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DSWD warns 4Ps beneficiaries of Fake Rice

An isolated incident was reported to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on the distribution of fake rice in Bantayan Island, Cebu last month. According to the report, six (6) 4Ps beneficiaries who received the fake rice felt ill after consuming the goods allegedly distributed through the program after a scheduled pay-out.

Because of this incident, the department has issued a statement emphasizing that the rice subsidy grant given to complaint Pantawid beneficiaries are given in a form of cash and not through distribution of actual rice. This is in compliance with the 2017 General Appropriations Act (GAA) provision.

Regional Information Officer of DSWD-7, Leah Quintana, said that the department did not and does not engage in any rice distribution activity in relation to the provision of rice subsidy to Pantawid beneficiaries in any part of the country.

“DSWD’s rice subsidy is given to the beneficiaries in a form of cash either through their cash cards or over-the-counter payment from our Landbank accredited conduits. We did not distribute rice nor do we provide actual rice to the recipients of rice subsidy during pay-outs. It is always in a form of cash,” Quintana said in an interview.

DSWD also added that the beneficiaries of rice subsidy-cash grant have the prerogative where to purchase rice/goods for their consumption and that the department does not endorse any rice retailers for that matter.

The department, together with the National Food Authority (NFA), had conducted an investigation on the reported incident. Samples of rice were taken from the beneficiaries for investigation purposes and it was found out that the samples were indeed real rice and not fake as initially reported.

Meanwhile, DSWD urges the public to report any suspicious activities that are not formally announced by the department. Furthermore, DSWD warns the public not to immediately believe unverified news especially on social media as this may be hoax and may cause alarm to many.

Complaint beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program receive P600 monthly rice subsidy on top of the regular cash grants intended for health and education. Orientations, seminars and skills development trainings are conducted among Pantawid beneficiaries on how to manage their finances, resources and family during the monthly Family Development Sessions conducted by the City/Municipal Links in coordination with the Barangay Local Government Unit and other partner stakeholders.

Pantawid Pamilya is only one of the poverty reduction strategies of the national government implemented by the DSWD, which focuses on human capital investment through provision of health and education cash grants to eligible poor households with children 0-18 years old, with the primary aim to break the inter-generational poverty cycle.

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Struggle for Success

Hamida Ordonez, 43 started her life in Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay Province. When she was younger, her family moved to Isabela City since her father worked as a logging driver.

Hamida married Sanny, 46 and recounted the days when their life was too difficult to bear. Their humble dwelling is made of make shift hut, in the upper regions of Isabela, Kapayawan. Their life was hard and challenging where it came to the point that the only meal served in their table was boiled banana with garlic and onions. Amid the struggles of having a family at a very young age, Hamida still managed to attend school. She walked for several kilometers from Kapayawan, the farthest and most critical area, to the city proper where she tried to finish high school.

Unfortunately, she had to leave her family in search of better opportunities. In the early 2000s, she decided to work overseas and leave her children with her husband. Things became better, whatever she earned overseas, she sent back to her husband, and they used it for their children. Sanny managed their finances very well and set aside some amount to be used for business. In 2004, Hamida came back to Isabela and continued her studies. Whatever was left of the money they set aside, they used for their needs, and also invested in a small “sari-sari” store business. After years juggling between being a mother, a wife, a student, and a vendor, in 2009, she finally graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Elementary Education at Claret College of Isabela.

In 2013, she started a business selling fishballs and tempura near a local school. This was also the year when PAMANA was introduced to them. One day, a Project Development Officer (PDO) and their Barangay Chairman went to her and asked her to select 30 beneficiaries. Fifteen for the Pantawid Program, and another Fifteen women.

Hamida was hesitant and told their chairman about it. She was afraid because it involved money and she never wanted to have to do anything with money. She was afraid of having the responsibility of having to handle a huge amount of money. But still the chairman chose her to be the leader of the group. She still insisted not to take responsibility, but the chairman told her, if she would not be the leader, then they would not push through with this project. This was when she decided to take the risk because she also wanted to help the other people in the group, to uplift the status of their lives.

Hamida and the group then started their own meetings and decided on which business they wanted to push through, they had to consider many things and one of the most difficult aspects was their distance from the city proper where they had to get their stocks from. To add to the difficulty, more than the distance, they also had trouble since there were no decent roads from their area to the city. The group had regular meetings and some of the members were starting to become reluctant, they were arguing that the project was not legitimate and was only done because elections were fast approaching. The members thought that this was propaganda and that this was a form of campaign. Hamida explained to them that they needed to wait, that they needed to undergo the process and that members needed to go through seminars. But the members grew even more reluctant as days passed.

February of 2014, long after the elections, the cheque was finally released to the group, but even then, the members were still unconvinced and things got a little out of hand. The members accused Hamida of stealing their money since she could not show the money to them yet. She was accused of having spent the money for “shopping” and even their new barangay chairman believed on this. Again, she had to call a meeting to explain to the members that the money was not to be distributed to them just yet. She explained to them that they needed to open a bank account named after the association. They then tried to open their own account and deposit their capital fund. They needed a lot of requirements and payments to be able to do this, but since the group did not have actual money yet, Hamida used her own money to pay for the fees and all the expenses to be able to process their application. The group also needed to ask for certification from DOLE to be able to start their business; this was given to them after several weeks from application.

After all the necessary processes were fulfilled and approved, they started the construction of their business. They began construction of their business beside the Ordonez’s residence; they had the help from an engineer from the City Hall. During the construction of the building, the members had “bayanihan”, they helped each other build their business which lessened their expenses to 75,000pesos. The construction did not take a month to finish, and they started to follow up on other needs for the business. They had bidding for the suppliers of the business and they followed the required processes. They also decided and assigned procurement officer, a bookkeeper; business manager, inventory officer and all of the officers fit their job description.

June 21, 2014, when all requirements and all papers were accomplished, they finally opened their business. They spent 209,000pesos for both the building and supplies. The store opens at 7AM and closes at 6PM. They took turns in managing the store and they were given 50pesos each, they needed 2 staff during operations apart from the secretary who needed to be there every day. On the first month of business, they earned 80,000pesos. They had regular meeting on the 3rd Tuesday of the month, and agreed that their income will be equally divided after 6months.
They also practice the act of giving, when a family member belonging to the barangay dies, they offer snacks and other commodities to the family as well as for the people who come to visit and vigil.

Hamida’s association is doing good and have been a reliable source of help for the members of the association, as well as their community. It has given the members extra income which they badly need, at the same time the community is having the benefit of convenience especially for their needs, from textiles to school supplies and other basic needs. The association has an average of 50,000pesos per month and still expanding. They are now venturing into the cassava business. They already purchased the basics for cassava production and also a carabao.

Up to this day, Hamida invites other people to join them in their association in her quest to help others uplift their life the same way the association has done for her.

“malaki po talaga ang pasasalamat namin sa DSWD in behalf of Kapayawan kase lahat po kame natulungan. Laking pasasalamat na may programa silang ganyan, pantawid at PAMANA.”

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4PS WILL NOT END IN 2019

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) clarifies issues on the discontinuation of the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program saying that the country’s conditional cash transfer program will not end in 2019.

The statement has been issued after rumors circulated nationwide that many beneficiaries will be delisted from the program and that it will end in two years.

In a statement given by the department’s Secretary, Judy M. Taguiwalo, she clarified that only the counterpart financing of the World Bank specifically the Social Welfare and Development Reform Project II (SWDP II) amounting to 450 million US dollars and Asian Development Bank (ADB) is set to end in 2019.

Meanwhile, DSWD continuously develops and improves the system of the program for better delivery of services to its clients. A recertification, review and tracking of beneficiaries will be conducted to ensure that significant progress is monitored and evident in the lives of the beneficiaries.

“We are currently reviewing our program for improvement and enhancement of systems. This will also open doors for us to be able to introduce other DSWD’s programs and services that may help our beneficiaries become stable and sustainable in their level of well-being,” DSWD-9 Regional Director, Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo said.

Regional Director Solamillo added that no beneficiary will be cut off from the program without passing through thorough validation and review process.

Payout of cash grants and compliance to the program conditionalities shall continue to be monitored in the duration of the recertification.

The ongoing 4Ps program review is being done also in line with efforts to review the Philippine social protection framework. There is an evident need to put together a social protection framework which is in line with the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) that aims for a more universal and transformative kind of social protection scheme.

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A Kalahi Volunteer makes a Healthy Community

Unlike those people who live in the urban areas where there are abundant of opportunities and unlimited access to basic social services, people who are in far flung areas like the barrios, sitios and in the provinces struggles to even reach one.

In a busy city atmosphere where most people tend to neglect the importance of having a healthy lifestyle, villagers of barangay Guling in the municipality of Guipos in Zamboanga del Sur has been longing to have a decent health facility.

Though Guling have a health center made of wood, but it’s too small to cater the entire barangay. Aside from the small space, the place could not hold when people would crowd in especially during rainy season. It is always a pitiful sight for pregnant women and mothers with infants who would do check-ups at the center.

Residents endured years of inconveniences because they had no choice but to go on with their regular visits since they needed the said services.

What a time when Kalahi-CIDSS NCDDP was introduced and implemented in the Municipality, given the limited resources of the barangay, the residents of Guling especially Aling Juana was hopeful that they could do something despite not having a title or a position for the benefit of the community.

Aling Juana Pelarca, a 55-year old woman and a mother of five (5) is a proud volunteer of Kalahi-CIDSS. She works in the farm together with her husband and would raise farm animals for additional income.

As a volunteer of the program, she serves as a member of the Project Preparation Team, who’s in charge of preparing sub-project concept form.

She didn’t expect that she would be preparing project proposals and admitted that is wasn’t such an easy task, but she tried her best because she appreciated the process of having to include ordinary people like them in the implementation of the sub-projects and that she really wanted to see a tangible project out of her participation that she could pass on to her grandchildren’s children.

In August 2016, the Barangay Health Station sub-project was completed.

The community was elated that finally all their hard work has paid off, and most importantly it has opened their barangay to an improved access to health services.

Now that the structure was completed, Aling Juana and the rest of the volunteers felt relieved, “murag ang problema sa katawhan sa among komunidad, murag mawala-wala kay gumikan dili na sila muari sa lungsod magpacheck-up”.

(It has lessened the problem of the people in the community because they no longer have to travel to Poblacion for check-up) she said.

With the new Health Station, attending to patients in times of emergency has become easier, infants and children no longer have to suffer from extreme heat in times of immunization, and pregnant women will no longer have to travel to distant health center to give birth and it will help the villagers save money that they don’t need to worry for the transportation since they have one nearby.

Aling Juana added “nakanindot pud nga naka-on duty na pirmi ang nurse, naa na pud ready ang BHW”, (It’s good that we have a nurse on-duty regularly and the BHW as well).

KC-NCDDP is one of the poverty reduction programs of DSWD that uses the community driven development (CDD) approach in implementing projects that aim to provide the community access to basic services. It is the expanded implementation of the previous program Kalahi-CIDSS. This enables the communities and the local government units in the said areas to implement disaster responsive or preventive projects that may include fast rehabilitation of destroyed infrastructures and livelihoods projects. ### (JGA)

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PWD Week highlights Para Games 2017

“I think what I represent is achieving what you want in life. It’s a matter of your attitude. Some people have a negative attitude, and that’s their disability,” said Marla Runyan, a world-class runner who is legally blind.

The Para Games 2017, touted to be first of its kind in the city, was the highlight during the observance of the 39th National Disability and Prevention Week held last July 17-23.

“This is actually the first one we started,” said Teddy Kahil, Social Welfare Officer II and President of the Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled (PHILSPADA)- Zamboanga City Chapter. “We want to really strengthen the sports activities and…enhance the skills of the persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the city,” he added.

According to Kahil, they have been participating in the Philippine National games. “This is the right time for us to do some assessment, evaluation, and screening of potential athletes that we could probably get and be involved in the Para Games (National) that will be happening some time in December,” he expressed.

Meanwhile, one of the participants with hearing impairment, Nurhanna Palahuddin shared that she was very honored and happy to participate for the first time in a sports event dedicated to them. Palahuddin, who competed in the Table Tennis placed second.  After winning, she said, “In life, I have always believed in myself and I follow my heart all the time.”

Aside from Table Tennis, other games were also held like Goalball, Chess, Domino, Bocce, and Dart which were participated by persons with visual impairment, hearing impairment, ortho problem, and with intellectual disability among others.

Rowena M. Eustaquio, Regional PWD focal person of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) FO IX is looking forward to augment the number of games in the celebration next year. “We will be adding more sports categories in 2018. Basketball on wheels will be definitely one of those, and we will really look for ways and means so we can make it happen,” she said.

As per Proclamation No. 361 signed by former President Joseph E. Estrada, the Regional Committee on Disability Affairs (RCDA), an attached agency of the Department of Social Welfare and Development IX is conducting a series of activities every year to stimulate public awareness on the problems of disability, and encourage every citizen to take active responsibility in the uplifting of the economic and social conditions of the PWDs: thereby encouraging them to take pro-active roles in nation-building as stipulated in the Proclamation. The RCDA-IX prepared a series of events to highlight the celebration with the support of the different stakeholders. This year’s NDPR week carries the theme, “Karapatan at Pribilehiyo ng Maykapansanan: Isakatuparan at Ipaglaban!”

The following are the winners for the different sports categories:

TableTennis                                                    

Ortho

1st: Joey Bolandrisna

2nd: Peter John Samson

 

Hearing Impairment

1st: Jayme Jean Cabayacruz

2nd: Nurhanna Palahuddin

 

Goal Ball

Champion: Vista Spa

1st Runner-up: AVRC- Team

2nd Runner-up: ZCDA

3rd Runner-up: AVRC- Team

 

Domino

Ortho

1st: Joey Balandrina

2nd: Corazon Medina

3rd: Mirriam Ismael

 

Dart

Ortho

1st: Jojo Navarro

2nd: Jan-jan Dalus

3rd: Alsadri Sali

 

Hearing Impairment

1st: Lea May Rojas

2nd: Reginald Espinosa

3rd: Ernie Aranduque

 

Chess

Visual Impairment

1st: Jose Antonio Maraguinot

2nd: Layzner Reputasa

 

Bocce

Male

1st: Enrico Cuadra

2nd: Marcir Solis

3rd: Angelita Calusod

 

Female

1st: Alwida Asahil

2nd: Paola Camille Tee

3rd: Kayrie Anne Del Rosario

 

 

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4Ps Huwarang Pamilya, Exemplary Child 2017 in ZamPen named

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office IX recently concluded the regional search for Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya and the Exemplary Child 2017 on July 4, 2017 at the KCC Mall de Zamboanga.

Laquio family from Barangay Patalon, Zamboanga City hailed victorious as the region’s Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya while a child from Pitogo, Zamboanga del Sur, John Rey Wayco, was named as this year’s Exemplary Child.

Laquio family is composed of 8 members. Ireneo, the head of the household, was a former security guard before he suffered from stroke. Because of his condition, Gemma, his wife, had to stand as the provider of the family. Gemma worked in a canning factory in order to provide the needs of the family and to send their children to school. Aside from working in a factory, Gemma also maintained vegetables and fruit trees in their backyard as augmentation to their income.

Despite the hardships that the family went through, Laquio family manifested resiliency and became more determined to overcome life obstacles. In fact, three of their children had already finished schooling, two of which took up Bachelors in Elementary Education and vocational course, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Exemplary Child 2017 was a proud son from Zamboanga del Sur. Jhonn Rey Wayco, 13 years old, is very active in his academic and extra-curricular activities. His academic performance has earned him a handful of recognitions in the municipality and at the regional level. Other than being a performer in school, he also actively participates in community advocacies and religious activities which made him not only a deserving beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program but also a model child who serves as an inspiration to other beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries alike.

“I would also want to be an inspiration to other Pantawid beneficiaries to strive more in life, perform their best in everything they do, and always put God at the center of every action they take,” said Wayco.

The objective of the search is to give recognition to Pantawid beneficiaries who exemplified outstanding performance in their compliance to the program’s conditionalities particularly in education, health and attendance to the Family Development Session; contribution to the community; nurture of Filipino family values; and active participation to social causes.

Other winners of the Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya are as follows: Duron Family from Zamboanga del Sur (2nd Placer); Allones Family from Zamboanga del Norte (3rd Placer) and Obnimaga Family from Zamboanga Sibugay (4th Placer).

For Exemplary Child search, RJ Somosa from Zamboanga City was ranked 2nd Placer, Krizle Joy Corpuz from Zamboanga Sibugay and Mary Maica Nicol Elnasin from Zamboanga del Norte were ranked 3rd and 4th Placers, respectively.

The regional winner for Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya and Exemplary Child will be DSWD Zamboanga Peninsula’s representative to the National Search which will be held in Manila this September in line with the celebration of National Family Week and November for National Children’s Month celebration.


Regional winners of Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya2017 (Laquio Family from Zamboanga City)
and Exemplary Child 2017 (Jhonn Rey Wayco from Zamboanga del Sur)
in their victorious moment held in KCC Mall de Zamboanga last July 04, 2017

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Oh My, Humay! (A Pantawid PaMEALya Story)

Nothing is more precious than seeing the delightedly bright smiles in the faces of your loved ones. To know that the people you cherish are happy is the sweetest thing of all. That is how Evanjelyn feels whenever she sees her children as they share a meal as one happy family.

But her happiness sometimes becomes short-lived because she knows that she cannot provide everything to her children. In most cases, she could hardly provide for their daily consumption even for food. This breaks the heart of poor Evanjelyn.

Evanjelyn T. Del Rosario, or Bangge as she is fondly called, is a 40-year old housewife living in a humble abode in Barangay Tapian, Municipality of San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur. She and her husband are blessed with six (6) wonderful children that bring joy to their household. Despite the adversities in life, the couple maintains a healthy relationship, sharing abundant love and respect for one another.

Surviving in a poor and unfortunate situation has always been the life of the couple. They are used to being poor and having less as they say. But now that they already have children to provide for is a completely different story. Of course, as parents, they would dream of putting their children in a good school, provide what their children need and want, and secure delicious food for their family. But how could they?

Her husband is a farmer in a land that they do not own. This is where they get their daily consumption and income to support the expenses in school and at home. Being a corn farmer is not a lucrative job so most of the time, what they get from farming is what they serve on their plates.

Unlike many of us who live in an urban community, Del Rosario family eats ground corn in substitute for rice. Though grateful, it is inevitable that their children would sometimes ask about why they eat corn instead of rice.

“Moreklamo man gud sila panalagsa kay hait daw itulon ang mais (Sometimes they would complain because corn feels itchy and can be difficult to swallow),” said Evanjelyn when asked about how her children described their meal.

It brought her tears to know that they cannot sufficiently provide for their children’s physiological needs.

Just when she started to think about it, a good news came to her through an orientation by the DSWD’s Municipal Link in San Miguel. They were oriented on the additional provision of Rice Subsidy to compliant Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino beneficiaries worth P600 per month.

She was elated and became more than ecstatic after hearing the news. To her, it was an answered prayer which made her feel that God listens and works through people who show compassion and care to the needy.

In an interview, Evanjelyn was asked how she manages their consumption since P600 or equivalent to a half sack of rice seems not enough to feed an entire family in a month. She shares that sometimes they mix rice with ground corn to make a satisfying meal for their family.

Evanjelyn recalls the first time she prepared cooked rice for her children and cannot forget how their reaction was.

“Ay, humay! Salamat Mang! (Oh, rice! Thanks Mom.)” And they hugged her tight.


Evanjelyn Del Rosario narrates how DSWD’s Rice Subsidy
significantly helped nurture her relationship with her children.

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“Un Nana, un Mujer, un Lider” (Mother, Woman, Leader)

Commitment was one thing she was afraid of, but commitment is also the main reason why she is a public servant.

At a very young age, Kirsten Gabriel experienced the hardships of life. She struggled keeping herself sane, her parents were not in a very good relationship; they fought every day. One day, they decided to get separated. This had a very bad impact on Kirsten. For a while, she stayed with her mother.

Kirsten, being a “rebellious” daughter, decided to try her luck living alone. She had to leave her mother and faced life on her own. Being a “jack-of-all-trades”, she applied for every job she could possibly encounter. She landed as a Dance Instructor (DI), and she did this for a long time. She was able to support herself even if this kind of job was not enough. Kirsten also joined dancing competitions to be able to earn more; she joined every contest she can in all barangays to be able to provide for her needs. Along the way, in her journey in life, she crossed paths with the man she fell in love with.

In their town in Pagadian, she met Junie, an employee at the local mining firm. They fell inlove with each other and later on had their own kids. They had 3 children, namely Dimple, 16; Glyce, 12; and Eloise, 5 years old. It was almost perfect, however; it was like what the saying goes, history repeats itself. Like what happened o her parents, Kirsten and Junie got separated, they came to a point where they cannot stand each other. Kirsten was busy to serve the multitude, while Junie became busy at work. He had bad vices such as drinking and gambling. Kirsten admits that she lacks time for Junie, but she was also determined to give her time serving the poor people who also need her help.

Kirsten needed to raise her children alone. To be able to support them, she did buy and sell.

“Kung ano yung puhunan ko kailangan ko ma buy and sell. Halimbawa yung palay, tapos kailangan mapagaling ko yun. Dayun ibenta ko yung mga bigas na sako sako sa mga bahay na umoorder. Isa yun sa negosyo ko. Dumaan din ako sa buy and sell ng alahas, ganun.”

In 2010, Kirsten qualified for Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and became an active parent leader.

After several years, in 2014, one of the core programs of DSWD was introduced to Kirsten and the other members of 4Ps, the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). SLP Project Development Officers, met with them to relay the good news about the additional assistance that will be given to them.

The program was thorough explained to them which lead in deciding whether they will be given aid individually or as a group. Each member had different choices. Some wanted individual funding, while others want to start an association.

As individuals, beneficiaries were given 5,000 pesos from the Seed Capital Fund grant. Kirsten used this money as a capital for her buy and sell business, involving jewelry and rice sales. She earns 5 to 10 thousand a month from her rice sales, depending on the market demand. She has a physical store in the market of Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte. Also, she earns not less than 10 thousand pesos from her jewelry sales.

“Ako ang magpapagaling kase mas profitable. 65% bigas, 35% tahup.” Kirsten said. As wise as she is, the “tahup” gathered from the rice that she brought to be milled, was what she used as payment for milling the rice. Therefore, this was a form of saving, because no money from her pocket was used.

Aside from receiving individual fund, she also joined a group which later became an association, which engaged on general merchandising. She became president of the association which she leads up to this day.

In the municipal level, she was also voted as president among all other presidents of the different associations under their municipality. The group agreed to collect 500 pesos from each of the members to make this as savings. The money was from the Cash Building Livelihood Asset grant. They also did general merchandise where they cater the farmers. They sell fertilizers, abono, and such.

At one time, PDOs from the provincial cluster invited the presidents from the different municipalities. PDOs presented their project proposal to the members that they believe will further improve their lifestyle. The proposal presented was the idea of the provincial coordinator.

The project proposal of a 3-storey microenterprise federation incorporated came to a reality. The soft opening was on September of 2015. This was BIR and SEC registered before it officially opened. Kirsten who was very transparent and having good intentions for the project was elected for the third time, and this time, as president of this project. She promised to herself that she will not let all the beneficiaries down who made this project possible.

Although other members supervised the operation of this building, Kirsten also looks after this herself. The association offers catering services, they have a sari-sari store, an area for skills training, as well as a dormitory for in-house beneficiaries. The members believe that this building is their hope especially more trainings were coming their way.

Eventually, the Technical Vocational Institutes became their partners. Skills training were held in SLPPMFI building. This meant this was a good opportunity for them, because the venue was paid for, as well as the food they served.

Being a public servant, especially a leader definitely eats up your time. Kirsten, being a mother, is always thankful that her children understands her passion for work,

“Sinasabi ko lang sakanila na lahat ng pagsisikap ko hindi lang naman yun para sa atin, para makakain tayo, kundi para din sa future nila. Kase alam ko naman na mangyayari sa darating na panahon, alam ko na pinaagi ba sa akoang leadership nako, paningkamutan nako na ang hinahawakan kong mga posisyon ay mapalambo ang mga federation building. Sinabi ko sa mga anak ko na intindihin niyo ako kung wala man ako dito palagi kase para sa future niyo ‘to.”

Kirsten was also very proud of her 2 elder chidren,

“Yung mga anak ko walang year na hindi mag 1st. Yung dalawa, naapektuhan man sila kase lumipat kame sa poblacion dahil nagpatayo ako ng bahay dun. Pero kahit na ganun ang nangyari lagi naman silang nasa top 10. Hindi parin ako nabigo kahit na hindi ko sila masyadong naaasikaso dahil nasa top 10 naman sila. Nag aaral talaga at nakikita din nila yung pagsisikap ko para kung ano yung pangangailangan nila maibigay ko talaga.”

 As in any situation, struggles are always present, just like in Kirsten’s group. Collecting dues from the members of the association wasn’t easy. As some of the members were hopeful, others were doubtful.

“Pinapaintindi ko sakanila na “Nag sasave tayo para sa future dahil time is gold, time is money. Maghintay lang tayo ng tamang panahon magkakapera tayo.”

 If Kirsten was a hero, she would be like “The Flash”. Whenever the barangay, municipality, or the provincial cluster needs her, she always rushes to their aid, wherever she is, and whatever she’s doing.

There were also times when she cannot sleep in her own bed. Due to the time required by her job, she often rents a room whenever it’s too late for her to travel home. She also uses the extra time to prepare for the next agenda rather than travelling home.

Being hired by the SLPPMFI, salary is based on how many clients they’ll have. She can truly say that there was a huge change in her life.

“Dati kase yung involvement ko sa public barangay level lang, ngayon kase malaki na ang pinasok naming negosyo. Malaki na talaga ang naitulong sakin ng DSWD, physically, emotionally, pagka empower ko, lahat lahat yun.”

She will never be afraid to commit herself to give her services to the poor people, especially in the grassroots level. She believes that her strong will to help improve their lives will surely help pull them out of the situation they are in right now.

“Nagpapasalamat ako na may ahensya na DSWD kase lahat ng Pilipino na mahihirap na tao tinutulunagn talaga nila, nakikita ko yun actual talaga dahil isa akong member for 8 years.”

“Sa lahat ng president na dumaan na hindi nila niwala ang pantawid, ang 4Ps isa din yun sa mga pinapasalamatan ko.”

“Kay sir Donato Savella kase concepto niya yun. Siya talaga ang nag initiate, siya ang nag encourage. At siya din ang nag advise na ganito ang mangyayari sa future. Maramiakong natutunan sakanya.

Kirsten also thanks the Almighty God, the PDOs, MLs, her children, and Association Presidents. Also, she is thankful to the people she serves, “Pasalamat pod ko sa katawhan kay kung wala sila hindi ako magiging ganito.”

Kirsten continues to inspire people who were deprived of having a good life, those who are fighting the struggles of life.

“Sa mga beneficiary gaano man tayo kahirap ngayon, kung nahihirapan sa ngayon wag sumuko. Hindi man ngayon ang time na aasenso tayo kailangan magsikap, magsikap talaga. Dagdagan at habaan pa yung pasensya tungkol sa pagsisikap kase hindi tayo  magsikap para sa sarili natin walang mangayayri. Hindi natin maibibigay kung ano yug dapat obligasyon natin para sa anak natin at pamilya. Aya kailangan talaga ng pasisikap isa yun ata saka wag na wag silang mawalan ng pagasa. Dahil habang buhay ang tao may pagasa. At wag kalimutang magdasal sa Diyos. Bago ang lahat ng gawain sa lahat ng oras sa lahat ng araw bago matulog at paggising sa umaga magdasal talaga dahil wala ng ibang mas powerful pa kundi ang diyos. Lahat ng dasal ibibigay niya yan pero may mga rason na hindi man niya ibigay sa ngayon, sa darating na panahon ibibigay niya sa tamang panahon. Kaya huwag mawalan ng pag asa sa mga mahihirap na bene dahil isa yun, andito din ako para sakanila.”

 

Kirsten is now living with her kids and her soon to be husband whom she met after 4 years of being single mom. They are now together for three years, hoping for a love to last.

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