LINGAYEN– The creation of Municipal Advisory Committee (MAC) of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) was fully supported by Local Government Units (LGUs) in Pangasinan during the consultation dialogue held at President Hotel here last January 24.
This is part of the implementation of the 4Ps in the province, achieving cooperation among municipal and city LGUs in fulfilling the commitment of the provincial government to the said program as stipulated in the signed Memorandum of Agreement with the DSWD.
Town executives who attended and representatives from respective municipal social welfare and development offices have been supportive of the poverty-alleviation programs of the provincial government led by Governor Amado T. Espino Jr.
Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo said prior to the launching of the program in 2009, an extensive public information dissemination campaign was done to formally introduce the 4Ps for the under-privileged sector.
Assistant Regional Director Marlene Febes Peralta reported that since the program started in 2009 with 12, 055 beneficiaries in the province alone, this year it has reached 184,495.
Beneficiaries include underprivileged residents in poverty-pocketed areas and extremely vulnerable cities and municipalities and some indigenous people.
From the P41, 409,600 fund for cash grants in 2008 in the region, the budget for the beneficiaries had increased to 920,291,300 in 2012, Peralta noted.
“It’s about time to strengthen our partnership in leveling up the well-being of the people from the survival to subsistence level,” Peralta said as she noted that a grievance redress system has been established to determine those who are qualified to avail the program.
Aside from the creation of MAC, LGUs have to assure that health and education services are available, work for the accreditation of the Rural Health Units (RHUs) to PhilHealth, provide logistical support for the program implementation, designate a permanent focal person for the LGU as link to the program to ensure efficient program operation, monitor the program implementation and conduct of monthly MAC meetings and help promote and disseminate the program to other stakeholders.
Meanwhile, DSWD Region 1 Information Officer Allan Lulu, discussed the anti-EPAL advocacy of the DSWD as he said that the DILG Region 1 has recently issued a memorandum circular banning the names, initials or pictures of politicians affixed to early campaign paraphernalia.
Thus, the public has been warned by the DSWD for attention-grabbing and credit-grabbing politicians.
The objective of the campaign seeks to eliminate ‘epal’ or ‘mapapel’ in the implementation of government programs, especially the 4Ps as well as to strengthen the identity of the program that it is not merely a dole out, Lulu disclosed.
Castillo led the DSWD panel in shedding light to the concerns on the implementation of the 4Ps aired by the some participants during the open forum. (PIO/Mark Gerry Naval Oblanca)