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DSWD6 to NGOs: help stop child abuse

THE head of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VI called Non-Government Organizations anew to help stop child abuse and exploitation.


“Let us work together to put an end to child sexual abuse and exploitation. We, at the government, cannot do it alone,” said Rebecca P. Geamala, regional director of DSWD. Geamala was recently the guest speaker of the Buklod, Tugon, Sigaw 2018, a convention for concerted efforts in combating child sexual abuse and exploitation held in Bacolod City.


The activity was initiated by Break the Silence National Network, an NGO supported by Stairway Foundation Incorporated.

“Much as we would want to help everyone, we have a limited number of social workers. We are thus happy that our NGO partners are helping us out,” Geamala said.


Republic Act 7610 or the Anti Child Abuse Law defines child abuse as “maltreatment, whether habitual or not, of the child” which includes any of the following:


  • Psychological and physical abuse, neglect, cruelty, sexual abuse and emotional maltreatment;


  • Any act by deeds or words which debases, degrades or demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity of a child as a human being;


  • Unreasonable deprivation of his basic needs for survival, such as food and shelter; or


  • Failure to immediately give medical treatment to an injured child resulting in serious impairment of his growth and development or in his permanent incapacity or death prohibits child prostitution and other sexual Abuse.


Geamala recalled her life as a child saying that she grew up in a huge family. “I had to work as a helper to earn my keep. I also had to provide for the needs of my siblings because our mother just seemed to give birth every year,” she said.


According to her, she dabbled from studying, working as a househelp and even sell vegetables and eggs at school. Geamala said that she was a government scholar too and the state sent her to college. “Had I not availed of such, I would not have realized my dream.”


“The point is we have to give that hope, that opportunity to every child. That child could have a dream to lift her family from poverty. If the child is left in the quagmire of child abuse, or worst of sexual abuse, we won’t be giving her hope. But if intervention is given, we can make her dream come true and she could even improve her family’s life,” Geamala stressed./dswd6/May Castillo

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From an unwanted child to a hero


He was born unwanted. Fast forward after four decades, the child rose above his past and got himself and his country a hero’s award.

John Piermont Montilla, known as simply Pierre to his friends and peers in other countries, now 41 years of age, remembers how he struggled as a child. At age 12, he was forced out on the streets.

He got into


the drug trade and even into child prostitution for survival.

“But I realized that the pain and struggle had a purpose. I believe that my mission is to go back to the streets where I once belonged and help street children reach their aspirations and dreams the way I did,” said John.




he was awarded as Impact Hero 2018 in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia by Earth Company. Impact heroes are also called “changemakers,” who are selected every year. They are exceptional social entrepreneurs that have the potential to shape the future of developing countries in the Asia-Pacific.

Impact Heroes not only serve as an agent of hope for their own communities, but also inspire those who come to understand their life work.

John is currently an employee of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VI based in Iloilo City with a position of Planning Officer II.

Beyond this daily task, however, he leads a People’s Organization called the Kabataang Gabay sa Positibong Pamumuhay (Peer Guides for a Positive Way of Life).

This initiative w

as a result of the Unlad Kabataan Program implemented by DSWD for out-of-school-youth. John innovated by coming up with Gabay as he himself was a beneficiary.

“It is a way of paying


forward the kind of intervention that I got from the government. I got helped and so I want others to get help too,” he said.

Gabay addresses the needs of children living and working on the streets and children left behind by parents who work abroad. It advocates meaningful engagement of victims and survivors of VICES (Violence, Illicit drugs, Crimes, Exploitation and Slavery) through peer empowerment and civic engagement. Gabay focuses in particular on addressing the health and psychosocial needs of sexually-exploited children, especially boys, who are part of what John calls a “hidden epidemic.”

“We serve as inspiration. We help boys access services from the government because most of them are left behind. Campaign against exploitation has always been focused with girls. But

the rest of the population have not actually realized that boys get to be victimized too. And that’s where we come in by helping boys,” said John.


Earth Company will be helping in John’s dream to build a facility to accelerate the impact of Gabay in the society.

“Before we only had to do our interventions in different places. We held seminars in schools, in communities and even government offices. But this time, finally, we will have a place where we could conduct our meetings, seminars, counseling and psycho-social support for our members,” said John.

John said that he also foresees it as a self-sustaining social enterprise where the profit will be used for the after-care support and leadership building of members and beneficiaries. /dswd6/May R. Castillo (Photo Credit: from Earth Company)


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This is with reference to the protest action staged in front of the DSWD Extension Office in Bacolod City on February 20, 2018.

As per information from our Negros Provincial Office team, the protesters were demanding for the release of 50 sacks of rice.

In line with this, we have already instructed our Negros Occidental team headed by Mr. Fernando Alabado to look into the matter. Also, a dialogue between DSWD and the protesters will be conducted on February 27, 2018 to discuss about the clamors and resolve issues. This is a face-to-face dialogue since we want to address their concerns immediately and thoroughly.

Rest assured that the DSWD Field Office VI stays steadfast in its commitment to implement social welfare and development policies and programs for and with the poor, vulnerable and the disadvantaged.

We also adhere to one of our main mantras which is Patas na Pagtrato sa Komunidad. Whatever is the service or assistance due to the people will be released to the targeted families accordingly if deemed proper.

We shall keep you updated.

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DSWD6 provides aid to family of slain OFW

DSWD6 Regional Director Rebecca P. Geamala together with ARDO Delia Bagolcol and Protective Services Unit Head Rosario Sanagustin visit the wake of the slain OFW in Kuwait Joana Demafelis in Barangay Ferraris, Sara Iloilo recently.

During the visit RD Geamala handed over the burial assistance to the family of the killed OFW.

” As the lead agency on social protection, we will continue to provide package of social services to the family through convergence,” says Geamala.

The family is now a beneficiary of Social Pension and Pantawid Conditional Cash Grant. They will also be provided with Educational and Livelihood Assistance. Post Traumatic Stress Debriefing will be conducted to the family with the Department of Health.

The Regional Director also affirms that DSWD6 together with the regional line agencies (DOH,TESDA,OWWA,CHR,DOLE,PNP,CHED and DEPED) will certainly deliver the full provisions of social protection services to Joanna’s family through convergence effort.#DSWD6/MerryJezzelBrendia

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DSWD6, other NGAs work on holistic approach for OFW family

THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VI along with various agencies are working out for a holistic approach in responding to a case of slain OFW Joana Demafelis from Sara, Iloilo.
“We are working for a more sustainable response. We have already conducted post trauma debriefing to the family,” said Rebecca P. Geamala, regional director.
Geamala met with other National Government Agencies (NGAs) on Thursday morning, prior the arrival of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
During the President’s visit, a total of P500,000 worth of livelihood and educational assistance was provided to the family. The President handed it himself to the family.
Agencies which were in attendance include DOH, DILG, OWWA, CHED, Dep Ed, DOLE, PNP, among others.
“We now have a social case study of the family which could be used to further legal remedies for the victim,” said Geamala.
Further, Geamala said that the family is receiving continuous assistance through Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and Social Pension.
Also, the agency provided burial assistance./dswd6/May R. Castillo

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ON TRAIN CASH SUBSIDY DSWD6: We are still awaiting guidelines

IN LIGHT of the published stories about the anti-TRAIN shock cash subsidy, the DSWD Field Office VI clarified that they have not received the guidlelines for the implementation yet.

” We are still awaiting for the guidelined form the Central Office, ” said Rebecca p. Geamala, regional director.

The cash subsidy, also refferred as Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT), will help cushion the impact of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law on poor families.

Geamala, however said that the office is conducting orientation with the Local Government Units about the validation of beneficiaries listed in the poor households as per National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR).

The TRAIN law provides that households in the fifth to seven income deciles of NHTS-PR will be included in the UCT.

These benefeciaries to be validated are those not included in Pantawid pamilyang Pilipino Program and Social Pension programs, whose recipients will receive the UCT amounting to P200 per month this year, which is an addition to their monthly stipends being released by the government.

Pantawid Pamilya provides cash grants for children for the health and education. Social Pension, on the other hand, provide stipend to senior citizens.

” Rest assured that the DSWD personnel remain steadfast and committed in our pursuit to implement social welfare and development programs for and with the poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged. When guidelines are cascaded to us, we will happily execute the program,” said Geamala./dswd6/May Rago-Castillo

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DSWD6 honors employees, partners during 67th anniversary

Every year, during its Foundation Anniversary, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) centers its celebration on giving honor to the people who are behind the success of delivering exemplary social services to the people.

Officiating the recognition was the DSWD Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence or PRAISE Committee which is designed to encourage creativity, innovation, efficiency, integrity and productivity in the public service.

This year, DSWD Field Office VI again recognized its employees who rendered themselves for extraordinary service in the public’s interest which contributed for the Department’s achievement of its goals and strategic initiatives. This was held last February 12, 2018 at the Iloilo Convention Center.

The event was also graced by DSWD Undersecretary for Support Programs Infrastructure Management, Camilo G. Gudmalin.

DSWD Undersecretary Camilo G. Gudmalin


DSWD FOVI Management Committee with Usec Gudmalin

“It is great to be working with people we trust, people we know, and most importantly, people with passion to work for the common good,” remarked by Usec Gudmalin.

  The Awarding Ceremony commenced by recognizing awardees who are also automatic nominees for the 2017 Search for PRAISE Awardees in the National Level –

  • Eloisa Y. Tillado as a GAWAD HUWARAN Awardee (Mahusay, Wasto at Responsableng Lingkod Bayani ng DSWD) for her extraordinary work performance and demonstration of DSWD three core competencies (Commitment to Credible Public Service, Delivering Excellent Results and Personal Effectiveness);
  • the Crisis Intervention Unit as BEST CIU in recognition of the timely and appropriate delivery of direct financial benefits to indigent people;
  • the Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY) as BEST CENTER for its exemplary efforts in providing proper management and utilization of benefits for the residents;
  • the General Administration and Support Services Division (GASSD) as BEST SUPPORT OFFICE in recognition of the Division’s collective and exemplary effort in providing support to operation offices; and
  • the Aklan Social Welfare and Development Office (SWAD) for contributing to the Agency’s goal to reduce multidimensional poverty.

DSWD FO VI also recognized five of its individual employees who displayed exceptional service on their own field of works. This include:

  • Melrose O. Amaran, Team Leader of of Antique SWAD Office for her extended efforts in obtaining external resources amounting to One Million fund augmentation expended for the repair of the Antique SWAD Office;
  • Luchie E. Labnao of the CIU in recognition of her exemplary attitude towards work as explicitly attested by the clients;
  • Ilona Grace B. Lim under Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program for exemplifying the values of “Maagap at Mapagkalingang Serbisyo”;
  • Ma. Eloisa P. Garcia, Social Welfare Assistant in the Department for the institutionalization of Konowledge Management in Field Office VI; and
  • John Piermont V. Montilla, Planning Officer II in the Agency, who was chosen as the 2018 Impact Hero Awardee by the Earth Company, triumphing over 70 contenders from across the Asia Pacific.

Moreover, the Municipal Action Team (MAT) of Sibunag, Guimaras was awarded for its exemplary milestone achievement in operationalizing Convergence strategy.

Other awards include DSWD MODEL EMPLOYEES (CY 2017) which is a region-wide search for employees from Level I and Level II who demonstrated remarkable work performance.

Level I Model Employees 2017

The Level I awardees are as follows:

Jerry Lyn C. Fajardo, Administrative Aide IV; Mario L. Palermo, Administrative Assistant II; Suzette M. Adolfo, Administrative Assistant III; Sherwin Glen M. Delariarte, Administrative Assistant II; May Jean P. Bolero, Administrative Assistant II; Dixon F. Aspera, Administrative Assistant II; Arnold D. Magbanua, Administrative Aide IV; Robelle M. Santianes, Administrative Assistant II; Rogelia B. Mamolejo, Social Welfare Assistant; and Donald A. Albor, Administrative Aide IV.

The Level II Awardees are as follows:

Reynante Suamen, Information Technology Officer I; Audrey Marie C. Cagayao, project Development Officer II; Jasmenia T. Jamero, Manpower Development Officer I; Eloisa Y. Tillado, Social Welfare Officer III; Roqueta C. Aquio, Social Welfare Officer II; L’ Michelli K. Horlador, Training Specialist II; Gloria Carmencita C. Gimoto, Planning Officer I; Ricky H.Parcon, Project Development Officer II; Edna G. Comeros, Administrative Officer IV; Emelda P. Melancio, Administrative Officer II; Mark Joseph D. Herrera, Project Development Officer I; and Richard A. Sevilla, Information Technology Officer I.

DSWD FOVI also recognized the program participants of the Sustainable Livelihood Program who have become DSWD partners and leaders within their SLP Associations and communities.

The awardees include Delia Tingne from the Province of Aklan; Rosalina R. Valenzuela from the Province of Antique; Melanie Constantino from the Province of Negros Occidental; Rhodora Bullos Balquin from the Province of Iloilo; and Lanie T. Artates from the Province of Antique.

DSWD also gave honor to all its employees who have rendered at least ten years of continuous and satisfactory service.

The LOYALTY AWARDEES rendering ten years of dedicated service are as follows:

Mr. Arnel L. Amaraco, Administrative Officer IV in the Supply Unit; Melrose O. Amaran, Team Leader of Antique SWAD Office; Josie G. Cambel, Planning Officer III in the Planning Unit; April P. Gallos, Administrative Assistant II in the Cash Unit; Jojie H. Jumola, Social Welfare Officer II in the Protective Services Unit; Marianita S. Nalangan, Administrative Officer II in the Accounting Unit; SharonT. Tusalem, Social Welfare Officer II in Negros Occidental SWAD Office; and Rhea B. Valdellon, Social Welfare Officer II in RRCY.

LOYALTY AWARDEES serving the Agency for fifteen years include Ms. Belinda Ho, Manpower Development Officer I assigned in the Protective Services Unit of the Agency.

DSWD employees who served the Agency for thirty years are as follows:

Delia V. Bagolcol, Assistant Regional Director for Operations; Julieta O. Calamba, Head of Personnel Unit; Cynthia A. Castro, Project Development Officer II in Cash Unit; Cecilia G. Paz, Social Welfare Officer II in Aklan SWAD Office; and Lydia S. Pillado, Admin Head under GASSD.

Susan F Mogato, Regional Center Coordinator of FOVI was also given the LOYALTY Award for her thirty five years of dedicated service to DSWD.

Overall, DSWD VI rewarded a total of fifty six awards in form of plaques, certificates and cash incentives.

However, these material things are never deemed as payment or proof of hard work for the employees, but a manifestation of how they touched the lives of people in their own unique ways, of how they sacrificed their own comfort to serve those in need.

Indeed, Usec Gudmalin reminded everyone:  “We must always remember that being a public servant, we must be fully committed to putting the welfare of the sectors we serve above our own.”

And as he continued to inspire and lift the spirit of passionate service of the DSWD employees, he finally remarked, “Over the years, we were faced by numerous challenges but together, we managed to overcome the obstacles we encountered along the way. You are one with us in our collective goal of empowering and improving the lives of our beneficiaries and it is my hope that all of you will continue to walk with us as we enter another year of service to the nation.”/dswd6/XzyrabelleServento/

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DSWD CARES on bringing social services closer to the people

With its main objective to bring its services closer to the people, the Department of Social Welfare and Development conducted DSWD CARES in the Municipality of Mambusao, Capiz last December 4, 2017.

DSWD CARES stands for Community Advancement for Responsive and Empowered Society by Creating Awareness through Responsive and Excellent Services.

The event was attended by beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program from thirty two Barangays of the Municipality of Mambusao, Province of Capiz.

Unlike the three previous DSWD CARES which selected Municipalities considered as Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA), the Municipality of Mambusao, Capiz, on the other hand, was chosen because according to assessments, the implementation of DSWD programs and projects were hard to be carried out in the said Municipality.

“We decided to land this year’s last DSWD CARES in Mambusao, Capiz because we want the people to appreciate and deeply understand the Government’s efforts on social services which are intended to them,” said Ms. Diadem Pearl Tamara from the Regional Convergence Technical Support Unit.

Regional Project Coordinator, Ms. Mary Ann H. Masculino of the Sustainable Livelihood Program was present as the representative of DSWD Field Office VI for the presentation of DSWD Social Protection Programs and also officiated the turn-over of livelihood projects to various barangays from the Municipality of Mambusao, Capiz right after.

After the preliminaries of the program, the staff were ready to answer the queries from the beneficiaries but unexpectedly, the open forum was filled with only positive responses and gratitude from the participants.

“Given the somehow rough relationship shared between the agency and the municipality, the open forum was like a bright light for us. The positive responses from the people of Mambusao only shows how DSWD really touched their lives and we are very thankful for that,” said Masculino.

The open forum was followed by the release of cash grants for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipno Program beneficiaries.

The event also aimed to open a communication to the community members and to especially fill the gap between the local staff and the Management Committee.

“We are heartened to recognize that the people in Mambusao, Capiz welcomes us warmly and we too, want to use this opportunity to show how DSWD cares by hearing them out and personally delivering to them our programs and services,” Masculino finally stated./XzyrabelleServento/dswd6/

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