Salome Fuertes of Brgy 19-B, Davao City shares her story as a Parent Leader during the 2nd General Assembly.

DAVAO CITY  -“Parent leaders are vital instruments in the efficient implementation of the Pantawid Pamilya program in the area.

One of the primary objectives of the program is the investment in human capital, empowering and capacitating parent leaders to become actively involved in community endeavors,” emphasized Evangeline Grandeza, Family Development Session (FDS) Focal Person of Pantawid Pamilya during the recently held Parent Leaders General Assembly at the Gulf View Beach Resort.

Some 150 Parent Leaders from all 12 barangays of the first district of Davao City – Magtuod, Maa, Dumoy, Bago Gallera, Bago Aplaya, Bucana, 21-C, 20-B, 19-B, Matina Crossing, Matina Pangi, Matina Aplaya gathered for a day of fun-filled activities.

“Pantawid Pamilya Parent Leaders volunteer their time to assist the Pantawid City Links and ensure smooth program implementation in the barangays. They do not receive any remuneration for their work.

“This [assembly] is our simple way of thanking them,” shared John Edward Magbanua, DSWD Social Welfare Officer 3 for Davao City.

46-year old Salome Fuertes of Barangay 19-B has been a true blue advocate ever since the program started.

Sa una ako gyud ang padre de pamilya, akong bana gasalig lang sa akoa apan dako kaayo akoang pasalamat nga atungod niini nga programa dili lang ako, apil akong bana naka-amgo sa iyang responsabilidad sa pamilya (Before, I consider myself as the head of the family. I am very grateful to the program because it not only helped me but it also helped my husband to learn and understand how to be the head of the family. The program has taught him his responsibilities to our family),” recalled Salome.

Bisan sa pagkamatay sa akoang bana niadtong Agosto 29, 2013, wala gihapon ko gibiyaan sa programa. Tungod kay awtomatiko man ko nga miyembro sa Philhealth, gamay na lang amoang nabayaran sa SPMC (Southern Philippines Medical Center) imbis nga P26,000.00 total bill, P4,000 na lang ang amoang nabayaran kay gi-shoulder sa PhilHealth ang P 22,000.00 (Even when my husband died last August 29, 2013, the program never abandoned me. As I became automatic member of PhilHealth, we only payed P 4,000.00 out of the total bill of P26,000.00. PhilHealth covered the remaining P 22,000.00), she added.

Salome’s husband died of diabetes and left her to care for their six children.

“Luyo sa kalisod anaa ang programa nga nag-amuma kanamo mao wala ko maguol. Daghan kaayo ko og natun-an ug matun-an pa sa programa nga akoang magamit sa akoang pagdumala sa akong pamilya (Despite the challenges, the program is there to take care of us, that is why I do not worry too much. I have learned and will continue to learn from the program. I will use these learning in guiding my family and my children).”

At present, Pantawid Pamilya covers 194,789 registered beneficiaries in 4 provinces, 6 cities, and 43 municipalities covering 1,022 barangays in Davao Region. (DSWD)