“For me, a happy family is coupled with love and care. Love because it endures no pain when one member is out for the good of all. Caring because it sees every sacrifices a reason to hold each smile a memory of forever,” Thelma Peteros Lanaria said.

Thelma of Purok Alvizia [166804001-0815-00024], Barangay Aras-asan, Cagwait, Surigao del Sur is one of the six (6) self-sufficient Pantawid Pamilya partner-beneficiaries in the locality. She is married to Harlan F. Lanaria who is now working as an elementary instructor in Durata Aria School in Thailand. The couple is blessed with three children, Lian, 11; Avril, 7, and Kent Adrian, 3.

“Having children enrolled in elementary and in a nursery school is an issue nowadays. Especially that education of my children demands continues financial support; our ways and means are nonetheless limited to work so hard and work very very hard,” Thelma delivered with a happy face.

Thelma became a member of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) last 2009. Then, Harlan was still at the second year of his degree on Elementary Education at Surigao del Sur State University [Then called as Surigao del Sur Polytechnic State College] in Tandag City. While Harlan is continuing his studies, Thelma managed to send their children to school with the help of Harlan’s parents.

“It was a very challenging experience. I really thought that our story would end up that way. But everything bloomed when Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program came. This program guides and supports us. Now, I continue to learn things through my attendance in Family Development Session (FDS),” Thelma shared.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is one of the core poverty reduction programs of the government being delivered through the DSWD. This program was formerly called Ahon Pamilyang Pilipino. It aims to eradicate extreme poverty in the Philippines by investing in health and education of children particularly in ages 0–18. It is patterned on programs in other developing countries like Brazil (Bolsa Familia) and Mexico (Oportunidades).

“Now that we have Pantawid Pamilya with us, sending my children to school is no longer our major problem. I was able to provide them [children] with new school uniforms, bags, and other things needed in school. Also, I continue to send my children to our barangay health centers to constantly check their health conditions,” Thelma happily added.

“I really knew that Pantawid Pamilya is just a support program for the Filipino families who are in need of social protection services most especially to indigent families. This reasons us to inspire ourselves more to do best and work harder for our children. In fact, my attendance in FDS became my passport to signify my interest to apply as a daycare worker in our barangay,” Thelma shared.

With her diligence, Thelma was chosen by their barangay captain through the recommendation of their purok officials to teach day care pupils with a monthly honorarium of 2,700.00php. Her active involvement in all community activities has bolded her perspective to grow as a person.

“As a mother to my children, I have been dreaming to home my children in a place that they can call theirs. Since we got married, we are living at my husband’s parents’ house. Though we are living harmoniously with them [in-laws], but nothing is even better if we can have our own place to live in. This dream is our dream together for our children,” Thelma happily relayed.

Thelma continues to hope that someday, her dream will become reality.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is one of the poverty reduction programs of the DSWD. It covers three levels of well-being, survival, subsistence and self-sufficiency. Survival means a set of conditions and situations in a household that shows absence of internal and external resources as well as a dysfunctional pattern of resource utilization and therefore renders the household unable to resolve the problem. Subsistence means a set of conditions and situations in a household that shows lack of internal and external resources as well as a dysfunctional pattern of resource utilization and therefore renders the household unable to not fully resolve the problem. Self-sufficiency is a set of conditions and situations in a household that demonstrates the capacity of the household client to function adequately and make full use of the opportunities available in the community in meeting their needs and attaining a god quality of life (###DSWDFieldOfficeCaragaSocialMarketingUnit###)..