Now that Kim Kim Usop Inde has successfully passed the licensure exam for midwives, he can’t help but vividly remember the challenging times his family faced before they became beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
Kim recalled that they reached a point where they almost had nothing to eat. They often ate bananas and cassava, especially during times when it was not the season for harvesting or coconut gathering.
“Nagtiyaga ang aking mga magulang sa paghahanap ng ibang pagkakakitaan sa pamamagitan ng paggawa ng suka, o coconut vinegar, at pagbebenta ng saging at gulay,” said the 23-year-old Palaw’an indigenous peoples from Barangay Mainit, Brooke’s Point.
Kim, one of five siblings and the son of Renecio and Nelita Inde, who are coconut farmers, became a beneficiary of the 4Ps program in 2014. He attributes this program as playing an important role in supporting his studies during his high school years.
He noted, too, that the cash grants they received were prudently managed by his parents, ensuring they were used for educational expenses and healthcare needs whenever a family member fell ill.
“Malaking tulong ang 4Ps lalo na sa financial needs ng aking pamilya at maging sa aking pag-aaral. Ang cash grants na aming natanggap noon ay responsableng inilalaan ng aking mga magulang sa education at health – sa maayos na paraan”.
Kim said he remained undeterred by the hardships his family faced in the past. In fact, he diligently worked towards completing his education, earning a Diploma in Midwifery in August 2023 from the University of the Philippines (UP) in Leyte.
Demonstrating his commitment to do something for himself and his family’s future, he succeeded as one of the 2,800 passers from the 4,119 individuals who appeared for the Midwives Licensure Examination in November 2023. Remarkably, he achieved an average grade of 90.60%, securing the 9th rank among midwives across the Philippines.
Currently, Kim is voluntarily working as a midwife at their local health center while awaiting formal deployment by the Department of Health (DOH), as he was a scholar under their program. He plans to continue his studies at the UP Open University (UPOU) to attain higher education and further advance in his dream profession.
“Keep on holding and pursuing sa ating mga pangarap sa buhay. Hindi madali ang buhay estudyante. Maraming beses nating inisip na sumuko, thinking na imposible nating maabot ang mga pangarap natin, but lahat ng bagay ay nasa control naman ng Panginoon. Let’s just lay it down to Him and hold to his word,” he said.
Kim and his family are deeply grateful to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the 4Ps program for being an integral part of their lives.