With Boracay Island having closed its doors to tourists for the next six months, mother-of-five Dolyn Braulio found herself in a state of severe anxiety and uncertainty.
Dolyn, a resident of Sitio Bulabog at Barangay Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan and a beneficiary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), is among the thousands of residents and workers who have lost their sources of income due to the temporary closure of the island.
The 47-year-old mother used to work as a private nanny for the guests of one of the resorts in the island. When not working as nanny, she sells kakanin to earn additional income for the family.
Her husband, who worked as an on-call mason carpenter for a local private construction firm, also lost his job.
To make matters worse, two of Dolyn’s children — one working as a housekeeping staff in a resort while the other as a cashier for a bakery—also found themselves jobless due to the island’s closure.
With four of them in the family losing their sources of income, Dolyn has been feeling anxious on how her family will survive for the next six months.
While she is a member of the 4Ps, she said she could not rely solely on the 4Psgrants that she has been receiving to keep her family afloat in the next couple of months.
But Dolyn and her family found a ray of hope after the DSWD hired her and her husband to work at the Department’s Operation Center (OpCen) in Boracay located at Faith Village, Barangay Manoc-Manoc.
Dolyn now works as a cook at the Opcen’s community kitchen, which serves the DSWD staff who have been deployed in the island, as well as the Department’s partner-government agencies and volunteers.
About 100 staff from DSWD Field Office VI and Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) Office Aklan have been deployed in the island to provide aid to residents and workers affected by the closure.
With two of them working in the family, Dolyn now feels more secure despite the island’s closure.
“Gapasalamat gid ako sa DSWD. Dako gid nga bulig ang nahatag sa akon (I thank the DSWD for this job. This is a big help for me),” the mother said.
With her new work, Dolyn said she now has money to buy her family’s basic needs and even save for the school expenses of her youngest daughter who will return to school in June.
“Gapasalamat din ako kay sa kadamo sa amon nga miyembro, isa ako nga napili (I am also grateful that I am one of those who have been chosen for this job among the many members),” the 4Ps beneficiary said.
Dolyn has been a member of Pantawid since the program started in Boracay in 2011. To date, there are 640 household beneficiaries of 4Ps in the island, most of whom work as vendors of souvenirs, hair braiders, boatmen, porters, tour guides, and ‘commissioners’ or those who arrange the visit of tourists. These beneficiaries have lost their sources of livelihood due to the island’s shutdwon.
As a way to support 4Ps household-beneficiaries in Boracay, the DSWD has already suspended the conditionalities of the program in the island.
“We have suspended the conditionalities of the Pantawid program as a way to support our beneficiaries affected by the temporary closure of Boracay. We understand that most of them, if not all, have jobs that are directly or indirectly related to the tourist trade in the island,” DSWD Undersecretary for General Administrative and Support Services Group (GASSG) Emmanuel A. Leyco earlier said.
“Residents and workers in Boracay, including our 4Ps beneficiaries, will also be given opportunities to access other DSWD programs such as the Cash-For-Work and the Sustainable Livelihood Program,” he added. ###