By Leilani S. Junio
MANILA, June 17 (PNA) — Family-beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) from various parts of the country are full of gratitude for the positive changes brought about in their lives by the poverty reduction initiative of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
This was gleaned from the testimonials of selected Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries during the conduct of the photographic exhibit and documentary film by the DSWD together with the World Bank Group at the Ayala Museum in Greenbelt, Makati City from June 15 to 17.
Among the photos exhibited are those of former children beneficiaries who have graduated high school with honors and are now in college levels.
One of them is David Manansala, who graduated as valedictorian at the Maligaya High School in Novaliches, Quezon City in March 2015.
Manansala continues to excel as a Civil Engineering student at the University of the Philippines.
His mother, Gloria, 46, is a plain housewife while his father, Angelino, 44, is a jeepney driver. He has five siblings.
In the photos exhibited, his challenges and how the 4Ps became a great helping hand to him and his family were narrated.
The photos briefly illustrated that in 2013, David’s father had a nervous breakdown that forced him to quit work.
Since he was just in third-year high school then, he decided to sold gelatin in school to help his mother earn for their family.
In the opening ceremony of the photo exhibit on Wednesday, David received warm applause from the audience when he recited a poem, his original composition, that chronicles the many aspects of his life and other Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries.
Through his poem, he also expressed his gratitude for the help that has been extended to them by the government through the DSWD.
His poem reads: “Kulang ang tulang ito upang ipaabot ang aming pasasalamat nang lubos./Ipinanalangin na ang biyaya’y di mawala, kailanma’y di maubos./Sapagkat ito ang aming sandata upang karukhaa’y matapos./Di na muling maibabaon, sa kahirapa’y di na magpapagapos.” (This poem is not enough to express our thanks. We pray that blessings continue to pour because these are our weapon to end our deplorable condition. Never again shall we be trapped and chained into poverty).
David said he is hoping that through the exhibit, the public will have a better understanding and appreciation of the impact of the Pantawid Pamilya program on the lives of its beneficiaries.
DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman recognized the efforts of David to excel for his family.
“This is what ‘Malaya Kang Mangarap’ is all about – the changes the poor have been able to carve out in their own lives and in the communities they belong to. It is the story of the 4.6-million families who prove every day that the poor are not mere recipients of help, but are builders of change. They are as much a part of the fabric of reform as you and I,” Secretary Soliman said in her short message during the launching held last Wednesday.
Soliman also urged the beneficiaries to continue dreaming as this is free and with a dash of perseverance and determination, the dream indeed can come true like what happened to David.
Aside from partners from World Bank and DSWD partner-agencies, selected Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries were also present.
The photos were taken by photographer Francisco “Paco” Guerrero. He also directed the documentary film.
Interview with 4Ps beneficiaries David Manansala and Alyannah Terite in April 2015