Sometime ago, the farmers only produced corn and upland rice. Today, they already tap the rubber trees that were planted through the “Plant Now, Pay Later” rubber production program in 2008. (“We no longer teach our children how to dismantle and assemble guns. Instead, we teach them how to tap rubber trees”, one leader said.) Coconut and other permanent crops (coffee and cacao) are on the bearing stage. Those engaged in banana production have been enjoying the good harvest. Backyard poultry and livestock are prominent. These are the dividends of peace.
Once, the people relied on animals of burden (carabao and horses) in bringing their products to the town. Now, the people transport their products using motorcycles and four-wheeled vehicles. (Ustadz Anwar Montawal calls: “We used to start our journey to Damulog centro at dawn and arrive home at seven in the evening. Now, we can go to the town at any given time because of the road that the local government built. Today, many of us own a motorcycle. Ustadz Thong Ibrahem (another leader) owns two Suzuki multi-cabs, he contined.)
CRISTENE AND ALTHEA ARE MY TREASURES!
Cristene and Althea are Gretchen Siva’s treasures. She is a young mother who would do everything to keep her girls safe and healthy at all times. With that in mind, she believes that the self-help concept of PuLPuG is relevant to her family’s need as preparation in times of sickness.
“It is heart-warming to be able to help others. I never wish for my loved ones to get sick. My P20.00 per month contribution is a small amount. What inspires me is the spirit of cooperative endeavour in the community.”
Cristene and Althea were admitted to the hospital on November 23, 2017, due to fever convulsions. Cristene contracted UTI, while Althea had pneumonia.
“We received financial support from our local group without delay. My worries lessened knowing that I can quickly bring my two girls to the hospital. The Federation also reimbursed all the medicines that we bought outside the hospital. We are grateful for what this project has done to my family and to our community.”
Rheana, Gretchen: ‘Please Don’t Forget What They Did for You.’
Life is tough for Romeo and Gina Ybañez. They have two children; they are also taking care of their three nieces. Romeo is a farmer but he doesn’t own a farm. He is a share-tenant of two landowners.
“I am thankful for our Pastor because it was through him that we heard of an organization called PuLPuG. With eagerness we joined the organization. Php 20 per month per household is not a heavy burden.
We will have a good harvest if take care of our maize farm. This is my perception of the program. Even if we do not benefit from the money we contribute, it will be a joy to know that our monthly contribution can help a neighbour in need.
We do not want to get sick, but when my daughter Rheana and my niece, Gretchen, had pneumonia at the same time, we were able to bring the two sick girls to Kibawe Provincial Hospital because our group paid for the transport and provided food for the watchers. The Federation also paid Php 2,210 worth of medicines which were not available in the hospital pharmacy.
Without PuLPuG we would have been in a complete loss where to find the money. We are very grateful that we bonded together to help each other in times of need. We will continue to do this and pray that more families will join the organization.