UP Graduates take Oath as Social Workers

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.
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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!”

UP CSWCD Presentation at the World Conference on Social Work Education in Seoul

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.

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.

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References:

CNN Philippines. (2019). Broadcaster says sorry to DSWD secretary, vows to tone down “Tulfo’s brand of journalism. https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2019/6/3/Erwin-Tulfo-DSWD-Secretary-Rolando-Bautista-apology.html

Fonbuena, Carmela. (2019). Soldiers seethe on line after Erwin Tulfo threatens to slap ex-Army chief. https://www.rappler.com/nation/231925-soldiers-seethe-online-after-erwin-tulfo-calls-ex-army-chief-crazy/

Department of Social Work

College of Social Work and Community Development

UP Diliman