For years, Edilberto and Geraldine Borje’s greatest dreams are to provide good education and a secure home for their two children, Gian Carlo and Carla Mae. As Geraldine described, it was not an easy feat, but with the help of Pantawid Pamilya and the money they saved from their already tight budget, their sacrifices are now paying off with both children going to school and with the visible improvements of their home.
Edilberto and Geraldine’s dreams are now turning into reality.
Geraldine sells camote in the nearby municipalities of Ilocos Sur. Meanwhile, Edilberto works as barangay kagawad and a part-time construction worker. But even with their combined incomes, Geraldine admitted that it was still difficult to make ends meet.
In 2011, their family was chosen to become a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in barangay San Diego, Pidigan, Abra.
Pantawid Pamilya is one of the leading poverty alleviation programs implemented by the national government by investing in the health and education of poor households primarily of children zero to 18 years old.
Geraldine shared that the grants they received was a big help especially in sending both children to school and monitoring their health.
“Dahil po doon, meron po kaming naibibigay na baon sa kanila,” she shared.
As a proud parent, Geraldine happily shared that Gian Carlo and Carla Mae are both excelling in their academics.
Not only did Pantawid Pamilya help in sending Gian Carlo and Carla Mae to school, but also, through the Family Development Sessions, the couple became inspired with some family values which beforehand they have taken for granted.
“Ilan po sa mga natutunan po naming mag-asawa sa FDS ay iyong pagkakaroon ng matibay na paniniwala sa Diyos, pagpapatibay ng pagsasama naming mag-asawa at sa mga anak namin at maayos na pagba-budget sa pang-araw-araw,” Geraldine said.
The couple saves part of their income and grants from Pantawid Pamilya in the bank and some in their alkansya.
With proper budgeting, the couple was finally able to buy the land where their house is built.
“Hinulug-hulugan po namin iyong lupa hanggang sa mabayaran po namin ng buo at maayos ang titulo noong December(2013),” Geraldine said.
“Dahil na rin po sa araw-araw na pagba-budget sa kita po naming mag-asawa at sa naiipon po namin galing sa financial assistance mula sa Pantawid, nakaipon po kami ng pampasemento ng bahay po namin” she added.
A year ago, their house was only made of nipa and bolo. Their latest addition to their house was a bathroom wherein before they only used an outhouse owned by their neighbor.
“Dati po nakikigamit lang po kami ng CR ng kapitbahay. Ngayon po kahit paano may sariling CR na rin po kami,” Geraldine said happily.
At present, there are 24 household beneficiaries in San Diego. Geraldine serves as the Parent Leader in their barangay.
“Medyo mahirap maging Parent Leader pero maganda dahil nai-encourage ko mga kapwa ko benepisyaryo ng Pantawid Pamilya na huwag magsugal dahil bawat piso ay mahalaga,” she said. She also instills this value to her children and always reiterates the importance of saving money.
“Alam po namin na hindi po habang buhay na naririto ang Pantawid Pamilya, ang mga itinuturo sa amin sa FDS at ibinibigay na grants ay para po magkaroon kami ng oportunidad para umunlad. Dahil po doon, malaki ang pasasalamat namin sa Pantawid Pamilya,” Geraldine added. DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, Kaye Ann O. Mapalo