One of those who benefited from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), who is now a public school teacher, has vowed to help break the intergenerational cycle of poverty, starting with his family.
In his testimony during the visit of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Director Norman Laurio and staff to Catanduanes last week, Marvin D. Abad, 27, the 5th of nine children of on-and-off job order employee Wilfredo Abad Jr. and wife Irma, who sometimes worked as house help to augment the family’s inadequate income.
“Kayod dito, kayod doon,” he said. “Dumating kami sa punto ng aming buhay na tila wala na kaming makain, tanging lugaw lang mula umaga hanggang gabi, walang kuryente sa loob ng apat na buwan at nag-aaral gamit ang gasera, naglalakad papuntang paaralan, ang baon 20 pesos, kasali pambili nga ulam sa tanghali, na pilit pinagkakasya sa maghapon.”
In 2011, the Abad family was included among the 4Ps beneficiaries, slowly bringing a little light into their previously dim future with the cash grants and subsidies every two months.
The program not only benefited the children, who were given access to health services and education, but also allowed his mother, a parent leader, to become involved in barangay activities.
When he became a scholar of the 4Ps Expanded Students Grant-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA), Marvin received P2,500 book allowance every semester and P3,500 monthly allowance, it gave him the opportunity to buy a laptop, pocket wifi, and daily needs not only for him but for his siblings, with the excess sometimes used to buy rice.
He was able to participate in different school activities, attend trainings and workshops in the mainland and join educational tours.
In 2017, Marvin graduated with flying colors and was recognized by DSWD as one of the exemplary ESGP- PA scholars.
In the same year, he passed the licensure examination for teachers and in 2018 was accepted as teacher at the Catanduanes National High School.
“Sa pagpasok ko bilang isang Pilipinong manggagawa, sinabi ko na it’s payback time sa aking mga magulang sa paggabay, pag-encourage at pag-provide ng mga pangangailangan pag wala pa ang stipend at pagpatuloy sa pag-aaral despite the adversities,” he said.
He also thanked the government for its financial support and offered himself as proof that the assistance it granted did not come to nothing.
Teacher Marvin is now studying for his Master of Arts in Educational Management at the Catanduanes State University as he continues his dream of becoming a successful educator.
He is now helping his parents with raising the family in barangay Sogod Tibgao, Virac and in ensuring that his siblings would finish their schooling.
“Kailanman ang kahirapan ay hindi hadlang para makamit ang pangarap. Sapagkat sa ating paglalakbay, Diyos ang ating gabay habang ang ating pamilya at tulong ng gobyerno ang ating kaagapay. I’m proud to say na 4Ps ako!” he concluded.