Last August 26, 2015, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 7 (DSWD-7) converged with different other government agencies to bring the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program or 4Ps Caravan to the island of Camotes in Cebu.
Among the participating agencies were the Department of Health, Department of Education, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Trade and Industry, National Nutrition Council, Population Commission, Young Life Foundation and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
San Francisco, Camotes was the second municipality to experience the Inter-Agency Caravan after its successful implementation in Madridejos, Bantayan last June 11, 2015 where more than 500 families including the non-beneficiaries of 4Ps came.
According to DSWD7 Regional Director, Mercedita P. Jabagat, “The conduct of the caravan is one of the agreed initiatives during the 9th Regional Directors Conference Workshop (RDCW). The said activity was aimed to strengthen the partnership between DSWD and the different government agencies that are helping in the implementation of Pantawid Pamilya.”
How and when did 4Ps started?
In an interview with the Regional Director, the 4Ps started during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and was patterned in Latin America like in Mexico and Brazil.
To qualify in the Pantawid program, the family must have children 18 years old and below and must be among the below poverty line households. Originally, during the time of Arroyo, the required age to become a 4Ps beneficiary was 0 to 14 years old. However, due to the parents’ clamor of the insufficiency of the benefits received which was only until second year high school, the help was extended to up to fourth year high school or until the child reaches 18 years of age. In Mexico, on the other hand, the required age limit is 21 years old.
The program will be continuously implemented in the household for as long as there is an 18 years old and below member of the family, and the family status has not rise above the poverty line.
How many households were served by the program?
According the the Regional Director, as of last December, nationwide, there is 4.3 million families served under Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program. In the current list, there is 5.2 million poor families in the country. On the second round list, we will know where the 5.2 million people have gone – whether they go back to the survival or the self-sufficient level.
In Camotes, there are 5 thousand plus household beneficiaries while in the whole region, there are 154 thousand plus and all of these beneficiary families are well monitored.
The question on whether this program will end poverty in the Philippines and help all Filipino households rise above the poverty line depends on the next administration.
To know more about the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program or 4Ps, click here.
Photo credits: Elroy Robin