Pantawid Pamilya children-grantees at the Children’s Congress.

Almost 400,000 children in Davao Region are in school and kept healthy because of the cash assistance provided by the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

An identified poor household with three qualified children is entitled to receive P 1,400 a month provided they comply with the conditions on health, education and attendance to the Family Development Sessions.

Pantawid Pamilya started in Davao Region in the fourth quarter of 2008. In its almost five years of implementation in the region, over 190,000 are now benefitting from the program.

Conditional Cash Transfers have been a trend in other countries and have been proven to be very effective in reducing poverty. The Social Weather Station study on Pantawid Pamilya last 2010 show improvements in school attendance, use of health services, immunization coverage, child nutrition, and knowledge of maternal health services.

The SWS assessment also revealed that more students and parents attend extra-curricular activities; students come to school with better clothing, project materials, and food making them more active in classrooms. It is also noteworthy that Pantawid Pamilya plays a major role in reducing child labor especially rural areas because many poor parents are now able to send their children to school.

Furthermore, a Qualitative Impact Evaluation on Pantawid Pamilya done by the Institute of Philippine Culture of the Ateneo de Manila University concluded that the program has a lot of potential in improving people’s lives.

The program was conceived for the betterment of the quality of lives of poor families. Its main objective is to keep children in school and keep them healthy.

These children beneficiaries have a lot to say yet their timid voices are often left unheard. Today, we will put the limelight to six children beneficiaries from Compostela Valley to give a montage of ‘thank yous’ to the program.
“Thank you kay dako kaayo og natabang ang Pantawid Pamilya sa amoang pamilya. Unta ipadayon nila og pagpanghatag og ayuda sa amoang mga pobre (Thank you because Pamilya Pamilya has been a huge help to our family. We hope that they will continue to provide assistance to poor families).” – Angelie Joy Lagarde, 15, Brgy. Linoan, Montevista, Compostela Valley.

“Sa una kay saging lang amoang pamahaw ug baunon padulong eskwelahan pero karon nga naa na ang Pantawid Pamilya makakaon nami og pamahaw unya naa pa gyud mi balon ihatag ni mama para pampalit og pagkaon sa school (Before, we only have boiled bananas for breakfast and baons. But now, with Pantawid Pamilya, we are now able to eat a good breakfast. Our mother is also able to give us baon so we can buy food at school).” – Juvy Panal, 13, Brgy. San Jose, Montevista.

“Ganahan mi moadto sa school kay mapalitan nami ni mama og bag-o nga notebooks ug sapatos. Makabayad na si mama sa amoang bayrunon sa eskwelahan. Dako kaayo nga tabang kay ang mga labaw nga nanginahanglan natabangan gyud og dako (We are inspired to go to school because our mom can now buy us new notebooks and shoes. Our mom can now pay our school obligations. The program has been a big help especially to the poor).” – Arnell John Ramirez, 12, Brgy. San Jose, Montevista.

“Nakatabang gyud sa amoang pag-eskwela ug sa amoang panlawas ang Pantawid Pamilya . Ganahan na mi moeskwela kay naa na man pambayad si mama sa eskwelahan (Pantawid Pamilya has helped us in our school and health needs. We are inspired to go to school because mom can now pay our school fees).” – Kezie Abucayon, 10, Brgy. Mapaca, Compostela.

“Tungod sa Pantawid Pamilya nakalampos ko sa akoang pag-eskwela sa secondary level. Daghan kaayong salamat sa pagtabang sa amoa makab-ot namo amoang pangandoy! (Because of Pantawid Pamilya, I was able to finish my secondary level. Thank you for helping us make our dreams a reality!)” – Normalia Cabugatan, 15, Brgy. Osmena, Compostela.

“Unta ipadayon pa ang programa sa gobyerno kay dako kaayo kini nga tabang sa susama sa amoang mga kabos. Kay maski luyo sa amoang kalisod anaa ang Pantawid Pamilya nga moagay sa amoa para maka-eskwela mi ug makabayad sa tuition ug mga projects ug makapalit sa ubang panginahanglanon sa school (We hope that the government will continue the program because it has been a big help to poor families like us. Despite the hardships, we can still go to school, pay for our projects and buy other school needs because of Pantawid Pamilya). – Gelliane Faith Ligasan, 13, Brgy. Poblacion, Compostela.

Pantawid Pamilya has its share of ups and downs, of losses and successes, yet in the end the smiles on each of the faces of the beneficiaries are proof that it is all worth it in the end. DSWD