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Breaking the cycle of poverty through the Asenso Pamilya: One Family, One Professional program

OROQUIETA CITY, Misamis Occidental (PIA) -- “I really wanted to finish my studies because I saw the hardships and struggles of my parents and how they sacrificed every day just to put food on our table,” Joshua Tompong said as he recalled his family’s hand-to-mouth life. 

Tompong is a graduating student at USTP Oroquieta Campus with a Bachelor of Technology in Vocational Livelihood with a major in Home Economics Student. Living in Purok 1, Barangay Talairon, from the city of Oroquieta, with his parents, Tompong had to endure surviving to go to school. 

“Katong wala pa gi-open ni Governor ang scholarship, wala’y bayad ang USTP pero kanang bayad sa print, then sa akong course kinahanglan mi magluto ug bake, so naa gyud gastohonon sa mga ingredients ug uban pa [Katong wala pa gi-open ni Governor ang scholarship, wala’y bayad ang USTP pero kanang bayad sa print, then sa akong course kinahanglan mi magluto ug bake so naa gyud gastohonon sa mga ingredients ug uban pa]," he said. 

He shared that the program of Governor Henry Oaminal has had a great impact because now he has experienced a scholarship that really helps him financially, and I eased his problem with the expenses of his projects. 

Tompong is very thankful that he was able to get these scholarships. “Gov, salamat kaayo kay nakaapil ko sa imong scholarship; salamat gyud nga imo ning gi-create para sa mga studyante nga dako siya og katabang, especially sa mga nag struggle gyud financially. I hope nga mapadayon pa nimo ni nga programa ug makatabang pa ni sa mga lain pa nga mga studyante nga makabenepisyo ani nga scholarship [Gov, thank you so much because I am one of the beneficiaries of your scholarship. Thank you for your initiative in creating this scholarship, especially for those students who are struggling financially. I hope you will continue this program, and so it could also help more students who can benefit from this scholarship],” he expressed. 

Success is about taking advantage of opportunity, an old adage says. But for Tompong and many other people, not everybody has the opportunity to sail through the storms of life and experience even a glimpse of a rainbow after the storm. Luckily for him, the “One Family, One Professional (OFOP) program of the provincial government through Oaminal was realized just in time. 

A living testament to how education can lift people out of poverty, Gov. Oaminal envisioned an educational assistance program that aims to ensure that in every Misamisnon family, there should be one professional with a permanent job who will help alleviate the economic plight of his family and, in turn, secure education for their younger sibling. 

Under the OPOF program, about 3,200 grantees enrolled, whether in vocational or tertiary education, have benefited from the provision of a P5,000 monthly stipend throughout the school year semester. The Misamis Occidental government targets alleviating poverty in the province and uplifting the lives of at least 90 percent of its constituents above the poverty line by 2026. 

"Our program's mission is to help every family by educating our youth so that they can become professionals in the future. We are positive that with that goal, we will achieve our vision of Asenso Misamis Occidental," Oaminal said.

He added that the program played a huge part in the provincial government’s "5M (Misamisnon Magpuyong Malinawon, Malambuon ug Malipayon) Development Thrust" for the province. (PGMO/PIA-10/Misamis Occidental)

Joshua Tompong, a graduating student from USTP Oroquieta Campus, shares that Governor Oaminal's program has had a significant impact on his academic journey. Through the scholarship he received, he has been able to focus more on his studies and worry less about project expenses. (photo courtesy of PGMO)

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Jasper Marie Rucat

Regional Editor

Region 10

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