Lots of formulas have been developed on how to eradicate such. Many ways were already done to somehow lessen its impact to the community. Many were done but none of them were effective enough in addressing the needs and meeting the demands. I came for a poor family and that is why I can say these things.

I met Leonisa Mahusay in a small village called Camalan in the municipality of Lala, province of Lanao del Norte. By just the sound of her name, I knew that she was someone fierce. The 29-year-old single mother, who prefers to be called as Ate Ayang, juggles three responsibilities: caring three toddlers singlehandedly, a parent leader for the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, and a treasurer of an association created through DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

Before involving herself to community activities, she admitted that she was the kind of person who did not have a care in the world. She considered herself apathetic towards community development. Young as she was, she did not even know what good parenting means. Let alone, she did not even know her obligations in raising her family. “Everybody knew I was the last person to know all these things,” Ate Ayang recalls.

When Ate Ayang became a beneficiary and a parent leader of Pantawid Pamilya, she realized how big her responsibility was in raising her children. It was also in the same Program where she learned how to deal with people with different personalities. “It was kind of intimidating talking to people whom I think had more experiences than I did, but I did not let my age bother me. I want to help, that’s why I involve myself in development activities.”

When I asked her about how she feels being a beneficiary of the SLP of the DSWD, she smiled. “Like I said, I was immature and apathetic. I spent my money on things that were irrelevant. Ever since I was a member of the SLP, I began to see the value of every penny that I have worked for.”

Because she wants good and healthy things for her children, a personal conviction she learned through Pantawid Pamilya, she made a family budget plan through the help of the SLP. “With the budget plan, I get to spend on things that are healthy for my children and I. I now buy fruits, vegetables, and other supplies for the house. With SLP, my finances are now well managed. Gone are the habitual mistakes of spending on things that were not beneficial to my children.”

She also added that through SLP, she was able to effectively manage her own crab-fattening business. “I had this business long before I was a beneficiary of SLP. Before, all my earnings from the business would go directly on buying anything I wanted; I spend more than what I earned to the point that there is nothing left to sustain the business.

“But through SLP, I learned how to account my income. It was in this program that I learned the Entity Concept in which I separate money for personal expenses and another for the business,” she shared.

Although her crab-fattening business has some low points due to seasonal disruptions, she came up with strategies to ensure that her business will sustain and that her budget will not be diverted to something else. “I guess SLP has taught me to be smarter now,” she laughed.

Ate Ayang said that she and her children are now enjoying a good quality of life because of the values and lessons she learned from the two programs of the DSWD. When asked what lessons from the programs did have a great impact on her, she replied, “Well, three things. I learned how to be more responsible. I learned how to be more sensitive to the needs of the people around me, and I learned how to be smarter.”

The article is written by Johnson Rubelle M. Acol-acol, a DSWD worker who has personally witnessed how a young single mother survives her three kids through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

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June 2020