|CCT puts more poor children in school|
|News Features - Press Releases|
|Written by Azenath L. Formoso|
|Thursday, 26 April 2012 01:59|
More poor children are expected to enjoy their basic rights to education and health as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program reaches 3 million poor households. From 2.3 million households last year, the program which is also widely known as CCT (conditional cash transfer) is now on its fifth level of expansion and has completed 65% of the 4.6 million poor households identified by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR).
The Pantawid Pamilya is a human development program of the national government and a social protection strategy that invests in the health and education of poor children age 0-14 years old. This year, 7.5 million children under the program are provided with cash assistance to support their health and educational needs for as long as their households meet the conditions of the program. The conditions of the program include pre- and post –natal visit of pregnant women, regular health checks for children, attendance to family development sessions (FDS) of parents, and minimum 85% attendance of children in school.
“Pantawid Pamilya empowers the beneficiaries to fulfill their inherent rights as citizens of the state and demand that the government delivers its duty to deliver basic social services on health and education. Thus, in the lack or absence of social services, the conditions set by the program compel the beneficiaries to demand for their rights and for the government to fulfill its duty to deliver the services to the people”, DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman said.
The conditions set by the program are seen as concrete steps to enable the beneficiaries to improve their lives. It is also called co-responsibilities on the part of partner beneficiaries in order to establish a social contract which shall benefit their households as well as the community to which they belong.
Significant improvement in school attendance is already evident in areas covered by the program as shown in the study conducted by Mr. Rosario Manasan, an economist and public finance expert from the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). In Pantawid Pamilya areas, the study found out that the number of the students in public elementary schools grew from 0.6% in 2004-2007 to 3.5% in 2008-2010. The study compared enrollment data from two time periods: 2004-2007, when the program was not yet implemented, and 2008-2010, when the program was implemented.
As of March 28, 2012, the program is being implemented in 17 regions, 79 provinces and 138 cities and 1,260 municipalities. For its 2012 expansion, ceremonial signing of Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the DSWD and Local Chief Executives (LCEs) is being conducted nationwide in designated venues in the different regions. The MOA serves to ensure the commitment and full support of the LCEs. It also signifies their understanding of the component of the investment in human capital and ensure that educational and health facilities and personnel could support the expected increase in demand for social services.