Two hundred selected Pantawid Pamilya High School beneficiary-graduates across Ilocos Region marched with their parents during their graduation ceremony courtesy of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO1) at the People’s Coliseum, Santo Domingo, Ilocos Sur with the theme “Pagtatapos Ninyo, Tagumpay ng Pilipino.”

These students were able to finish their secondary education through their cash grants received from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

With 1,244 students including 66 Valedictorians and 78 Salutatorians, Region 1 has the third most number of Pantawid Pamilya graduates with awards nationwide for SY 2014-2015.

Expanded Students’ Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) grantee Pio Angelo Ballesteros, Cum Laude, BS Biology at the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University-South La Union Campus (DMMMSU-SLUC), led the turn-over of the key of responsibility to Luvy Ramos, Valedictorian, from Don Eulogio de Guzman Memorial National High School in Bauang, La Union.

Pio stressed that dreaming is unlimited but it should be coupled with hard work and determination. Upon accepting the key of responsibility, Luvy challenged her fellow graduates to keep holding on to their dreams until they reap success.   

Gracing the event, Director Venus Rebuldela, Pantawid Pamilya National Deputy Program Manager, emphasized that this is just the beginning of a journey for a better life. She further encouraged the graduates to become stronger in facing the challenges along the way in achieving their dreams.

Dir. Rebuldela, DSWD Field Office 1 Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo, Assistant Regional Director for Operations Marlene Febes D. Peralta and other officials from partner agencies personally handed certificate of recognition to each graduate.

Deserving graduates were awarded with Certificate of Scholarship and Certificate of Training for Work Scholarship    from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

All the graduates wished their dreams to come true while they released their hope balloons. Dir. Castillo said in his closing remarks, “These graduates did not just finish high school but graduated with flying colors. They are the concrete evidence of the government’s efforts in fighting poverty through education. Government’s investment on these children through their cash grants was maximized.” (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/Pantawid Pamilya)