By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Citing that only 18 percent of all households in the country have Internet connection, Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda has proposed that the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries with enrolled students be required to ensure that their children religiously tuned in to radio stations giving learning programs.
The House Ways and Means chairperson said in the country’s rural areas where there is no Internet connection, radio will be the means of learning for students.
“Isama natin sa 4Ps na isa sa mga function ng magulang, di ba ngayon kaya sila binibigyan ng P1,350 para siguraduhin na ang anak nila ay pumapasok. Sa klase ngayon po, isama sa conditionalities ang pagbantay ng kanyang estudyante, ng kanyang anak na mabantayan na talagang nakikinig sa radio,” he said in a radio interview. (Let us include in the 4Ps, that one of the functions of the parents, since they are being given P1,350 to ensure that their children go to school, let us include in the conditionalities that they should ensure that the students, their children are really listening to the radio.)
Salceda noted that 52 percent of households in the country have radio, while 84 percent of the households have television.
He said while it is being studied which kind of “transmission of knowledge or educational system” fits each province, the learning through radio “is certain.”
He also urged education authorities to review the possibility of traditional or face-to-face classes in areas which are COVID-19 free.
Last March, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) waived the conditionalities for 4Ps beneficiaries because of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
With the signing of the resolution on force majeure on March 17, beneficiaries received their grants from February to May without complying with the program conditionalities.
Rule VIII Section 15 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act (RA) 11310, the 4Ps Act authorizes the Secretary of DSWD to suspend the monitoring of compliance of beneficiaries to program conditionalities under “force majeure” circumstances.
Under the 4Ps program, the beneficiaries receive a monthly rice subsidy amounting to P600, apart from the P500 health assistance they receive each month.
Beneficiaries with enrolled elementary students receive P300 cash assistance, while P500 cash assistance is extended to those who have a child enrolled in high school.
Cash grants are granted to the beneficiaries who comply with the following program conditionalities: Children 3 to 18 years old must be enrolled in kindergarten, elementary, and high school, and attend classes at least 85 percent of the time each month; children 0-5 years old must receive regular preventive health check-ups, growth monitoring, and vaccines; pregnant women get pre and post-natal care (must be attended by skilled/professional health workers); children in elementary must receive deworming pills twice a year; and attendance of the grantee/parent/guardian to the monthly Family Development Session.
The DSWD said there are more than 4.2 million active 4Ps beneficiaries.