Archive | June 17th, 2021

4Ps graduation: Building self-sustaining families, communities

As the flagship program of the government in human capital investment, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) continues to achieve its goal of uplifting the lives of Filipino families and helping in the country’s poverty reduction efforts.

On June 10, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), as the lead implementing agency of 4Ps, has once again gained a modest feat towards this goal as it held a virtual graduation ceremony for 197 household-beneficiaries of the program that have already attained self-sufficient status.

“Higit sa anupamang datos o numero, ang pinakamahalaga sa departamento ay ang malaman na may mga magtatapos sa 4Ps dahil kaya na nilang tumayo sa sarili nilang mga paa,”  DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista said.

Dubbed “Pugay Tagumpay,” the ceremony was part of the weeklong celebration, from June 7 to 11, of the Department for the second year anniversary of the signing into law of the 4Ps Act.

Based on the 4Ps National Program Management Office, some 24,043 households from the different regions have graduated from the program, since year 2020 up to June 8, 2021.

Lea Rebuta from CARAGA Region, was among the graduating beneficiaries and is now into a freelance cake business.  As one of the leaders in their community, her advocacy is to continue helping other beneficiaries achieve their desired well-being.

 “Ang major plan ko ay ipagpatuloy ang advocacy para sa kabutihan ng benepisyaryo ng 4Ps, kahit wala na sa programang ito” (My major plan is to continue my advocacy for the betterment of other 4Ps beneficiaries, even I am not part of the program anymore), Lea said during the round table discussion.

Moreover, she shared that one of the lessons she learned during her tenure in the program was the importance of saving money for the future. This was after Financial Literacy was discussed to them during one of their Family Development Sessions (FDS).

Now, their community has ‘Alkansiya Program’ wherein member-beneficiaries save money regularly until December. She believed that this may teach others to become self-sustaining individuals, thereby contributing to community development.

“Kung kaya ko makatawid sa kahirapan, kaya rin nila” (If I can, they can overcome poverty also), she reminded the beneficiaries.

To be considered as a self-sufficient household, the family-beneficiary should have enough income at the time of graduation; is able to cope with their daily needs; and has achieved the first two levels of Social Worker Development Indicators (SWDI), which are Survival and Subsistence Levels, respectively.

The graduates will now be monitored by their respective local government units (LGUs) and for possible provision of other appropriate assistance to enable them to sustain or further improve their economic status.

During the ceremony, the LGUs pledged to have an after-care monitoring program to check the status of the families as part of the sustainability plan of the households upon their exit transition from the program.

Other partner agencies, on the other hand, also vowed to continuously assist the graduating beneficiaries in their journey to become self-sustaining individuals through the provision of livelihood assistance, skills training, and scholarship for their children.

The DSWD commits to assist more families achieve self-sufficiency through the 4Ps and its other programs and services to be able to contribute in building poverty-free communities. ###

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DSWD’s Yakap Bayan turns deviant to public servant

Motivational writer, William Arthur Ward, left this beautiful quote “Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning.”

For Jack Angco, however, curiosity did not lead him to learning, but took him down the path of drug dependency. This wrong path that he took brought him and his family pain, before he learned his lesson.

“May nakilala ako na isang pusher na nagbebenta  ng shabu. Bumili ako sa kanya dahil sa curiosity kung ano ba magiging epekto sa akin ng paggamit ng shabu” (I met a pusher who peddles shabu. I bought from him out of curiosity about the drug’s effects), Jack shared.

For Jack, everything went downhill after that simple try at taking illegal drugs.

Jack’s sister recounted the worse times of their family life with him becoming a drug dependent.  Accordingly, Jack started stealing from their parents.  He even went as far as pretending to be studying but his tuition fee just went to  illegal drugs.

She shared that, at first, community members who knew Jack was into drugs were hesitant to tell their father, who was then the barangay captain in their village of Pangyan, Davao City.

Worst time

Jack affirmed her sister’s story.  He went on to say that being under the influence of drugs brought out the worst in him. He also lost several of his material possessions.

“Nalugi ang negosyo ko at iyong mga naipundar kong gamit at mga alahas ay isa-isang nawala.  Nawala din ang relasyon ko sa pamilya ko. Nasira noong gumagamit ako ng droga” (I lost my business, jewelry, and other material things which I bought.  I also lost my good relationship with my family as a result of my drug dependency), he recalled.

He narrated that he noticed his behavior changed, especially at times when he wanted to use illegal drugs, but had no money to buy some. 

“Kapag wala na ako makunan ng pera, humihingi na ako sa kapatid ko at sa mama ko. Tapos, pag hindi magbigay ay magagalit ako agad”  (When I have no more money, I will ask from my sister and mother, and I get mad if they do not give me anything), he continued.

He was in this deplorable situation for a long time until he started hearing about the anti-illegal drugs campaign of the government.  Jack started thinking about taking the first step towards change.

Yakap Bayan paves the way for change

Jack finally decided to stop using illegal drugs.

“Na-realize ko hanggang ganito na lang ba ang kaya kong gawin sa buhay? Paano na lang kaya ang kinabukasan ko?” (I realized my situation and asked myself if this is what I want for my life?  What will be my future?), he stated.

When he learned about the Yakap Bayan Program for Recovering Persons Who Used Drugs (RPWUDs) like him, he took the opportunity to help him reintegrate with his family and community.

“Pinakamahalaga kong natutunan sa Yakap Bayan ay kung paano pahahalagahan ang buhay ng isang tao at hindi natin dapat aksayahin” (The most important lesson I got from Yakap Bayan was to give importance to life and not to waste any moment),  Jack said

YBP is a holistic intervention to assist RPWUDs in their recovery journey from surrendering to aftercare, and social reintegration to their families and communities. It entails the provision of aftercare services, such as relapse prevention sessions, counselling sessions, health and fitness therapy, spiritual interventions, and skills training, among others, to improve the well-being and social functioning of RPWUDs.

Pangyan Barangay Captain, Bartolome Carillo, shared that the former drug dependents were at first scared of undergoing government’s intervention program, but they now see the positive effects of the program on their lives and their family.

From an illegal drug user to a public servant

Pangyan Barangay Kagawad Rogelio Gumban, on the other hand,  pointed out that the Yakap Bayan Program was a big help in regaining the trust and confidence of community members for RPWUDs. With the transformative help of the program, RPWUDs, like Jack, were given the chance to become respected members of the community.

Jack was elected as one of the Barangay Councilors in their village, and his advice to stay away from all forms of illegal drugs is heeded by the youth as his advocacy is focused on the prevention of substance use.

DSWD Undersecretary Jose Antonio Hernandez, champion of the Yakap Bayan Program, said, “the program envisions a better nation where we take back our communities, and break the intergenerational curse that has besiege the country for a couple of decades of drug menace.”

He emphasized that the Yakap Bayan Program provides a transformative chance to the former drug dependents, and also ensures a system of interventions to keep the future generation away from illegal drugs, in line with the vision of President Rodrigo Duterte of a drug-free nation. ###

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June 2021