Success story of 4Ps beneficiaries to become achievers


It was possible for the two people whose families had long received aid from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to become self-sufficient.

One of them is Mark Anthony Arcayan, 24, of Merida, Leyte, who took the mechanical engineering licensing exam this year and came in first place.

Arcayan, who received a magna cum laude degree from the Visayas State University (VSU) in 2020, said that his upbringing and studies were difficult because his parents were unable to support him and his eight siblings.

Arcayan's family paid for his secondary school with financial assistance from the DSWD's Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps). His family and friends even questioned if he would be able to finish college.

“Since we are poor, my secondary school teacher encouraged me to take the scholarship examination of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to finish college,” he told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Thursday.

His parents had to work incredibly hard to help pay for his education because the release of his DOST scholarship allowance could occasionally be delayed. He also purchased supplies for his engineering classes using some of the money he received from the DSWD.

After graduation, Arcayan accepted the job offer to teach at VSU, a premier state university in the Visayas located in Baybay City.

Erika Setosa from Tacloban City, who finished seventh on the social work license exam this year, is another success story. She is a 4Ps recipient as well because she comes from a low-income home.

“A big chunk of my father’s income was spent to buy food since there (are) six of us in the family. Only a meager amount was left for education,” she recalled.

Setosa only finished this year, and although their family is still considered to be poor, they have learnt how to handle their money thanks to 4Ps.

“I realized, understood, and appreciated the government program for poverty alleviation. It created opportunities for me and helped us (find) resources that we couldn’t provide for ourselves,” she added.

The social worker, who is 22 years old, completed her studies at Leyte Normal University in 2021 and took the licensing test this year. She recently received a job offer to work at this location's DSWD field office.

The two achievers are among those recognized by the DSWD during a ceremony at the Robinson North Tacloban on October 1. The region has 286,081 families who are active 4Ps beneficiaries and are being monitored regularly by the DSWD.

In the year of 2021 total of 15,926 beneficiaries from the region have graduated from the program after their families' well-being has moved to a sufficient level or they no longer have children less than 18 years old.

Recipients of the program were still eligible to request for help from the DSWD, such as the livelihood program offered by the department and its partner organizations to maintain the family's economic uplift.

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