DAVAO CITY (DSWD XI) – For a long time, Silvia Chua, 43, a mother of two children fed her family from her earnings as ‘last-two’ (betting game) coordinator. She knew full well that ‘last-two’ is illegal but she continued with the trade because of poverty.
“Kabalo ko illegal ni nga trabaho, gisudlan nako aron madungagan ang kita sa akoang bana sa iyang pagka truck helper (I know this is illegal, I took the risk to augment my husband’s earnings as tuck helper),” Silvia admitted.
“Gibuhi nako akoang pamilya sa pagiging last two coordinator, kubrador og usher. Hadlok man pero nangibabaw ang kagustuhan nako nga naay pagkaon amoang lamesa adlaw-adlaw (I supported my family as ‘last two’ coordinator, collector, and usher. It’s scary but I was resolute to put food on our table every day).”
In 2011, Silvia decided to give up the job that put food on her family’s table to become a Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiary and eventually, a Parent Leader in her community at Barangay Dumoy.
“Sauna, nagalanganin gyud ko dawaton ang programa tungod kay kabalo ko sa Pantawid bawal ang sugal og dako ang mawala sa akoang panginabuhi-an adlaw-adlaw, pero gi-guide jud ko sa Ginoo aron mabag-o ko (At first, I was reluctant to accept the program because I know that it prohibits gambling and I would lose much, but God helped me to reform).”
“Gihimo ko nila nga Parent Leader. Dili unta ko mag-Parent Leader kay dili ko angayan, kay sugarol ko. Nag decide ko nga i-undang ang akoang bisyo para deserving ko sa ilaha. (They made me Parent Leader. I was hesitant for I was not worthy because of my job. I then decided to quit my vice so I can be credible).”
For Silvia’s family to survive, family members started to plant vegetables in their backyard and sell these in the nearby public market.
Eventually, with the lessons from the monthly Pantawid Family Development Session (FDS) and the guidance of Pantawid City Link, Silvia wholeheartedly embraced her being a Parent Leader.
As beneficiary and Parent Leader, Silvia diligently attends meetings and FDS and heartily imparts the values she learned from the program.
“Usa sa akoang natudlo sa akoang mga myembro ang bawal magsugal og buhi-on sa limpyo nga pamaagi ang pamilya (One of the things I taught my members is to refrain from gambling and to raise their family through legal means)” Silvia pointed out.
Silvia also serves as health volunteer in their barangay with a P 1, 000.00 monthly honorarium and actively participates in their parish GKK (Gagmay’ng Kristohanong Katilingban).
From May to December 2015, Silvia qualified and worked as DSWD Listahanan Enumerator and Validator for rural and urban areas, enabling her to send her son Patrick Sam, 18, to First Year College at Holy Cross of Davao College under the BS in Social Work program.
“Napa-eskwela nako akoang anak og isa ka semester tungod sa Listahanan. Dako kaayo ko og pasalamat sa DSWD sa tanan nga tabang nga nahatag og na-pabag-o sa akoa (I was able to support my son for one semester because of Listahanan. I am very thankful to DSWD for all the assistance and the opportunity to change),” Silvia beamed.
The family of Silvia is one of the 264,371 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in Region XI.
Pantawid Pamilya is a poverty alleviation program of the national government that aims to break the inter-generational cycle of poverty of poor households by investing in human capital particularly on health, nutrition, and education of children aged 0-18.
Silvia has totally given up on gambling. She is grateful to the program and for the countless realizations she has gained from it, helping her to become a better person. (DSWD)