Panabo City, Davao Del Norte -“Gusto ko makatabang sa akoang isig katawo kay kabalo ko nga kung sila pud sa akong kabahin motabang pud sila. Boluntaryo gyud nga pagpanerbisyo akoang ginahatag (I want to help my fellow beneficiaries because I know that if they are in my shoes they will also do the same. I am offering my service voluntarily),” said 45-year old Marriette Mordeno of Barangay New Visayas, Panabo City, Davao del Norte.

Marriette has been a Pantawid Pamilya Parent Leader since 2010. Being an active overall Parent Leader serving around 200 members in 6 clusters did not hinder her from being a loving mother of four -18-year old Alfritz John who is in 3rd year college taking up BS Human Resource Management; Mark Anthony, 16, an upcoming 1st year college student; Alyzza Marrie, 14, who is in Grade 8 and 8-year old Alfaye who is in Grade 4. Her husband, Mezraim, 45, works as a Maintenance Crew at AsiaPro earning P 301 per day.

Marriette also suffered from a mild stroke when she was 28 which resulted to her having Bell’s Palsy, a facial nerve paralysis. But even her disability did not stop her from doing what she loved most  –serving.

Before Pantawid Pamilya came, Marriette recalls her usual day being a homemaker – tending the children, doing the laundry and cleaning the house. “Karon nga naa na ang programa, malipayon ko nga midawat sa challenge nga gihatag sa akoa. Tungod sa programa namahimo ko nga abtik sa kalihokan dili lang sa amoang barangay apil na sa amoang munisipyo (Now with Pantawid Pamilya, I cheerfully accepted the challenge given to me. Because of the program, I became a dynamic member not only in our barangay but in the entire municipality as well).”

From doing plain household chores, Marriette became a much-admired community leader.

In 2012, Marriette was Leadership Awardee (Barangay Level) and became an IP Women President (Barangay Level). In 2013, she became the Vice President for IP Women (Municipal Level) and became a Provincial GAD Advocate for two consecutive years. In 2015, she became one of the Board of Directors in Davao del Norte and an active volunteer on Family Planning.

From a meek homemaker, Marriette became an applauded community leader through Pantawid Pamilya.

Sa una ubos kaayo ang tan-aw sa amoa tungod kay benepisyaryo ko sa Pantawid. Masakitan ko kung mo-ingon sila nga dole out ang Pantawid kay naghulat ra mi tagaan. Mangusog gyud ko og tubag nga dili dole out ang programa kay kaming mga pobre naningkamot ug naghago nga motuman sa kondisyon aron makadawat sa tabang sa gobyerno (People would look down on us before because we are beneficiaries of Pantawid. It hurts when they say it’s dole out, wherein we merely wait for aid. I would strongly respond that it’s not dole out because we strive and work hard to comply with the conditions to be able to receive the assistance of government),” said Marriette.

Marriette is just one of the 7,800 parent leaders of Pantawid Pamilya in Region XI who offer their selfless service to their co-beneficiaries. They are the program’s real unsung heroes.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is a poverty-alleviation strategy of the national government that helps identified poor families send their children to school and keep them healthy. The program has 234,627 active beneficiaries in 6 cities and 43 municipalities in all four provinces in Davao Region. (DSWD)