Tag Archive | "ESGPPA"

Finding The Way Forward

For the economically challenged households, getting through life with their small income is difficult. And as they struggle to ensure that their family can be able to eat at least three meals per day, some of them look at education as more of a privilege than a need. Of the 2.8 million adults in a poor household, on average, 1.6 million (58 percent) completed primary schooling at most, one million (35 percent) either reached or completed secondary schooling, while the remaining 0.2 million (7 percent) reached college.

But Henny’s family begs to differ. Although her family belongs to what the government refer to as the marginalized sector, they are on their way to pursue their dreams believing that education is a key to their success.
Genuine smile of success

Henny smiles widely in front of their house

Living in a small abode in Brgy. Bangon, Odiongan, Romblon is the family of Henny Fodulla Fabellon. Henny, a mother of three, is one of the mothers who work tirelessly to get their children to finish college. Henny and his husband, Willy, do not have a stable source of income but they are able to send their children to school to provide them good education.

Henny and Willy are tenant farmers with only enough income to provide for their family’s every day needs. To add up to their income, Henny takes whatever job she is given, like sewing nipa shingles for 120 pesos for 40 pieces and doing laundry services. They manage to get their everyday food in their farm and backyard garden.

Sending their children to school is hard, but getting all of them to enter college is harder. But for Henny, anything is possible with a considerable amount of hard work and determination. She managed to get her eldest child, John Rey to finish BS Agricultural Engineering in 2015. John Rey passed the board exam last year in August and he is now working at the Department of Agriculture in Manila.  Her second child, Pauline Kris is now on her 4th year as a Civil Engineering student at Romblon State University (RSU). Meanwhile, her youngest child, Clarize Mae is a 3rd year Information Technology student, also at RSU.


Getting there

Henny never thought that she can be able to send her children to college given their economic status. She almost gave up when John Rey and Pauline Kris entered college both at the same time. Henny and his husband are giving the best they can to send all of them to school but sending two of them in college was difficult. Henny asked Pauline Kris if she could stop schooling to give way for her older brother. But Pauline Kris refused. She wanted to continue her studies because that is her dream.

It breaks her heart seeing her children cry hence, Henny looked for ways to let all of her children continue going to school. She gets a loan in their cooperative and asked her friends for help. She even sold sack of rice they harvested in their farm which is supposedly for their own consumption. “Sabi ko nun, bahala na kung anong makain namin. Ang mahalaga makapasok sila, (I told myself that it does not matter what we will eat, as long as my children can go to school, that’s all that matter),” Henny recounted. Henny was able to enroll her children to school that year, but she continuously worries about the future of her children’s education. Timely enough, a year after it happened, Pauline Grace was listed as one of the student-grantees of the Expanded Students’ Grants-In-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGPPA), which has helped Henny and his family greatly.

ESGPPA is a program of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) which provides scholarships to beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya. Beneficiaries will receive a maximum of Php 60,000 for tuition fee, textbooks/learning materials and allowance for transportation, board and lodging and other school supplies.

According to Henny, Pauline Kris spends the grant she is receiving to help her mother with their daily expenses. Pauline Kris shares her money to her siblings especially whenever Henny and Willy cannot provide them their allowances and school expenses.


Education as the key to success

Edukasyon ang tanging pamana ng magulang sa kanyang mga anak (Education is the only inheritance that a parent can give to their children).

Parents, especially from the small-earner, working class are often heard saying this phrase to their children. True indeed, education is an eternal treasure a parent can give to their children which cannot be taken away from them. Henny’s family believes that education is the main pathway to extend their life across poverty and lead their life forward. They believed that poverty is not a hindrance; but more of a challenge for them to push harder.

There are times when Henny thinks of giving up her children’s education. But whenever she sees them willing and determined to finish their studies, she stops worrying and continue working in order to achieve her dreams and her children’s dreams. Although she gets tired, she never fails to wear her smile to let her children see that they can get through whatever difficulty life may bring. ###


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Turning negativity into success

2016-04-24-21-27-48-630She talks fast. A petite girl wearing a shirt and jeans emerged from the doors of the office looking fresh despite the scorching heat from the sun on a late morning and greeted everyone with a timid smile.

Lyka Jane Ruiz, 21, is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education last April 2016. Fourth among 10 siblings, Lyka says that their family get by with what they have.

From the island barangay of Bangkal in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, her father, Tatay Roy, works by ferrying people from their island to the proper of the municipality. Lyka’s mother, Nanay Nancy, helps their father in selling whatever product is in season like uling, sinegwelas, etc. Her mother is also a barangay councilor.

Lyka grew up with reluctant parents. She remembers that since elementary, she and most of her siblings were honor students and their parents were not so enthusiastic going up the stage during awardings. Lyka attributed this attitude to the thought that perhaps because they just lived in an island. “Pero super thankful po ako kasi kahit hindi kami ganun kasayang pamilya, buo kami, kumpleto at nandyan pa rin po ang pamilya ko. Hindi nila ako pinapabayaan, sumusuporta, gumagabay sila sa amin at nararamdaman ko na po yung pagbabago sa ugali nila. Ngayon nakapagtapos na kami, parang proud na sila,” said Lyka.

The Ruiz family became part of the Pantawid Pamilya program in 2013. It helped the family in its expenses as well as their family relationship. The change in the outlook in life can be attributed to the constant attendance of the couple in Family Development Sessions. Discussions on family relationships were tackled and talked among community members with the help of the staff.

It was how the people in their island look at things that need to be changed. Lyka also recalls that their neighbors used to say negative things to them like they might just get pregnant or will marry at an early age since most of them are girls. But Lyka did not let these negativities put her down.

Instead, she proved not only to the people around them but also to herself that she can make her way and achieve her dreams. She used this as a determination to push further and study hard. “Na-motivate ako na i-continue po yung pag-aaral ko. Everytime na may bagsak ako sa exam ko, napu-push po akong mag-aral, yun po yung pinagtutuunan ko ng pansin,” recalled Lyka.

And she did. She graduated with honor in college. But to graduate in college with honor is not an easy task. With “sipag, tiyaga at detreminasyon” when asked of what she has why she graduated with honor, Lyka told these three things.

Not an easy road

After high school, Lyka wasn’t able to pursue college right away. She stopped for a year. At that time, her second eldest sister is studying in college while the next is taking midwifery. Her father could not provide for them at the same time.

Instead of staying at home when she stopped, Lyka used her time to help and earn at the same time. She worked as a part-time preschool teacher in Bangkal Elementary School. She was able to receive Php1,500/month for the four months that she worked there.

Before the start of her school year as freshman in college, after working as part-time preschool teacher, she went to the proper of San Jose and worked as a waitress in an eatery. She worked at night for four months. But since she can’t balance her work and studies, she stopped working. Lyka’s tuition fee during her first year was free where she received a scholarship from the local government. However, during her second year, her father paid the tuition in full.

She was in sophomore year when they became part of Pantawid Pamilya. It assisted them greatly in terms of her younger siblings’ needs in school. Lyka narrated that her father is strict in their expenses. There were times that she becomes stressed just thinking where to get the money for her school expenses. Fortunately, another blessing came to them.

An answered prayer

Lyka was a junior when she became a beneficiary of the Students’ Grant-In-Aid for Poverty Alleviation Program of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) allotted to the children of Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries.

Noong una po talaga, hindi ako makapaniwala kasi libre tuition tapos may allowance pa. Parang di po ako makapaniwala na may ganito palang programa sa gobyerno pero noong natanggap ko na po, ayun naniwala na po ako. Totoo pala,” told Lyka when she received the grant.

Beneficiaries of the now Expanded Students’ Grant-In-Aid for Poverty Alleviation Program (ESGPPA) will receive a maximum of Php60,000 for tuition fee, textbooks/learning materials and allowance (transportation, board and lodging and other school supplies).

Lyka said, “Super blessed po talaga yung mga scholar ng SGPPA. Kasi sa laki po niyan, pag sinayang po nila, sila rin po magiging kawawa noon.” She never thought that they will be part of another government program after becoming a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary.

Now that she graduated, even their neighbors in their island also believe and are now also hoping that their children can be part of the program. “Hindi mawawala yung pasasalamat at pagtanaw ng utang na loob kasi po kami po yung nabigyan ng scholarship. Super thankful, super blessed, thank you po kay God binigay niya po saken yung blessing na ganito,” narrated Lyka.

She is currently reviewing for the Licensure Exam for Teachers (LET). She hopes she will be able to find a job soon to be able to give back to her parents and help in house expenses.

She hopes that the young ones today will believe in the seemingly impossible things that the world has to offer. She hopes they will believe that good things will happen to them. “Huwag pong susuko. Kahit everytime po na madadapa, push lang ng push. Kasi kahit isipin mong gusto mong mag-give up wala naman pong mangyayari. Yung ipagpatuloy lang po yung pangarap,” ended Lyka. Just like what she did when she turned negativity to success. ###

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An opportunity is what it takes

Hard work and determination can go a long way. But if given an opportunity, opens a lot of doors in making things happen as the case of one simple girl who is now working towards achieving her dreams.

Cherry Vergara, 20, lives with her parents and five siblings in their humble abode in Palawan. A true-born and raised gal from Narra, Cherry studied elementary and high school in the said municipality with honors. She even graduated as Salutatorian in high school.

The closest university to them is in the neighboring municipality of Aborlan. She has to travel for an hour to get to Western Philippines University – Aborlan. With the goal to uplift their family, Cherry graduated as a cum laude this April 2016 who took up Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education.

Cherry is never discouraged despite poverty seeming to pull them down. With faith and hope, “Pinapasa-Diyos ko na lang po kapag may mga pangangailangan ako lalo na sa pinansyal at ayon nga po nagugulat na lang po ako nandiyan na po ang solusyon,” recalls Cherry.

The family does not have much. Her father, Noli, is a farmer and works as part-time electrician while her mother, Charity, sells rice cakes. They are thankful that they have the Pantawid Pamilya program that aides them especially for the children’s needs in school.

As for Cherry, she is grateful to have become one of the beneficiaries of the Expanded Students’ Grants-In-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGPPA). “Malaking-malaki po talaga ang pasasalamat ko po sa DSWD kasi kumbaga imbes na maghahanap pa ako ng pambayad sa school ay mag-aaral na lang po ako,” says Cherry.

ESGPPA is a program of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) that provides scholarships to beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya. Beneficiaries will receive a maximum of Php60,000 for tuition fee, textbooks/learning materials and allowance (transportation, board and lodging and other school supplies). Cherry is thankful for the opportunity that paved way towards achieving her dreams. “Nagpapasalamat ako kasi naging daan ang DSWD na makapagtapos po ako ng pag-aaral,” utters Cherry.

She is currently reviewing in Puerto Princesa City for the Licensure Exam for Teachers (LET) on September this year. Now that Cherry has graduated, she wishes that the chance given to her will be given to other poor families and children as well. They just have to never lose hope, believe that they can and work hard as to not waste the opportunity given to them. ###



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