September 28, 2023

The Balasi family from Tabuk City, Kalinga bagged the best poster in this year’s Salaysay ng Buhay ng Pamilyang Pantawid National Search besting other entries from the 17 field offices of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The family of Jennifer Balasi, 48, became a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in 2012. She resides in Gobgob, Tabuk City with her three children Janine, Jamille, and Jewel who are monitored under the program.

The winning poster portrayed how their family managed to survive the loss of their home’s pillar, Ernesto, due to motor vehicle accident in 2013. Since then, Jennifer has raised their children alone.

With strong determination and courage to make ends meet for her family, Jennifer continued to work as a solo parent, serving as a barangay child development worker, the family’s only source of income.

The 4Ps, according to the family, served as a life-changer for them because it provides financial, psychosocial, and spiritual augmentation added to their unified sacrifices and prayers.

“Sobrang bait ng Panginoon sapagkat napabilang ang aming pamilya sa Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. Malaking tulong ang naibahagi ng programang ito sa aming pamilya, sa pang-araw-araw na pangangailangan sa eskwelahan at pangkalusugan lalo na sa pagkakataong nasubok ang aming katatagan. Ang programa ay isa sa naging sandalan namin sa patuloy na pagharap sa hamon ng buhay,” Janine said.

Despite the family’s meager income, the eldest, Janine, was able to graduate with a degree in Civil Engineering and is now a licensed engineer. She now works as a starting employee of the local government unit of Tabuk City. 

On the other hand, Jamille is now in college taking up Education while Jewel is in junior high school, both maintaining good attendance and impressive performances in their academics. They aim to finish their studies like their eldest and to give their family a comfortable and better life.

The pandemic may be a great challenge to the Balasi family but they remain intact by ensuring constant and open communication among their members.

The Balasi family earlier bagged the first place for the regional search of Salaysay ng Buhay ng Pamilyang Pantawid, one of the activities of the DSWD to showcase the impact of the program from the point of view of the beneficiaries and to create a pool of family advocates in uplifting the lives of the poor.

As of Aug. 31, the Balasi family is among the 54,709 household beneficiaries monitored for their compliance to program conditions on education, health, and nutrition. – Marlo C. Abyado Jr.