PGMA to launch program to benefit poor in Nueva Ecija

October 3, 2009 4:35 pm 

GABALDON, Nueva Ecija, Oct. 3 — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will launch the Damayang Apat na Piso here tomorrow, a new social program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that will benefit the country’s poor.

After the launch, the President will distribute cash cards to beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) here. The program is a poverty reduction strategy that provides grants to extremely poor households with children aged 0-14 to improve their health, nutrition and education.

It is a flagship project of the Arroyo administration to break the intergenerational poverty cycle through investments in human capital.

A household-beneficiary can receive as much as P1,400 for a maximum of three children that includes P500 per month for nutrition and health expenses and P300 per month per child for educational expenses for a maximum of three children per household. Household-beneficiaries must comply with certain conditions to continue receiving the cash grants.

The conditions are: parents must ensure their children attend school at least 85 percent 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; parents must attend responsible parenthood seminars, mother's classes, and parent effectiveness seminars.

The program is part of government’s commitment to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) aimed at significantly reducing global poverty by the year 2015.

Five of these MDGs are also the objectives of 4Ps. These are eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality, and improving maternal health.

There are already 700,000 households presently benefiting from the program. With the government’s plan to increase beneficiaries to one million, another set of 300,000 families will be included in 4Ps this year. With the allocation of an additional P5 billion, this brings 4Ps annual budget to P15 billion. (PNA)

scs/OPS/rsm

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