LEGAZPI CITY, ALBAY– In a dynamic convergence of progress and compassion, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office V recently orchestrated a groundbreaking initiative to uplift the spirits and enhance the efficiency of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) staff. A one-day Simultaneous Learning Session, focusing on Impactful Productivity Performance Through Wellness and Mental Resilience, unfolded across the enthralling landscape of the six provinces in the Bicol Region on December 1, 2023, funded by the 4Ps National Program Management Office (NPMO).

As dawn cast its golden hues across Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, and Sorsogon, 1,283 4Ps staff gathered for a unique event that transcended the boundaries of conventional training. The Simultaneous Learning Session was not just about acquiring skills but about nurturing the very essence of those who form the backbone of the program—a symphony of hearts and minds committed to alleviating poverty and fostering social development.

What set this event apart was its simultaneous occurrence across all six provinces. It wasn’t merely a collection of workshops but a harmonious endeavor that united minds across distances. The heart of the learning session was a series of workshops and discussions that delved into the holistic well-being of the 4Ps staff.

Sofia Geronimo, a Municipal Link from Pili, Camarines Sur with a monitoring ration of 560 household beneficiaries covering 4 barangays both in upland and mainland barangays, begins her day at the crack of dawn as she sets out to visit beneficiary households, situated in both urban slums and remote areas. Armed with a load of case folders, and a heart full of empathy, Sofia conducts interviews, verifies data, and ensures that the families receive the financial assistance they so desperately need.

Hence, sessions such as Mental Health in the Workplace, Mental Health Law, Policies and Other Guidelines, Concepts and Wellness Activities on Psychosocial and Stress Management, and Mental Health and Expressive Arts Therapy took center stage. In a world that often demands more than it gives, these sessions provided a sanctuary for introspection and growth.

“Mental Health and Wellness Activity restores my overall social functioning as a person, as a supervisor, and as a program implementer. Also, I was able to recharge and boost enthusiasm, passion, and professionalism along facilitation of program activities and deliverables. More so, it serves as a venue for me to re-generate and strengthen my coping mechanism along with managing stress and emotions to effectively and efficiently deliver programs and services together with my colleagues, direct reports, stakeholders and the partner beneficiaries” Harry Jay Daet, Social Welfare Officer IV /Provincial Link of Camarines Sur II expressed.

As the learning sessions concluded, the participants returned to their posts, not just armed with newfound knowledge but with a revitalized spirit. The ripple effects of this initiative are expected to manifest in the form of enhanced services and a more empathetic approach to the diverse challenges faced by Filipino families under the 4Ps program.