Philippine Self-Help Foundation

In October last year, tough news came to Rolando and NIcefora when their daughter Jeniefir (20) announced to them that she was pregnant. Rolando (50) and Nicefora (48) were upset but with a forgiving heart, accepted Jeniefir’s situation. They had also seen that Jeniefir’s partner Clark (23) was a responsible man which helped make the couple feel at ease.

Jeniefir had her regular pre-natal check-ups and the results were always fine but something unexpected happened just two weeks before her expected delivery. On the night of May 31st, Jeniefir could not feel any movement from her baby and felt strange. She consulted the local centre and was referred to an gynecologist in Tagbilaran City, Bohol’s capital, for a further check-up. An ultrasound showed that the amniotic fluid inside the womb was drained and the baby’s heartbeat was slow. The doctor said Jeniefir needed to deliver the baby before its first bowel movement inside as it could end up harming both baby and mother. Doctors tried to induce labour twice but both attempts were unsuccessful and worst of all, Jeniefir began to have difficulty breathing. By then, an emergency Caesarian operation was needed and they tried to get her admitted into a government hospital but were denied admission as the hospital only accepted coronavirus related cases at that time. With no other option, the C-section operation was done successfully in a private hospital on the 2nd day of June.

The family was left with a hospital bill of 100,000 pesos ($2,000) net of Philhealth benefits. The bill needed to be paid before Jeniefir could be discharged so money needed to be found quickly. Clark works as a painter, and was able to get a cash advance from his employer; he also borrowed 40,000 pesos from relatives. Nicefora was able to get 15,000 pesos from the DSWD. Still lacking the amount needed, Rolando was compelled to pawn the family’s coconut farm for the sum of 20,000 pesos. The full amount of the hospital bill was raised in five days and Jeniefir was discharged on June 7th.

Losing the farm affected the couple both financially and emotionally as it had been a wedding gift from Rolando’s parents. When the couple heard about PSHF from our old recipient in Maribojoc, they visited me one Sunday at home. They recounted their story to me and expressed their wish to apply for a loan to redeem their coconut farm. I gave them an orientation about PSHF that same day.

Rolando is a construction labourer and Nicefora is a laundry woman; their combined income amounts to 5,000 pesos ($100) a month. The coconut farm which has 40 mature coconut trees used to give them an average of 250 kilos of copra quarterly, with a market value of 6,000 pesos ($120). Having the farm back will provide a significant source of additional income for the family. We are happy to make this possible.

Analyn T. Gallibot

PSHF Bohol

August 2020