NEGROS ORIENTAL – The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) continues to change lives of poor families in the country including the 463 Indigenous People (IT) belonging to the Ata tribe/families in Mabinay, Negros Oriental.

20201014 101138 - 4Ps changes life for the better for Ata IP tribe in Negros Oriental
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE POWER — Some of the 463 Indigenous People (IT) belonging to the Ata tribe/families in Mabinay, Negros Oriental whose lives have turned for the better with help from the national government. (Photo: DSWD-7)

According to DSWD-7 regional information officer Leah Quintana, the 4Ps included the IPs under the modified conditional cash transfer for indigenous peoples (MCCT-IP) program specifically those in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs) in 2015.

Quintana added that apart from providing financial assistance to the beneficiaries, 4Ps aims to provide holistic transformation to families through family development sessions (FDS) which more often developed parent leaders in the community.

Pantawid Pamilya parent leader Roselete Gedorio belongs to the Ata tribe in Barangay Canggohob in Mabinay town in Negros Oriental and she shared that their life changed when DSWD included them in the 4Ps MCCT-IP program in 2015. 

The Gedorio family still observed their distinct indigenous political structure as well as cultural practices with the other members of the 463 Ata tribe/families in Mabinay.

Roselete said she became confident in dealing with people as well as taking part in organizations and activities in their community when she became part of MCCT-IP.

“Dili lang pinansyal ang natabang sa pantawid pamilya sa amo, kundi apil napod ang among kinaiyanhong gawi ug kalam, (Apart from the financial assistance we received from Pantawid Pamilya, it also improved our attitude and knowledge),” Roselete said.

She emphasized that the best part she had in the program is learning different values in life.  Roselete added that she applied all the things she learned from the FDS to her family as well as to the community.

Usa sa among nakat-unan sa pagka-4Ps kay kun unsaon mahimong epektibo nga lider sa komunidad (One thing I learned from 4Ps is how to be an effective leader in the community),” she added.

She served as one of the councilors in their barangay. After her term, her husband got elected as barangay official while she focuses on leading organizations in the community such as Canggohob Negrosanon Ata Development Association Organization (CANGNEADA) and Couple’s for Christ (CF).

“Dako gayud kaayo og tabang ang mga seminar nga akong naapilan. Naka-realize ko nga dili diay to mao akong gibuhat sa una. Maayo gayud diay nga open-mided ta ug maminaw ta sa mga kabataan ug mga katawhan.  (Attending seminars was a big help. It made me realize that it is important to be open-minded and to listen to the youth and to the community),” Roselete said.

According to Quintana, Roselete and her family committed to continue to help and be good examples to the community as their way of giving back to the government, especially to the DSWD, in providing health and education grants, rice subsidy, as well as life-changing lessons through the FDS.

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