ILOILO CITY — The Cabualan family from Leon, Iloilo was declared grand champion in this year’s national search for “Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya” of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The family brought home the PHP30, 000 cash prize and a plaque, said 4Ps information officer II Montesa Caoyonan of DSWD in Region 6 on Monday.
The Cabualan couple, Romulo and Remia, together with their four children, personally received the award on Sunday during the National Family Day celebration at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex in Muntinlupa City, Manila, Caoyonan said.
Other national winners came from Negros Oriental (NIR), Davao del Norte (Region 11), Quezon province (Region 4) and Siquijor (Region 7).
According to Caoyonan, the couple are both rebel returnees but later turned into advocates of peace and development in their community together with their six children.
The couple joined the armed movement in 1984. After eight years of hiding from the military, the two surrendered in 1992. Their respective families welcomed them back home in Leon town.
In fact, at least 20 of their comrades also surrendered after the couple’s submission to military.
After going back to the society, the couple received various assistance from the government agencies and private groups to start a new life.
It was in 2011 when the couple became a beneficiary of “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program” covering three of their six children. Remia was chosen as a parent leader when the program started.
Aside from cash grants they are receiving from the program, Remia and her husband accepted the jobs as contractual laborers under the Trabahong Lansangan – a joint program of DSWD and the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) through a private contractor, the International Builders Corp. (IBC,) just to sustain the school needs of their children.
Remia is a timekeeper assigned in Leon while Romulo is a construction worker assigned in Iloilo City.
All their hardships paid off when two of the couple’s children graduated from college. Another one is now in third year college while the three others are in high school.
The couple lauded 4Ps program as it is of great help to their family, especially in keeping their children in school and keeping them healthy. They added that the program also helped them boost their self-esteem and continue their advocacy as a catalyst of change through peace and development.
The search is an annual activity of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (Pantawid) to document the impact of Family Development (FD) and the benefits of the program, specifically in the strengthening of family relations. Cindy Ferrer/PNA-northboundasia.com