Determination and perseverance are remarkable traits of the former Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) Family that help them improve their well-being with the transformative power of a government assistance program.

Verna Fe Gabaya, a 45-year-old wife and mother, is a living testament to the program’s profound impact on the lives of ordinary Filipino families in Northern Mindanao.

Verna Fe Gabaya expertly styles her clients’ hair in her salon, empowered by her skills acquired through free TESDA Beauty Care NC II courses, shaping her into a confident entrepreneur.

Verna Fe’s life took a dramatic turn when the program entered her humble abode.

Before its intervention, she navigated the challenges of daily life, caring for her Family and facing the uncertainties that come with being the wife of a truck driver.

Little did she know that an enumeration of the former National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction, now Listahanan, would alter her life’s course, making her a beneficiary of a program that she now considers an “angel in disguise.”

Verna Fe’s Family, like many others, faced financial setbacks. Indebted to Paglaum Multi-purpose Cooperative after pursuing her dream of owning a plot of land, Verna Fe grappled with the bitterness of life.

However, the 4Ps program acted as a lifeline, alleviating her worries about her children’s needs and ensuring a sense of normalcy during times of crisis.

Undeterred by challenges, Verna Fe became a risk-taker, engaging in various businesses to support her Family.

Despite initial setbacks, she persevered, focusing on her Salon business.

The program provided financial support and molded and guided her through monthly Family Development Sessions (FDS), where she gained valuable insights into parenthood, children’s rights, and gardening.

Verna Fe’s commitment to self-improvement and financial independence is evident in her pursuit of various certifications. From Fish Processing in 2014 to Chicken Poultry Raising NC II in 2022, she honed her skills through programs facilitated by partner institutions like TESDA, ultimately enabling her to contribute to her Family’s well-being.

Verna Fe’s dreams extend beyond her achievements; she aspires to her children’s success.

Her eldest daughter is pursuing a nursing degree at a prestigious university, while Freyah excels in Junior High School with high honors.

Verna Fe stands beaming with pride beside her daughter, Noela Fe, celebrating her success in becoming a registered nurse after passing her examination

Beyond family triumphs, the Gabaya Family actively engages in community and church activities.

Their involvement in clean-up drives, community assemblies, and spiritual practices strengthens their familial bonds and contributes to community empowerment.

In a powerful statement, Verna Fe urges others not to wait for assistance but to engage with government programs actively.

She emphasizes the need for collaboration rather than pointing fingers, citing the 4Ps program as a potential chain-breaker in the cycle of poverty.

From facing crises to achieving triumphs, her journey resonates with the belief that, with collaboration and empowerment, individuals can break free from the chains of poverty.