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More than just being a mother

Mirasol Ariap can no longer recall how and when her friendship with Julie Sarabia started. It has been ages but all that she knows is that Julie is a hardworking mother of 14 children.

In a small shop near a highway at Brgy. Pulvorista in Kawit, Cavite is where Mirasol and Julie are usually seen after lunch. Along with other mothers who want to earn during their free time, the two make themselves busy by sewing and making rugs.

Julie used to be a plain housewife who rely on the meager income of her husband Wilson. They had a hard time getting through the day with the Php500.00 that Wilson is earning from working as a carpenter.

Labing-isa na po ang anak namin nang dumating ang Pantawid Pamilya noong 2010. Hindi ko na rin po alam kung paano kaming nakararaos sa araw-araw noon. Ang kaunting kinikita po ni Wilson ay nauubos lamang pambayad ng utang”, recalled Julie.

The cash grant that they have  been receiving eased the  couple’s worry  about their  children’s schooling and other health needs. Julie never even thought that another door of opportunity would open for them after being with the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

With the  help  of  the  Sustainable  Livelihood  Program  (SLP),  their  association  Samahang Kawiteñas was formed. The livelihood assistance that they received from the program was used to buy five sewing machines that they are now using in rug and bag making. They are now working on adding more products to make and sell.

An inspiration to others

From  being  a  simple  housewife  who  spent  her  afternoons  at  home,  Julie  is  now earning PhP600.00 every week from making rugs. Insufficient it may seem but this has been helping them with their needs that could not be covered by the cash grants and Wilson’s income.

 

Julie proudly shared how they managed to send all of their children to school despite of them being a big family. Their diligence has even gained the respect and admiration of their neighbors and friends, including Mirasol.

Kapag  napunta  ka  sa  bahay  nila,  iyong  dingding  nila  ay  puro  picture  ng  batang  naka-toga. Sinisikap talaga nilang mapag-aral ang kanilang mga anak kahit marami. Kasama rin si Julie sa mga kumumbinsi sa akin na sumali sa Samahang Kawiteñas kaya heto ako ngayon, kumikita na rin sa pagsasalansa ng basahan”, Mirasol said.

 Making it possible 

The journey has always been tough for Julie and her family but she is confident that their hardwork will soon pay off and that nothing is impossible for someone who dreams.

Mas  nagsisikap  na  kami  sa  buhay  dahil  alam  naming  hindi  kami  dapat  lamang  umasa  sa Pantawid. Kung hinayaan kong nasa bahay lamang ako, hindi ko malalamang mayroon pa akong magagawang mas kapaki-pakinabang bukod sa pagiging ina”, said Julie.

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A father’s hammering success

Behind every infrastructure are workers who sweat it out day in and day out just to ensure that these structures are completed and safe. Noel Ecinas is one of such workers

Noel, 49, lives in Brgy. Castanos Lejos, General Emilio Aguinaldo, Cavite.  He has four children but only earns Php2,500 monthly a construction worker.  It is not enough and he felt he needs to earn more for his family. But unfortunately, he does not have the required certification for construction workers. Thus, he decided to try his luck in another line work. In 2015, he began working as a security guard earning Php9,000 monthly.

 

Going back to his expertise

But for Noel, construction work is his first love. He is confident in doing such works as he know the nitty-gritty of it. Thus, when there was an opportunity to return to this kind of work, he made sure he did not miss it.

“Noong nalaman ko po na magkakaroon ng training sa TESDA, hindi po talaga ako nagdalawang-isip na sumali dahil gusto ko pong magkaroon ng certificate at makapagtrabaho nang maayos,” he said.  

For 21 days, Noel and 13 other participants were trained in masonry and carpentry at St. Peregrine Institute (SPI) in Bacoor, Cavite, a partner institution of the DSWD under the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). Their training includes exams that would earn them a certification from the Technical Education and Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) for the said skills trainings.

“Masaya po kasi nakatapos po ako ng mga kursso. Meron po kami kahit paano ng pagkakataon na mabigyan ng mas maayos na hanap-buhay”, he happily shared.

Aside from his years of experience and skills, Noel now has two national certificates, the weapons he could use find a better job.

 

Fearless father in a risky job

In less than a week after the graduation, Noel was hired as a mason by the Danilo D. Tamayo Konstract, Inc. (DDTKI), a partner construction company of SPI.

Since June 2017, he is working on building a condominium in Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.

“Kumpara sa mga dati ko pong trabaho, napakalaking kaluwagan po nito sa aming pamilya. Pwede pa pong mag-OT pag gugustuhin kaya mas malaki po talaga ang sinesweldo ko dito,” he proudly shared.

Noel works extra hours to earn more for his family. Every month, he earns P 10,000 to P20,000, almost 8 times more than his previous salary as an seasonal construction worker in Cavite.

Aside from his salary, Noel now also enjoys having benefits such as Philhealth, SSS PAG-IBIG and 13-month pay, which he never had in many years of being a laborer.

“Mahalaga po sa akin ang benefits na aking natatanggap para po prepared po ako sa aking retirement,” he shared.

 

Reaping his sacrifices

Working far from home, Noel admits that he misses his family. But his desire to provide for his family pushes him to persevere and work hard in order to achieve what he and his wife aspire that is to prepare their children for their own future.

“Hindi ko hinahangad na magbigay sila ng pera o suportahan nila kami. Ang nais lang po naming mag-asawa ay mapaghandaan nila ang sarili nilang mga buhay, he said.

For now, Noel is slowly seeing the fruits of his sacrifices. His eldest child is now a college graduate and is already working.  He looks forward to the completion of studies of his other children.

As a participant of SLP, he also challenges participants like him to value the opportunity given to them by the program and its partner institutions.

“Kung hindi po magpupursige, mawawalan po ng halaga ang binigay na tulong. Hindi lahat nabibigyan ng pagkakataon na matulungan na magkaroon ng maayos na trabaho kaya hanggang kaya ko pa po, magtatrabaho po ako bilang construction worker”, he firmly stated. with reports from JTeaño

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NTSB holds annual sportsfest

Fostering camaraderie through sports.

Last April 26, 2018, the National Training School for Boys (NTSB) launched its annual sports fest for its residents and staff.  The month-long activity aims to develop camaraderie and strengthen relationship among the residents and the staff as well. It also intends to develop sportsmanship and enhance discipline of the boy-residents and help overcome their longing for their families and loved ones.

At least 100 residents and staff of the institution are participating in the month-long activity. Participants are grouped into four teams—which are Red Team, Blue Team, Yellow Team and White Team, who will compete in various games that include basketball and volleyball.

Ms. Hayde G. Dinglasa, the center head of NTSB, in her message, emphasized to the participants that the activity is conducted mainly for the physical and skills development of each participant. However, she also stressed that the activity is also a test of maturity which can be best manifested in the practice of the values of honesty, camaraderie, teamwork and sportsmanship in each of games.

The NTSB is a residential center managed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development. It provides rehabilitative services to male minors who are in conflict with law, mostly from the National Capital and CALABARZON regions. Each resident male minor is provided services such as education, health, home life and sports or recreational activities, like the sports fest, as part of their rehabilitation in preparation to their eventual reintegration to their respective families and communities. with report from RBCapina and HGDinglasa***

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Haven for the Elderly celebrates 8th Founding Anniversary

The Haven for the Elderly celebrated its 8th Founding Anniversary last April 27, 2018 with the theme: “Walang Puwang sa Katiwalian ang Paglilingkod ng Tapat sa Bayan”.

The activity started with a celebration of a Holy Mass in thanksgiving to the number years of existence of the Center, its continuous growth and for the continued support of partners and donors. The celebration also included the blessing of the newly constructed facilities of the Center.

In her message, Dir. Annie E. Mendoza, the OIC-Regional Director of DSWD Field Office IV-A, highlighted the growth of the center and the important role it plays in serving the abandoned and neglected older persons in our society.  She also acknowledged the different partners and donors who had unceasingly provided support to the Center in various ways. Dir. Mendoza also acknowledged the other visitors and guests who take time to be part of the celebration.

Among the guests in the celebration are DSWD Undersecretary Mae Fe Ancheta Templa, Former DSWD Undersecretary Celia C. Yangco and local officials from the Municipality of Tanay and Barangay Sampaloc.

The Haven for the Elderly is a residential facility managed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.  It provides care and services to abandoned and neglected older persons.  Among the services being provided to them are medical, social, livelihood, recreational and spiritual.

Part of the Anniversary celebration were the different performances of selected resident-older persons showcasing their talents and skills. An awarding of “Lakas ng Karakter” among clients and staff was conducted during the activity.***

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The sweet reward of not giving up

Fueled up by challenges to dream big for the family

 

Several times did Christian almost gave up on his dreams of a college education. However, a few months from now, he’ll be on stage to finally receive the symbol of the attainment of his dream—a college diploma.

Early on his life, 23-year-old Christian Luansing, a resident of Brgy. Bukal in Taysan, Batangas Province, had known the financial challenges of his family. Being the second in a brood of 14, he describes their life as “isang kahig, isang tuka.”

He relates that his mother gives birth to a child almost every year, so he understood that he needed to be the elder brother that he is. His father provides for their big family just through making barbecue sticks.

To not become a burden and still be in school, he decided to work as a helper in a store in the town proper when he was in Grade 6.

“Ginawa ko ito hanggang sa makatapos ako ng high school. Kahit marami akong hindi magandang karanasan sa pagtatrabaho, tiniis ko para makatapos ako,” shared Christian, whose dream became blurry once again when their eldest sibling decided to marry at a young age, instead of helping the family.

So when he graduated in high school, he definitely knew that college was impossible.

 

Getting the determination

“Sumubok akong mag-apply sa mga pabrika at sa mga fast food chains pero hindi ako pinalad na matanggap. Nahirapan akong makipagsabayan sa mga kalaban kong kahit papaano ay nakatuntong man lang sa kolehiyo,” he shared.

This gave Christian a challenge. He told himself that no matter what it takes, he’ll get himself to college. He went to Manila to be a helper in a store of a relative so that he can earn enough for his college education.

One thing unexpected happened, however, that changed the course of his life.

“Kung gusto mo daw pumasok ng college sabi ng taga munisipyo,” he recalled getting a call from his mother while he was busy in the store.

In his excitement, he went home to the province and submitted all the requirements.

Since their family is a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Christian qualified to be a grantee of the Expanded Student Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGPPA). This is a program of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) that aims to help at least one member of a Pantawid Pamilya household to finish college and get better-paying jobs in the future.

“Huwag ka nang pumasok, mahihirapan ka lang. Wag ka nang umasa sa scholarship na ‘yan at wala naman kaming pangtustos sa’yo. Mag-apply ka na lang sa pabrika para ma-regular ka,” he recalled his father telling him that time.

“Hindi ko alam kung magagalit ako sa kanya o hindi dahil imbes na palakasin ang loob ko ay kabaliktaran pa ang ginawa nila. Pero nag-enroll pa rin ako sa kursong BS Business Administration,” shared Christian.

The ESGPPA has supported his tuition, book allowance and even his daily allowance in Batangas State University. However, he admits that he still experienced problems financially.

“Minsan, kapag nasa school ako, wala ako sa sarili ko dahil naiisip ko ang sitwasyon namin sa bahay. Nagkasakit ang pangalawa sa nakababata kong kapatid kasabay ng pagsilang ng ika-13 kong kapatid. Nahihiya akong humingi ng pamasahe dahil alam kong pambili na nila ng bigas ‘yon,” he recalled.

At that instance, he again thought of forgetting about his dreams and take the advice of his father. But another experience fueled his desire to go on.

“Namatay ‘yung may sakit kong kapatid dahil hindi namin kayang dalhin sa ospital kaya umasa kami sa albularyo. Habang papunta kami sa ospital noong kinukumbulsyon na s’ya, pinangako ko sa kanya na magtatapos ako para hindi na kami maging isang pamilya na kahit ‘yung pagpapagamot lang kapag may sakit ay hindi namin magawa,” shared Christian, who still cannot control his tears when remembering this incident.

From then, he knew that he needed to finish his studies not only for his own sake but for his other siblings.

 

Surviving college

While his education is being supported by the ESGPPA, he still applied as a crew trainer in one of the fast food chains in their municipality to help his family.

Though he is a working student, he never forgets his priorities. He makes sure that he gets good grades. He is even the vice president of their Department in the university and a leader among other ESGPPA grantees in the school.

He is also glad that his parents have become supportive not only of his college education but also of educating the rest of his siblings. In fact, eight of them are in school now.

Christian cannot hide how great he is to the government for supporting his family, especially his college education and changing the views of his parents through the monthly Family Development Sessions.

“Hindi lang po pera ang naitulong ninyo sa amin, kundi ang aming magandang kinabukasan,” he shared gratefully.

He animatedly shares how he and his mother are excited about his graduation this June.

“Kapag napagkukwentuhan namin ni Mama, kami ay kinikilig dahil worth it ang lahat ng aming paghihirap. Hindi namin lubos maisip na sa dami naming magkakapatid ay makapagpapatapos ng isa sa kolehiyo,” he said.

With his graduation, Christian is more confident now.

“Ngayon ay mas may pag-asa na po akong makatulong sa pamilya ko. Napakahalaga po nito para sa amin,” shared Christian, who hopes that his story will inspire other beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilya to strive despite their financial situation.#

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The highest honor—winning challenges and reaching dreams

Only a couple of houses away, Ryan sees his childhood home where he grew up with his three siblings. The home brings memories of happiness, but he has to stay with a relative for the time being just so he can reach his dreams.

“Nalulungkot po ako sa tuwing nakikita ko ‘yung bahay namin. S’yempre po gusto ko magkakasama kami nina tatay at ng mga kapatid ko,” he shared.

Ryan Christopher Bucad, 18, is the youngest of four siblings who are raised alone by their father. They are residents of Brgy. Payapa Ilaya in Lemery, Batangas Province.

Sonny, their father, is a farmer who takes home a very minimal amount to support the needs of the family. At times, he works as a construction worker, too.

“Yung mga kapatid ko po, hindi na nakatuntong ng high school dahil sa kahirapan namin. Kaya kung hindi po ako makikitira sa mga pinsan namin, baka hindi na rin po ako makapag-high school. Ganito rin po ang ginawa ng Ate ko para makaabot ng kolehiyo,” shared Ryan.

Standing in front of his classmates and batch mates, Ryan is very proud to deliver his speech. Last April 6, he graduated in Lemery Senior High School with the highest honors.

“Sulit lahat ng pagod at pagsasakriprisyo namin (referring to his father and his aunt),” shared Ryan, recalling the moment he was delivering his graduation speech.

 

For the sake of high school

Ryan admits that life is hard for the family, considering that it is only his father who works for the five of them. They no longer have communication with their mother, much more a financial support to at least augment their needs.

“Kapag humihingi ako noon ng panggastos sa project, hindi na lang umiimik si Tatay. Alam ko na kapag hindi na s’ya umiimik, wala talaga kaming pera,” he shared.

That’s why when he graduated in elementary, he gladly took an offer of a relative in a nearby municipality to live with them so that he can enroll in high school. After a year, he went back to their home. That’s the time they became a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

As the only monitored child in the family, Ryan’s expenses in school were at least provided for. Plus, Ryan’s eldest brother, who had finished only Grade 6, was supporting even a little for the family. Hence, he can at least stay at home while studying in high school.

However, despite the support from the program and the continuous hard work of his father, Ryan Christopher admits to still having a hard time. The situation became even worse as his eldest brother is no longer able to work due to an injury he suffered from an accident.

“Tumira po ulit ako sa isa ko pang tiyahin para makapagpatuloy ng pag-aaral,” shared Ryan, who added that even though the house is only within walking distance from their home, he still feels sad about the fact that he is physically away from his father and his siblings.

“Pero nagsakripisyo po ako, kahit kulang ang baon ko, okay lang. Pinagkakasya ko para sa lahat ng mga gastusin ko,” he shared.

Ryan’s school is far from their home, which takes him around P40-P50 for a back and forth tricycle or jeepney ride daily. His P80 daily allowance is usually just about enough to buy him a meal for lunch and pay for contributions for class projects.

“Nahihiya na rin ako minsang humingi ng dagdag kasi minsan, may utang pa nga kaming bigas, kailangan na naman naming umutang ulit para may makain. Sa almusal , nasanay na rin akong iulam ang ang kape sa kanin,” he shared.

All of these sacrifices only fueled his desire to finish his studies. He made sure that he gets good grades all the time. He is confident that his education will help his family get out of their situation.

 

Taking the responsibility

As Ryan sees his siblings without jobs because of their lack of education, Ryan feels that the responsibility to help his family is on his shoulders. This responsibility, he is glad to take over.

For Ryan, he is lucky to have been given various opportunities including having a hardworking father, a helpful brother, a caring guardian and a support from the government through the Pantawid Pamilya.

“Mag-aaral po akong mabuti para maging isang guro. Kapag nakatapos ako, sisiguruhin kong matutulungan ko sina tatay, ang mga kapatid ko at ang guardian ko (referring to his aunt),” he positively shared.

Today, Ryan is applying for various scholarships so that he can enroll in college. He knows, however, that college will be a bigger challenge, with or without a scholarship.

Also, since he is the sole child-beneficiary of the Panatwid Pamilya in the family, his senior high school graduation means his family’s graduation from the program. Hence, he will no longer be receiving financial assistance for his education.

Despite this, Ryan does not lose hope. Instead, he chooses to accept the challenge and win it.

“Continue to believe, continue to aspire and continue to live with the knowledge we have acquired,” just like this line from his graduation speech, Ryan knows that he will soon be a teacher and be the key towards his family’s success. For him, this is the highest honor he can ever earn.# with reports from FASalazar

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11 fiber glass boats ready to set sail in Buenavista

Eleven fiber glass boats that measure 30 ft long were recently turned over to a fisherfolk organization in Buenavista, Quezon. This is the result of the pilot implementation of the livelihood and enterprise (L&E) modality of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS).

The Samahan ng Mangingisda sa Coastal Areas ng Bayan ng Buenavista (SAMACAB) received a P1.7 million grant worth of skills training and materials for fiber glass boat fabrication. Among the 217 members of SAMACAB, 48 were able to attend the skills training. A total of 11 boats were distributed to 11 beneficiaries from the nine coastal barangays of the municipality.

Increasing the fisherfolks’ income

Kalahi-CIDSS L&E modality follows the community empowerment activity cycle. For the fiber glass boat fabrication project, the Barangay Sub-Project Management Committee (BSPMC) started by conducting participatory situational analysis and social investigation in the following coastal barangays: Bukal, Cabong, Cawa, Hagonghong, Mabutag, Manlana, Pinamasagan, Sabang Piris, and Wasay Ibaba.

The community volunteers, led by BSPMC Chairperson Jennifer Iglesia, have identified the major challenges faced by the fisherfolks; primarily, the high cost of boat and net rentals. Based on the result of their data gathering, the fisherfolks in Buenavista only take home P4,975 a month and that 5% of their income covers operational expenses.

SAMACAB President Edgardo Magpayo explained that their measly income is also due to the lack of opportunity to catch more fish as the boats they are using are too small to reach fishing grounds where the so-called first class fishes can be caught. Big fishes like blue marlin, pampano, and tanigue which can only be caught farther out to the sea.  Magpayo expressed confidence that with their new fiber glass boat local fisherfolk would have better opportunity to catch these fish and earn bigger for their family and community as well.

Test of commitment

This is the first time for Kalahi-CIDSS to implement L&E projects through the community-driven development approach. During its regular implementation, subproject grants were mostly for community infrastructures such as farm-to-market roads, health stations, and water systems. Among the five pilot projects in Quezon, Buenavista’s fiber glass boat project is the first to have an official turn over.

“We went through a lot of challenges. Tears were even shed.” DSWD Kalahi-CIDSS Regional L&E Coordinator Sheryl Cabrera said that it has been a difficult process that has tested the commitment of the members of SAMACAB.

“One thing we realized is that in livelihood projects, it is not just about the physical structure; more important is the readiness of the organization to operate and maintain the project,” she said.

SAMACAB went through a series of consultation with Kalahi-CIDSS, the local government unit of Buenavista, and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to agree on the specifications of the boat and conceptualize a model for the sustainability of its operation and maintenance. This has led to the 15-day skills training provided by BFAR.

Anastacio B. Habagat was one of the SAMACAB members who shared their implementation experience during the turnover ceremony held in Brgy. Manlana. He was one of the fisherfolks who fabricated the boats through labor of love.

“The chemicals have strong odor that we had to endure and that irritated our hands,” Habagat said. “From the 48 who attended the skills training, only 23 were left,” he added.

Organizational strengthening

Baby Jean Roldan, another member and recipient of one of the boats, said that aside from the physical completion, SAMACAB also worked hard to develop the organization to ensure the sustainability of the project. SAMACAB went through a series of capacity-building activities that included the formulation of its constitution and by-laws and the drafting of the organization’s work plan.

Part of the requirements of the project grant is for the organization to secure its registration with the Department of Labor and Employment and its accreditation with the Municipal Council. Both of these were accomplished by SAMACAB before the project was officially turned over.

“The challenges we faced have strengthened our organization. I recalled that during those times, all we did was go back to the guidelines that we have set.” Roldan was pertaining to an encounter they had with some community fisherfolks whom SAMACAB had refused membership due to their illegal fishing activities.

“With our by-laws, we will not go astray. If any problems arise, we know that the organization could always sit down to resolve them.” Roldan said.

For his part, SAMACAB Pres. Magpayo, who is also a barangay kagawad, affirms the organization’s responsibility not just to its members but to the environment that has become the source of their livelihood.

“The sea has always been good to us. I was born to a family of fisherfolks and one of my son is also a fisherman. I would still encourage the younger generation to pursue fishing.”

Magpayo added that the Barangay Council has passed resolutions that mandate the fisherfolk community of Manlana to protect the coast. “That way, I could be at ease that my son’s children can still benefit from the bounty of the sea.” #

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Mixed emotions for graduations

Graduation ceremonies bring eerie memories to 20-year-old Jose Gabriel.

In 2010, upon graduating from elementary, he found himself with his mother and four siblings running away at midnight from his drunkard father. At that time, he lost all hopes and dreams.

They went to Dolores town in Quezon Province to try to have a more peaceful life.

Four years later, a day before his high school graduation, he was asked to submit documents for a possible college grant. Feeling happy and blessed, Jose Gabriel felt a little bit strange that somehow, his dreams may even be attainable.

Today, only a couple of months away from his college graduation, he cannot believe that life can be very beautiful. He is nervous, however, especially that he is the first college graduate in their family.

Jose Gabriel Simogan, a resident of Brgy. Sta. Lucia in Dolores, Quezon, is a grantee of the Expanded Student Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGPPA) of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). His family is a beneficiary of the DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program since 2012.

 

The first college graduate in the family

Growing up with four other siblings under the care of only their mother, Jose Gabriel never thought that life will turn out beautifully for him. Since being parted with his father, his mother became the sole provider of the family.

“Lahat ng sideline ginawa na ni Mama. Naglalabandera, namamalantsa at namamasukan. Minsan, dalawang beses lang kami kumain,” he shared.

Despite this, he is fortunate that his mother believed in educating them. Jose Gabriel studied hard so as not to let her mother down. Thankfully, his hard work paid off as he is always included in the honor roll.

“Tumutulong din kami kay Mama dahil alam naming kapos na kapos pa rin. Nagtatrabaho kami sa karinderya ng kaibigan ni Mama para kahit papaano, hindi na n’ya iisipin ‘yung pangbaon namin. Minsan, pati school supplies nasasagot na rin,” said Jose Gabriel.

Their becoming a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilya, according to him, opened a lot of opportunities for the family. As a monitored child, he gets P500 per month for his educational needs.

“Bawat sentimo sa pag-aaral ko ay mahalaga para sa akin. Nakaramdam ako ng gutom, napagod ako at nainitan sa paglalakad, minsan nauulanan pa para makatipid,” he shared.

He added that at times, he would choose not spending the money for his fare or his food because he knows he needs the money for his projects.

“Nakaranas din po ako ng pagmamaliit sa mga kaklase ko dahil kasama kami sa programa. Sabi nila, mahirap kami,” he recalled.

But this only challenged him to do better. He graduated in high school with honors—proving to his classmates that he can be “someone from nothing” who will turn out to be “someone special.”

As early as this time of his life, Jose Gabriel already feels very special. As the first college graduate in the family, he is confident that he is given so much opportunities to help his family, especially his two younger siblings.

“Yung dalawa kong nakatatandang kapatid, parehong hindi nakatapos at nagtatrabaho sa factory. Si Mama, hindi na makapagtrabaho dahil madalas na kung magkasakit. Pero ako, nabigyan ako ng opportunity na makapagkolehiyo. Gagamitin ko ito para maiangat ang pamilya namin,” he shared.

 

The challenge after graduation

Already picturing his college graduation, he cannot still believe that he has come to his dream. He’ll be graduating with a degree in Accountancy this June 2018 from Laguna State Polytechnic University.

“Kung tutuusin, hindi ko naisip dati na makakapagkolehiyo ako. Gustong-gusto kong magcollege dati kaya talagang naghahanap ako ng scholarship noon,” said Jose Gabriel, knowing that his mother surely cannot afford his higher education. His two elder siblings were not able to get a college education because of their financial problems.

Gratefully, he qualified for the ESGPPA, a college education grant for members of Pantawid Pamilya households. With the goal of improving the lives of poor families towards self-sufficiency, the DSWD has converged with other agencies to help achieve this.

The ESGPPA is a response to provide an opportunity for at least one member of a Pantawid Pamilya household to graduate from college. This provides higher chances for the family to improve their lives through a member’s employment in better-paying jobs.

After graduation, Jose Gabriel plans to take the licensure examination right away. He knows that this is another ticket for better opportunities for him. When he gets a job, his priorities include helping his two younger siblings to go to college, too.

“Gusto ko makapagtapos din sila kagaya ko. Mas marami ang magiging oportunidad kapag may sapat kang kakayahan na makukuha mo lang sa pagkokolehiyo,” he shared.

His two younger siblings have graduated from senior high school this year, and he hopes to help them enroll in college. With their senior high school graduation, their family will be graduating from the Pantawid Pamilya program as well.

As part of the policy of the Pantawid Pamilya program, a household-beneficiary will only be supported by the government until such time that the monitored children reach 18 years old or graduate from high school, whichever comes first.

This ‘graduation’ from the program also gives him doubts; however, he remains positive.

“Mas magiging mahirap po kasi malaking tulong po yung natatanggap namin mula sa programa. Pero kakayanin na po namin lalo na at magtatapos na ako ng kolehiyo,” a proud and happy Jose Gabriel shared.

The thought that the government has helped support their education, plus his college education, Jose Gabriel cannot be anymore grateful. He vows to succeed in life to make the investment of the government worth every centavo.# with reports from MCWatti

Posted in Pantawid Pamilya, UncategorizedComments Off on Mixed emotions for graduations

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