Archive | June 4th, 2018

IP Beneficiaries, Engaged in Communal Gardening

The Indigenous peoples of Barangay Manihala, Sitio Palamang comprising of forty-one (41) beneficiaries from both Regular Conditional Cash Transfer (RCCT) and Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) of the Panttawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program have joined together to work hand-in-hand to organize a communal garden.

At first, beneficiaries of the said sitio have their individual backyard gardens which became a great source of vegetables for their daily consumption. They have seen positive results with regards to their health condition especially of their children. They have expressed that they do not need to buy vegetables since they can easily harvest their own from their garden and even sell some of it at times. Their determination in maintaining their individual backyard garden has led the Pantawid staff to encourage them to unitedly start their communal garden. 

With this, Pudo Paladan and Analiza Santos, both IP leaders, have led IP beneficiaries to look for an idle land which they can develop into a yielding ground. They were successful to find a land which is around half hectare and said to be owned by a non-beneficiary.

It was during the IP Consultation Dialoge cum Family day last November 6, 2017 that the IP beneficiaries received seedlings from the Department of Agriculture. They were also provided with gardening tools such as rakes, shovels, bolos, and iron bars among others. Additional seedlings and tools were provided by the Local Government Unit during an event initiated by the Municipal Mayor, Hon. Angel M. Saulong.

In January 2018, they started clearing the said idle land which took all forty-one (41) members of the group to clear and finally plant seeds for three (3) days. Most of their crops are different types of vegetables but they’ve also added corn, peanut, ginger and monggo beans.

To ease the difficulty in watering the plants, the water system provided by the Team Mission from Calapan City was extended through the unity and efforts of the members of the group. They have used up the excess hosepipes of the project and installed it near their garden. The Philippine National Police (PNP) Bansud also gave them pails and dippers which they also use in their everyday watering of their vegetables.

Regular meetings are also conducted to ensure the proper maintenance of the communal garden. Agreements were made which are religiously followed by all the members. All the forty-one (41) members were divided into seven (7) groups comprising of six (6) members each which shall have regular daily schedule of watering the plants and cultivating the plots. It was also agreed upon that if a member would not be able to do the task on his/her schedule, the said member shall pay Php 100.00 which will be used to buy food for those who will be working for that day

The group’s vision is to earn from the crops planted and to invest their income. As of the moment, the beneficiaries have expressed that they will continue to maintain their individual backyard gardens for their daily own personal consumption while the communal garden will be for the economic benefit of the group. Since the establishment of their gulayan, they have already acquired an estimated P1,000.00 for their harvest.

The Gulayan sa Barangay Project of Pantawid Pamilya has not only helped the IP beneficiaries on the aspect of health and economic condition but most especially build up camaraderie and unity of the IP beneficiaries.  It serves as a way for them to talk as a group more often and dream bigger together. ###

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Story of Tatay Wilfredo: Serving as the Pillar and the Light of the Home

A food vendor, a farmer, a hog raiser, an active church member, a Barangay Tanod, a Barangay Health Worker, an active PTA President, and a father and mother all at once – these are all of Wilfredo’s duties and responsibilities after he became a widower. Getting by with his small income from farming, he exclaims how he give his best to provide for his 6 children even without their mother.


Becoming a Solo Parent

When he was in his teenage years, Wilfredo V. Turiana, a native of Tilik, Lubang, Occidental Mindoro, decided to go to Manila to work instead of studying because his parents cannot afford to get him to school. He decided to work in a small grocery store which is owned by a relative but he did not stay long because he got sick. When he recovered his good health, he applied again for work as gasoline boy in Novaliches, Caloocan City.

At the age of 18 he met and fell in love with Marina Joy Locay who later on became her wife. In 1992, they decided to settle down in Wilfredo’s hometown in Occidental Mindoro, where they planned to build their family. They got married in a mass wedding in 1998 and were blessed with 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls. They live a simple life only depending to Wilfredo’s income from farming in sustaining the needs of their family. But an unfortunate situation happened in the year 2008 when his wife died in delivering their youngest son.

Wilfredo still reminisces those memories he has when their family is still complete. Even though they were experiencing difficulties in life, it seems to him that he has a perfect family since they are always happy together.

Working and taking care of the family alone for their children is a lot harder than Wilfredo thought. Having both the responsibility of a mother and a father, Wilfredo do household chores such as washing clothes, preparing food for his children, and cleaning the house. After that incident, Wilfredo knows that he has to find ways to ensure that he can provide the needs of his children. Hence, he continues to work hard as a farmer. He also tends to work as a garbage collector and house cleaner when there is no work in the farm. Moreover, he collects and sells dry woods, cooks kakanin to sell in the port, and raises hogs and chicken.

He always says that their family have ups and downs because of their situation. But nurturing his sons and daughters is his first priority as he ensures that all of them can go to school since he believes that education can help them create a good future.


Finding a ‘partner’ in the program

Wilfredo has big dreams for his children. Not being able to finish his studies, he aims to send his children to school as well as provide them their needs. However, he struggles to support them as much as he wanted to because he has an unstable source of income.

In 2009, a year after the death of his wife, Wilfredo shared how lucky he was as he felt she found a partner in raising his children after he became a Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiary.

Pantawid Pamilya is a human development program implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that invests in the health and education of poor families, primarily those with children aged 0-18. It provides monthly cash grants to beneficiaries who comply with the conditions of sending their children to school, bringing them to health centers, and attending the Family Development Sessions (FDS).

Wilfredo was very thankful because it lessens his burden financially and was able to learn deeply to appreciate what they have.

Other than the cash grants being provided by the program, he is also thankful because this program taught her to be a better parent through her regular attendance to the Family Development Session (FDS). He acknowledges it as very essential in guiding every Filipino family.

Being a member of Pantawid Pamilya also opens a lot of opportunities for Wilfredo as he was chosen the Parent Leader of their cluster. He also becomes an active member of the community. He also started to serve his barangay as Barangay Tanod which has helped him won as Barangay Kagawad from 2010-2013. He also became an active president of the Parent-Teachers Association from 2007 to 20018 in elementary and secondary schools in their barangay. Furthermore, he is currently serving as a Barangay Health Worker (BHW) to their community and a Hermano Mayor, Lector and commentator, and Lay Minister of the Eucharist in the Parish of San Nicholas Church even though he has his own duties at home.


Getting Stronger for the Family

Because of his eagerness to make money for his family, there were times when Wilfredo forgets to attend to the needs of their children.

“Minsan nagtrabaho ako sa bukid dahil biglaang tawag ng kapwa magsasaka at nakalimutang maghanda ng pagkaing pananghali di nakakain ang aking mga anak at ako’y awang awa at halos tumulo na aking luha,” he shared.

According to him, the program has helped him realize that always being there for his children is the most important.

For Wilfredo, the happiness they share today because of their good relationship at home and the accomplishments of her children in school reflects his success as a solo parent. This is what keeps him going every day and continuously inspires him to work harder until all his children achieve their dreams. ###

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