The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program has provided hope in many families. It has inspired and strengthened people to become better in the community to create a just and harmonious society. This is how the Lontayao family from Siquijor sees the program.
“Maayo na ang among kahimtang karon kay sa sauna tungod sa Pantawid Pamilya (Our situation is better than the one we had before because of Pantawid Pamilya).”
The Lontayao family stated in the Salaysay ng Buhay ng Pamilyang Pantawid the comparison on their life now being part of the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program and their family’s life before the program came.
Before the Lontayao family became part of Pantawid Pamilya, it only used to earn 140 pesos in a week from the palm liquor they produced that sold for 4 pesos per one and a half liter.
“Because we do not have enough money to sustain our daily needs, my husband and I always quarrel,” Mechelle, the wife, said in dialect.
At that time, the family dreamed of improving their lives so children could go to school, sustain daily needs, and have a secure home.
In 2009, the Department of Social Welfare and Development conducted an assessment to their community to evaluate the situations of families in the area, including their family, where years later, they started to receive their cash grants from the Pantawid program.
Mechelle stated that because of the cash grants, they could now allocate some part of their money to improve their house, unlike before, that all of their expenses went for daily subsistence and even leaving them having inadequate resources.
“Naghinay-hinay kabag-o ang among kinabuhi sa dihang nasulod mi sa programa ug gipasabot pod nila sa moa ang mga kondisyon nga dapat sundon sama sa dapat compliant mi sa Health, FDS ug Education (Our lives gradually improved when we got into the program and they explained to us the conditions we need to comply such on health and education as well as attending the Family Development Session),” the Mechelle stated.
Mechelle added that FDS, as one of the conditions to follow in the program, greatly helped improve herself, her family, and their community as they become confident to face the challenges that may come.
The FDS led Mechelle to become one of the Child Development Workers in their community because of the many lessons and inspirations she got in their sessions.
Through the help from the training of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, the pillar of the family also found a job as a carpenter.
The family is also known to have strong faith in God and is active in their church. Mechelle led the Basic Ecclesial Community in their sitio, where members are senior citizens.
The family, through Mechelle, expressed their gratitude to the Lord for the opportunity to help them cope with their financial, mental, and emotional struggles in building a stable family and home. She said that the greatest lesson she learned from the program is to stay positive in life and to remain united by lifting each other.
“Ang tanan nakat-onan nako sa Pantawid Pamilya pinaagi sa FDS mas nakapalig-on sa pundasyon sa among pamilya,” stated Mechelle.
The Lontayao family now has considered reaching their dream as they already have their own decent home that has electricity and water.
The next goal that the family has been aiming for is for the children to finish their studies and graduate from college, where they could land a good, decent job.
They hope that after reaching this level of achievement, they are going to return the favor in helping those who are also in need to help break the cycle of poverty in their community. ###