Feature: Choosing a faster pace
by Recthie B. Tolinero
Cagayan de Oro City (8 February) -- MARY Joy L. Ramos, 39, is a mother of six (6) and for more than 20 years, she had never lost hope that someday her children would lead a life that is completely opposite to what they presently live with.
A resident of Pancilan, Sapad, Lanao del Norte, Mary Joy works as a house help of their neighbor for more than 10 years. Her husband works as a carpenter and together, they earn around P150 per day.
"Kining among kita kada-adlaw kay lugusa kaayo maka-aford sa pagpaeskwela sa akong mga anak labaw na sa pagpalit sa mga tambal kung magsakit sila (This income can hardly afford our children's educational expenses much more the medicines that they need whenever they get sick)," Mary Joy shared.
Her children aged 19, 17, 14, 13, seven (7) and two (2) are already in First Year College, Fourth and First Year High School, Grades 6 and 2. Mary Joy on the other hand, only finished the sixth grade as well as her husband. Though she has not obtained any degree, Mary Joy really knows the value of education since her employer is a public school teacher. With their ordinary exchange of conversations, she is always moved by the teacher's experience especially on dealing with the students and their performances.
"Buotan kaayo ang akong amo ug kung naa'y panahon, gatagaan ko niya ug advice kung unsaon pagdasig sa akong mga anak sa pag-eskwela ug kung magkalisud ko, gapahulam pud siya ug kwarta nako (My employer is really kind and if she has spare time, she usually gives me pieces of advice on how to encourage my children to do good in school and in times of trouble, she also lends me something)," Mary Joy said.
Being close to her employer, Mary Joy believed that someday her children too will earn their preferred degrees since she can see the similarities of her children's attitude with her employer.
When she was informed that her family is chosen as one of the 1,977 beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in Sapad, Lanao del Norte, Mary Joy could not contain her happiness with such blessing. According to her, receiving P1,100 per month from the program since August 2008 is already a big help to their family especially in financing for the children's education.
After receiving their grant, she immediately bought the school items, medicines, milk and vitamins needed by her children.
"Kabalo ko nga tungod sa akong pagkawala'y grado, lisud matagamtam ang maayong pamuyo pero tungod sa 4Ps dinuyugan sa among pagpaningkamut,gakakita na nako nga dili lang mi diri kutob (I know that because of being illiterate I may not be able to give a good life to my family but through 4Ps with our drive to work hard, I can now see that we will not end up this way)," she poignantly said.
The 4Ps provides cash grants to extremely poor households to improve the health, nutrition and education particularly of the children aged 0-14. The beneficiaries will be receiving their grants for five (5) years given that they abide with the program's conditions. These conditions focus on stimulating the sense of responsibility among the beneficiaries and these are designed to meet certain human development goals. (DSWD X) [top]