Graduates from UP CSWCD took the oath as newly-registered social workers during the oathtaking ceremony held on November 14, 2022 at the Fiesta Pavillion, Manila Hotel. Ms. Lorna C. Gabad, Chairperson of the Philippine Regulatory Board for Social Workers, administered the oathtaking.
Ms. Luna Cajilig Salanio, BS Social Work graduate from UP CSWCD, topped the Social Worker Licensure Examination given on September 2022. Four other graduates from the college joined Ms. Salanio in the top ten namely: Sydney Claudelle Miña Aguba, Jeravem Gamao Ortiyas, Gia Santos Evangelista, and Hermie Dawn Ilasin Salmon. A total of 2,955 out 4,723 passed the said examination.
UP President Danilo L. Concepcion received the award recognizing the university as one of the top performing schools with 100% passing rate. UP has consistently maintained its perfect passing rate in the licensure examination for many years now. UP graduates have topped the last three has topped the last three examinations given by the Professional Regulation Commission.
In her message, Ms. Salanio, highlighted the need to amplify the voice of the poor and marginalized, “trabaho natin bilang mga manggagawang panlipunan na pakinggan at unawain nang lubos ang mga boses at tinig na ito, gaano pa man sila kahina at kagaralgal”. She ended her message with words of encouragement to her fellow social workers, “uli’t muli at lagi’t lagi, bumalik tayo at matuto kasama ang mga pamayanan at paglingkuran ang sambayanan!”
Faculty members from UP CSWCD’s Department of Social Work presented the initial results of the study, “Stories from the Field: Social Work at the Time of the Pandemic”, at the Joint Conference on Social Work Education and Social Development (SWESD) held on October 26 to 28, 2022, in Seoul, South Korea. The theme of SWESD 2022 is “Redefining Social Policy and social work Practice in a Post-Pandemic Society: Social Welfare Programs and social work Education at a Crossroads”, hosted by the International Council on Social Welfare and International Association of Schools of Social Work.
Assistant Professors Hazel Cometa-Lamberte, Suzanne Nazal, Florence Pasos, and Glennie Marie Sina-on discussed the challenges and lessons faced by social workers during the onsite symposium. The findings were based on 16 stories contributed by social work practitioners from various setting all over the country.
In particular, the study revealed the true cost of inequality in which poor communities which lack health and social services, are those which experienced the worse impact of COVID-19. The presentation also undescored the importance of ICT in case management and engaging with clients and communities, as well as the need for the profession to optimize the use of ICT in innovative and creative practice. It also emphasized the social workers’ important role as frontliners in COVID-19 response, together with other helping professionals. Caring for social workers’ physical and emotional well-being is essential for the growth of the profession. The presenters posed a challenge on the preparedness of the Social Work Profession to develop the necessary tools, practice models, and policy changes moving into a postcovid-19 world.
Associate Professor Justin Francis Leon V. Nicolas, PhD, made an online presentation on “Remote Community Organizing Strategies during the Pandemic: Introducing Change through Model-Building”. He highlighted how the pandemic has opened opportunities for social workers to explore innovative strategies in working with communities. The book, “Remaking Social Work for the New Global Era”, was also launched during the conference. Dr. Nicolas contributed a chapter, titled, “Knowledge Creation in Social Work During the Time of COVID-19”. Edited by Ngoh Tiong Tan, P.K. Shajahan, the book features global perspectives on the future of Social Work.
Asst. Professors Hazel Cometa-Lamberte, Glennie Marie Sina-on, and Diadem Rose Camba-Jontarciego of Iloilo Doctors College, presented their paper in the oral presentation category entitled “An Exploratory Study on the Challenges Encountered and Strategies Employed by the Philippine Child Caring Agencies Amidst COVID-19: Social Work Administration in the New Normal”. The team presented the challenges encountered and strategies employed in managing and operating the residential care facilities for children in the Philippines during the height of COVID-19 pandemic. The results showed implications for the conduct of social work administration and the delivery of social welfare and services in residential settings.
UP Tops Social Work Board Exams
Graduates from the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) College of Social Work and Community Development (CSWCD) have led the successful examinees of the Social Worker Licensure Examination administered by the Board for Social Workers this September 2022.
Luna Cajilig Salanio topped the examination with an 88.80% rating. Other UP CSWCD graduates who join Salanio in the top ten are the following: Sydney Claudelle Miña Aguba and Jeravem Gamao Ortiyas (top 4, 87.60%), Gia Santos Evangelista (top 5, 87.40%) and Hermie Dawn Ilasin Salmon (top 6, 87.20%).
UPD has consistently maintained its 100% passing rate in the Social Worker Licensure Examination.
According to the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), 2,955 out 4,723 passed the Social Worker Licensure Examination given by the Board for Social Workers in Manila, Baguio, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Koronadal, Legazpi, Lucena, Pagadian, Pampanga, Rosales, Tacloban, Tuguegarao and Zamboanga this September 2022.
The Marcoses were forced to go into exile as an aftermath of the EDSA revolution in 1986. Five years after her exile, Imelda Marcos was allowed by then Pres. Corazon Aquino to return to the country to face more than 60 criminal and civil charges against her, including charges of graft and tax evasion (Rappler, 2017). During the post EDSA years, the “ruling reactionary system has allowed the political and financial rehabilitation of the Marcoses.”
In 2018, a Philippine court found her guilty of seven counts of graft, with each count punishable by a minimum of six years in prison (Gutierrez, 2018). The ruling also automatically disqualified Mrs. Marcos, who was then a congresswoman, from holding any public office (Gutierrez, 2018). The same court said the ruling could be appealed, and legal experts said that Ms. Marcos could fight a prison sentence because of her advanced age (Gutierrez, 2018).
The political redemption of the Marcoses was consummated when Ferdinand Jr., won in the recent 2022 national election. A statement from the left succinctly puts it: “For several decades now, and especially during the past several years, historical facts were distorted and people fed with false information which not only pervaded social media, but promoted as well in textbooks which poison the minds of schoolchildren about the “golden days” of the Marcos dictatorship. Imelda and the Marcos family have evaded punishment despite conviction over a number of cases of corruption and human rights violations. The tyrant Duterte, himself, has been a key peddler of the Marcos lie.”
As expected, the new president is more obsessed to “correct” the much maligned name of the Marcoses in the history of our country. After a tandem of authoritarian rule and inefficiency of the previous government in handling the pandemic and the subsequent economic crisis, the colossal task of fixing the economy was given to a breed of technocrats who possess undying adherence to neoliberalism. This is unmindful that it is the neoliberal paradigm that actually brought us to this economic mess under a highly contested political terrain.
It is in this context that we will attempt to understand why Mr. Erwin Tulfo is placed at the helm of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The traditional social work practice in the country creates its own vulnerability. Its focus on individual inadequacies both at the level of framing the problem of the service users as well its intervention finds resonance on patronage politics, which have worked and perpetuated itself in the system. Traditional social work practice promotes and nurtures the patron system even in the delivery the state’s social services. This practice is akin to a pendulum that swings according to the push of those in power. In a reactionary state, it always swings to the right. Under Duterte’s authoritarian regime, we witnessed how the state’s social service resources and arsenal have been carved into the counter-insurgency program, making a mockery of the Social Work profession’s held values and principles.
Placing Mr. Erwin T. Tulfo as the new secretary of DSWD is not simply a political payback. Yes, the Tulfo brother are known as Duterte allies. With his questionable journalism practice, highly populist stance, and rabid followers, he is deliberately placed at the DSWD to perform key ideological tasks. The ordinary people have always been victims of the ruling class, especially at the ideological sphere; that is why many people remain to be gullible.
The helping process in our Social Work profession has always been premised on the inherent dignity of the service user. That is why social justice, human rights and people’s liberation are considered as anchors on our practice. We are conscious of liberating the service users from the shackles of ignorance, unscientific mindset, and allow them to fully develop into critical thinking individuals. By fanning the gullibility of the masses, this is what Mr. Erwin Tulfo wants to negate in our profession and practice. For Forgas & Baumeiter, “ gullibility, as a failure of social intelligence in which a person is easily tricked or manipulated into an ill-advised course of action. Gullibility is closely related to credulity, which is the tendency to believe unlikely propositions that are unsupported by evidence. Gullibility is thus a factor in social influence processes, as a person’s willingness to believe false or misleading information facilitates the influence.”
The DSWD already has its own share of bureaucratic mess in its delivery of social services. A well intentioned and skilled band of social work professionals can correct this. On the other hand, Mr. Tulfo is expected to invoke the bureaucratic mess to justify shortcuts wherein his interventions can be interpreted by the service users as “efficient”. His swift intervention riding on being a bully can be harnessed in influencing the public mindset that indeed the new regime is hellbent to help the people in whatever means. We will be witnessing a shift from the Tulfo’s brand of journalism to Tulfo’s brand of social services delivery.
Definitely, he will be building his base among the service users and make the latter harp on the compassionate Marcos regime. From passivity, the masses will usher a “people’s movement” rendering support and further legitimizing the class rule of the Marcos-Arroyo-Duterte (MAD) clique. It is to paint the new regime as having the best interest of the people at the heart of their governance.
In a highly stratified society devoid of morals, the ruling class always has a deep bench of jesters, apologists, and mercenaries.
More than being a personal insult to each Social Work practitioner and student, this unfolding scenario negates what gains we have had in our pursuit of transformative social work in the context of real service to the people. It posits to bastardize the profession in the pursuit of their partisan objectives.
As we journey in these perilous times, we should not waver in our resolve to truly serve the genuine interests of the people and uphold our Social Work profession, values and principles.
Rappler, 2017). TIMELINE: How the Marcoses made their political comeback. https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/162459-timeline-marcos-political-comeback/
Forgas, Joseph P & Baumeiter Roy R. (2019). The Social Psychology of Gullibility. Fake News, Conspiracy Theories and Irrational Beliefs. Taylor & Francis Group.
SOCIAL WORK ACTION NETWORK-PHILIPPINES
June 1, 2022
Ms. Carmel A. Eubra, a municipal social welfare and development officer (MSWDO) of Viga, Catanduanes was killed by riding in tandem in Virac, Catanduanes last May 24, 2022. She was shot twice while driving her car inside a subdivision.
It is obvious that her killers had subjected our colleague to a surveillance and decided that the location where Ms. Eubra died was the perfect killing spot. Apparently, the location also afforded the killers the best route for their getaway.
Contracting hired killers for this dastardly act is a clear sign that somebody or a group of individuals was hell bent to eliminate Ms. Eubra.
This is again a classic case of senseless killing. It is very ironic that a social work practitioner that has overcome the challenges of being a frontliner in a rural setting just to put premium on the sacredness of life, died violently. Her passion to serve other people especially those in need was cut short. She was only 43 years old. Her dreams were crushed with her lifeless body.
Her murder was another notch of a long thread of professionals who also met the same fate, another testament that rendering service to the people invites violent death and how impunity has permeated the society.
We are living in perilous times. The death of Ms. Eubra is even not a bad omen. With a Marcos-Duterte tandem capturing the helm of the country’s political power, there will be no radical departure from the legacy of widespread human rights violations of their predecessor. In fact what is worrisome is the possibility of invoking the landslide victory in inflicting harm against the people and the so-called adherents of the “pink movement.” BBM loyalists in the social media are now starting to push for the physical decimation of the critics of the new administration.
While we demand justice for our colleague, it is now than ever that social work practitioners should close ranks and start instituting precautionary and security measure to preserve our ranks.
The battle is long and risky, but victory is inevitable.
Department of Social Work
College of Social Work and Community Development
May 27, 2022