Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) marks another momentous year. By end of school year 2017-2018, the program is expected to help more than 900,000 children move up to Grade 7, while more than 200,000 are expected to finish senior high school, some 6000 are supported by the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer or MCCT.
Based on the available information of the program, the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has the highest number of students, more than 133,000 expected to finish grade six. On the other hand, Bicol region will have the highest number of students, around 220,000 completing senior high.
“YOLO, you only live once,” this is Trestan Janos Garcia’s motto in life. He believes that one should live life to the fullest. Trestan is one of the senior highschool graduates belonging to 4Ps families from the municipality of Pilar, Bataan.
Trestan graduated last April 3, 2018 from Justice Emilio Angeles Gancayco Memorial Highschool (formerly known as Orion National Highschool). He has actively engaged in extra-curricular activities in his school—loving what he does, while doing well academically and graduating with high honors.
Trestan is the second child among three children. His father, Silvestre Garcia Jr. is a construction worker, while his mother, Teresita Garcia is a housewife. Though they lived a hard life and reside far from the town’s center, Trestan did not give up on his dream to finish his studies.
“4Ps has been of great help for me and my family. The program helped me finish my studies. My father’s salary as a construction worker is not enough to sustain all our needs. The educational grant supported me financially, covering my daily allowance and expenses for other school needs,” shared Trestan.
“Those student supported by the program should do their best and study hard. This will help us improve our lives, and it will also be our way of giving back to those who have helped us,” added Trestan.
He knows that he still has a long way to go before he can get everything he wants, but he knows that with the help of Pantawid Pamilya, his perseverance, right attitude and hard work, he will achieve his dreams, not only for himself, but for his family as well.
“Believe in yourself, work hard and enjoy everything you do. You only live once, so make the most out of it, after all, life is meant to be lived and enjoyed,” he concluded.
Beating the odds
Jonalyn Fuertes of Iloilo City, once again proved that poverty should not get in the way of one’s dreams.
When her mother succumbed to cancer 10 years ago, she, together with her five siblings, were raised single-handedly by their father Nicanor. Her father works as a carpenter, and despite of his meager income, he was able to send them to school. Two of her siblings were able to graduate from college, while the two others are still under graduates.
Jonalyn and her older sister were left to help their father. Her sister underwent TESDA training on Food and Beverages so she could also provide for other expenses.
Every day she wakes up early in the morning to clean the house, wash clothes, prepare their meals, and fetch water before going to school.
With hard work and perseverance, Jonalyn was among those awarded with honors during the commencement exercise at the Ramon Avancena National High School (RANHS).
“The award that I received is gift for my father. He did everything for us and sacrificed a lot for us to have better future. Being a mom and father at the same time to six children is not an easy this is why I am very proud of my father”, said Jonalyn.
Mary Che Vitor wakes up early to help her mother, Anita, bathe and dress her sister who has cerebral palsy.
Mary Che recently graduated from Cagayan de Oro City National High School (CDOCNHS). She was awarded with highest honors.
Second of the five Vitor siblings, Mary Che promised to help her parents in taking care of the eldest sister, who has mobility and verbal limitations. She said that she will pay for the services of a physical therapist, occupational therapist, and speech therapist for Mary Love when she finishes her college studies and finds a stable job.
“Pantawid had been a blessing to us because it helps us reach our dreams, that is, to live out of poverty,” she said in vernacular.
“That’s why I strive hard to excel in my studies because there is 4Ps that helps us support our needs. The income of my father as security guard is not enough to address our basic needs, much less cover our educational needs,” Jonalyn added.
Fighting Chance to combat Poverty
4Ps is a program of the national government implemented through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) together with the Department of Education (DepEd), the Department of Health (DoH) and other national government agencies.
The program invests in the health and education of poor households primarily of children aged 18 and below.
“When the program started, it only covered children up until aged 14; however given the several studies, we have extended the age coverage leading these children to complete senior high school. This will give them a fighting chance to combat poverty and eventually help in nation building”, shared Emmanuel Leyco, Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the DSWD.
As of March 2018, the program covers 4.39 million households covering 17 Regions; 80 Provinces; 1,627 Cities/ Municipalities.