DSWD to add 8,000 4Ps beneficiaries in R-12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/11 September) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is set to enlist around 8,000 homeless families and other marginalized households in Region 12 or the Soccsksargen Region to the national government’s continuing conditional cash transfer program (CCT).

Bai Zorahayda Taha, DSWD Region 12 director, said Tuesday the move is part of the modifications set by the agency to facilitate the expansion of the flagship anti-poverty initiative, which is also dubbed Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps, to families of “children in need of special protection.”

“The modified CCT now focuses on providing and strengthening the safety, protection, and development of children in difficult circumstances,” she said in a statement.

Taha said the additional 8,000 beneficiaries will specifically cover homeless families, families of child laborers, indigenous people’s migrant families, families of children with disabilities and families displaced by man-made and natural disasters.

She said they will work with civil society organizations (CSOs) in the region in implementing the program.

The agency recently gathered the accredited CSOs in Region 12 to discuss the program’s expansion and their proposed partnership, she said.

Taha said DSWD-12 is currently enlisting CSOs that are interested to become their partners for the modified 4Ps implementation.

Gemma Rivera, DSWD Region 12 assistant director, earlier said the 4Ps has so far served a total of 198,000 “poorest of the poor” households in the region this year.

The program, which forms part of the government’s anti-poverty convergence strategy, is being implemented in 32 municipalities and two cities in the region.

Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Cotabato, Kidapawan and Tacurong.

4Ps is a poverty reduction and social development strategy of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to “poorest of the poor” households to improve their health, nutrition and education particularly of children aged 0-14 years.

The program provides beneficiaries cash grants of P500 a month for health and nutrition expenses and P300 a month per child for educational expenses. A household with three qualified children could get P1,400 monthly. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)