MANILA – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Wednesday held the 4Ps National Family Day 2023 to recognize the contributions of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries in demonstrating and preserving positive Filipino values.
Held at the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Multipurpose Gym in Balara, Quezon City, the event is an annual celebration aimed at strengthening the advocacy efforts of the program and promoting the value of health and education among poor household- beneficiaries.
With the theme: “Aluyan ng Katatagan at Pag-Asa” (Cradle of Strength and Hope), this year’s celebration showcased the success stories of beneficiaries, depicting the 4Ps as a pillar of hope and resilience in achieving self-sufficiency.
As part of the celebration, the DSWD awarded 17 Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya from the different regions who have exhibited strong family ties and carried out exemplary practices and achievements that created a positive impact and promoted empowerment to the families and their communities.
DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian said the exemplary 4Ps families are living testimonies of the importance of hard work, along with government assistance, in breaking the vicious cycle of poverty.
“Kayo ang patunay na ang programang 4Ps ng ating gobyerno ay nakakatulong upang itaas ang antas ng pamumuhay ng mga maralita at vulnerable na pamilyang Pilipino (You are proof that the 4Ps program of the government is helpful in improving the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable Filipino families),” Gatchalian said in his keynote speech.
“Ang inyong mga kuwento ng pagsubok sa buhay ay magsisilbing inspirasyon upang lalo pang pagbutihin ang pagpapatupad ng 4Ps. Magsilbi rin nawang inspirasyon ang inyong mga kuwento sa mga benipesaryo ng 4ps upang patuloy silang magsikap, gayon din ang iba pa nating kababayan upang maiangat ang kanilang pamumuhay (Your stories of challenges in life will serve as an inspiration to better improve the implementation of 4Ps. May they also serve as inspiration for other beneficiaries, and fellow countrymen, to continue striving in improving their lives),” he said.
Breaking free from the clutches of poverty
One of the exemplary 4Ps families is that of Roperto and Rhea Rala, members of an indigenous people (IP) in Barangay Afus, TBoli, South Cotabato.
Before being admitted into the program in 2010, the farmer couple had to take care of their son who was paralyzed due to heat stroke, while living a hand-to-mouth existence.
Crystyl Mae, their 23-year-old daughter narrated that the first cash grant they received was spent on buying a piglet, which through persistence and complete faith in God, has evolved into a backyard piggery over the years.
Because of their hard work and the 4Ps program, which also opened the door to assistance from other government agencies, the Rala family was able to develop their farm, go into business, and send the children to higher education.
“Naging inspirasyon ko ang 4Ps upang ipursge ang ang kursong BS Education dahil gusto kong turuan ang mga bata na mangarap at samahan ito ng pagpupursige. Gusto kong pagsilbihan ang mga kabataan lalo na sa mga kapwa naming IP na salat sa buhay (The 4Ps became my inspiration to pursue a course in Education because I want to teach children to dream and be determined to reach it. I want to serve the youth, especially our fellow IPs who are lacking in life),” Crystil Mae said.
She is now in 2nd year college, while her sister Rachelle is also in her 2nd year in BS Social Work course.
The Dinamling family from Kiangan, Ifugao is also one of the model families whose lives completely turned around for the better because of the 4Ps program
Emilia Dumamling narrated that she gave birth to her eldest child at age 19, forcing her and her husband, Benedicto, to stop their schooling.
In 2009, with four children and another child on the way, social workers from the DSWD visited their house and conducted preliminary interviews. Two years later, the family was enrolled in the 4Ps program.
Emilia admitted that she and her husband were
into gambling at that time, but soon turned for the better due to the family development sessions (FDS) that they regularly attended.
“Sobrang malaki ang naitulong ng buwanang FDS ng programa sa aking pamilya dahil dito naipapaalala ang pagiging isang responsableng asawa, ina, at miyembro ng Komunidad (The program’s monthly FDS has had a great impact on my family because it is here that I am reminded of being a responsible wife, mother and member of the community),” she said.
Because of the FDS, she said her perspective in life and her relationship with her husband changed, and they completely shunned gambling for good in 2013.
The Ralas and the Dumamligs, as well as other regional winners received a plaque of recognition and a PHP10,000 cash incentive, on top of the other prizes provided by their respective DSWD Field Offices.
The 4Ps is the national poverty reduction strategy and a human capital investment program of the government that provides conditional cash transfer to qualified household-beneficiaries.
As of June 30, 2023, the 4Ps covers a total of 3,893,958 active household-beneficiaries across 41,676 barangays in the entire country. (PNA)