SAN ISIDRO, Davao Del Norte (DSWD XI) – Born in 1990, Rodel F. Enate is the third child of poor parents who were bestowed with six children.
Rodel grew up poor but obedient. Starting at an early age, he has always helped in putting food on their table by assisting his father cultivate a small farm lot.
As a grade schooler, Rodel would endure the long walk to school in an empty stomach, his mother Teresita recounted. “Despite the hard life, Rodel graduated with flying colors.”
As their family members grew in number, their food requirement consequently leveled up. What his father earned could hardly cover their day to day needs.
Thus, to Rodel, getting a chance at secondary education was too farfetched.
“I had to abort my promising journey with the academe to help my father in the farm full time to enable the family earn double.”
His love for his family drove him to work with his father in tilling their land from dawn to dusk.
Despite the hard fact that his parents could not possibly afford to send him to a regular school, difficult times failed to snap out his dream of finishing school.
Chance to grow
In 2011, the family of Rodel became a household grantee of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
As recipient of the program, the family started receiving a minimal subsidy for education, health and nutrition. Also, family members were able to access health insurance through Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
Then the good news for Rodel was delivered by their neighbor who mentioned to him the Alternative Learning System (ALS) of the Department of Education.
Excited but apprehensive of his parents reactions, Rodel secretly enrolled himself. Later that night, when he mustered enough courage to inform his parents, only positive and encouraging words were uttered in response to his decision.
His mother embraced him and apologized for not being able to provide what’s best for her children while his father Rudy just tapped Rodel’s shoulder and assured him that there is nothing to be afraid of and that he is allowed to attend school every Saturday. From Monday through Friday, his assignment would be in the farm and at times help his mother feed their hogs, his father instructed.
Despite his ‘Saturday Only’ class schedule, Rodel could not help but miss class whenever his father requests his help especially during harvest season.
Finally, hardwork and discipline propelled Rodel to graduate from high school through ALS.
Part of DSWD Thrusts is ensuring that Pantawid grantees are prioritized in DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program.
In March 2014, DSWD Project Development Officer Cyrevil Calagui proposed a TESDA-accredited course which Rodel grabbed. He attended the Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) conducted by Endonela Institute of Technology.
He was able to complete the 268-hour, 33-day intensive training in SMAW. His hard work paid off when he passed the TESDA Accreditation Examination or the National Competency II (NC II).
“I then spent my internship with Cubname Marine Services, a shipyard in Barangay Calumpang, General Santos City. For 15 days, I focused on welding ships and other large structures,” Rodel shared.
With his commendable performance, Rodel was hired as welder at FGM Builder Resources and Development Corporation in November of 2014. His employer was impressed and has retained him for he considers Rodel an asset worker to the company.
Rodel said his work involves building structures such as construction of Gaisano Mall of Toril, some renovations in Davao Del Norte capitol building, and putting up of classrooms in Digos City, Davao del Sur.
Rodel now receives an above minimum wage income. He continues to help his family. Part of what he sends is being invested in backyard piggery by his mother. At present, they have eight hogs for fattening and one gilt with 10 piglets.
Meanwhile, his other siblings who are also employed contribute as well in meeting the family’s needs. Rodel’s younger sister Ronna is a regular employee of Big 8 Hotel in Tagum City and his younger brother Ruben, is a regular employee of EMCOR Tagum branch.
The Enate family members have started to renovate their home. Their better house and better sources of livelihood prove that they are winning in their battle against poverty.
Rodel’s goal to graduate and defeat poverty pushed him to triumph above all the trials.
Rodel F. Enate was poor. He is the third child of a poor couple but with perseverance and hard work, he has overpowered his family’s hardship. (DSWD)