Monday, January 26, 2009

Poor Davao families get gov't cash subsidy

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Jan. 26, 2009) - The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) released Monday a total of P702,100 cash subsidy to at least 425 poor families in Davao City in Mindanao.

The subsidy was part of the government's Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

DSWD Assistant Regional Director Priscilla Nidea-Razon said they have identified 3,400 household beneficiaries in Davao City, specifically in Talomo, City Poblacion, Panacan, Bunawan, Toril, Agdao, Calinan and Tibungco.

“In the last quarter of 2008, about 5,838 grantees from Caraga and Manay towns received their monthly subsidy through the Land Bank Branch in Mati City,” Razon said.

In Davao Region, the 4Ps is being implemented in Manay and Caraga, Davao Oriental and in the three congressional districts of Davao City, and to date over P7 million have been released to the 4Ps grantees in the three areas.

4Ps is a five-year social protection program which grants health, nutrition and education cash packages to qualified extremely poor households. Five hundred pesos will be extended per month per family for health check-ups, vaccinations and food while P300 shall be provided every month per child for school needs.

A household with three qualified children can obtain a subsidy of P15,000 annually as long as it meets some conditionality, but they must also comply with the conditions to continue receiving the cash grants.

And among the conditions are parents must ensure that their children attend school at least 85% of the time, and receive vaccinations and health care; pregnant women must receive pre- and post- natal care and be attended during childbirth by a skilled health professional; and parents must attend responsible parenthood seminars, mother’s classes, and parent effectiveness seminars.

The goal of 4Ps is to break the inter-generational cycle of poverty by fostering change in behavior among parents and encouraging them to invest in their and their children’s future with respect to health, nutrition and education.

The program uses a scientifically formulated Proxy Means Test to target the poorest of the poor in the poorest municipalities (based on Small Area Estimate) of the 26 poorest provinces and 12 cities with large pockets of poverty. Data are gathered per household in those municipalities through a saturation household survey in the poorest barangays. Every household is surveyed by competent enumerators trained and supervised by DSWD.

In 2008, some 694,214 households were surveyed in 159 municipalities in 23 provinces and 12 cities to find the poor households. Some 337,416 household beneficiaries nationwide are now receiving their cash assistance under the program. (Carmela Duron)

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