4Ps Success Story: 4Ps Beneficiary Tops Board Exam for Teachers

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), the flagship poverty alleviation program of the national government, continues to change the lives of numerous Filipino families. One of these is the Cervantes family from Cateel, Davao Oriental.

Originally from Leyte, Joventino Cervantes, and his wife, Rogelia, are blessed with 10 children. Recently, their ninth child, Khane Jevie Cervantes, claimed the Top 1 spot after taking the March 2024 Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET). Let’s get to know more about Khane, her family, and their inspiring 4Ps story!

4Ps Beneficiary Tops Board Exam Teachers
Image Credit: Cateel Vocational High School Official / Facebook

4Ps Beneficiary Tops Licensure Exam for Teachers

This article was based on a DSWD press release and a post on the official 4Ps website. It covers the life of Khane Jevie and her family, from before they joined the 4Ps, up to the present time.

Life Before 4Ps

Before joining the 4Ps, the Cervantes family lived modestly. Khane’s father, Joventino, was a farmer and caretaker of a farming terrain, while her mother, Rogelia, was an animal keeper. According to them, their financial situation was “igo-igo lang” (just enough), and their earnings were barely enough to meet their daily needs.

“As a big family, there are lots of pros and cons,” Khane explained. “Totoo, masaya kami magkakasama kasi marami, hindi boring. Tapos yung gawain sa bahay magaan na lang dahil marami kaming naghahati-hati, sobrang hirap naman po pagdating sa aspetong pinansiyal (We’re happy because it’s a big family, it’s never boring. Household chores are easy because there’s many of us to do the work, but it’s hard when it comes to the financial aspect).”

Khane and her siblings witnessed how hard their parents worked. However, their income was barely enough to meet the needs of the whole family. There was a time when Khane’s academic performance was affected by their financial constraints.

Nahihiya nga ako humingi sa kanila kasi kitang kita ko gaano kami naghihirap. Kaya madaming beses ako nali-late sa pagsa-submit ng projects at ibang gawain sa eskwela (I often felt ashamed to ask for money because I could see how difficult our situation was. Because of this, there were many times I was late in submitting projects and other school work),” she recalled.

Joining the 4Ps Program

Things started to change when the Cervantes family became 4Ps beneficiaries on October 30, 2014. Khane and her sister, Grace Marie, became “monitored children” under the program.

Through 4Ps, Khane’s family started to receive educational grants, health grants, and other benefits. These helped to fund Khane’s and her sister’s school allowances, along with other expenses.

Pursuing a College Degree

Upon finishing high school, Khane pursued a degree in Education at the Davao Oriental State University – Cateel Extension Campus. Since she was a member of a 4Ps family, she was eligible for the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) of the Commission on Higher Education’s Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (CHED-UniFAST). As a scholar under this program, she received a yearly educational allowance of PHP 40,000.

Naging advantage po talaga sa akin bilang isang 4Ps beneficiary dahil po naging iskolar po ako ng CHED UniFAST. Dahil dito natustusan ang aking pag-aaral hanggang sa nakatapos ako sa kolehiyo (Being a 4Ps beneficiary was an advantage, because I became a scholar of CHED UniFAST. Through this, my educational expenses were provided for until I finished college),” she stated.

Nagtapos po ako last year (2023) bilang Magna Cum Laude mula sa Davao Oriental State University – Cateel Extension Campus. At ngayon nga ay nasungkit ko ang maging topnotcher sa lumabas na resulta ng LET May 2024 Results bilang Top 1 sa Elementary Education (I graduated last year as Magna Cum Laude from Davao Oriental State University – Cateel Extension Campus. And now, I became a topnotcher in the LET May 2024 Results as Top 1 in Elementary Education),” Khane shared.

4Ps Beneficiary Tops Board Exam Teachers
Image Credit: pantawid.dswd.gov.ph

Achieving Her Dreams

Out of 44,764 individuals who took the LET last March, not only did Khane belong to the 20,890 (58%) who passed… She topped the exam with an average score of 92.40%. When she heard the news, she cried and felt surreal.

Nagsisink-in lang ang pagkapasa ko sa board exam dahil sa mga nag-iinterview sa akin. Hindi ako makapaniwala dahil sa dami ng takers, nakuha ko ang Top 1 (It only began to sink in that I passed the board exam because I was getting interviewed. I could not believe that out of so many takers, I got Top 1,)” she said.

Khane attributes her success to her parents, who inspired her. “Luckily, sina mama at papa, they value education so much. Kahit hirap kami financially, hindi nila pinaparamdam na pwede kang mag-stop muna. Kahit hirap, ipupush ka nila na, sige lang, kaya to, patuloy lang. So parang hindi ko na-feel all throughout na sumuko (Luckily, my parents valued education so much. Even if we struggles financially, they didn’t tell us to stop schooling. Despite the hardships, they pushed us to carry on. So I didn’t feel hopeless or thought about giving up),” she explained.

Impact of 4Ps

Moreover, Khane also attributes her success to the 4Ps program, which opened up many opportunities for her family. “I think the program itself is working and is perfect on its own. It’s just that may mga negative feedback lang (there are some negative feedback) because some beneficiaries don’t spend it on what it’s meant for, like education and basic needs of the family,” she stated.

Aside from Khane, her mother also benefited from the program. Rogelia joined the Sustainable Livelihood Program Association of 4Ps grantees in their community. Under this program, she received livelihood assistance, which further helped the Cervantes family.

Message for Fellow Beneficiaries

To her fellow 4Ps beneficiaries, Khane shared a positive message:

Ang mensahe ko sa lahat ng kabataang 4Ps o kahit sa mga kabataang nag-aaral lalo na sa nagmula sa mahihirap na pamilya, I know how it feels. Minsan naiisip mo na imposible. Minsan you think you deserve better at kung bakit kasali ka sa mga naghihirap. Ngayon I attest, everything will work out (My message to all 4Ps monitored children and to other students who come from poor families, I know how it feels. Sometimes you think it’s impossible. Sometimes you think you deserve better and question why you are poor. But now, I can attest that everything will work out),” she said.

“Don’t lose hope. Mahirap sa ngayon, sometimes you feel you’re stuck (Things may be difficult now, sometimes you feel you’re stuck),” she explained. “But, I assure you, same as me, all dreams do come true.

“Work on it. Manifest mo ito, ipagdasal at paghirapan. Sabayan mo ng action lahat. Magsikap. Mag-manifest, dagdagan ng action o kasipagan, you will get there (Manifest it, pray, and work hard. Pair it with action. Persevere. Manifest, add action and hard work, you will get there),” she added.

4Ps Beneficiary Tops Board Exam Teachers
Image Credit: pantawid.dswd.gov.ph

Final Thoughts

Without a doubt, Khane’s story is truly incredible — a testament to the empowering aspect of programs such as 4Ps. All of her hard work and dedication, given the right assistance and opportunities… has led to this moment. Congratulations, Khane, on your success!

Recently, another 4Ps beneficiary has gained recognition… this time for winning an international sports competition. Check out this article about Ana Bhianca Espenilla, a 4Ps beneficiary who has just bagged the gold medal at the ASEAN School Games in Vietnam!