DSWD FO1 is encouraging Local Government Units (LGUs) to replicate the “Agsugpon Tayo” Project particularly in Pantawid Pamilya Sets 1-3 area especially those with difficult terrains.
In an orientation activity held recently, the “Agsugpon Tayo” Project was explained as a hosting program that provides substitute homes, parental care and guidance to children from upland areas while in school.
This hosting project is a traditional practice in the Municipality of Sugpon, Ilocos Sur and was eventually institutionalized with DSWD to minimize drop-out rate among children and youth in support to Pantawid Pamilya conditions.
Target beneficiaries are children and youth who live in far-flung barangays; currently enrolled in Elementary or high school and; those who have no immediate relative living in the Poblacion.
At present, there are 98 Pantawid Pamilya and Non-Pantawid children-beneficiaries being hosted by 28 Host Families of the said project in Sugpon.
With this project, host families are assessed; strictly meet the requirements and; must agree on the set project rules and procedures before qualifying. Likewise, a “Katulagan” or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), where clear responsibilities of each party are defined and elaborated, will be both signed by the Host Families and the biological parents. Maximum of four (4) children will be the allowable number of children to be hosted.
For interested LGUs, a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department to implement said project shall be forged.
With the project implementation in Sugpon, there had been positive responses from the community resulting to high enrolment and attendance rates. The children sustained schooling with no untoward incidents while with the host families.
Informed about the project, the Municipality of Burgos, La Union initially signified interest in replicating the Agsugpon Tayo Project.
(by: ALLAN O. LULU, Information Officer II/ Pantawid Pamilya)