Dako akong pasalamat sa programa nga niabag sa among pamilya labi na sa panahon nga nagkalisud akong mga ginikanan paeskwela nako ug sa akong mga igsoon (I am thankful to the program that assisted our family, especially in the time that our parents were having difficulty sending me and my siblings to school),” said Raymund Genita.

Determined to pursue his college education, he immediately left the city of Bogo just a day after his high school graduation to help his father, Rogelio, with construction work in Mandaue City, Cebu.

Raymund Genita supports his education as a working student and finished his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Management Accounting after four and a half years in college as a working student.

Luckily, he got in as a working student with the help of nuns at the Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion in Mandaue City in time for the school opening. He then enrolled at the University of Cebu-Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue (UCLM) as a first-year college student, taking up a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Management Accounting.

Raymund shared he knew that his parents had a hard time sustaining the education of his three younger siblings, so he did not ask anymore for his allowance from them.

Dakong paglaum ug determinasyon ra gayud akong puhunan ato samtang gaeskwela ug dili ko ganahan nga makaundang ko og eskwela mao nga naninguha ko nga makahuman sa akong kurso samtang usa ko ka working student (Hope and determination served as my capital in studying. I do not give up easily from studying, and that is why I persevered to finish my course while working),” said Raymund.

Life as a 4Ps beneficiary

In 2012, the Genita family became one of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) partner-beneficiaries in the City of Bogo, Cebu, which benefited Raymund’s three siblings as monitored children in the program.

For Raymund, the cash grants they received and to other 4Ps partner-beneficiaries have a significant help as it fulfills their needs, especially in food security and an augmentation to their meager income.

He shared that the cash grants received by his mother, Marie Ann, every payment period secure the educational needs of his siblings in buying their school supplies, school uniforms, and school projects, and as pocket money in going to school.

Kay ang akong mga ginikanan mag-uuma man, dili pud ingun dali nga maka-income dayun. Magpaabot pa sa panahon sa ting-ani aron mabaligya ang mga pananom sama sa tubo ug lubi (Because my parents are farmers, it is hard to have a regular income. We have to wait for the harvest season to sell the agricultural produce like sugarcane and coconut),” said Raymund.

Furthermore, he remarked that the 4ps monthly family development sessions (FDS) provided parents with essential information and skills demonstrating the program’s holistic approach to improving their well-being.

“The 4Ps beneficiaries also participate in various activities because they are encouraged to be active citizens, particularly by attending relevant national celebrations, community clean-ups, and public consultations. It fosters social responsibility and helps them understand their role in the community and how it will affect their family,” he remarked confidently.

He emphasized that the 4Ps beneficiaries’ social functioning is critical for overall personal and family development by combining financial support, knowledge acquisition, and community involvement, all of which have had a positive and empowering impact on the partner beneficiaries.

Dili man nato makita dayon ang resulta sa 4Ps kay ga-invest man ta sa kaugmaon sa atong mga bata ug puhon, kung kini sila maka-graduate na sa pageskwela, mas dako ilang tsansa nga makakuha og nindot nga trabaho (We cannot see the immediate result of 4Ps because we are investing on the future of the children and hopefully if they will graduate in college, they will have a better chance to find good employment),” he said.

Raymund eventually finished his studies and graduated after four (4) years and a half in college. He then worked in a private company for less than a year and applied to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as a Municipal Roving Bookkeeper (MRB) in 2015.

DSWD worker

For almost ten years working at DSWD, Raymund found joy in serving the program that assisted his family. He now works as an MRB in the towns of Sogod and Borbon, in the northern part of Cebu.

Raymund presently works as a municipal roving bookkeeper in DSWD.

“For many, including myself, the aspiration to become a worker under this program is not merely a career choice but a profound calling born from the depths of inspiration and a desire to make a difference. With its noble mission of enabling families to gain self-sufficiency, the program has ignited my passion to serve and help those in need,” he underscored.

As an MRB, he primarily looks into payment operations at the local level. The MRB links between the 4Ps City and Municipal Link, the Land of the Philippines (LBP), payment conduits, and the regional program management office involved in the payment operations.

As part of the cash grant liquidation process, he reconciles the list of paid and unpaid beneficiaries immediately after the payout period.

“I ensure that during the payout period, the cash grants are received by the 4Ps households based on their compliance with the program conditions,” said Raymund.

Aside from the cash grant-related concerns, Raymund also has the chance to share his own life experiences and insights during the FDS. Through opening up about his life journey, he hopes to inspire and uplift other 4Ps beneficiaries to persevere and hope for a brighter future for their children.

After personally witnessing the program’s impact on the transformation of his family, he is grateful for the opportunity to be part of something greater than himself.

“Just as I strive to provide for and support my loved ones, the program empowers me to extend that same level of care and assistance to other 4Ps beneficiaries. In serving others, I find fulfillment and purpose. It also enriches my own life in many ways,” said Raymund.

Graduating from 4Ps

Aside from farming, the family diversified their agricultural business through hog raising and selling bukayo. Bukayo is a local dessert made of a sweetmeat made of grated coconut and fried in brown sugar.

He shared that their family sought a loan from RAFI Microfinance, Inc. to start their microbusiness. They also received financial assistance through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of DSWD and used it as additional capital for their business.

Raymund said that through their unity and determination, they overcame different challenges and progressed toward their level of well-being. In December 2023, the family graduated from the program and was one of the 4Ps beneficiaries in the City of Bogo who achieved self-sufficiency.

Soon, his two younger brothers, Rolando, a fifth-year student taking up a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering, and Rieljun, a fourth-year student taking up a Bachelor of Science in Management Accounting, will graduate from college. His youngest brother, Rex Dave, is a Grade 10 student.

“Looking back on the challenges I have encountered, I cannot believe I overcame them, and I am happy with the result. As I embrace this journey wholeheartedly and now work with the DSWD, the words of Mahatma Gandhi remind me that “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ###

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