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4Ps uplifts life of a family in Pangasinan

The more, the merrier…and heavier. 
This statement best describes the situation that Roberto and Elesia De Guzman’s family was in prior to their inclusion to the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), a poverty alleviation program of the government implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). 
The couple has 14 children and had difficulty raising them due to poverty. 
“Masaya kami sa pagkakaroon ng labing-apat na anak pero hindi namin maipagkakaila ang kaakibat nitong hirap upang buhayin sila. Mismo pang mga kamag-anak namin ang kumukutya sa amin kung paano namin maitataguyod ang aming malaking pamilya,” Elesia  admitted.
But thanks to 4Ps, their family became a beneficiary of the conditional cash grant program in 2013 and now on its way of realizing their dreams.
Elesia has rekindled her love for teaching in the aim of making ends meet. 
Despite several challenges, she managed to complete her bachelor’s degree in secondary teaching; however, she chose not to take the licensure examination for teachers (LET). 
“Nag-private tutor ako noon tapos kusinero naman ang aking asawa. Kulang talaga ang aming kinikita kaya nangungutang kami upang may laman ang tiyan ng aming mga anak,” she recalled.
The year 2015 brought a major turnaround to the De Guzman family when Elesia availed free skills training and enrolled in food processing in the local government unit (LGU) of Laoac, Pangasinan. 
She was provided with a “tupig” (rice cake) house, a grilling stand, and capital assistance amounting to P7,000.
Meanwhile, Roberto underwent food and beverage services training under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). 
They were able to expand their business and ventured into processing frozen food products such as tocino, longganisa, and embutido. 
They also explored peanut butter making and added this to their products. 
As a result, Elesia is currently one of the top producers of regional cakes and other delicacies in Laoac town, catering for various events as well as export needs.
As the couple performed their responsibilities as beneficiaries of the 4Ps set by the program conditionalities, they didn't sit on their laurels and lived neither a regal life nor just waited for their financial aid to be withdrawn from their cash cards. 
They worked harder to augment the financial requirements of their children's education.
“Kailangang dumiskarte at pasukin lahat ng pwedeng pagkakakitaan upang maibigay ang pangangailangan ng aking mga anak,” Elesia proudly relayed.
The De Guzman family’s persistence paid off as they made most of the support and services offered to them by the LGU and kept in mind the lessons from the Family Development Sessions they have attended.
Now, four of their 14 children have college degrees already. 
Ruby Liza, their 9th child, graduated Bachelor of Science in Tourism degree in 2017; Precious Ivy, 12th child, is a registered social worker who is currently serving as a 4Ps City Link in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan; Maria Fatima, the 13th child, works at a mall while reviewing for LET; and Niño, the youngest, finished a two-year midwifery course and decided to follow the footsteps of his sister, Precious Ivy, in the social work profession.
With the said achievements, the De Guzman family was even declared the provincial first runner-up of the Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya in 2018 – a search which showcases the improvement in the lives of 4Ps beneficiaries as the fruits of their own hard work and inspire the whole country despite the challenges they experience brought about by poverty.
The De Guzman family is hopeful that by sharing their life story, others will be inspired not just to stare but to reach their stars in life through perseverance.
May their story also motivate other beneficiaries to use their government aid correctly and to ensure their kids are in school and working towards their dream of having a better future. (JCR/AMB/PIA Pangasinan)

About the Author

April Bravo


Region 1

April M. Montes-Bravo is an Information Officer III of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Region 1. She is currently the Information Center Manager of PIA Pangasinan Information Center based in Dagupan City and  regional editrix of PIA-Region 1.

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