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New skills—a family’s key towards achieving dreams

For the America Family, acquiring new knowledge is all it takes to change their lives.

 

Couple Mario and Liza America of Brgy. Bukal in Jomalig, Quezon Province used to provide for the needs of their six children through Mario’s income as an on-call laborer. There were times when they sell vegetables they have grown in the backyard as an added source of income.

 

Today, however, Mario has a hollow block-making business and Liza has a sari-sari store. Two of their children are in college.

 

For the two of them, life is a lot better today because they have chased opportunities that came along the way.

 

Raising the family together

Liza, 42, who married at the age of 15, believed that raising the family is a man’s responsibility.

 

Noon, inaasa ko lang lahat sa kanya, pero kulang lagi para sa aming pamilya. Natutunan ko na dapat pala magtulungan ang mag-asawa,” shared Liza, who said she learned this from the monthly Family Development Sessions (FDS) she attends to as a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

 

The America Family is one of the 706 Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries in the said municipality since 2010. As part of the co-responsibilities of the program, parent-grantees are required to attend monthly FDS that discuss various topics on family strengthening, children’s rights and budget management among others.

 

Liza became determined to help her husband; however, she did not know where to begin. She knows that selling vegetables and ‘kakanin’ from time to time, is not enough.

In 2014, Liza eagerly participated when she heard about the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), another program of the DSWD. The SLP prioritizes Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries to capacitate them towards micro-enterprise development or gainful employment.

 

That year, community residents were oriented on starting a small enterprise including financial management.

 

Nakahiram ako ng PhP10,000 na puhunan mula sa SLP na ginamit ko para magtayo ng maliit na sarisari store at makabili ng alagang baboy,” said Liza.

 

She carefully managed the capital and diligently saved PhP330 per week as payment for the capital assistance. In one year, she is able to return the PhP10,000 capital assistance, which enabled her to borrow PhP20,000 from the program.

 

Ginamit ko ito para mas mapalago ang aming tindahan. Ngayon, ang tindahan na ang aming pangunahing pinagkukunan ng kita. Nakabili na rin kami ng motorsiklo mula sa ipon sa tindahan na aming ginagamit na rin sa pagnenegosyo,” shared Liza proudly.

 

Further, Liza’s income in managing the store allowed them to support their children in school. For the couple, it is important that they ensure all their children finish college so they’ll find better jobs in the future.

 

Never too late to learn

Besides the provision of capital assistance for micro-enterprise development, the SLP also provides various skills trainings to beneficiaries to equip them with skills for a gainful employment.

 

Mario completed the Carpentry, Masonry and Plumbing Skills Training in 2016.

 

Ngayong mas marami na akong alam na skills sa pagkakarpintero, mas marami na akong nagagawa at mas malaki na ang kinikita ko,” said Mario, 51.

 

He also learned how to make hollow blocks from the training and now earns extra for the family.

 

Their eldest child, May, 25, has also finished a cosmetology training and according to Mario and Liza, their daughter uses her new skills to earn while attending school.

 

Kapag wala s’yang klase, nagseservice s’ya ng manicure at pedicure para makadagdag sa kanyang allowance,” shared Liza.

 

Their son, Marlon, 22, has also recently completed a tour guiding training. Since their town is becoming popular to local tourists, Marlon can use this training to earn. A tour guide in Jomalig earns a minimum of PhP300 per tourist.

 

Taking responsibility

For the America Family, being provided with opportunities from the national government comes with a big responsibility.

 

Madami nang naibigay sa amin pero ang pinakang hamon namin ay gamitin nang maayos ang mga ito at patuloy na paunlarin pa ang aming buhay,” said Liza.

 

For Mario and Liza, these opportunities to learn continuously lead them towards their dream for the family. And as long as they have these knowledge and skills, they’re confident that they’ll find a way to improve their lives.#

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