Positive changes happening to the lives of beneficiaries of DSWD’s 4Ps PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 31 July 2014 11:42

By LEILANI S. JUNIO

 

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Tuesday there are a number of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries who have reported positive changes in their lives after they become grantees of the program.

DSWD Social Marketing Service Director Cezario Joel C. Espejo shared that the Jumdail family in Hadji Panglima Tahil, Sulu told him that their being grantees of 4Ps brought numerous benefits and opportunities for them.

“The Jumdail family members are among the first beneficiaries of 4Ps in Hadji Panglima Tahil, Sulu. The couple Atiya and Timbasil started to become beneficiaries in 2009. They recalled that they were very happy when they got their first cash grant because they finally felt that there is a government that supports them on sending their children to school,” Espejo said.

He narrated that the couple used part of the grants that they received in upgrading their pump boat, which enabled them to increase their earnings from fishing.

“The boost on Timbasil’s fishing income gave the family a head start on their life. His added earnings were able to add up to the capital of Atiya (his wife) on their sari-sari store,” Espejo said.

With the small but sustainable income of the couple, they are able to ensure that the studies of their children are not disrupted. What is more, the needs of their children for nutritious but affordable foods, vitamins and other vital requirements of their children in school are met with the added support from the cash grants they receive.

Aside from becoming 4Ps cash grantes, the couple is also able to avail of assistance from the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

SLP is another project of DSWD that provides zero-interest capital assistance loan to eligible individuals or groups.

“Napakalaki ng pasasalamat namin sa DSWD, kasi hindi lang isang program ‘yung tumutulong sa amin. ‘Yung nahiram namin na pera sa SLP, ginamit naming pandagdag na puhunan sa tindahan namin (We are very grateful to DSWD because we are supported by more than one of its programs. The loan that we got from SLP was used as added capital to our store),” said Atiya in a documentary video files of DSWD.

Atiya added that through the combined income from the sari-sari store and fishing, they were able to buy a house in mainland Jolo for their children who are now in high school and college.

At present, Timbasil and Atiya are among those who are actively engaged in different community-based activities such as mangrove planting funded by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), organic farming funded by the Department of Agriculture, and cash-for-work activities which enabled them to build a seawall for their community.

All these activities not only gave the couple an additional income but a deeper sense of purpose for the transformation of their community.

According to DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman, the changes that happened to the lives of the beneficiaries of the different programs of the Department are not solely brought about by the assistance of the government, but because of the willingness of the individuals, families, and communities to attain change for a better life status.

“Nagpapasalamat kami sa aming mga benepisyaryo sa panininwala na kaya nilang mabago ‘yung aspeto ng buhay nila. Ang mga programa ng DSWD at ng gobyerno ay tulong sa mga nangangailangan -– tulong natin para sa mga taong hindi lang handa, kung hindi ay gusto ng pagbabago (We are thankful to our partner beneficiaries for believing that they are capable of changing their lives. The programs of DSWD and of the government are only assistance that we give not only to those who are capable of, but are willing as well to change),” Soliman said.

Atiya and Timbasil are just among those mentioned by President Benigno S. Aquino III as the poor beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) or 4Ps who are able to move out from the poverty line during his fifth State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) delivered at the House of Representatives on Monday.

According to the President, the CCT helps the poor to move out and break the inter-generational cycle of poverty. He vowed that the government is firm with its commitment to boost its efforts in ensuring that their growth will be sustained so that they will not sink back to poverty.

President Aquino said that the expansion of the CCT coverage this year, wherein the age of the children of poor households given cash grants is extended from 0-14 years to 0-18 years, will make it affordable for the children to finish high school and be more employable and receive higher wages or 40 percent more if they just finish elementary level.

About P12.3 billion has been added to the CCT budget to ensure that more poor children will finish their high school studies and become competitive in line with the government’s investment on health and education of children as future economic contributors of the country so that no one will be left behind in its inclusive growth vision.

To date, there are more than four million poor households benefitting from the program.