Youth participants in the first Pantawid sportsfest.

DAVAO CITY – Some 384 Pantawid Pamilya youth beneficiaries from the various barangays of Bunawan District -Panacan, Ilang, Tibungco, Mahayag, San Isidro, Gatungan, Bunawan and Lasang   recently gathered for a three-day Youth Development Session (YDS) SportsFest at F. Bustamante High School, Tibungco.

The first ever YDS SportsFest bannered the theme “Mga Batang Pantawid Pamilya Sama-Sama, Batang Nagkakaisa, Palarong May Pag-asa”. The project is a partnership of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Harvest House and Davao Bay Coconut Oil Mills.

“The main objective of this activity is to develop the leadership skills of our Pantawid youth by encouraging each member to actively participate in all fun and healthy physical activities,” said Evangeline Grandeza, DSWD Regional Focal Person for Family and Youth Development Sessions. “It also aims to promote the universal recognition that organized youth sports can develop positive attributes including promoting a healthier lifestyle, strengthened self-esteem, fair play and good citizenship,” she added.

The YDS was introduced in 2015 by DSWD, National Youth Commission (NYC) and the Department of Education (DepEd). It was created to motivate students in finishing their education through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

It also serves as a tool for children aged 12-18 to develop stronger family relationships, focus on their studies and ambitions while engaging in meaningful activities that can promote self-worth, define their identity, lead a healthy life style through engagement in various civic and sports activities and even responsible parenting, among others.

Pantawid Pamilya is a poverty-reduction strategy of the national government that incentivizes families to keep children healthy and in school. The program has a total of 234,622 registered households in Davao Region as of March 2016. (DSWD)