FACE TO FACE INTERACTION. One of the beneficiaries shares how Pantawid Pamilya brought about change and development to her family (right). ADB Project Leader Chris Sphor solicits these experiences and thoughts of the beneficiaries about the Program (left).

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Team headed by its Project Leader Chris Sphor pronounced that the implementation of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO1) in La Union is so impressive.

According to Sphor all the beneficiaries have high level of awareness about the program, observe properly the conditionalites, and recognize the importance of attending and internalizing all the topics discussed in the Family Development Sessions (FDS). Through the compliance of the beneficiaries with the program conditionalities, human capital such as the health and education of children is protected leading to their improved quality of life in the near future.

Mayor Daisy A. Sayangda of Santol, La Union proudly shared to the ADB Team their local initiatives in addressing poverty and uplifting their way of living by starting with themselves.

The ADB appreciated the crafting of Municipal Transition Plan (MTP) and the implementation of Sitio Development Initiative (SDI) and “Oplan Pagbabago”. Mayor Sayangda stated that the MTP foresees and directs the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries’ scheme in sustaining the program after their exit in 2014. One of the ways of such undertaking is the empowerment of the people in planning their future efforts and managing their own available resources leading to a smart community through the SDI. “Oplan Pagbabago” also aims to provide more productive jobs within the locality for the beneficiaries.

The utilization of Social Welfare Indicator (SWI) also got the attention of the team. According to them, SWI results are essential in case management especially in looking into key issues surrounding the program in the local level. Thus may serve as bases for the DSWD in planning appropriate actions or interventions for the beneficiaries in the locality.

Mayor Sayangda also plans to establish an Indigenous People (IP) school that would cater to all IP students from nursery to High School for them to have access to quality education and an additional High School facility in coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd) and College in partnership with the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) to bring to the municipality some of their course offerings. This is for all the students not to go anymore to the nearby municipality to study. Community Center Learning Technology (CCLT) also aims to provide the community people with competitive skills in agriculture and food processing.

Meanwhile, Mayor Jose B. Abansi of Burgos, La Union extended his great appreciation on the assistance being provided by the Program to all the 510 beneficiaries in the municipality. Mayor Abansi is also grateful to DSWD that the Municipality of Burgos is one of the areas being helped by the Department in developing and uplifting the lives of the beneficiaries through the Program. He further added that the beneficiaries are really enjoying the improvement of their lives. That is why, he promised to create sustainable livelihood projects or additional jobs specifically designed for the beneficiaries.

This Field Visit which was recently conducted by the ADB in Set 2 areas of Santol and Set 3 areas of Burgos is a part of the Program’s midterm review implementation and to know if there is a great impact of the program to the lives of all the beneficiaries. (by: Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Administrative Assistant V, Listahanan/NHTS-PR)