Villena Family of Bay,Laguna

A mother and a housewife, 52-year-old Nenette Villena of Bay, Laguna, is always grateful to whoever would lend a hand to augment her family’s daily needs. She said though it is such a great relief that her family benefits from government project like the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program also known as 4Ps.

“Yung sa pamamagitan ng 4Ps? Ano yung ano (mga natatanggap namin ay) nakadagdag ng pambaon, tapos yung sa mga project nila hindi na ako namumuroblema kasi meron na akong inaasahan. Basta pag dumating talaga nakalaan na sa kanila run (Through 4Ps? The benefits we receive have added to my children's school provisions and eased my worries about the expenses for their school projects because I have a financial support to look forward to. I make sure I allot that money solely for their needs.),” Villena said.

She said two of her five children were beneficiaries of the program: 17-year-old Mhajie Nicole, 4th child, and 12-year-old Matthew, 5th child.

She said she is proud that her 5th child is a top-notch student while her 4th child is a scholar of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) maintaining a required grade not less than 85 percent. Hence, the support they continuously receive from the government is all worth it for being outstanding students.

Their life before becoming 4Ps beneficiary

Villena said despite life’s difficulties, they were able to bring up their children and to send them to school with the support and provisions from her siblings who were financially well-off. Without them, life would be harder on their family, given the fact of her husband’s job as a brass band member is only seasonal while she was a full-time housewife.

Moreover, one of their life’s challenges is having the eldest daughter, Mannette with Down syndrome, but, still blessed because the 25 year-old eldest daughter had grown talented and diligent, she said.

“Marunong siyang magkusa sa mga gawaing bahay. Kung hindi mo titingnan yung itsura niya hindi mo iisipin na special (child) siya sa klase ng kanyang pag-iisip (She voluntarily does house chores. If you will not look at her physical appearance you would not think she is a special child by the way she thinks),” she said.

She said her eldest is athletic as she represented her school as gymnast in Special Education (SPED) division and diligent in helping out with the daily house chores despite her condition, which for her is a consolation.

Unfortunately, everytime the situation calls it, the studies of her eldest is being sacrificed. Her eldest occasionally stops schooling to give way to her other siblings, since they are financially challenged and their family is big, she said.

However, she is thankful because her 22-year-old 2nd child, Mark Neil, has been able to graduate with a BS Accountancy degree, which is likewise made possible with the assistance of her siblings.

She said they were able to get by with the support of her relatives despite some called for sacrifices, but being chosen as a recipient of the 4Ps helped increase and ensure the educational and health provisions for her family – at least for two of her kids.

Her message and suggestions to the government and people behind 4Ps

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa programang 4Ps kasi nakabuti talaga ito sa amin. Nakatulong lalo na sa dalawang anak ko na nag-aaral. Hindi na ako namumuroblema sa mga bayarin sa projects at pambaon nila. Dahil noon talaga kapag may biglaan silang project ay ikot ako sa paghahanap ng pera. Sana marami pa silang matulungan (I am thankful for the 4Ps program for it has done well to us. It has provided for the needs of my two kids who were still studying, that I do not need to worry about their school expenses. Before, whenever they have unexpected projects I struggle looking for the money needed for it. I hope they would be able to help more people.),” Villena said.

She expressed her gratefulness to the people behind the program and also wished the government would continually improve their program implementation and selection of beneficiaries – those who were genuinely underprivileged must be reached by these programs.

She is also hopeful the current administration will further enhance government projects and programs to make the lives of disadvantaged Filipinos like her become better. (PIA)