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4Ps households now financially literate, disaster-ready with CSO’s services

Beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) are becoming more financially literate and ready for disaster events through the different complementary programs offered by civil society organizations (CSOs).

As one of the CSO-program partners of the DSWD, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) offers responsive complementary services along emergency response, disaster risk reduction, livelihood through microfinancing, and youth empowerment, among others, to 4Ps beneficiaries.

During the May 8 media tour organized by the Social Marketing Division of the 4Ps National Program Management Office at the CRS Office in Intramuros, Manila, some 4Ps beneficiaries shared the impact on their lives brought by the engagement of program stakeholders, such as the CRS.

“Para sa akin ang impact na malaki talaga kapag pagsasamahin ang DSWD at CRS is yong pagiging handa namin kapag may mga sakuna. Ang sakuna hindi pare-pareho… lindol, sunog,” Olivia Dealagdon, a former 4Ps beneficiary from Tondo, Manila told the DSWD media partners.

(Indeed, combining the efforts of DSWD and CRS would greatly enhance our preparedness for disasters. Disasters vary greatly, from earthquakes to fire incidents.)

Olivia, who was provided with cash grants during her family’s membership in the 4Ps, is now an active Private Sector Provider of the CRS’ Saving and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) program.

As part of the SILC, Olivia leads a community-based group for micro-financing that provides a safe place for poor households to save and borrow to increase their income.

“Ang DSWD [tumutulong] sa financial, ganoon din naman ang CRS tumutulong din naman sa pamamagitan doon sa pag-iimpok. So, iyon nga, nagiging handa para sa mga darating na sakuna,” Olivia added.

(The DSWD provides financial grants while the CRS helps us in saving money, making us more prepared for any future disasters.)

As of December 2023, the CRS’s SILC has benefited some 240 4Ps members from different barangays in Pateros and in the cities of Manila, Pasig and Caloocan helping them manage their existing resources by teaching basic financial management skills, on top of the financial literacy training under the 4Ps’ family development sessions (FDS).

Emilene Parungao, a 4Ps beneficiary and a Disaster Risk Reduction Management Ambassador of the CRS, shared that she will continue to be a member of the SILC group even after exiting the 4Ps to help them sustain their economic status.

“Ako po kahit nandoon pa ako sa [4Ps] programa ay pinasok ko ang SILC. Kung kailangan namin ng emergency funds puwede kami makahiram doon hindi po gaya sa iba na ang taas ng interes,” Emiline said. (Even while I was still in the [4Ps] program, I joined SILC. If we need emergency funds, we can borrow there without high interest rates like others.)

Emiline added: “Natutunan din po namin ang pag-iipon. Kung wala na kami sa programa, siguro ipagpapatuloy na lang po namin ang ganoon, malaking tulong po talaga sa amin iyon”. (We also learned how to save. If we’re no longer in the program, we’ll probably continue doing that, as it’s really a big help to us.)

All 4Ps beneficiaries are required to attend the FDS which provides various learning sessions on financial literacy, voter’s education, family life management, health and nutrition, among others.

Aside from the SILC, 4Ps households also benefit from other CRS programs such as Project SHAKE which aims to strengthen the capacities of the community for earthquake preparedness and impacts; and Clean Manila, Blue Bay which provides solid waste management-based livelihood opportunities.

Expressing the commitment of CRS as a partner civil society organization of the DSWD in 4Ps implementation, CRS Deputy Manager for Urban Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Team Bonifacio Javier III said that the organization will continue to provide programs to Filipino poor households, including 4Ps beneficiaries.

“Makakaasa po kayo na tuloy-tuloy ang suporta ng Catholic Relief Services, particularly sa poverty alleviation… Ang CRS at DSWD ay kaisa para din doon sa pagtingin sa mga unique na pangangailangan ng mga tao at siguraduhin na walang maiiwan o no one left behind pagdating sa lahat din ng mga disaster o sakuna,” Javier emphasized.

(You can expect the continuous support of Catholic Relief Services, particularly in poverty alleviation. CRS and DSWD are united in addressing the unique needs of people and ensuring that no one is left behind in times of any disaster or calamity.)

According to Javier, the CRS vows to complement the efforts of the DSWD in the region through its support interventions.

“Gaya ng ating programa sa 4Ps [beneficiaries] tuloy-tuloy na susubaybayan ‘yan ng CRS at tutulungan pa ang ating mga 4Ps beneficiaries na maging aware sa iba’t ibang disaster at crisis na kanilang kahaharapin. They’ll become more prepared pagdating sa mga ganitong sakuna at mga crisis na darating sa kanilang mga buhay,” the CRS deputy manager pointed out.

(We will be continuously monitoring programs for 4Ps [beneficiaries], and they will be further assisted in becoming aware of various disasters and crises that they may encounter. They’ll be more prepared for such calamities and crises that may come their way.)

The CRS is among the CSOs that assist the DSWD in attaining the goal of 4Ps which is to break the inter-generational cycle of poverty through human capital investment.

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