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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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