Davao City -They say great things happen when you least expect them. Mary Jane Ordaneza, 38, agrees with this.

For five years of being a Pantawid Pamilya parent leader, she didn’t expect to end up as a worker of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Having completed her second year in Commerce, Mary Jane was hired just this month as Social Welfare Assistant Aide (SWAA) to be assigned in Manay, Davao Oriental.

She has four children and lives in Maa Riverside.

“My life as Pantawid recipient and parent leader at that, really changed us. Aside from the augmentation we get in providing the needs of my children and being able to bond with them after every payout, equally important still is to be able to help my co-beneficiaries be empowered,” Mary Jane shared.

Mary Jane and her husband Romeo were financed by her brother to run a small business in Agdao, but due to the meager returns they decided to close shop. Now they invest in ‘kalan’ making.

“Because of the Pantawid program my perspective in the government really changed. I realized that government like DSWD has a heart for the poor and vulnerable, and because of Pantawid conditionalities most of us gave importance on health and education,” she emphasized.

“Through the different seminars and involvement in the community, I was able to influence my members to be more responsible parents and really apply what the Family Development Session teaches us.”

Mary Jane and her co-beneficiaries will also benefit from Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) this quarter. They will put up a rice store and eventually, a grocery store so that more members will earn.

“DSWD molded me to be a better person. Because of the skills and life lessons imparted to me by DSWD, I believe I am now equipped and ready to take on my next journey,” she said.

Her perseverance made her what she is now. In the recent celebration of Women’s Month, Mary Jane confidently served as resource person, being one of women-leader beneficiaries of DSWD.

She plans to renovate her house and enroll her children in a better school this year.

“This achievement would not have been attained without Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. I owe this to DSWD,” the new DSWD worker beamed.

Pantawid Pamilya is a human development program of the national government that invests in the health and education of poor households primarily of children aged 0-18.The program seeks to break the vicious cycle of poverty. (DSWD)