BUTUAN CITY- 250 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, some workers of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and few representatives from partner agencies marched from Guingona Park to the Capitol covered court in the early morning of December 17, 2013 to participate in the Unity Walk entitled Lakat Caraga, Iban Kita!.

This activity was conducted by DSWD to promote its advocacies, innovations and strategies in delivering social services and also to strengthen partnership with stakeholders.

Series of activities also happened on the said activity such as the Zumba dance and the sharing of testimonies by Leah Rebutan a Pantawid Pamilya parent leader, Stephanie De la Cruz, an SGPPA scholar and Vergie Seña, representative from the Department of Education (DepEd).

Part of the program was the Regional Quiz Bee for Pantawid Pamilya children beneficiaries. Each province of the region sent two (2) representatives who competed as a team.

The said Quiz Bee was championed by the team of the Province of Dinagat Islands with participants Jufel Ramirez and Geneva Gloria who received a cash prize of Php 10,000.00. Daisy Bayang and Donna Mae Lopio of Surigao del Norte ranked2nd place and received Php 7,000.00. Agusan del Sur participants Kisha Rochelle Pucot and Haron Joseph Bercheon got the 3rd prize with Php 5,000.00 cash prize.

Roshni Rosales and Gio Magayon of Surigao del Sur and Eloise Hazel Catap and Angelique Bantasan of Agusan del Norte teams got the consolation awards worth Php 3,000.00. Gift packs were also distributed to the quiz bee participants sponsored by Magic FM and Asia Brewery.

In the covered court, booths were prepared by each unit to display best practices and to promote advocacies to the joiners of the event.

Some partner agencies like the Department of Education (DepEd) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) also expressed their support through their presence and participation in the activity.

Regional Director Minda Brigoli expressed her excitement upon seeing the Pantawid beneficiaries of Butuan gather in the covered court to participate in the activity of DSWD. She encouraged the crowd about issues of fighting poverty and reaching the goal of self-sufficiency level.

“We, as workers of the Department are doing our best in intensifying the operations of each of our programs to be able to help our Pantawid beneficiaries in the region, and so, let us help one another,” Director Brigoli said.

This year, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program was able to help 5, 173 household beneficiaries in the Caraga region reach self-sufficiency level which exceeded the Office’s target which is 4, 333.

Indeed, much can be done if unity is there.

### Social Marketing Unit