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PIA Press Release

Feature: Moving on amidst incurable pain

by Recthie B. Tolinero

Cagayan de Oro City (8 October) -- "Maski gibyaan ko sa akong bana, kaya nakong buhion akong mga anak," Meliza M. Tomo, 40, emotionally said as she recalled the pain that brought her to a peaceful life now.

Meliza, along with her three children aged 11, 10, and 8, lives at Purok Sapad, Sapad, Lanao del Norte. Her children are already in Grades 4 and 2.

For more than seven years, Meliza has been raising the kids alone since her husband left her for another woman.

To provide for their needs, she worked as a laundress to her neighbors and a laborer to farms nearby.

Usually, Meliza earns P120 per day which the family stretch out to buy food, school items and other needs.

The family's house is situated near the river bank and every time there is flood, they are always affected. Whenever this happens, Meliza and her children had to work together in rebuilding their home. She does the woodwork which is usually done by men and her children assist her in every way.

"Ako ang nagtrabaho sa tibuok balay gikan sa atop, dingding, salog apil na pud mga bangko nga among gagamiton," (I did all the work in renovating the whole house from the roof, wall, floor and even the chairs that we use)," Meliza added.

The strong mother also shared that she doesn't need her husband anymore since she can play both the roles of a mother and a father to her children.

As for the feelings of her children, Meliza said, "Wala naman pud nangita sa ilang papa ang mga bata. Usahay masakitan ko maghuna-huna nga ako nagkalisud diri sa pagpadaku sa mga bata pero kaysa muhilak ko tungod ana, gapaningkamut nalang ko nga naa'y makaon ang mga bata." (They no longer look for their father. Sometimes, I am hurt by the fact that I am alone with the responsibility of raising the children but instead of crying, I just strive harder so that my children can have something to eat).

When the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) has been implemented in Sapad, Lanao del Norte on Novermber 2008, Meliza cried with joy as she learned that she is one of the beneficiaries of the Program.

She has then been receiving P1,400 per month to help her improve her children's health, nutrition and education.

The 4Ps is initiated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) which provides cash grants to the extremely poor households to meet certain human development goals as well as to empower women like Meliza.

"Tungod sa 4Ps naluag-luagan na gyud ang akong kalisud. Karon, kung unsa'y panginahanglanon sa mga bata, mapalitan na nako," (Because of 4Ps our life is not that difficult anymore. I can now provide whatever it is that the children need)," Meliza expressed.

After several releases of cash grants, Meliza was able to say, "Kabalo ko nga kaya nako buhi-on akong mga anak nga ako ra isa pero karon nga naa'y 4Ps, napamatuod nako nga aduna pa'y mas maayo nga pamaagi sa pagpadaku nila." (I know that I can raise the children on my own but now with 4Ps, I just realized that there is still a better way in raising them). (DSWD-10) [top]

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