Feature: Enhancing her power
by Recthie B. Tolinero
Cagayan de Oro City (8 February) -- ONE of the goals of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is to empower women and for them to know and enhance their strengths. The program, which provides cash grants to the poorest households to improve the health, nutrition and education particularly of the children aged 0-14, is designed to help mothers with their family's daily expenses.
Since majority of the families depend on the father's income for survival, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) see to it that the mothers can now equally help in uplifting their families' life by handling the grants to them.
Josie V. Loquero, 38, is one of the beneficiaries of 4Ps and is receiving P1,400 per month. She has four (4) children aged 14, 12, nine (9) and two (2) who are now in First Year High School, and Grades 5 and 3. They currently live at Purok 6, Looc Proper, Plaridel, Misamis Occidental. Her husband is a carpenter and is earning around P80-100 per day and since this meager income could definitely not suffice their expenses, Josie chose to offer manicure and pedicure services to their neighbors.
According to Josie, she finds it difficult to look for a better job since she only finished the sixth grade. Her father was a farmer and she had five (5) siblings which her father provides for. With inconsistent and meager salary, Josie's father was not able to send them all to school. Being raised from a patriarchal family, Josie believed that it is the sole responsibility of the father to provide for the family but not until she had her own family and experienced a more difficult life.
"Dili man diay lalim magsalig lang sa bana. Magsige gani mi ug away sauna labi na sa mga panahon nga wala siya'y trabaho. Busa didto ko nakatuon ug barog sa akong kaugalingon ug nangita ko ug trabaho para mabuhi nako ang akong mga anak (It is very difficult when you solely depend on your husband. We often argue before most especially when he doesn't have a work. From then on, I learned how to stand on my own and I looked for a job so that I can provide for my children)," Josie shared with a heavy sigh.
After being notified that she became a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Josie was very pleased. With a proud face she said, "Pagkahibalo nako nga sa mga mama ihatag ang kwarta gikan sa 4Ps mas determinado ko nga ipakita sa akong bana nga kaya pud nako buhion ang mga bata. Kay maski hinatag ra ni sa gobyerno, dili pud lalim ang pagbadyet niini labi na pud kay gai-monitor gyud sa among parent leader kung aha napadulong ang kwarta (When I knew that the money from 4Ps will be given out to the mothers, I became more determined to show to my husband that I can also raise my children well. Because even though this money comes from the government, it is never easy to budget it especially when our parent leader would really monitor on how we spent it)."
Josie is one of the ordinary mothers in Northern Mindanao who has been empowered by the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program by giving them the chance to get hold of the family's grant and in return, hold the responsibility of complying the program's conditions.
In Plaridel, Misamis Occidental, the DSWD has already released a total P17 million since its implementation on August 2008. (DSWD X) [top]