Mrs. Permalyn A. Mahalan, a Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiary of Barangay Alat, Jolo Sulu, lives a simple life. Her husband, Ibba Mahalin, works as a sidewalk vendor selling vegetables and food spices/seasonings. She helps her husband for the business, which they started with a small capital. But because they have eight siblings, the basic needs of the family are really hard to cope up with,

            Mrs. Mahalan already knew about 4Ps as a program for the poor. One day, a good neighborhood visited their house bringing good news that her name is listed among the potential beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya Program. She was so happy upon learning that she has a great chance to become a beneficiary of the program, which did come true.

In 2009, she received her cash grant amounting to of P8,000.00, which she said was her first time to hold such amount of money. She was able to pay the school fees of their children and buy a new school uniforms. And because their eldest daughter will be turning college soonest, they decided to use the remaining amount they received as additional capital to their business.

“We have to work hard to be able to send our children to school. My husband fervently hopes our children to finish their studies, because education is the only legacy we could hand over to them,” she said. She also said that with the help of the program, hard work and strong determination, their daily income has increased,

In 2010, the family was able to rent a small space at downtown Jolo, where they have established their Sari-Sari Store. They pay 100.00 pesos daily as rental because they sell items at a minimum price. Many people are buying from their store. They have lots of “suki” (patrons) that they are earning at least P1,500.00 daily.

Mrs. Mahalan said with profound gratitude, as could be gleaned from her facial expression, that the program is a big help to their lives. “The program becomes a vital instrument and a trigger to where we are now- from a mere sidewalk vendor to a more decent and formal-looking business- a Sari-Sari Store, she said.

For their initial success in business, she said that they will also rent another space to establish another Sari-Sari Store. They were also able to buy a second hand tricycle. If their children have no classes, they are the ones who manage the store while their father drives the tricycle to earn additional income.

From a sidewalk vendor and became 4Ps beneficiaries and then became a Sari-Sari Store owner, they are now able to build a semi-concrete house, which before is only made up of salvaged materials.

Despite being too busy with their business, Mrs. Manahan still manages to comply with her obligation to the program. She regularly attends the Monthly Family Development Session (FDS) other related activities, because she said that FDS is equally important to the cash grants as the knowledge gained from the session is of far-reaching implications in terms of family and community development.

“We wish to extend my deepest thanks and gratitude to the government for the chances and for the help extended to us through 4Ps. We have had already a daughter who finished college education,” she intoned. “We will always treasure the moments and experiences we have gone through being a recipient of the program. We also wish to extend our millions of thanks to President Benigno S. Aquino III, for pursuing with the program and to DSWD-Central Office, DSWD-ARMM, and partner line agencies of the autonomous region; and most especially to the ALMIGHTY ALLAH to whom we shall return in the life hereafter.

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