The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) announced on December 1 the 2018 winners of the National Search for Exemplary Children during the celebration of the “Araw ng Kabataan” held at the SM North Skydome.
The Pantawid Pamilya National Exemplary Child 2018, was bagged by Jay Mark C. Gac-ang, 14, of Poblacion Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte. Jay Mark who dreams of becoming a lawyer and who actively champions the plight of the poor bested 16 regional winners that competed in the search.
“Masayang masaya po ako ngayong araw na ito. Yung hirap at pagsisikap ko po napalitan ng masarap na tagumpay (I am very happy today. The hardships and hard work paid off with great success),” Jay Mark shared during his speech after being announced as the winner.
At a very young age, he experienced and witnessed how difficult life is. Their life’s difficulties served as his motivation of providing a better life to his family someday. He also witnessed how elusive justice could be most especially for the poor.
“I wanted to become a lawyer someday. I want to give voice to those who are poor and oppressed. I want to prove that justice is not only for the rich but also for the poor. I want everyone to know that justice is not about money but it is about truth,” Jay Mark added.
Meanwhile, Maria Kaitlinn Cayne S. Lubrico of Sta. Barbara, Iloilo was declared as the first runner-up. The second runner-up went to Kristine Nicole S. Bumadilla of Balungao, Pangasinan.
Justin Dale Dela Cruz representing the National Capital Region (NCR) as third runner-up and Adeli D. Tan of Rizal, Occidental Mindoro as fourth runner-up.
DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista congratulated all the exemplary children. In his message, he recognized the role of children in society as well as the government’s role in advancing children’s rights.
He reminded the audience of the significant events leading to the annual celebration of the children’s month more than 30 years ago.
“The 4Ps or Pantawid Pamilya is one of the government’s programs to protect and promote the rights of children. In 2012, the program launched the Search for Exemplary Children to recognize children-beneficiaries who are role models in their families, communities, and in the society,” shared Sec. Bautista.
The Araw ng Kabataan is an annual event of the Pantawid Pamilya as part of the National Children’s Month celebration in November. Participated in by the different provincial exemplary winners nationwide, it carried the theme of the National Children’s Congress entitled, “Bata, Magkaisa Tungo sa Bayang Mapagkalinga. “
Children beneficiaries of the program from Makati, Pasig, Quezon City, and Malabon were gathered to join in the celebration, witnessing the creative presentation of the participants and the awarding of winners as highlights of the event.
Gifts and prizes from the different sponsors were distributed to those who joined the celebration. Among the sponsors were Ronald Mc Donald House Charities, David’s Salon, Santeh Feeds, Toys R Us, SM, Uniliver, Adarna Housing Publishing Corporation, Rebisco, Gerrys Grill, and National Book Development Board.
Celebrities also joined the event and showcased their talents. Power duo entertained the audience with their signature dance routines, while the clash finalists, Melbeline Caluag and Jong Madaliday, serenaded the audience. The JBK Band, perked up the celebration with their up-beat song and dance performances.