Pantawid Pamilya? “Hulog ng langit po! A blessing to the family” exclaimed Ma. Antonia when asked to comment about the program.
A Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary of Barangay Bolod, San Pascual, Masbate, Ma. Antonia or Maryann to her family and friends is 35 years old and a mother of four siblings ( three girls and one boy).She got married an early age the reason why she was not able to fulfill her dreams of becoming a teacher. Life was difficult but we have to move on, shared Mary Ann. The family’s source of living was derived from baking and selling “pandesal” and deliver it daily to the nearby houses. They earn at least 350.00 a day but this could have been increased if they are able to meet the demands of their costumers in the nearby sitios. The problem is mobility and the accessibility. The amount that the family get daily is barely enough to support the needs of the family.
Her concern is her children—what would become of them in the future? The only thing that kept her on the steadfast struggle in life was her strong belief in God.
A stroke of circumstance change the Padilla’s lives when they were identified as among the 211 potential Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary in Barangay Bolod. Maryann never had the slightest expectation that they would be included in the program. This opportunity turned in to their miserable condition into a happy and vibrant state.
It was in February,2009 when Maryann received the first cash grant in the amount of P7,500.00. She recalled that it was barely a month before the school year ends, so that prior to the receipt of the grant, the children’s school obligations were already settled. In order not to misuse the money, with her husband’s help they invested in a piggery project and part of the amount was used to augment in the “pandesal” production.
With the benefits derived from the program, the family was delighted to become part of it. All of their children are now in school. They are also able to send their eldest son to college in Naga City. Because of this poverty reduction program of the national government, Maryann said that education has become possible and they now regularly avail of the health services.
From a timid housewife, Maryann now is an active parent leader.” Because of 4Ps I have learned to interact with people, and had been exposed to various activities related to the program implementation.” She beams with pride. She also shared that their attendance to the Family Development Sessions is a big factor in strengthening the relationship of the family. Roberto , her husband became more responsible in his role as the father and the provider of the family.
Making a Difference
Maryann relates that another blessing came to their lives when she qualified for the livelihood assistance under the Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran Program (SEA – K) of the DSWD.
As a member of the Bolod SEA-K Association for Women, Maryann would receive a loan package for any productive undertaking after undergoing a training on Basic Business Management Skills. With a capital loan assistance of P10,000.00 she received in August,2010, Maryann established a mini sari-sari store in their barangay and part of the amount was invested in her piggery project. With her interest in venturing into a world of business and the skills acquired from BBMS Training, Mary ann is confident that she will be able to manage her sari-sari store well.
A few months later, the Padilla couple found out that their livelihood projects; the sari-sari store and piggery is gaining profit. In less than a year, she was able to return th capital loan assistance to the DSWD.
Out of the earnings, she started saving an amount to buy materials for their house renovation. From a house made of light materials, they are now able to change it to a concrete dwelling, though the construction is not yet completed.
During the interview, Maryann could hardly articulate with profound joy as she shares on her project’s development.
Looking back, Maryann said that the store didn’t just help the family financially but it changed their whole lives. They have their store for credit to their neighbors who are really in need. After sometime their capital increased that they were able to expand their sari-sari store. The problem on the delivery of the produced “pandesal” was answered. Roberto’s father bought him a motorcycle which he now uses in the delivery of the goods and the construction of pathways as part of the Kalahi-CIDSS sub-project has paved for his access to the nearby sitios.
At this stage, the family hasn’t stopped aiming high and striving to improve their status in life.
The family is likewise assured of an improved quality of life after the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program ends in December,2013.# # # #eejerusalem