Ericka Mae U. Bacalso, 13, from Balungao, Pangasinan, a Grade 7 student of Rajal-Angayan National High School, is this year’s Regional Winner in the Search for Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya Children 2015.
Among the four provincial contenders, Ericka bested the search with her outstanding achievements and participation in her school and community. She also possesses good attitude and positive outlook in life despite poverty.
She believes that time is gold. With her young age, she values her everyday life, so she always gives her best to achieve her dreams for herself and her family. She stands taller than disappointments and discouragements because according to her, these are her stepping stones for a brighter tomorrow.
Jericka D. Verbo from Santa, Ilocos Sur; Kim Ernestina C. Rebucal from Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte; and Rona Cris A. Rindon from Bauang, La Union landed as runners-up, respectively, with corresponding cash prizes worth ₱10,000.00, ₱5,000.00, and ₱3,000.00. Ericka Mae as the Regional Winner brought home ₱15,000.00.
These Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya Children underwent Regional Validation with the judges, Dr. Arlene A. Niro, Education Program Supervisor of the Department of Education; Bishop Martin Fao-ilan, North Luzon Director of the National Auxiliary Chaplaincy Philippines; and Ms. Jaymante Pearl B. Apilado, Administrative Assistant III of the DSWD Field Office 1. They were personally visited and interviewed by the Regional Validators in their schools and at home to talk to their teachers, classmates, friends, and parents.
The Regional Validators based their judgement and final decision on the following criteria: Behavior and Practice, Talent, Intelligence and Wit, Community and School Participation, and Presence and Appearance all with 20% each.
The Search for Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya Children is annually conducted by the DSWD to promote Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program as a source of exemplary children who shall be Program advocates. It is a strategy to encourage children to nurture habits and values that would mold them to be good citizens. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Information Officer II/Pantawid Pamilya)