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When Hope Knocks

When an opportunity knocks, welcome it with open arms.

This is what Minerva “Melba” D. Redondo, 43, believes as she and her husband, Russel endures their daily struggles to meet the needs of their family. The Php400 income Russel earns from driving tricycle, which the acquired using their last pay from their previous employment, is not enough to suffice their needs. And worst, they were forced to send one of the children to Melba’s mother to lessen to expenses. Melba felt that they were

The knock that changed everything

Melba was doing laundry when her mother-in-law told her that there were people looking for her.

Without any idea, she faced the people who asked her for an interview.

When she found out that they are from DSWD, the first thing that came to her mind was “this is a blessing” as she thought that she would be given groceries. But that did not happen. They told her that they were conducting house-to-house survey.

The survey that Melba was referring to is Listahanan household assessment. Listahanan is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are. Listahanan is the database used by DSWD for its social protection programs including the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

Years later after the survey, Melba proved herself right. That survey was indeed a blessing as she became a 4Ps beneficiary.

Nabuhayan ako ng loob. Totoo nga!,” Melba exclaimed as she recalls her reaction the day she found out about the good news.

Melba did not let this blessing go to waste. Through Russel’s income as a tricycle driver and the additional monetary assistance that they received through the program, they got to regularly pay for the tricycle, to support their children’s education, and the greatest of all, they got their child back in their custody as they are now able to support their family.

Another door that has opened

As a beneficiary, Melba did not settle for the fund assistance that they get monthly. When she learned about the Sustainable Livelihood Program during their Family and Development Session, she immediately signed up under the Technical-Vocational Skills Training where she chose Caregiving.

After seven months of studying and practicing well, she graduated and passed the Caregiving – NCII assessment in 2016.

According to Melba, she took Caregiving because she planned to work overseas since she has a relative who works as caregiver in Saudi Arabia. However, her children convinced her to just stay with them.

Search for new doors

As her first job, she became a reliever for a day. That is the time when she realized how she likes helping older people, especially the elderly who are being neglected by their children. As she took care of her patient, she was confident with the skills she got from her training.

Unfortunately, that was the first and last opportunity Melba got so far. She has not been able to practice her skills due to lack of stay-out jobs being offered to her. Since she has to take care of her children, she cannot pursue a job that will require her to be away from her family for more than 12 hours a day.

However, she remains hopeful that one day she will find a job that would not make her compromise her responsibility to and time with her children.

Currently, she continues to apply for a job in various hospitals and potential employers as she keeps in mind what she realized in life – more than welcoming opportunities with open arms, creating ones with her hardworking hands would save her and her family, just like before.

“Kahit may trabaho ka na o may tumutulong, kailangan mo pa rin magtrabaho para sa mga anak mo, para sa pamilya, para makapag-aral yung mga anak kong hindi pa tapos mag-aral… Kailangan kumayod ka rin, hindi puro asa sa mga grasyang dumarating,” Melba said as she recounts the lessons she got as a beneficiary of 4Ps and SLP, through Listahanan.

Indeed, Melba’s battle continues, but this time, she knows that when another opportunity knocks, she is equipped.

This post was written by:

- who has written 540 posts on DSWD Field Office IV-A Official Website.


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