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Family on stilt house, now owns a 2-storey shelter

Stilt house of Canoy Family

Imagine your life without access to potable water, electricity, quality education and health facilities. Many of the residents have no access to toilet, some even live on stilt houses.

That used to be the life situation of Magdalina Rabanos and Martin Canoy and their family at Barangay White Beach, Pagadian City, Zamboanga Del Sur. They were what we call the poorest of the poor in the area.

Their source of income was mainly on coastal activities. They plant seaweeds which earns them profit every two months. Sometimes, when the weather does not cooperate, their livelihood is affected. As an alternative, they also make dried fish and sell them. All six members of the household help in tuyo-making because they cannot afford to hire someone else to do the job.

Fortunately, they became part of the country’s conditional cash transfer program, the 4Ps, in 2012 since three of their children go to school. They did not take this opportunity for granted. They strategized and maximized the opportunities of being beneficiaries to their advantage. They thought that they could enroll their children to a better school. In their mind, a better school means better chances of landing better jobs in the future.

Pinagplanuhan talaga namin. Naghanap kami ng school na nagbibigay ng scholarship sa mga less fortunate but deserving students. (We planned. We looked for schools that provide scholarship grants to less-fortunate but deserving students,)” Magdalina said.

Luck must be on their side because they found a look that provide scholarship grants and only needed certification of being indigent and member of 4Ps. They were offered discounts on tuition fees in the high school that their children were enrolled in. Even up to this day, the children still enjoy the benefit provided by the school. Mark Dave is in his second-year college already taking up Bachelor of Science in Information Technology while Mike is taking up Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, both are enrolled in Saint Columban College. Their third child, Martin, Jr. is in Holy Child Academy as a Grade-12 student and the youngest, Princess Magda is a Grade-5 pupil at White Beach Elementary School.

Malaking tulong din po ang mga trainings na naibigay sa akin ng Pantawid para manatiling positibo po ang aking pananaw sa buhay sa kabila ng mga karanasan, kabiguan at sa ano mang pagsubok sa buhay. (The trainings that I attended through Pantawid Pamilya were a big help in maintaining a positive outlook amidst the challenges and failures that I encountered in life,)” Magdalina shares.

Meanwhile, their dried fish business is also doing well. Magdalina says that it is unexpected however they are grateful that everything went according to their liking. Their success in business has acquired them their own lot, they were able to build their dream house, they are able to send their children to private schools, and in general, it can be considered that they have a better life.

Even with this tremendous success, Canoy family never forgets to share their blessings and help those who are in need. When the pandemic struck, they were one of the few families who voluntarily offered help and distributed dried fish to their constituents benefiting approximately 300 families in 5 puroks in their barangay.

As of yet to day, Canoy family is no longer a member of the 4Ps. They have waived from the program being a self-sufficient family.

Nagboluntaryo na po kami at pumirma na ng pagpapaubaya sa pagiging miyembro ng Pantawid. Nagpapasalamat po ako sa tulong ng gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng DSWD at sa gabay ng Dios sa araw-araw naming pamumuhay.”

This post was written by:

- who has written 137 posts on DSWD Field Office IX Official Website.


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