Tibungco, Davao City- “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to his/her commitment to excellence, regardless of his/her chosen field of endeavour,” regional winner of the Search for Pantawid Focal 2019 Education Category, Sally C. Aro believes in this.
For a decade now, Teacher Sally has been serving as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) Focal Person in F. Bustamante National High School here. Ever since her early days in the assignment, she has committed herself in attending to the needs of the Pantawid beneficiaries enrolled in their school.
Teacher Sally believes that part of her job description is to ensure that the welfare of the parents and student beneficiaries are taken care of. Although she was only expected to receive and sign Certificate of Enrollments of parents and student beneficiaries, she was determined to exert extra mile in her work as Pantawid Focal Person.
“I started my journey as a 4Ps Coordinator by planning on how to improve the implementation of the Pantawid Program in our school. I utilized various approaches and techniques for the different concerns of the program,” Teacher Sally narrated.
One particular innovation that Teacher Sally led was the designing and utilization of an attendance monitoring tool to track the status of Pantawid beneficiaries. This tool helps in the timely and comprehensive tabulation of the monthly attendance data of 4Ps students.
Teacher Sally also developed her own system to identify Pantawid beneficiaries in the beginning of every school year. This system also monitors the monthly attendance, completion and submission of Compliance Verification Forms. With these innovations, she has always been found organized in her job and is prompt in complying with the timeline of submission of documents.
“Our school was faced with a budding problem on habitual absences of 4Ps beneficiaries. As Focal Person, I made an initiative to talk to the parents of concerned students about their absenteeism. I also tasked the students to write a letter promising that they will attend their classes regularly. I also coordinated with the advisers to help monitor the attendance of beneficiaries as well as their academic performance,” Teacher Sally shared.
Teacher Sally also created a means in addressing the discrepancies in school records of beneficiaries. “The school encountered problems relative to beneficiaries who use wrong family names in official documents hence, resulting to a number of unenrolled students in the Compliance Verification Forms. As 4Ps coordinator, I helped them address the problem and referred them to the school registrar for proper processing of required documents.”
Commitment to education
Teacher Sally gives much importance in dealing with parents and students at an interpersonal level. To her, communication is very important to identify the needs and concerns of Pantawid beneficiaries. She takes time to listen to their problems and answer their queries well. Also, she often coordinates with the City Link and Social Welfare Assistant (SWA) to help address the concerns of Pantawid beneficiaries. More importantly, she started to build relationships with the people working behind the program. She makes an effort to ask for feedback as basis for further improving her practices.
Teacher Sally also spearheaded a Pantawid Project within their school named “Gulayan sa Paaralan” with the full cooperation of Pantawid beneficiaries. She even requested some Barangay officials and staffs to be stakeholders and contributors of the said project.
Teacher Sally gives time to enhance her personal effectiveness through submitting herself to undergo trainings. She has attended series of seminars, trainings and workshops where she was able to learn new methods and shared her own best practices as focal person in the Pantawid Program implementation.
Among her workshops are Orientation and Technical Assistance to Pantawid Field Implementers on K-12 Program last April 2016 which was participated by DSWD Pantawid Program field staffs, Consultation- Workshop on Records Management; and Family Development Sessions (FDS), where she shared inputs and updates on beneficiaries’ attendance monitoring, academic status and correct registration of family names.
Despite the demands and challenges she faced with her assignment as Pantawid Focal Person, her inherent flexibility and adaptability at work helped her manage multiple assignments. On top of all these, she is also assigned as Curriculum Head of Grade 7 Level and a subject teacher as well. As an individual that demonstrates commitment to the organization, she sees these responsibilities as stepping stones that will lead to career progression.
Teacher Sally is also determined to let her career be the bridge to help her make the community a better place for people like the Pantawid beneficiaries who need utmost support and assistance.
Teacher Sally is the first regional winner of the Search for Pantawid Focal under Education of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). This search recognizes the efforts and services of partner stakeholders from the schools and health centers who have been crucial to the successful implementation of the program.
At present, regional Pantawid Pamilya is helping 226,230 families in 43 municipalities, 6 cities covering all 5 provinces, by keeping their children healthy and in school. The program also has 29,070 IP beneficiaries in Davao Region under the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Indigenous Peoples (MCCT-IP). (DSWD)