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Atty. Fortunato R. Abrenilla local chief of the town of Jagna expressed his impression on the 4Ps program of the national government during the ceremonial signing of the memorandum of agreement between the Department of Social Welfare and Development – 7 (DSWD-7) and local chief executive from 24 LGUs in Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor covered by Set 6 of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program on November 29, 2012 held at the Bohol Tropics Resort this city.

In his impression, Mayor Abrenilla talked on the background of the project being a replicated project launched originally in Africa and the Latin American countries. In the Philippines, 4Ps started with 760,357 household beneficiaries but coverage expanded to 3.1M within 2 years from its initial implementation. In February of 2012, the number of registered beneficiaries reached 3M and for 2013, a target of 3.8M household beneficiaries will be targeted.

According to Abrenilla, the program is “hitting six birds with one stone”. His enumeration of the sectoral beneficiaries included education which accordingly improved attendance to 4.57M students were no longer absentees in school because of poverty. He said that there is an increase or an improvement attendance rate. This improvement is addressing the issue on Education for All (EFA).

Next beneficiary in the list is the health sector. Abrenilla gave statistics that there were 1,672,977 mothers who are availing of regular medical check-up for pre natal and post natal. There are 1,672,814 children vaccinated against diarrhea, polio, tigdas, etc.

Money to buy food, school supplies is available which answers some issues on poverty. Abrenilla said statistics show that there is a steady decline on poverty incidence.

Automatic membership to the PHILHEALTH ensures coverage on such sickness as dengue, pneumonia, asthma, cataract and even catastrophic diseases as breast cancer, prostate cancer and acute leukemia. There are 5.2M households benefited based on the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) and no balance billing in government hospitals.

The fifth sectoral beneficiary of the 4Ps according to the local chief executive is the economy. He said that the economy will improve. His example centered in his locality of Jagna wherein the 1,109 beneficiaries will derive Php 1.4M per month or roughly Php16.8M per annum which will be injected into the local economy. This is saying that the 4Ps will pump-prime the local economy. He added that with the Php 44 billion of the program out into the economic system of the nation, the national economy will boost.

His last on the list of benefitted sectors is employment. Abrenilla said that the 4Ps will promote employment. He mentioned that the 4Ps is not a manaah from heaven. The parents have to work to attend to the needs of their children on education and health. Besides, this 4Ps program has deployed 30,801 nurses and midwives under the RN Health Program.

The mayor who is a former National Economic Development Authority director said that the LGUs are fully coveted to the program. He said that vis-à-vis national programs, this is the program that aptly describes the saying “invest money where the mouth is”. Finally, a pro in planning for national programs, Mayor Abrenilla parted with “a healthy and educated populace will help spur the development of the country”.

The MOA signing and turn-over of the National Household Targeting System-PR to Governor Edgar M. Chatto was the highlight of the day’s activity.

Mayor Richard Quezon of Siquijor, Siquijor gave his impression of the 4Ps.

Honored guests for the activity were Mr. Wadel Cabrera III, national deputy project manager of the 4Ps representing Secretary Dinky Soliman of the DSWD. He was with DSWD-7 Asst. Regional Director for Operations Nemia Antipala. Governor Edgar M. Chatto and Cong. Erico Aumentado and the 24 local chief executives were in attendance to this activity.
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