‘4Ps brings my children back to school’ PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 17 September 2011 15:12

By MAI GEVERA-MACAPAGAT

Salome Fuertes, 44, mother to six children, was among those who trooped to the University of Immaculate Conception Auditorium for the public forum initiated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

Salome shared how 4Ps changed her life and her family. 4Ps or better known as CCT is a poverty reduction and social development strategy of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to extremely poor households to improve their health, nutrition and education particularly of children aged 0-14.

In 2007, two of her children stopped schooling since the income of her husband was not sufficient to send all their five children to school.

When she was chosen as beneficiary of the 4Ps in 2008, Salome immediately enrolled back her children at the Davao City National High School. In exchange for the cash grant from the government, Salome committed to avail pre and post natal care and to be attended by a trained health professional during child birth.

Together with her husband, she also allotted time to attend the regular Family Development Session where they learned proper ways in bringing up a family.

Their children were also sent for a regular health check-up and vaccines as well as strict monitoring of their attendance in school.

Salome could not believe that her eldest son is now a college graduate and has started working to assist in the finances of the family.

“Daku akong pasalamat sa gobyerno ilabina sa programang 4Ps kay diri nakat-on mi nga maningkamot aron mapadayun ang pag-eskwela sa among mga anak. (I am so thankful to the government especially to the 4Ps program because in here we were pushed to strive hard just to continue the studies of our children.),” she shared.

Salome was one of the few beneficiaries who shared their stories during the forum.

In the 4Ps program, each household gets P6,000 a year or P500 per month for the health and nutrition expenses of the family. Another P3,000 is given for one school year or 10 months or P300/month per child for educational expenses. A maximum of three children per household is allowed.

A household with three qualified children receives a subsidy of P1,400/month during the school year or P15,000 annually as long as they comply with the conditionalities.

Salome still has two years more to benefit from this program. Her family will graduate from 4Ps in 2013 but what will remain is their appreciation on the power of education, health, and strong family bond.