Tarciano and Ma. Lorena Sarino proudly show off their produce.
DAVAO CITY (DSWD XI) – Prior to Pantawid Pamilya, Tarciano Sarino, 49, of Barangay Tigatto, Davao City worked as a gaspangero, a laborer who collects sand from the river and transports it by banca. Tarciano had also tried diving for coins to augment their daily income.
“Lisod gyud ang among adlaw-adlaw nga kahimtang (Every day is a struggle),” he said. “Kinahanglan ko mangita og pamaagi aron naay mabutang nga pagkaon sa among lamesa kada adlaw (I had to find ways to put food on the table day after day).”
In 2011, the Sarino Family became one of the family beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
“Pag-abot sa Pantawid Pamilya, nag-desisyon mi’ng magtiayon nga mag-backyard gardening. Gitamnan namo og mais, mani, talong, kapayas, watermelon, pepino, okra ug monggo ang gamayng yuta nga gibilin sa amoang ginikanan (When Pantawid Pamilya came, we decided to start backyard gardening. Using the small lot our parents left us, we planted corn, peanuts, eggplants, papayas, watermelons, cucumbers, gumbo (okra) and mung beans),” shared Tarciano’s wife Ma. Lorena, 41.
The cash grants they receive from the program are allocated solely for the school needs of their three children -Jenny-Ssel, 17, second year BS Education (English Major) at the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP) and SGPPA scholar; Marjun, 12, Grade 7 and class valedictorian; and 8-year old Kimberly, Grade 4 and constantly tops her class.
On weekends, their children help out in cultivating their garden. Their humble backyard garden grew gradually that they are now able to sell fresh produce to some known local companies who advocate organic farming. They sell their produce for up to P 45 pesos per kilo.
“Dako gyud kaayo og gitabang ang Pantawid Pamilya ilabi na kadtong pagsugod sa El Nino. Ang programa mao ang nag-amuma sa amoa sa panahon nga hinay ang among kita sa pagpananom (The program has greatly helped especially during the onset of El Nino. It was the program that aided us during the lean months),” said Ma. Lorena.
“Maglagot gyud ko nga naay moingon nga dole out ang Pantawid kay kung buot huna-hunaon dako gyud kaayo og gikatabang ang programa sa amoa nga nanginahanglan. (I am angered when people say that Pantawid is dole out because in reality, the program has significantly helped those in need).”
The Sarino Family is one of the 306 families in Barangay Tigatto whose lives have gradually changed for the better.
“Wala gyud mi nakalampos og high school sa akoang bana busa malipayon mi nga naa ang programa nga motuman ana nga pangandoy para sa amoang mga anak (My husband and I did not finish high school hence we are happy that Pantawid is here to fulfill our dreams for our children),” Ma. Lorena gratefully admitted.
At present, Pantawid Pamilya is helping 234,556 families in 43 municipalities, 6 cities covering all 5 provinces, in keeping their children healthy and in school. The program also has 29,884 IP beneficiaries in Davao Region under the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Indigenous Peoples (MCCT-IP). (DSWD)