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Every help is appreciated

A solo mother’s hope for her children


She admits that from the outside, especially when looking at their house, she does not look like needing any assistance. The house she lives in is her parents’ as she is living with them with her two children.

However, looking closely at her situation, 25-year-old Analyn Mendoza, a resident of Brgy. San Diego in Lian, Batangas Province, definitely needs help. At age 19, her live-in partner died due to heart attack and she is left with the care of their two children.

She only finished third year high school because of her early pregnancy. Therefore, she is not able to find a good job to support her children. She works as a part-time tutor and a barangay health worker and still provides for her stay-at-home father and her mother, whose income is derived from selling fish in the neighborhood from time to time.

Any amount of assistance matters

Early in August 2018, Analyn received PhP2,400 under the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) program. Under the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, qualified poor households will receive a cash subsidy from the national government amounting to PhP200 per month for the first year and PhP300 per month for the succeeding years (2019 and 2020).

The UCT aims to augment the daily needs of the poor households and individuals brought by the effects of the implementation of the TRAIN Law including the increase in prices of basic commodities.

Beneficiaries of the UCT include beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, the Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens and identified poor households under the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s database of poor households based on the house-to-house assessment conducted under the Listahanan targeting system last 2015.

Analyn’s family belongs to the latter.

“Naalala ko dati, mayroong pumunta sa bahay namin, taga DSWD daw sila. Kinukuha ang mga detalye sa amin katulad ng sino ang mga kasama ko sa bahay at ano ang pinagkakakitaan namin. Hindi ko alam na may ganito pala kaming matatanggap,” recalled Analyn, who is referring to the house-to-house assessment of DSWD last 2015.

Further, she shared that another validator went to their house last April to update her data. This is the process conducted by the DSWD to validate all the poor households identified in the 2015 assessment for inclusion in the UCT beneficiaries.

“Kahit po maliit na halaga kung titingnan ‘yung P200 kada buwan, malaking tulong na po ito sa aming pamilya, lalong lalo na sa mga anak ko,” shared Analyn, who excitedly computes that the PhP200 per month can provide for the food and allowance of her children for two weeks or purchase a set of vitamins for the two of them.

The minimal amount will greatly augment her income of PhP800 per month as a barangay health worker and PhP50 per hour that she tutors children during examination periods.


Not losing hope

Despite their financial situation, Analyn is firm on her dreams for her two children, who are seven and 10 years old now—to ensure that they get a good education.

“Kaya patuloy po akong nagsusumikap para sa kanila. Plano ko rin pong makahanap ng scholarship para kahit papaano ay makapag-aral muli,” shared Analyn.

She is also hopeful that the government and other institutions will be able to help families like her in the future, especially now that their family is listed in the database of poor households of the DSWD. The DSWD uses the Listahanan database of poor households as basis in the selection of beneficiaries for social protection programs and advocates to local government units, national government agencies and non-government organizations to use the same for the targeting of beneficiaries for their respective programs for the poor.

“Dati po, nagtataka ako kung bakit hindi kami p’wedeng mag-apply sa 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program). Pero hindi pala kami kasama sa listahan ng mahihirap na pamilya na naging basehan ng pagpili ng mga benepisyaryo,” she said.

In the process of the Pantawid Pamilya program, beneficiaries are identified through the list of poor households under the Listahanan database during the 2009 assessment. Qualified households from this list or those with children zero to 14 years old or pregnant woman at that time were registered in the program.

“Noon po kasing unang survey, hindi pa po kami dito nakatira. Buhay pa rin po ang tatay ng mga anak ko kaya kahit papaano ay nasusuportahan namin sila,” shared Analyn, who added that she completely understands the process.

Right now, she knows she cannot rely on any program for her dreams for her children. She is determined to work hard to provide for her family. But she will greatly appreciate any assistance if this means she can better ensure the chances of reaching her dreams for her children.#


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