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DSWD-7 culminates 69th anniversary; honors partners and employees

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VII culminated its 69th Founding Anniversary celebration through an awarding ceremony held recently at Vivace Events Center, SM Seaside Complex, Cebu City.

DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista was the Keynote Speaker of the special event.

In his speech, Secretary Bautista enumerated the accomplishments of DSWD Field Office VII.

DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista delivers his Keynote message during the Panata Ko sa Bayan and PRAISE awards in FO7’s celebration of the DSWD’s 69th anniversary.

“All of these achievements would not be possible without the dedication and perseverance of all the workers of Field Office VII under the leadership of Director Geamala and of course of allies and established partnership in social development scene. I commend your untiring efforts in ensuring the needs of the poor, vulnerable and marginalized are responded and attended. I hope you continue to become pillars and advocate of change so that tunay na malasakit sa mahihirap at maagap at mapagkalingang serbisyo sa mamamayan be realized on the ground,” said Secretary Bautista.

The celebration highlights the PaNata Ko (Pagkilala sa Natatanging Kontribusyon) sa Bayan Awards and the Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE) Awards.

PaNata Ko sa Bayan Awards is a recognition to stakeholders and partners who have supported and contributed to the implementation of DSWD’s programs, projects and services.

Under the Panata Ko sa Bayan are sub-awards that included Salamat Po Award, GAPAS Awards, Gawad Ulat and Citation to Partners.

Salamat Po Awardees are Norfil Foundation, Inc. as Non-Government Organization (NGO) and Mr. Aniceto and Mrs. Edna Jorolan as Best Foster Parents.

For the Gawad Paglilingkod sa Sambayanan (GAPAS) Award, the winners are the following; Municipality of Moalboal as Model LGU Implementing Kalahi-CIDSS, City of Tagbilaran as LGU Implementing an Outstanding Sustainable Livelihood Program under the Employment Facilitation Model, Municipality of Talibon as LGU Implementing an Outstanding Sustainable Livelihood Program under Micro Enterprise Development Model, City of Lapu-Lapu as Model LGU Supporting the Implementation of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and the Cebu City Kalipunan ng Liping Pilipina-Nasyonal Inc. as Best People’s Organization (PO).

Gawad Ulat Awards were given to Cebu Catholic Television Network or CCTN Channel 47 (Most Supportive Television Station), DYHP RMN Cebu (Most Supportive Radio Station), SunStar Cebu (Most Supportive English Newspaper), Superbalita (Most Supportive Cebuano Newspaper), Metro Cebu News Online (Most Supportive Online News) and Ms. Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon of The Freeman (Most Supportive Reporter in Print Media).

Citations were also given to partners for their invaluable contribution to the Department and the following recipients received the awards: ACLC College of Mandaue, Banilad Center for Professional Development, Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu-Chi Foundation Cebu, Cebu Port Authority, DYRC Aksyon Radyo, Juanito I. King Foundation, Inc., Central Command – Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard District Central Visayas, Land Bank of the Philippines (Plaza Independencia Branch), Regional Federation of Day Care Workers (RFDCW), Sunstar Publishing Inc., Helping Hands Organization of PWD, Inc., Wellmade Motors and Development Corporation, Department of Health (DOH-7), International Justice Mission (IJM), Paglaum Training International, Restore Children and Family Services, and the Cebu Doctor’s University – Occupational Therapy Department and the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD-7).

The rest of the recipients who received citations are Dr. Maria Janet S. Porcia, Mr. Victor Sumampong, Jr., Ms. Edwina Quialquial, Ms. Flordemie Villar, Ms. Martha Ricablanca, Pastor Loven L. Largo and Mr. Leo Moises Lison.

While the PRAISE Awards are given to exemplary performers in DSWD. It is designed to encourage creativity, innovativeness, efficiency, integrity and productivity in the public service by recognizing and rewarding officials and employees for their contributions in the improvement of government operations.

PRAISE awardees are Mr. Lloyd Lyndel D. Simporios as Best Social Worker – Community Based, Mr. Robert F. Alcain as Best MOA Worker (Administrative), Mr. Walter V. Manatad as Best Driver, and Mr. Joevane T. Villamor as Best Technical Staff (Professional).

The Social Marketing Section (SMS) was also declared as the Best Support Office. The SMS is headed by regional information officer Leah Quintana. The SMU staff includes the information officers of various programs of the Department namely; Charmaine Camara (Listahanan), Kerwin Macopia (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program), Venice Polancos (Kalahi-CIDSS) and Ria Micate (Sustainable Livelihood Program).

Under the PRAISE awards is also the Career and Self-Development Incentive Award. This award recognizes those employees who have continually improved their skills and honed their craft in the pursuit of higher education. The awardees for this category are Daisy Lor, Doctor in Public Administration, Norman Jordan, Diploma in Professional Education, and Emmalyn Morada, Master in Social Work.

The Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center (AVRC) II also received a citation for their Knowledge Management Initiative on enhancing the mobility of the orthopedically impaired persons with disabilities and sustaining the partnership with the Cebu Doctors University.

During the awarding ceremony, the Department also gave Loyalty Awards to employees and officials who have rendered 10 years or more of faithful government service.

The loyalty awardee for 10 years is Mr. Christian Dominic P. Diola.

Ms. Timotea B. Gadapan and Ms. Nemesia B. Tumaroy received the award for 15 years of service, while Ms. Josephine C. Belotindos, Mr. Roman S. Bering, Jr., Ms. Analisa R. Cimafranca and Ms. Grace Q. Subong for 20 years.

Ms. Josephine T. Iscala and Mr. Ramcel Gaspar S. Mangila received the award for their 25 years of loyal service.

DSWD-7 confers Loyalty Awards to employees and officials who have rendered 30 years in government service.

The 30 years of service awardees were Ms. Nida N. Cagigas, Mr. Maximino D. Colita, Jr., Ms. Florita Q. Dabon, Ms. Sheba S. Dabon, Ms. Artemia C. Degamo, Ms. Shalaine Marie S. Lucero, Ms. Yolanda C. Oliveras, Ms. Juana E. Palacio, and Mr. Dioscoro C. Pancho.

Retirees were also given recognition through the Service Award and they were Ms. Sheba S. Dabon, Mr. Edward P. Dapiton, Ms. Yolanda C. Oliveras, Ms. Jocelyn C. Salomon, Mr. Vladimir A. Castillo, Ms. Bebiana B. Legaspi and Mr. Basilides V. Omboy.

In the afternoon, the DSWD staff witnessed the cheer dance competition participated in by Red, Green, Yellow, Blue and Orange teams.

The Green Team emerged as the champion while the Red Team, Orange Team, Yellow Team and Blue team placed as runners-up, respectively.

Mr. Jason King Hofilena of Green Team and Ms. Patriz Brigoli of Blue Team were declared as the 2020 Mr. and Ms. DSWDlympics.

The winners of the Knowledge Management (KM) Your Corner was also declared during the culminating activity. The AVRC II got the first place, the SMS in second place and the Crisis Intervention Section (CIS) in third place. ###


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DSWD-7 kicks off its 69th week-long anniversary

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VII kicked off its celebration of the Department 69th Founding Anniversary celebration with the theme, “Social Integration: DSWD’s Major Thrust in line with the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022.”

The Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) opens its livelihood fair. Members of the Management Committee lead the ribbon cutting ceremony (from right to left) Shalaine Marie Lucero (Assistant Regional Director for Operations), Rebecca Geamala (Regional Director) and Antonio Dolaota (Assistant Regional Director for Administration).

During the opening salvo on February 3, 2020, DSWD-7 Regional Director Rebecca Geamala called for unified action of everyone in order to achieve the goal of the Department.

“This is the challenge, not only to the regional directors but to everyone in the DSWD. Whatever our contributions are, let us act with sincerity, commitment, kindness and love. Let us work with our assignments with perfect love acted in justice and with favors of mercy,” underscored Director Geamala in her message.

After the DSWD anniversary message of Director Geamala, the song “Katatagan” was also officially launched.

This original composition is written by Leah Quintana, regional information officer of DSWD-7. The musical arrangement is done by Niño Bautista, clerk at the Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center (AVRC II) and Gem Malaza, Project Development Officer of Standards Section. It is performed by the DSWD-7 Chorale.

The original song composition is an ode to the resiliency of the DSWD workers that despite the challenges that they face, they continue to provide the sincere and compassionate service to the poor, vulnerable and marginalized sector in the society.

A trade fair exhibit dubbed “Tabo sa SLP” was also opened showcasing the different livelihood products from Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor which are now displayed at the DSWD-7 grounds from February 3 to February 11, 2020.

On February 4, a Knowledge Exchange was conducted in coordination with the Social Welfare Development Learning Network (SWDL-Net) and on February 5, a Wellness Program Symposium, which aims to promote the overall health and wellness of employees in recognition of their valuable contribution to the accomplishments and success of the Department will be done. A blood-letting activity will also be facilitated in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH).

There will be also be sports activities like basketball and volleyball, indoor fun games, and trivia games during the duration of the week-long celebration.

On February 10, the DSWD-7 Chorale will offer songs to the clients of the Crisis Intervention Section (CIS) who will avail the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS).

Highlighting the celebration is the Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE) Awards and the PaNata Ko (Pagkilala sa Natatanging Kontribusyon) sa Bayan Awards on February 11.

The PRAISE Award is given annually to exemplary performers in DSWD. It is designed to encourage creativity, innovativeness, efficiency, integrity and productivity in the public service by recognizing and rewarding officials and employees for their contributions in the improvement of government operations while the PaNata Ko sa Bayan Awards is a recognition to stakeholders and partners who have supported and contributed to the implementation of DSWD’s programs, projects and services.

During the awarding ceremony, the Department will also confer Loyalty Awards to employees and officials who have rendered 10 years or more of faithful government service. ###


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1st DSWD-7 short film contest highlights legal adoption

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VII will conduct its first short film contest that will highlight unconditional love through legal adoption.

This contest is part of the annual celebration of the Adoption Consciousness Week and which continues to bear the theme “Pagmamahal Palaganapin, Legal na Pag-aampon Ating Gawin!” (Spread Unconditional Love through Legal Adoption), highlighting the continuous promotion of legal adoption as a means of providing compassion and unconditional love to abandoned, neglected and surrendered children.

All short films will be judged based on its technical merits, execution of the stories, relevance to the theme among others.

Winners will receive cash prizes and certificates of recognition. First prize is Php 15,000, second prize, Php 10,000 and third prize Php 7,000.

Interested parties must be able to accomplish and submit the duly accomplished application form on or before February 1, 2020 and email at

All qualified filmmakers are required to attend a brief orientation on February 3, 2020 at the DSWD regional office in Brgy. Carreta, Cebu City.

The short film entry must be submitted on or before February 21, 2020.

All finalists will have its public screening during the awarding ceremony and culminating activity at SM City Cebu on February 28, 2020. ###


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The sweet and sour life of a vinegar maker: The Batac Family Story

Being poor did not make the Batacs less of a family. They did not make this a reason to fail to live a satisfying life, a home filled with love and solidarity.

Angel and Julita Batac happily pose together with their children (Angel Nino, Angel Gerald, Julia Ann, Angelo and Maria Joanne) in their home in Balilihan, Bohol.

Julita Batac, 52 and her husband Angel Batac, 53, have been doing all-out effort to sustain the needs of their family in Balilihan, Bohol, especially the education of their 5 children – Angel Nino, Angel Gerald, Julia Ann, Angelo and Maria Joanne.

Raising five children and sending them all to school, the couple went through a whole lot of tough times as they only rely on their income from making natural vinegar out of coconut. Angel as toddy collector would usually climb around 40 coconut trees twice daily just to get the coconut wine. Angel delivers the vinegar to Bohol Quality (BQ) Mall in Tagbilaran City, Bohol.

The additional income that Julita gets as a member of the Farmer’s Marketing Cooperative has also helped the family. The cooperative has a vegetable farm. The farm’s produce are harvested every Monday and Friday and delivered to BQ mall and other markets in Tagbilaran City.

To further ensure that they could provide more for their children’s school needs, the couple also maintains a small farm of various crops like vegetables, corn, sweet potato and fruits that in some way has helped the family even more. Julita and Angel also raise a breeding boar which they offer for breeding gilt or sow for a fee.

Sometimes they would walk more than three (3) kilometers from home to reach their clienteles needing the boar for breeding their gilt or sow. In spite of Batac family’s financial difficulty they continue to strive to improve their life condition and provide for their children’s education through these livelihoods.

As toddy collector, Angel would usually climb around 40 coconut trees twice daily just to get the coconut wine.

Isip inahan, ako ang magbudget. Dunay panahon nga lisod kaayong matuman ang mga bayrunon sa eskwelahan sa mga bata mao nga ako naningkamot nga mag backyard/home garden aron nga duna mi makuhaan sa pangsud-an ug ang budget nga gigahin pangpalit og sud-an igahin nalang sa mga kinahanglan sa mga bata sa eskwelahan (As a mother, I do the budgeting, sometimes I have difficulty in paying the school fees of the children on time. Instead of spending viand for the family, we cultivated a backyard garden as source of our food. In doing so, the budget for the viand could now be used for the children’s school needs),” Julita amusingly shared.

For years, Julita and Angel have gone tight scrimping and saving for their children’s future.

Angel, who is a graduate of criminology, chose to make the traditional processing of vinegar for a living to be able to spend more time with his family and be a hands-on parent to his children. Angel values the importance of the regular presence and guidance of the parents to their children, especially when they are still young. He has considered this as a good support system that would protect his family from becoming dysfunctional.

Kami isip pamilya kanunay mi nga nagpahinumdom sa matag usa kanamo kabahin sa importansya sa pagtinabangay, pagpaambit sa among nagkadaiyang mga ideya ug sa pag-respeto niini panahon man sa kalipay o sa kaguol. Dako sad gayud akong pasalamat nga gihimong panag-ingnan sa akong mga anak ang akong bana nga walay bisyo kay wala man sila mosulod anang mga bisyo nga maoy maka ingon nga madaot ang ilang panglawas ug ang ilang kaugmaon (As a family, we always remind each other the importance of working together, sharing of different ideas and respecting one another at all times. I am also grateful that as they are growing up, our children have been following the example set by their father who has not engaged in any vices that could destroy their health and their future),” expressed Julita.

The Batac family members do not only limit their efforts within their home, but they also extend help to their community through rendering service to the people as active volunteers of the Tzu Chi Foundation, a Taiwanese non-government organization that provides financial and other helpful assistance to the disadvantaged group of people in the community.

Julita and Angel and their children would assist participants of the community activities of Tzu Chi Foundation like the medical missions, rice distribution and others.

After Angel gets the wine in the coconut trees, the family would work together to put this into a plastic container and ready for delivery in a store in Tagbilaran City.

The family is actively involved in their community activities like barangay assemblies, meetings and other gatherings while contribute in keeping their community a better place to live in. As an active member of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), the Batac family also strives to comply with the conditionalities of the program through attendance in Family Development Sessions which has helped Julita in raising her family and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Dili man tuod mi makatabang financially pero pinaagi sa amoang pag-assist sa mga tawo sa panahon sa mga kalihukan sa Tzu Chi foundation, malipayon mi nga mitabang sa amoang isigkatawo sa ginagmay apan kinasing-kasing nga paagi (We may not be able to help other people financially but through the assistance we give during Tzu Chi Foundation’s community activities we are happy to be of service to our fellowmen in our own little way which we heartily do),” added Julita.

Angelo, the fourth child in the family is also actively involved in church activities through his presidency of the Student Catholic Action in the Diocese of Tagbilaran City and advocates for the youth in the community. With this, Julita and Angel take pride at how their children also see the importance of giving back to the community all the blessings they have received.

Now, three of their children have already finished college and have landed decent and good jobs namely, Angel Nino, eldest, graduated Bachelor of Science (BS) in Information Technology and presently works at Shakey’s in Tagbilaran City; Angel Gerald, second, graduated BS Industrial Technology major in Food Technology, now a manager at McDonald’s in Tagbilaran City; and Julie Ann, the third child, graduated BS in Elementary Education and teaches at Carmel Academy in Balilihan.

The two other children Angelo and Maria Joanne are currently grade 11 and 12 students at Carmel Academy.

Julita and Angel are also proud to have raised children who consistently excelled academically despite their limited financial support for school.

The traditional making of vinegar has been the source of income of the family for many years now and has successfully sustained the education of Angel Nino, Angel Gerald and Julie Ann.

Angelo and Maria Joanne, Pantawid Pamilya monitored children, study diligently and are honor students just like their elder siblings.

Dili nako ikauwaw ang pagpananggot, pagdaro gamit ang kabaw ug ang pagbuhi og mga butakal kay mao man kini ang nakapahuman og eskuwela sa akong tulo ka mga anak ug sa padayon og pa-eskuwela sa duha pa nako ka mga anak inabagan sa programa sa Pantawid (I am not embarrassed of the things that I do for a living because these, with the support of Pantawid, are the reasons we have been able to send our 5 children to school with 3 of them graduated from college),” said Angel.

The life of Batac Family is likened to the process of natural fermentation of vinegar that Angel does. As the processed vinegar ages, it produces a distinct taste, from sour to savory to sweet. Just like the Batac family, notwithstanding the challenges it has encountered, it sweetly and fruitfully grows as years pass by. ###


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DSWD 7 warns public of people misrepresenting the agency

The Department of Social Welfare and Development warns the public not to engage with people claiming to be from DSWD and bringing with them two kinds of forms, one bearing the Malasakit Center logo and the other one with MRRD logo to be filled-out by their recruits.

Based on the report received by DSWD 7, this incident happened in Guindulman, Bohol where these unscrupulous people have asked for a fee of P100 from their recruits.

DSWD 7 Regional Director Rebecca Geamala said that DSWD 7 has no involvement with the said fraudulent activities and encourages the public to be vigilant and report immediately to the police if somebody will approach and recruit them using the name of DSWD. ###


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Demolished sidewalk vendors receive aid from DSWD

Some 482 sidewalk vendors in Cebu City received their 5,000 cash grant each from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VII during the payout held on January 21, 2020.

DSWD Regional Director Rebecca Geamala speaks to the affected sidewalk vendors during the distribution of financial assistance today.

A total of ₱2.4 million pesos was given by the DSWD to these ambulant vendors who are affected by the demolition conducted by Cebu City’s implementation of its ordinance regulating the sidewalk vending.

The ordinance is in accordance with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular No. 2019-121 dated July 29, 2019 that directs local government officials from mayors to barangay captains, to implement clearing of the roads.

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo C. Labella and DSWD Regional Director Rebecca P. Geamala led the said payout at the DSWD 7 office located at M.J. Cuenco Avenue corner General Maxilom Avenue.

“It’s not only about political will but we should have also mercy and compassion,” said Mayor Labella.

RD Geamala expressed that she was happy to answer the request of Cebu City for assistance to these displaced vendors. ###


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4Ps beneficiary lands 10th in LET exam

A Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiary landed 10th place in the recent Licensure Exam for Teachers (LET).

She garnered a score of 89.80% as released by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) last December 2019.

Roxan Jane Arenas shows her Certificate of Recognition during the honoring of PRC Board Examinations Passer for 2019 on December 10, 2019 in CTU San Francisco campus.

Roxan Jane Pesalbon Arenas who hails from Brgy. Western Poblacion, San Francisco, Cebu, graduated with a degree in Elementary Education major in Content Education in Cebu Technological University (CTU) San Francisco campus.

The fourth among the brood of six, Roxan is a former monitored child under the 4Ps program. Currently, her other younger two siblings who are in grades 11 and 4 are still 4Ps monitored children.

A daughter of a carpenter and a child development worker (CDW), she admits that the family income is not enough for them.

Tawagan ra jud siya kung nay project, kung wala, wala pud income (He would only be contacted if there is a project, if there is none, it means no income),” shared Roxan about his father’s work.

She admitted that she picked education for her course because she loves dealing with children.

In her Facebook post after the result of the LET exam, Roxan thanked God for an answered prayer and dedicated this victory to her parents.

She enumerated other people who helped her along the way including her siblings and her sister-in-law who let her stay with her family during the examination period.

She also mentioned her professors and the entire CTU family for inspiring her and for their sacrifices.

Congratulations everyone who took the LET last September 29 ug sa wala nakapasar, ayaw lang ka wala sa paglaum. Laban lang ng laban. Dasig lang (Congratulations everyone who took the LET last September 29 and for those who did not pass the examination, do not lose hope. Keep the fight),” Roxan ended in her post.

Roxan plans to apply as a Teacher in her hometown. ###


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DSWD-7 releases relief goods, continues repacking of family food packs

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) – Field Office VII extends relief assistance and repacks family food packs to be distributed to families affected by TS Ursula affected areas.

Members of the Philippine Army and some DSWD staff spend their Christmas day at the DSWD warehouse repacking family food packs for the affected families of TS Ursula.

A total of 2,800 family food packs amounting to more than a million are delivered today by BRP Suluan MRRV 4406 of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to be delivered to Daanbantayan, Cebu for the affected residents in the area. The PCG vessel left pier 1, Cebu City at 4:00 AM today.

The provincial government of Cebu requested for the food packs which will be given, according to Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office to the residents of the island barangays of Daanbantayan – 2,100 for Brgy. Malapascua and 700 for Brgy.Carnaza.

The staff of the DSWD-7 regional warehouse in Labangon, Cebu City also continue the repacking of the family food packs with the help of the volunteers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines to ensure there is enough resource augmentation.

Meanwhile, the Visayas Disaster Response Center (VDRC) of DSWD located in Mandaue City also continues to repack family food packs with the support from Philippine Coast Guard and Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) staff.

As of today the field office has a total of 12, 512 stockpile of family food packs in Negros Oriental, Bohol, Cebu and VDRC ready for distribution.

Before the storm’s occurrence on December 24, 2019, the DSWD-7 already activated its Regional Quick Response Team (QRT) for the disaster response operations for those affected by TS Ursula. To ensure quick response to emergency cases and other disaster related activities, the team rendered a 24/7 service.

On December 24, 2019, a total of 966 non-food items (mats, blankets, and towels) were distributed to 483 families/passengers in piers 1, 2, and 3 of Cebu City due to the onslaught of typhoon Ursula.

A total of 14 LGUs have conducted pre-emptive evacuations on Christmas eve to at least 57 barangays in Cebu and Bohol. There were 10,104 families who evacuated to 32 evacuation camps opened but have already returned home in the morning of December 25 due to an improved weather condition.

Continuous monitoring and coordination is being done by the DSWD through its Disaster Response and Management Divison (DRMD) for any resource augmentation from the affected LGUs. At the moment, the towns of Daanbantayan, Madridejos, and Bogo City, Cebu have already communicated to the Regional Office requesting for assistance in their disaster relief operations. ###


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