Archive | March 9th, 2015

IP Pantawid scholar encourages lumad children to finish studies

Cagayan de Oro City — A Higaonon Pantawid Pamilya college scholar here is urging his fellow lumad children to finish their studies.

Marlon Mandago, 24 of Tagmaray, San Luis, Malitbog, Bukidnon, is a third year student of Mindanao University of Science and Technology, taking up Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, major in Physical Sciences.

At a very young age, Marlon has witnessed the economic struggle of his parents who are laborers of a vegetable farm in the hinterland municipality of Malitbog, some 42.6 kilometers off southeast of here.

 

Looking at the miniature of the future school campus of Mindanao University of Science and Technology, Marlon Mandago, 24 of Tagmaray, San Luis, Malitbog, Bukidnon wants lumad children of Higaonon Tribe like him to finish studies. Mandago is a third year student of MUST taking up Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, major in Physical Sciences. He is a scholar under Expanded Student Grants-In-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation of Pantawid Pamilya of DSWD. Photo by Oliver Badel Inodeo, DSWD Northern Mindanao.

Looking at the miniature of the future school campus of Mindanao University of Science and Technology, Marlon Mandago, 24 of Tagmaray, San Luis, Malitbog, Bukidnon wants lumad children of Higaonon Tribe like him to finish studies. Mandago is a third year student of MUST taking up Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, major in Physical Sciences. He is a scholar under Expanded Student Grants-In-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation of Pantawid Pamilya of DSWD. Photo by Oliver Badel Inodeo, DSWD Northern Mindanao.

During his elementary days, Marlon recalled that his parents would take home P50 each a day after rendering services to the vegetable farm. Now, it has increased to P100 a day, but, still below the daily minimum wage standard which is P284.

“I don’t want to go through what my parents had gone through,” Marlon said, adding that he is determined to finish his college education.

“That is why I am encouraging IP communities to prioritize education because it will lift us out from poverty to prosperity,” Marlon said.

Marlon is the eldest of the Mandago siblings. His family is living with his grandparents until now.

End Violence against women

Living in a patristic-influenced community, where men dominate, Marlon is calling lumad women in his community to assert their rights.

“They should not just mum if they are right, they should assert their rights,” stressed Marlon when ask on his insights to the celebration of Women’s Month.

Also, he calls an end to violence against women, although he disclosed that he seldom heard of complaints on violence against women and children in his community.

He also encouraged members of his tribe to continue upholding a high respect to women.

Preserving Higaonon’s Heritage

Marlon fluently speaks Higaonon language despite being influenced by Dumagats, a term used for urban setllers.

Even inside MUST campus, located at the heart of this highly urbanized city, Marlon opts to use his dialect in communicating with fellow lumad.

Marlon disclosed he has a friend from Talakag, Bukidnon, some 87 kilometers off south of this city, who speaks Higaonon dialect.

Despite his exposure to big cities like Cebu, where he spent his secondary formation, Marlon said he wants to keep and preserve the traditions of Higaonons. One of those is on marriage and on their beliefs.

Marlon said he will certainly pass those traditions to his children in the future.

Thankful to DSWD

Marlon is thankful to DSWD for helping him reach for his dream-that is, to finish a college degree.

If not for the college scholarship under the Expanded Student Grants-In-Aid Program-for Poverty Alleviation of the Pantawid Pamilya of DSWD, Marlon said his dream would be a bleak one.

In 2012, the Pantawid Pamilya in partnership   with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) launched and eventually rolled-out the ESGPPA for Pantawid Pamilya households, whose members are about to enroll or are currently enrolled in college.

The scholarship program aims to contribute to the thrusts of the National Government in addressing poverty alleviation by providing higher education to poor households, giving them better opportunities of being employed, and thereby lifting their families out of poverty.

Under the program, children of the household beneficiary will have an opportunity to pursue tertiary education provided that they qualify for the said scholarship.

Currently, Northern Mindanao has more than 2,037 college scholars who are enrolled in the different State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) duly recognized by CHED.

Pantawid Pamilya is a human development program of the national government that invests in the health and education of the poor households by providing monthly cash grants to beneficiaries, provided that they comply with the set of conditions required by the program.

As for his community, Marlon disclosed that DSWD is one of the government agencies “that help people build a peaceful life.”

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Marlon with Vice President for Student Affairs of MUST, Dr. Juana Dela Rama (fourth from left); ESGP-PA focal person of DSWD, Cherrylou Acobo (extreme right); and fellow scholars of MUST.

 

With DSWD’s intervention, Marlon believes that “Kaya ko ang Pagbabago dahil sa tulong nga Pantawid Pamilya at DSWD.” (I can make a difference because of the help of Pantawid Pamilya and DSWD.”###smu

Written by Oliver Badel Inodeo, DSWD Northern Mindanao

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Partner awards RD Solamillo

The Philippine School of Science and Technology in Cagayan de Oro City has awarded Atty. Araceli F. Solamillo, Regional Director of DSWD Northern Mindanao, ‘for making a huge difference in the life of the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya.’ The school, a TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) accredited, trains Pantawid Pamilya household members under the Skills Training for Employment and Productivity, and Partnering Scheme of the Sustainable Livelihood Program of DSWD.

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