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Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Poverty is one major problem, not only our government, but everyone of us faces. It deprives people not only of safe water and adequate food, clothing and shelter, but also education and healthcare. It puts people’s life in danger and robs them of their future. Moreover, poverty takes away people’s right, their freedom, dignity and peace of mind. Certainly, in a country well governed, poverty is something to be disgraced of. In line with this, with thinking minds as the ‘raw’ materials, brainstorming as the process, they had come up with a useful product, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps’). This is one of the State’s anti-poverty initiatives under President Benigno Aquino III’s administration. Its objectives are to provide social assistance by giving cash assistance to poor families to lessen their basic needs and to develop social welfare by breaking the intergenerational poverty cycle through investments in human capital. However, the question we are all interested of is that, how useful and effective is this program in our country? According to the National Statistics Office (NSO) Cebu district officer Gil Melchor Rubia, the poverty incidence among population during the first semester of 2012 was estimated at 27.9 percent. She added that comparing this with the 2006 and 2009 first semester figures estimated at 28.8 percent and 28.6 percent, respectively, poverty remained unchanged. It is still a mystery of how the poverty incidence remained unchanged when in fact anti-poverty initiatives were employed. One of which is the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. Additional questions arise. What is the basis in establishing the 4Ps? At which part does it fail its main goal which is to reduce poverty? An information officer from the NSO thought that the possibility of inaccurate data gathered from the people’s response on the survey they conducted. As a result, he urged the people to cooperate in the survey to make sure the right data are gathered. These data are used as basis of third party agencies, like DSWD, in devising anti-poverty strategies. Legislators also used them as one of the bases in drafting policies. The point is that, have they also thought of the possibility of the incorrect assumptions which lead to incorrect basis in establishing the 4Ps? With these lots of questions bombarded in our minds, we are very fortunate that Philippine Institute for Development Studies provides us notes that will answer these questions. This Notes aims to raise some issues in the program's design and implementation which are important to be dealt with, particularly in terms of achieving its objectives. A significant matter to be discussed is to choose and decide properly the targeted beneficiaries so that the 4Ps will result a greater positive impact to the country. First, the 4Ps target beneficiaries are those poor families having children up to 14 years of age. They provide cash grants to the beneficiaries for health and educational expenses. The amount of grant is a function on the number of children in this age category. The basis for this is that the program aims for children to finish at least elementary education that is why the targeted ones are those whose age are 14 years old and less. Second, the program fails to consider the gender of the targeted beneficiaries. So what’s wrong with the basis of the 4Ps in choosing this particular array of target beneficiaries? The Annual Poverty Indicators Survey revealed that the basis is vague and somewhat erroneous. It showed that as a child grows older, there is a less probability for him to go to school. One of the reasons is that there is an easier access for this child to enter elementary schools that to secondary and tertiary ones. This means that there are many public schools in the community. In fact, there is a public school almost in all barangays, but this is not the case for secondary and tertiary schools. Moreover, as the child grows older, he may see employment and look for work to add to his family income at the same time, to help them. It is also studied that there the employment opportunities and the pay of a person who does not finish elementary education is more or less equal to the one who finished elementary education. While a high school graduate will have more employment opportunities and higher pay. For the second basis regarding the gender, it is recommended that gender should be taken into account in choosing the target beneficiaries of the 4Ps. There are more boys than girls who tend to be out of school as they grow older. Boys have greater participation rate to seek employment, than girls, as they grow older because of physical aspect. Thus, we have mapped out why our poverty incidence remained the same despite the fact the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program has been implemented. The program’s target beneficiaries should be changed, considering our country’s current situation, particularly the children who are into education and schooling. The program should extend its array in choosing the target beneficiaries. In this way, the 4Ps main goal which is poverty reduction will surely be achieved.

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