CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Northern Mindanao (DSWD-10) respects the decision of the Department of Education (DepEd) to relieve teachers of monitoring duties in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

Oliver Inodeo, DSWD-10 focal person for 4Ps, said the central office is awaiting the official resolution of the DepEd's concern, to be submitted to the 4Ps National Advisory Council.

"We acknowledge the big contribution and critical role of the Department of Education. We respect their statement," he said in an interview on Sunday.

DepEd Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III previously wrote to DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo that teachers will no longer monitor students who are children of 4Ps beneficiaries.

“[W]e shall no longer allow our teachers to facilitate the monitoring of 4Ps in their respective institutions of learning. This is in line with the Department of Education’s thrust that teachers shall focus on teaching,” read Densing’s letter to Tulfo dated October 20. “As such, we intend to advise, at the soonest possible time, our teachers to turn over these tasks to your personnel.”

Citing Republic Act Number 11310 or the 4Ps Act, Densing said DepEd personnel are not mandated to monitor and accomplish reports of the program.

Beneficiaries must show proof that their children continue to attend school as a requirement to receive monthly cash allowances under the 4Ps guidelines.

Inodeo said while there is no official memorandum from the advisory council yet, teachers assigned in 4Ps monitoring may continue with their 4Ps tasks.

Chin Lesaca, a teacher of Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High School, said it will be a relief for them if the DepEd request will be implemented.

"If a student is absent, teachers will shade the list, provided by DSWD," Lesaca said of their monitoring process.

The 4Ps program is a poverty reduction strategy that provides grants to extremely poor households to improve the health, nutrition, and education of children. (PNA)