Press Release
December 1, 2010

Legarda: Sustainable Livelihood Would Ensure Success of DSWD's 4Ps

To ensure that the government's Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) scheme would not be reduced into a mere dole-out program, Senator Loren Legarda said that it should be coupled with livelihood programs that would sustain the income of the family beneficiaries even after the culmination of the five-year program.

During the deliberations for the budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Legarda said that the CCT scheme called Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) must be partnered with livelihood programs, including skills training.

"We do not want to reduce the 4Ps into a mere dole-out program, as it is frequently criticized. It is important that the DSWD coordinates with the TESDA for skills training to implement a barangay kabuhayan skills program," she said.

DSWD officials said they had adopted a convergence strategy wherein DWSD would craft the program and TESDA would provide technical support and the trainors.

Furthermore, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will also be providing assistance to micro-enterprises, particularly in product development, packaging and marketing through the self-employment assistance program.

"I am glad that there is convergence among these departments. I have always talked about convergence for many other agencies of government to coordinate because we cannot exist in isolation with each other, and with scarce resources this will also be more cost effective," Legarda said.

The Senator said that although it is a difficult task to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger by the year 2015 even with the CCT program, the more important goal is to significantly reduce the number of families who are considered the poorest of the poor, which at present is estimated to be 4.6 million families.

"I believe that it is through the provision of resilient or sustainable livelihoods that we could actually reduce, if not completely eradicate, poverty. Because even if you give them P1,400 per month, that would not be enough if they do not have the capability to invest the money that they have and properly use the skills that they are gifted with," Legarda explained.

"Empowering them through skills training is really important. And I would like to stress that the coordination and convergence of DSWD with the DTI, TESDA and other agencies of government is most essential in ensuring the success of the CCT program," she concluded.

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