Above the breadline: Stories of determination and perseverance of Barizo Family

Published by Marygizelle Mesa on


Sobra-sobra ang pasasalamat ko sa Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program dahil sa naitulong nito sa aking pamilya, higit sa lahat sa edukasyon ng aming mga anak. Kung kinakailangan na kami ay mag-waived na sa programa, bukal sa loob namin itong gagawin.

This is precisely how Mrs. Minerva Barizo of Rawis, Legazpi City, Albay describes how she feels about the possibility of exiting the program. She has been very forthright about the changes that have been made to her family that the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program has brought about.

Mrs. Minerva, 54 years old, and a mother of six, is a Pantawid Pamilya member registered in 2012 which provided them with new opportunities and made life more manageable. She has been in the program for 11 years and served as a parent leader. She claimed that becoming a parent leader helped her gain knowledge and talents she never believed she was capable of.

“Natuto ako ng financial literacy, kung paano gagamitin ang pera nang tama para sa kapakanan ng aking pamilya. Maliban dito, napalawak din ang aking kaalaman sa tamang pagdidisiplina sa aking mga anak at kung paano makipagkapwa tao.”

According to Mrs. Minerva, being a parent leader encompasses not only the obligation to be knowledgeable but also the obligation to inform others and to be capable of providing assistance within your means.

Mrs. Minerva not only leads by example as a conscientious parent leader, but she also makes the most of her time as a vendor, computer shop cashier, community volunteer, and barangay health worker (BHW).

Antonio, her husband, earns a meager income as a mason, painter, and construction worker. He right now lacks a stable job as a result of a stroke. They were so overjoyed when their eldest daughter was hired as a communication corporate assistant at the Land Bank of the Philippines.

“Papa, may anak ka nang taga-banko (nag-tatrabaho sa banko)”, this was joyfully relayed by their eldest daughter Ann Jessamine who recently landed a job in Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) in Metro Manila as a Communication Corporate Assistant as a result of her hard work and with the help of the government.

Jessamine is a former monitored child under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program who took up AB English and graduated Cum Laude last year at Bicol University College of Arts and Letters. While studying, she became a full scholar of the Tertiary Education Subsidy under the Commission of Higher Education (CHED).

It can be recalled that Jessamine was included in the series of advocacy campaign videos of LBP wherein one of the contents is the process of claiming the cash grants of 4Ps beneficiaries through cash cards.

Mrs. Minerva couldn’t hide her tears of joy and pride to her eldest daughter’s achievement.  “Ngayon na may trabaho na ang panganay namin, kahit siguro papaano yung dating isda na hinahati-hati namin, ngayon pwede na kaming kumain na tig-iisang piraso”, she narrated. She is now able to augment in the income of the family. Jessamine is a very responsible child working extra hard and stretching possible areas to learn.

The five other children are still studying. Russel Vincent, 22 is a graduating college student, Vince Alfred, 19 is in his freshman year in tertiary while Lloyd Anthonnie, 17, and Mines Anthonnie, 14 are in Grade 12 and Grade 9 respectively while the youngest daughter Minnie Antonette,11 is in Grade 6.

Mrs. Minerva wanted to say how appreciative she is of the program’s benefits to her family. She claimed that the 4Ps had assisted her family in more ways than she could have imagined. While the program helped them through their most challenging times, it is now her obligation for them to stand on their own two feet and assure the welfare of the family through their collaboration and hard work.

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