The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) highly salutes Jefferson Yamson Salazar, a 4Ps beneficiary’s son who recently marched as Cadet First Class in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Masidlawin Class of 2020.
Among the 196 graduates, Salazar ranked 3rd along with Cadet First Class Gemalyn Sugui (Valedictorian) and Cadet First Class Jade Villanueva (Salutatorian) being in the Top 3.
Jefferson is the fourth child of tricycle driver Jose and snack vendor Marites Salazar who are members of DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
In an interview, Marites says that her son has always been a good student. Jefferson usually does not bring notebook in class because according to him, he ensures that he understands the lectures and everything he learns is kept in his mind.
Marites recalls that even when they were struggling financially, she has always seen the big potential in Jefferson and was confident that he can achieve his goals despite the hardships in life.
“Hindi hadlang ang kahirapan kaya huwag mawalan ng pag-asa at mag-aral ng mabuti para makamit nila ang pangarap nila at magtagumpay, (Poverty is not a hindrance so don’t lose hope and study hard to achieve your dreams and succeed,)” Marites shares her message to her co-4Ps family beneficiaries.
As a young boy, Jefferson was a consistent honor student of his class. Because of poverty, he has seen his eldest sibling sacrificed her education for a job to help sustain their family. And so he made sure to keep an eye on his goal.
In college, he took up Bachelor of Science in Physics at Western Mindanao State University then proceeded to pursue his studies in PMA and succeeded.
Despite not being able to attend the graduation rite last May 22 due to COVID-19 protocols, Jefferson’s family was very proud of his achievement.
Marites also expressed how thankful she is for the support that she has received from family, relatives, and the government.
“Naging malaking tulong yung natatanggap namin na cash assistance dahil nagkaroon ako ng karagdagang kapital sa pagtitinda. Ang programa ng gobyerno gaya ng 4Ps ay may layuning tumulong sa mga nangangailangan; nasa tao na kung papaano niya ito gamitin, (The cash assistance has been a great help especially as augmentation to our livelihood. Government programs such as the 4Ps aim to help families in need but it is up to the people to make something out of it,” says Marites.
Salazar family has been a beneficiary of the 4Ps since 2013. Jefferson’s older sister who was a monitored child of 4Ps will soon take her licensure board exam in December. To this date, only their youngest child who is in Grade 9 is monitored by the program.
Now, Salazar family celebrates the achievement of each of their family members.
The eldest daughter, after working for several years to help support the family, is now back in school taking up BS Chemistry in WMSU;
The second child, who was also a scholar of DSWD’s Sulong Dunong, already graduated from a 2-year degree;
The third child supported herself in college by joining a school-funded organization and earning on the side from being a School Assistant;
The 4th child (Jefferson) will soon join the Philippine Navy;
The 5th child will soon graduate with a degree in Political Science;
The 6th child will take her licensure board exam as a Pharmacist in December; and
The youngest one is currently in Grade 9, GT STEM.