Feature: Planned Luck
by Recthie B. Tolinero
Cagayan de Oro City (8 October) -- H. Saripa D. Ampatua at 42 still believes in serendipity.
She got married at 19 and for more than 30 years of marriage, she encountered a lot of difficulties being a mother and a wife. Yet, she is still hopeful since she knows that there will come a time that they will surpass every downfall. This principle enabled her to live harmoniously amidst the poverty they are in.
She has five children aged 25, 22, 17, 14 and 9. Her eldest daughter is already married while the second child works as a company driver. The rest of her children are in Third Year High School and Grade 4.
Saripa on the other hand, only reached the fifth grade and since she married to a farmer, she never had a chance to continue her studies. They presently live at Purok 1, Barangay Rebucon, Nunungan, Lanao del Norte.
According to Saripa, "Murag wala gyapo'y nabag-o sa among kinabuhi kay magdadaro gihapon akong papa sauna ug isa lang sa pito namu ka mag-igsoon ang nakahuman ug eskwela. Pero wala gihapon siya nakatrabaho kay naminyo man." (It seems that nothing has changed in our lives since my father was also a farmer and only one of my six siblings was able to finish her studies. However, she did not get a chance to work since she married afterwards)
Saripa's husband is only earning P5,000 every three months. With this, the family could hardly survive each day. They are even burdened with the expenses for the children's education and health.
Unexpectedly, Saripa learned that she is one of the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
It is a poverty alleviation program which provides cash subsidies to the poorest households so that they can improve their health, nutrition and education.
The 4Ps is patterned after the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) offered in some countries in Latin America that aims to address certain human development goals.
She was informed that she will be receiving P800 per month starting on November 2008 which she will use for her children's health and education.
When she received the second payment of their cash grant, Saripa emotionally said, "Nalipay ko kay nadungagan ang binulan namu nga pangita. Karon ang kita sa akong bana mapadulong na gyud sa among konsumo." (I am very happy because we have additional money for our monthly income. Now, the earnings of my husband will go directly to our food consumption).
The grateful mother also shared that it is only with 4Ps where she saw a payroll and she hopes that the Program will be continued until they can finally stand on their own.
"Kani pa ang 4Ps nga akong nahibaw-an nga Programa nga mutabang gyud sa galisud. Mao ni ang swerte namu karon nga giplanuhan sa gobyerno." (As far as I know, 4Ps is the only Program that really helps those who are struggling in life. This is our luck which is planned by the government).
Saripa is among the 1,537 beneficiaries in Nunungan, Lanao del Norte who like any other mothers believe that they are destined to have a better life if these opportunities will be nurtured with hard work and willpower. (DSWD-10) [top]