(Feature) Benefits of becoming DSWD’s MCCT beneficiary

February 8, 2015 9:50 am 

By Leilani S. Junio

MANILA, Feb. 7 (PNA) — Becoming a beneficiary of the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Homeless Street-Families (MCCT-HSF) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) offers a lot of opportunities for the street families.

DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman said that among the opportunities are having access to job and livelihood opportunities, receiving cash grants thereby giving access to education and health by allowing the street-children to finish schooling and be healthy and transforming their way of life, family relationship and attitude to life similar to what a regular CCT beneficiary can avail.

“But on top of that, the DSWD is paying the rental of an apartment for the MCCT family beneficiary for a period of 6 to 12 months,” Soliman said.

Soliman added that the rental fee is included as form of encouragement and training at the same time for the family beneficiaries to learn and appreciate the value of residing in a “secured” house instead in the improvised pushcarts or shelters in the street which has no walls, doors, windows and even exposed the families to clear danger.

“It is our way of educating them (the parents and their children) that streets are not the best place for their children,” she added.

Nicanor Ripalda Raz, a former street dweller turned beneficiary of MCCT-HSF said that he is now a construction worker at Philippine Sundt Construction who earns an average ofP350 a day.

“Becoming a beneficiary had helped me to get an employment and stable income. I try to augment that income by selling popcorn at night,” said Mang Nick (Nicanor).

“I am now determined to work hard for my family so we will never have to experience life on the streets again,” he said.

With the income that he is earning now, Mang Nik’s family is proud that they were now able to maintain the house rental which the DSWD previously paid for them.

“It makes me feel proud to have given my loved ones the dignity that they rightfully deserve – to live in a safe place without the humiliating look of passersby,” he added.

He recalled that aside from the rental assistance, his family receives cash grant for their compliance to the education and health conditionalities of the program.

He admitted also that at first they were just after for the cash grants but as he and his wife began realizing that the government is giving them a chance to break-away from their difficult situation, they should also do their part and fulfill their obligation to their children so that their children will not repeat what they had gone through.

“Before,I used to tell my kids to go to school so we could get the cash grants, but now I learned to value education.

He added that he promised himself not to go back to the streets because going back will be a way to be removed from the program which he does not want to happen because he is seeing that a brighter future awaits for their children who will have more fighting chance to be productive members of society so that their future children will not experience the same hardship again of living and earning through the streets.

MCCT-HSF provides a complete package of assistance to street families, including responsive shelter programs, with access to social services, and economic opportunities for the improvement of their living conditions.

It also extends house rental assistance of up to P4,000 per month for six months to one year.

Over 2,000 street-families in National Capital Region (NCR) are currently benefiting under the program as part of the government’s continuous commitment to make the dream of ending the long-time problem of proliferation of street-families so that they will not continue to be the confronting problem of the society.

Through the increased budget of DSWD for this year, the agency is working-out in including the vulnerable sectors to be part of the poverty-alleviation program wherein the parents beneficiaries were trained also in skills and livelihood so that they will have sustainable income to continue the rental and obligations for their children. (PNA)

LAM/LSJ

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