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Feature: 4Ps acts on dire needs

by Recthie B. Tolinero

Cagayan de Oro City (8 February) -- IT was a cold evening when Norma R. Toso, 38, noticed that her youngest child was having hard time to breathe. She immediately woke her husband up to help her bring the child to the nearest hospital.

When the doctor checked the child, he found out that the child was suffering from pneumonia and he informed the family that if they brought the child an hour later in the hospital, she might not be able to live. Norma was very worried of her child's condition as well as with the financial needs that the medication would demand.

Norma and her husband only depend on selling fish and other goods in the market to provide for the family's daily consumption. She has four children aged 17, 11, eight (8) and three (3) who are studying and are in Grades 5, 1 and daycare except for her eldest child who just graduated from High School and opted to work as a house help since the family could not afford a College education.

According to Norma, it is very hard to stretch the family's P80 earning per day needed to provide the children's necessities especially on health.

During that time, Norma and her husband didn't know where to get enough money for their child's operation. But fortunately, Norma learned that they will be receiving a cash grant from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) as its beneficiaries.

Teary-eyed she shared, "Tubag jud sa among pag-ampo ang 4Ps. Kung dili tungod sa tabang sa gobyerno, wala na unta among kamanghuran karon." (If not for the help from the government, our youngest child might never live).

Monthly, Myrna receives P1,100 to help her improve the health, nutrition and education of her children aged 0-14 which serves as the main goal of 4Ps. The cash grant is given for five (5) years to the extremely poor households like Myrna's given that they comply with the program's conditions.

The program requires the following conditions to be complied: 1) Pregnant mothers should get pre- and post-natal care; attended by skilled health professional during childbirth; 2) Parents or guardians must attend responsible parenthood sessions, mother's classes and parent effectiveness seminars; 3) Children 0-5 years of age should get regular preventive health check-ups and vaccines; 4) Children 3-5 years old must attend day care / pre-school classes at least 85% of the time; 5) Children 6-14 years old must attend elementary or high school at least 85% of the time and they should receive de-worming pills twice a year.

These conditions, according to Myrna, are not hard to meet since the family has been very conscious on health and education and receiving financial assistance would certainly be of big help.

"Kada dawat namu sa 4Ps gagahin gyud mi ug kwarta para tambal sa bata. Malipayon mi nga nagaan-gaan ang among problema kay naa mi'y kaabag sa 4Ps," (Every time we receive our grant from 4Ps, we really set aside some amount for the child's medicines. We are very happy, Myrna added. (DSWD X) [top]

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