Barbaza, Antique-It was like every day is a fight for survival. He lived each 24-hour span of his and his loved one’s lives thinking of how it is to go on existing.
This was how Stephen Tiad, 32 years old, a resident of Brgy. Jinalinan, Barbaza, Antique, has described the years of being unemployed. He would venture into jobs that met their one day need so as to put food on their table and the next day, he will face the same dilemma.
But for the past six months, Stephen, married to Jennifer and with whom she has four children, life has changed. He no longer had to scrounge around for any work so he could put food on the table.
According to Ginger Villar, Project Development Officer II (PDOII) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Stephen was accessed by the agency to avail of the Trabahong Lansangan jointly implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and DSWD. Stephen’s children are also receiving cash grants for their education and health under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
“Bahul nga salamat kay gintugruan ako sang sini nga benepisyo (I am so thankful that I was given this benefit),” said Stephen. Under the Trabahong Lansangan, beneficiaries were employed to do declogging of drainage canals, road maintenance and street sweeping. Stephen earned P250 per day and in the course of six months, he was able to support his family’s daily needs, never had to struggle every morning whether where could he get a living to feed his wife and children.
Beyond this, Stephen was able to save P2,500 and constructed their own rest room with concrete floor and toilet basin, a basic necessity which seemed elusive for them for many years. They used to share with the toilet of their parents whose house is situated adjacent to theirs.
The Trabahong Lansangan, is one of DSWDs means of accessing beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya to gainful employment, in partnership with DPWH. Other beneficiaries are trained on livelihood and managing small-scale enterprises through the Self-Employment Assistance- Kaunlaran (SEA-K).
Although the work did not mean job for years, Stephen felt so grateful because the experience taught him a lesson. “When one is given the chance to work, one must discipline himself and value time because opportunity knocks only once…make the most of it,” said Stephen in vernacular.
Stephen further said that he learned the importance of self-discipline, gained knowledge, enhanced his skills and realized the value of time, learnings which he would always bring with him whatever opportunity would come to his doors.
DSWD is implementing a convergence strategy, which has three core programs—the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, KALAHI-CIDSS or Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services and Sustainable Livelihood.
The Convergence strategy aims to maximize results of programs and projects more than what each project can achieve alone.
With the strategy, beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya are prioritized for KALAHI-CIDSS coverage and avail of Sustainable Livelihood and gainful employment./DSWD6/May Rago-Castillo