Feature: Balancing the Weight
By Recthie B. Tolinero
Cagayan de Oro City (22 June) -- Practicing responsible parenthood is among the aims of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps. It is one of the conditions of the Program wherein parents are encouraged to participate in parenting sessions conducted by their respective clusters once or twice a month.
From the various clusters of parenting sessions in Lopez Jaena, Misamis Occidental come the strong bonded group of Lani C. Piang of Cluster 1 from Barangay Puntod.
As a parent leader, Lani shared that the group they had created led them to discover a lot of their potentials. Her group's 100 percent attendance during their meetings which they hold twice a month also helped in implementing livelihood projects.
She said, "Kami ani naa mi'y garden. Garden nga gidaro kay init lage. Naa pud mi'y abot nga mao pu'y nakapatukod ani among payag (We have a garden. It is a garden that we plow today because the weather is warm. We also have earnings from it that we use to build this little shelter [referring to the place where they hold their meetings)."
Some of the members also mentioned that they are happy with their small garden since they can earn from it and they can also use the vegetables for their consumption.
They also expressed that since most of their husbands are farmers their group project enabled them to help their husbands with their daily expenses. One of them said, "Ilang tinungahan dili na gyud makwaan, maka-save na ta'g gamay (Our husbands' income are no longer lessened by other expenses, we can now save some)."
The group shared that the money they received from 4Ps aided them in buying their children's school uniform, milk and vitamins. They even said that they can now buy snacks in the afternoon for their children.
Since they no longer spend more on their children's needs, the income of their husbands can already afford to buy meat and lechon manok (grilled chicken) during meals.
According to the mothers their children's attendance in school is getting better. One even said, "Maka-absent ra akong mga anak kung magdaut (My children only miss school when they are sick)." But provided with the financial aid to improve their children's health, most of them expressed that their children rarely get sick nowadays.
Lani also mentioned that most of the teachers check on their children's lunchbox most especially to the members of 4Ps. "Gusto nila masiguro nga sakto ang gaipakaon sa mga bata kada-adlaw (They want to make sure that the children have the right nourishment every day)," Lani added.
The parents are also thankful for the support of their local officials who continuously monitor the progress of the Program as well as the problems that they encounter along the way.
Lani said that their barangay captain personally reports to the municipal officials on how the people used their money and if there are cases of gambling using the cash subsidy.
They also said that the service providers are also cooperative of the requirements that they need to comply saying, "Nangayo man to sila karon ug attendance, kadto bang sa monitoring ([The teachers] today are asking for the attendance, the one that was used in monitoring [our compliance])."
Given the kind of treatment from the service providers and the local government, members of Cluster 1 of Puntod see to it that they also contribute to the success of the Program by creating livelihood projects and taking good care of their children. Though some mentioned that sometimes there is a delay in the release of their cash grants, they do not worry that much since they have raised funds from their garden.
Mothers from Puntod are just among the 2,198 beneficiaries of 4Ps in Lopez Jaena, Misamis Occidental who can now raise their head high saying, "Makatimbang na mi sa bayranan sa among mga bana (We can now augment with our husbands' income)." (PIA) [top]