Marvin Paner is a student-intern at the DSWD Field Office IV-A under the Government Internship Program.

Being in college is both an achievement and a pressure for 19-year-old Marvin Paner.

Now an incoming third year college student, Marvin can feel that he is closer to his dreams of getting his family out of their struggles. At the same time, however, he fears that he may not be able to deliver what is expected from him, considering that he is the first in his family to reach college.

Marvin, a resident of Brgy. Paliparan III in Dasmariñas City, Cavite Province, is taking up Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education in Cavite State University in Indang town of the said province.

Every day, as he goes to the university, he is fueled by his desire to give his family a better life.

A chance at college

Marvin grew up in a family where most of the children choose to work after high school to help their respective families. However, he vowed to make a difference.

“Ayaw ko nang bumalik sa dati na mahirap talaga ang buhay. ‘Yung kami lang dalawa ng kapatid ko ang kakain dahil hindi sapat ang kinikita ng mga magulang ko,” he said.

Marvin’s mother works as a barangay justice while his stepfather works as an on-call construction worker. For him, they’ll never get to experience a more convenient life if he will not push through with his college education.

After graduating from high school, he ensured that he’ll be able to enroll in college through looking for various scholarship programs from the local government and private sponsors.

Fortunately, Marvin qualified to be a beneficiary of the Expanded Student Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGPPA) of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

The said grant is provided to qualified high school graduates who are members of household-beneficiaries of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. Marvin’s family is one of the more than 300,000 household-beneficiaries of the said program in the CALABARZON Region.

In 2014, Marvin became one of the 2,707 beneficiaries of the E-SGPPA in the region.

The ESGPPA aims to increase the number of college graduates from poor households so they’ll be able to help themselves improve their living condition and contribute to national development. Beneficiaries like Marvin are provided with a grant of PhP30,000 per semester that covers tuition, board and lodging and other school-related expenses such as textbooks, uniform and school supplies.

“Malaking tulong po ang ESGPPA sa pag-aaral ko dahil hindi na namin problema pa ang mga gastusin sa school. Kung tutuusin, hindi talaga kaya ng pamilya ko ang pag-aaral sa kolehiyo,” shared Marvin.

Prior to being a beneficiary of the ESGPPA, Marvin planned to even go as far as being a working student to support the expenses. But with this grant, he can fully concentrate on his studies.

As a result, Marvin is a Dean’s Lister in their university.

As long as he gets good grades, he’s ensured that he is supported by the college grant until he finishes his course.

Fulfilling his dreams for the family

Despite the help of the Pantawid Pamilya program to his family and the college grant he now enjoys, Marvin continues to find ways to help his family.

This summer, Marvin applied to the DSWD Field Office IV-A for a summer job under the Government Internship Program (GIP).

Marvin, together with 54 other youths are employed by the DSWD for a total of 22 days to do various office-related tasks such as records keeping and encoding for a stipend of PhP272.00 per day.

“Makakatulong po ito sa mga gastusin sa bahay at higit dito, mas matutulungan nito akong matuto ng iba’t ibang trabaho sa opisina,” said Marvin who shares that this exposure will help him prepare for future employments.

The GIP is a component of the government’s Unlad Kabataan program and is open to 18 to 25 years old male or female youths who are at least high school graduate and whose family’s income is not more than the existing poverty threshold. This provides opportunity for out-of-school and in-school youths hands on experience on working in government agencies and for them to learn skills in the workplace while earning money to help them augment for their needs.

For Marvin, he’ll continue doing everything in his capacity to help his family, especially in the future. With pride, he wears a badge that only he has met in his family’s generations—a college education and soon, a good profession and a better life.#