Pantawid parent hopeful amid Boracay closure

WITH Boracay Island closed to tourists in the next six months, Dolyn Braulio, a mother of five, finds herself in a state of uncertainty.

Dolyn, a resident of Sitio Bulabog at Barangay Balabag, Boracay Island, is a beneficiary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). She is also among the thousands of residents and workers who lost their sources of income due to the temporary closure of the island.

The 47-year-old mother used to work as a private nanny for guests in one of the resorts in the island. She also sells kakanin or snacks to earn additional income for the family.

Her husband, who worked as an on-call mason carpenter for a local private construction firm, also lost his job.

To make matters worse, two of Dolyn’s children, who worked as housekeeping staffer in a resort and cashier for a bakery, are also jobless.

Dolyn said she is anxious about how her family will survive in six months.

While she is a member of the 4Ps, she said she could not rely solely on the grants that she has been receiving to keep her family afloat in the meantime.

But Dolyn and her family found a ray of hope after the DSWD hired her and her husband to work at the Department’s Operation Center (OpCen) in Boracay located in Faith Village, Barangay Manoc-Manoc.

Dolyn now works as a cook at the OpCen’s community kitchen, which serves DSWD personnel who were deployed to the island, as well as the Department’s partner-government agencies and volunteers.

About 100 staffers from DSWD Field Office VI and Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) Office Aklan have been deployed in the island to provide aid to residents and workers affected by the closure.

Dolyn now feels more secure despite the island’s closure.

“Gapasalamat gid ako sa DSWD. Dako gid nga bulig ang nahatag sa akon (I thank the DSWD for this job. This is a big help for me),” the mother said.

Dolyn has been a member of Pantawid since the program started in Boracay in 2011. To date, there are 640 household beneficiaries of 4Ps in the island, most of whom work as vendors of souvenirs, hair braiders, boatmen, porters, tour guides, and ‘commissioners’ or those who arrange the visit of tourists. These beneficiaries lost their sources of livelihood due to the 6-month shutdown.

As a way to support 4Ps household-beneficiaries in Boracay, the DSWD has already suspended the conditionalities of the program in the island.

“We have suspended the conditionalities of the Pantawid program as a way to support our beneficiaries affected by the temporary closure of Boracay. We understand that most of them, if not all, have jobs that are directly or indirectly related to the tourist trade in the island,” DSWD Undersecretary for General Administrative and Support Services Group (GASSG) Emmanuel A. Leyco earlier said.

“Residents and workers in Boracay, including our 4Ps beneficiaries, will also be given opportunities to access other DSWD programs such as the Cash-For-Work and the Sustainable Livelihood Program,” he added. (DSWD)


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