Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)- Many are called to become social workers but only few have a heart made to serve. Mr. Bernardo Cadaon, Jr. is one of those who have chosen to take the path of selfless service.

Bernard is a Social Welfare Officer I and the Supervising Social Worker of the Regional Rehabilitation Center for  the Youth (RRCY) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development- Field Office CAR (DSWD FO CAR). His desire to serve fuels his efforts to take on tasks out of his designated roles just to ensure  the wellbeing of the center residents whom he ought to serve.

Servant Leader

Being a servant leader, Bernard serves as a supervisor and as a case manager. Although tiring, he continues to serve to meet others’ needs before his own. Even if he is already a supervisor, he often renders extra days of duty to cover for house parents who would not be able to report to work, allowing them to attend to personal matters. At the onset  of the pandemic, whenever a house parent or other staff would  contract COVID-19, the center needed staff complementation to  ensure the orderly daily operations of the center. During these  times, Bernard himself rendered extra days of duty. When the  center was on a lockdown because of residents who were sick  with COVID-19, he, together with other staff spent as long as 14 days in the center to look after the residents.  This exhibited service above self as Bernard had to  spend days away from his wife and young children who also  needed the presence of a husband and a father to look after their welfare as well.

 Loving Father 

A father of two young children, Bernard has extended his fatherly love to the clients of the RRCY.

During the pandemic, the residents who  were enrolled needed computer sets for their online classes. The  lack of computer sets made it difficult for the students. In June 2021, Bernard with the Center Head proposed to the DSWD Central Office for the  purchase of computer sets in support of the Center’s computer  literacy program and online library system for  residents. This was granted by then DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista who issued five computer desk tops and a laptop which aided three student residents who graduated from  Junior High School, one who graduated from Senior High School, and  five who moved up to higher grade levels. The initiative also helped the Center to be accorded its Level III accreditation status in 2022 making it a Center of Excellence. Upon Bernard’s assumption of duty in RRCY in 2019, he laboriously worked with the DSWD FO CAR’s  engineers until the establishment of the water source in  2020. Since then, he took the lead in monitoring  t the kilometers-long water  pipes from Sablan to the water source in Longlong, La  Trinidad.  This has benefitted the Center residents and personnel who had to manually fetch water before the establishment of the water system. Bernard has also partnered with various institutions and inter-agency committees to augment in the Center’s programs and  services such as the Saint Louis University, Sprint International  Inc., Hope Christian Church, University of Baguio, and the Local Government of Sablan, Benguet.

Moreover, Bernard has gained the high respect of the residents as he treats each with respect despite their  circumstances in life. The mutual high regard facilitates a facilitating environment in the Center.

“Si Sir Bernard ay parang coach sa amin. Kumbaga sa  basketball, lagi niya kaming pinagsasabihan ng kung gusto ninyong  makamit ang goal ninyo magsipag, self-discipline at laban. Si Sir  Bernard yung taong desididong tulungan ang kabataan na tulad ko”, shared one of the residents. “Tumatayong tatay din sa  amin. Sobrang tiyaga niya sa lahat ng bagay mahirap o madali go  lang. Hindi niya pinaparamdam sa mga residente na patapon kami  o sobrang makasalanan”, another one said.

Despite the meager wage and being the breadwinner of his family, Bernard chooses to stay with the DSWD and live simply with his loving wife and children. He also continues to serve with commitment and integrity and showcase his expertise in child protection, multi-disciplinary case management, and inter-agency networking without expecting anything in return but to see the children once lost find a new path filled with hope of a better future.

All these prove true that Bernard possesses a heart of a true public servant- a heart of a Dangal ng Bayan.

“We will face many difficulties in life. We will receive many rejections and disappointments. But God knows when to give us the things that we have been praying for. As long as we put others first, we will never lose but we will gain even more”, Bernard shared.

Bernard is one of the two prides of DSWD FO CAR who have been conferred the Civil Service Commission’s Outstanding Public Officials and Employees or the Dangal ng Bayan Award which is conferred to an individual for performance of extraordinary act or public service and consistent demonstration of exemplary ethical behavior based on Republic Act No. 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. He has also been recognized as DSWD PRAISE Awards’ 2022 Best Center Social Workers. #DSWD FIELD OFFICE CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, NERIZZA FAYE G. VILLANUEVA-TRINIDAD

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