JAS, now a 4Ps community
by Sheryll Janesanico
Jose Abad Santos, Davao del Sur (19 June) -- "Proud to be from Davao del Sur" this is what you usually notice written on school and government buildings, graffiti walls and even printed on shirts of local government officials. The province is located in the southern part of the country. It is bounded in the north by Davao City; in the west by Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Kidapawan City; in the south by the Celebes Sea, Sarangani Province, and General Santos City; in the east by the Davao Gulf. Davao del Sur is subdivided into 14 municipalities and 1 city.
One of the municipalities in Davao del Sur is Jose Abad Santos or locally known as JAS. It is located in the innermost part of Davao del Sur. Innermost means one has to cross rivers and rivulets, travel hundreds of miles of uneven terrain circling coconut-covered mountains and greeneries, and one needs to belt-up for a very bumpy ride.
In JAS, you can see poverty in its purest form. Electricity is only from 2pm to 12am. Water supply is only available until 8pm. There are also areas that do not have electricity and water supplies at all. And since JAS is geographically located across the Pacific Ocean, it is also disaster-prone.
Last May 13, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) held its Orientation on Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in JAS.
It was attended by 26 Barangay Captains and representatives. DSWD Regional Director Ester Acebedo-Versoza, Division Chief Ma. Elena S. Labrador, and 4Ps Focal Person Merlinda A. Paragamac, facilitated the said event.
The main purpose of the orientation is to inform and educate the local government units of JAS on the background, importance, benefits and assistance that 4Ps beneficiaries will gain from the program. It basically provided a quick overview of the program.
"Sama sa ubang programa sa gobyerno, kung dili magkahiusa, useless gihapon ang programa. Kinahanglan kita magtinabangay aron molungtad ang 4Ps. Nagapasalamat pud ako sa 4Ps kay kini makatabang sa pag-amuma sa mga kinahanglanon sa atong mga kabus (Like all other government programs, it needs unanimity and cooperation or it will just prove useless. We need to work together in order for it to succeed. I am also very grateful to 4Ps because it will assist poor families on their needs)," conveys Ester Sioco, Barangay Kagawad of Caburan Big.
JAS has a total number of 9,768 potential beneficiaries. This number is almost 24% of the 41,686 total potential households in Region XI.
4Ps is a poverty reduction strategy that gives cash grants to extremely poor households to improve their health, nutrition and education of children ages 0-14. Presently, 4Ps is already on Set 2 of the program which includes the municipalities of Malita, Don Marcelino, Jose Abad Santos and Sarangani Island in Davao del Sur, Talaingod in Davao del Norte and Laak in Compostela Valley province. (DSWD/PIA XI) [top]