Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)

“The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is a human development program of the government that invests in the health and education of poor households particularly of children aged 0-14 years. It provides cash grants to beneficiaries provided that they comply with the sets of conditions required by the program.” –

            Its objectives are to provide cash assistance to the poor to alleviate their immediate need (social assistance) and to break the intergenerational poverty cycle through investment in the human capital (social development).

            As per observation, the program is of great help to the Filipino people especially to those who are trapped in severe poverty.  As a matter of fact, I know several families that have improved their livings and who can already send their children to school because of 4Ps. However, the program like any other, have loopholes.  The system is dole out. Although conditions and monitoring are set to ensure that the cash granted is used appropriately, it teaches the people to become dependent to it.  Some do not make an effort and strive hard to make a living of their own any longer because everything is already being provided. And corruption is rampant and/or already a culture in the Philippine government, proper implementation is a subject concerned, more particularly in the local government level. Endorsement and/or recommendation from Local Government Unit (LGU) is vital in choosing program beneficiaries. But because of what we call “politics” unfair selection process is practiced. There are those who should not be part of the program who have availed the 4Ps government assistance being relatives or diehard voters of the barangay captain, mayor and the like. And those who are in extreme poverty that are supposed to have been chosen but because are not allied to the local officials are being ignored and disregarded.

            Certainly, the government’s good intention to alleviate the situation of those who are tremendously in need is evidently clear in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the Philippines. What they do not see are the undesirable and negative effects of it. It would be better, I think, if the government conducts thorough investigations and inspections to improve the program and address the issues concerned and ensure that those who are really extremely poor get to enjoy the program. And maybe it would also be great for the government to provide these people with livelihood program or employment that teaches them to make every effort to work hard and make a living out of their own sweat and not just wait for whatever subsidy or help from the government--- sabi nga eh "do not give them the fish, but rather, teach them how to catch a fish". In this way, they become self-reliant to put food on their table and feed their families.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Barangay Governmental System Nowadays

       We define barangay as the smallest local government unit and social organization with broader political, economic and religious features than family. It is headed by the barangay captain as chief executive and its legislative body, the seven barangay kagawad and SK chairperson as ex-oficio member. They are put into position through election. Strictly speaking, election is the means by which people choose their officials for a definite and fixed periods and for whom they entrust for the time being their representative, the exercise of powers of government.
Basically, if we are going to talk about the credibility and integrity of a public official, we are referring to his/her skills, capacity and other personal attributes that make him best suited for public office. That is why these should be our basis for selecting a public servant. We should always opt for the best, competent, those with good and clean track of records and those who are educated and professional enough to perform good governance. We should also be matured and independent to judge and reflect on the issues presented and the qualifications and fitness of aspirants. But every election, people would go for someone who is related to them by blood or for someone who is a friend to them and those who have helped them in some way or debt of gratitude, and of course those with money or wealth. These things really matter every election.

      As a result, we end up choosing the least competitive ones. This is often times the case in the barangay level. Those who are in the position are usually those who have the highest number of relatives in the particular barangay or those who always give and those who are the so called rich. Integrity and credibility are set aside and not given importance. This stagnant system is the product of luck of education, lack of discipline and lack of concern of the people or the citizens. "The barangay now becomes an entity where all the bad political habits are put into practice— vote-buying, political patronage, corruption and nepotism."

       Ethics takes a greater part here. It is very important for the barangay governmental system to become efficient and productive. We have to understand that it is our social responsibility as citizens to contribute to the development and welfare of our community. Therefore, the effectiveness of barangay governmental system as well as its progress lies not only In the hands of public officials but also on the hands of its people. How? We should educate ourselves on matters concerning us and our community. Be vigilant and socially aware of what is happening around us. Obey the laws and ordinances of our barangay and see that they are observed by all. It is just a matter of self-discipline and applying what is just and righteous. Choose the right leaders according to their skills, qualifications and personal attributes. Give importance on the credibility and integrity before casting our votes on them to ensure the quality of barangay services ahead. Also see to it that they comply with their duties. As the say, "the people are the arbiters of their destiny". We have the absolute control of our future. Hence, we always get what we deserve depending on the efforts and decisions we make.