There’s a bigger world outside the home, Housewives finding their worth in the community

There’s a bigger world outside the home

Housewives finding their worth in the community

All their married lives, they thought life revolves just inside the corners of their small homes. Little did they know that there is a bigger world outside, which will eventually lead them to discovering their worth in their respective communities.

Parent leaders Luningning “Ate Ning” Fontamillas and Emerlinda “Nay Baby” Higuerra, both from Quezon Province, used to be housewives who consider their respective husbands and children the center of their lives.

However, upon assuming the task of a parent leader for their co-beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, both women found new worth—being a leader and being an instrument of change to others and their community as well.

Accepting more responsibilities

Ate Ning, 35, a resident of Brgy. Abuyon in San Narciso town, has never been a leader all her life. Being tasked as a parent leader gave her jitters as she had a lot of doubts especially on her abilities.

“High school lang ang natapos ko at hindi ko alam kung ano ang kakayahan ko. Baka sabihin ng mga tao na hindi ako nararapat kasi hindi naman ako nakapagtapos ng pag-aaral,” she shared.

Forty-four-year-old Nay Baby, from Brgy. Pisipis in Lopez, shares the same sentiments.

“Wala akong tiwala sa kakayahan ko. Kahit pagsasalita lang sa harap ng mga tao, mahirap pa para sa akin noon,” she said.

Both have accepted the challenge nonetheless. Little by little, they have learned to be effective leaders.

As parent leaders, they are responsible in monitoring their members especially on their compliance to their co-responsibilities with the program. Also, they are partners of the Municipal Links in guiding the beneficiaries on other program processes, e.g. filing of grievances, updating of status and disseminating important information.

“Napakasarap isipin na nakayanan ko, na kahit may ibang mahirap turuan, nagtiyaga akong ipaliwanag sa kanila ang kanilang mga responsibilidad at mga patakaran ng programa,” shared Ate Ning.

Nay Baby, on the other hand, has made sure that everything she learns from the program, she shares to her members.

“Patuloy kong pinapaintindi sa mga kasamahan ko na ang Pantawid ay hindi basta tungkol sa pera lang. Lagi kong sinasabi sa kanila ang kahalagahan ng mga kundisyon ng programa at ng pagpapabuti ng pamilya,” she said.

More responsibilities, more ways to help

Ate Ning and Nay Baby have both found ways to go beyond their actual duties as parent leaders to their co-beneficiaries. Ate Ning, for one, had taught several of her members to write.

“Naawa ako sa mga kasamahan ko na nahihirapan sa tuwing may kailangang pirmahan. Hindi ko akalaing magagawa kong turuan silang maisulat kahit pangalan lang nila. Napakasarap sa pakiramdam na nakatulong ako sa ganitong paraan,” said Ate Ning.

Their new-found self-esteem and leadership abilities have paved way for both women to help their community as well. In the implementation of the Kalahi-CIDSS in their respective barangays, they both became active volunteers.

“Dahil sa mga pagbabago sa aking sarili, naglakas loob akong mag-volunteer sa Kalahi. May mga kaya pala akong gawin para makatulong sa aking kapwa at sa aming komunidad,” Nay Baby shared.

Nay Baby was part of the project preparation team for their farm-to-market road project while Ate Ning was part of the same team for their lying-in clinic project. With both projects functional today and benefitting all community members, both women are proud that they have been part of bringing change to their respective communities.

“Napakalaki ng pasasalamat ko sa mga programa ng DSWD dahil binigyan nila ang mga taong katulad ko ng pagkakataong magbago at makatulong sa pagbabago,” shared Ate Ning.

For both women, the best part of being a leader is not just discovering their abilities. It is being part of a change not just in their respective families but in the bigger world outside—their community.***

Posted in KALAHI-CIDSS, Pantawid PamilyaComments (0)

DSWD: promoting the Well-Being of the Society

In the CALABARZON Region, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), through the strengthened implementation of various social protection programs and services, takes part in the national government’s goal of promoting the welfare of children, reducing poverty and improving the society.

DSWD IV-A Regional Director Leticia Diokno, in her State of the Department’s Address during the Children’s Month Celebration in Tagaytay City, reported the status of implementation of the various programs and services of the agency in the region.

To date, there are a total of 290,112 families who are beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, one of the core social protection programs of the Department. The program provides conditional cash grants to qualified poor families with children 0-14 years old to support their needs on health, nutrition and education.

Alongside Pantawid Pamilya are the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan—Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) and the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). With the Department’s convergence strategy, these three programs work hand in hand to ensure increased well-being of beneficiaries.

Dir. Diokno reported 89 completed projects addressing the most pressing needs of poor communities in Quezon Province under the Kalahi-CIDSS program. Various subprojects including school buildings, health centers, water systems and farm-to-market roads from different financing sources such as Australian Aid, PAMANA and Japan Social Development Fund are continuously being implemented in several municipalities in Quezon and Cavite provinces.

Meanwhile, there are about 15,000 families who are provided capital assistance under the SLP. These families are not only provided capital for their micro-enterprise ventures but are also given capability training to improve their skills on handling their finances and running their respective businesses.

Moreover, Dir. Diokno announced the second round of assessment of poor households under the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) this year. Currently, the office is hiring field workers for the conduct of the said assessment.

Dir. Diokno, however, stressed that the NHTS-PR is only a system to determine who and where the poor are.

“Wala po itong (NHTS-PR) kasamang programa o serbisyo. Ngunit ang listahan ang ginagamit na batayan sa pagpili ng mga benepisyaryo ng iba’t ibang programa para sa mahihirap katulad ng Pantawid Pamilya at Philhealth,” she said.

Besides the above-mentioned services, the DSWD is implementing Supplementary Feeding Program, which now caters to 161,174 daycare children in the region. Other programs of the agency include Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens and Core Shelter Assistance Project among others.***

Posted in KALAHI-CIDSS, Listahanan (NHTS-PR), News, Pantawid PamilyaComments Off on DSWD: promoting the Well-Being of the Society


Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of the Treasury for International Markets and Development, Marisa Lago, recently visited Barangay Ligtong III in Rosario, Cavite to meet and interact with the partner beneficiaries of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Accompanying Assistant Secretary Lago were Ben Cushman, the US Department of the Treasury Financial Attaché for Southeast Asia, and Robert Orr, the US Ambassador to the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Also part of the visiting contingent were Yukiko Ito, Halliday Hart, Leah Gutierrez, and Joel Mangahas of the ADB.

DSWD Assistant Secretary Vilma Cabrera, Kalahi-CIDSS Director Chi Redaja, Region IV-A Regional Director Leticia Diokno, Region IV-A Assistant Regional Floreceli Gunio accompanied the delegation, along with staff of the DSWD.

The visit was intended for the delegation to observe the implementation of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (Pantawid), two of the major poverty alleviation programs of the DSWD.

Kalahi-CIDSS uses the community-driven development strategy, an approach that seeks to combat poverty and improve local governance by strengthening the capacity of citizens to identify and implement local solutions to poverty issues. The program’s implementation in Barangay Ligtong III is realized through a grant from the Japan Social Development Fund-Livelihood Opportunities for Vulnerable Urban Communities (JSDF-LVUC) to improve employment and livelihood opportunities for urban poor communities through community grants for labor-intensive, small-scale development projects and community enterprises through business advisory services. Pantawid, on the other hand, is the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program of the DSWD. It provides financial assistance so that poor households can invest in the health and education of their children.

The delegates participated in a focus group discussion with the Kalahi-CIDSS volunteers, who talked about their experience in participating in the program. Maria Lourdes San Buenaventura, one of the volunteers, shared, “Dito po namin naranasan ang community-driven na project. Dito po namin naranasan na maging kabahagi talaga ng barangay. Naging bahagi po kami sa solusyon sa problema ng barangay with the help of Kalahi-CIDSS [Through this, we were able to experience community-driven development. We got to feel what it’s like to truly be part of the village. We became part of the solution to solve the problems of our community with the help of Kalahi-CIDSS].”

Annaliza Asma, another Kalahi-CIDSS volunteer and one of the Pantawid Parent Leaders in Barangay Ligtong III, shared, “Nakatulong po ang Kalahi-CIDSS sa kanila kasi marami po sa kanila ang walang pinagkakakitaan. Nagkaroon po sila nang pinagkakakitaan para po sa kanilang pamilya. Dahil po sa Kalahi-CIDSS at Pantawid madami pong tulong ang naibigay sa amin [Kalahi-CIDSS has helped our village because a lot of the residents do not have a source of income. They were able to get employment through this, so they can now earn for their families. We have received a lot of help through Kalahi-CIDSS and Pantawid].”

Assistant Secretary Marisa Lago was impressed with the stories shared by the community volunteers. As she said, “I’m just so struck by your leadership, and it is leadership from within the community that makes projects successful.”

Ambassador Orr was likewise impressed by the residents of Barangay Ligtong III. He thanked the community, saying, “I just want to thank you for inspiring us. It’s inspiring to see leaders like you give your time at the local level. It’s the local level that makes the national leadership, and you demonstrated that today, so thank you very much.”

For his part, Rosario Mayor Jose “Nonong” Ricafrente extended his gratitude to the US Department of the Treasury and ADB for visiting his municipality. He thanked the DSWD for implementing Kalahi-CIDSS and Pantawid in Rosario. He said, “We are lucky we have been chosen as the beneficiaries of the Kalahi-CIDSS project and the conditional cash transfer program. We have been visited by calamities recently, [such as] flooding these past weeks, and the oil spills. Without these programs, I don’t know how we could have coped with these, but now, we could cope with man-made and natural calamities.”

Aside from the interacting with the Kalahi-CIDSS volunteers and the Pantawid partner beneficiaries, the delegation also observed an ongoing Family Development Session (FDS), an innovation of the CCT implementation of the DSWD, wherein parent beneficiaries of Pantawid are taught principles and practices that will develop their knowledge, skills, and values as better parents to their children. The delegation also visited a day care center and a health center in Barangay Ligtong III, both of which are used by the Pantawid beneficiaries.

Kalahi-CIDSS and Pantawid implementation in Barangay Ligtong III

Barangay Ligtong III is a community that benefits from both Kalahi-CIDSS and Pantawid.

Barangay Ligtong III chose the dredging and desilting of 560 linear meters of Malimango creek and the construction of a line canal as their infrastructure community projects in Kalahi-CIDSS. Through the program, interested residents of the said barangay also underwent dressmaking, shield metal arc welding, and buri bag making trainings. The numbers of trainees were 55, 15, and 53, respectively. Forty of the trained beneficiaries are now employed at the Cavite Export Processing Zone (EPZA). The other trainees are being linked with the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), another poverty alleviation program of the DSWD.

Pantawid, meanwhile, covers 2,658 households in the municipality of Rosario, Cavite. In Ligtong III, it has 373 household beneficiaries.

Originally designed to operate in rural poor communities, Kalahi-CIDSS has recently started piloting CDD implementation in urban poor communities. Ligtong III in Rosario, Cavite is one of its first pilot urban CDD sites, along with three communities in Malate, Manila. Recently, DSWD has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Laguna, Cavite, Malabon, and Muntinlupa for the implementation of urban CDD.

Pantawid, Kalahi-CIDSS, and SLP make up the Tatsulo, the Convergence strategy of the DSWD to generate greater impact on poverty reduction.

DSWD Assistant Secretary Cabrera said, “This [visit] shows how convergence works. It’s not only convergence within DSWD, but also with the LGUs. It says a lot if we converge our projects, because it shows shared responsibility, together with the communities.” (DSWD CO)***


TURNING TIDES A medium scale fisherman’s story of success

He was a fisherman who earns as much as 200 to 300 pesos a day.   He would refer to these times as a jackpot. More than often, however, he would go home with nothing even though he had already spent several hours at sea.  During these times, he would worry how to support his family’s basic needs and his children’s education.

Edy Demesa, a resident of Agdangan in Quezon Province owe every penny they have to the sea. Lala, his wife, has no job and simply takes care of their children at home. He has a small motor boat and five fish nets, his tools to bring income to the family.

For years, he wakes up early in the morning and would try his luck in the sea. However, one great decision has turned the tides for his family. From being a small-scale fisherman, Edy has managed to acquire his own place in the market, a tricycle, two motor boats, four units of fish traps or baklad and fish nets of different sizes.

It started in 2009 when he decided to join the Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA-K), now Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), a program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that provides capital seed assistance and capability training to qualified groups for their micro-enterprise ventures. Edy was granted a loan of Php5,000.00 and that was the start of the change he has long been dreaming of for his family

Start of something big

From his old fish nets, Edy could only catch small fishes, which are usually sold cheaply in the market. But with his loan, he purchased fish nets with different hole sizes. With such investment, he was able to catch other kinds of fish and increase the volume of his daily catch.

“Nagkatrabaho na rin po yung asawa ko. Kumuha na rin kami ng pwesto sa palengke para itinda ang aming mga huli. Sa palengke, mas mahal ang bentahan ng mga isda kaysa doon sa mga bumibili sa tabing-dagat. Nakapagbebenta na rin kami ng huling isda ng ibang mga mangingisda dito”  he shared.

The increase in his family’s income gave Edy hope that their life can be a lot better, so he did not stop dreaming. He wanted to invest on motor boats and fishing traps or baklad but the increase in their income cannot still afford such investments.  But somehow he knew, things would still get better through hard work.


Continuing to something even bigger

Soon enough, their SEA-K Association became a beneficiary of the Level 2 implementation of the SLP.  Edy was elected president of the Agdangan SEA-KABAYAN Incorporated, which includes three SEA-K associations in the locality.  Their SEA-KABAYAN was granted Php4,010,000.00 capital for Micro Enterprise Expansion Program and funds for the Basic Shelter Construction and Home Improvement Program. The 72 members including Edy received Php90,000 each for the expansion of their livelihood and construction or improvement of their shelter.

Their receipt of a new capital assistance marked the start of their relending scheme to help improve their members income.  The lending business allows members, who cannot qualify for loans from big lending groups, to loan money with small interest. Through this project, he was able to learn how to budget, save, give importance to obligations and privileges and manage time wisely. He was able to encourage his members to take an active participation in development-oriented activities of the community like farming and conservation of the environment especially the bodies of water where they get most of their livelihood from.

With what Edy learned in managing his finances, he ensured the Level 2 assistance he received will be wisely used.

“Yung P20,000 po ay binili ko ng isa pang motor boat, apat na baklad at iba’t-ibang klase ng lambat,” he said.

He was also able to purchase a tricycle that he uses to expand the reach of his business. He is now engaging in fish-trading where he uses his tricycle for delivery to nearby areas of Lucena City and Atimonan. When he has no delivery schedules, he drives his tricycle for additional income.

The Php70,000, on the other hand, was used for the renovation of their house. Now, his home has sufficient bedrooms for him and his wife, two sons and daughter, and has a bathroom, terrace, dining area and dirty kitchen.

“Malaking tulong talaga yung dagdag na capital, malaking pagbabago ito sa buhay namin,” he shared.

Through the years of managing his business and getting a hang of the trade, his business grew even bigger. With pride, Edy shared that they earn enough today to answer the needs of his family and to pay off his loan from the program. He is also happy that he can send all his children to school without a problem now.

More than the growth of his business, Edy has grown to be a good leader. His being president of the SEA-KABAYAN Association has honed his leadership skills and earned him the trust of other people. Now, he is a barangay councilor, president of the PTA and chairman of the POC Agricultural Committee.

Giving back to the community

Edy is all praises and thanks to the DSWD and the SLP for the transformation of their lives starting from the Php5,000 capital assistance provided to them in 2009. For him, paying off his loans to the government is not the end of his responsibility. Hence, he continues to support other programs of the Department such as the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan—Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS).

Kalahi-CIDSS is another core social protection program of the DSWD alongside SLP and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program that aims to reduce poverty, improve local governance and empower people through implementing infrastructure and community projects that address the community’s most pressing needs.

Through the program, Edy’s barangay (Brgy. Kanluran Canluran) was granted Php2.1M for the construction of a pump-driven level II water system. According to Edy, it is long been the need of the community to have a proximate and constant water source.  He also thinks the livelihood programs for the residents should be continuously provided.

“Kung mabibigyan kami ng pagkakataon, maganda po sanang makapagsimula ng livelihood projects para sa mga kababaihan dito. Mga isda ang produkto dito, siguro ay pagdadaing, pagtutuyo o pagtitinapa ang magandang pasukin ng mga tao dito o kaya ay paggawa ng bunot o basket,” he concluded.

At this point in his life, Edy does not think of himself or his family alone. Honed as a leader and a successful entrepreneur now, he thinks of the welfare of other members of their community so they can have an improved quality of life just like what his family is having today.***

Posted in KALAHI-CIDSS, NewsComments Off on TURNING TIDES A medium scale fisherman’s story of success


Bulagsong Elementary School.  For 100 days, resident-volunteers of Brgy Bulagson worked together for the completion of their 4-classroom school building under the Kalahi-CIDSS AUSAID program.  They believe that providing their children with good education is key to the development not only of themselves and that of their family, but also to the development of their community as a whole.***

Bulagsong Elementary School. For 100 days, resident-volunteers of Brgy Bulagson worked together for the completion of their 4-classroom school building under the Kalahi-CIDSS AUSAID program. They believe that providing their children with good education is key to the development not only of themselves and that of their family, but also to the development of their community as a whole.***

The people of Brgy Bulagsong, only dream to provide their children a good venue for their learning.  For several years now, the students of Bulagsong Elementary School endured the poor conditions of their classrooms. Rains are often threats since the rooms have worn-out roofs and strong winds can easily tear them down.

As a result, children 6-12 years old became less interested in going to school. Not only are their rooms discouraging for them but the lack of classrooms forced the school to follow a multi-grade system. There is also a high number of out of school youths in the area.

With the coming of the Kalahi-CIDSS, the people of Brgy. Bulagsong has proposed the construction of a four-classroom elementary school building. Two times, they failed.

Randy Natividad, a BSPMC volunteer, pinpoints what he saw as the problem why the barangay’s proposal isn’t always prioritized.

“Mahirap magpatawag ng barangay assembly dito, mababa rin ang partisipasyon ng mga tao sa mga aktibidad ng Kalahi. Mayroon din kaming kakulangan sa cash counterpart para sa project,” he said.

But just when everyone thought of giving the dream up, an opportunity came to help them construct the school building for their children.

Dreams granted, no more failures

Through the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the four-classroom elementary school building in Brgy. Bulagsong was prioritized for funding in November 2013.  With the lessons learned from previous failures (lack of cooperation and interest among community members), the residents worked as a team this time in the construction of their school building project. The Barangay Council and the volunteers have been active all throughout the project’s implementation.

Rosie Marquez, PIT Head, have seen how the community has become one when it comes to the implementation of the project.

“Sa loob ng 100 na araw na namalagi ako sa site, unti-unti kong nakita ang pagbuo ng proyekto. Naging familiar din ako sa proseso ng programa. Nakita ko lahat ng taong labas-pasok sa site mula sa mga laborers, barangay council members, volunteers at Kalahi staff. Lahat sila gustong makita kung ano na ang development ng aming proyekto,” she shared.

There are also a lot of people in the barangay including out of school youths who found a temporary job and a means to support their respective families.

“Kapag naglalakad po ako pauwi galing sa site, madalas may naririnig akong agam-agam at mga pag-aalala ng mga tao tungkol sa proyekto.  Hindi ko na po sila pinapansin dahil alam ko kaya at pwedeng mabuo ito.  Bilang isang ina rin, nakita ko ang kalagayan ng mga anak ko tuwing nasisira ang kanilang silid-aralan kapag bumabagyo.  Kasama ng ibang mga magulang dito, hindi namin iniisip ang pagod.  Andito kami para itayo ang silid-aralan,” she said.

For the people of Brgy. Bulagsong, it takes a lot of cooperation to build a classroom, a lesson they learned after a couple of failures. The people, through the school building standing tall today, have proven that they believe in the value of education not only for the future of their children and their families, but for the future of the community where they belong.***


DSWD FO4A @ Twitter


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