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Impacts of 4Ps beneficiaries

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Under the management of Department of Social and Welfare Development (DSWD), the 4Ps is widely known to be the lynchpin of the government’s anti-poverty efforts. One of its key interventions is the provision of small cash transfers to mothers, as long as they commit to investing in their children, such as by ensuring their children to go to school, as well as get deworming, vaccination and regular health check-ups to name a few other aspects of the program. 4Ps operates in 79 provinces covering 1484 municipalities and 143 key cities in all 17 regions nationwide (Mendoza, 2013). According to Mendoza (2013), 4Ps program is and continues to be a good investment, because of these following reasons: (1) Ending Poverty, (2) Preparing for country’s Youth Bulge and (3) Fueling Economic and Political Transformation. 4Ps program, as a matter of fact, is not the only government strategies to alleviate poverty. There are numerous plans and works that have been started but eventually it stopped; maybe due to financial incapability or lack of hope for the said project’s success.

But Mendoza (2013) pointed out that this program attacks one of the root causes of poverty- weak education, health and other human development characteristics that disadvantage a poor person. Therefore, human capital build-up is, first and foremost, the key ingredient in the strategy. Next in line is Preparing for Country’s Youth Bulge. According to United Nations (UN), our country is expected to reach its peak number of young people by around 2040-2050. Thus saying, after 25-30 years the full weight of our future labor force is comprised of infants already being born today- and their future capabilities depend heavily on the policy choices we make (Mendoza, 2013). So as to say, what we sow today is what we earn tomorrow. Therefore, the 4Ps is not merely a matter of charity for poor children as far as our country is concerned- our long run economic growth depends in large part on how successfully we equip or citizens and workers to compete (Mendoza, 2013).

Last but definitely not the least is Fueling Economic and Political Transformation. There is definitely a strong connection between 4Ps program and the state of our Economic and Political domain. Improved human capital will definitely be useful for improving wages and productivity- but it could also help sustain “matuwid na daan”. This is possible if a strong social protection system underpinned by 4Ps truly “emancipates” over 4 million poor families from patronage politics (Mendoza, 2013). Patronage is a practice or custom observed by a political official of filling government positions with qualified employees of his or her choosing. It is sometimes called the spoils system (“to the victor go the spoils”). Patronage politics has always been a trademark in every elections conducted. It is obviously due to poverty and major unemployment our citizens were forced to seek refuge and dependency from their patrons.

Nevertheless, if there is a proper social protection system exist it might be the key to alleviate the patronage politics and enable the citizens for a wise and fair politics. The 4Ps contains key accountabilities in helping the poor to break free from the poverty trap- it is targeted at the poorest households (and not merely political allies); the cash support is less than what is necessary to be technically non-poor but enough to matter for child investments( so it is specifically designed to mitigate the risk of dependency); and beneficiaries ( typically the cash is given to mothers) are required to deliver on conditions that are linked investing in children ( and not merely conditioned on voting for the patron) (Mendoza,2013).

Thus saying, impacts of 4Ps among family beneficiaries serve right among the families and a breakthrough of the Government’s fullest efforts and strategies. As of today, PNOY stated on his fifth and recent State of the Nation Address (SONA) held last July 28,2014 at Batasan Pambansa that the poverty incidence went down to 24.9% in the first quarter of 2013. Seemingly, the conditional cash transfers program really did its designated functions not just for the poor families but also for the betterment of our country.

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