The Delisted Beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Essay
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A Conditional Cash Transfer Program is a program implemented by the government where money (cash grants) is given to eligible beneficiaries given that these beneficiaries comply with certain conditions such as nutrition, education, family development sessions, and other such services offered by the government. It is a means of helping the beneficiaries through provision of social and medical assistance and increasing the investment in human capital for society by providing education to those who cannot afford it. Since 2007, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the Philippines is the conditional cash transfer program implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), along with cooperative partner institutions such as the Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and various other government institutions.
The 4Ps was patterned after the conditional cash transfer programs in Latin American and African countries which have been proven successful as a poverty reduction and social development measure (DSWD, 2011). The 4Ps is targeted at chronic poor households with children aged 0-14 years old who are located in poor areas.
The cash grants range from ₱500.00 to ₱1,400.00 per household per month, depending on the number of eligible children. At the core of a CCT program is a social contract where a state provides financial resources to a family in exchange for that family’s fulfilment of certain tasks such as ensuring that its children’s attendance in school, regular visits to community health centers, participation in government-sponsored feeding programs and attendance in more specific trainings, to name a few (Somera, 2010). And according to Fernandez & Olfindo (2011), today, the program is seen more broadly as “a vehicle for enhancing coordination within the government in assisting the poor and for increasing the effectiveness of social protection programs.”
Statement of the Problem
This study was conducted to identify the delisted beneficiaries in Barangay 67, Anibong, Tacloban City of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
It is designed to answer the following questions: 1.Who are the delisted beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)? 2.What are the reasons that caused them to be delisted from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)? 3.What were their benefits from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)? 4.What are their perceptions and recommendations on the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)?
In respect to the previously stated problems, the researchers hope to accomplish the following objectives: 1. To identify the delisted beneficiaries from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). 2. To determine the reasons to why the respondents were delisted the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). 3. To discover the benefits of the delisted beneficiaries from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). 4. To determine the perceptions and recommendations of the delisted beneficiaries on the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
Significance of the Study
This research is significant because of its ability to provide observations and insights regarding the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the current administration. Information of this sort is important because it serves as a form of feedback to government officials in determining the effectiveness and efficiency of this program. This study also helps to evaluate any flaws in the implementation As an integral program of the government, it is important that the 4Ps’ implementation be closely monitored to ensure that it is running along its track. Determining the perception of the key players – the delisted beneficiaries will be valuable inputs in correcting any deficiencies, strengthening any weaknesses and reinforcing any strength. Thus, the benefits to be derived from the 4Ps as envisioned by the government will be realized.
Definition of terms
For better understanding of the study, some terms are defined: 4Ps – It is the acronym for the program, PANTAWID PAMILYANGPILIPINOPROGRAM. A program of DSWD, is a poverty reduction strategy CCT (Conditional Cash Transfer) – A program which aims to reduce poverty by making welfare programs conditional upon the receivers’ actions. BENEFICIARIES – As used in the study, recipients of funds or other benefits; citizens who receive government assistance. DSWD – It is the acronym for the agency, Department of Social Welfare and Development. SOCIAL ASSISTANCE – Benefits paid to bring incomes up to minimum levels established by law
Scope and Limitation
Inasmuch as this study only deals with the delisted of the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in Barangay 67, Anibong Tacloban City, its results may not apply to the same type of phenomenon in other barangays, both within and outside the Tacloban City premise. A weakness of the research study may be attributed to its character of being subjective since its source of data are from the perceptions of the identified respondents, which may be affected from personal bias and inaccuracies. Despite these limitations, the researchers hope the results of this study will contribute much in understanding the dynamics of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
Social Contract Theory
According to Jean Jacques Rousseau in his social contract theory, the state exists to ensure or guarantee protection of rights, life, property and liberty. Its prime motive is for the protection of the citizenry, which means to surrender their rights, not to a single individual, but to the community as a whole as what Rousseau called as the general will. At the central part of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is a social contract where a state provides financial resources to a family in exchange for that family’s fulfilment of certain conditions set by the government. Meanwhile, the state, through the implementation of 4Ps, intends to accomplish the country’s commitment in the Millennium Development Goals particularly in: (1) eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; (2) achieving universal primary education; (3) promoting gender equality; (4) reducing child mortality; and, (5) improving maternal health.
Rational Choice Institutionalism
Rational choice institutionalism states that institution influence behaviour by affecting the structure of a situation which individuals select strategies for the pursuit of their preferences. Institution provides information regarding others, likely future behaviour. Behaviour is endogenous, not produced by institution, rather institution are purposeful human constructions designed to solve collective action problems.
In connection to this, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is a poverty reduction and social development strategy of the national government, targeting the country’s poorest families with children aged 0-14. The program has two main objectives: social assistance and social development. The former aims to alleviate the poor’s immediate need, while the latter aims to break the intergenerational poverty cycle by investing in human capital. However, there are conditions that are laid down. In order to stay in this program, the beneficiaries should follow the conditions that are set. Negligence or failure to comply the said conditions can result to the delistment from the program.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)
The 4Ps is a social program that entails monetary and non-monetary transfers to the poor or poorest families who have school-aged children on the condition that they meet the program’s terms that are aimed at improving their capacities. Brazil and Mexico were the first countries that implemented that 4Ps program. The main objective was to provide cash to families who are in extreme poverty in exchange for some education and health care commitments. Since then, many countries, including the Philippines, have attempted to replicate their examples. The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, or 4Ps, is the Philippines’ version of the conditional cash transfer. Based on the Department of Social Welfare and Development Studies (DSWD) primer, the 4Ps is a poverty reduction and social development strategy of the national government. It provides cash transfers to extremely poor households to help improve their health, nutrition and education.
The program specifically targeted poor families with children aged 0-14. The two main objectives of the program are social assistance and social development. The former aims to alleviate the poor’s immediate needs, hence it can be termed as a short-term poverty alleviation measure. The latter, however, aims to break the intergenerational poverty cycle by investing in human capital. Meanwhile, the 4Ps helps in fulfilling the country’s commitment in the Millennium Development Goals particularly in: (1) eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; (2) achieving universal primary education; (3) promoting gender equality; (4) reducing child mortality; and, (5) improving maternal health. The 4Ps has two components, namely: health and education. Under the health component, the program provides PhP6,000 annually (PhP500 per month) to each family beneficiary for their health and nutrition expenses. Under the education component, it provides PhP3,000 per child for one school year (i.e., 10 months) for meeting educational expenses.
Each family beneficiary shall receive for up to a maximum of 3 children under the educational grant. In return, the family-beneficiaries have to commit themselves to the following conditionalities: (1) pregnant women must avail of the pre- and post-natal care and be attended during childbirth by a trained medical professional; (2) parents must attend family development seminars; (3) children aged 0-5 must undergo regular preventive health checks and receive vaccines; (4) children aged 3-5 must attend day care or preschool classes at least 85 percent of the time; (5) children aged 6-14 must enroll in elementary or high school and attend at least 85 percent of the time; and, (6) children aged 6-14 must receive de-worming pills twice a year. The family-beneficiaries will receive the grant for at most five years, provided that they comply with the conditionalities. The eligible beneficiaries of the 4Ps are families: (1) from the poorest municipalities; (2) whose condition is equal to or below the provincial poverty threshold; (3) with children aged 0-14 and/or a pregnant woman at the time of assessment; and, (4) that agree to meet the program’s conditionalities.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has chosen the poorest municipalities based on the results of the 2003 Small Area Estimates (SAE) generated by the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB). For municipalities with poverty incidence higher than 50%, all barangays are assessed. But for those with poverty rate lower than 50%, the criteria for selecting barangays are the “pockets of poverty” based on the available socioeconomic profile of the municipality. To identify the poorest households within the selected municipalities, the DSWD uses the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR). The system employs a Proxy Means Test (PMT) model to identify the poor families. The PMT model was estimated using data from the 2006 FIES and the 2006 Labor Force Survey (LFS). The assessment is conducted by using certain proxy variables like ownership of assets, type of housing, education and employment of household head, and access to water and sanitation facilities to predict income. To verify compliance, the DSWD coordinates with the program’s multi-sectoral Advisory Committee to conduct monthly verification through the Compliance Verification System (CVS) developed for the program (Reyes, et. al., 2013).
Advantages of the 4Ps
The “CCT programs address both future poverty, by fostering human capital accumulation among the young as a means of breaking the intergenerational transmission of poverty and current poverty, by providing income support for consumption in the short run” (Rawlings & Rubio, 2005, p. 33). Indeed, the main objective of the 4Ps and other CCT programs is to prevent inter-generational transference of poverty and help break the infinite cycle of poverty by providing the children the suitable educational and health assistance so as to help them develop the facilities for a better future. Investing in children’s human capital and ensuring that they grow into educated and healthy adults, is the equivalent of teaching them how to fish. Healthy, educated children ultimately have more choices in life and are able to become productive members of society (Bloom, 2008).
Furthermore, the implementation of the 4Ps lessens the incidence of child labor and other forms of child abuse. In cases of the other CCT programs implemented in other countries, there are two interrelated mechanisms found to help combat child labor. First, through their cash subsidy component, schooling’s directs costs are reduced, thereby inducing families to send their children to school, as opposed to work. Second, these programs require families to have their children attend school, 85% of the school days per month in the case of the 4Ps, in exchange to cash subsidy. This requirement increases the time children spend in school and reduces the time they can allocate to work (Gee, 2010). There is a noticeable increase in the number of enrolees in many elementary schools in areas included in the scope of the 4Ps, and kindergarten classes were being established to answer the need of the community in compliance to the condition of sending 0-5 years old children in day care centers and preschools (DSWD, 2009). Subsequently, if collaborative compliance to this requirement of the 4Ps is ensured, the literacy rate of the children is also expected to increase. In the long run, the 4Ps as well as the other CCT programs, aims to establish social equality and mobility through education.
As mentioned by Gundlach, Navarro de Pablo, & Weiser (2010), the centrality of education in poverty-reduction policies stems from the belief that education is a powerful equalizer and the main asset of most people. Sen & Dreze (as cited by Calvo, 2011) incorporates the notion of inequality and social exclusion as obstacles for the construction of a system of rights and opportunities. Accordingly, people are poor not just because of a lack of economic resources to satisfy basic needs, but also because they live in a social, economic and political system which does not provide equality of opportunities. The 4Ps intend to provide the basis for this much needed equality by providing the poor people with the education that they could not access otherwise. Malnutrition, which is prevalent among extremely poor families, is also expected to decrease.
Since it is a prime requirement for beneficiaries to avail of the health services being offered in their health centers such as pre- and post-natal services, vaccination, and periodical check-ups before acquiring their money grants, the health and nutrition of the poor families are safeguarded. The 4Ps also promotes gender empowerment seeing as the responsibility of managing the cash grants are given to the mother. This decision is based on the experience in CCT programs showing that women make relatively better use of grant money by using it to purchase food and/or other necessities such as medicines, transportations and school supplies. In the nutshell, the underlying concept of the CCT programs, and of the 4Ps as wells, is: once individuals are healthy, better fed, and educated, they will be able to overcome poverty in the long run (Valencia, 2009).
Disadvantages of the 4Ps
Like any other government program, the 4Ps also have its disadvantages that may encumber its helpful benefits. One of the most crucial characteristic of the 4Ps and other CCT programs implemented in other countries is its being a ‘demand-side’ intervention instead of being a ‘supply-side’ intervention. That is, in order to be considered as a beneficiary of the program, one must concede with the government’s demands and conditionalities (Coady & Parker, 2002). This is remarkably notable in the conditions concerning education and health services where the beneficiaries being brought into the education and health services system instead of expanding the education and health systems in order to reach them. Furthermore, as previously mentioned, poverty in the country is not only caused by the lack of economical resources, but also because of socio-economic and political factors that prevent the equality and distribution of resources.
Although the 4Ps aims to provide the poor with the education which is, otherwise, inaccessible, it does not directly answer the socio-economic and political problems that are the primary cause of poverty. In the case of the 4Ps in the Philippines, it does not answer the issues regarding the political and economic elite families. And poverty can only be totally alleviated if there are programs that could target its roots. The 4Ps will also encounter some difficulties in achieving support from the other social classes, mainly because it does not benefit middle-income groups which have also been steadily affected by limited universal services and decreases in employment (Cuesta, 2007). These middle-income groups are also suffering from issues of poverty and limited access to educational and health benefits, but are not included in the target population of the 4Ps. The 4Ps is programmed to help only the extremely poor.
Another major disadvantage of the 4Ps implementation is that it requires a huge amount of finance which we do not have at the present. The 4Ps is a loan driven program, much of the funds constituting the conditional cash grants given to beneficiaries are generated from loans abroad, particularly from the United States. By the tail-end of August 2010, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a US$400 million loan specifically for the 4Ps which will run from 2011 to 2014. This comprises 45.2 per cent of the total cost of US$884.2 million, where US$484 million serves as the government’s counterpart. Having ADB’s US$400 million in addition to the World Bank’s US$405 million, makes two-thirds of the whole 4Ps from 2009 to 2014 comprised of loans (Somera, 2010, p. 6). Arguments against the 4Ps point out that despite the large amounts of financial resources needed to implement the program; it does not generate guaranteed returns to the economy as much as infrastructure projects like construction of roads, bridges, and railways do.
This study utilized the descriptive method of research. A purposive process of gathering and analyzing data was conducted in order to identify and determine the reasons to why the respondents were delisted from Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
Respondents & the Locale
This study involved three (3) delisted Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries from Brgy. 67 Anibong, Tacloban City. The place was chosen for the study because that is where the researchers found some of the delisted 4Ps beneficiaries residing in the said barangay.
Method of collecting data
The researchers used an interview method in gathering data and information. The interview consists of the following parts namely: (1) Demographic profile
(2) The reasons to why the respondents were delisted
(3) The benefits received while they were still a (4Ps) member (4) Perceptions and recommendations on (4Ps)
The researchers interviewed the respondents personally. During the interview, the questions were done in the Visayan Tongue to ensure the respondents appropriateness of the responses and to encourage them to answer the questions. They were made to understand that their answering of the questions would not, in any way, affect or prejudice them.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
At the core of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is a social contract where a state provides financial resources to a family in exchange for that family’s fulfilment of certain tasks such as ensuring that its children’s attendance in school, regular visits to community health centers, participation in government-sponsored feeding programs and attendance in more specific trainings. Barangay 67, Anibong, Tacloban City is just one of the many barangays eligible of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of DSWD wherein beneficiaries retain their benefits from the 4Ps by maintaining or qualifying from the conditions and requirements of the 4Ps. However, there are few members who have already been delisted from the 4Ps. Verdina Abdun is a 65 year old resident of Barangay 67, Anibong, Tacloban City since birth. She was temporarily delisted from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and was later renewed by the extension of the program. Her everyday life depends on her livelihood and the monetary help from her son.
“Damu la ini tak mahirimu, magluto naman hin sura, maghimo naman hin lidgid. Amu ini tak pakabuhi na baga kuan gud ini an am pakabuhi na gintutdo han ak nanay.” “I have a lot of sidelines. I sometimes cook food like viand and I also make lidgid (a type of delicacy). This is basically the livelihood that my mother taught me.”
Her income from making lidgid ranges from Php200 to Php150 depending on the availability of cassavas in the area. Aside from cooking and making lidgid, she receives cash from her son in Manila weekly.
“Tak anak ngadto ha Manila nga nagcoconstruction kay regular na nagpapadara hin kwarta ha akon kada semana. May ada kami Php500 na kwarta tikang ha iya.” “My son who is working in a construction site regularly sends money every week. I receive about Php500 from him every week.”
Vernina Abdul was identified as eligible to be a 4Ps beneficiary through the survey conducted by DSWD in 2009. She began receiving the monetary help from 4Ps in 2011 wherein she received Php800 every month wherein Php500 is allocated for medical or health purposes and Php300 is for the educational support of the child. She used the money mainly for buying school supplies for her grandchild and food for the two of them. For her to maintain the benefits from the 4Ps, it is required for her to send her grandchild regularly to school. There is a monthly monitoring of DSWD on the attendance and performance of the beneficiary child. Her medical records were also monitored to ensure that the money given by the program is properly used. She went to the health center to have a check-up on her unstable blood pressure which is caused by her old age.
Since her grandchild reached the age limit of the 4Ps, she stopped receiving the monetary help coming from the 4Ps. She asked about her status in the City Link and learned that she is still on the list. The person in-charge of the 4Ps from the City Link assured her that she would not be eliminated from the list because there is still an extension which is mandated to include children up to 17 years old. She confirmed her eligibility to the other personnel in the City Link and began receiving money from the extension program. From the extension of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, she receives Php500 monthly which is only allocated for the medical and health purposes.
She hopes that the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) would include elementary and highschool students but also college students because of the inevitable rise of expenses. Another identified delisted beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is Rosita Pecayu, 71 years old and a resident of Barangay 67, Anibong Tacloban City. She does not have a self generated income but rather, she is dependent on the monetary support from her grandchildren.
Like Vergina Abdun, she was identified as an eligible beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program through the survey conducted by DSWD last 2009. During that time, she does not have a relative in her household who has a stable job to suffice the needs of the household. In her entire membership in the 4ps, she only received the money once which is only Php500. It was only Php500 because her great grandchildren were not yet going to school and the money was only for medical and health purposes. She used the money to buy food for the family.
Months after she received the money, she was already delisted from the 4ps because the husband of her granddaughter who is living in her household already secured a job item which ensures a stable job. For her, it does not mean that if one has a job, it could already suffice the needs of the family.
Julie Mate, 40 years old, mother of four children, and a resident of Barangay 67, Anibong Tacloban City was once a member of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). Like the other respondents, she was identified as an eligible beneficiary because of the survey conducted by DSWD in the year 2009. In 2011 she started receiving the encashment from the 4Ps. She received Php1400 every month because she has three children eligible to be a beneficiary of the 4Ps. Php800 pesos was allocated for her three children and Php500 was for the medical and health care purposes. She used the money to buy school materials for her children since it was enrolment period. She even kept the receipts from the things that she bought because it was required.
After receiving the money from the 4ps for two months, she was delisted from the 4Ps because someone reported that she was not qualified to be a beneficiary and was called for reinterview by DSWD.
She is currently working as a job order in Tacloban City hall and her husband is a permanent government employee.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This study sought to identify and determine the reasons to why the respondents of Brgy. 67 Anibong, Tacloban City were delisted from Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). Three (3) delisted Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries were selected. The researchers used an interview method in gathering data and information. The interview consists of the following parts namely: (1) demographic profile of the delisted beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps); (2) the reasons to why the respondents were delisted; (3) the benefits received while they are still a beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps); and (4) the perceptions and recommendations on the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
The researchers therefore conclude that:
1.The reasons why the identified beneficiaries were: a. age of grandchild exceeded the age limit required in the 4Ps, a relative of the beneficiary is working in a government establishment and disqualification from the recertification process. 2.The grounds for delistment of the beneficiaries were congruent to the conditionalities necessitated by DSWD. 3.The respondents used the monetary help from the 4Ps in buying school supplies and food for the children. 4.A survey conducted by the DSWD last 2009 was the basis for identifying the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). 5.The implementation of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) was strict in terms of the requirements, however, it was not consistent in the encashment of the monetary help.
In closing, the researchers would like to recommend that:
1. Future researchers would conduct the same study or replicate the research. They may also conduct this study in different locale to verify whether the reasons of delistment in one area are the same to that of another. 2.There would be consistency in the implementation of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). If receipt is a requirement, then they have to check it in order to see whether the money is really used for education and medical purposes. 3.Re-certification process or the updating of the poverty status of the current Pantawid beneficiaries should be strictly implemented. This process would minimize the problems encountered
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