Mario Fetalino

Supporting underprivileged pregnant, lactating women

June 13, 2024 Mario Fetalino Jr. 102 views

THE government is aware of the plight of underprivileged Filipino women when they get pregnant and give birth to children.

And so the state has acted on it. Recently, the government widened the coverage for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) by including them to ensure the health of children in their first 1,000 days.

The move was ordered by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

In a recent sectoral meeting, President Marcos sat with officials of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health and other concerned agencies in Malacañan Palace to present respective studies and recommendations on reforming the 4Ps cash grants.

Early this year, the DSWD proposed to increase the 4Ps grant amounts and provide cash grant for the First 1,000 Days (F1KD) of children.

The adjustments would increase the purchasing power of the 4Ps beneficiaries and provide an incentive for them to improve compliance with program conditions that would prevent malnutrition and stunting.

On the same meeting, the President approved the proposal of the DSWD for the granting of a cash grant to pregnant and lactating women to ensure that they would seek health services to address the health needs of their children in their first 1000 days.

The President then directed the DSWD and the NEDA to draw up the final numbers and forward them to him so that the necessary adjustments could be done, as he underscored the importance of the additional support.

Under the current program, a 4Ps beneficiary-family receives daycare and elementary grant of P300 per child per month for ten months, conditional on their child’s school attendance; P500 per child per month for ten months for junior high school with the same conditionality on their child’s school attendance and P700 per child per month for ten months for senior high school with the same condition; and P750 per month per household for 12 months provided that their children aged 2-14 years old under growth development and monitoring; deworming and attend family development sessions.

The President earlier ordered a study on the adjustments in the 4Ps cash grants to address health gaps in the system and help beneficiaries keep up with inflation.

On the information technology front meanwhile, the President called on all government agencies, local government units (LGUs) and other government instrumentalities to participate in the 2024 National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Summit of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

Memorandum Circular No. 54 signed by Executive Secretary Lucas P. Bersamin recently said the DICT, in partnership with the private sector, will hold the 2024 National ICT Summit from June 18 to 19 at the Crown Plaza Manila Galleria, Ortigas Center with the theme “Digital Governance: Navigating the Future.”

All departments, agencies and instrumentalities of the National Government, including government-owned or -controlled corporations, government financial institutions, state universities and colleges, and all local government units are encouraged to support the DICT in the conduct of the 2024 National ICT Summit.

They were also ordered to authorize their respective ICT executives, chief information officers, technical staff, academics, and key personnel to attend and participate in the Summit “on official time, provided that they are issued the pertinent clearances or authorities by their respective heads of offices.”

Government agencies and all instrumentalities should ensure that “their participation in the said Summit will not adversely affect agency operations, as well as the delivery of services to the public.”

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