Feature: 4Ps making a difference in lives of the poor
by Apipa P. Bagumbaran
Marawi City (30 June) -- In a crowd of people waiting for their turns inside the bank, one could not help but to notice the hopeful and happy face of Salam Maraki.
The 36 years old Salam is just one of the 4Ps beneficiaries in Brgy. Bubonga Didagun of the municipality of Bubong in Lanao del Sur.
Salam has four children. Her eldest child graduated from high school but could not pursue college because of financial difficulty. Her second child is already in first year high school while the third is in first grade and the youngest is in nursery.
Salam is thankful to the program because it gave her the chance to send her children to school and to the health center for regular check-up.
"My husband is a farmer and the amount he earns from farming is not sufficient for our daily expenses. But with this Php1, 800 that we are receiving monthly from 4Ps, we are now able to buy school supplies and clothes for our children," Salam related.
The 4Ps or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is a flagship project of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in reducing poverty, and is implemented through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The program aims to alleviate poverty through giving cash grants to the indicated poorest households in the country.
The program has dual objectives which uses a conditional cash transfer scheme. It is not only in a form of social assistance set to provide cash assistance to the poor but a form of social development as well. Hence, the program can break the intergenerational poverty cycle through investment in human capital.
Pinili D. Ramos, Municipal Social Welfare Development Officer of Bubong revealed that there were 1,500 potential households in the municipality to benefit 4Ps, however, only 1,245 households qualified after the conduct of final validation.
Ramos said that the qualified beneficiaries received P500.00 a month for health and a P300 each child for education assistance. Only children below 14 years old can avail the Program with a maximum of three children each household.
She said that the program shows the commitment of government to provide and deliver education and health services to uplift the living conditions of the beneficiaries.
The distribution of cash assistance to the qualified beneficiaries was continued at the Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) after the successful launching at the provincial capitol.
The distribution was spearheaded by DSWD-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in collaboration with LBP, the Lanao del Sur Provincial Government and the Municipal Government of Bubong. (PIA) [top]