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Beyond Vegetables: Gulayan sa Barangay connects and empowers beneficiaries


Because of its mountainous land-bound area, some barangays in the municipality of Roxas, Palawan have difficulty in accessing food. Considering its distance to the town proper and its rough road, most food such as vegetables, meat, and fish cost higher. This resulted to high malnutrition rate in 2016 based on the Social Welfare Development Indicator (SWDI) conducted, where 63 households from its five barangays such as Dumarao, Iraan, Mendoza, San Isidro, and Sandoval have children weighing below normal (underweight).

It is with the aim to address malnutrition and food insecurity that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program enjoins program beneficiaries from this municipality in adopting bio-intensive-gardening (BIG) or Gulayan sa Barangay. But aside from malnutrition, the project has also helped beneficiaries to attend to their low income rate and practice camaraderie

through community organizing.

In   Brgy. Dumarao and Brgy. Mendoza, gulayan sa barangay has been strengthened after the conduct of a gardening contest known as the “Gulayan Festival” initiated by the program staff in partnership and support of the barangay local government unit. The contest served as their strategy to encourage households to give importance to proper nutrition, create successful model of sustainable communal gardens, and increase the level of public consciousness on the health and nutritional dimension as well as economic benefits of the community garden.  On November 2016, the gardening contest was announced after their Family Development Session module was discussed with topic on environmental education and information and organic agriculture orientation. It was then that the beneficiaries of the two barangays held their first meeting to establish their Gulayan sa Barangay project. After the FDS, some clusters of the barangay also gather to discuss task assignments of the members and their schedules to take turns in caring for the garden.

But before their bountiful yields, most gardens encountered difficulties in rearing their vegetables. Their first challenge was finding an available space for them to start their communal gardens. Some members of the cluster offered their vacant lot as a place to situate their gardens while some borrowed lands from their neighbors. In Sitio Old Site in Brgy. Mendoza, since there was no available area near a water system with a good soil to plant their vegetables, they made their own plot using organic fertilizers and loam soil.

The seeds that they use to plant in their gardens usually comes from the members’ own backyard garden or bought from the market. The Municipal Agricultural Office (MAO) as well as the Department of Agriculture (DA) provide them seedlings when there are available. Vegetables which are usually planted are eggplants, okra, pechay, sili, raddish, string beans, squash, and tomatoes, among others. In order to repel unwanted insects and pests to their crops, most of them use organic pesticides or plant flowers. Through adopting their knowledge from the seminar-workshops of DA, their communal gardens have also flourished.

Few months after their establishment, the members have begun seeing their improvements through their communal gardens. After their vegetables grew, the clusters sold their produce to their local neighbors or each of the member for their own consumption. In Sitio Lower Ilian-Ilian in Brgy. Dumarao, some of its members sold their produce in the market since some of them are vegetable vendors. Meanwhile in Sitio Itabiak, also in Brgy. Dumarao, a vegetable supplier buys their yields in wholesale to be sold in the market for retailers. They have been able to generate income from their yields which they saved for future uses of the group. In Sitio Old Site, they were able to bought a female swine for dispersal within their cluster. They get all the expenses of their hog raising in the income of their communal garden as well. Each participating cluster of the Gulayan Festival has gained 3,000 pesos to 10,000 pesos since their first harvest.

On July 2017, winners of the garden in Brgy. Dumarao are Sitio Masaya 1, Sitio Itabiak, and Sitio Lower Ilian-Ilian. Meanwhile, in Brgy. Mendoza, Sitio Old Site, Sitio Proper 2, and Sitio Little Baguio/Taliwara were announced as winners. After the contest, the six sitios from the two barangays continued their communal garden as all members have seen its impact to their selves, their children, and their community. “Ang maganda dito ma’am, hindi na naming kailangan pang bumili ng gulay para sa mga anak namin. Dito alam namin na ligtas yung mga tanim at mura pa. Kahit papaano, kapag walang makain, gulay na lang ang kinakain namin at masustansya pa,” Elvie Sabuya, member of Sitio Proper 2 cluster, said. Because of its lower price compared to those being sold in the market, most households in the community, beneficiaries or non-beneficiaries, turn to their communal garden to buy vegetables.

In some clusters, beneficiaries are often seen gambling but after the establishment of the communal garden, they were able to find an activity to keep them busy. More than the money they get, the members said that they can also practice bayanihan which strengthens their sense of camaraderie. “Maganda din po itong gulayan namin kasi mas tumitibay ang relasyon naming miyembro kumpara noong dati na pagkatapos ng FDS ay uuwi na lang. Minsan dito na kami nagpapalipas ng oras para mapawi rin ba ng problema,” said Emmi Delaguna, parent leader of Sitio Proper 2.

Due to its long-term benefits, it was on June 2017 that Ms. Valerie Magallado, their Municipal Link, recommended to the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) that the communal gardens of these sitios become an association to the modality of Seed Capital Fund. With the eagerness of each member to improve their communal gardens, the proposal has been accomplished and submitted and is waiting for approval.

After more than a year of establishment, beyond issues of food access on these two barangays, the Gulayan sa Barangay project has been seen as about building social ties, sharing skills and experience, learning about nature, and taking proactive measures to improve their well-being as well as their economic sustainability. And despite the challenges they encountered, they remained determined to continue their communal gardens hoping that hunger and food insecurity among Pantawid beneficiaries in the area will be eliminated in the long term, in order to reduce the impact of poverty. ###

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MDEs Attended M&E Forum

Pasay City, Metro Manila—The Municipal Data Encoders from different Kalahi CIDSS implementing municipalities in MIMAROPA were gathered last March 20-22, 2018 at Kabayan Hotel in Pasay City for the Monitoring and Evaluation Forum, formerly known as the Database Encoders’ Workshop. The main goal of this M and E Forum is to orient the encoders on the new version of Project Information Management System (PIMS), the primary database system used by DSWD Kalahi CIDSS. In addition to this, the status of the Means of Verification (MOVs) for Kalahi CIDSS project implementation will be checked and it will also serve as the audit checkpoint for the municipalities that will be finishing their program implementation this June. The main issues that the MDEs discussed were about the difficulties they experience on using the database system and the geotagging web-app. The persisting issues in the use of the database was the lost of data upon saving according to the M and E officers, this was mostly due to the slow internet connection in the areas. As the three-day activity came to its conclusion, most of the concerns of the MDEs were addressed.

Municipal Data Encoders are discussing strategies on how to make database management better, manageable, and faster



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Ika-67 Anibersaryo ng DSWD pinagdiwang ng FO MIMAROPA


Kasabay ng saliw ng mga makukulay na bandiritias, matagumpay at masiglang ipinagdiwang ng mga opisyal at kawani ng Department of Social Welfare and Development MIMAROPA ang ika-67 Anibersaryo ng departamento.

Opisyal na binuksan ni Regional Director Wilma D. Naviamos ang nasabing anibersaryo ng maghatid siya ng mensahe tungkol sa tema ng taong pagdiriwang ng anibersaryo: “ Walang Puwang sa Katiwalian ang Tapat ng Paglilingkod Sa Bayan.”

“Ang pagdiriwang na ito ang magisislbing paalala sa atin na ang serbisyong binibigay natin sa ating mga benepisyaryo ay kinakailangang tapat, walang halong panlilinlang at korupsyon,” ani RD Naviamos.

Kaakibat ng tema ng matapat na paglilingkod, sama samang nagsagawa ng 1 Billion Rising Dance ang mga kalahok bilang pagsuporta sa walang katiwaliang pagsusulong ng karapatan at adbokasiya para sa mga kababaihan.

Bukod pa rito, naghanda ng Photo exhibit ang Social Marketing Unit (SMU) na pinamagatang: Larawang ng Tagumpay.

Ang nasabing exhibit ay nagpapakita ng mga paglalayag, paghihirap, at pagsisikap ng mga benepisyaryo upang makamit ang buhay na kanilang tinatamasa sa tulong ng iba’t ibang programa at serbisyo ng departamento.

Iprinesenta rin ang iba’t ibang karangalang natanggap ng rehiyon sa iba’t ibang kompetitsyon tulad ng pagiging kampyon sa SLP Bangon Kabuhayan at Pantawid Pamilya Search for Exemplary Children. Gayundin, ang mga

Nagtayo rin ng Bazaar ang Sustainable Livelihood Program kung saan ipinakita ang iba’t ibang produkto ng mga benepisyaryo mula sa MIMAROPA.

Pinangunahan naman ni Asistant Secretary Aleli B. Bagawan ng Office of the Secretary Group (OSG) katuwang sina RD Wilma D. Naviamos, ARDo Florecelli G. Gunio at ARDA Joel S. Mijares,  ang Groundbreaking Ceremony ng itatayong bagong apat na palapag na gusali ng DSWD at ‘blessing’ ng bagong SMU Office na sumisimbulo sa convergence ng mga programa ng DSWD.

“Malapit sa akin ang MIMAROPA dahil mahal na mahal ko ang mga kapatid nating Mangyan. Nagpapasalamat ako sa inyo sa patuloy ninyong pagaalaga sa kanila sa kabila ng mahirap ninyong pinagdadaan maparating lamang sa kanila ang ating serbisyo,” ito ang makapagbabag damdaming mensahe ni ASEC Aleli ng bigyan siya ng menshae


Pagkatapos ng mensahe ni ASEC Aleli, nagtipon tipon ang lahat upang paigitingin ang pagsasamahan sa pamamagitan ng pagasalo salo ng pagkain sa isang ‘boodle fight’.

Sa ikalawang araw ng pagdiriwang, pinangaralan naman ang iba’t ‘partners’ ng DSWD na naging katuwang sa matapat at matagumpay na pagiimplementa ng programa at serbisyo ng departamento sa iba’t ibang probinsya ng MIMAROPA.

Panata ko sa Bayan Awards (National Entries):

Praise National

  • Best Operations Office – Supplementary Feeding Program
  • Best Crisis Intervention Unit – MIMAROPA Crisis Intervention Unit

Salamat Po Award

  • Best NGO – Ruel Foundation Phils. Inc.


  • Model LGU Implementing Day Care Services – San Jose, Occidental Mindoro
  • Model LGU Implementing KALAHI-CIDSS – Calatrava, Romblon
  • Model LGU Implementing Protective programs and services – Province of Oriental Mindoro
  • Model LGU Implementing SLP MicroEnterprise Development – Looc, Romblon
  • Model LGU Implementing Employment Facilitation-Brooke’s Point, Palawan
  • Best Convergence Initative – Naujan, Oriental Mindoro

Samantala, hinarana at hinandugan naman ng video ang mga “Loyalty Awardees” na matagal at matapat na nagsilbi sa departamento:

  • Floreceli G. Gunio (40 taon ng serbisyo)
  • Annabelle U. Vargas (30 taon ng serbisyo)
  • Severino S. Taduran (25 taon ng serbisyo)
  • Monina D. Pechon (20 taon ng serbisyo)
  • Shiela S. Tapia (20 taon ng serbisyo)
  • Maricel F. De La Vega (10 taon ng serbisyo)
  • Sheila D. Sarabia (10 taon ng serbisyo)
  • Irish C. Villarin (10 taon ng serbisyo)

Karangalan naman ng rehiyon na mapaunlakan ang imbetasyon kina Undersecretary Maria Lourdes Turaldee-Jarabe ng Operations and Programs Group –Promotive Programs at Undersecretary Hope V. Hervilla ng Disaster Response Management na makilahok sa kanilang pagdiriwang.

Nagbigay ng buong suporta at inspirasyon sina USEC Turalde-Jarabe at USEC Hope sa patuloy na paglilingkod sa bayan ng mga kawani ng DSWD MIMAROPA ng ‘May Malasakit at Walang Puwang sa Katiwalian. “

Samantala nagbigay naman ng mga testimonial sina Jecille Arah M. Costales at Mary Jane Gaito ng MANHAK Association ukol sa kanilang mga pinagdaanan upang makamit ang titulong National Pantawid Pmailya Exemplary  Child 2017 at kampyon sa SLP Bangon Kabuhayan.

Sa pagtatapos ng pagdiriwang, pinasalamatan ni RD Naviamos ang lahat ng kawani na nagtulong tulong upang maging matagumpay ang pagdiriwang ng Anibersaryo at ang mga partners sa kanilang walang sawang pagsuporta sa departamento. ###

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CVs and MCTs Participate in Community Scorecard Training

Manila, Metro Manila– On March 6-9, 2018, the Department of Social Welfare and Development – KALAHI CIDSS NCDDP hosted a four-day Community Scorecard (CSC) Training at The Pearl Manila Hotel.

The use of CSC as a community-monitoring tool will strengthen the program’s engagement with the communities and enhance the accountability reporting. Out of the 64 municipalities in the MIMAROPA region, eight (8) partner-municipalities were selected to roll-out the tool within the first half of the year: Bansud, Gloria, Calatrava, Ferrol, Araceli, Magsaysay (Palawan), Cuyo and Narra.

The CSC workshop started by looking at the existing governance context of local public service delivery, and how DSWD Kalahi CIDSS – NCDDP operates in the said framework. This discussion served to structure the succeeding sharing of actual experiences by both community beneficiaries and program implementers in creating participatory monitoring of their localities.

The main part of the workshop focused on the creation of an input tracking matrix and two different sets of scorecards that were borne out of the group’s own standards and criteria. The process culminated in an interface meeting wherein service providers and service users discuss the results of their respective scorecards, identify emerging issues, and come to agreements on how to address or resolve these. Workshop sessions on each part of the CSC process featured a module-approach by the resource persons, followed by a hands-on activity wherein participants simulated the step of the CSC activity, and a reflection exercise which tried to draw out insights from the process.

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DSWD Kalahi CIDSS MIMAROPA Conducts Regional Sustainability Planning Workshop for 177 Municipalities

Manila, Metro Manila– To gain insights and harvest the lessons gained from the implementation of the 177 modality implementing municipalities of DSWD Kalahi CIDSS NCDDP, the Regional Program Management Office held the Regional Sustainability Planning Workshop last March 5-6, 2018 at the Pearl Hotel Manila.

Attended by representatives from 177 municipalities. The participants discussed and shared the community-driven development status in their respective municipalities and the result of the sustainability planning workshop they have conducted on the last quarter of 2017 and first few months of 2018. After the presentations, an Open Forum, moderated by the Regional Community Development Specialist Felomina Duka is conducted which revolve mostly on the clarification on the presented data and discussion on the future ventures of the 177 municipalities towards incorporating CDD in their governance strategy.

Furthermore, MAKILAHOK and Organizational Development and Management plans for 2018 were also discussed on the activity. A ceremonial signing of Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) among the 177 municipalities and the Kalahi CIDSS MIMAROPA RPMO has closed the activity. The MOA contained the agreement on adoption of the sustainabilty plan by the 177 municipalities; thus, incorporating the it to their governance strategy. ###

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Pagtiyak sa maayos na implementasyon ng SFP sa MIMAROPA, Pinaigting

Sa pangunguna ni Ms. Maria Eleonor L. Leal, ND III at Mark Angelo R. Lorenzo, SFP focal, nagsagawa ng ‘monitoring visit’ ang mga kawani ng Supplementary Feeding Program sa mga Child Development Centers ng Sablayan, Rizal at San Jose Occidental Mindoro upang matiyak ang maayos na 7th Cycle Implementation ng programa.

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“Agar-agar”: A Livelihood for MCCT-IP beneficiaries

(Photo taken by Mr. Reign Sarusad Sobebe, PDO II MCCT-IP Balabac)

Balabac, Palawan – With its gold like color, beneficiaries in Balabac, Palawan continued to venture into this livelihood to bring food on their table. But just like gold, it has to go through a refinement process before it could turn into something more valuable. To date, the region has covered a total of more than 300 families under MCCT for Indigenous People with approximately 70% of the registered families engage into Seaweeds Production as their main source of living.

In 2016, the program has provided them with livelihood support through the SSI project of the Department to help them increase their production and eventually bring more resources for the family to meet their daily basic needs. Unfortunately, most of them were affected by Super Typhoon Vinta last December 2017 destroying 80-90% of their seaweeds farms. Months after the impact, families are now trying to rebuild their livelihood with the materials and small capital left by typhoon while waiting for the assistance that could be provided to them by the government and other agencies.

Despite their situation, they are still thankful that there is no casualties recorded brought by the typhoon except in Mangsee Island which sustained great damage to the livelihood and other resources of the residents.

(Words by Mr. Reji Pancho, MCCT-IP Focal)

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Learning and Wellness Sessions for RPMO Staff

Malate, Manila – The Department of Social and Welfare Development Field Office MIMAROPA through Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program conducts Learning and Wellness Sessions for the Regional Program Management Office staff. The activity is a a two-hour sessions conducted every Friday from 3PM to 5PM, which aims not only to provide learning opportunities for the regional program staff  but also to enrich the welfare of the employees by covering topics and activities on the four wellness dimensions namely physical, social, intellectual, and financial dimensions.

In order to determine the topics to be discussed, the Capacity Building Unit conducted a needs assessment during the second week of January 2018 to capture the competencies and activities that the RPMO staff deemed as relevant to perform their specific tasks and functions and to improve their welfare as an employee.

The first session was conducted on February 2, 2018 with topics on Nutrition Assessment and Weight Management and Basic Mountaineering. On the other hand, activities conducted during the second session on February 9, 2018 were Zumba and Chess. Also discussed was the Ethical Conduct in Mountain Climbing.

For the third session this Friday, February 23, 2018, topic will be about Prevention of Common Colds.

The two-to-three hour session will continue its conduct every Friday and will be held at DSWD Conference Room.###

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