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E Turo The 4Ps Program A Jump Start To A Better Future 2010 04 05

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The 4Ps Program: A Jump start to a Better Future
By jfelizardo
Created 04/05/2010 - 06:46

"Genius[1]has no country[2]. It blossoms everywhere. Genius[1]is like[3]the light, the air[4]. It is the heritage[5]of all!?
- Dr. Jose P. Rizal
The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) [6] is a poverty reduction strategy that provides grants to extremely poor households to improve their health, nutrition and education particularly of children aged 014. It aims to provide monetary aid to poor beneficiaries with the hope that these investments in human capital would lessen the great financial divide among the haves and the have nots. It is the Filipino version of the World Bank-funded Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) [7] Program where poor families receive cash provided their children regularly goes to public school, visits the health center for regular medical checkups and treatments. Conceiving mothers also receive financial grants provided they regularly undergo medical checkups and standard pregnancy treatments. There are numerous CCTs in other countries, including Brazil's Bolsa Familia [8], Chile's Chile Solidario [9], Colombia's Familias en Acción[10], Honduras' The Family Allowance Program [11] (PRAF II), Jamaica's Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) [12], Mexico's Oportunidades [13], Nicaragua's Social Protection Network [14], (Red de Proteccion Social) and Panama's Red de Oportunidades [15]. Most of them are similar to the Philippines' 4Ps program except in Jamaica (PATH) [12] which includes the elderly (60 years old and above), poor adults (18 to 59 years old), and persons with disabilities.

A household-beneficiary can receive as much as P1,400 monthly, [16] which includes P500 per month for nutrition and health expenses and P300 per month per child (with a maximum of 3 children per household) for educational expenses. Household-beneficiaries must comply with certain conditions to continue receiving the cash grants, which could go on for a maximum of five years. The conditions are: parents must ensure that their children attend school at least 85% of the time, and receive vaccinations and health care. Pregnant women must receive pre- and post-natal care and be attended during childbirth by a skilled health professional. Parents must attend responsible parenthood seminars, mother's classes, and parent effectiveness seminars. The beneficiaries are selected through a Proxy Means Test [17]. This test considers the ownership of assets, type of housing, education of the household head, livelihood of the family and access to water and sanitation facilities.

Left photo shows a local data collector verifying the record for health services availed by a 4Ps pregnant woman beneficiary in Sadanga, Mountain Province. Right photo shows a close-up of a page containing the list of required health services in the Rural Health Unit's patients record. (Photo by James Felizardo, June 2009)

The 4Ps program is not a dole out. Its not meant to make the poor become lazy and rely on the gov't. nor the NGOs to alleviate their sad poverty state. The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, just like the other Conditional Cash Transfer programs of other countries prioritize human dignity through availability of equal opportunities. In the words of former U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, father of the New Deal program that saved America?s poor in the Great Depression of the 1930s, ?N othing will change unless the Philippines gets a government that acknowledges its existence to the 60%70% of the voters who are poor and near poor, and makes them its special and favored constituency.? [18] ?Ang tao'y inianak na paris-paris hubad at walang talí. Dí nilalang ñg Dios upang maalipin, dí binigyan ñg isip para pabulag, at dí hiniyasan ñg katuiran at ñg maulol ñg iba.? [19] Ang Liham ni Dr. Jose Rizal sa mga Kadalagahan sa Malolos, Bulakan As Rizal had stressed, everybody deserves a better future and this means everybody can be great if given the right opportunities. What if Bonifacio [20]'s family were as rich as the Rizals? What if a hungry man

regularly had dinner on his plate? He would not have to steal wouldn't he? Health and Education are a basic necessity. It doesn't guarantee you will be rich but if you have education you can change your life for the better. You cant get education on an empty stomach. That's why you need a jump start towards getting it. The 4Ps program may be ?pantawid gutom? but the principle behind it is a person can only think better and do better when he has basic necessities such as food and education. Going back to Andres Bonifacio, if only he was a 4Ps beneficiary, then he would have been educated enough to have planned for a better revolution against the Spaniards ? with lesser loss of lives.

REFERENCES: [6]=71Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) [21] ? CCT Definitions,,contentMDK:21 [8] ? Bolsa Familia [9] ? Chile Solidario [10] - Familias en Acción [11] ? Family Allowance Program. [12] - Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) [13] ? Oportunidades [14] ? Social Protection Network [15] - Panama's Red de Oportunidades. [16] - PRESIDENT ARROYO LAUNCHES THE PANTAWID PAMILYANG PILIPINO PROGRAM NATIONWIDE [18] ? A Filipino New Deal [20] ? Kung Sino si Andres Bonifacio Rizal&page=138 [19] - Ang Liham ni Dr. Jose Rizal sa mga Kadalagahan sa Malolos, Bulakan

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[6] [7]
[8],,contentMDK:21447054~pagePK:141 [9] [10] [11]

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