Wednesday, March 03, 2010

ARMM to launch 4Ps; forms advisory committee

COTABATO CITY, Philippines - The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao formed its regional advisory committee for the government's "Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program" or 4Ps to intensify efforts against poverty and improve the health, nutrition, education and economic condition of its populace.

The regional advisory committee is an inter-agency cooperation that aims to effectively implement the 4Ps and translate national policies into region-specific operational guidelines, according to acting Secretary Pombae Kader of the ARMM’s Department of Social Welfare and Development, according to the regional government's media statement.

It said the DSWD leads the regional advisory committee with the Department of Health, Department of Education, Department of Interior and Local Government, the Regional Development Planning Office and the ARMM’s Bureau of Public Information as members.

The 4Ps, one of the major anti poverty programs of the government through the DSWD, is a five-year program of the President launched in 2008 amid the global economic meltdown.

It is a conditional cash transfer program originated in Latin America and Africa and was divided into three (3) sets.

Kader said the 4Ps program provides small cash grants to identified extremely poor families with the condition that the money will be spent for health and education of their children particularly from up to fourteen years of age.

Under the 4Ps, each family will receive monthly cash grants amounting to P1,400 for five years for health services and education of three children. Each child will have P300 education or a total of P900 for the three children while the P500 will be used for the family’s basic health service.

In his recent visit here, DSWD Undersecretary Luwalhati Pablo, 4Ps National Program Director, said that since the 4Ps is “not a standalone program,” other agencies should assist her department in promoting and building the program.

As of August 2009, the program increased its target number of beneficiaries from 700,000 to 1 million households in 2008, entailing the government to increase its budget from P5-billion to P10 billion.

In the ARMM, as of August 2009, the program then covered 15 municipalities, serving approximately 30,000 households that received roughly P58 million, Kader said in her report to Pablo.

Pablo said that the program is still extending its help to 57 more municipalities and approximately 70,000 households for another five years which will be funded by international donors including American Development Fund, World Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency, The United Nations Children's Fund and United Nations Population Fund. (Mark Navales and Becky de Asis contributed to this report.)

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