Single mom Dyn Cuenca, 46 years old, is a solo provider for her two children after she separated from her partner early in their marriage. To make both ends meet, she would take on various jobs from washing clothes of neighbors to setting up a small coffee table every morning.
Education has always been at the top of her priority list for her children who are in their junior and senior years in high school. She wanted them to finish college, be employed, and live with a steady and sure income. The cost of education, though, carries a price tag quite heavy for her to shoulder.
Hearing about the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) educational assistance, she did not hesitate to gather the requirements in haste and marked her calendar for the assessment day.
She and her children took turns in falling in line in a local mall braving heat, cold, and hunger.
As early as 4:00 a.m. last August 20, 2022, they fell in line along with estimated applicants of around 7,000. Her priority number was more than 500 out of the only 700 clients who were scheduled to receive the assistance that day.
It was no easy crowd to control as it overwhelmed the mall entrance.
Their persistence paid off after 10 hours of waiting. Dyn was assessed and inter-
viewed and upon passing both, she instantly received P5, 000 educational assistance- P3,000 for her senior high and P2,000 for her junior high.
She and her children were immensely elated by the unexpected windfall.
Three days after, this writer visited their home on a dingy, narrow and winding trail that leads to a big river. They literally live on the riverbank that swells when the water rises. On the other side of their abode is a mammoth cement fence where water leak to their floor that may well give in with strong wind and rain.
Their situation is a far cry from the modern upscale condominium being developed just over the fence. What is important now is that the uniforms can now be seen hanging on their wall.
“I have bought their school requirements such as uniforms, notebooks and others while the rest is for their allowances and a little for the coffee business that also sustains their needs,” Dyn said.
“I thank President Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos Jr., Vice President Sarah Duterte and the DSWD for this project. May we continue to receive blessings from the government,” she said. (AAL/Lljr/PIA 6 Negros Occidental)