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Tubig Guinoo Women sets Social Change through Collective Action

Through Kalahi-CIDSS’ CDD (Community-Driven Development) Approach, women are given equal opportunity to work and earn in the construction of their community projects

History tells that subordination of women remains to be the basis of their exclusion in the development sphere. But today, it is only an empowering sight to see women give their unparalleled power for the community’s growth through DSWD’s Kalahi-CIDSS program.

In Barangay Tubig Guinoo, Kawayan, Biliran, a group of women pioneered collective action in order to resolve their most pressing needs.


Women and Water in Tubig Guinoo

Barangay Tubig Guinoo is situated at the foot of Mount Panamaw, the source of bountiful water that gives supply to other barangays. It is named ‘Tubig Guinoo’ for the same reason. However due to its location, residents living within are always at a perilous situation. When bad weather hits, the water in the area overflows, leaving them with no option but to evacuate. Thus,the construction of flood control system was seen by the community as an intervention needed to be prioritized to address their long-time problem.


However, there was initial hesitation when Kalahi CIDSS started in the community. For years, Tubig Guinoo lost their trust on government agencies that promised them aid.

All residents were doubting the program and where hesitant to participate in the activities. Most of them were afraid that it might only be the same with other agencies which promised them change but with unfulfilled result.

Yet, Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee Chairperson Corazon Pardenas, a woman whose passion is to serve her community, encouraged people to work with the program. Through her persuasive efforts and leadership, the community successfully completed the construction of a 55-linear meter flood control for Cycle 1 and 235 linear-meter Flood Control from its original Sub-Project of 155 linear-meter with a PhP 2.9 million Kalahi-CIDSS grant for Cycle 2 implementation. In addition to, only 90% of its total fund was utilized which was accomplished before the target date of completion.

BSPMC Pardenas even took the courage to present during the Barangay Assembly another sub-project using the excess materials from their previous Cycle 2 sub-project, to construct an Open Canal in Tubig Guinoo Elementary School. Even though there were no longer available funds for labor,  Pardenas presented that female community volunteers will pursue through Bayanihan in order to realize the proposed project. Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU) officials witnessed their dedication; they offered free snacks for the volunteers during the working days. The 30-linear meter Open Canal was completed for only a week and this noteworthy initiative of Kalahi-CIDSS volunteers now protects families from the threat of soil erosion.


Women on Social Empowerment

On the process, the community most especially BSPMC Chairperson Corazon Pardenas came to love Kalahi-CIDSS’ Community-Driven Development (CDD) strategy. She said it is inclusive, participative and empowering most especially to women. For her, CDD gave women the equal opportunity to challenge their stereotyped reproductive roles, and experienced social and economic development.

BSPMC Pardenas asserted, “Kung unsay matrabaho sa lalaki, matrabahu sad diay sa babae. The process improved the confidence of women to do manly work because of the experience during project implementation; pag-masa, pag-ayag sa buhangin, mag finishing… During sa open canal implementation, kung unsaon pag put-up sa hollow blocks, mag socking sa baras, maghakot sa baras pag dayong dayong og uban pa. [Women can perform jobs that are expected to be performed by men. The process improved the confidence of women to do manly work because of the experience during project implementation; We can do masonry work. During sa open canal implementation we can carry sacks of sand so we can put up hollow blocks, and other tasks].” BSPMC Pardenas shared that all female community volunteers became more confident of themselves now that they can decide and implement sub-projects, far from when they usually do in their households.


Corazon Pardeñas also added that being a BSPMC enables herself to assume a leadership position and manage an organization. Through her involvement in Kalahi-CIDSS, she realized her potential and abilities in financial management, community procurement and project implementation. But above all, she now discovered that she has the capacity and passion to lead. Through Kalahi–CIDSS’ provision of skills training and other capacity building initiatives, Corazon and the women of Tubig Guinoo can now say that they can do greater things for their community with their collective action.


Women and the voice to Influence

Liramae Catalvas, a former Community Empowerment Facilitator of Kawayan, Biliran also expressed her appreciation and gratitude to the community volunteers of Barangay Tubig Guinoo especially for their commitment and active participation in the program.

“The community volunteers can conduct special sessions on their own. Their initiative to address community concerns immediately is what I appreciate most in this barangay”. She added that BSPMC Corazon volunteered to be a spokesperson of Kalahi CIDSS to other barangays of Kawayan wherein her primary task is to advocate and promote the gains and impact of CDD and encouraged all sectors, most especially women, to put forward their voice and ideas.

She asserted, “Ako sila gi-ingnan nga expected sa mga kababaihan ang naa lang sa balay pero natuo ko nga kada baji duna nay ikacontribute nga ilang skills dili unta sila mahadlok nga ishare kini og gamiton ilang kakayanan og boses para makatabang sila sa igkasi katawo. [I believe that although women are only expected to stay at home, they can contribute their skills. They should not be afraid to share their strength and voice in order to help other people. That is what I usually tell them]”.

Community volunteers’ direct management of sub-projects and their acquired knowledge on Kalahi-CIDSS process gave them the technical know-how in the planning, budgeting and construction of a 30-linear meter open canal on their own. Kalahi-CIDSS’ activities serve also as an avenue for women to participate through barangay assemblies and meetings where their presence and opinions matter.

It is undeniable that because of patriarchal structures, it hinders women to get involved in decision-making processes but this yet again was conquered by the women of Tubig Guinoo. Through Kalahi-CIDSS, women were able to present and speak their minds in a political discourse and able to “set agenda”.

BSPMC Pardenas took pride of the sub project, “women can now have the ability to be a leader [to lead and decide], ability to let our voice be heard.”

Women reliving the Bayanihan Spirit

It is very apparent that bayanihan was demonstrated by the women of Tubig Guinoo when they worked in unison for the construction of an Open Canal, without expecting anything in return.    But BSPMC Pardenas shared as well how the collective action of Community Volunteers, BLGU and community has been the key for successfully realizing their sub-project for Cycle 1 and Cycle 2, including the women-initiated Open Canal.

BSPMC Pardenas stated, “The community volunteers are actively participating in the whole Kalahi-CIDSS program implementation. Everyone is committed to their responsibility and to the whole program in general.”


She added that Community Volunteers maximized their resources to complete their deliverables in a timely manner. Part of the volunteers’ strategy is to work closely with barangay council members. Community Volunteers were even grouped according to the existing zones of Tubig Guinoo where they were assigned to each barangay councilor, specifically for information dissemination and CDD advocacy.


She also emphasized,  “Ipadayon ang kooperasyon, open nga komunikasyon ug aksyon para sa komunidad. Kung unsa ang nasugdan dapat po nga mapadayon.[We should continue our cooperation, open communication, and collective action for the community. We will sustain what we have started].”


Though Brgy. Tubig Guinoo was not prioritized during Cycle 3 resource allocation, their BSPMC office is still functional and BSPMC Pardenas still regularly attend and participate during barangay sessions. At present,  Community volunteers also helped the Brgy.  Committee on Infrastructure through the conduct of a monthly project inspection and clean-up drive when necessary. They also function as community spokespersons where they provide information and feedback to Barangay Council regarding sub-project status for Operation and Maintenance purposes.


Philippines is continuously improving its efforts towards addressing gender-based issues. Kalahi-CIDSS program, through its CDD strategy, is raising awareness and at the same time providing opportunities for inclusive empowerment especially to marginalized sectors of the community, including women. Kalahi-CIDSS program takes action for equal development while sustaining social change.

To date, there are 48, 578 female BSPMC Chairpersons in Eastern Visayas. The figure alone tells us that women can lead, decide and initiate for development. Through Kalahi-CIDSS, women are not only nurturing mothers but active workers for social change, not only for their families but for the community as well.

As part of its mandate to empower women, Kalahi-CIDSS ensures that 30% of the total workforce hired for the construction of a community infrastructure should be allocated to women through paid labor.

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Skills training graduates in Balangiga share a moment of fulfillment

In behalf of SLP Regional Program Coordinator, Hermanito Mangalao, Benjie Pelen, W.Samar Provincial Coordinator hands over the starter kit to Raymonda Alas, one of the beneficiaries.


In a joint graduation ceremony, 42 new National Certificate II holders received last September 15,  the fruits of their labor in a closing ceremony held at the Municipal Auditorium of Balangiga, Eastern Samar.

“We are deeply grateful to those agencies who helped us reach this far. We are so blessed that after we received the seed capital for micro-enterprise, here we are with pride as we graduate from cookery,” Raymonda Alas, Abante Kababaihan President expressed.

The Abante Kababaihan is one of the Sustainable Livelihood Program Associations (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Balangiga, Eastern Samar,  which composes of 25 members.

They were given Php 100,000.00 from the Department of Social Welfare and Development through its Sustainable Livelihood Program under the micro-enterprise track last December 2015.

On the other hand, 14 program participants graduated in massage therapy. They are on their way to becoming a licensed massage therapist.

“Using what we have learned in the training, we are now earning extra income for the needs of our families. We are able to do home service massage on a part-time basis,”Glaiza Sabarillo, Class Representative shared.

After 40 days of training, they are now equipped for the next step of building up their livelihood. The cookery graduates have bought an oven for the group through their earnings in selling food in their community.

Meanwhile, the massage therapy graduates are still waiting for their oral examination so they can be full-pledged therapists.#


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SAKA continuously rises and expands business in their community

Biliran Provincial Coordinator Mercedita Ochea talks to the members of SAKA during her visit in their store.

SAKA (a “waray-waray” term which means rise up in English) – this is how the members of Samahang Kaunlaran, a Sustainable Livelihood Program Association in Brgy. Tabunan, Almeria Biliran, call their group. This holds true as they have continuously grow from an Agrivet store, now expanded into a  sari-sari store.

“The agrivet business was earning well such that after a few months, we decided to put up a sari-sari store using our profit. With the money we have gained, we were able to buy a refrigerator, electric fan, and also installed electricity for the store” Emalinda del Rosario, SAKA Treasurer said.

The association received Php 140,000.00 from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, through its Sustainable Livelihood Program under the Super Typhoon Yolanda (STY) funds, which the members utilized in renovating and putting up an agrivet store.

“At the end of the year, we equally distribute the profit to our members. This is excluded from the monthly pay received by those who willingly tend the store,” she added.

Aside from the sari- sari store, they also offer money lending to the residents in their community. When asked about how they manage it as borrowers are not from within their association, Emalinda shared, “It needs discipline. We ensure that they will be able to pay their loans.   There is a maximum amount that we lend, depending on the situation”.

They are currently looking into the possibility of having their group registered into a cooperative. Soon, when they have enough savings, they will buy a piece of land for expansion of their store.

The association serves as inspiration to their municipality.  Members have been invited to share knowledge and strategies on livelihood during local government activities.

“It is overwhelming looking back how we started. With the success that our group has achieved, we aspire to help our neighbors in building up their livelihood,” Emalinda expressed

Last April 9 2017, they have just celebrated the association’s first anniversary.#

Photo and story by:
Dimple Darl Lagariza
Biliran Provincial M&E

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25 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries complete training on Table Skirting, Napkin Folding, and Table Setting

RPC Hermanito Mangalao puts on the medal to Christlynjoy Dizon as the Best in Table Setting Awardee.


Some 25 Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries recently completed  their 10 – day training on Table Skirting, Napkin Folding, and Table Setting, through the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD),  in Mayorga,  Leyte.

“This kind of training is very helpful to us because we can use this at home for parties. We can also apply jobs here and abroad with the certificate of competency we received through this training. And in God’s time, we are now capable of organizing our own catering services,” Aileen Crebillo expressed in her response of gratitude message during the commencement program.

Christlynjoy Dizon, Best in Table Setting awardee, also gave her words of thanks.  In addition, she shared some experiences they had during the training.

“It was never easy. Aside from the techniques, I learned to  be more patient and to be creative. It was really fun despite the hardships,” she said.

At first, most of them didn’t have any idea about the training. All the beneficiaries knew was that  it was something they could earn for their living.

“Everyday, I was excited to attend the sessions because of the bond that we have developed.  I learned a lot from our trainers and my co-trainees,” Aileen Crebillo revealed.

Some of the graduates have been hired in local catering services and will be starting immediately.


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DSWD produce new SMAW NCII holders in Burauen

Regie Redubla delivers the response of gratitude in behalf of their class.

The first batch of Shielded Metal Arc and Welding (SMAW) NCII in Burauen, Leyte, comprising 62 trainees, has finally received the fruits of their labor, after 30 days of hard work.

Through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the DSWD, in partnership with Bridges Multi-skills Training Centre, these program participants successfully finished the first step towards a better future.

In his short message, Hermanito Mangalao, the SLP Regional Project Coordinator, inspired graduates to be instruments in alleviating poverty by making use the knowledge and skills they have gained.

“Poverty is not a destination. It is a choice. Pursue your dreams with determination and double it with discipline towards work. Certainly, you will reach your aspirations,” he stressed.

He encouraged them to be successful wherever life leads them, and bring with them the values such as honesty, truthfulness, and hard work.

In response, the outstanding trainee awardee, Regie Redubla, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity given by the DSWD. He stressed how the training has helped them improve their lives.

“Not everyone is given this opportunity, and we are very much thankful for this will help our family in providing our needs. This is an additional venue for us to earn money for our children’s future,” he said.

To date, there is no specific figure as to how many of them will be deployed in Hanjin, an international company based in Zambales. But most of them have showed willingness to be work there.# #DSWDMayMalasakit

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Cabucgayan fishermen receive new fishing equipment


Beneficiaries listen attentively to the messages of the representatives from the different government offices before the distribution of fishing equipment.

After years of stressing their muscles in  paddling their boats, some 150 fishermen in Cabucgayan, Biliran received new fish nets and fiber glass fishing motorboats last June 23, 2017.

Through the convergence of the DSWD, DOLE, DOST, and BFAR,  these fishermen can now earn more income in a much convenient way.

“I am very thankful to receive a new fishing equipment to sustain my livelihood. I got my motorboat a year ago, and this has helped me catch more fish.  It also provided for my children’s needs,” Carmelino Garin, a father of four shared.

Each of the representative from the different government offices gave their inspirational messages before the beneficiaries,  with one main hope – for them to take care of their fishing equipment for a sustainable source of income for their families.

In addition, Mayor Edwin Masbang called for a collaborative effort in combating illegal fishing. “I hope that all of you will be responsible in taking care of our water resources. In case you witness any illegal acts in the middle of the sea, please don’t hesitate to report them to our office,” he said.

Some 44 out of the 150 fishermen have initially received their electric motor or engine in 2016. They were invited to attend the turn-over ceremony on the facilities. #DSWDMayMalasakit

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Pastrana farmers receive bulgarian buffaloes for dairy production enterprise

A photo of the SLPA recipients representatives, SLP staffs, 4Ps Municipal link, and MSWDO Nona Petilla with one of the buffaloes distributed. 

Some 52 farmers were awarded 10 dairy Bulgarian buffaloes for a dairy production enterprise from the DSWD Sustainable Livelihood Program during the turn – over ceremony last June 23, 2017 at the Visayas State University (VSU) in Baybay, Leyte.
The said recipients belong to the three Sustainable Livelihood Program Associations (SLPA) in Pastrana , Leyte, namely: Daycas, Colawen Pangkabuhayan and Maricum Pantawid Associations.


The DSWD was made as conduit of said assistance coming from the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC).


The PCC will extend technical support along health, management, breeding, dairy production, record keeping, product development, and marketing for a sustainable Carabao- based Enterprise Development (CBED).


The local government unit of Pastrana and the DSWD, however,  expressed concern that there is a need for other interventions while farmer beneficiaries await for the milk production.


According to Dr. Abela, Director of PCC -VSU,  buffaloes produce milk only once a year or even within more than a year.


To address this concern, the team have come up with an approach to indulge the farmers into crop production for short – term but high valued crops.  The undertaking is in tandem with the Municipal Agricultural Office for the needed agricultural inputs/ logistics.
Among those who attended the ceremony were: Dr. Julius Abela, Director of PCC VSU, Rex Tan who is SB Member and in-charge for Committee on Agriculture, Nona Petilla, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer, Roland Uy, SLP Provincial Coordinator of Leyte 2, Noel Villones, External Relations Officer, Francis Ibanita, Special External Relation Officer, Aliver Idano, Community Driven Enterprise Development Officer, Annaliza Tindoy, Implementing Project Development Officer, and Althea Lantaca ,Monitoring Project Development Officer, Pantawid Municipal Links, officers and members of the recipient -associations.#  #DSWDMayMalasakit


Story and Photo by
Noel Villones

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Bereaved families of the 6.5 magnitude earthquake casualties received assistance from DSWD



DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo talks to the bereaved family of Gerry Movilla.


Earlier, DSWD provided burial assistance to bereaved families with total amount of Php71,000.00, plus a cash assistance of Php5,000.00 to the family of Gerry Movilla, a DSWD-SLP security guard trainee who died in the collapsed building in Kananga.

To date, 3 dead persons were reported. This is based on recent report of the DSWD FO8.

In an interview with Merlinda Pacquiao, Gerry Movilla’s wife, she expressed that she is very thankful to those who extended help to their family in this time of their lives.

“I am grateful that there were a lot of people who gave sympathy and help to our family. As of now, I don’t know where to start so I could continue providing my children’s needs. But these cash assistance will be my aid for a new beginning for us,” she expressed.

President Rodrigo Duterte arrived in Ormoc to visit affected families especially those of the casualties. Secretary Judy Taguiwalo is part of the president’s team who flew to Ormoc, City last July 13, 2017. These families have also received cash assistance from the President Rodrigo Duterte. #DSWDMayMalasakit

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