ILOILO City-The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) here has already released a total of P5 billion for poor households covered by Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in Western Visayas.
This was revealed by Regional Director Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre, who recently delivered her State of the Region Address (SORA), saying that the program is now covering all Local Government Units in Region 6 with a total of 297,831 household beneficiaries.
Pantawid Pamilya, also known as the conditional cash transfer program of the national government, is a human development program that invests in health and education of the poor with children aged zero to 14 years old. Beneficiaries are given cash grants in exchange of compliance to conditions.
“This year, compliance to the condition on health such as immunization and prenatal visit was at 97.39 percent and attendance in primary and secondary school for children 6-14 years old was at 96.86 percent,” said Macapobre saying that compliance to conditions was high for the period January to June 2013.
Other conditions such as deworming for children six to 14 years old had a 99.16 percent compliance rate; attendance in day care for children three to five years old, 92.03 percent; and attendance to Family Development Session (FDS) for parents, 96.24 percent.
In 2012, monitoring of compliance to program conditions also posted high rates with health visits/immunization was pegged at 98.29 percent; deworming at 98.78 percent; attendance in day care, 97 percent; attendance in primary and secondary school, 97 percent; family development sessions, 97 percent.
Spot checks conducted on program implementation showed that enrollment rate has increased in 2010 with 96 percent as against 86 percent in 2007.
In 2011, another spot check was conducted. That time, focus was given on how beneficiaries were using their cash grants. Results showed that beneficiaries spent their cash grants for education and school materials, food, health and medical expenses.
World Bank, in its Impact evaluation of the program in 2012, said that the program is “on track to achieve its objectives of promoting investments in health and education.”
Earlier, DSWD has cited several positive results of the program.
For instance, 44-year-old Gigi Baylon of Brgy. Poblacion, Don Salvador, Benedicto, Negros Occidental said, “Pantawid Pamilya changed me. More than the cash grants that we are receiving; it has changed my behaviour. I don’t engage in gambling anymore.” she said.
Gigi said that she has been attending FDS, the part of the program which provides a venue for parents to learn more on parenting, husband-wife relationship and other relevant topics, and this has prompted her to stop spending much of her time playing tong-its with her neighbors.
In the same way, 44-year-old Mayflor Jinon of Sitio Paho, Napnod, Leganes, Iloilo, said, “I am so happy that our family has qualified in Pantawid Pamilya. I can now buy food for the children and pay for school fees because I still have dues left unpaid since October last year,” Mayflor said.
She said that she has dreams for her children—of them finishing their studies– unlike her who has only reached high school level and her husband who stopped schooling when he was in grade three.
“It is so difficult when one has not finished a degree. I have now realized that. We could hardly put food on the table. This is the fate that we do not want to hand down to our children,” she added.
Further, Rema Fernandez, 40 years old, of Brgy. Dulangan, Pilar, Capiz, said, “Tungod sa Pantawid Pamilya, wala na ako nagapangindi kon kinanglan mag-entra sa contest ang akon nga kabataan. Subong, ginahambal ko sa ila nga himuon nila ang ila masarangan para magdaog. Sang una, pirme lang second ang akon anak. Subong naka valedictorian na ang akon bata tungod sa Pantawid Pamilya.” /dswd6