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PIA Press Release

Feature: Mama takes over

By Recthie B. Tolinero

Cagayan de Oro City (22 June) -- A typical Filipino mother stays at home to take care of the children, do the laundry and clean the house but for Gina Helen T. Estuita, 41, everything has changed since her husband had no job for seven (7) years already.

To be able to provide for their children, Gina decided to work as a care taker of her sister's children where she earns P1, 600.00 per month.

Since this amount could not suffice their daily expenses, Gina also sells ice candy, longganisa and other processed meat products.

Gina has two children aged 19 and 8. Her eldest child is already in second year college and the youngest is in her third grade. The family resides in Mansabay Bajo, Purok 4, Lopez Jaena, Misamis Occidental which is just near to her sister's house.

According to Gina, it is very hard for her to balance her duties at home, selling of goods and taking care of her sister's children.

When she heard that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) gives out cash subsidy through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps, she felt a sudden relief from the problems she has to face.

The Program aims to alleviate poverty through giving cash grants to the indicated poorest households in the country.

Fortunately, Gina was chosen as one of its beneficiaries last August 2008. She already received P2, 500.00 cash grant and on a monthly basis, she will be receiving P500.00.

From the amount she received from 4Ps, Gina was able to say, "Medyo nakaginhawa nami gamay. Talagsaon ra na nga proyekto sa gobyerno nga diretso gyud sa atua ang hinabang (We are now relieved from our situation. It's a rare Project of the government that gives aid directly to us)."

She also added that she can now buy all the things that her children need in school and the children in return will now be more determined to go to study.

In a proud face Gina shared, "Grabe jud ang paningkamut sa akong kamanghuran karon. Kadtong March kay first honor siya sa ilang klase (My youngest daughter really strives hard [in her studies]. Last March [2009], she became the first honor in their class)."

She also noted that though her husband does not work anymore, his support for their children is always there. Gina shared that her husband often does the household chores when she is away from home.

Aside from being a supportive mother and wife Gina is also the parent leader in their cluster.

According to her, their cluster now has a garden where they plant vegetables for consumption and they also sell the rest for funds. There are times though that their plants are stolen yet she often tells her group that "Basig mas nagkinahanglan ang nagkuha ato. Okey ra kwaan nila atong garden pero dili lang hutdon. Kanang igo ra sa ilang gikinahanglan (Maybe the person who stole it needs it more than we do. It's all right that they'll get something from our garden but they should not get everything. They should get what they only needed)."

Even if the family received a small amount from the Program, Gina has noted that 4Ps has really helped them in raising their children, giving them the right kinds of food and sending them to school.

Gina also stated that the Program paved the way for them to unleash their leadership skills and that it made her realized that she too, is capable of providing for her family. (PIA) [top]

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