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Presented to PROF. LOMALA O. IMAM Department of Masters of Public Administration College of Graduate School Mindanao State University Marawi City
In Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for the Course MPA 201 (Introduction to Public Administration) 1st Semester 2011-2012
THREJANN ACE L. NOLI
This paper would not be possible without the help of the following individuals who in one way or the other relatively help in the success of this paper. Prof. Lomala O. Imam, the professor of MPA 201 who inspires the author in making a term paper about the issue on Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). His colleagues from Social Work Department specifically Prof. Bag-ao and Prof. Faunillan who give technical support to the author on the conception of this paper. Ms. Darling Saratorio, RSW, a municipal link of 4Ps who lends the author on references about the program that he needed. To his family who extends financial, moral and material assistance to make the term paper feasible. Ms. Marie Cris Bandiola, the girlfriend of the author who gives him moral support and encouragements. And lastly, to the ALMIGHTY GOD, who uses the aforesaid persons who helped him in the success of the paper and provides him with strength, knowledge and wisdom in the orchestration of this project.
Threjann Ace L. Noli, RSW
A very critical issue on the government today is on how to respond the aftermath effects of poverty. Many comprehensive programs of social services were formulated by the government as its responsibility towards ameliorating the conditions of its constituents as stipulated in Article 1, section 2 of RA 5416 creating the Department of Social Welfare (Cordero,et.al, 1985). With this responsibility, the government came to a point to lend money from Asian Development Bank and even World Bank beyond its capacity to pay. Though the state is into the promotion of citizens’ welfare, it has focus or priorities in rendering government service particularly to the sectors that belong below poverty line. According to Mendoza (2002) in her Humanitarian and Social Justice Goal which based on the belief that man has the potential to realize himself, except that physical, social, economic, psychological and other factors sometimes hinder or prevent him from realizing his potentials, it involves the identification of the most afflicted, most dependent, most neglected and those least able to help themselves, and making them priority target for the investment of scarce resources. Thus, most of the government’s social welfare programs and services focus on the aforementioned sectors specially mentioned the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) aims to alleviate the condition of Filipino beneficiaries but reaps enormous significant public critics from various fields of professions and even from laymen public because of its expensive budgetary requirement in its implementation. Aside from that, the issue that this paper is trying to answer is anchored on the claim and clamor of significant individuals that this program is modern dole-out. Supported by KADAMAY (Katipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap), “this debt-driven and benefit unsustainable
social protection program provides temporary relief but cannot replace the long term benefit of stable jobs and decent incomes. The 4Ps program, thus, reinforces, not breaks, the intergeneration cycle of poverty among the Filipino people.” Social Work Educators and Social Work practitioners critic it even though it is implemented through their mother agency, the DSWD by its satellite regional offices. Legislators from national and local level, politicians, and educators who observed and heard the feedbacks from the implementers named this as dole-outs. Furthermore, the program became the eye sore of Filipinos because of its high budget allocation requirement which aims to reduce poverty incidence through social assistance in a form of cash assistance to the poor families without ensuring the desired result of it. Aside from that, last 2008 during the administration of Former President Arroyo, it was allotted 2.1 billion pesos for 321,000 household-beneficiaries and the proceeding year to 2013, it was increased to P5 billion per year to support the same households excluding additional beneficiaries as it was expanded in Aquino’s administration (4ps Handouts). With a large amount of money allocated for this program without clear evaluation tools in assessing its effectiveness, without clear guidelines on how the beneficiaries will spend the money and other bleak and weak conditions of the program, I can’t blame the concerned individuals, group of people and organizations who prejudged without scrutinizing in details the program and expressed sympathy on the lack of security of the money being spent for a faint outcome of 4Ps that this is a form of modern dole-outs. The judgment of these people and even professionals were based on what they have witnessed by their bare eyes, on how inefficient
the cash grants were being distributed and exploited by the recipients. But the issue on the impact of this program is indirectly related to the issue of dole-outs. On the contrary, as the one who is trying to clear the mystery about the issue of the program, considering its requirements and conditions, the entitled usage of the cash grants, and the processes and dynamics of 4Ps, I stand my ground that this program is not dole-out but rather a program that tries to empower the intended beneficiaries and in the succeeding pages of this paper, but has an inherent aspect of sustainable human development. The program embraces the two important facets that might eventually contribute to the reduction of poverty namely: assistance to education and assistance to health. Many would claim that the program has no bearing with the poverty alleviation since it doesn’t directly address financial difficulty of its clients. However, observers of this project failed to see the long term goal it has to address and achieve.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION
Since its implementation from the administration of former President Arroyo, the program reaps negative critics and feedbacks. But what made it worst accordingly is the expansion of the program under the incumbent administration requiring huge amount of money to attend the needs of the intended beneficiaries. Hence, the mystery of the program becomes intensified through massive judgment coming not only from the professionals but even the common Filipinos who observed the program. The paper focuses on the issue of the PANTAWID PAMILYANG PILIPINO PRORAM (4Ps): is modern dole out or a program geared towards people empowerment. This is to bring light on the claim of many individuals from various echelon of the society which put the program on hot seat that it is meaningless, increases dependency among Filipinos through its limited and subjective opinions and thus, tagged it as a modern dole-out. Effectiveness, efficiency and the impact of the program are excluded in this paper. Furthermore, it’s built in mechanisms on assessing its impact, the selection of eligible beneficiaries and other issues that try to answer its effectiveness are outside the vicinity of this paper though it might be included on the background of the program but it won’t receive thorough discussion throughout this paper.
It would be illogical, impractical and fallacy if I would argue on the issue that this program is not dole-out on the query, why did the Department of Social Welfare and
Development Office proposed this program and why did the government approve it in the very first place if it has no important bearing in the empowerment of Filipino citizens? Although, it may sounds impractical, but there’s a grain of truth on this query or issue. But to make it persuasive and substantive, it calls professional mechanism to patch up this thing. I would lay down numerous but significant points of view proving that the program has inherent aspects of empowerment. Furthermore, there are various variables or reasons and realities that we need to know about 4P’s (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) which will clear the blurredness on its issue as modern dole-out and increase dependency among Filipinos respectively the beneficiaries of the program and reclaim its integrity as long term program of the government not only for poverty reduction but also empowering the involved partners (clients) of this endeavor. The arguments are the following: 1. It has established conditions and requirements which the beneficiaries need to comply and it has systematic selection process of beneficiaries. 2. It has built in activities to reinforce the benefits of the program such as parent effectiveness seminar and the like. 3. It covers the three functions of Social Work Profession namely: Curative, Preventive and Developmental Functions
4. It uses the Planned Change Process/Helping Process of the profession from Engagement up to Termination and Follow-up. These grounds might not be enough but it will help us understand that the program geared towards People Empowerment.
Review of Related Literature
Tracing the history of social welfare, the form of helping the needy is in a form of doling out (Mendoza, 2002). Even the Elizabeth Poor Law of 1601 was the first legislation of the British Empire to help the needy in their kingdom in form of alms. The society cannot get away from the tendency to misjudge any program of the government to tag it as dole-out especially if it involves with monetary assistance without regards to thorough examination on the program. Because of the historical understanding and knowledge about social welfare services that it’s all about almsgiving, the 4Ps became a victim of such judgment. To muster and strengthen the claim that the program is not dole-out but instead upholds the sustainable human development, I will discuss substantially the following points.
1. It has established conditions and requirements which the beneficiaries need to comply to avail cash grants and it has systematic selection process of beneficiaries. A dole out undertaking lacks the basic characteristics of a long term program. It lacks evaluation tools, assessments, records and case studies and most especially, the conditions that the beneficiaries would undertake in order to avail the program and to continue receiving assistance. Technically, when we talked doling out, there is no obligation on the part of the worker to evaluate and monitor if the conditions are being met and upheld by the partners of the program and corresponding consequences if the former is not followed. In 4ps program, the abovementioned features are present which we will highlight at this part proving that its
pro-sustainable human development program. Here are the following conditions (4PsManual, 2010): a. Pregnant women must get pre and post natal care, and be attended by a skilled/ trained professional during child birth. b. Parents or guardians must attend responsible family development sessions. c. Children 0-5 years old must receive regular preventive health checkups and vaccines. d. Children 3-5 years old must attend day care or pre-school classes at least 85% of the time. e. Children 6-14 years old must enroll in elementary or high school and attend at least 85% of the time. f. Children 6-14 years old must avail of deworming pills every five months. The failure to comply the conditions will result in the suspension of cash grants, deduction of cash assistance or dropping from the program. In consideration with this claim, it’s very clear that the program is not doling out.
2. It has built in activities to reinforce the benefits of the program such as parent effectiveness seminar and the like. The very common aspect of sustainable human development is the education aspect which a key towards poverty reductions as embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Dole outing has no absolute characteristic of this. Education must have a central place in development efforts aside from the provision of basic social services to poor people. Everyone has the right to education according to article 26 of Universal declaration of Human Rights (United Nations, 1988); moreover, no lasting progress towards poverty and violence reduction without providing educational opportunities for all
(United Nations, 1995a). It compels the program to amalgamate educational opportunites among parents to enhancement of parental responsibility. Hence, led to the integration of the Parent Effectiveness Seminar, composed of 9 modules-consist of more than 1 session. To wit: 1. Module 1: Myself as a Person and a Parent; helps the parents to understand themselves, assess their strengths and weaknesses and pinpoint ways to boost their self-esteem with regards to parenting. 2. Module 2: The Filipino Family; provides knowledge for parents of understanding the nature and dynamics of Filipino Family and how it affects the development of children. 3. Module 3: Challenges of Parenting; establishes the possible ways of responding to challenges occur during parenting, strengthens the relationship of the couple and manners of weaning their children in light of upholding high spiritual values. 4. Module 4: Child Development; helps the parents of understanding the development of the child, materials that will stimulate healthy developments and establishing supports in child developments. 5. Module 5: Keeping your Child Safe from Abuses; orients the parents on the different rights of a child, nature and scope and sanctions of child abuses and possible ways of preventing child abuse. 6. Module 6: Building Children’s Positive Behavior; guides the parents about techniques of handling the behavior of younger children and adolescents and measures of responding to risk-taking behavior of the latter where inculcation of positive behaviors among them is the utmost priority.
7. Module 7: Health and Nutrition; teaches the parents on family planning, the proper ways of caring the pregnant and lactating mother, preparation of nutritious foods and other concrete procedures where health and nutrition of the child and the mother are primary precedence. 8. Module 8: Home Management; teaches and guides the parents on how to properly manage the activities inside home where time management, financial management and basic stress management techniques are being tackled to create a healthy atmosphere of home. 9. Module 9: Keeping A Healthy Environment for your Children entails how the community can create preventive mechanisms of protecting the children from various undesirable conditions(e.g., abuses, exploitations and etc.) and ways of maintaining a clean dwelling for them. The modules provide apparent and unambiguous strategies in enhancing the parenting skills of the parents, the manner of strengthening Filipino families and other mechanisms which are preventive and developmental in nature geared towards sustainable human development not only of the parents but as well as for their children, hence, the program is lucidly not dole out.
3. It covers the three functions of Social Work Profession namely: Curative, Preventive and Developmental Functions. Aquino, who graced the packed “Noy-Mar Volunteers in Cebu” gathering at the Cebu City Coliseum, lashed out at critics, saying the conditional cash transfer; dubbed Pantawid
Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) directly helps the poorest of the poor. The dole-out is P29 billion of the P34-billion Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) budget. “Kung may nakikita tayong nalulunod sa baha at hinagisan natin ng salbabida, nagiging bayani tayo. Pero kung may mahirap na binibigyan ng tulong, binabatikos tayo (If we throw a rubber lifeline at someone floundering in floodwaters, we’re called a hero. But if we provide help to the poor, we are criticized)” The contention of the President will fall on the Curative function of social work which defined by de Guzman (1991) as a process of seeking to remove factors which have caused the breakdown in the person’s social functioning (role performance of the person). With regards to the situation of the beneficiaries of the program, they suffer already the breakdown caused by numerous factors such as financial difficulty as the primary reason why they ended up in this situation. Since the target of curative function is to remove the causes, giving the financial assistance to beneficiaries for intended expenditure for instance, children’s payment to tuition fees, daily allowance, health budget for natal care and other related health related concerns, the giving of assistance is justifiable in preparation to move forward to the third function of Social Work. Furthermore, moving forward to the Developmental function of the profession which to help individuals make maximum use of his own potentials, and capacities as well as to further the effectiveness of available social or community resources will be difficult if the social workers failed to eliminate the factors that cause the dysfunctionality of the clients. Thus, undertaking the intervention for the purpose of developing the clients capacities would be risky for they were not prepared and the working and underlying causes of their situation have not
yet been removed. So it is imperative for us to become effective and efficient to work on the reasons of the problems. Moreover, the Developmental function of social work usually has an educational aspect. As the program has its dual objective, one is the social assistance in a form of cash assistance and social development which entails the empowerment aspect of the program. To personify its second objective, the program has its seminar on effective parenting which has 9 series of modules consist of various sessions per module as stipulated in the third ground of defending the program has an inherent disposition of sustainable human development. In addition, aside from its modular lessons on effective parenting, the program sets the conditions of sending the children to schools and encourages the pregnant women to have their regular natal check up to respond the issue of mortality rate in the country. Aside from that, the children who are not going to school because of financial difficulty of their families are being responded by the government in a form of subsidizing the families to send the children to school. If it was doling out all about, the government will not bother to evaluate the development of the program; will not coordinate with the Department of Education, the Department of Health through barangay health centers in the appearances of mothers in the center, monitor the daily attendance of children in school who receive educational assistance from the government and their participation in communal activities. Lastly is the preventive function of the profession (Mendoza, 2002) as integrated in the program is through also in a form of educating these beneficiaries for this function can be simultaneously achieved with the developmental function. Furthermore, these are manifested
through the pre and post natal check up of mothers involves the early discovery, control and elimination of those conditions or situations which may have a harmful effect on their social functioning specifically on the threats during pregnancy, after pregnancy and the health condition of the newly born child as well as the mother, and sending the children to school is preventing these kids from becoming liabilities (e.g. CICL, victims of child labor, abuses and the like) in the community and the country at large.
4. It uses the Planned Change Process/Helping Process of the profession from Engagement up to Termination and Follow-up. The unique feature of the profession in rendering help to our partners is through the use of systematic process which inherent among the primary three methods of social work such as casework, group work and community organization. The so-called planned change process (Ashman, 2010) is composed of seven steps such as engagement ( the initial contact and establishment of client-worker relationship), assessment (the idientification of the various factors affecting the social functioning clients, and the extent of its effects, how it can be addressed), planning( involves the thorough planning of the worker and client on how to respond the latter’s problems), implementation of the plan (actual undertaking of the plan), evaluation (determining if the given efforts are worthwhile and effective) termination (the termination of the working relationship) and follow up (determining if there is a need to continue the helping process). Engagement with the municipal link and the beneficiaries started the helping relationship of the program which entails the gathering of basic data, they plan on how to
address the needs of the beneficiaries aside from financial assistance (assessment), undertaking of the built in activities and even the giving of financial assistance (implementation), the worker now tries to determine if the conditions are being observed and there are possible changes (evaluation), termination( if the beneficiaries no longer observing the requirements and whether the beneficiaries can be part of the another sequel program such as Kalahi-CIDSS and SEA-K (Self-employment Assistance Kaunlaran)(Follow-up). Basically the program upholds the systematic planned change process of the profession, hence, is consistent with the sustainable human development. According to Mendoza (2002) the direct provision model of Social Work which defined by Schneiderman “as the enhancement of client social functioning through the direct provision of material aid, financial aid useful in eliminating or reducing situational deficiencies” is considered by many as dole-out model but to her it’s not because it still involved the helping process (planned change) of the profession. The poverty situation in the Philippines calls for the direct provision of various forms of material assistance to different needy and disadvantaged individuals and groups which we find in practically all parts of the country (Mendoza, p.273).
Needless to say,the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is not a dole-out program. Sustainable human development through empowerment is embedded on its aspect as we thoroughly discussed in the preceding parts of this paper. It is imperative for every program to respond on the possible changes from the environment which allows its flexibility to undergo modifications in catering the newest conditions to become effective, efficient and responsive to the needs of the catered clients. To reiterate, the program is not almsgiving because it has established conditions and requirements which the beneficiaries need to comply; it has built in activities to reinforce the benefits of the program such as parent effectiveness seminar and the like; it covers the three functions of Social Work Profession namely: Curative, Preventive and Developmental Functions and it uses the Planned Change Process/Helping Process of the profession from Engagement up to Termination and Follow-up. However, it’s inevitable that the program has a need to undergo various modifications which is the greatest challenge on the part of the responsible agency to uphold the ethos of public administration not only the modern ethos but as well as the classic one. Nevertheless, it’s crystal clear then that the program is not a dole out.
As the program experiences enormous critics, it accepts the challenges by countering it through their milestone efforts which supersedes its old ways of implementation through modifying some of its processes to respond in the demands from external environment specifically on the issue of efficiency, effectiveness, accountability, economical and transparency aspects of the program. However, despite of its vital modifications, the author would like to recommend some important suggestions which will be useful in enriching the program: 1. The municipal links who are social workers should be trained properly on the appropriate manner of facilitating the lecture-seminar of Parent Effectiveness Seminar which the program didn’t give much emphasis about it. Considering that not all municipal links possess strong relevant trainings on handling this kind of undertaking, the execution of the seminar is not forceful in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. It might defeat the authenticity of the lectures. 2. There should be strict observance of the conditions in terms of evaluation and monitoring on the part of the municipal links among the beneficiaries. 3. There should be cross-checking at the level of the worker for the potential beneficiaries of the program and will not totally dependent on the list being given by the barangay council and preventive measures from abuses and exploitations of the local chief executive on their own vested interest.
4. The program should include on their social development activities the livelihood assistance and trainings and provision of technical assistance for financial alleviation for concrete outcome so that cash assistance will be sustained. 5. The program should give much emphasis on the processing of the grievances and immediate necessary actions. 6. They should always upgrade and inform the public about the nature and dynamics of the program as well as its new developments as part of transparency and public relations strategy which the program forgets to promote and inform the public its features and purpose at the beginning of the implementation. Further, it will help also on the eradication of the misconception of the program. The recommendations are not only limited on the abovementioned but there can be more depending on the interest of the new researcher about the related issues of this paper.
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