Chevy Goc-ong and her family used to have irregular hours of sleep due to disturbances brought by raging cars and unexpected riots in Plaza Ruiz, Manila. They also need to transfer from one place to another when MMDA personnel or authorities made rounds in their vicinity to reach out homeless like them. Thus, they felt deprived of having a proper rest after a tiring day at work.

“Napilitan kaming tumira sa kalsada nang masunog ang bahay namin noong 2007. Wala naman kasi kaming kamag-anak dito na pwede naming matuluyan. Ayaw din naming umuwi ng probinsya kasi mas mahirap ang buhay doon (We were forced to live on the street when our house was burned in 2007. We also do not have relatives here in Manila where we can temporarily reside. Moreover, we do not want to go back in our province because the life there is more difficult).” Chevy said.

She shared that life on the street was an everyday struggle. They felt ashamed when people seem to avoid them as if they have communicable disease. Instead of taking a good night sleep, they were afraid that untoward circumstances might happen.

Thus, Chevy was very grateful to become one of the beneficiaries of Modified Conditional Cash Transfer for Homeless Street Families (MCCT-HSF) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR).

MCCT-HSF is an expansion of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program of the DSWD wherein beneficiaries, similar to Pantawid Pamilya program, have to comply with the conditionalities set under the program for them to receive their monthly cash grants for health and education of the children.

“Akala ko dati habangbuhay na kaming titira sa lansangan. Akala ko hindi na kami mapapansin. Akala ko wala ng pakialam sa amin ang gobyerno, pero mali ako. Nang maging benepisyaryo kame ng MCCT-HSF, doon ko napatunayan na maari pa palang magbago ang buhay namin. Mas nakakatulog na rin kami ng maayos ngayon (I thought that we would live on the street forever. I thought that no one notices us. I thought that the government does not care about us, but I’m wrong. When we became beneficiary of MCCT-HSF, I realized that our lives can be changed. We can now sleep well)” she enthused.

Currently, her family is residing at Block 1, Gasangan, Baseco, Port Area, Manila. She also helps her husband in providing the daily needs of their family by selling various items such as candies, cigarettes and rugs. Her two children namely: John Carlos and Christian Rutubis Jr. are continuously studying in Grade 4 and 7, respectively.

Chevy believes that someday, with the assistance of the government and through perseverance, they will live the life they always dreamed of, away from the dangers of the streets.

Ngayon, mas naniniwala akong mas matutupad ko ang aking mga pangarap para sa aking pamilya at mas maraming magandang pagbabago ang mangyayari sa amin sa tulong ng pamahalaan “Now, I believe that I can truly achieve my dreams for my family and more positive changes will happen to us with the assistance of the government,” she concluded. (FO-NCR, Social Marketing Office)

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