The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Central Visayas has commended the regional winner of the 2019 Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya Children for helping other poor people during the health crisis.

The DSWD-7 recently recognized the good deeds of 13-year-old Jhon Rhod Amodia, of Barangay Gabi, Cordova town in Cebu, for giving relief goods to his neighbors who were affected by the province-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

(Top photo) LITTLE PASTOR. Jhon Rhod Amodia (left), 13, gives out relief packs to his neighbors in Barangay Gabi, Cordova, Cebu during the enhanced community quarantine. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Central Visayas on June 2, 2020 commended Amodia, the regional winner of the 2019 Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya Children, for his good deeds despite coming from an indigent family. (Photo courtesy of DSWD-7)

Jhon Rhod, known in his community as the “little pastor” because of his knowledge of the Bible, is an incoming Grade 8 student of Marigondon National High School.

He was chosen as regional winner of 2019 Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya Children in September 2019.

The agency said even if he comes from an indigent family, Jhon Rhod did not consider it a hindrance to being able to share his blessings to his neighbors through some goods that he bought using his personal money.

Jhon Rhod’s father, Teodulfo, a project-based construction worker, drives a pedicab when there is no available work.

On the other hand, his mother, Jonalyn, attends to her own “sari-sari” (variety) store and occasionally sells cooked food to their neighbors.

“Sa panahon karon, nakita nako nga daghan nagkinahanglan tungod halos kasagaran trabaho naundang man sama sa mga drivers, construction workers ug mananagat mao naka-hunahuna ko isip usa ka batang Kristiyano nga motabang ko bisan sa ginagmay nga pamaagi kay matod pa sa pulong sa Ginoo nga mabasa sa Bibliya sa Mateo 22:39 Higugmaa ang imong isig katawo sama sa imong kaugalingon (During this time, I saw that there are many who are in need because most of the jobs have to temporarily stop like the drivers, construction workers and fishermen and that is why as a Christian child, I need to help them even in my small way because as the word of God in Matthew 22:39 says, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’),” Jhon Rhod was quoted as saying in a statement posted on the DSWD-7 website.

Despite his parents’ inability to earn well during the ECQ, Jhon Rhod embarked in a relief drive by breaking his “alkansiya” or piggy bank to buy some food items for his neighbors.

Seeing a Good Samaritan within the family, Jonalyn decided to add some money to fulfil her son’s mission to feed those who are in need during the crisis.

“Through the help of God, I was able to gather the amount that is enough to buy relief goods and I was grateful that my prayers were answered because in my heart I am determined to help others especially those who are in need, like us,” Jhon Rhod said in Cebuano.

Fifty neighbors including their churchmates were able to receive relief goods from Jhon Rhod. Each pack contained two kilos of rice, two noodle packs, 2 canned sardines and four eggs wrapped in a plastic container.

Nicole Angco Tirol, one of Jhon Rhod’s relief drive beneficiaries, thanked him on her Facebook post, saying that “bata pa kaayo ka pero nakabuhat ka niini (you’re still very young but you are able to do this)”.

When the provincial government announced the suspension of classes in the middle of March because of the health crisis, Jhon Rhod helped his parents in the household chores while observing safety protocols against Covid-19.

He helped his father water the plants and together with his younger brother, they planted vegetables in pots like tomato, spinach, eggplant and bitter gourd.

Jonalyn said after her family received their regular cash grant in the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) and the emergency cash subsidy under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP), she immediately secured their basic necessities like food and vitamins.

“By the time I received the cash grants, I immediately purchased items for our basic needs like one sack of rice, vitamins and milk for the children and I budgeted the remaining money for our viands,” Jonalyn said in Cebuano.

She emphasized the importance of saving the money they received from the national government so that they will have something to use in time of need.

“As 4Ps beneficiaries, one should know how to use the assistance provided by the government so that during troubled times, it would not be difficult for us because we have savings, we should not spend money for unnecessary things and help those who are in dire need,” she narrated in Cebuano. (John Rey Saavedra, PNA)