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PIA Press Release

DSWD, local gov't execs to present to PGMA MOA on cash assistance to the poor

Manila (7 November) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the provincial chief executives will present to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Friday (Nov. 7) a copy of their Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the implementation of the pro-poor poverty mitigation program dubbed as "Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program" (4Ps).

Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral will give the opening remarks and a brief background of the MOA on the 4Ps during a program to be held at Malacanang's Rizal Hall at 11 a.m.

Fourteen provincial governors and 75 city mayors and municipal mayors will join the DSWD officials in the MOA presentation to the President; to be followed by a photo opportunity with the President.

The 4Ps, a poverty-reduction strategy of the Arroyo administration being implemented by the DSWD, provides cash transfers to extremely poor households as long as they comply with certain conditions requiring members of their families to meet certain human development goals.

The program aims to break the poverty cycle by addressing such issues as low educational achievement, and high maternal and infant mortality rates, malnutrition rate and rate of child labor among the poor.

The program adopts the scientifically formulated Proxy Means Test to target the poorest of the poor in the poorest towns of the 20 poorest provinces. The poverty data are gathered per household in those municipalities through a household survey in every barangay for purposes of granting cash grant packages to the identified beneficiaries.

It was explained that the program is not a doleout as the beneficiaries must meet specific conditions before they can receive cash assistance. These conditionalities include:

  • Pregnant women must get pre-and post-natal care. Child birth must be attended by skilled/trained health professionals.

    o Parents must attend responsible parenthood sessions/mother's classes/parent effectiveness seminars.

  • Children 0-5 years old must get regular health check-up and vaccinations.

  • Children 3-5 years old must attend Day Care/pre-school at least 85 percent of the time.

  • Children 6-14 years old must attend school at least 85 percent of the time.

    The program provides cash grant packages to the beneficiaries such as:

  • Health and Nutrition cash grant - P6,000 a year or P500/month per household for health and nutrition expenses.

  • Education cash grant - P3,000 for one school year or 10 months at P300/month per child for educational expenses. A maximum of three children per household is allowed.

    Over-all, a household with three qualified children shall have a subsidy of P1,400 per month or P15,000 annually as long as they comply with the conditionalities.

    A total of 320,000 households will be benefiting from the program. The 160,000 target households come from the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Apayao, Northern Samar, Misamis Occidental, Agusan del Sur, Tawi-Tawi, Surigao del Norte, Masbate, Abra, Oriental Mindoro and the highly urbanized cities of Pasay and Caloocan.

    They include 6,000 households from the pilot areas of Esperanza and Sibagat in Agusan del Sur, Lopez-Jaena and Bonifacio in Misamis Occidental, and Pasay and Caloocan cities.

    The other 160,000 target households come from the provinces of Saranggani, Negros Occidental, Antique, Davao Oriental, Quezon, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Isabela, Occidental Mindoro, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Lanao del Norte, and the cities of Manila, Pasig, Quezon, Navotas, Taguig, Iloilo, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Davao and Baguio will be benefiting from the program.

    Seventy-eight municipal mayors and 10 governors inked the agreement with the DSWD on July 23, 2008 at Bayview Park Hotel, Manila.

    Under the agreement, DSWD shall provide the cash grant to the identified beneficiaries and shall conduct regular monitoring of the program implementation as well as capability building to workers at the Local Government Unit (LGU) level.

    The LGUs, the Department of Education and Department of Health shall ensure that education and health required by the 4Ps are available to the beneficiaries. The agreement will be effective for five (5) years.

    As of Oct. 31, 2008, out of the total of 511,207 households surveyed in 162 municipalities in 23 provinces, 244,057 people were identified as potential beneficiaries and a total of 200,743 household beneficiaries have been receiving cash assistance since Jan. 2008. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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