SAN JOSE, Province of Dinagat Island– Rosing ( not her real name), 75 years old, tending her sari-sari store, recalls the past of her grandson, Waldo ( as he is fondly called), 20 years old. In October 2010, Waldo was caught with two other minors who brought 20 cigarette sticks and a bottle of drinking alcohol in the school campus.

In 2010, Waldo’s life took a turn when he sought to his “barkada” in school. While with them in October 2010, they were caught bringing liquor and cigarettes in the school premises. Waldo was 16 years old then. They were brought to the Police Station because they violated the Municipal Ordinance No. 131 series of 2007- “An Ordinance Regulating Cigar and Cigarette Smoking in the Municipality of San Jose, PDI and Imposing Penalties for Violations Thereof and for Other Purposes”.

Due to this incident, they were referred to the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office for appropriate intervention. They were provided with counseling to make them realize that they committed a violation. The other services provided are the educational support services and spiritual enhancement. The social worker conducted home visitations to Waldo in order to monitor his conduct and his performance in school.

After the interventions done by the social worker, Waldo became more focused with his studies. He refrained from going out with friends who have bad influence to him.

On March 2014, Waldo graduated from college and is now working in a shipping company as an apprentice for 3 months. His regular employment awaits as he will be directly hired by the company after his apprenticeship.

“I am really happy now” states Rosing.

“My grandson is starting to build his own future. He is presently working in a shipping line in Cebu City right after he graduated from college. I took care of him since birth and assumed the responsibility of raising him”, Rosing proudly narrated.

 Waldo graduated Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation at Surigao Education Center, Surigao City on March 22, 2014.

Waldo is now able to support his siblings who are in school. He is no longer dependent to his family. Truly, he has now a brighter future ahead of him!

“Kayang – kayang ang pagbabago ‘pag determinado kang abutin ang gusto mo sa buhay,” Waldo shared. ###(DSWD FO Caraga)###