Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Paying It Forward: 4Ps Monitored Child Now Program’s Municipal Link

Paying It Forward: 4Ps Monitored Child Now Program’s Municipal Link

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In the coastal town of Divilacan in Isabela province, producing professionals and white-collar workers among the locals was once a far-fetched dream.

However, the stories of 13 former monitored children of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) who have graduated from college are slowly turning the tide for this second-class municipality in the northern part of the country.

Donald Baybayan, 26, one of the 13 graduates, is now the pride of his hometown for becoming a licensed teacher and a public servant serving his townmates.

Donald narrated that it was in 2008 when social workers reached out to his household and registered it with 4Ps.

“Sampung-taong gulang ako nung napabilang kami sa programa ng 4Ps. Napabilang kami dahil marami kaming magkakapatid kung kaya’t hirap ang mga magulang namin na ibigay ang mga pangangailangan namin (I was 10 years old when our family was registered as beneficiary of 4Ps. We were qualified to the program as our parents dealt with difficulties raising a big family,)” he said.

Through 4Ps, poor households, such as the Baybayans, receive conditional cash grants from the government to improve children’s health, nutrition, and education.

Aside from the health grants, the Baybayan family received a monthly educational cash grant of PHP300 per child, which Donald and his siblings used to purchase learning supplies and supplement their daily school allowance.

“Malaking bagay para sa amin ang mapabilang sa Pantawid Program sapagkat nagkaroon kami ng pagkakataon na magkaroon ng bagong gamit sa paraalan at hindi na pinagtagpi-tagping pinaglumaan na notebook na dagta ng halaman ang pandikit, tagpi-tagping bag, hinating lapis at kupas na mga damit. Kabilang na rin dito ang pagkakaroon ng konting baon sa paaralan (Becoming one of the beneficiaries of the program is a big help for us because we were able to buy school supplies and no longer have to recycle notebooks and share pencils and worn-out clothes. We also used a small amount for our school allowance),” Donald narrated.

Donald is thankful that the government did not falter in reaching out to him through its various programs and services.

He maintained his scholarship under the local government.

In his senior year in college, he qualified as an intern to the Government Internship Program (GIP) initiated by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

During his internship, Donald assisted field officers who presided over the implementation of the 4Ps program in their locality.

This is where he saw the crucial role that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) field workers play in uplifting the lives of the marginalized sectors of their community, including his family.

Eventually, he found a deep-sense of motivation to pursue the same career path.

Now working as a municipal link to the program that helped him and his family rise from their impoverished condition, Donald is now in a place to help others and give back to the community.

He grabbed the golden opportunity to pay it forward for what he owes not only to his tenacity, but also to government-led efforts that empowered people like him to stand on their own feet.

“Proud akong sabihin na noong kami ay nakapasok sa programa, ang bahay namin ay tagpi-tagpi at hanggang ngayon tagpi tagpi pa rin. Tagpi-tagping mga medalya, diploma at larawan naming magkakapatid na naka-toga (I am proud to say that when we first entered the program, our house was a patchwork of lightweight materials. Now, it is still filled with patches but patches of medals, diploma and graduation portraits of me and my siblings in togas),” Donald said.

Donald’s narrative is not only inspiring, but also serves as a reminder that even the poor people from humble communities can rise above challenges, improve their lives, and find the opportunity to give back.

The 4Ps of the DSWD is a national poverty reduction strategy institutionalized under Republic Act No. 11310 or An Act Institutionalizing Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program signed on April 17, 2019.

The program puts a premium on giving indigent families the means to break-away from the intergenerational cycle of poverty through human capital investments.

Donald Baybayan is one of the 32,000 former 4Ps monitored children who have graduated from college since 2016.

He and 12 other graduates were honored together with some 75 4Ps beneficiaries on April 3.

To date, the program has 4.4 million household-beneficiaries nationwide. (PNA)

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