Feature: This time, it's Different
by Recthie B. Tolinero
Cagayan de Oro City (5 October) -- Farming has been the family's bread and butter since time immemorial and for Lile M. Lupo, 35, and Marbiya L. Dimasangcay, 35, a little shift from the traditional job would be a lot better.
Lile and Marbiya are Maranaos residing at Sapad Lanao del Norte.
Maranao refers to the people of Lanao and the word literally means, "people of the lake."
They are known as the descendants of Muslim Malays and they make up the sixth largest Filipino ethnic group.
Lile lives at Purok 1, Mala Salug with her seven children while Mabiya resides at Purok 3, Mala Salug with her five kids. Both of their husbands are farmers and according to the mothers, since their great grandfathers' time, the occupation has never been changed.
Lile's children aged 13, 11, 9, 7, 3, 2 and 1 are currently studying in a public school nearby and are already in grades 4, 1 and day care. Her husband usually earns P50 per day. Lile has been chosen as one of the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) on November 2008 and has been receiving P1,400 per month.
The mother mentioned that 4Ps really helped her family especially this time wherein they are currently staying with her sister since their house was destroyed during a typhoon last January saying, "Nagpasalamat mi sa 4Ps kay dili kayo mi maulaw sa akong igsoon kay makapakaon man gyud mi sa among mga anak (We are very thankful for 4Ps since we are able to feed our children and we don't have to feel ashamed to my sister)."
The Program is the poverty reduction strategy of the government that provides cash grants to the poorest households in the country to improve the health, nutrition and education specifically children aged 0-14.
It is a developmental program created to meet certain human development goals as well as to break the intergenerational poverty which is dominant in the country.
Marbiya, whose husband is also a farmer, is a beneficiary of 4Ps since November 2008 and has been receiving P1,400 per month. Her children aged 14, 12, 9, 7 and 6 are respectively in third year high school, grades 6, 3 and 1.
According to Marbiya her family is very happy every time they receive their cash grant because it gives them the motivation to strive for more and make a difference especially in finding means of income.
Lile also shared that her children are now eager to go to school because they have enough allowance and their stomachs are always full before going to school. "Mas hayahay na ang mga bata karon kay nidaku na ila baon, gikan sa P5 gitagaan na nako sila'g tag-P10 (The children have better situation now because their allowance were increased from P5 to P10)."
Being part of the 1,984 beneficiaries in Sapad, Lanao del Norte, Lile and Marbiya know the conditions they have to comply and they said that it is not hard for them to follow such since most of these coincide with the rules and customs of their religion. With big smiles on their faces they say, "Mapadayon pa unta ang 4Ps, kanang malapas pa sa lima ka-tuig kay kini nga programa, lahi ra man gyud sa uban (We hope that 4Ps will continue on helping us, much better if it exceeds from five years of implementation since this program is really different among others)." (DSWD-10) [top]