BOARD PASSERS. Nicky Joy Mahawan Completado (left), 24, of Purok 5, Lapasan, Clarin, Misamis Occidental, recently passed the Criminologist Licensure Exam. Jourdyn Pansoy Balane (right), 27, of Baroy, Lanao del Norte, earned a 91.80 percent rating, placing her second at the Licensure Examination for Teachers this year. (DSWD-10 supplied photos)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Like every student, they worked hard to earn their respective college degrees amid difficulties in studies and life.

Yet, the hardships did not hinder them to finish school and pass their respective licensure examinations.

Jourdyn Pansoy Balane, 27, of Baroy, Lanao del Norte, earned a 91.80 percent rating in the June 2022 Licensure Examination for Teachers for Elementary Education, placing her at the second spot nationwide.

Learning the result early in August paid off the family’s support for her.

“My mother, Rosalina, is a plain housewife, and my father, Jovencio, is a watch repairman. My father’s income is only enough to cover our basic needs,” Balane said.

She recalled the time when her family had no food and her mother begged for mercy to borrow cans of grains from their neighbor.

Although she graduated cum laude at the Mindanao State University-Maigo School of Arts and Trade, Lanao del Norte, in 2019, it took her some time before deciding to take the examination.

By the time she was ready, Balane and her husband, Christopher, brought along their newborn second child when they traveled to this city.

June was also the schedule for the Criminologist Licensure Examination.

Nicky Joy Mahawan Completado, 24 of Purok 5, Lapasan, Clarin, Misamis Occidental, was one of the successful passers.

Completado's family relies on the meager and unstable income from the construction work of their father, Macario, to sustain the family’s needs.

“I temporarily stopped so that my sister would graduate. I immediately found a job to help my family and my sister,” she said, who was once a scholar at Misamis University during her first two years in college.

Former 4Ps

Both Completado and Balane were former beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), a poverty reduction strategy of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Oliver Inodeo, DSWD-Northern Mindanao focal person for 4Ps, said the two achievers were able to "graduate" the program as a result of their "improved situation."

Inodeo said the 4Ps invest in human capital by providing cash grants to program beneficiaries upon compliance with certain conditions in health, nutrition, and education.

Besides, there will be another group of 4Ps beneficiaries that will follow the steps of Completado and Balane as 27 incoming students were awarded scholarships by Xavier University – Andrew L. Gotianun Sr. Center for Integrated Technologies.

Other than the tuition-free education, the incoming senior high school scholars will receive uniforms and books, and be housed in a dormitory with provisions of free daily meals. (PNA)