Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps): A stepping ground for poor children to soar high

April 14, 2015 3:48 am 

By Leilani S. Junio

MANILA, April 11 (PNA) — There is no limitation and boundaries in reaching out for a dream especially among the poorest of the poor if there is a supportive “arm” that will lift them up to keep on pursuing them.

With the recent graduation from high school of the first batch of 4th year high school students belonging to the poor sectors of society benefiting from Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), which is being implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), a milestone was reached and a better future for them is seen to unfold.

When they received their diploma and set to face another world, these set of high school graduates passed a “gateway” through the support of a “supportive wind” behind them – which were the grants that their parents received from 4Ps as they (students) strive to study and hurdle all the difficulties.

According to DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman, the fulfillment of the dreams of those assisted in the program was the goal of 4Ps.

“Your graduation (referring to the graduates) from high school is just the first step. Continue to strive towards a better life,” Soliman said during the celebration of the said milestones held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on April 9 attended by different graduates in the National Capital Region (NCR) who were recipients of the program for the past years.

Soliman said that as an “investment” to the health and education of the program, a “fair fighting chance” for the poor was given because the program served as a motivational tool for the graduates and other students in different grades and levels that were benefiting from it.

She also said that the grants, which were not that really quite “big enough,” served as a shield for parents of the poor children to be supportive to the education of their children and at the same time strive harder in earning to ensure that “both ends can meet” as they struggled against poverty.

Under the program, Php 300 to Php 500 cash grant per month per child (maximum of three) is being given to the children beneficiaries studying in elementary and high school and Php 500 for the parents to ensure that they are buying the necessary vitamins or healthy foods for their family while having regular consultation to the health center.

An average of Php 1,200 up to Php 1,500 or higher is being received by every family with 3 children who are either studying in elementary or high school.

As a requirement to the program, parents need to attend family development sessions (FDS) every month so that they can learn about responsible parenthood, develop close family ties and other related topics that can help them improve their lives.

Through the program, they had imparted the strong message that the poor just need the right kind of push or support and allowing them to finish their studies would give them “keys” to “unlock” different positive possibilities in life that they could pursue to have a better life than what their parents went through.

Also through the program, the beneficiaries had learned the value of giving focus to their studies as they recognized that they could be “competitive” to face different challenges in the world if they were “healthy” and equipped with “knowledge” and “other skills” that could be further developed and served as their powerful tool to make their dream of elevating themselves and their family as well to higher dimension would not be that far or become a reality.

By achieving such status, these graduates will be the clear goal of the program, which is to have productive future members of society from the poor so that they will not remain forever and be a contributor to economic development of the country as a return of investment on the poor which end goal is to end the repetitive cycle of poverty.

During an interview portion conducted by Kris Aquino (brother of President Benigno S. Aquino III_ among the successful beneficiaries of the program, a high school beneficiary from Camarines Sur said that they symbolized how the taxes paid really worked.

Different heads of agencies of the government present during the activity also told the graduates that there were different possibilities that they could pursue like college scholarship, employment facilitation and training skills.

TESDA or Technical Education Skills Development Authority can provide the skills training while Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) explained to the graduates how can they become employable.

CHED or Commission on Higher Education (CHED) can grant scholarships through Expanded Students Grants in Aid program (ESGAP).

Other private companies supporting the program also put up job inquiry booths for the graduates.

A total of 337,673 students benefiting from the Pantawid Pamilya program nationwide were the first batch of graduates for this year 2015.(PNA)

RMA/LSJ/PJN

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