ZAMBOANGA CITY, June 22, 2022 – Being the eldest in a brood of three living with her parents and grandmother, Jyordie May R. Castillo witnessed the financial difficulties her family had to go through. Nevertheless, this did not dampen her dedication to finish her studies despite the struggles.

Castillo, 21, is a resident of Panunsulan, Isabela City, Basilan. Her father, a farmer, worked hard tilling the soil and harvesting crops to provide for their family. It was evident that her parents will have a hard time sending her to school with the meager income earned from farming. Knowing this, she committed to finding ways to continue her studies.

Her prayers were answered in 2018 , when her grandmother, Alicia A. Castillo, informed her that the Department of Labor and Employment is offering scholarships for dependents of workers organizations. Since 2013, Jyordie’s grandmother was coincidentally a member of the Panunsulan Workers Informal Economics, a women’s group situated in Isabela City which means that Jyordie is qualified to apply for the scholarship.

The said scholarship is under DOLE’s Workers Organization Development Program (WODP). This program serves as a facilitating mechanism in strengthening trade unions and other workers’ organizations. It also provides an opportunity for systemic learning and growth aiming at greater productivity, prosperity and welfare to the employer, workers’ organization and its members and their dependents.

Educational Grants is a component of the WODP that provides educational opportunities to officers and members including their dependents for self-development, growth and to be effective change agents in their organization and in their personal life.

After the assessment, DOLE 9, through the Isabela City Field Office (ICFO), approved Jyoride’s application. Her course of choice was Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Major in Financial Management at the Claret College of Isabela.

She received a monthly stipend worth PHP 3,000 for four years and rendered services in the DOLE ICFO. Aside from the stipend, the scholarship covered her tuition fee worth Php 500 per unit. She was also given PHP 3,500.00 per semester to cover book allowance and miscellaneous fees.

“I used the stipend I received to purchase all school needs. I also share a portion of it to my family for our basic needs. With the help of the scholarship, I was really motivated to finish my studies. I want to give my family a better life,” she said.

On May 31, 2022, Jyordie proudly received her diploma as she graduated from her course.

“Thank you so much DOLE for implementing WODP and for being a huge part of my success. I hope that this program continues to benefit many striving students like me,” she said. END