Last week, we went to Sorsogon to meet some of the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). Those who are familiar with the program might associate it with the conditional cash transfer as health and education grants, but it’s actually more than that.
After spending some time with the indigent families and volunteers affiliated with Calongay Elementary School, we learned that the program is quite effective in improving the living conditions of eligible beneficiaries. It has a profound impact in uplifting their lives.
Overview of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)
As part of the human development program of the national government, DSWD acts as the lead implementing agency of the 4Ps. In a nutshell, money is allocated for the poorest of the poor. It is important to note, however, that the people classified poor here are those who have a chance at self-sufficiency or those who can lift themselves out of poverty.
Eligible beneficiaries have to follow the conditionalities of the program because the Pantawid Pamilya Program operates on a conditional cash transfer scheme.
More than Conditional Cash Transfer Scheme
Parent Becomes Emotional as Her Husband Shares about 4Ps Help
Mrs. Beatriz Blanca, aged 48 years old, is one of the parent beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). She is also part of a five-day Adult Basic Literacy Training under the initiative of the faculty of Calongay Elementary School.
The five-day training was conducted in recognition of parents as models to emulate as well as their involvements in children’s learning at home.
Mrs. Beatriz couldn’t speak in Tagalog so Mr. Jose Blanca acted as interpreter as she told us their story. Mr. Jose told us that he used to be a fisherman but because his eyesight became poor due to old age, he switched to farming and selling root crops.
With seven children to feed, it is a big relief for his family that Mrs. Beatriz could finally read and write. Time previously spent accompanying Mrs. Beatriz just to go to the market or elsewhere are now spent on more work. Thus, the couple is very grateful for the literacy training as well as the health and education grant their children receive.
Additionally, they recognize the importance of education just like the other parent beneficiaries. It is both their desire as well that their children do not undergo the same hardships they went through. So they really support their children with regards to their studies all the more now that Mrs. Beatriz is literate.
Beneficiaries Turned Volunteer Teachers
Both Shar and Wilma volunteered to be teachers of the Adult Basic Literacy Training.
Shar himself experienced firsthand the benefits of 4Ps. His parents had no source of income but, because of the program, he was able to graduate from high school. Aside from that, he didn’t need to stop studying and had tuition for college since his siblings are also beneficiaries of 4Ps.
Shar believes that “ang pagkatuto walang pinipili.” So it was an honor and an exciting experience for him to teach individuals older than him.
Meanwhile, Wilma’s children are the beneficiaries of 4Ps and, because of the program, they can buy necessities at home. With the help they have been receiving, she was one of the first volunteers to teach writing. What she does to see if the parents were really the ones who did their homework was to let them write on the blackboard. She is pleased to tell us that the parents were really active participants and were eager to learn.
Sarah, a housewife of a fisherman, also tasted the benefits of 4Ps. Fishing is no longer a viable source of income during calamities. Assisted by the DSWD, she helps her husband by creating and selling handicrafts.
Such gives them hope that their life improves without leaving their barrio.
Lumbang Water System Association (LUWASA)
The LUWASA water system is a community sub-project of DSWD KALAHI-CIDSS, one of the poverty alleviation programs.
It provides basic access to safe and potable drinking water to at least 77 households in the community. From PHP 5 per container, the project brought the cost of water down to only PHP 2 per container, or PHP 30 per cubic liter of water.
LUWASA Inc. eventually became a recognized organization under the Security and Exchange Commission, allowing officers to extend their water services to Purol 3.
They were also able to elevate the services from Level 2 to Level 3 system. Thus, they are able to supply to 179 households and one (1) elementary school including free services for a Day Care Center and the Barangay Community Garden.