MINERVA BC NEWMAN
BOHOL—Some 1,286 Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) partner-beneficiaries of Candihay and Valencia towns in Bohol Province received cash aid of P5,000 each household from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-7), UNICEF Philippines and ECPAT Philippines as part of the Humanitarian Cash Transfer (HCT) Plus program funded and supported by the government and the people of New Zealand.
These beneficiaries, 764 are from Candijay and 522 are from Valencia were those families affected by the devastation of Typhoon Odette in December 2021. Aside from the cash aid, they also went through the HCT’s Plus program, a face-to-face discussion on the importance of the first 1,000 days of life, child health and nutrition, protection, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) through their Family Development Session (FDS) conducted by their parent leaders prior to the release of codes.
DSWD-7 regional director Shalaine Marie Lucero, in her message during the releasing event on September 27 reminded the beneficiaries to use the assistance for the benefit of their children and of the conditions of the 4Ps membership, especially on ensuring that the kids are immunized against various diseases, medically checked regularly, and are attending school.
NICEF Ambassador Behzad Noubary said that looking into their experiences in providing assistance, cash has proven to be the best mode because it is the family that knows best what to do with the money.
Noubary also encouraged the beneficiaries to provide feedback on whether they received the cash or not, its sufficiency and timeliness, and what could be done better based on their experience through an SMS sent to them by ECPAT Philippines.
DSWD and UNICEF Philippines have been working together to provide assistance to the vulnerable and less advantaged population with children aged 18 and below, lactating and/or pregnant women, children with disabilities, and those suffering from or at risk of malnutrition.
It can be recalled that HCT Plus was also released to identified families in San Isidro, Tubigon, and Bilar, Bohol from April to July 2022 with the same aim of providing aid to Odette-affected families.