MANILA – A resident of Occidental Mindoro joined the successful beneficiaries of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) after passing the 2023 Civil Engineer Licensure Examinations (CELE).
Shemiah M. Pineda, 23, of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro surmounted difficulties in life to reach her dream to become a full-fledged civil engineer.
She and her two siblings were single-handedly raised by their mother, Prescy, after their father left them when they were still young.
Because of their poverty, the Pineda family became beneficiaries of the Pantawid sa Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in 2013.
Through the stipend from the 4Ps, Shemiah’s mother was able to cover their daily expenses.
Her mother also supported the future engineer and her siblings by working in Manila to provide for their education, as well as medication for her grandparents.
Upon learning that Shemiah passed the licensure examinations for civil engineers, the DSWD immediately congratulated Shemiah, who was also the 2013 Pantawid Pamilya National Exemplary Child winner.
“Marami po akong narating dahil sa inyo. Thank you so much po. Engineer na po ‘yong 2013 National Exemplary Child niyo (I achieved many things because of [the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program]. Thank you so much). Your 2013 National Exemplary Child is now an engineer,” Shemiah said in response to the DSWD’s congratulatory note.
Being named a “National Exemplary Child” has opened up many opportunities for Shemiah. It also motivated her to finish her studies.
Shemiah became the voice of the youth and child representative of their barangay and the municipality of San Jose.
When asked about her message to other 4Ps monitored children she said, “Huwag tayong sumuko hanggang sa maabot natin ang ating mga hinahangad (Don’t give up until we reach our goals).”
“Tandaan natin na walang pangarap na imposible basta nagpapatuloy. Each step counts, every effort counts. Habang gumagawa tayo ng paraan para mangyari ang ating ninanais ay walang imposible. (Let’s remember that no dream is impossible so long as you keep going. Each step counts, every effort counts. So long as we make a way for what we want to happen, nothing is impossible),” she added.
The DSWD 4-B (Mimaropa) and the 4Ps program led by Undersecretary Vilma Cabrera are proud of Sheniah’s achievements, expressing hope that she would continue to make a positive impact on her family and community.
Another 4Ps beneficiary, who has been featured in many news articles for topping the 2023 CELE, is Engineer Alexis Castillo Alegado of Paoay, Ilocos Norte. He obtained a score of 92.10 percent.
The 22-year-old Alegado was a cum laude graduate of the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) in Batac, Ilocos Norte.
He was among the 32 out of 77 graduates of MMSU’s College of Engineering who passed the CELE administered by the Professional Regulation Commission on April 23-24.
The 4Ps is a flagship program of the national government on poverty reduction and social development. It provides cash grants to extremely poor households to improve their health, nutrition, and education, particularly for children aged 0-14. It invests in human capital to break the inter-generational cycle of poverty among poor households.
As of Dec. 31, 2022, the program covered a total of 3,798,151 active household beneficiaries across 41,676 barangays throughout the country.
In January, the DSWD said it has so far released more than PHP9 billion in financial assistance to 4Ps beneficiaries.
The 4Ps is primarily focused on helping families with student-children who are younger than 17 years old to help alleviate poverty. (With a report from Zaldy De Layola/Miguel Gil/PNA)