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PIA Press Release

Gov't program hopes to break poverty cycle

Cebu, Philippines (20 September) -- Government yesterday inked an agreement that aims to break the cycle of poverty by building the country's human resource through improved health, nutrition, and education for the poorest children aged 0-14 years and their parents.

The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed between the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the local government units (LGU) of Pasay City; Sibagat and Esperanza towns of Agusan del Sur; Lopez Jaena and Bonifacio towns of Misamis Occidental implementing the Ahon Pamilyang Pilipino (APP) program.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who witnessed the signing said, the Ahon program provides conditional cash transfers to uplift the lives of the poorest households in the country.

It will target 600 households from June to December this year and 20,000 households in 2008 from among the country's 10 poorest provinces and the poorest areas in Metro Manila, she added.

DSWD secretary Esperanza Cabral explains that the APP program provides cash grant package of P6000 a year per household for health check-ups and vaccines, and a P3000 education cash grant package per year to a maximum of three children per household.

Full implementation of the APP starts in January 2009 with an average annual increase of 100,000 households nationwide until 2012.

Cabral said, the program was patterned after the successful conditional cash transfer (CCT) in Latin America and Africa and implementation of APP will be spearheaded by the DSWD in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH), DepEd, the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) and the local government units.

Signing for their respective LGUs were Pasay City Vice Mayor Antonio Calixto; Mayor Thelma Lacanilao of Sibagat, Agusan del Sur; Mayor Leonida Manpatilan of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur; Mayor Zenaida Azcuna of Lopez Jaena, Misamis Occidental, and Mayor Samson Dumanjug of Bonifacio, Misamis Occidental. (PIA-Cebu/MBCN) [top]

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