April 17, 2024

The Department of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera, through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), hosted the 15th edition of the 4Ps Joint Review Mission with International Development Partners (IDPs) in Baguio City and select municipalities in Benguet.

The IDPs was led by Amir Jilani, Social Sector Economist of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Expanded Social Assistance Project, composed of consultants and technical staff from the ADB, United Nations Children’s Fund, and Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“We are hopeful that this mission would foster a meaningful dialogue, innovative solutions, and actionable insights for the better implementation of 4Ps towards a more inclusive and sustainable development in the Cordillera,” DSWD OIC Director Enrique H. Gascon, Jr. said.

DSWD Usec. for National Household Targeting System and 4Ps Vilma B. Cabrera acknowledged the interest of development partners in visiting the 4Ps communities, the invaluable support of the local government units, and the DSWD-Cordillera.

The Joint Review Mission aims to see the field-level implementation of the 4Ps. It intends to review the progress of the program at the city or municipal level, identify areas that require additional technical assistance, and determine critical milestones for ensuring smooth project implementation.

The IDPs together with the DSWD led by Cabrera and Asec. for External Assistance and Development under the Policy and Plans Group Juan Carlo V. Marquez conducted a field visit in La Trinidad, Benguet and observed the conduct of payout for 4Ps beneficiaries.

A focus group discussion (FGD) with officials of Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP)-Baguio Assistant Vice President Joel Peredo, and La Trinidad Branch Manager Genaro Dumpayan was also conducted.

As the authorized government depository bank partner of DSWD in providing cash grants for the 4Ps beneficiaries, the LBP officials shared their strategies in providing efficient services to the 4Ps beneficiaries and how cash grants and cash card-related issues and concerns are resolved through the quarterly DSWD-LBP Regional Action Meeting and constant coordination with DSWD-Cordillera.

A field visit was also done in Baguio City and Tuba and Tublay in Benguet that allowed the team to have a closer understanding and experience the 4Ps processes particularly on partnership initiatives and how the beneficiaries avail health and education.

During the field visit, FGDs with the partner program implementers from the barangay health workers, midwifes, and nurses and school teachers on how the program had been bringing hopes to the beneficiaries.

The team also observed the conduct of FDS in three locations with topics on responsible budgeting, responsible parenthood, and basic gender and development.

After the community visits, the IDPs met with the 4Ps City Action Team of Baguio City and Municipal Action Team of Tuba and Tublay and with selected 4Ps Regional Program Management Office focal persons to clarify some of the observations during the community immersion.

Some of the good practices noted on 4Ps implementation were: the cash grants has indeed helpful in the education and health of the children beneficiaries, the FDS has helped improve the parental involvement and social empowerment of households in school and community activities, access to livelihood opportunities, and convergence efforts of DSWD with its partner stakeholders, among others.

Among the major challenges noted that needs convergence intervention were: low compliance rate of some children beneficiaries and some parents on their attendance to FDS, delays in the provision of cash cards for those new 4Ps beneficiaries, limited knowledge of some beneficiaries in withdrawing their cash grants from the bank facilities, and the need to explore innovative solutions for reinforcing FDS topics and modules. – Marlo C. Abyado, Jr.