Some may have perceived that Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) serve as a dole-out for the poor, but for the Medalla family, the program has given them ‘medals’ and helped them improve their well-being.
After six years of being a household beneficiary, the Medalla family from Munggayang, Kiangan, Ifugao has decided to waive from the program when the mother grantee, Mylene, 38, entered a regular job as a Teacher at the Department of Education in 2018.
Her husband, Edwin, traces his roots from the Ilagan City in Northern Mindanao. Fate and destiny made-up the family they have established now.
Edwin and Mylene are blessed with three children; Proverbs, Pauline Joy, and Son Dan Reid who are in Grades 11, 7, and 5, respectively.
But before the Medalla family joined the program, they had financial struggles in keeping up with their basic daily needs.
Edwin is a laborer doing hard jobs in most of the construction sites in town. This used to be the bread and butter of the family. He is a hardworking husband who has wide skills in construction. These were the skills he learned during his younger years in Mindanao.
Back then, Edwin accepted almost all kinds of job offers that suit his array of skills to get his family by. He is sometimes seen dangling in high rise buildings in town doing the toiled task.
What adds up to this man is his humility when working with people around him. His workmanship and fine craft had established his name in the community. He is one of the go-to persons in the community when it comes to construction skills.
Meanwhile, Mylene used to be a substitute and oftentimes, a volunteer teacher in various schools outside their barangay. For most months, she got idle due to the limited job offer for teaching positions in her community, but she focused her time in rearing their children. During those years, she does home business to augment the income of her husband for their daily needs.
Despite the struggles of the family in keeping up with their basic needs, their children have been doing well in school academics along with extracurricular activities.
Proverbs is a promising child with her excellent academic school performance. She is currently in her formative years in high school with an ambition of becoming a Civil Engineer someday. She has a vision of bringing infrastructure developments in the province.
In 2017, Proverbs represented the province of Ifugao in the regional search for Pantawid Pamilya Exemplary Children and bagged the first place and represented the region in the national feat.
She has expressed that the program brought positive impacts to their family especially on how their parents raise them.
“Our parents always remind us to do good in our school activities and to always abide with the school and community rules and regulations,” Proverbs shared.
She narrated that her parents instilled to them the value of education and discipline in all the things that they do inside or outside their home. Proverbs also mentioned that her parents are now more conscious and assistive on their education and health growth compared before.
Meanwhile, Mylene expresses her lifetime gratitude for the life-changing impacts of the program for them as parents, as a wife and a mother, and to the entire family.
“The program has supported the education and health needs of my family. But beyond the cash grants are the transformation that the program gave us through the monthly Family Development Session. We became more conscious in instilling positive values to our children, properly managing our finances, and becoming participative and law-abiding members of the community,” Mylene shared.
The family also had a lowered incidence of hospital and clinic visits over the years. The health-seeking behavior influenced by the program prevented the family members from incurring major illnesses.
With the regularization of Mylene in 2018, the family acknowledged that they are no longer eligible in the program. With this in mind, they voluntarily waived their rights and privileges from the program in 2018 through a written waiver.
The family reported the ability to provide the basic needs with a regular source of income leading to financial capability. Added to this are the learnings they gained from the program that they have adopted within their family.
Recently, Mylene has also been serving as Resource Speaker for various community and school activities where she got the opportunity to share her family’s story and re-echo the learnings she gained from the program. She continued that the COVID-19 pandemic may have challenged her family like everyone else’s, but she said that they continue to strengthen the bond and values they have as a family.
The Medalla family remains grateful to the program that was instrumental in realizing their potentials as a family, individuals, and members of the community. They may still have a long way towards success, but they have gained change that will serve as their stepping stone in getting a better quality of life. ### DSWD-CAR, Social Marketing Unit, Marlo C. Abyado Jr., Pantawid Pamilya Information Officer and Donald Jay A. Bulahao, Ifugao Provincial Grievance Officer.