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    Posted January 13, 2014 by
    IOsaOnse

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    A Mother’s Tale

     
    They say that a person can never be great at two things. It is either you are great at one and just be average on the other, never on the same exact degree. It probably does not apply to Leonarda Biabe, 48 years old of Barangay Central, Tarragona, Davao Oriental.

    Leonarda works a Job Order in Tarragona Municipal Hall earning P 175 a day. Her husband, Vivencio works in a local coconut plantation earning at most P 165 a day.

    Leonarda narrates that being the eldest in the family of six, she is responsible in providing food for family. Leonarda merely finished Grade 6. At a very young age, she worked to fend for her family. Now, that Leonarda has five children of her own, she works even more to help provide for her family.
    Leonarda is both a mother to her five children and a mother to her 21 members being one of the trusted Parent Leaders of the program.

    Leonarda regards herself as the best mother she could ever be to her children. “Dili nako gusto na maagian nila ang kalisod nga akoang naagian sa una mao maningkamot gyud ko aron makahuman sila ug eskwela (I do not want my children to suffer what I had suffered when I was young that is why I strive hard for them to finish school), Leonarda shares.

    Because of the fruit of her and her husband’s hardwork, her 3 eldest children – Chrisjelyn, 26; Jeannie Cris, 23 and Cristony 21, were able to complete college. “Lisod kaayo to na panahon, grabe ang paningkamot namo aron mapa-eskwela sila sa state college (Those were hard times, we really worked hard in order to send them to a state college), Leonarda narrates.

    Leonarda was ecstatic when she found out that she was one of the beneficiaries of the Pantawid pamilyang Pilipino Program. Finally, a program that can help, she gasped. “Tama gyud ko. Ang Pantawid Pamilya wala lang nakatabang sa pag-eskwela sa akoang mga anak apan nakatabang usab aron mo-excel akong mga anak sa eskwelahan (I was right. Pantawid Pamilya did not only help me in sending my children to school but it also helped my children excel in school),” she exclaimed.

    Leonarda’s younger children, Crisjen Mae, 13 years old and is in 3rd year high school was 5th honor in last March commencement. Vivencio III., 11 years old and a Grade 6 student is a consistent honor student and is in the science section.
    “Ang Pantawid Pamilya nakatabang gyud kay ang akoang mga anak ma-engganyo moeskwela. Sa una man gud isa lang gyud n aka notebook akoang mapalit para sa ilaha. Wala silay bag-o na bag o sapatos. Karon nga naa na ang programa, makapalit nako ug notebook, isa-isa kada subject. Mapalitan na sad nako sila ug uban pang school supplies sama sa bag ug sapatos (Pantawid Pamilya has helped my children enjoy school. Before the program, I can only afford to buy one notebook for them. They do not have new bags or school shoes. When Pantawid came along, I can now buy one notebook each subject. I was also able to buy them new bags and school shoes), Leonarda remarked.

    Leonarda believed in the program. She has seen how the program has transformed her and her family’s life. This is one reason why she is also an effective parent leader. She reminds her members to love the program and comply with the conditions required by the program. She also makes a point that during their regular meetings, she collects the receipts of her members every after cash grant release to monitor if they have been using the money for its intended purpose. She is both strict and understanding that is why she is loved and respected by her members.

    “Ginabuhat nako ang tanan aron mapakita ang akoang dako na pasalamat sa programa mao na kanunay ko na gabuhat sa sakto ug modasig sa akoang mga kaubanan na mosalig gyud sa programa (I will do everything to show my gratitude and appreciation of the program. I will always tell my to do what is right and to always believe in the program), Leonarda concludes.

    Pantawid Pamilya or the “conditional cash transfer program” of the government aims to help improve the quality of life of the identified poorest households in the country. It provides financial assistance to help sustain the health, nutrition and education needs particularly of children age 0 to 14 years old. At present, a total of 194,149 households covering 43 municipalities,6 cities and 1,082 barangays are benefiting from the program in Davao Region.
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