Quezon City – The Department of Social Welfare and Development aired its pilot episode of the Family Development Session (FDS) via Facebook Live on May 20, 2021.

For the initial airing, the topic discussed is on financial planning and importance of savings. Among the guests was Mr. Vicent Catudio, a financial advisor who has worked with the DSWD particularly in the development of the Financial Literacy module for the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). In his message to the program beneficiaries, Catudio underscores the importance of financial planning and setting financial goals to help the program beneficiaries live a better life.

Meanwhile, Ms. Sarah Padilla, Bank Officer of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas shared some tips about budgeting and savings. According to Ms. Padilla, beneficiaries must list all the family’s expenses and identify which among them are priority and which are not. She emphasized also the advantages of opening a savings account and doing budgeting as a shared responsibility of the family.

Ms. Ruby Ann dela Cruz, a 4Ps parent leader from Bulacan shared her successful journey on budgeting and savings. Dela Cruz said that growing up in a very poor family helped her to become responsible with the money that she earns. For her, setting aside a portion of her income no matter how small will really go a long way. She also added that as a mother, she wants her children to finish their schooling, as such she is already preparing for their college education. She was able to access a savings cooperative in her municipality and also being mainstreamed in the banking system as a savings account depositor.

The pilot episode garnered 2,900 live viewers, reach 104,385, 1,200 shares, with positive feedbacks received nationwide. Among the posted comments include the importance of proper budgeting, savings and how the FDS modules on financial literacy are helping the beneficiaries managed their finances.

In the message of Director Gemma Gabuya, National Program Manager of 4Ps, she encouraged the beneficiaries to listen and participate in the discussion. She also hoped that through this episode there are more people who will be reached to learn more about financial management.

4Ps is the national poverty reduction strategy of the national government. It invests in the health, nutrition and education of poor households for an improved well-being.

4ps beneficiaries are entitled to receive cash subsidies provided that the conditions on health, nutrition and education are followed. This includes sending and keeping their school-aged children in school; pre and post natal care for mothers; regular and preventive check-ups for children aged 5 and below; deworming for children aged 14 and below; and attendance to the monthly conduct of the FDS.

The 4Ps was institutionalized in April of 2019 making it a law, Republic Act 11310. In the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the law, under Rule VIII Section 15, the DSWD Secretary may suspend the monitoring of compliance under “force majeure” circumstances.

In 2020, following the declaration of public health emergency because of the Pandemic caused by COVID-19, the program suspended compliance monitoring of all program conditionalities, to include attendance to the monthly  conduct of the FDS.

Despite of the community quarantines imposed and disallowing mass/ social gatherings, the program sees the importance of continuous learning, thus introducing the FDS in the Time of COVID-19, or the eFDS.

The eFDS maximized the use of Facebook to convey its messages. In some areas, they have also adopted FDS on Air using radio as the means of communication.

In the advent of technology, and to make the session more interactive, the program introduces the eFDSTV. The eFDS TV is a program and will be aired via FB Live linking to RTVM and other media. It offers another modality which the program beneficiaries can access for the FDS compliance conditionality, in lieu of the traditional face-to-face classroom type session which is at the moment not feasible because of the COVID-19 pandemic. ###

Watch FB live here: https://fb.watch/5SEuw8HYmG/