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    Posted January 13, 2014 by
    IOsaOnse

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    Pantawid Pamilya: A Gateway to Success

     
    Tiny frame. Innocent bown eyes. Timid smile. This is just a few things one would notice if one meets Judiel Cabilan who looks more like a 9-year old boy than a 13-year old incoming first year high school student. Judiel and his family lives in Barangay Poblacion, Compostela, Compostela Valley Province.

    Judiel is a consistent honor student in their class. “First honor gyud ni siya sukad Grade 2 hangtod Grade 6. Kadto pud kinder pa siya nakadawat pud ni siya ug lima ka ribbon pag-graduate niya (My son is a consistent first honor student from Grade 2 to Grade 6. He also received five ribbons when he finished in Kindergarten),” Judiel’s mother, Elizabeth Cabilan proudly shared.

    Judiel has four siblings. Christopher Ken, 11 and is in Grade 5; Janssen Louie, 8 years old and is in Grade 3; Kerben, a 7-year old Grade 2 student and the youngest Jodessa who is 4 years old and is in Kindergarten.

    Elizabeth’s husband, Judito, 40, works as a laborer in a banana plantation and earns P 180 a day. “Dili gyud sakto ang P 180 para sa pito ka baba na pakan-on. Usahay manguha mi ug gulay o pako dayon amoang ibaligya ug isuroy aron makapalit mi ug bugas para kaunon kanang adlawa (The P 180 that my husband earns is not enough if you have seven mouths to feed. There are times that me and my children pick vegetables and ferns and peddle it in the neighborhood so that we can buy rice for that day’s consumption),” Elizabeth sniffled.

    There are also times that her children would go to school with an empty stomach. Other times, when they cannot afford to buy rice, they would just eat cooked bananas to feed their hungry stomachs. “Maluoy ko sa akoa mga anak nga mokaon lang ug saging moadto eskwelahan, walay baon dala. Pero maski sa kalisod Makita gyud nako nga gapaningkamot gyud sila pag-ayo (I breaks my heart to see my children eat cooked bananas before they go to school. They also do not have baons in school. However, despite all of this, I can see that they still do their best and strive hard), added Elizabeth. Judiel also stopped school when he was in Grade 1 because of their impoverished condition.

    As if the monetary lack they are in is not enough, the area where their house is located is also prone to heavy floods. “Taga-tuhod gyud ang tubig diri, maski maulanan lang gamay magbaha na (Even with light rains, this area is really prone to flooding. The floodmark would reach as high as knee level)” narrates Elizabeth.

    In 2009, Elizabeth did not know that through Pantawid Pamilya, her family’s life will forever be changed. She was overwhelmed by the assistance that her family is receiving from the program. “Walay katapusan gyud ang akoang pasalamat sa programa. Dili ko kabalo asa ko magsugod sa kadaghang natabang sa programa sa amoa (I can never say enough thank yous to the program. I do not know where to start because of the lots of things that the program has helped us), Elizabeth exclaimed.

    The cash grants that they received from the program have greatly helped in sustaining their everyday basic needs. They also allotted a small amount in repairing the leaks in their roof.

    His eldest son, Judiel, was also very grateful to the program. He knows that the program will be his gateway to success. “Kung matigulang mo Ma ako ang makatabang sa inyo. Maningkamot ko ug eskwela aron makahaw-as ta sa kalisod (When you grow old, I will always be here for you. I will strive hard in my studies so I can give you a better life), Judiel said with both innocence and conviction. Hoping to be a teacher when he grows up, Judiel dedicates all his achievements, medals and honors to his parents and to Pantawid Pamilya.

    Pantawid Pamilya is a poverty-reduction strategy of the national government that provides conditional cash assistance to identified poor households in the country. The program aims to improve the quality of life of its recipients through investment in the health, nutrition and education especially of children age 0 to 14 years old. At present, the program has 194,149 beneficiaries covering 43 municipalities and 6 cities in Davao Region.
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