Despite the tremor caused by the Earthquake on 27 July 2022, the DSWD through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) Regional Monitoring Independent Committee (RIMC) headed by the Chairperson Arnel Cabanisas pioneered a Learning Field Visit aimed to better understand the program implementation processes, mechanisms, and impact on July 26-29, 2022 in Tabuk City, Kalinga. 

“The RIMC aims to look at how the program has been instrumental in creating ripples of change in the region. It ensures that the program with its partners is on the right track in attaining the improved level of well-being among the beneficiaries. The visit would also provide recommendation and intervention to address the pressing issues and concerns on the ground,” DSWD FO CAR Concurrent OIC Regional Director and Assistant Regional Director for Administration Enrique H. Gascon Jr. underscored. 

As a result, the participants of the field visit were able to identify the good practices, policies and activities implemented, and the gaps and challenges encountered on program implementation through a focused group discussion conducted with the program beneficiaries, municipal health and education partners, barangay LGUs, and DSWD field staff.

In terms of education, the participants noted an increase in enrolment and decrease in school dropout rate, active involvement of parent beneficiaries to the Brigada Eskwela campaign of the Department of Education, and the establishment of school gardening maintained by the parent beneficiaries. 

On the other hand, according to the health partners, some of the parent beneficiaries have problems on health-related behaviors wherein they do not attend the scheduled medical check-ups, shared parenting is seldom practiced, and some have poor hygiene practices like lack of comfort rooms, among others. 

There are also isolated cases of erring beneficiaries involve in the misuse of grants, lack of school supplies, pawning of cash cards, and some pupils are engaged in economic activities / child labor. 

It was also revealed during the visit that the school and health partners do not consider 4Ps tasks as a burden but rather they see opportunities and successes of children beneficiaries who are now professionals in their chosen fields. 

The RIMC members were able to understand how the Family Development Session (FDS) is being conducted particularly in barangay Agbannawag, and how the gulayan sa barangay ensures food safety and sufficiency in barangay Lacnog.

Meanwhile, the result of the field visit will be endorsed by the RIMCthrough resolutions  for policy recommendation, strengthened monitoring and evaluation, and for immediate interventions.

The field visit was joined by RIMC members: Mr. Hover Agyao of the Cordillera Career Development College, Ms. Annie Ofo-ob of Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, and Ms. Gretchen Gaye Ablaza of Benguet State University. 

Established through National Advisory Committee (NAC) resolution 4 series of 2021, the RIMC  serves as an external team which complements the monitoring activities of the program. Specifically, the committee participates in the review and assessment of the program’s processes and mechanisms, and sets the standards for accountability, transparency, and equity among the 4Ps stakeholders. 

Enacted into law under RA 11310 in April 2019, the 4Ps is the government’s major poverty alleviation program that invests in health, nutrition, and education of the poor eligible households. These alongside the psychosocial and psycho-educational component provided through the FDS towards improved and sustained well-being.The RIMC activity conducted in Kalinga is the first ever field visit conducted in the country with the said purpose. ### DSWD-CAR, Social Marketing Unit, Marlo C. Abyado Jr., Pantawid Pamilya Information Officer

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