CANDON CITY, Ilocos Sur, May 7 (PIA) — A short video documentary film on children beneficiaries of government’s poverty reduction program has gained recognition from the Probe Media, United Nations Children’s Fund and the Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD) Central Office.
The documentary film entitled “Kubling Pangarap” was produced by the DSWD in Region 1 and featured the difficult situation faced by school children in far-flung barangays of Sugpon, Ilocos Sur.
It was among the top seven films from 17 DSWD regional offices (to include Central Office), and achieved the “Best Reflects Pantawid Pamilya Award.” The award was conferred by DSWD, Probe Media Foundation and UNICEF during the Review and Assessment Workshop for DSWD Communication Officers held recently in Tagaytay.
According to DSWD Region 1 Information Officer Iryn Q. de los Reyes, the documentary film featured the children who are now assisted by DSWD through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. Also assisting the children are the LGU-Sugpon and foster families.
She disclosed that the municipality of Sugpon is the 6th poorest municipality in the Philippines.
The documentary film featured how the Pantawid Pamilya Program and ‘Agsugpontayo Project’ helped poor children access to basic education. It also showed the situation of children from their long hours of walk (3 to 6 hours) before they could reach their schools and the risk of trekking near-ravine foot paths which were among the rationale of ‘Agsugpontayo Project’.
‘Agsugpontayo’ is an Iloko word which means ‘we converge’ or putting together ones resources. The project partners with foster/host families in the Poblacion of Sugpon town to help children and youth pursue their education. During school days, about 60 foster/host families open their homes to these school children and allow them to freely use / access basic necessities such own rooms or cottages, desktop computers, study area, among others.
The ‘Agsugpontayo Project’ supports and complements the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program who are required to meet the conditionalities of the program particularly the 85 percent attendance to school.
Before the Project and the Pantawid Pamilya Program came, school children from far barangays are hard up in attending school regularly because of the mountainous terrain and far distance of their homes to primary and secondary schools situated at the heart of Sugpon, Mayor Fernando Quiton said.
In the farflung barangays there are 6 multi-grade schools (grade levels are not complete). In a school year, only three grade levels are offered such as Grades 1, 3 and 5 and the succeeding year the other grade levels (Grades 2,4,and 6) are offered. This situation increased the number of drop-outs and out-of-school youths in the communities, Mayor Quiton added.
With the partnership forged by the DSWD, LGU-Sugpon, and the foster families in the ‘Agsugpontayo Project,’ children in these far-flung areas are closer to their dreams of realizing their rights particularly on development, protection and participation. (ANL/FGL-PIA 1 Ilocos)