Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program: Web of Hope
by EE Jerusalem
Province of Masbate (4 February) -- Some 100 individuals, unmindful of the strong wind and big swells, traveled by sea from San Pascual, Masbate to Pasacao, Camarines Sur to avail of the cash assistance under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Release of the cash assistance was done in the Rural Bank of Pasacao, Camarines Sur, since San Pascual has no available bank or any financial institution.
The poverty web that interlaces the lives of the people in San Pascual seems a hopeless case for the 4,995 families identified as potential beneficiaries of the 4Ps.
San Pascual is one of the two municipalities of Burias Island in Masbate, an island province southwest of Bicol Region. It is about two hours sea travel to the town of Pasacao when the sea is calm and four hours journey when the sea is rough and 6 to 8 hours trip to the mainland of Masbate.
Farming and fishing are the major sources of income by the town folks.
"Grabe ang pagtios mi, lalo na an pag-eskwela kan mga aki, lalo pa kun an paghanap lang kan sakuyang agom ang aasahan. (Life is really hard especially if you have children in school and you only have your husband's meager income to rely on) shared Allen.
She and the other beneficiaries can only take the situation helplessly because they do not have other sources of income and stretching their husband's earning is a futile exercise, it is just not enough… until the 4Ps came.
4Ps wove into the people of San Pascual a fabric of choices for a better life.
"Dakulaon an tabang kan 4Ps samuya lalo na sa may mga eskwela. Arog ko, dai na masasakitan maghanap kan pambakal kan pang-aroaldaw na panganga-ipo sa eskwla." (4Ps is a great help to us. It will ease my problem as where to get money for the children's school needs), expressed Charlito, also a beneficiary.
The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is a social development and poverty reduction strategy that provides cash grants to extremely poor households to improve their health, nutrition and education particularly children, aged 0-14. The program aims to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty through investment in the human capital.
Charlito and Allen are just among the 29,939 considered poor from the eight targeted 4Ps municipalities in Masbate like: Esperanza, San Pascual, Claveria, Balud, Placer, Cawayan, Monreal and Uson.
The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino is a weave of hope for them.
Meanwhile, the program has been expanded in Albay with Libon as the pilot municipality. (DSWD/PIA) [top]