Statement: A DSWD Secretary should be beyond reproach

Colleagues from various social work organizations have appealed to the incoming president “to appoint a professional social worker for the secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or within the qualifications of an experienced development worker, exposed and familiar to the wide range of welfare issues and social protection programs.”  The collective appeal was simply dismissed.

With the lingering impact of the nexus of pandemic and the economic crisis, the DSWD confronts an enormous challenge of providing much-needed social services and social protection to the marginalized. Social welfare administration requires expertise that is nurtured by academic training and professional experience, as clearly stated in Republic Act No. 4373: An Act to Regulate the Practice of Social Work and the Operation of Social Work Agencies in the Philippines and for Other Purposes.

Let us go back to an incident  where the newly designated  secretary of DSWD was involved.

Last May 31, 2019, Mr. Erwin Tulfo lambasted DSWD Sec. Bautista for declining to grant him a live interview, arguing it was his obligation as secretary of the dept. “Sino ba itong buang na ito? Pasensya na muna ano ha.  Maski tao ka ni Pangulong Duterte, le-lecture-an muna kita (Who is this crazy person? I apologize, but even if you were appointed by President Duterte, let me lecture you (Fonbuena, 2019).  Tulfo’s rant included threats to slap Bautista if he ever saw him, and to dunk his head inside a toilet bowl (Fonbuena, 2019).

Several days after, Mr. Erwin Tulfo apologized to Sec. Baustista, vowing to tone down “Tulfo’s brand of journalism (CNN Philippines, 2019).  The practice of journalism has its own recognized ethical norms and standards. Practitioners in this profession always uphold these at all times.  Aside from the DSWD Chief, he also apologized to the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association, who threatened to file libel and defamation charges against the broadcaster (CNN Philippines, 2019). A bully can only be contained by a force greater than him.

What is worrisome is the streak of arrogance and bullying exhibited by the Tulfo brothers, including Erwin Tulfo.  This is about mindset.  The Tulfo brothers had always been bullies, even challenging their perceived enemies to fistfights.

The appointment of a bully as head of the department is an act of   political payback since the Tulfo brothers are closely allied with the Dutertes. Good governance is about to be thrown into the gutter.  It is political loyalties again rather than upholding the best interest of the people. A bully has no space in a professional organization much less being its key leader.

As the country slowly recovers from the effects of the pandemic, social service delivery should be anchored on compassion and comprehensive understanding of the relevant policies, programs, services, protocols and mechanisms. Social welfare and development programs are beyond the realms of charity, whims or popularity. They are best administered by professionals who have extensive experience, possess appropriate technical knowledge and skills, and uphold the principles and values of social work and social development practice.



CNN Philippines. (2019). Broadcaster says sorry to DSWD secretary, vows to tone down “Tulfo’s brand of journalism.

Fonbuena, Carmela. (2019). Soldiers seethe on line after Erwin Tulfo threatens to slap ex-Army chief.

Department of Social Work

College of Social Work and Community Development

UP Diliman

UP Tops Social Work Board Exams

For two consecutive years, graduates from the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) have led the successful examinees of the Social Worker Licensure Examination administered by the Board for Social Workers.

Alain Matteo Ferrer Meneses topped this year’s examination with an 85.60% rating. Sofia Clare Parcon Silva-llana joins Meneses in the top ten by placing sixth with a score of 83.80% Both Meneses and Silva-llana graduated with latin honors from the College of Social Work and Community Development in 2020. For many years, UPD has maintained a 100% board exam passing rate.

According to the Professional Regulation Commission, 533 out of 1,211 passed the examination, which was  held in Manila, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Legazpi, Lucena, Pagadian, Pampanga, Rosales, Tacloban, Tuguegarao, and Zamboanga in February 2022.

PJSD 14 Research Forum: Resistance and Hope from the Fringes

The Research and Extension for Development Office, UP CSWCD would like to invite everyone to attend the second part of the PJSD Vol 14 Research Forum entitled, “Resistance and Hope from the Fringes” on March 10, 2022 (Thursday) from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. This second part will feature the following articles from the PJSD Vol. 14:
  • Sa Gitna ng Pandemya na Covid 19: Pagtugon ng mga manininda, tsuper at mamamayan ng Pook Malinis sa UP Diliman by Dr. Aleli Bawagan, Rose Angelie Hernandez, and Celeste Vallejos;
  • Network Formation in the Time of the Pandemic: The experience of the Citizen’s Urgent Response to End Covid 19 (CURE Covid) by Remvert Bryan Placido, Louise Jashil Sonido, and Dr. Judy Taguiwalo;
  • Department of Community Development (DCD) –Modified Field Instruction Program: An Adaptive Initiative to Social Solidarity and Partnership in the Time of the Pandemic written by the DCD-FIP Committee.
Join us as the authors discuss their research findings, methodology, and insights while conducting the research at the time of the pandemic.
Kindly register at this link:…/tZIld…
The Zoom link will be emailed to you once you have completed your registration.
For questions and inquiries, you may send us an email at
Thank you and we hope to see you!

Opisyal na Pahayag: Hands off our Development Workers!

Hands off our Development Workers!

Ang Kolehiyo ng Gawaing Panlipunan at Pagpapaunlad ng Pamayanan, sampu ng kanyang mga guro, kawani at mag-aaral ay nagkakaisa sa pagkondena sa hindi makatarungan at iligal na pag-aresto kay Agnes Mesina at kanyang mga kasamahan, at sa tahasang panggigipit at pagpatay sa mga development workers at human rights defenders tulad ng tinaguriang New Bataan 5.

28 Pebrero 2022, bandang 7:00 NC, inaresto si Agnes Mesina habang kumakain sa isang karinderya sa Aparri, Cagayan dahil sa isang kaso na pinawalang-bisa na ng korte noon pang 12 Hulyo 2021. Si Agnes Mesina ay nasa Cagayan upang magsagawa ng community outreach at fact-finding mission para sa mga pamayanang Agta na biktima ng walang habas na pambobomba na militar sa Conzaga, Cagayan. Bandang 11:30 NC, si Agnes Mesina ay pinalaya mula sa kustodiya ng mga pulis.

Walang duda, ang pag-aresto kay Agnes Mesina ay isang anyo ng panggigipit sa mga development workers na kadalasang pinaghihinalaan o inaakusahang kasapi ng mga rebeldeng grupo na walang sapat na batayan. Hindi ito makatarungan. At batay sa karanasan mula sa New Bataan 5, Bloody Sunday at Human Rights Day 7, ito rin ay lubhang mapanganib at nakamamatay.

Naniniwala ang Kolehiyo ng Gawaing Panlipunan at Pagpapaunlad ng Pamayanan na ang aktibismo ay hindi terorismo at may mahalagang gampanin ang maa development workers lalo na sa paghahatid ng tulong, kaalaman at kasanayan sa mga pamayanang nasa laylayan at pinagkakaitan ng kanilang karapatan. Nananawagan kami sa mga kinauukulan na kilalanin at igalang ang mahalagang gampanin ng mga development workers sa pagpapaunlad ng mga pamayanan at ang karapatan nilang makipagtuwangan sa mga maralitang sektor ng ating lipunan nang walang takot at pangamba sa banta ng pang-aabuso, hindi makatarungang pagpapakulong o kamatayan. Nananawagan din kami sa mga awtoridad na panagutin ang mga nagsagawa ng ilegal na pag-aresto. ###


Any election is defined as an exercise of rights and power of the people in forming the government that carries their mandate and implement their decision. This is the reason any electoral exercise has always been considered as a sacred act.

Yet this definition is far and even runs counter in practice and reality of our elections where the obligation to elect is significantly narrowed down by our choices among the   candidates. The electoral landscape and the hold of power at various levels are painted by a dynasty rule of families and clans in the form and essence of feudal patronage politics. Positions from the local to the national level has been regularly shifting within members of families and among relatives of traditional politicians and have been reduced into political fiefdoms where the rule of the governance is amassing wealth in the name of public service.   Together with the conditions and institutions, culture and mindset that support and promote it, feudal patronage politics prevents the realization and conscious engagement of the people in their democratic rights and freedom to decide and ensure the realization of their decisions.  Consequently, what we have today is elite democracy instead of people’s democracy.

At the current juncture of the nation’s electoral exercise, the insidious effects of feudal patronage politics have been exacerbated by the preponderance of fake news.  According to Andrew J. Masigan, “administration candidates have an advantage since their trolls are firmly in place. Although they will never admit it, I have it on good information that their army of trolls are managed (and funded) by no less than a department of government, under the supervision of an undersecretary. For brevity, let us call this undersecretary the ‘Soft Master’. He added that “analytics derived from social media listening platforms estimate that there were approximately 250,000 unique accounts tagged as “pro-Duterte trolls” last year. The actual number of individuals is significantly lower since trolls operate numerous accounts. Out of all active trolls, about 30 percent are organic (real people with real convictions), while the remainder consists of paid individuals under the employ of public relations or messaging agencies.”

Another 12-month study conducted by Jonathan Corpus Ong and Jason Vincent Cabanes using in-depth interviews with 20 “disinformation architects” showed that “on top of the disinformation hierarchy sits advertising and public relations executives acting as the ‘chief architects of networked disinformation in the country.”

Other candidates similarly engaged in disinformation.  One candidate that is projected as a “frontliner” in surveys for the presidency is no different.  There is nothing sacred about what this candidate and his family have been doing   to make a political comeback. All their efforts have been laced with repeated lies and condemnable political posturing, even engaging on historical revisionism.   With the handling of the COMELEC on BBM disqualification case and Imelda remained free despite a conviction in 2018 for seven counts of graft, there is indeed truth to the adage that “some are smarter than others. The tandem BBM-Sara Duterte even dangles the call for national unity minus rendering justice to the victims of martial law.

Another candidate harps on healing the nation after reducing the complex issues confronting the people as a “war” between Marcoses and the “dilawan”.  Another presidential candidate even refused to account for his involvement in torture of activists during the martial law.  His running partner conveniently distances himself from Duterte after navigating the Senate as appendage of an authoritarian rule.

Arendt captures the unfolding scenario by stating that “the liar is defeated by reality, for which is there no substitute; no matter how large the tissue of falsehood that an experienced liar has to offer, it will never be large enough, even if he enlists the help of computers, to cover the immensity of factuality. The liar, who may get away why any number of single falsehoods, will find it impossible to get away lying on principle.”

As we commemorate the 36th anniversary of EDSA revolution, let us again be firm on the side of the truth amidst this massive disinformation. In her acceptance speeches of international awards, Maria Rezza, the co-founder, and CEO of Rappler is noticeably clear in saying that “there can no integrity of elections without integrity of facts”.

At this crucial historical junction of our society, we should not be afraid of confronting the issues of power and be part of people’s efforts in ensuring the thieves, dictators, and pretenders cannot make a political comeback.   We have a saying that “the personal is political and the political is personal.” As citizens, we have an obligation to ensure that the interest of the people is best pursued and served in the future. As one quote extolls “the next time somebody says you are ‘too political’, tell them silence is a political stand. It is a full-throated endorsement of the status quo.”

Enrico Julian Estrellado inspires us to be part of this historic mission by saying that “making a stand is always glorious if it is a call for freedom. I will make a stand again, if the signs of the time call for me to make a stand as I do now, since the tyrants are taking a step to curtail the truth and change history.”

Social Work Action Network (SWAN)-Philippines

February 25, 2022

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DSW Faculty Members Speak at the Biennial Convention for Social Work Educators

DSW Faculty Members Speak at the Biennial Convention for Social Work Educators

Sue Magalona-Nazal

The National Association for Social Work Education,  or NASWEI,  held its 49TH biennial convention on November 29-30, 2021 & December 1-3, using online platforms. The theme of the conference was: “Philippine Social work Education Amidst the Pandemic: “Challenges, Innovations and Trajectories”.

As in previous conferences, faculty members from the Department of Social Work, along with selected students, actively participated in the discussions. Assistant Professor John Erwin Bañez led the plenary discussion on “Social Work Statistics”, on November 30, 2021, where he shared useful statistical analysis tools for social work research. During plenary sessions on December 1, 2021, , Dr. Justin Francis Leon V. Nicolas made a presentation on, “Publish or Perish: How to Write Publishable Journal Articles”, with panel sharing from journal writers. Dr. Angelito Meneses likewise shared his experiences as a writer, through his presentation, titled, “How to Write Publishable Books” with panel sharing from book authors, led by retired CSWCD Professor Thelma Lee-Mendoza.  Dr. Finaflor F. Taylan, from the UP Open University, spoke about the, “Use of Online Teaching and Assessment”, during the plenary session on December 2, 2021.

Breakout sessions likewise featured CSWCD faculty members, as well as students. On November 29, 2021, Dr. Justin Francis Leon V. Nicolas presented, “A meta-Analysis of Case Studies in Human Rights at the Heart of Response during the Time of Pandemic in the Philippines”.  On the same day, Assistant Professor Gil I. Espinido, led stimulating discussion about, “Social Work as a Human Rights Profession”.

B.S. Social work students,  Sydney Claudelle M. Aguba and  Gia S. Evangelista, shared their research paper at a breakout session on December 1, 2021. The student paper is titled, “Revisiting Human Rights in Social Work: Filipino Social Workers’ Perception and Integration of Human Rights into their Professional Practice.

As the largest national umbrella organization of social work schools and educators, the NASWEI aims to promote and maintain high standards of social work education in the Philippines.


UP CSWCD 7th Placer of the Social Worker Licensure Examination 2021

Leanne Feliz O. Pastorpide, UP CSWCD alumna lands 7th place in Social Worker Licensure Examination 2021
UP CSWCD alumna Leanne Feliz O. Pastorpide places 7th in the Social Worker Licensure Examination 2021

Leanne Feliz Ordillano Pastorpide entered UP Diliman with the course of BA Comparative Literature (Major in European Literature). In search for a course more focused on the development sector, she found BS Social Work through the help of her friends, and shifted in 2016. Together with her research partner, her undergraduate research entitled “A Study on the Congruity of Mental Health Services in the University of the Philippines Diliman with Undergraduate Students’ Concern” won Best Research in the Social Work Department in 2018, and was presented at the Asia-Pacific Joint Regional Social Work Conference in 2019. She graduated BS Social Work in July 2020, and worked as a researcher in several mental health, public health, and development researches prior to acing the board exam.

UP Tops Social Worker Licensure Examination 2021

UP CSWCD congratulates its topnotchers and passers of the Social Worker Licensure Examination 2021

The UP CSWCD family congratulates our alumnae for topping the August 2021 Social Worker Licensure Examination and for achieving a 100% passing rate.

Digna Millondaga de Guzman led the list of successful examinees with a rating of 83%. Leanne Feliz Ordillano Pastorpide placed 7th with a rating of 81%. Less than half, or 612 out of 1,621 individuals passed the examination, which was held on August 24, 25, and 26, 2021.

UP CSWCD Alumna Tops August 2021 Social Worker Licensure Exam

CSWCD congratulates its alumna, Digna Millondaga-De Guzman, for being the top notcher of the August 2021 Social Worker Licensure Examination.

Digna Millondaga-De Guzman is a wife and mother of two kids (an eleven-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl) and is residing in her home province of Bataan.

She is an alumna of the University of the Philippines-Diliman College of Social Work and Community Development, who graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Community Development (cum laude) in 2002 and last February 2021 for her Master of Social Work degree. She also has a Master’s degree in Public Administration (graduated in 2006) from Bataan Peninsula State University (BPSU) where she eventually became a faculty member (Assistant Professor IV). She is also a licensed professional teacher when she passed the licensure examination for teachers in March 2016.

Her goal is to establish a BS Social Work program in BPSU that will produce graduates who will enable individuals to achieve their full potential as a person with worth and dignity and to advocate for social justice and human rights in our society.

With her success at this August 2021’s Board Examination for Social Workers, she hopes that her goal will become a reality.