The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office III led the Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) in a field visit in the province of Nueva Ecija. RAC representatives coming from agencies like DepEd, DOH, DILG, DTI, NEDA, POPCOM and DOLE have joined the Regional Project Management Office in visiting Carranglan.
Carranglan Mayor Mary B. Abad, who warmly welcomed the RAC visiting members, thanked the committee for visiting their municipality for the first time. Mayor Abad also recalled that before Pantawid Pamilya was implemented in Carranglan they were ranked as the poorest area in Nueva Ecija. A cultural presentation from Kalanguya tribe has been presented, the dance rituals are only performed in special occasions, like birthdays, weddings and even death.
Assistant Regional Director for Operations Irene C. Crespo extended her gratitude to the staff and beneficiaries of the area and also acknowledged the effort of the RAC partners and the local government unit.
The RAC visiting members were divided into two groups and visited barangays Minuli and Capintalan to witness an actual Family Development Session.
In Capintalan, Riva Martin Felix taught her co-beneficiaries how to make a souvenir out of rock. Because of the abundance of rocks that they can pick beside the river, Riva said, “Lagi kasing nagpapa-project sa school ng mga bata kaya naisipan ko para may pera na magamit na pang-project yung mga anak namin.” Most of the souvenirs are raw materials from their surroundings like the rocks that they form to resemble a chair and dried gugo (a native tree that is extensively used for washing hair and hair tonics) were woven to form other products like baskets. The beneficiaries plan to sell each rock souvenir from 20-25 pesos.
Capintalan is in the boundary of Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaya where80 out of 121 beneficiaries are members of tribes of Kalanguya, Kankana-ay and Igorot. Based on the observation of the group, the beneficiaries are not fully-prepared about the topics on family planning and immunization. Ms. Tomasa Lirio, Regional Program Coordinator of Pantawid Pamilya reminded the partners that they need to be culturally sensitive in the discussion about topics like Family Planning. Ms. Lirio also encouraged the beneficiaries to comply with immunization because it will not only benefit their children but because it is one of the conditionalities of the program. The beneficiaries gave a positive response on this.
Testimonials from selected beneficiaries were also presented to the RAC. Celia Mariano nervously read her testimony, “Baka po kasi hindi ako makapagsalita sa inyo ngayon kaya isinulat ko po ang aking kwento.” Most of her testimony contained gratitude to the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program saying “Malaki po ang naitulong ng Pantawid Pamilya sa aking Pamilya at natutunan ko na maaaring magpatingin sa health center. Sa mga pagdalo ko sa Family Development Session ay lalong lumawak ang aking natutunan at dito ay napag-aaralan kung papaano iaangat ang pamumuhay ng aming pamilya. Lalo akong nagpapasalamat dahil sa Pantawid Pamilya ay nakapasok sa DPWH ang aking asawa at sa patuloy na tulong na ibinibigay ninyo sa amin”.
In acknowledging the support of her municipal link Celia said, “Sa tulong po ng aming Municipal Link at Parent Leaders ay napakalaki ng aming natutunan. Labis-labis ang aking pasasalamat dahil nagpapakapagod kayo para matulungan kami”. ### (A.B. Castaneda)