Dominador Guerro attends a seminar on Skills Enhancement for Parent Leaders as Program Advocates.

Davao City -“Every great dream begins with a dreamer, just have within you the strength, perseverance and passion to reach for it,” shared Pantawid Pamilya parent leader Dominador Guerro.

Known as Domeng to most, Guerro, 34, is a parent leader, advocate and a father.

He is overwhelmed with happiness, being the newly-hired Community Facilitator Assistant of Conditional Cash Transfer for Indigenous Peoples (CCT-IP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“Usa lang ko ka benepisaryo, parent-leader, ug third dyear high school lang pud akoang nahuman. Hantod karon dili pa gyud masulod sa akoang huna-huna nga empleyado nako, pero dako gyud akoang pasalamat sa programa sa Pantawid nga nakita akoang kapasidad bisag dili ko graduate. Karon ulaw man gamay, kampante ko sa programa nga gihatag sa ako (I am a mere beneficiary and a parent leader, and I only finished 3rd year high school. Until now I can’t still imagine that I am already employed. I am very thankful to the program. They believe in my capability even if I’m an undergrad. I may be a bit nervous yet I feel confident to undertake the task),” Guerro admitted.

Savoring this rare opportunity, Guerro commits to surpass what he has achieved as a parent leader.

Parent leader

As leader, Guerro diligently participated in all activities of the program.

For five years, he served as parent leader in Sitios Capaypayan, Mansanitas and Tubilan in Barangay Pichon, municipality of Caraga, Davao Oriental.

“Dili lalim ang mamahimong lider, kinahanglan naa gyud imuhang dedikasyon sa programa. Daghan higayon nga gusto ko moundang pero tungod sa akoang gugma sa akoang mga myembro nagpadayon gihapon ko (It’s not easy to become a parent leader, you really need dedication to the program. For a number of times I wanted to quit but I stayed because of my deep concern for my members),” Guerro recounted.

I feel a sense of pride being able to lead a group, he added.

Pantawid Pamilya is a human development program that invests in the health and education of children aged 0-18. It utilizes the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) scheme that provides cash grants to poor households on the condition that the children attend school, get preventive check-ups and that parent/s or guardian attends the monthly Family Development Session (FDS).

The cash grant is received by the most responsible member of the household.

With his regular interactions with different people, Guerro’s communication skills were enhanced as well as his interpersonal relations.

“Tungod sa akoang pagkaparent leader daghan na kaayo ko naapilan nga trainings and seminars sa bisan asa nga lugar, mao na ang nagadasig sa ako nga mubuhat pa og daghan butang sa amoang komunidad (Being a parent leader, I have already attended lots of trainings and seminars in various places. These opportunities encouraged me more to serve my community).”

Father first

Guerro has 3 children –Joward, 9; Jethel 6; and Jehoo 2. All are covered by the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

Guerro is a labourer in peanut farm.

“Dako gyud og kausaban ang amoang kinabuhi sukad nga naapil mi sa maong programa. Kaniadto nga wala gyud hinabang sa gobyerno mapakaon lang nako akoang mga anak og isa o duha sa isa ka adlaw. Ang isa ka salmon nga bugas amoa pa gyud nang tunga-on, ang tunga ilugaw sa karon nga adlaw ug katunga para sa sunod nga adlaw. Kami mag-asawa kay mag saging o kamote na lang (Our life took an immense improvement when we started to participate in the program. Before the program, I could only feed my children once or twice a day. The one cup of rice had to be rationed: half of it to be cooked as porridge for the day while the other half to be stashed and served the following day. My wife and I will just have to be contented with boiled banana or camote),” Guerro recalled.

He said despite all the challenges, he is confident the program is there to take care of them. “Although I did not finish my study, I’ll strive harder to let our children finish their studies. I can do a lot to improve my life because DSWD has helped me develop my potentials as a community leader and now as a worker.”

Guerro plans of enrolling in Department of Education’s Alternative Learning System to complete his secondary education and hopes to take up Social Work.

CCT for IP

Community Facilitator Assistant Dominador Guerro and other field staffs will pioneer a journey of another social development program of DSWD that aims to contribute reduction of poverty amongst the IPs  -one of the most disadvantaged and marginalized sectors.

Guerro will be serving Sitio Butay in Barangay Pichon -one of the pilot areas of CCT-IP implementation and one of the most isolated places in the region which has remained inaccessible by any vehicle.

“We have seen his commitment to the program. His trainings and seminars equipped him with knowledge and developed his skills in social work. We are really confident that he will make it,” Pantawid IP Focal Rayhalda Susulan stressed.

The program will focus primarily on IPs in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA) within or outside ancestral domains. It commits to ensure effective delivery of basic health, nutrition and education services for women and children and support IP community-based projects.

Targeting 30,868 IP household beneficiaries in Davao Region, the program will maintain the usual package of Php 500 per month per family for health grant, and Php 300 per child per month for education grant to a maximum of 3 children per family within a school year. (DSWD)