The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) presented some of its accomplishments in a forum called Pagpapakilala at Pagkilala sa Natatanging Benepisyaryo ng Pantawid Pamilya held on October 19.
One of the highlights of the event was featuring the inspiring stories of three former Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who voluntarily left the programand are now equipped with the right skills and knowledge to sustain their gains from Pantawid Pamilya.
As of September 2018, Pantawid Pamilya has recorded a total of 27, 581 households who have waived their membership. A validation of the next batch of households slated to exit the program is ongoing.
“Taos-puso ang pasasalamat ko sa Pantawid Pamilya dahil nakatapos na ang isang anak ko bilang cum laude,” said Irene Ramirez from Bataan, adding that the cash grants from Pantawid Pamilya helped in sending her kids to school, complete with baon and budget for any school expenses.
Another beneficiary, Annaliza Hipolito from Manila shared that the program helped her in taking care of the health of her family, especially her youngest who was always ill.
“Noong nasali kami sa Pantawid Pamilya, monthly ko siya dinadala sa health center kasi that time naging malnourished siya dahil ang dami niyang naging sakit. Ngayon, patuloy ko pa rin siyang pinapacheck-up para mamonitor ang kanyang height and weight,” said Annaliza.
Considering that Annaliza is a college graduate and was a very active parent leader, she tried to apply and was hired as a social welfare assistant in DSWD-National Capital Region.
Verdeflor Oconer, meanwhile, shared her insights on the importance of the knowledge she gained when she attended Family Development Sessions (FDS), the monthly gathering of Pantawid Pamilya parent groups that aims to strengthen their parenting capabilities.
“Marami akong kakilalang babae na inaabuso. Sa FDS, libre naming natutunan ang VAWC law (violence against women and children) at child’s rights—kung paano poprotektahan ang mga kababaihan at mga bata,” said the mother of two from Pasig City.
Verdeflor also learned about the programs and services of different government agencies through FDS. She availed of the free cookery and baking and pastry courses of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and is now a baker of made-to-order cakes and pastries.
Newly appointed DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista commended the achievements of the three women and the other families who have waived their program membership due to their improved living condition.
“Kayo ay kahanga-hanga. Ang inyong mga pakikibaka tungo sa pagtamasa ng inyong maunlad na buhay – ay walang kahalintulad. Kami ay lubos na nagagalak at nagpapasalamat sa kontribusyon niyo sa ating lipunan,” he said.
The forum also talked about Pantawid Pamilya’s impact evaluation results. It was said that the program has positive influence on increasing child-beneficiaries’ school enrollment and lowering child-beneficiaries’ dropout rate; beneficiaries’ frequent availing of basic health services; and mother-beneficiaries’ availing of maternal health and services.
Also discussed were the results of the assessment of FDS and the Pantawid Pamilya’s Gulayan sa Barangay, an initiative to encourage beneficiaries to implement community gardening activities for food production.
In attendance during the forum were Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries from NCR, media, and DSWD’s development partners including Ms. Julia Rees of UNICEF, Mr. Mat Kimberly of the Australian Embassy, Dir. Emmeline Verzosa of Philippine Commission on Women, Usec. Lorraine Badoy of Presidential Communications Operations Office, and Mr. Ariel Sebellino of the Philippine Press Institute who lauded the beneficiaries’ success and expressed their support to the agency and program’s endeavors.
In photo: Sec. Rolando Bautista delivers his first speech as head of the DSWD during the Pantawid Pamilya forum.