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DSWD Region V warns public of epal

Legazpi City—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region V advised the public of incumbent government officials claiming credit for its existing programs in relation to the forthcoming elections.

This followed after incidents were reported by the DSWD field workers in Camarines Sur that the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) of DSWD appeared to be funded by a certain politician that has announced to run in the 2019 local elections.

Ang pera mula DSWD ay ginagamit sa pamumulitika. Ang akala ng mga tao ay pera ito ng pulitiko (The DSWD fund is being used for politicking. People think it is the politician’s money),” DSWD Dir. Arnel Garcia said.

He announced earlier this month that the DSWD will not tolerate any form of propaganda at the expense of its programs and services for the poor. He has ordered its field workers to closely monitor the ongoing ESA payout and provide assistance to the local government units (LGUs).

Huwag lokohin ang mahihirap dahil alam ng taumbayan kung kanino galling ang pondo ng ESA. Hindi po yan galling sa bulsa ng sinuman. Ang DSWD ay nagpadaloy lamang ng pondo ng bayan (Do not mislead the poor because the people know the source of fund for ESA. The funds do not come from anyone’s pocket. The DSWD only disbursed the people’s money,” Dir. Garcia added.

ESA is the provision of limited financial or material assistance (or both) to family-victims of disasters whose houses are either totally or partially damaged. The per capita cost ranges from ₱10,000.00 to ₱30,000.00 per family.

The aftermath of typhoon Nina in 2016 left thousands of Bicolanos in Catanduanes, Albay and Camarines Sur homeless. To aid the affected families, the ESA funds were downloaded to the municipal/city local government units (LGUs) for the totally damaged houses while the provincial LGUs received the cash assistance for the partially damaged houses. DSWD tapped the LGUs to facilitate the payout to the ESA beneficiaries. The ESA payout schedule is set in two batches which will be announced by the respective LGUs. To date, DSWD released a total of PhP 2,412,450,000.00 to the LGUs for ESA payout.

On the other hand, the “Bawal and Epal Dito” Campaign started in 2013 under the stint of former Secretary Dinky Soliman that aims to insulate the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program from undue politicking.

According Dir. Garcia, DSWD Region V will continue to promote the said campaign to empower its clients and beneficiaries under the national government programs. This campaign is not limited to ESA or 4Ps but also encompasses the entire implementation of other DSWD programs.

“Ang taumbayan ang maghusga, kapag epal huwag iboto dahil linoloko lang nila ang mahihirap,” he added.

For ESA queries, the concerned individual or party may consult the Municipal Action Team (MAT) assigned in the municipality.

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DSWD Bicol clarifies delayed 4Ps cash grants

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bicol clarified that the delay of release of cash assistance to 4Ps beneficiaries in the Region was due to the seven-day extension requested by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to download the funds to its partner conduits that are responsible to directly release the cash grants to the beneficiaries.

The pay-out which was supposed to start last April 17 will be rescheduled on April 24. The cash assistance that will be received by the beneficiaries on the said re-scheduled date covers the month of January 2018 along with the education grants which includes P500 for children in High School or P300 for children in elementary, health assistance amounting to P500.00, rice subsidy amounting to P600.00. Also, it includes the assistance for the Unconditional Cash Transfer Program (UCT) amounting to P2,400 (200.00 per month) for the whole year (January – December 2018).

A total of 258, 215 beneficiaries are affected of the delay. These beneficiaries include the Indigenous Peoples under Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program (MCCT) and those who are without LBP cash cards who received their grants through over-the counter pay-out.

However, those beneficiaries who have LBP cash cards, have already received their cash assistance last March 2018.

According to Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia, DSWD is saddened about the delay of pay-out. “We understand the clamor of beneficiaries for not receiving their cash assistance on time. We also know that they needed the assistance for health and education specially, that some of their children will graduate or will enroll for the next school year,” he said.

“At this point, we ask for the patience of our beneficiaries and we ensure that the cash assistance meant for them will be received by the beneficiaries themselves,” he added.

In addition, the cash assistance for the month of December 2017 is set to be included in July 2018 pay-out which includes the cash assistance for the months of April – May 2018.

For the cash assistance for Months of February to May 2018, it will be released in accordance to its scheduled pay-out but can be subject to change upon advisory of DSWD Central Office.***GLindio-IO-4Ps.

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Poor seniors to get additional aid under government’s cash transfer program

Poor senior citizens under the Social Pension Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development will be receiving an additional cash aid this year.

DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia said that around 2.8 million Social Pensioners nationwide will soon to benefit in the added assistance under the government’s Unconditional Cash Transfer Program (UCT) as integrated into Republic Act 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

The TRAIN is the first package of the comprehensive tax reform program (CTRP) envisioned by President Duterte’s administration, which aims to correct a number of deficiencies in the tax system to make it simpler, fairer, and more efficient.

The UCT on the other hand is a social welfare program under the TRAIN Law which seeks to provide cash grants to poor households and individuals who may benefit from the lower income tax rates but may be adversely affected by the increase on taxes on fuel, automobiles, and sugar products.

Under the program, the senior citizens under the Social Pension Program are eligible beneficiaries including the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) households, and the poor households identified by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) or the Listahanan. The UCT cash grant shall be provided one-time to the identified beneficiaries amounting to Php 2,400 in a year or Php 200 per month. This grant will increase in 2019-2020 to Php 3,600 or Php 300 per month.

Director Garcia explained that a Social Pension beneficiary shall be entitled to a separate UCT grant even if he/she belongs to a 4Ps household or Listahanan identified poor household.

He said that there are 195, 107 active Social Pension beneficiaries in Bicol Region who will benefit from the new program. The department targets to distribute the cash grants in July –August 2018.

The Social Pension Program is the government’s assistance to poor senior citizens aging 60 years old and above who are frail, sick or with a disability, with no regular income or support from families and relatives, and without a pension from private or government institutions.

Under the program, poor seniors are entitled to a monthly cash grant in the amount of Php 500 to supplement their daily subsistence, including their medical needs.

The program has been established through Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 which aims to improve the living condition of indigent senior citizens and to protect them from neglect and deprivation.##

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DSWD Bicol renewed its partnership with Ago General Hospital and PAKISAMA Bicol

MOA Signing. Reigonal Director Arnel B. Garcia (center) together with representatives from various Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)


The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bicol has renewed its partnership with two Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in support to Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries through signing a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) held during the First Quarterly Meeting with Partner Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) at Fiesta Ballroom, Legazpi City, today, April 10.

The signing of the agreement was participated by DSWD Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia and two CSOs, namely, Ago General Hospital and Pambansang Kilusan ng Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA) Bicol. Ago General Hospital was represented by Ms. Remedios A. Lorilla while PAKISAMA Bicol was represented by its Coordinator Arnel Basquinas.

Under the agreement, the Ago General Hospital will implement the “No Balance Billing” scheme which would mean that 4Ps beneficiaries who are automatically qualified as Philhealth members, will no longer pay for any balance if they are discharged from the said medical facility.

According to Lorilla, it will be the government and the hospital or other institutions who will take care of the bills.

On the other hand, the PAKISAMA Bicol agreed to provide livelihood and entrepreneurial skills trainings to 4Ps beneficiaries. Also, they will help provide linkages for the beneficiaries to get a job or be employed in various institutions, organizations in the Region.

In addition, PAKISAMA Bicol will help in facilitating the conduct of Family Development Session (FDS). Some of the topics included for discussion are “Paghahanda sa Buhay Pamilya at Partisipasyon ng Pamilyang Pilipino sa Gawaing Pangkomunidad.”

The FDS is a monthly activity being conducted to beneficiaries of the Program. It is a venue for educational, interpersonal, interactive and adult learning engagement that aims to empower and strengthen the relationship and ties among family members and the community.

The renewal of partnership covers the 4Ps beneficiaries in the entire Bicol Region. Its duration shall be one (1) year commencing its effectivity and renewable upon the consensual agreement of the parties.

Regional Director Garcia, expressed his gratitude to CSOs for their full and continuous support in extending help and provision of assistance to vulnerable sectors and the poor.

Other CSOs were represented by Lydia B. Repuya of Sorsogon Integrated Health Services Foundation, Eduardo Tupas of Cebuana Lhuillier- Masbate, Mary Joy De La Cruz of JLO Big Heart Foundation, Erudita D. Madrid of Philippine Tuberculosis Society Incorporated, Steven Guinan of National Auxiliary Chaplaincy of the Philippines, Mary Jonelyn Ardales of Camalig Bank Foundation Incorporated, Alex Basabe of Universal Peace Federation, Raul B. Diata of Federation Associations for Communities and Children’s Empowerment Incorporated, Natividad A. Lanuza of International Holistic for Life and Progress Incorporated, Augustus P. Onturia of Kabalikat Civicom, Donsol Chapter, Rose Rivero of Philippine Red Cross, Erma H. Areola of Women’s Federation Incorporated, Pilar, Sorsogon.***GLindio,IO-4Ps.

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The Rugged Laundrywoman with a Big Heart

Hang On. Fe Biton, 47, a DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS community volunteer, proves that there is fulfillment in helping the community.

Life is full of choices. There are many points in life that we need to choose between X or O, Yes or No, or Push or Pull. We have to carefully decide on our choices as it will greatly change our future. We have infinite choices and infinite outcomes that will certainly define our life as a human being.

We have many chances to figure out our status either to remain single or get married. We have the right if we wish to have one child or more. We have the ability to think about whether we have to work endlessly to meet our needs or laze around.

But, being a woman can be a gift, something innate or a choice.

Through the years, Philippines are making efforts on creating gender-responsive governance by promoting the Magna Carta of Women (Republic Act 9710), a comprehensive women’s rights law that seeks to eliminate discrimination against women by recognizing, protecting, fulfilling and protecting the rights of Filipino women, especially those in the marginalized sector.

The country is also doing equity measures to enable women’s participation in the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of policies, plans, and programs for national, regional, and local development.

With these efforts, many women are experiencing privileges particularly in the implementation of programs in the local development. One of the many women who is experiencing this kind of equity measure is Fe Biton, 47, a solo parent with five (5) children of Brgy. Calayucay in Sto. Domingo, Albay.

She is an active community volunteer of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) under Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) for three years.

Kalahi-CIDSS is a poverty alleviation program of DSWD which uses community-driven development strategy for barangays or communities of targeted municipalities become empowered to achieve improved access to services and to participate in more inclusive local planning, budgeting, and implementation.

Biton is also part of Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) in which three of her children in high school and elementary receive education and health grants.

Despite all these, her husband abandoned Biton and their children in 2016 whom she assumed had fled with another woman, a dreadful happening that made a great scar in her heart.

From this circumstance, she stands firm and sees it as a test for their family.

Biton still continues to work as a laundrywoman for nine (9) years at a local resort in Sto. Domingo, Albay. Since she only takes home P150 a day in her laundry work, she provides assistance in catering services for additional income. Through this, she was able to fill the absence of her husband who should have a shared responsibility in nurturing their children.

Mahirap pero kinakaya siyempre, kailangan mong sikapan (It’s hard but we are coping. Of course, we need to work diligently),” Biton expounded.


As a community volunteer, Biton worked as a chairman of Monitoring and Inspection Team (MIT) that monitors the progress of sub-project implementation proposed by their community and ensures the deliveries of items or goods purchased are properly stored.

At first, she doubted joining DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS because she thought it is a waste of time especially when she has children to take care and work to earn a living.

Nagdadalawang isip pa ako kung gusto ko o hindi kasi may mga anak ako at naglalabada ako kung saan nakakaistorbo ng oras at wala naman akong makukuha kahit piso, tulong mo lang talaga (Before, I have doubts on whether to join as a volunteer or not, because I will not receive anything in return),” she explained.

From these doubts, she took the chance yearning for a new chapter of her life.

In order to balance her work and volunteering, she would ask permission from her boss that in her free hours, she could render her services as a volunteer for the project.

According to Biton, everything has changed when she started as a volunteer because she learned many things she thought she never did.

Kasi dati nung labandera ako, hindi ko alam may kakayanan ako na gawin katulad ng paghawak ng materyales pangkonstruksyon para sa proyekto (When I was a laundrywoman, I don’t have any idea that I have the ability to manage the construction materials for the project),” she said.

Taking that choice was never easy because she was faced with criticisms questioning her ability as a volunteer. Despite disapproval from others, she showed off her ardent attitude in helping the community.

Sabi nila housewife lang ako wala naman daw magagawa pero doon ako naglakas loob na gusto ko ipakita sa kanila na kaya ko makatulong (Some said that I’m just a housewife who has nothing to contribute but I earned my confidence in order to show them my determination to help others),” she furthered.


The village was able to construct a drainage canal along Calayucay Elementary School.

The community volunteers also aim to finish the construction of school building under DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS.

In every project, there are challenges that arise in which the villagers of Brgy. Caluyucay is not an exception from experiencing it.

Some problems encountered were the availability of volunteers for regular meetings and division of labor.

Medyo kami nahirapan lalo na yung mga volunteers na hindi naman lahat available sa meeting at hindi pwedeng gagalaw lang isa dapat lahat sila tulong-tulong (We experienced difficulties especially when volunteers are not available during meetings. Everyone must work together and not just only one person),” Florendo Muhammad Ali Gregorio, barangay captain of Caluyucay.

According to Biton, they often called a meeting in order to talk about possible actions to resolve the problems.

May konting debatehan pero hindi na namin ito pinapatagal kasi gusto namin masolusyunan agad (We have a little debate but we didn’t prolong it because we want to resolve the problem as soon as possible),” Biton shared.

She also described her experience as a volunteer.

Minsan gusto mo na magwalk-out parang ayaw mo na mag-volunteer kasi nakakapagod pero kung nakatulong ka sa barangay mo, kapwa mo parang nakakataba ng puso (There are instances that I want to walk out and leave the group because of exhaustion but helping the community and fellow citizens makes me feel fulfilled),” she asserted. #FSRAMS14March2018

About DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS

Albay has implemented Kalahi-CIDSS in eight (8) municipalities with a total implementation grant of Php 362,731,221.69 and local counterpart contribution of Php 7,299,127.53 from barangay and municipal local government units (LGUs) to fund community-managed sub-projects.

DSWD had allocated Sto. Domingo with Php 49,445,322.98 with a counterpart from the LGU of Php 10,630.50.

Brgy. Calayucay was able to construct a drainage canal with a total project cost of Php 163,508.50 serving 170 household beneficiaries.

Similarly, the village is constructing one (1) unit of three (3) classrooms Marcos-type building and one (1) unit of three (3) classrooms RPUS-type building with a total project cost of Php 4,105,546.00 that will serve 142 household beneficiaries.

For more details about DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS, follow this link:


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DSWD Region V celebrates Women’s Month

DSWD Region V employees along with various groups joined the One Billion Rising Solidarity Walk last March 22, 2018.

DSWD Region V conducted series of events that promoted women’s rights which included an information drive that underscores topics on how to curb violence against women (VAW) in the workplace and at home in connection with the observance Women’s Month this March.
According to Marian Monsalve, Social Welfare Officer II and DSWD Region V Gender and Development (GAD) focal person, the Department was able to conduct orientation series on women protective laws including Solo Parents Welfare Act, Anti-Rape Law, Anti-Sexual Harassment Act. The said topics were tackled by Atty. Joyce Guerrero, the Asst. Regional Prosecutor of Department of Justice (DOJ) to educate the DSWD employees.

“As DSWD workers who provide technical services to our partners, it is our duty to increase our knowledge about women’s rights and continuously upskill to promote these rights to quickly respond to VAW,” Monsalve said.

There was a similar discussion at the Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY), a DSWD residential care facility with an expanded topic on anti-child pornography and Magna Carta for Women.

The DSWD Region V also conducted a Youth Forum last March 14 which also tackled Violence against women and children (VAWC). 90 individuals from Team Albay Youth
Organization (TAYO), Bicol University, scholars of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Good Shepherd Home Youth and Latter Day Saints attended the said forum.

Moreover, Monsalve shared same discussions to different radio guestings while the social workers assigned at provincial DSWD offices also provided technical assistance to local government units (LGUs) regarding women and children’s rights.

The DSWD Region V also joined the One Billion Rising Culminating last March 23 at Albay Astrodome which capped the celebration of the Women’s Month in Bicol region with the women’s rights advocate, Vice-President Leni Robredo, as the keynote speaker.

The theme: We make change work for women is adopted from 2017 to 2022 for the Women’s Month Celebration.

DSWD offers different services to women in crisis such as free counseling wherein licensed social workers assess and provide apt interventions. Financial assistance is also given to them
through the Assistance to Indivdual in Crisis Situation (AICS), a social safety net or a stop-gap mechanism to support the recovery of individuals and families from unexpected crisis such as illness or death of a family member, natural or man-made calamities, and other crisis situations.

“The government offers enabling mechanisms to address VAWC and everyone has a stake in this,” Dir. Arnel Gacia said.

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DSWD Region V receives two DSWD national awards in the annual PRAISE

The DSWD Region V honorees in Manila during the 2017 Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE). L-R Cresencia Deri (Social Welfare Officer V, Centers Head), Jindra Mingoy (Social Welfare Officer IV and Gawad Huwaran Awardee), Dir. Arnel Garcia, Lea Daet (Social Welfare Officer II and RSCC Head who received the Best Center Award)

Legazpi City, Albay—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region V received two national awards during the 2017 Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE) held in Manila yesterday.

Along with 15 DSWD workers from different parts of the country, Ms. Jindra Mingoy, Social Welfare Officer IV and head of the Crisis Intervention Section and Community-Based Services received the Gawad Huwaran Award (Mahuhusay, Wasto, at Responsableng Linngkod Bayani ng DSWD) for her dedication, trustworthy service, delivery of outstanding results and personal commitment to public service.

The Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC), a residential care facility that provides temporary care and shelter to abandoned and abused children, was recognized as the Best Center in the Philippines.

Ms. Lea Daet, also a social worker and the RSCC head, said that the whole team was extremely honored and grateful for the recognition which symbolized service excellence.

“As what our Regional Director (Arnel Garcia) said, we should always be the standard of excellence. He encouraged us to think outside the box and explore infinite possibilities to deliver nothing but the best for the clients we serve,” Daet added.

“I am deeply privileged to work with great individuals in DSWD Region V who possess utmost dedication and commitment to public service, thus, this will serve as our inspiration to continue service excellence in any endeavor we undertake,” Dir. Arnel Garcia said.

The PRAISE is given by the DSWD National Office to give honor to people –the men and women of DSWD who have devoted their lives to the beneficiaries, and to those who continue to use all their strength, skill, intelligence, and compassion to uphold a standard of professionalism that fully benefits the poor and marginalized sectors. (with reports from Social Marketing Service)

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DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS Region 5 set catch-up plan for 2018 targets

Arwin Razo, Assistant Regional Director for Operations (ARDO) gives his message during the Expanded Regional/Sub-Regional Program Management Office (R/SRPMO) Conference last March 15, 2018 at Casablanca Hotel, Legazpi City, Albay.

Legazpi City – The Department of Social Welfare and Development Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS) Region 5 conducted the Expanded Regional/Sub-Regional Program Management Office (R/SRPMO) Conference at Casablanca Hotel, Legazpi City last March 15-16, 2018.

The conference was attended by SRPMOs Albay and Catanduanes, Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur Cluster 1, Masbate, Sorsogon and Camarines Sur Cluster 2 and 3.

The two-day event aimed at discussing the operational directives, issues and concerns of the program.

Jezon Romano, Regional Community Development Specialist presented the Regional Deliverables such as Sub-Project Completion, Finance, Community Empowerment Activity Cycle (CEAC) and Procurement per cluster.

During the break-out session, the SRPMOs analyzed the common trends along the project implementation and prepared the catch-up plan to meet the targets particularly in the completion of ongoing sub-projects.

Arwin Razo, Assistant Regional Director for Operations (ARDO) provided an insight in the attainment of regional deliverables.

“We have to synchronize our efforts while the time is still favorable to us,” he said.

Members of the different units of the program namely, Social Development Unit, Engineering Unit, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, Finance Unit, Procurement Unit, Administrative Unit and Management guided SRPMOs on the possible means to achieve the target and regional deliverables.

A presentation and critiquing of catch-up plan per SRPMO was organized that identified the possible gaps or issues as well as measures to mitigate in the attainment of the targets set by the National Program Management Office (NPMO).

Razo also reminded R/SRPMOs to work together in order to materialize the plan.

“A plan will remain a plan unless you execute it,” he added.

Another Expanded R/SRPMO Conference will be conducted on March 21-22, 2018 at Nathaniel’s Hotel, Daet, Camarines Norte.

This will be attended by Area Coordinators (AC) and Municipal Area Coordinators (MAC) for the preparation and review of Municipal Catch-Up Plan on Accomplishments versus Targets.  #PRRAMS20March2018

For more information, you may visit the official Facebook page: @dswdfo5 or DSWD Region V.

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