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Institutionalization of Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program

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The Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Pamilyang Pantawid (SNPP or Association of the United 4Ps Families) has undertook several significant activities in past three years to further strengthen their ability to organize their communities to engage on policy issues and advocacies revolving around CCT program-related issues as a springboard for civic engagement.  ANSA-EAP thru NED support continues to handholding with the SNPP in their efforts to expand membership and engagement in other regions of the country.  The aim is to build their capacity so that they will be positioned in the longer-term to become a significant force speaking out on other democracy challenges as they attempt to hold government accountable for policies and programs that undermine democratic governance.

On the first quarter of the project (2018), SNPP activities were focused on generating support from legislators and other allies in the government for the passage of the of the Pantawid Program or the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) and building their capacities as leaders and advocates. The Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Pamilya ng Pantawid (“United Families of Pantawid”) or SNPP currently covers 34 cities and provinces in seventeen (17) regions. With more than 100,000 members (May 2020), it has secured 560,126 Pantawid beneficiaries’ signatures for the campaign to pass the Pantawid Bill. The persistent advocacy activities and active engagement of the SNPP Core leaders and members with the congressional Committee on Poverty of the Lower House in particular and the members of the House of Representatives in general, have paid off with the Pantawid Law after it was approved by the House of Congress and Senate.

In October 2018, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) took center stage, as the House of Representatives Committee on Poverty Alleviation and Committee on People’s Participation jointly held a forum on the role of civil society in the design, implementation, monitoring, and impact evaluation of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the government.

Entitled “Talakayan ukol sa Gampanin ng Sambayanan sa Disenyo, Implementasyon, Pagsasabuhay at Pagtataya ng Programang Pantawid Pamilyang Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps),” the forum featured discussions led by House Members as well as leaders of government agencies and civil society organizations (CSO).

The Committee on Poverty Alleviation is chaired by Rep. Raymond Democrito Mendoza (Party-list, TUCP) while the Committee on People’s Participation is chaired by Rep. Maria Valentina Plaza (1st District, Agusan del Sur). Mendoza gave the opening remarks during the forum.

The first discussion was conducted by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Director Leonardo Reynoso, who noted that the successful implementation of the program relies on the cooperation among the government agencies, local government units (LGUs), socio-civic organizations and people’s organizations to define the scope, implement, monitor, and evaluate the program.

He explained that the 4Ps is not a short-term poverty alleviation program but a long-term investment to improve the lives of Filipino families, saying that the 4Ps is not a “dole-out.”

Rep. Florida Robes (Lone District, San Jose Del Monte City), Vice Chairperson of the Committee on People’s Participation, shared the sentiment, stressing that the 4Ps is intended to enable poor families to “break free from the intergenerational cycle of poverty.”

Meanwhile, Responsible Citizens and Empowered Communities in Solidarity for Social Change (RECITE) Program Manager Elena Van Toreen tackled how the CSO help ensure accountability and transparency in the 4Ps and strengthen its integrity at the community level.

Van Toreen said that since CSOs are not beneficiaries of the program, they are able to offer an objective and independent view on the monitoring and evaluation of 4Ps.

For her part, Samahang Nagkakaisang Pamilya ng Pantawid (SNPP) President Jeana Catacio shared how SNPP champions the rights of 4Ps beneficiaries and ensures that the program is implemented effectively and equitably.

With all the efforts and sacrifices of SNPP leaders and members, the Senate Plenary approved the SB 2117 with the votes of 18-0-0 last February 4, 2019. And on April 17, 2019, SB 2117 became a law as RA 11310 or “AN ACT INSTITUTIONALIZING THE PANTAWID PAMILYANG PILIPINO PROGRAM (4Ps)” and was signed by the  President.

In May 2019, SNPP started the drafting of Pantawid IRR with the help of Atty. Joey Mendoza and from August to September 2019 SNPP conducted series of IRR Consultation nationwide and on December 10 2019 Pantawid IRR was signed with the full participation on SNPP Leadership.