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Biyaheng Totoo: A family in Abra remains poor since 2010; child died of kidney disease




Little has changed for the Blaza family since they were interviewed by reporter Joseph Morong for the "Biyaheng Totoo" series of GMA News six years ago. 
 
In 2009, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) said Abra is one of the poorest provinces in the Philippines with a poverty incidence rate of 38.9 percent. The number translates to four families out of 10 who are classified as poor. 
 
The Blaza family belongs to this percentage. 
 
Siblings Clarimel or "Imet" and her brother, Eric, were both suffering from a kidney disease when their story was first aired.
 
Their other brother, Jezrael, wrote in the Biyaheng Totoo notebook his one wish: for his siblings to be cured of their sickness. 
 
Imet however died in 2011
 
"Mahirap na mawalan ka ng anak," her mother, Mila, said. She said their family received P5,000 as medical assistance from the government but it was already after Imet's death.
 
Eric fortunately received medical treatment from a private foundation and is being provided with maintenance medicines. 
 
Jezrael, now 18 years old, lives in Parañaque City and works as a construction worker with another brother, and his father, Rogelio. 
 
"Para magtrabaho po...Para kung sakali ay makaipon ng pera panggastos sa pag-aaral," he said. 
 
Jezrael was only able to finish high school. 
 
According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Blaza family was included in the list of beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps in 2011. 
 
More than 13,000 families in the province of Abra has benefited from 4Ps since June 2010 to May 2015.
 
DSWD is also implementing a supplementary feeding program for children aged two to five. It has so far covered 34,784 kids, according to the department's records. —Kathrina Charmaine Alvarez/KG, GMA News
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