Poverty alleviation program benefits 3-M Filipinos

January 29, 2010 11:14 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 29 — Nearly 3 million indigent Filipinos have benefited from government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), a poverty alleviation strategy implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) National Planning and Policy Director Dennis Arroyo said the list of 2,955,215 beneficiaries is based on the program’s September 2009 report.

The report cited that:

— 39,650 pregnant women visited health centers and availed of preventive check-ups and health care;

— 789,446 children 0-5 year old availed of immunization/preventive check-ups;

— 401,644 children 3-5 years old enrolled in day care centers and pre-school;

— 1,073,935 children 6-14 years old enrolled in elementary and high school; and

— 50,540 or 93 percent of grantees are women.

The 4Ps was piloted in 2007 in four municipalities in the provinces of Misamis Occidental and Agusan Del Sur and two cities in Metro Manila.

In 2008, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo expanded the implementation of the program to the 27 poorest provinces covering about 320,000 extremely poor households with a corresponding annual budget of P5 billion.

Because of the program’s successful implementation, the number of beneficiaries increased to 700,000 in mid-2009. Before the year ended, the President increased the target beneficiaries to one million and ordered DSWD to allocate a budget of P15 billion for the expanded 4Ps.

To date, some 17 regions, 80 provinces, 644 municipalities, and 60 cities are covered by the 4Ps.

The program provides cash grant packages to the beneficiaries such as: 1) health and nutrition cash grant package of P500 per month per household or P6,000 per year for health checkups, vaccines and foods; 2) an educational cash grant package of P300 per month per child for school needs or P3,000 per school year.

Overall, a household with three children is given a subsidy of P1,400 per month. The cash grant subsidies are released every three months through a Land Bank cash card. (PNA)

LAP/OPS/ssc

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