TACLOBAN CITY- Laughter filled the crowded People’s Center as more than 5,500 participants mostly Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, wives, husbands, and children from all over the region, gathered to celebrate the Pantawid Pamilya National Family Day and Convergence Caravan last September 28, 2014. Present in the event were Department of Social Welfare and Development Assistant Secretary for Protective Programs Vilma Cabrera, Regional Director Nestor Ramos and other officials, program staff from Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, (KC-NCDDP), (SLP) and Convergence Strategy Program.

The said event was intended to create awareness about the importance of the family as the basic unit of the society and to launch the music video of the Kaya Ko ang Pagbabago campaign of the department.
Featured during the celebration were the family of 2014 Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya, Jaime Concon (from Macarthur, Leyte), and the families of provincial awardees Nenita Basal (Catbalogan, Samar), Arlene Nartia (Naval, Biliran), Minda Ypulong (San Roque, Northern Samar), and Tita Berondo (San Juan, Southern Leyte); as well the 2014 exemplary children, namely, Ryan Christian Caudilla (Sta. Rita, Samar), Lyka Janina E. Brigole (Naval, Biliran), Jhon G. Ayop (Malitbog, Southern Leyte), Noel Justine Lapada (Borongan, Eastern Samar), Felixberto Miranda (Macarthur, Leyte), and Lailanie Masdo (San Vicente, Northern Samar) graced the event.

The partner beneficiaries carried with them colorful flaglets and balloons which they wave so often when responding to the hosts and the guests on stage, especially during the “Talakayang Pantawid Pamilya”.
“Kaya ko ang pagbabago dahil mahal ko ang aking Pamilya at nakikiisa kami sa gawain at mithiin ng ating pamahalaan, ng DSWD, at ng Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program,” expressed by Jaime Concon, Regional Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya winner.

Ryan Christian Caudilla, 2014 exemplary child, said that he strongly believes that education will help him and his family improves their lives. “I love my parents and siblings. I will do my best to finish my studies to give my family a better future,” he said.” Stakeholders also joined the celebration to show their support to the program. Among them were Department of Health Regional Director Dr. Jose Llacuna Jr., Department of Education chief of Technical Assistance Division, Cesar Verunque, representatives from the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.; Department of the Interior and Local Government; Department of Trade and Industry; Technical Education and Skills Development Authority), among others. (VICKY ARNAIZ)