Category Archives: Social Work

Ilonggo social workers to celebrate 10th Social Work week

Sworn to keep the rich tradition alive, social workers in Western Visayas are preparing for the celebration of the 10th Social Work Week on June 13-19, 2014. The theme for this year’s celebration is Advocacy amidst adversity: The Social Work distinction. It will highlight the peculiar role and capability of social workers to make the best or most even out of the worst condition/situation in life.

Social Work Week 2014

The event will kick off with a motorcade on June 13 simultaneously in respective provinces/cities to culminate with a launching program. The following day, Social Work students from five schools of Social Work in Panay and Negros will hold their respective Social Work Camps to include forum, sharing, literary and musical contests and sports. This will be participated in by Central Philippine University, Capiz State University, Colegio del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus, Iloilo Doctors College, University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos. Other activities include photo exhibit, forum, symposium, and advocacies/promotion of the Social Work profession.

The annual celebration has been institutionalized by respective ordinances/ resolutions of city and provincial councils in Western Visayas to recognize of the role of social workers in nation building.

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roxas-city

negros-occidental

It will  be recalled that in 2005, social workers, mostly from the National Association for Social Work Education, Inc. (NASWEI)-Western Visayas met in Central Philippine University to discuss and plan out activities to promote the social work profession. The context of the meeting was the preparation for the Ruby Anniversary of the Social Work Law at that year.

The Social Work Law (R.A. 4373) was passed on June 19, 1965 to regulate the practice of social work in the Philippines. However, it was noticed that the significance of the date of the passage of the Social Work Law had not been officially observed unlike other social welfare legislations which were passed even later.

Prof. DZ Patriarca-Lariza, 2005 PASWI-Iloilo President, leads the Social Work Forum during the celebration of the 1st Social Work Week in Iloilo

Prof. DZ Patriarca-Lariza, 2005 PASWI-Iloilo President, leads the Social Work Forum during the celebration of the 1st Social Work Week in Iloilo

The consultation sparked the move to advocate for the declaration of June 13-19 as Social Work Week. It gained strong support from the Philippine Association of Social Workers, Inc. (PASWI) in Western Visayas. At that time, the national association encouraged and recognized regional aggrupations of provincial chapters. Hence, the close and quick coordination of regional activities. Other social work-led organizations and alliances in the region, as well as government officials and NGO leaders in the Regional Development Council (RDC) provided support. The resolution was endorsed by RDC and the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Soon, the move gained nationwide support.

The week-long celebration is spearhead by Social Workers Organizations Regional Network (SWORN). Launched in 2013, SWORN will keep the rich heritage and tradition alive by strengthening the social work organizations/ groups in Western Visayas. It will serve as coordinating body of all social work organizations affiliated with recognized national bodies, as well as other independent ones.

SWORN will also act as support system to the regular activities of various organizations, and advocacy network to support the cause of Ilonggo social workers when needed. The network will spearhead the celebration of Social Work Week in Region VI. Moreover, it will be responsible for research-documentation and publication of the history, heritage and future development of social work endeavors in Western Visayas.

The regional network is governed by a Regional Council of Leaders composed of representatives from Philippine Association of Social Workers (PASWI), National Association for Social Work Education, Inc. (NASWEI), Association of Local Social Welfare and Development Officers of the Philippine, Inc. (ALSWDOPI), Association of Medical Social Workers in the Philippines (AMSWP), Alliance of Social Workers in NGOs (ASIN) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

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The challenges of holistic ministry Part 2: Relevance to disaster

But how do we relate the challenges of holistic ministry to the theme of your training for the past two days? 

I seem to find the answer in one of my favorite verses when discussing about holistic ministry. This is the last parable Jesus recorded in Matthew 25:31-46 loaded with the scenario of great surprises. In the final end, during the awarding ceremony, as the chaff is separated from the grain, sheep and goat divided, the result is beyond expectation. and the division of all the world’s people into the blessed, on the Right Hand of God, who are welcomed by the Father to inherit the Kingdom and eternal life, and the cursed, who are cast into the eternal fire with the Devil.

The division is entirely based on the acts of kindness and mercy done by people to their disadvantaged fellow people feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, visit the prisoners, clothe the naked, invite strangers to their homes. Yes, it is how holistic our respective ministries were and have been.

I have looked at and used this parable in many angles and various context. This time I have seen another one. It is in the context of disaster. For when do you see a person naked, hungry, thirsty, sick, and a stranger? Is it not in the midst of disaster?

The author delivering the Closing Challenge. Photo Credit: Ms. Henna Baclagon, Director, Development Ministries, CPBC

The author delivering the Closing Challenge.
Photo Credit: Ms. Henna Baclagon, Director, Development Ministries, CPBC

But let us not wait for the disaster to initiate holistic ministry. For even Jesus, the Christ , has made it clear in his inaugural address as public declaration of ministry that it is holistic: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favorLuke 4:18-19

Throughout his life, Jesus consistently preached, taught and acted on the socio-economic, political, environmental and spiritual themes of his ministry as he went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil.In fact, he summarized his holistic ministry theme in the model of spirituality which he taught and exemplified in the greatest commandment and Lord’s Prayer.

The spirituality taught by Jesus is summed up in the greatest commandment: Love God and one’s fellow human as one’s self. This type of spirituality has two dimensions, personal and social or communal. This vertical and horizontal relationship is the essence of the Lord’s Prayer which is a Prayer for Development.

A2.Model Prayer

The first part pertains to relationship with divine, the last with humanity. “Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” The use of plural words in the prayer – our, we, us – reveals the inclusiveness of Jesus in relationship.

The second part is model of relationship with humanity which comprises the three core values of development. “Give us this day our daily bread“. Bread represents basic necessities in life akin to life sustenance.

Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors“. Whether it is a literal debt or sin as some suggest, the implication here is self-esteem. Because a person who commits sin or is burdened by debts, loses some kind of self-esteem. Asking forgiveness or forgiving others restore one’s self-esteem.

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil“. Deliverance connotes freedom. Yielding to temptation is a prelude to enslavement to any form of evil. This evil manifests in both personal manner and societal structures.

(To be continued)

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Delivered during the Closing Celebration of Training on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, September 7, 2013 at Highway 21 Hotel, Iloilo City. Organized by Asia Pacific Baptist Aid of Asia Pacific Baptist Federation, the 3 day training was hosted by the Development Ministries, Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches.

All set for 9th Social Work Week in Western Visayas

It will be another opportunity for Social Workers to take the center stage with the week-long celebration of the 9th Social Work Week in Western Visayas  on June 13-19, 2013. The event will kick off with a motorcade on June 13 simultaneously in respective provinces/cities  to be followed by  an Opening Program.

On June 14 -16  Social Work students from five schools of Social Work in Panay and Negros will hold their 3-day Regional Social Work Camp. To be hosted by Central Philippine University, the other participating schools are, as follows: Capiz State University, Colegio del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus, Iloilo Doctors College, University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos. Literary and musical contests and sports fest  will be held at Colegio del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus.

Simultaneous with the Social Work Camp, the National Association for Social Work Education, Inc. (NASWEI)- Western Visayas will hold a Regional Conference  on June 15 at Central Philippine University. This will be participated in by faculty and field work supervisors of the aforementioned schools of Social Work.

On June 18-19,  the Philippine Association of Social Workers, Inc. (PASWI) -Iloilo Chapter will host the regional convention of social workers in Western Visayas at Sarabia Manor, Iloilo City. One of the  highlights is the launching of the Social Workers Organizations Regional Network (SWORN).

SWORN will keep the rich heritage and tradition alive by strengthening the social work organizations/ groups in Western Visayas. It will serve as coordinating body of all social work organizations affiliated with recognized national bodies, as well as other independent ones. SWORN will also act as support system to the regular activities of various organizations, and advocacy network to support the cause of Ilonggo social workers when needed. The network will spearhead the celebration of Social Work Week in Region VI. Moreover, it will be responsible for research-documentation and publication of the history, heritage and future development of social work endeavors in Western Visayas.

This year’s theme is “Resiliency and Advocacy: The Power of Social Work.” It has been adapted from the National Association of Social Workers.

The annual celebration has been institutionalized by respective ordinances/ resolutions of city and provincial councils in Western Visayas to recognize of the role of social workers in nation building.

It will be recalled that the passage of R. A. 4373 or Social Work Law on June 19, 1965 has regulated the practice of social work and the operation of social welfare agencies in the Philippines. Subsequently, it has created a new interest in social work and in the field of social welfare.

Social Work: A “Pathway to Sainthood”*

Dr. Raul Banias, Provincial Administrator, delivers the inspirational message for social workers

I would like to greet and congratulate all the social workers in the city and province of Iloilo on the occasion of the 8th Social Work Week that starts today.

Social work is one of the noblest professions. It is often described as a “pathway to sainthood.” Indeed, all of you are like Mother Theresa, who was called the Saint of the Gutters. You work with the sick. You work with cripples. You work with the poor.   You work with the hungry.

There is no question that social work is not financially rewarding. But true rewards can never be measured by money or by what you receive. Jackson Brown, author of the book Life’s Little Instruction, wrote that “the happiest people are not those who get more, but those who give more.”

For social workers are givers. You give a piece of your hearts and souls to those who don’t expect them – to people who thought that the world has turned its back on them. And working in a very depressing environment requires uncommon courage and exceptional dedication to help improve people’s lives.

If you talk about disability, a social worker is there.                                                             If you talk about homelessness, a social worker is there.                                                   If you talk about household violence, a social worker is there.                                       If you talk about street children, a social worker is there.                                              If you talk about illnesses, a social worker is there.                                                         If you talk about unemployment,                                                                                                              a   social worker is there.

The author, serving as chair of the Organizing Committee, welcomes guests and participants to the Opening Program of the 8th Social Work Week`

Social workers are omnipresent. And it is because of this omnipresence that makes you the true agents of social development, especially in these changing times.

The theme of your celebration “Responding to the Changing Times: Together, We Develop the Agenda for Social Work and Social Development” is a challenge not only to you but also to us government officials because we can never effectively and efficiently deliver the necessary social services to our people without you.

Because it is you who show us what the real picture on the ground is. Without you, we will never know the real ills of society. Without you, we will never know who really needs help and attention.

Dr. Raul Banias (2nd from right, front row) together with other guests during the Opening Program of the 8th Social Work Week held at the Freedom Grandstand, Iloilo City on June 13, 2012

And so we shall also be your partner in developing the agenda for social work and social development. In this pursuit, may we all be guided by the words of Nobel Prize winner and poet Rabindranath Tagore who said: “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”

It has been said that service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth. And you are the envy of everyone because you have already paid the rent for your room here on earth.

Madamo gid nga salamat kag maayong aga sa inyo tanan. (Thank you very much and a pleasant  morning to all)

________________

*Inspirational  message of  Dr. Raul Banias, Provincial Administrator, Province of Iloilo  during the Opening Program of the 8th Social Work Week in Iloilo held at the City’s Freedom Grandstand on June 13, 2012. He represented Gov. Arthur Defensor, Sr. who was on official trip to Canada on same date.

Keeping up with the Ilonggo tradition in Social Work

Previous blogs highlighted the role of social workers from Western Visayas in the national celebration of the Social Work Week in the Philippines every June 13-19. Likewise, the tradition set by Ilonggo social workers in the history of the social work profession was emphasized. Started by Josefa Jara Martinez, the first and foremost among Filipino social work pioneer, more contributions have been done.

Martinez was joined by Carmen Montinola-Luz and Felicidad A. De Silva in the list of seven pioneers that formed the first association of social workers in the Philippines, the Philippine Association of Social Workers, Inc. (PASWI). The social worker-senator who authored the RA 4373, Dr. Maria Kalaw- Katigbak, had an Ilongga heritage. Since then, social workers in Western Visayas follow the tradition of leadership and excellence.

While the list is still incomplete, this is a good start of historical record to remind the succeeding generations of our tradition. This may even encourage social workers from other regions to trace the historical contributions of respective pioneers. In 2000, history seems to repeat itself when three members of the elected PASWI National Board came from Western Visayas, namely: Atty. Dolores Nalumen, Sr. Sandra Alejo and the blog’s author. Atty. Nalumen was even elected as president. After our term, another three followed, namely: Mr. Rubin Magno, Miss Mary June Quanico and Sr. Enriqueta L. Legaste. They were succeeded by Prof. Feli Sustento, Mrs. Lulu Magbanua and Mrs. Lucita Villanueva.

The tradition of excellence is manifested in the initial list of national awardees from social workers in Western Visayas. The fate of Josefa Jara Martinez was duplicated by Sr. Teresa Mabasa in 2000 when she was awarded as Outstanding Professional in the Field of Social Work by the Professional Regulation Commission. Sr. Mabasa served as first president of PASWI-Iloilo.

Victor Salmon (extreme right), 1998 TOSWP awardee together with Atty. Ma. Dolores Nalumen, PASWI National President and the author, who receives the 1998 Most Outstanding Chapter award, on behalf of PASWI-Iloilo.

Four Ilonggos were recipients of the PASWI Ten Outstanding Social Workers in the Philippines Award, namely Mr. Victor Salmon in 1998; Mrs. Herminigilda Duarte in 2000; yours truly in 2004; and Mrs. Nina Joy Tanada, in 2010. Mr. Lazaro Petinglay was adjudged as the 2001 Most Outstanding DSWD Rehabilitation Workers in the Philippines by the Department of Justice. In 2005, he was also awarded as Outstanding Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer by the Association of Local Social Welfare and Development Officers of the Phil., Inc. (ALSWDOPI). The same award was received by Dr. Neneth Pador in 2008. Another Ilongga , Mrs. Adela Talamor, was awarded in the same year as Outstanding Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer.

Other national awardees from the region are Prof. Irene Ortigas, finalist for the Bayaning Pilipino- National Level in 1999 having garnered the Regional Award for Individual Category. Prof. Ortigas is the pioneer of the Department of Social Work, Central Philippine University. Her successor head of the Department, Prof. Ruth C. Corvera was also adjudged Top 5 Finalists in the Ramon Aboitiz Award for Exemplary Individual during the 2nd RAFI Triennial Awards for the Visayas and Mindanao in 2002.

All set for 8th Social Work Week in Iloilo

It will be another opportunity for Social Workers to take the center stage with the week-long celebration of the Social Work Week in Iloilo on June 13-19, 2012. The event will kick off with a motorcade around the city on June 13 to converge at the Freedom Grandstand for the Opening Program.

2005 Social Work Camp

On June 14 -15 the Philippine Association of Social Workers, Inc. (PASWI) Iloilo Chapter will hold their Annual Conference and General Assembly at Punta Villa, Iloilo City. In the afternoon of June 15, Social Work students from five schools of Social Work in Panay and Negros will start their 3-day Regional Social Work Camp. To be hosted by Central Philippine University, the other participating schools are, as follows: Capiz State University, Colegio del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus, Iloilo Doctors College, University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos.

Simultaneous with the Social Work Camp, the National Association for Social Work Education, Inc. (NASWEI)- Western Visayas will hold an assembly on June 16 at Central Philippine University. This will be participated in by faculty and field work supervisors of the aforementioned schools of Social Work.

On June 18, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office will sponsor a Social Welfare and Development Forum in Iloilo City. The Culminating Activity will be held on June 19 at the 5th floor Conference Room, Iloilo New Provincial Capitol Building.

Meanwhile, a Dental Mission will be jointly undertaken by the Association of Medical Social Workers- Iloilo Chapter and the College of Dentistry of the Iloilo Doctors College during the week-long celebration.

Forum with DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman during the 1st Social Work Week in 2005

Social Workers in other provinces of Western Visayas are also preparing for the celebration. The annual celebration has been institutionalized by respective resolutions of city and provincial councils in Western Visayas to recognize of the role of social workers in nation building.

It will be recalled that the passage of R. A. 4373 or Social Work Law on June 19, 1965 has regulated the practice of social work and the operation of social welfare agencies in the Philippines. Subsequently, it has created a new interest in social work and in the field of social welfare.

This year’s theme is “Responding to the Changing Times: Together, We Develop the Agenda for Social Work and Social Development.” It is an offshoot of the worldwide movement of social workers to push for the Global Social Agenda. Among others are social and economic equalities, dignity and worth of peoples, environmental sustainability, human relationships.

The celebration is a joint effort of the National Association for Social Work Education –Western Visayas, provincial chapters of the Philippine Association of Social Workers, Inc., Association of Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers, Association of Medical Social Workers in the Philippines, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, City Social Welfare and Development Office, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and Junior Social Workers Association.