The Balasi family from Tabuk City, Kalinga bagged the Best Poster in this year’s Salaysay ng Buhay ng Pamilyang Pantawid National Search besting other entries from the 17 Field Offices of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The family of Jennifer Balasi, 48, became a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in 2012. They currently reside in Gobgob, Tabuk City with her three children- Janine, Jamille, and Jewel who are the monitored children under the Program. 

The winning poster portrayed how their family managed to survive the loss of their home’s pillar, Ernesto, from a motor vehicle accident in 2013. Since then, Jennifer has raised their children alone. 

With strong determination and courage to make ends meet for her family, Jennifer continued to work as a solo parent and serves as a Barangay Child Development Worker (CDW), the family’s only source of income. 

The 4Ps, according to the family, serves as a life-changer for them because this provides financial, psychosocial, and spiritual augmentation added to their unified sacrifices and prayers. 

“Sobrang bait ng Panginoon sapagkat napabilang ang aming pamilya sa Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. Malaking tulong ang naibahagi ng programang ito sa aming pamilya, sa pang-araw-araw na pangangailangan sa eskwelahan at pangkalusugan lalo na sa pagkakataong nasubok ang aming katatagan. Isa ang programa na sandalan namin sa patuloy na pagharap sa hamon ng buhay (We are thankful to God because our family was included in the 4Ps. The program is a big help for our daily school and health needs especially during our family’s struggles. The program is one of our foundation to move on and face the challenges in life),” Janine narrated. 

Despite the family’s meager income from Jennifer’s only bread and butter, the eldest, Janine, was able to graduate with a degree in Civil Engineering and is now a licensed Engineer. Lucky enough, she now works as a starting employee under the Local Government Unit of Tabuk City.  

On the other hand, Jamille is now in college taking an Education degree while Jewel is in Junior High School both maintaining good attendance and impressive performances in their academics. They both aim to finish their studies like their eldest and to give their family a comfortable and better life. 

The pandemic may be a great challenge to the Balasi family but they remain intact by ensuring constant and open communication among their members as they claimed that they learned this from the program. 

Before the national search, the Balasi family bagged the first place for the regional search of Salaysay ng Buhay ng Pamilyang Pantawid which is one of the activities of the DSWD to showcase the impact of the program from the point of view of the beneficiaries and to create a pool of family advocates in uplifting the lives of the poor.

As of 31 August 2021, the Balasi family is among the 54, 709 household beneficiaries being monitored for their compliance to program conditions on education, health, and nutrition.

Enacted into law in April 2019, 4Ps is one of the Government’s major poverty alleviation program that invests in health, nutrition, and education of the poor eligible households along with psychosocial and psycho-educational interventions such as the Family Development Session towards improved and sustained well-being. ### DSWD-CAR, Social Marketing Unit, Marlo C. Abyado Jr., Pantawid Pamilya Information Officer

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