Monday, April 20, 2015

DSWD to provide technical skills training to 4Ps beneficiaries in Bicol
By Danny O. Calleja

LEGAZPI CITY, April 19 (PNA) -- The regional office here of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has partnered with the Bicol University (BU) in providing beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) training toward sustainable livelihood skills.

The training, which will initially involve around 300 beneficiaries, will start in June under DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Multi-Skills Training Project which aims to improve the socio-economic capacities of the 4Ps beneficiaries by facilitating their access to micro enterprise development and employment opportunities.

The 4Ps is a poverty reduction and social development strategy of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to “poorest of the poor” households to improve their health, nutrition and education, particularly of children aged 0-14 years.

The training project, on the other hand, is a multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to improve the socio-economic status of 4Ps beneficiaries to generate greater impact on the government’s poverty reduction efforts.

Each of the selected participant has been allotted by the DSWD an amount of PhP20,000 for the six-month training to be handled by the BU-College of Industrial Technology, according to DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia.

The short-term training courses will be on trouble-shooting and repair of household appliances, basic welding and home mechanics, defensive auto driving, gas engine servicing and overhauling, motorcycle servicing, basic and advance bread and pastry production, food processing, rough masonry, beauty care, silk screen printing, vinyl sticker cutting and practical electricity.

To ensure sustainability, Garcia said, each trainee will be provided by DSWD with a livelihood kit after the training to start up their own business or self-employment venture.

Post-training assistance will also be provided by the university to help trainees in further honing their skills.

“We want to provide a sustainable intervention to improve the well-being of 4Ps beneficiaries by empowering the disadvantaged individuals through skills training assistance and entrepreneurial activities towards gainful employment,” Garcia told the Philippines News Agency over the weekend.

Since the 4Ps program does not only provide financial assistance but also interventions to improve the welfare of the poor such us empowerment, participation and economic opportunities toward social protection, these beneficiaries are being nurtured into the culture of self-help, leading to a productive life on their own feet, he said.

BU, he said, is one of the agencies that have been participating in these interventions that seek to guarantee the sustainable development of 4Ps beneficiaries even after the conclusion of the program.

The training is part of the transition plan in order to assure that the current socio-economic conditions of the beneficiaries of the program will be sustained and continue to improve.

Indicated in the plan are socio-economic interventions which ensure that there is continuity in terms of support coming from local government and partners agencies so that the 4Ps beneficiaries will no longer go back to their conditions prior to the program.

Garcia said the 4Ps is one of the most important accomplishments of President Aquino in reducing hunger incidence by six percent only months after he assumed office in 2010 and expanded its coverage.

“The funding for 4Ps that enables families to have decent shelter, put food on their tables, access to health care and send their children to school has proven to be an inspired move while prompting positive and significant consequences in the lives of ordinary families, particularly food-poor rural families,” he said.

The program also helps the government to fulfill the country’s commitment to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) such as to Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger, Achieve Universal Primary Education, Promote Gender Equality, Reduce Child Mortality and, Improve Maternal Health.

Being implemented by the DSWD, the program has already enlisted a total of 361,245 beneficiaries in Bicol — a region whose poverty incidence, according to the latest statistics released by the NSCB, is at 36 percent.

“The DSWD, through the 4Ps, is continuously providing an avenue for Bicol’s marginalized sector to break the string of dearth that for decades pinned most of their communities to the vicious cycle of life difficulties. Poverty alleviation is a P'Noy administration’s priority,” Garcia added. (PNA) SCS/FGS/DOC/CBD/PJN