BAGUIO CITY— Following the report of Tinglayan, Kalinga Mayor Johnny Maymaya about the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries’ grant misuse and misdemeanor in his area, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Cordillera Administrative Region sheds some light on the issue by conducting a filed validation on January 21-23, 2015 in 3 barangays in Tinglayan, Kalinga.
During the Leaders’ Fellowship on December 29, 2014 in Baguio City attended by DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman, Mayor Maymaya said that some Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries who had no vices prior to being beneficiaries are now engaging in vices such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and gambling. He also reported to the Secretary that some beneficiaries became lazy and now uses their cash grants to hire laborers who will work on their rice paddies. Given this report, Secretary Soliman assured Mayor Maymaya that these cases shall undergo investigation.
Through the help of the Local Government Unit of Tinglayan, the DSWD-CAR was able to identify the barangays with reported cases of beneficiary grant misuse and misdemeanor. The barangays of Bugnay, Tulgao West, and Tulgao East were the focus of the field validation. An investigation team was sent to the barangays to conduct focus group discussions (FGD) with the beneficiaries per cluster and small consultation meetings with the parent leaders.
During the focus group discussions, the beneficiaries with a representative from the LGU answered the issues raised by Mayor Maymaya. As part of the culture in Tinglayan, parents give their family’s rice paddies to their married children as their inheritance; hence some households do not have rice paddies to cultivate. This will lead to the practice of another culture in Tinglayan where households without rice paddies will cultivate the rice paddies of their tribesmen and get half of the income in return.
“Ang ilan po sa amin ay nasa bahay lang dahil agtag-tagibi kami. Ang mga iba po sa amin ay naiiwan sa mga bahay para alagaan ang mga maliliit pa naming mga anak,” said Rosing Mamma, one of the mothers who attended the FGD in Barangay Tulgao East when asked why she is left at home and not working in the fields. While one parent stays at home to take care of the family’s children, the other parent leaves for work, she explained. The same is true in Barangay Bugnay where most of the attendees during the FGD were mothers with their young children. They also mentioned that the only time they fail to cultivate their rice paddies is during the summer season when the lack of proper water irrigation becomes a problem in the area.
As with the issue of beneficiaries engaging in vices, the FGDs show that the existence of gambling activities in the mentioned areas are indeed true but only few beneficiaries engage in such. In Tulgao East, however, the gambling activities were stopped on October 2014 after a dialogue was conducted between the Barangay Captain and the barangay official who initiated the gambling activities.
After reporting the findings of the validation to Mayor Maymaya, he assured that there will be continuous monitoring in the areas where gambling was already stopped especially in the barangays where the officials were directly involved. He will also fast track the development of the water irrigation system in Barangay Bugnay so the farmers won’t have to stop tilling their rice paddies during the summer season.
Given these, Mayor Maymaya and his constituents said that they will continue to support the program as he believes that Pantawid Pamilya is effectively helping its beneficiaries. The LGU of Tinglayan, Kalinga reported to the investigation team that through the help of the Pantawid Pamilya, the number of drop-outs in the area has significantly decreased. The barangay midwife in Tuglao East also said that the number of households availing of barangay health services has increased since the implementation of the program in their barangay.
The investigation team also reminded the beneficiaries during the FGDs about National Advisory Committee (NAC) Resolution 20 Series of 2014 where households under Pantawid Pamilya found guilty of misdemeanor cases shall be removed from the program on the third offense. #DSWD-CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, Ann Jennica R. Quirimit