Tarragona mothers find steadfast partner in 4Ps
by Sheryll Jane Sanico
Tarragona, Davao Oriental (31 October) -- Being a mother means to give the care, love and affection to her children even at the most challenging times. A mother is "the heart of a home". She manages to stretch out a smile even when she feels like breaking down. She will bear the most painful ordeals for her children's welfare.
Tarragona mothers share their grief, miseries and victories as they take the first step of winning the battle from poverty and found a faithful companion in 4Ps.
Ledivina Tilos, 49 years old of Barangay Cabagayan is very happy to be a grantee of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). Ledivina is a solo parent. She lost her husband to an illness in 1998.
Ledivina and late husband, Eduardo, have eight children. Five are already married and have families of their own. Her 30-year old son is differently-abled and still lives with her. Her other children are 14 years old and in Grade 4 and a 13 year-old who is in Grade 3. Her 10 year-old nephew, Jomar also lives under her care.
"Usahay maghilak na lang ko kay dili nako kabalo kung unsaon nako pag-igo ang akong ginadawat para sa ilang mga kinahanglanon (There are times that I just break down and cry because I no longer know how to manage the meager income I earn to cover for all their needs)," Ledivina shared.
Being a weed trimmer, Ledivina only earns P50 - P100 a day. She stretches this small income to pay for food and school obligations. Because of monetary constraints, her children started primary school late.
"Wala ko kasabot sa akong gibati pagkahibalo nako nga naapil mi sa 4Ps. Kabalo ko nga dako gyud kaayo kini og ikatabang sa among kawad-on, ilabi na sa mga panginahanglanon sa akong mga anak (I could not describe how I felt when I learned that we were included in 4Ps. I am positive that this will be a huge help in our inadequacy, especially on my children's needs)," Ledivina exclaimed. "Nakakita na gyud ko og katambayayong sa 4Ps! (I found a partner in 4Ps!)." With the P900 grant she receives from the program every month, she could now easily buy school materials for her children.
Also from Barangay Cabagayan, Evangeline, 42, and Antonio Monsad, 49, are all praises for 4Ps. Even though this is the first time for them to receive their cash grant from 4Ps, or from any government programs for that matter, they are very hopeful that this will bring forth great things and new beginnings for their family.
Evangeline and Antonio have ten kids: 18 year-old JC; Jornalyn, 17; Joseph, 15; Janet, 13; Jeneva, 11; Jover, 8; Randy, 7; Bea, 5; Jenneth, 2; and Ana Mae, 1. After graduating from Grade 6, JC and Jornalyn stopped school to help their parents. Joseph and Janeth are both in Grade 4. Joseph had to stop school twice due to health problems. Jover is in Grade 1 while Randy is yet to attend school.
Antonio works as weed trimmer and earns a maximum of P120 a day. Evangeline stays at home and takes care of the children but seeing their living condition and how her husband sacrifices just to feed them filled her with grief.
"Naa gyud mga higayon nga misalom na lang ang akoang bana og sapa makadakop lang og isda para among makaon kay wala gyud mi maski piso (There were times when we didn't have even one peso that my husband had to catch fish in a local river just so we can have food)," Evangeline said with eyes filled with tears. "Ang usa pa ka butang nga sakit kaayo pamalandungon mao ang baktasunon sa akong mga anak padulong eskwelahan, ug gikinahanglan pa nila motabok og sapa (It is painful to mull over the thought on the distance my children have to traverse just to attend school, they have to cross a river too)."
When asked if she even considers enhanced methods of family planning an option, she nonchalantly replied that she has been taking 'makahiya' juice as an alternative contraceptive for over a year now. "Ang akong silingan niingon nga lisod na magsabak kon motumar niini. Siya mismo tuig na kapin wala kaanak sukad gainom siya (My neighbor advised me I will not be impregnated once I take it regularly. She herself has not gotten pregnant for over a year now)," Evangeline said with total naiveté. She added she even paid her neighbor P500 for the concoction.
Evangeline and Antonio have been so used to the hardships in life that when they were interviewed for the program they find it hard to believe in 4Ps. It was just when a registration and validation in their community was conducted that it came to them that 4Ps is for real.
"Salamat gyud sa 4Ps ug sa DWSD sa paghatod ani nga programa sa amo! Ang amo lang mapasalig nga ayohon namo paggamit ang kwarta, mutuman kami sa mga kondisyon nga ilang gipangayo ug mo-kooperar sa kalihokan nga may kalabutan sa 4Ps (Thanks a lot to 4Ps and DSWD for bringing this program to us! We promise to use the grants with prudence, comply with the conditionalities required from us and cooperate in community activities related to 4Ps)," Evangeline assured.
4Ps recently conducted the Over-the-Counter release launching in Tarragona, Davao Oriental serving 2,599 beneficiaries in the municipality. The total amount released was P 3,904,800.00.
4Ps is a poverty reduction strategy of the national government that provides cash grants to extremely poor households. It invests on human capital, primarily focusing on the improvement of health, nutrition and education particularly of the growing members of the family, children aged 0-14. (DSWD) [top]