Official Publication of the Philippine Information Agency Bicol Regional Office, in cooperation with the RIAC-REDIRAS - RDC Bicol

Monday, November 14, 2016

Poor solo parent volunteers to help uplift lives of villagers

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 14 (PIA) -- Even a destitute member of the community can contribute to its development--for someone who lost a home and a husband, helping others is just normal.

 Marites Soquino, 42, a solo parent of Brgy. San Isidro Iraya, Malilipot, Albay was abandoned by her husband five years ago. Their romance ended with five sons who have been under her care since 2012.

Moreover, Typhoon Glenda destroyed their makeshift house in 2014 and since then, they have been living in a shelter box (tent), an aid they received from a foreign donor.

 She reports to work six days a week and takes home a maximum of P3,000 a month as a secretary in a direct selling company in Tabaco City, another town next to Malilipot. She also gets an extra profit as a seamstress. Her two children are Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who receive a total of PhP2,200 for every two months when all health and education conditions are met.

She said that her children are her inspiration. She values the education of her kids and only wishes them to get a good education.

Her responsibility of raising her five sons was never a hindrance to devote a portion of her time to their village. She was a member of the Kalipunan ng Liping Pilipina (KALIPI), a barangay women’s organization, before receiving a volunteer stint.

“Magtarabangan kita tanganing makatapos kamo,” she told her children.

During a community assembly in 2014, Marites and other residents were elected as community volunteers who will manage the construction of their school buildings. Being the head of the volunteers, her responsibility included the management of several volunteer committees to ensure that they are doing their part. Their group was also obliged with the prompt compliance of documentary requirements to build the school buildings.

She even skipped work despite of salary deduction just to attend all trainings and seminars relative to her responsibility.

Marites’ dedication and passion in building a better community for her children was not extinguished by wrongful accusations and rumors.

"Kapos man kami sa pera, edukasyon an maipapamana namin sa aming mga anak," she said.

Just like any other government projects, the villagers doubted the completion of their school buildings because there was a discrepancy with the documentary compliance effecting a delayed implementation. Thus, rumors surfaced that Marites and other volunteers took the money for their school buildings.

But she was relentless enough to keep the spirits of her co-volunteers high despite of the tirades and bashings. Marites continued to encourage the residents to participate. She would candidly respond to queries about their community project as part of transparency.

As a graduate of two-year course, her leadership skills help the community volunteers appreciate the importance of the project in their barangay.

Their elementary school and high school has one school building each. The construction started last June 6, 2016 and is almost complete. The said project has a total cost of PhP4,126,249.92 from Kalahi-CIDSS- Kapit- Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) is a DSWD program that seeks to help alleviate poverty through community-driven development (CDD).

Kristen Rozen, the project coordinator of the school building in Malilipot, described Marites as a selfless volunteer despite of her poor living conditions, she performs all her functions without expecting anything in return.

She never complained about poverty. She focused on how she can reach her goals for her family and community. She never lost hope when everything turned low. Her strength catapulted her to become a fighter who never surrenders. (MAL/JBM-DSWD5/PIA5)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211479095971/poor-solo-parent-volunteers-to-help-uplift-lives-of-villagers#sthash.91Y04x5l.dpuf

No comments:

Post a Comment