- Posted January 17, 2014 by
"Keep on living, keep on dreaming"
This was the statement of Rowena Burines, a Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiary, during the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) joint press conference for the DSWD-WFP cash assistance pay-out held recently.
The DSWD and WFP earlier forged a partnership that aims to provide the 100,000 households beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilya with an additional P1,300 per family per month on top of the regular DSWD cash support beneficiaries receive for the months of December and January. The assistance covers some 60 municipalities in the provinces of Leyte, Samar and Panay Island.
“Akala ko noon hanggang November 8, 2013 na lang ang matatanggap naming tulong mula sa Pantawid Pamilya dahil sa lakas ng bagyo akala ko wala na kami (I thought that we will only receive help until November 8. I thought that was it for us because of the storm.),” Burines shared in between tears.
It was on November 8, when Typhoon Yolanda ravaged through the Visayas region and some parts of Luzon affecting more than one million families within the 50-km. radius of the typhoon.
Surviving the typhoon and determined to start anew, immediately right after the typhoon, she started accounting her members.
“Bilang parent leader responsibilidad ko na hanapin ang aking mga miyembro upang malaman ko kung anong nangyari sa kanila, kumusta ang pamilya nila lalung-lalo na yung mga bata kasi nanay din ako eh (As a parent leader, it is my responsibility to locate my members, check on them their family most especially the kids),” said Burines.
“Nagtulong-tulong kaming mga parent leaders na hanapin ang aming mga miyembro, siguraduhin ang kaligtasan ng bawat isa, lalong lalo na yung mga bata. Kahit medyo masakit, dahil namatayan kami ng dalawang parent leader, kelangan naming bumalik, kelangan naming bumangon para harapin ang panibagong buhay (Together with my co-parent leaders, we accounted for our members and ensured their safety especially the children. It is hard we lost two parent leaders, but we have to get back and deal with our lives),” Burines added.
Tanauan is one of the municipalities heavily affected by super Typhoon Yolanda. Since December, the DSWD has been conducting validation to account all the beneficiaries registered in the typhoon affected areas. Based on the report released by the DSWD FO VIII, a total of 2,615 households were already accounted out of the 2,700 households registered in the municipality. They will be receiving their cash grants for two months and an additional P1,300 and 10 kilos of rice from the WFP.
“Sa dami ng tulong na natatanggap namin alam ko tuloy-tuloy ang aming pagbangon. Mas lubos pa ang aking pasasalamat dahil sa narinig kong magandang balita ngayon. Masaya akong marinig na makakapagtapos ng high school ang aking mga anak lalo na ang mga batang miyembro namin na nawalan ng magulang (With the many help that we are getting, I am sure that we will continue to rise. I am even more grateful that our children will be able to finish high school especially those beneficiaries who were already orphaned),” imparted Burines.