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Caramoan’s booming tourism helps Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries gain income

Nenelyn Cordez, 27, carrying her daughter Xiara Mae, 3, of Barangay Bikal, Caramoan, Camarines Sur with a smile and a hopeful face, Nenelyn dreamt of having a sustained living to attain her dreams for her family.

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Blessed with its fine powdery white sand, beautiful laggoons, caves, limestone cliffs, and majestic rock formations, the Caramoan Peninsula in Camarines Sur is the hidden paradise in Bicol Region.

As tourism continues to boom, Caramoan has become the major top tourist destination hub and the demand for possible job opportunities is continuously growing which help micro entrepreneurs and small scale fisher folks in the area.

Like the Cordez family of Barangay Bikal, Caramoan, Camarines Sur, a beneficiary of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development who enables to gradually improve their condition through the assistance provided by the program plus due to the increasing tourists visit in the area.

According to Nenelyn, 27, since it is summer, her family was able to earn more through organizing tour for visitors and island hopping. “Maski bako samo su bangka, pero nagakita kami nin P250 a day dadag pa su kita sa pagsira. Su Programa nakatabang man pinansyal sa pag-adal nin mga aki ko. [Although the boat is not ours, it gives us P250 a day in addition to the earnings through fishing. The Program also helps to finance the education of my children],” Nenelyn stated.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or conditional cash transfer is a program that invests in human capital that is contributory to poverty-reduction. It provides cash grants of P500 in health and P300 (elementary) or P500 (high school) in education for a family that has three children, ages 0-18, enrolled in the program.

Going through

As the Cordez family continuous to go through their life, Nenelyn admitted that perseverance, commitment and resourcefulness are essential ingredients to improve their welfare. “Lalo na po kung may nagkakasakit sa pamilya [Specially, if one of the family members got sick],” she added.

Three months ago, Nenelyn recalled what she gone through to earn for her five kids, ailing husband, pay for the hospital bills and medicines.

“May helang sa bato su agom ko tapos grabe ang namatean na sanit. Nagkonsulta kami sa doktor na abot nin P3,000 tapos P3,000 naman para sa reseta nin gamot. Inutangan mi po ito. Tapos, sinabihan siya na magpahengalo muna nin sarong bulan tapos dai na dapat magpara alsa nin mabugat, [My husband has a kidney failure and it causes him pain a lot. We tried to see a doctor which cost us more than P3,000 for consultation and P3,000 for the prescribed medicines. We borrowed money. He was also advised to rest for a month and avoid carrying heavy loads]” Nenelyn said while crying.

As a mother, Nenelyn pursued to be resourceful. She also paid more attention in entering various jobs to earn. Until, she was able to pay for her debt.

“Ngunyan po nakaraos na kami diit. Su agom ko nakatrabaho na. Pangarap ko na sana igwa kami pirmi pagkabuhay para makatapos ang mga aki ko. Kaya pasalamat man kami ta dakol ang turista digdi sa Caramoan [Now, little by little we are able to improve. My husband can go to work. My dream is to have a sustained living for my children to finish their education. Thus, we are also thankful that a lot of tourists are visiting Caramoan],” Nenelyn said.

Hard work for the Future

With the total of 114 identified recipients of the Program benefitting from the cash assistance, Nenelyn firmly said that they are one among the beneficiaries that can overcome poverty. “Tiwala sa Diyos at pursige na maka-ahon sa buhay lang po, [Trust in God and persevere to improve in life is only needed],” Nenelyn firmly said.

At present, her family works on having their own boat to sustain their living. Cordez Family may have to go through a lot of circumstances to improve their living condition but as Nenelyn stated “Ang Programa suporta samuya pero kaipuhan nin tiyaga lang, diskarte sa buhay asin pagtobod sa Diyos para makaraos [The program serves as a support to us, but we need to persevere, be resourceful in life and trust God to improve our living],” she ended. G.A.N.Lindio, Information Officer—Pantawid Pamilya

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