March 28, 2023

Some people extend help because they expect the same or even greater favor in return. But for parent-leader Dorothy Magahin and her group, helping is a demonstration of compassion for others.
Dorothy, 43, has become a household name in Barangay Patiao, Peñarrubia, Abra courtesy of her initiatives in mobilizing the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program parent group that she leads to share portion of their emergency subsidy with the families mostly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
When the group observed that many families in their community did not receive the government’s emergency subsidy, Dorothy organized her members and proposed to shell out a portion of their subsidy to buy food items as augmentation for the affected families in their community.
“Our volunteerism initiative was tested. I witnessed that no one was spared from the virus especially our members who are also disadvantaged. So we decided this initiative to use some of our grant to help others in our own little way,” Dorothy shared.
Without any hesitation, her members contributed P120 each from their social amelioration grant.
From their contributions, they bought instant coffee, cooking oil, sugar, biscuits, and bagoong (fermented/salted fish sauce) and packed into bags that were distributed to each family beneficiary.
The Social Amelioration Program is a part of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act which aims to mitigate the effects of the community quarantine implemented to help control the spread of the Covid-19 disease. For April, 4Ps beneficiaries received an additional P 4,150 emergency subsidy on top of the regular grant that they receive.
The group identified their recipients as those eligible families that are non-Pantawid beneficiaries and were not included in the SAP. Following the Inter-Agency Task Force guidelines, the group delivered the food packs to 30 families within their barangay.
Dorothy attributed their initiative to the lessons they learned from the monthly Family Development Session (FDS).
“I realized that this is the right time to apply the learnings we got from the monthly FDS and this is also one way of showing gratitude for the assistance we receive from the government.”
Dorothy used to be the timid type. She simply lives as a housekeeper taking care of their children and providing support to her husband, Dominador, who is an ice cream vendor and a laborer on-call.
Dorothy once planned to work abroad but she chose to stay with her children and supported her husband instead.
Her family became a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilya in 2012. With the intervention of the program, Dorothy asserts that her family was empowered by becoming active and responsible members of the community through the lessons gained from the FDS. This further motivated her to become active in various people’s organizations and to participate in different skills and livelihood training.
Dorothy continues to serve as a parent-leader in her community while she voluntarily teaches Values Education at Peñarrubia Integrated School. Although she is not a licensed teacher, she offered her time in upholding positive Filipino values in her community. Her children Madelyn Rica, 15, and Maybelle Rhea, 13, are in high school.
Even before the pandemic, Dorothy is known in her barangay as generous and caring to others.
While some citizens malign the 4Ps beneficiaries’ initiative and even making them subjects of ridicule by accusing them of being indolent, Dorothy’s group was not affected by the criticisms because they believe that they have the pure intention to share what they have, even if they are also in need.
The group remains grounded and humble as they continue to be compliant with the program conditions and by living as examples in their community. They may only have shared little but their generosity and compassion for others define the true meaning of malasakit and bayanihan in them.
Dorothy hopes that other people would look at the bright side of their initiative and for them to also have the heart of compassion towards others. — Marlo Abyado, Jr.