Sikap

Sa masisikip na mga kalye ng lungsod ng Tuguegarao, naroroon ang luntiang traysikel ni Eriberto Lopez Jr., 33-taong gulang at miyembro ng Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program mula sa Balzain West ng naturang lungsod. Hindi alintana ang mainit na sikat ng araw habang siya ay nagmamaneho upang maihatid ang mga pasahero sa kanilang pupuntahan. Labindalawang piso lamang bawat pasahero ang pamasahe ngunit sa limang pasaherong kanyang maihahatid sa isang biyahe ay mainam na upang siya ay makalikom ng sapat na halaga para sa kanyang pamilya.

 

Ang kanyang maybahay na si Joseline, 32 taon, ang nagsisilbing katuwang sa buhay sa pagpapalaki sa kanilang tatlong anak.

 

“Nagsimula kami sa simpleng pamumuhay,” panimula ni Eriberto. “Kahit anong klaseng trabaho pinasok ko para lang may maiuwi sa pamilya ko.” Nagtrabaho siya bilang isang karpintero na kumikita ng 1,200.00 piso kada linggo na siya namang pinagkakasya ni Joseline. Nang magsimulang mag-aral ang mga anak, tumanggap na rin si Joseline ng mga labahin upang makatulong sa asawa.

 

Maliban sa pagkakarpintero, sumabak din si Eriberto sa pangangalakal ng bote at bakal. “Mas mabuti na yung mangalakal ako sa mga bakanteng oras ng pagkakarpintero kaysa sumubok sa mga hindi marangal na trabaho, ” ika niya. Ang hindi pagkakaroon ng regular na pagkukunan ng pangkabuhayan ang lubos na nagpapahirap sa mag-asawa, gayunpaman ay hindi sila tumitigil maghanap ng pagkakakitaan at nananatili ang pananalig sa Panginoon. Sa katunayan, nakasanayan na ng pamilya ang dumayo sa karatig bayan ng Piat upang mag-alay ng panalangin sa Basilica Minore ng Piat.

 

Taong 2011, ang sambahayan ni Eriberto ay napasali sa programang Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. Dahil dito, mas higit na nagpursige ang mag-asawa upang mabigyan ng magandang edukasyon ang mga anak. Sa tulong ng programa, naramdaman ng pamilya ang unti-unting pagbabago katulad ng pagkakaroon ng dagdag halaga para sa pang-araw-araw na gastusin tulad ng pagkain, gamit sa loob ng bahay, bigas, gamot at lalo na sa pambili ng mga kakailanganing gamit ng mga bata sa pag-aaral.

 

Mula naman sa pag-iimpok ay unti-unting nakapundar ang mag-asawa ng segunda manong traysikel na kanilang hinuhulugan buwan-buwan. Ito ang pangunahing pinagkukunan ni Eriberto kasabay pa rin ng paminsan-minsang pagsama sa pangangarpintero.

 

Nagdaan pa ang ilang taon, nagpasya si Joseline na mangibang-bansa sa Singapore upang mas higit pa nilang matugunan ang pangangailangan ng pamilya. Hindi naging madali kay Eriberto na umalis ang asawa sapagkat nahirapan siya sa mga gawaing bahay lalo na sa pag-aalaga ng mga anak. Gayunpaman, ang pagiging masunurin at mabuting mga bata ng kanilang mga anak ang higit na nagpabilis ng transisyon ng pamilya buhat ng pagkawalay kay Joseline.

 

Nakatulong din ang pagiging grantee ni Eriberto sapagkat siya ay regular na dumadalo sa mga Family Development Sessions (FDS) ng programa. Dito niya natutunan kung paano pag-ibayuhin ang pagiging responsableng magulang sa mga anak at pagiging masinop. Nakatulong din ito upang maiwasan niya ang paninigarilyo at minsan na lamang itong uminom ng alak.

 

Pangarap ng mag-asawa ang makabili ng sariling lupa na kanilang pagpapatayuan ng bahay kung kaya mas pinag-iibayo nila ang pagtatrabaho at pag-impok. Sa kasalukuyan, ang kanilang tirahan na ipinatayo sa lupang hindi nila pag-aari at naroroon lamang sa pahintulot ng may-ari, ay gawa lamang sa magagaan na materyales na dati ay kawayan. Sa tulong ng natanggap na Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) para sa Bagyong Lawin at Ompong, napalagyan nila ng plywood na dingding at mas matibay na pundasyon ang kanilang tirahan.

Ani ni Eriberto, hindi pa man nila naisasakatuparan ang lahat ng kanilang mga pangarap ay nagtitiwala naman silang maaabot nila ang mga ito kahit na sila pa ay maihiwalay pa sa programa. Sinisigurado nilang ipagpapatuloy ang nasimulang pagsisikap upang mas mai-angat ang antas ng kanilang pamumuhay hanggang makatapos sa pag-aaral ang kanilang mga anak.

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“LIKHA NG PANGARAP”

“Walang pangarap na hindi matutupad basta may sipag, tigaya at determinasyon sa buhay.”

Si Marites Martinez at asawang si Roger ay nabiyayaan ng apat na anak at nakatira sa Brgy. Cataggaman Pardo, Tuguegarao City kasama ang isa sa kanilang pamangkin.

 

Nagsimula ang mag-asawa sa isang bahay na gawa lamang sa maninipis na materyales sa Brgy. Bagay. Nagtatrabaho noon bilang construction worker si Roger at kumikita ng P250.00 kada- araw.  Hindi naging sapat ang kita ni Roger sapagkat ang kontratang kanyang natatanggap ay hindi regular.

 

Upang mabuhay ang pamilya, tumutulong si Marites sa asawa sa paghahanap-buhay. Gumawa siya ng iba’t-ibang kakanin katulad ng banana cue, pansit at maruya na inilalako niya sa lansangan.

 

Taong 2011, napabilang sila sa Core Shelter Assistance Program (CSAP) ng Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) sa pakikipagtulungan ng lokal na pamahalaan at tumanggap ng tirahan sa Brgy. Cataggamman Pardo, Tuguegarao City. Bukod pa rito, napag-alam nilang napabilang din sila sa Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

 

Para kay Marites, malaki ang ipinagbago ng kanilang buhay simula nang sila ay mapabilang sa programa. Ang cash grants na kanilang natatanggap sa kada ikalawang buwan ay ginagamit ng mag-asawa pambili ng mga pangunahing pangangailangan ng mga anak sa paaralan. Ang natitira naman dito ay iniimpok ni Marites. Sa pamamagitan ng Family Development Sessions (FDS), napapatibay ng mag-asawa ang kanilang relasyon sa pamilya.

 

Kalaunan, naka-ipon ang mag-asawa ng kaunting puhunan upang makapagsimula ng isang maliit na gawahan ng muwebles. Sa maraming taon ni Roger sa pagkarpintero, nakahiligan niya ang kakaibang likhang kamay mula sa paggawa ng kasangkapan sa bahay. Sa mga kakilala lamang siya natuto upang mapaganda ang kanyang mga likha at dahil na rin sa pagiging karpintero niya, hindi sila nahirapang mangolekta ng mga kasangkapan para sa kanilang shop.

 

Tanging si Marites at Roger lamang ang nagtatrabaho upang mabuo nila ang kanilang mga paninda at ang mga kliyente naman ay mula sa mga kakilala at rekomendasyon ng mga kaibigan. Tuwing bakasyon naman, tumutulong ang mga anak sa magagaang gawain tulad ng paglilinis at paggawa ng gawaing bahay. Dahil sa kanilang pagsisikap at pagiging masinop, nakapundar ng sariling traysikel ang mag-asawa na ginagamit bilang paghatid at sundo sa kanilang mga anak. Maliban rito, nakapag-pagawa rin sila ng kulong-kulong na siyang ginagamit sa pagdeliver ng mga gawang kasangkapan sa kanilang mga kostumer.

Ang kanilang mga anak ay nagsisikap din sa pag aaral. Sa katunayan ang kanilang pangatlong anak na nasa elementarya ay nangunguna sa kanilang klase.  Sa patuloy na paggabay ng mag-asawa at pangangaral sa mga anak, hindi umaasa silang mas higit na maia-angat pa ng pamilya ang kanilang pangkabuhayan.

Ayon kay Marites, “Talagang magdoble kayod kami para makapagtapos ang aming mga anak. Nakapag-umpisa na kami, patuloy naming gagawin ang lahat ng aming makakaya upang mabigyan sila ng maginhawang kinabukasan.” ###

 

 

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DSWD FO2 Participates in 2019 Pantawid Partnership Summit

DSWD FO2’s delegates, Ailene Gannaban (center in black) and Elizabeth Nueva (in pink and green) receive their plaque of recognition during the Pantawid Partnership Summit.

Makati City – The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 2 (DSWD-FO2) recently participated in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) National Partnership Summit held at AIM SGV Conference Hall, Makati City on May 27, 2019.

With the theme “Isang Dekada ng Pantawid Pamilya: Pagpupugay, Pagpapatibay at Pagsusulong”, the summit aimed to recognize the efforts and services of partner stakeholders from the school and health facilities as well as the City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Offices (C/MSWDOs) for their significant contributions in the smooth implementation of the program.

Ailene has been with the learning institution since 2010 and acting as the Pantawid Focal since 2011.

Regional Best Focal for Education, Ms. Ailene Gannaban, is a guidance counsellor from Solana Fresh Water Fishery School. Her innovation on a comprehensive monitoring tool alerts her before a student falls below 85% of the attendance requirement. She has further introduced a series of rehabilitative programs for students with high risk of dropping out and has encouraged students to maintain a support group for each other.

Gannaban was accompanied by Ms. Haydee Canapi, the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer (MSWDO) of Solana, Cagayan.

The Local Government Unit (LGU) of Solana meanwhile has been very supportive of the program, providing valuable logistic support to its Municipal Action Team (MAT) as well as assistance in the monitoring and guiding of over 3,700 4Ps households in the municipality.

Elizabeth Nueva, on the other hand, is the field office’s Regional Best Focal for Health. She is a midwife under the Municipal Health Office of Solano, Nueva Vizcaya. A health professional, she has strongly advocated for reproductive health and responsible parenting, going as far as conducting home visits to 4Ps beneficiaries just to ensure that pregnant beneficiaries receive prenatal care.

Accompanying her is MSWDO Lyn Lapitan of Solano, Nueva Vizcaya, who, together with the chief executive of the municipality, has implemented livelihood and other income-generating projects that cater to the majority of the 815 households of the municipality. ###

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Meant to Serve

On a cozy corner of the Administrative Office sits Ailene Mabborang Gannaban, Guidance Counselor for 9 years running at Solana Fresh Water Fishery School. She is patiently assisting a student secure school records in time for enrollment to the nearest State University. After imprinting the school seal on the student’s report card, she delivers the same and bids her former student good-bye with a blessing.

 

“I always wondered why my siblings and myself didn’t have any artistic talent like singing or playing instruments,” she begins with a bright smile. “But then I realized it is because we were meant for something else, to serve our community and our country!”

 

 

Early Beginning

 

Ailene finished her primary and secondary school in Bauan Elementary School and Solana Fresh Water Fishery School respectively. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication at Cagayan State University in 2003. Her first employment was at Green Meadow Development Foundation from 2003 to 2009 as a Child Management Staff  then as a psychometrician for Oasis Neuro-Psychological and Counseling Center from 2009 to 2010.

 

During her seven years of employment, she has come to identify herself with the needs of her students and yearned to be able to provide positive influence on their lives that she took her masters degree in Guidance Counselling and Master of Arts in Psychology at Cagayan State University from 2006 to 2010. That same year, she rendered her services as a lecturer for the same school but somehow felt she could be of better service in her hometown.

Herself being a product of a small agricultural school, she is concerned that poverty and lack of opportunities discourage many students from pursuing a degree or even completing secondary school. She believed that in returning to the grassroots, she will be able to inspire the youth to aspire for higher education as well as serve as a medium for them to explore their hidden talents.

 

Opportunity opened itself for her when she was informed that a position was opened at her old alma mater and on December of that same year, she became part of the institution as a guidance counselor.

 

 

Involvement with The Pantawid Program

 

Being the guidance counsellor, she was informed by the school principal that part of her responsibilities would be to provide support to the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, the new flagship program under the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), catering to the poor and vulnerable sectors of the community.

 

“I distinctly remember way back 2011, there was so much buzz about the program because the beneficiaries received lump sum of their cash grants,” she recounts vividly. “An orientation was conducted for the school principals as well as households on how the program is implemented. Basically, they discussed about the responsibilities of each member or stakeholder and how each should work together for the program to succeed. There and then the principal designated me as the 4Ps Coordinator, reiterating that it will one of the services my office would provide.”

 

For her, the Pantawid Program is one of the most ambitious programs of the National Government under the Department because of the scope of coverage of services it provides directly to the people. But even with that it mind, she counters that it is innovative in a way that the services are given directly to the family head, in turn, giving the family the liberty to manage their finances in support of the whole household.

 

She recognizes that low educational attainment has greatly affected parents’ capacity to earn a decent income but with the assistance of the program, the latter are assured that they will be able to send their children to school while also working to provide for the rest of the family’s needs. She relates this to her own experience as a student, with her parent’s meagre income forcing them to borrow money a lot of times just to make ends meet. But with the program, parents are encouraged to invest in various occupation without the apprehension of sacrificing the children’s education.

 

She remains positive that through the program, Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries will also be inspired to give back to the community by way of service. Through Family Development Sessions (FDS), she hopes that the outlook of volunteerism would be instilled in the mind of each beneficiary such that they do not view community-organized events and activities as means to solicit free labor but rather to give them the sense of being one with the community in promoting a prosperous and peaceful living. She is optimistic that one day, Pantawid beneficiaries would no longer just ask what the government would do for them, instead, seek for what they can offer to their country.

 

In the years that followed, she has observed success as well as challenges in the program. One of the challenges she personally encountered is the attitude of the students with their studies. As much as there were students who showed scholastic excellence, there were still a number of those who lagged behind in schooling.

 

“I frequently remind the young ones to study well and take advantage of the opportunity to study because out of the 1,092 student population, only a handful of them have their studies subsidized by the government,” she states with passion. “I want them to recognize the efforts that the government has invested on them and appreciate the blessings.”

 

 

Active Guidance Counsellor

 

As a guidance counsellor and 4Ps coordinator, Ailene has implemented various schemes in assisting students through their studies. Being a non-teaching staff, she was faced with the initial problem of not having direct interaction with the students on a regular basis. Here, she decided to request for audience with the students during their Individual Collaborative Learning (ICL) period, an hour given to the students for study periods and interaction with peers.

 

Topics such as Disaster Management, Teenage Pregnancy and Early Marriage, Child Protection Policies, Anti-Bullying Law, Self-Awareness and Personality Enhancement, Anti-Dangerous Drugs, Anger and Stress Management, Online Safety and more. She says the topics appeal to the holistic development of the students.

In furtherance of the topics, she would collaborate with students for the Comprehensive Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools (WINS) program that improves the quality of education for disadvantaged children through participatory, innovative and pro-poor water and environmental sanitation solutions in public schools. She was one of the management team for the Sports Fest Cum Talent Olympics 2017 where all students including Pantawid Pamilya children at the same time encouraged tambourine dancers to lead the doxology during the Nutrition month celebration where one of the dancers is a beneficiary of the program.

 

Working with the Community

 

Aileen would assist in other various non-curricular activities such as Feeding programs, Immunization programs and relief operations specifically for typhoons’ Lawin and Ompong. In fact, she spearheaded the school’s fund raising activity for the “Sagip Batang Marawi” to be given to affected Marawi children during the Marawi Siege.

 

Being a member of the Regional Child Welfare Specialist Group (RCWSG), she regularly attends Foster Parenting, Matching and Adoption Conferences with various stakeholders and DSWD to lend her expertise on child-rearing and cultivating a healthy family lifestyle.

 

A zealous follower of her faith, she organizes activities such as the Division Bible School for children, Operation Christmas/Good Samaritan Purse and Year-End Outreach Program for the children and elderly in Bauan Solana, Cagayan.

 

“As a child I witnessed my mother, together with her siblings, invite neighbours who were less fortunate to dine with them on weekends,” she recounts. “It’s that feeling of fulfilment each time the neighbors express gratitude which fuel my own resolve at continuing the practice my mother begun. In fact, we already do the community kitchen every Saturday in our own backyard.”

 

To support the various community outreach activities, Aileen would have no qualms fundraising through solicitation from friends and other family members. In fact, a lot of acquaintances pledge support in the form of cash, goods, clothing and volunteer work, at times, even her own students lend a helping hand.

 

 

A Passionate Advocate

Aileen has a strong conviction when it comes to education. She believes that it is the gateway of opportunities for the learner who is diligent in his studies and remain steadfast despite the many challenges.

 

She believes that a secure school environment plays a role in nurturing students’ love for learning and self-actualization which is why she has fervently campaigned against bullying in school. She is keen to discern the slightest chance of bullying happening and has always reminded her students to treat each other with respect. The anti-bullying law was discussed during the ICL period and the topic reinforced through the setting up of an Anti-Bullying Board.

 

Another advocacy is her monitoring of the school attendance of Pantawid Pamilya student beneficiaries. She has set up her own monitoring form as well as an intervention process in order to address possible issues before it leads to the non-compliance of the student. As soon as the student incurs 3 absences in a month, a yellow flag is raised where she sends a letter of inquiry to the parents of the students. If the child still does not attend class or incurs 5 days of absence, she would conduct a home visit where an intervention plan is discussed to the parents as well as the student.

 

Aside from one-on-one discussion and home visit, Aileen has also set up FGDs among problematic students in order to gather peer support from fellow Pantawid students. She has even discussed her future plans on organizing a student council/support club in the school to cater to the needs of Pantawid Pamilya students ranging from academic to non-curricular and even up to encouraging spiritual growth.

 

 

Citations and Triumphs

 

With all her pro-active contributions, it is no surprise that Aileen has received commendations and awards both for herself and her students. In 2015, one of her Pantawid Pamilya students, Benjamin Abella, was declared one of the Most Outstanding Cagayano Youth of 2015, an annual recognition by the UP Cagayanos of the University of the Philippines at Los Baños. This went on for the succeeding years where students from SFWSF would be nominated for the award.

 

In 2017, she herself received the Most Outstanding Non-Teaching Employee 2017 during the SALUDO Educators Award of the Department of Education.

 

Earlier this year, she was recognized as Region 2’s Pantawid Focal for Education and will be awarded during the 2019 Pantawid Partnership Summit of DSWD.

 

She closes with this message: “Nothing brings me greater joy than to see these students realize their dreams one day. Maybe I was never meant to be on the frontline of super stardom, I am not meant to be a singer or a dancer or a musician but that is because I am meant for something else. Working in the background does not mean I am insignificant, the role I play means I am an important part of a whole. I am meant to serve!”

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DSWD FO2 Launches the Regional “Bata Balik Eskwela” Campaign

Rizal, Cagayan – The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (Pantawid Program) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (DSWD FO2) simultaneously launched the “Bata Balik Eskwela” (BBE) campaign together with the Regional Kick Off of the Brigada Eskwela at Masin Elementary School at Sinundungan Valley of Rizal, Cagayan on May 16, 2019.

 

The activity was a joint collaboration between DSWD FO2 and the Department of Education (DepEd) headed by Assistant Secretary (ASEC), Atty. Salvador A. Malana III. It was attended by representatives from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and private entities such as the Philippine Chamber of Commerce Inc.-Cagayan Chapter (PCCI-Cagayan), City Savings Bank and Eastwest Bank.

 

A total of 120 Pantawid Pamilya students along with their parents attended the event with most of them belonging to an Indigenous People group. The formal launching was conducted through a short program where each department representative affirmed their commitment to ensuring the smooth implementation of the Brigada Eskwela and BBE.

ASEC Malana during the ceremonial signing of the commitment tarpaulin to be posted at the school premises.

During the commitment setting, PCCI-Cagayan distributed 120 sets of school supplies to the children while Eastwest Bank and City Savings Bank donated cash gift and materials for the school. DepEd committed to directing its non-teaching employees in monitoring and conducting home visits to children with low school attendance while DOLE would assign 10 Government Internship Program (GIP) students to provide assistance to the school for 6 months. The commitment setting was followed by the commitment signing of the Brigada Eskwela and BBE Tarpaulin.

 

Ang Brigada Eskwela ay isinasagawa upang maihanda ang paaralan sa pagdating ng pasukan, samantalang ang Bata Balik Eskwela naman ay tumutulong upang mahikayat ang mga mag-aaral na magbalik at manatili sa paaralan hanggang sa sila ay makapagtapos,” expressed DSWD-FO2 Regional Director, Leonardo Reynoso.

RD Reynoso talks about the BBE campaign objectives during the joint launching.

The successful regional launching of the BBE will be followed by simultaneous Provincial/Municipal/Division level launching in the succeeding days.

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Pantawid Pamilya Beneficiary Reaps Laurels in Palaro

Algin’s victorious smile was apparent at the University of Mindanao Track Oval. (Photo from Edge Davao)

Davao City – Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (Pantawid Program) beneficiary Algin Gomez breaks the record for the secondary long jump category while also garnering the gold in triple long jump during the Palarong Pambansa 2019 held at the University of Mindanao last April 29-30, 2019.

The 18-year old athlete from Maura, Aparri, Cagayan leapt a record-breaking 7.55 meters beating 2012 title holder Julian Reem Fuentes’ record of 7.26 meters in the same event. Both players are from the Cagayan Valley Regional Athletic Association (CAVRAA).

This year’s victory demonstrated an immense improvement over his 6.91-meter record during the 2018 meet held at Vigan, Ilocos Sur where he also won the top spot.

According to Alger, Algin’s father, his son exhibited extraordinary enthusiasm for sports since he was 12 years old, citing further that the Pantawid Program helped support for Algin’s athletic needs to augment his daily income as a tricycle driver.

The eldest of 5 boys of Alger and wife Alma Cortez, Algin recently graduated secondary school at Aparri East National High School maintaining impeccable compliance to the program’s conditions since 2012.

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Si Juan Katuwang

Ang mga kalalakihan ang tinataguriang haligi ng tahanan at sumisimbolo sa katatagan, seguridad at pagbuklod ng pamilya. Angkin nila ang natatanging lakas at katapangan kung kaya naman higit ang respeto sa kanilang estado sa loob ng tahanan. Sa kabila nito, nagkakaroon ng pag-aabuso ng awtoridad ang ilang kalalakihan na siyang nagdudulot ng hindi pagkakaintindihan ng pamilya at kung minsan ay humahantong sa pananakit. Dahil rito, nabuo ang konseptong Gender and Development (GAD) upang mahikayat ang pagiging isang gender-sensitive at gender-responsive ng lahat ng miyembro ng komunidad.

Si Rodel Macarubbo Sr., 44 taon, asawa ni Estela at ama nina Jana Ria, Abigil Aubrey, Rodel Jr., Ashley Jude ay miyembro ng Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) sa barangay Caggay, Tuguegarao City. Sila ay natutulungan ng programa sa pagpapaaral ng kanyang panganay, 19 taon, na kasalukuyang nasa kolehiyo at tatlo na nasa high school na may edad 16, 15, at 12 taon.

Katulad ng ibang mga magulang, mapursige silang mag-asawa sa paghahanap-buhay. Sinasabak ni Rodel and iba’t-ibang mga trabahao katulad ng pagpipintor, pagmamaneho ng traysikel, at iba pa. Hindi naman pinapabayaan ni Estela ang kanilang pamilya lalo na’t nais ng mag-asawa na makapagtapos ng matiwasay ang mga anak ng kolehiyo.

Hindi lamang sa paghahanap-buhay ang pinagtutuunan ng pansin ni Rodel sapagkat siya ang nahirang na parent leader ng kanyang mga kapwa benepisyaryo sa 4Ps sa kanilang lugar. Hindi niya alintana ang kadalasang pagpuna ng iba sa kanyang pagiging pinuno sa grupo na higit na binubuo ng mga kababaihang miyembro. Bagkus ay kanya pa itong ipinagmamalaki at kadalasan ay nakikita siyang sumasama sa mga gawaing nagsusulong sa mga karapatan ng kababaihan.

Kung sa kanilang komunidad naman, mariin niyang isinusulong ang pagbuo ng organisasyon na naglalayong magbigay ng pondo at suporta para sa mga kabataang hindi nag-aaral upang mahikayat ang pagbalik ng mga ito sa eskwela.

 

Ani ni Rodel, “Ang pagkakaroon ng respeto at pagpapahalaga sa karapatan ng kababaihan ay hindi kabawasan sa pagkalalaki, bagkus ito ay nagdudulot ng matiwasay na pagsasama bilang mag asawa at mabuting relasyon sa mga anak.”

 

###Kwento mula sa mga manggagawa ng 4Ps

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Mga Bakas sa Basura: Ang Kuwento ng Pamilya Darauay

Ang pamilya Darauay ay binubuo nina (mula kaliwa) Rosemarie, Romeo, Romeo Jr., Rizalina at Reynalyn

“Madalas kaming hindi kumain ng tatlong beses sa isang araw,” panimula ni Rizalina Darauay, 45, maybahay ni Romeo, 44, at nakatira kasama ang tatlong anak sa Annafunan, Tuguegarao city. “Ang mga anak ko, hati-hati pa sa isang supot ng biskuwit maginhawaan man lang saglit ang kanilang kumakalam na mga bituka sa maghapon.”

 

Hindi nakapagtapos ng pag-aaral ang mag-asawa na siyang dahilan ng kawalan ng regular na mapapasukan. Paminsan-minsan naman ay humihingi sila ng kaunting tulong sa mga magulang subalit maging ang mga nakatatanda ay kinakapos din kung kaya naman ay sinubok nila ang iba’t-ibang mapapasukan.

 

“Ang sabi ko sa sarili ko, titiisin ko ang lahat makakain lamang ng kahit isang beses sa isang araw ang aking pamilya,” ani ni Romeo. “Sa pangangalakal ko ng basura, minsan, natutukso akong mag-uwi na lamang ng mga pagkaing naitatapon ng iba. Ang ikinakatakot ko ay kung maging sanhi pa ito ng mas higit na kapahamakan sa kanilang kalusugan.”

 

Samantala, si Rizalina naman ay nagtitinda lamang ng Yakult sa harap ng simbahan maghapon. Dahil walang sapat na kinikita, madalas ay asukal na rin ang tinitimpla niya na pamalit sa gatas ng maliliit na mga anak. Ang naibibigay ng asawa ay para sa higit na mahalagang bagay katulad ng bigas at kaunting ulam na madalas ay noodles o sardinas.

 

Maliit ang bahay na minana pa ni Romeo sa kanyang mga magulang. Sa katunayan, inilarawan niya ito sa isang kuwadra na marahil ay hindi pa magkakasya ang isang malaking kama. Ang nag-iisang kuwarto ay nagsisilbing kusina, kainan, at tulugan ng pamilya. Salat sa mga gamit kundi ang kaserolang lutuan, kalan ilang pinggan at baso at gamit pantulog.

 

Ang mga batang sina Rosemarie, Renalyn at Romeo Jr. ay natuto sa iba’t-ibang gawaing bahay sa murang edad. Nang sila ay magsimula nang pumasok sa paaralan, nakaugalian nilang makitulong sa iba’t-ibang kabahayan upang maka-ipon ng perang pambaon at pambili ng mga gamit.

 

“Hinahangaan ko ang katatagan nila,” pagmamalaki ni Rizalina. “Maraming kabataan ang mahilig humingi ng iba’t-ibang bagay mula sa kanilang mga magulang, ngunit hindi ang mga anak ko. Pinaghihirapan nila ang anumang gusto nilang makamit.”

 

“Hindi namin naranasan ang matagal na makipaglaro sa kapitbahay at mga pinsan dahil may kanya-kanya kaming gawain sa bahay habang wala pa sina mama at papa. Sila ate, maghugas ng pinggan, magluto ng kanin pero kung walang maisaing, uupo na lang kami sa bahay at maghihintay kung may bitbit sila pag-uwi,” kwento ni Romeo Jr.

 

“Nagulat kami nung araw na ipinatawag kami ng isang opisyal ng barangay. Pinadala nila ang iba’t-ibang dokumento at sumailalim sa isang mabusising interbiyu. Naaalala ko noon na nagdalawang-isip pa akong magpunta dahil sa mga oras na maaari ko pa sanang igugol sa paghahanap-buhay.” Balik-tanaw ni Romeo. “Iyon na pala, napasama kami sa mga makikinabang sa Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program”

 

Sa unang tinanggap na ayuda ng pamilya ay mga gamit sa paaralan at pagkain ang pinaggamitan. Ang kaunting natira ay siyang inipon ni Rizalina at ipinuhunan sa pagtitinda ng meryenda tulad ng fishball, kwek kwek, hotdog at iba pa. Pumasok din bilang construction worker si Romeo at ang kinikitang arawang bayad ay ginagamit para sa unti-unting pagpapaayos ng kanilang bahay.

 

Hindi pa rin nalilimutan ni Rizalina ang dinanas na hirap bunsod ng hindi siya nakapagtapos sa pag-aaral kung kaya ito naman ang paulit-ulit niyang pangaral. “Hindi naman habang buhay na may 4Ps na aagapay sa amin. Edukasyon lamang ang pwede naming maipamana sa kanila at ang kagandahan pa nito, hindi ito pwedeng nakawin ninu man. Dahil sa 4P’s, ang dating pangarap lang na mapag-aral namin ang mga anak ay natugunan ng programa. Masasabi kong dahil sa 4P’s, napagtapos ko ang isa kong anak ng kolehiyo at itong bunso ko ay sigurado akong mapapabuti rin ang kinabukasan,” dagdag pa niya.

 

Sa ngayon, ang pamilya Darauay ay binubuo ng walong miyembro kabilang ang manugang, tatlong anak at dalawang apo. Ang panganay na si Rosemarie, 25, ay nakatapos ng dalawang taon sa kursong Computer Science at kasalukuyang nagtatrabaho bilang isang saleslady sa Maynila. Regular siyang nagpapadala ng tulong sa kanyang pamilya. Bagamat solo-parent, hindi siya pinanghihinaan ng loob na mabigyan ng magandang buhay ang kanyang anak katuwang ang mga magulang.

 

Si Renalyn naman, 23, ay nagtapos ng kursong Secondary Education sa Cagayan State University noong 2015. Sa ngayon ay puspusan siyang naghahanap ng mapapasukan. Katunayan, nagpasa siya sa mga pribadong paaralan ng kanyang application at hinihintay kung matanggap siya bilang guro nitong susunod na taon. Datapwat siya ay nakapag-asawa at nagkaanak sa maagang edad, hindi iyon naging balakid sa kanyang pagtatapos sa pag-aaral at pagpursige upang matanggap bilang isang guro.

 

Pangarap naman ni Romeo Jr, 14, ang maging pulis. Nakikinikinita niya ang sariling poging-pogi sa suot na unipormeng asul at makintab na sapatos. Nais niya ring maglingkod sa publiko balang araw.

Ani ni Rizalina, Malaki ang naging tulong ng programa upang makapagsimula at makapagpalago silang mag-asawa sa paglalako ng iba’t-ibang meryenda.

Bahagi ng hamon sa kanilang pag-unlad ang mga naririnig na negatibong usap-usapan ng mga tao na sila ay umaasa sa programa. Sagot nila rito, “Ang paninindigan ko ay hindi kami umaasa lang sa natatanggap naming tulong sa 4P’s, nagsusumikap kaming mag-asawa upang patunayan na hindi lang kami nabubuhay at naghihintay sa tulong ng programa. Hawak kamay kaming patuloy na nangangarap at nagsusumikap na abutin ang aming pangarap, pangarap na alam naming sa bawat paggising ay nasisilayan ng pag-asa, mananatili lamang ang mga bakas sa basura.”

 

### Kwento mula sa Pantawid Pamilya field workers

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