Parent Leader Joseph Bantayan participates in the recently conducted Parent Leaders Assessment on the conduct of FDS at Honey’s Hotel, Mati City, Davao Oriental.

DAVAO CITY – “Public service must be more than doing a job efficiently and honestly.  It must be a complete dedication to the people and to the nation.” Forty-four-year old Joseph Bantayan, a parent leader of Barangay Santiago, Caraga town, Davao Oriental lives by this mantra.

Selected as the municipal entry of Caraga for the 2013 Search for Huwarang Pamilya, Joseph is an epitome of a well-rounded public servant. He served as PTA President for four cummulated years.

He is also  a  “kaabag” (church lay minister) for 10 years now. Joseph has been a parent leader in Caraga since the program started in 2008. He was also identified as a federated parent leader of the program.

Joseph and his wife Rosemary, 39, own a small sari-sari store to augment the daily needs of the family.  Joseph is a college undergraduate while Rosemary graduated from a vocational course in dressmaking.

Trusting on the importance of education, Joseph and Rosemary pursued their children’s studies despite the monetary challenges they face.

Dako pud akoang pagmahay kay wala ko kahuman og Civil Engineering mao amoa gyud gina-paningkamutan nga makatiwas amoang mga anak. Bisan kana na lang ang amoa ma-pamana sa ilaha (I regret deeply that I did not finish my course in Civil Engineering, that is why we strive really hard to let our kids finish their studies. Even though that is the only bequest we can leave them with),” shared Joseph.

As luck would have it, all of Joseph’s children – Alexis Jomari, 14, and in Grade 7; Virgil Mayo, 11, in Grade 6; May Anne Bernadette, 9, in Grade 3; and Vincent Jorenz, 7, in Grade 1 excel both in academic and non-academic activities.

During last year’s elections, Joseph ran and was elected as a Barangay Kagawad.

Sa baynte-singko ka kandidato nga midagan, ako lang gyud ang walay gastoNabati nako nga gipili gyud ko sa tawo nga mosilbi kanila kay nakita nila ang akoang sinseridad isip Parent Leader sa Pantawid Pamila (Of all the 25 candidates, I was the only one who did not shed a centavo. I believe that the people chose me because they saw my sincerity in serving as a parent leader for Pantawid Pamilya),” Joseph beamed.

It is Joseph’s first term as barangay kagawad. He receives a monthly honorarium of P 5,400.00.

Despite the vast responsibility as kagawad, Joseph chose not to leave his responsibility as a parent leader.

Ipadayon gihapon nako  ang pagka-parent leader bisan ug kagawad nako. Diri ko sa Pantawid na hulma isip usa ka public servant ug usa ka leader. Bisan sa akoang walay puas nga pagserbisyo isip Parent Leader masuklian man lang nako ang kamaayo nga gihatag sa programa sa akoang pamilya ug sa amoang katilingban (I will continue being a parent leader, even though I am already serving as a kagawad. I was molded as a public servant and a leader here in Pantawid Pamilya. Even in my own humble way, I want to return the goodness that the program has shown my family and my community),” Joseph added.

Joseph and some 6,000 parent leaders in Region XI have been helping shape the future for all Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in the region since 2008.

As Edward Everett Hale, a famous writer, puts is, “I am only one, but still, I am one. I cannot do everything but I can do something.  And, because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do what I can.”

Pantawid Pamilya has been keeping children in school and families healthy since its onset in 2008. At present, Davao Region has 194,789 household beneficiaries in all 4 provinces, 6 cities, 43 municipalities covering 2,217 barangays. (DSWD)