DSWD’s 4Ps project an effective foil against ‘jueteng’ in Isabela

October 14, 2009 9:29 pm 

MANILA, Oct. 15 -— The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) announced that its “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program” (4Ps) is helping the government in its ongoing war against “jueteng” in San Mariano, Isabela.

The DSWD made the statement after noting that Luciana Pimentel and several other housewives formerly employed as collectors by “jueteng” operators in the province cut loose their links to the illegal numbers game after being named as of the beneficiaries in the government’s 4Ps program.

Luciana, a mother of two, was forced to seek employment from “jueteng” in 2008 due to the continuous hunger and poverty being experience by her family.

She also saw it as an opportunity to augment their family’s income as her eldest child then was about to enter college at that time.

Luciana’s employment with the “jueteng” continued until she was caught by one of the DSWD’s 4Ps municipal link (ML) operatives late that year.

She was spotted strutting her bet lists and convincing other people to lay a wager in the illegal number game.

Unaware that it was an ML operative that she was talking to, Luciana asked her for a bet.

The ML then counseled her and explained the consequences of engaging in illegal activities. The social worker also suggested Pimentel to set up a mini-business of her own so that she can avoid the dangers bought about by “jueteng.”

Luciana promised to think the matter over and a few weeks later the ML operative returned to San Mariano.

The DSWD agent was surprised to see her selling rice cakes in front of their house. The ML operatives was also surprised to learn that Luciana is also doing laundry jobs for their well-off neighbors to earn extra money.

That same year, luck came Luciana’s way as she and her family was named as one of the 4Ps beneficiaries in Isabela.

4Ps is a government program which provides conditional cash grants to the poorest households in the country to improve their health, nutrition and education.

It aims to end the inter-generational poverty cycle through investments on human capital.

Luciana’s family was selected based on a proxy-means test – which determines the socio-economic category of families by looking at certain proxy variables such as ownership of assets, type of housing, education of the household head, livelihood of the family and access to water and sanitation facilities, among others.

Effective counseling and education of the ML have been encouraging beneficiaries to divert their time to productive activities.

They get involved in family development sessions, which according to them, are helpful in carrying out their responsibilities as parents. (PNA)

FFC/PFN

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