4 Surigao Sur municipalities welcome government's 4Ps
by Leah T. Quintana
Tandag City, Surigao Del Sur (15 August) -- The municipalities of Lingig, Tagbina, Marihatag and San Miguel in Surigao del Sur welcome the government's Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). These municipalities are recipient of 4Ps, which is being implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
The municipal officials and representatives from schools, rural health units and municipal local government operations office, who attended the orientation on the program in Tandag City on August 7, 2008 at Shacene Restaurant, expressed their support to this new government program.
Angelita B. Amista, chief, Technical Assistance Division, DSWD Caraga, explained during the orientation that 4Ps is a development program designed in promoting investment in human capital among the poor families with 0-14 years old children. It aims to attain the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) in achieving universal primary education, reducing child mortality and improving maternal health following the conditionalities provided in availing the cash grant for the qualified beneficiaries.
Amista clarified that DSWD follows three (3) steps in selecting the beneficiaries. Step one, selection of poorest provinces based on CY 2006 Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) and Selection of poorest municipalities from the poorest provinces based on Small Area Estimates (SAE). Step two, inclusion of all barangays from the poorest municipalities based on poverty incidence in the barangays. Step three, selection of poorest households based on a ranking system for households using the Proxy-Means Test (PMT) developed for the program, which assesses socio-economic characteristics of the households.
The program, according to Amista, provides the beneficiary households P500 a month for their health and nutrition needs and P300 educational subsidy for each child for a maximum of three children ages 6-14.
"Although money is directly given to the beneficiaries thru LandBank's ATM, 4Ps is not dole-out," said Dir. Mercedita P. Jabagat of DSWD Caraga. She told the participants that 4Ps has set conditionalities for the household beneficiaries to comply.
She said pregnant women must get pre-natal care, child birth must be attended by a skilled or trained person, and mothers must get post natal care. She also stressed that children 0-5 must get regular health checkups and vaccinations, children 3-5 years old must attend day care/pre-school at least 85 percent of the time, children 6-14 must attend school at least 85 percent of the time, and parents must attend 'mothers classes' and 'parent effectiveness seminars'.
"The 4Ps enhances the role of parents and helps them accomplish their duties and responsibilities to their children. It encourages them to invest in the future, their own, and those of their children," Jabagat said.
Asked what will happen if a beneficiary could not comply with the conditions, director Jabagat answered that non-compliance to the conditions will result in the suspension of cash grant or dropping from the program.
On the conduct of survey, the local officials were concerned that some households might be left out during the survey particularly those who are in the far-flung areas. Jabagat assured the officials that DSWD will conduct a saturation survey in their municipalities just like what it did in the batch one (1) and batch two (2) areas where the enumerators and supervisors reached the boondocks of Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, and the Province of Dinagat Islands.
Having heard what 4Ps is all about, the participants said they are looking forward to the program's full implementation in their towns because they believe it will help the beneficiaries a lot. They are optimistic that with the cash grant, poor households will be able to have their children regularly checked up and immunized and pregnant women cared from pre-natal to post-natal period and send their children to school, buy food, clothes, and basic school supplies. (DSWD-13/PIA-Caraga) [top]