GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/20 April) — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is studying several measures to strengthen the implementation in Region 12 and other areas of the government’s flagship conditional cash transfer program .
Bai Zorahayda Taha, DSWD Region 12 director, said Thursday a team from their central office has arrived in the region to inspect the rollout of the program, which is also known as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps.
She said the team, which is led by DSWD Undersecretary Ma. Lourdez Turalde-Jarabe, is composed of members of the program’s National Advisory Committee (NAC) and Technical Working Group.
The four-day visit, which started on Tuesday, aimed to determine the status of the program’s implementation on the ground as well as various issues and concerns, she said.
Taha said the results of the inspection will be consolidated by the NAC for the setting of corresponding policy recommendations and operational improvements.
“This is part of our continuing efforts to strengthen the program’s operational mechanisms and institutional arrangements among partner agencies,” she said.
On Wednesday, the official said the team visited several villages in Malapatan town in Sarangani and held interactions with local implementers and beneficiaries.
The coastal municipality has around 5,000 active 4Ps household-beneficiaries.
Malapatan was among the pilot beneficiaries in the country of the World bank-supported socioeconomic program Kapitbisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services or Kalahi-CIDSS, which also being implemented by DSWD.
Juliet Clavel, DSWD-12’s 4Ps program coordinator, said NAC members wanted to look into the transition of the exiting or “graduating” beneficiaries.
She said they are also determining implementation concerns involving household beneficiaries with children enrolled in senior high school.
At the end of the visit on Friday, she said the team is expected to gain better appreciation of the implementation of 4Ps and its complementary programs, with particular focus on the transition of exiting beneficiaries.
The program presently serve around 250,000 “poorest of the poor” households in Region 12, which comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato, and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
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.
It provides beneficiaries cash grants of P500 a month for health and nutrition expenses and P300 a month per child for educational expenses.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte earlier approved the release of additional P600 as monthly rice subsidy of the beneficiaries. (MindaNews)