DOLE programs help a teacher’s dream come true

Myra E. Torquato (inset) performs her job as a teacher and inspires the youth to finish their studies.

Myra E. Torquato is the eldest of three siblings. The challenge to take her family out of poverty and to help her parents send her siblings to school was laid on her shoulders.

She is a dedicated, persevering and determined Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) beneficiary who made use of the Department’s programs and services to succeed.

Her father was a pedicab driver from Brgy. 4, Hamtic, Antique while her mother was a housemaid.

With insufficient income, life is not easy for them and they can hardly send all the three children to school. Despite of financial difficulty, Myra decided to pursue her college education.

Luckily, she found support from the DOLE-Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES). She was twice a beneficiary of the program.

“Thanks to the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES).  I was able to make the down payment for my enrollment with my salary,” she said.

Her family’s living condition was her driving force to do her best in school and finish her studies.

“My parents were not able to set foot in college because of poverty, so I said to myself, I will be the one to achieve their dreams of earning a college degree. I want to give them a comfortable life, free from the worries of financial deficiencies. Time and again we usually here from them: “ano na naman ang uulamin?” or “saan naman kukuha ng pambili ng bigas?”

In 2018, her parents were the proudest when she graduated from college and earned a Bachelor of Secondary Education major in English degree at the University of Antique.

“I remember how I cried for joy that day when my father overheard another parent saying ‘Mayad man ra si Melchor, maski amo lang ra ubra na nakapatapos man kang ana bata sa kolehiyo (Look at Melchor, even if he is only a pedicab driver, he was able to send his daughter to college to finish a course). “My father was the proudest parent that day, it’s like that very day he also received his own college diploma. That day I made a promise to myself that I will make more parents proud like my father by helping and inspiring my students to pursue their education despite insufficiency in life until they walk on stage wearing their togas and proudly receiving their hard-earned degrees,” she vowed.

After graduation, Myra started looking for a job and landed as a daycare worker in their barangay for 10 months while reviewing for the board exam which she passed.

She ventured in Metro Manila in 2019 to look for better job opportunities and ended up working at a call center for 3 months until she decided to come home just before the onset of the pandemic. Once again, DOLE through its emergency employment program-TUPAD assisted Myra and her family along with thousands of informal and displaced workers affected by the pandemic.

The opportunity to work as TUPAD worker paved the way for her to be accepted as one of the interns under the Government Internship Program (GIP) for 5 months at DOLE RO 6- Antique Field Office.

Her GIP engagement accorded her opportunities to learn a lot of skills, work values and ethics.  After her GIP engagement and having proven her potential and dedication, Myra was hired as TUPAD Coordinator which further honed her professional skills until the opportunity came for her to practice her teaching profession.

Now a full-fledged teacher at Diclum National High School in the Municipality of Tobias Fornier, Antique, Myra is fulfilling her promise to help and inspire her students finish their education regardless of their circumstances in life.

She knew the hardship along the way but proved that nothing is impossible. Looking back, Myra expressed gratitude that DOLE played a big role in her development as a person and as a professional.

Gamit na gamit ko na ata ang mga programa ng DOLEI thought I’ll never have the chance to experience other work aside from teaching but DOLE opened a lot of opportunities for me and I was glad leaving the Department full of skills and wonderful experiences,” she shared.

Myra embraced the challenge as an eldest child and God enabled her and blessed her to fulfill her dreams. She is now happily supporting the education of her siblings and making her parents’ life different from what it used to be. She has nothing but overflowing gratitude and appreciation to the Department for opening doors of opportunities for her growth as a person and as a professional.

“Thank you so much DOLE for being a scaffold to my dreams,” said Myra E. Torquato as she stepped into another chapter of her life that DOLE helped open for her.