Employee says 4Ps helped family out of poverty; as proof, they've withdrawn their names from list receiving cash gifts 

by Nikko Tuazon
Apr 15, 2020
In 2019, DSWD employee and former 4Ps beneficiary John Roland Lodado (left frame) personally prepared the togas of his sister Janine and his mother Rosa (both in the middle, right frame) for their graduation with degrees in Elementary Education. John and father Arnold are proud of their achievements.
PHOTO/S: Courtesy of John Roland Mestiola Lodado

"Ang mga 4Ps ay tamad at umaasa na lamang sa ayuda ng gobyerno."

"Wala namang nangyayari sa mga 4Ps kaya sayang ang pera."

These are the sentiments currently flooding social media, with netizens criticizing the beneficiaries of the government's Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

4Ps, also known as the Conditional Cash Transfer program, is one of the priority projects of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The program
provides cash grants to poor households with children aged 0 to 18 to cover expenses related to education and health.

Established in 2007 under former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the program began with a pilot of 6,000 households.

It was expanded by former President Noynoy Aquino in 2016 to benefit a total of 4.4 million households.

It has been continued under President Rodrigo Duterte.

As of November 2019, the program has a total of 3,993,180 household beneficiaries, according to the government-run Philippine Information Agency.

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Just recently, the DSWD started distributing emergency subsidies—amounting from PHP5,000 to PHP8,000to more than 18 million Filipino families under the government's Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

The cash grant aims to help the "poorest of the poor" while the country implements an enhanced community quarantine to help curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Households listed under the government's 4Ps also benefit from this program.

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PERSONAL TESTIMONY OF JOHN LODADO, BENEFICIARY

Debate is everywhere on social media about whether or not these families deserve the cash grants.

This has
prompted John Roland Lodado, a beneficiary, to brave the stigma against 4Ps families and recall how the program has helped improve the life of his family.

In a Facebook post last April 8, Wednesday, John explained why he has decided to meet these negative stereotypes of 4Ps head on.

He wrote, "Bilang isang produkto nitong programa, ako ay labis na nalulungkot dahit sa mga nagsisilabasang mga komento, argumento at kung anu-ano pang pangbabatikos.

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"Nais ko lamang iparating ang nilalaman ng aking puso sa mga katagang patuloy na ibinabato sa kanila."

even with CASH GRANTS, "KUNG TAMAD KA, MAMAMATAY KA"

In his post, John focused on the most common misconception about 4Ps families.

That is, that 4Ps families just live off the cash grants given by government.

John said that is not true for all, and made an example of his parents, Rosa and Arnold Lodado, who kept working to provide for their family.

He revealed in his Facebook post (published as is), "Taong 2011 nang napabilang ang aming pamilya sa Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. Si Mama ay isang plain housewife at si Papa naman ay isang Mason.

"Pero kahit regular kaming nakakatanggap ng cash grants ay patuloy pa ring nagtatrabaho sina Mama at Papa dahil hindi naman talaga mapapagkasya sa dalawang buwan ang cash grants. Kaya kailangan pa ring kumayod.

"Kung tamad ka, mamamatay ka sa gutom.

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"Aminin natin, ang mga nasa labor force na may regular income ay nagsisipag para may maiuwing pera para sa pamilya.

"Mas lalo na yung mga taong mahihirap na kulang sa oportunidad.

"Hindi madali noon para saamin ang buhay kahit nakakatanggap kami ng cash grants."

PANUNUMBAT NG NETIZENS, "NAKAKABABA NG PAGKATAO"

In a chat with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) via Facebook, John said his family receives a cash grant amounting to PHP3,000, every two months.

His mother is in charge of budgeting their finances, while his father goes on working as a mason. His family has also put up a small sari-sari store to augment their income.

In his post, John added that, instead of feeling disheartened by the negative comments on 4Ps, his family used this as their push to finish their studies and reach their goals.

John wrote, "Masakit din pakinggan ang mga panunumbat dahil sa natatanggap naming benepisyo. Nakakababa ng pagkatao.

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"Yan ang araw araw na isinasampal saamin noon. Pero di namin ininda.

"Bagkus mas lalo pa kaming kumapit sa layunin ng programa at lalo na sa Diyos.

"Mas lalo naming isinasapuso ito. Mas lalong sinipag sina Mama at Papa para naman sa gayon ay matustusan ang aming mga pangangailangan."

He asked, "NASAAN PO ANG KATAMARAN DUN?"

THE CASH GIFT KEPT HIM IN COLLEGE

John also addressed another common criticism: "Wala namang nangyayari sa mga 4Ps kaya sayang ang pera."

In his post, John asked his readers: "'Matagal na sa programa pero mahirap pa din, maliit pa din ang bahay, wala pang nabibiling lupa o ari-arian, kaya sayang ang pera ng gobyerno.' Ito na ba ang batayan natin ng pagiging isang mayaman?"

For John, education is the key to success. This is why he, his sister, and even their mother, were inspired to pursue and finish their studies.

Recalling his parents' advice that he took to heart, he wrote, "'Kailangan ninyong makapagtapos upang kung kayo ay magkaroon ng sarili ninyong mga pamilya, ay mabigyan ninyo sila ng magandang kinabukasan. Para matulungan niyo din ang iba pang mga nangangailangan.'

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"Mga katagang paulit ulit na naririnig ko kina Mama at Papa."

John is the eldest of five kids.

"Kaya bilang panganay sa limang magkakapatid, hindi pressure ang naramdaman ko sa mga katagang iyon, kundi inspirasyon na nagpalakas ng aking loob na magsumikap, para makapagtapos ng pag-aaral."

Through the years, John and his family always struggled with money.

But finally, he reached his dream of getting his Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work at the Bicol University.

John now works as a Project Development Officer II for DSWD.

John narrated, "Dinanas lahat ng sakripisyo, paghihirap habang nakukumahog na makatapos ng pag-aaral.

"Nagreremedyo sina Mama para sa budget ko, nag-sideline ako bilang tutor, at kung ano ano pang ginawa para matustusan lamang ang aking pag aaral.

"Minsan nga ay saakin lng napupunta lahat ng cash grants na natatanggap nina Mama sa programa.

"Hanggang sa yun na nga, nakapagtapos ako sa kolehiyo noong 2014 sa kursong BS Social Work at taong ding yun ay natanggap bilang isang Project Development Officer II / Municipal Link sa DSWD Field Office V."

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John Roland Mestiola Lodado

LEAVING THE 4Ps; "dalawa ang toga na aking pinalantsa"

Just a year after graduating, John said his mother voluntarily withdrew their family from the list of 4Ps households.

His mother, he said simply, wanted the cash gift to go to others in greater need.

In John's words: "Ngunit makaraan ang isang taon. Kusa nang isinuko ni Mama ang kanyang benepisyo sa programa, dahil sa aming palagay ay naisakatuparan na sa aming pamilya ang layunin ng programa, at nais naman namin itong ibigay sa mas nangangailangang pamilya."

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Aside from getting his college diploma, John's other proud moment came when his sister, Janine Lodado, and their mother both graduated from college at the same time with a degree in Elementary Education.

John wrote (published as is): "Last year lang nang nakapagtapos sa kolehiyo ang kapatid kong babae sa kursong Bachelor in Elementary Education.

"Bilang isang Kuya ay labis ang tuwa na dalawa na kaming nakapagtapos sa kolehiyo.

"Pero ito ang mas nakakaproud, kasabay niyang makapagtapos ng kolehiyo si Mama, sa pareho ring kurso.

"Dalawa ang toga na aking plinantsa noong nakaraang taon. From a Parent Leader to a Degree Holder.

"Return of investment ika nga Dahil sa programa, nabago ang kaisipan ni Mama na wala sa edad ang pag aaral."

John Roland Mestiola Lodado

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THANKING THE TAXPAYERS

Towards the end of his post, John said: Choose education.

"Hanggang may oportunidad na makapag-aral, kunin mo. Bibihira ang nabibigyan ng ganoon. Palagi tayong may choice.

"At alam natin kung ano ang kahahantungan ng bawat bagay na pipiliin natin."

John also pointed out that these cash grants are just half of the program. There are also the family development sessions that the DSWD conducts with beneficiaries.

He said, "Marami rin akong nakukuhang 'success stories' mula sa mga pamilya na aking nakakasalamuha na talaga namang nakakaantig ng puso.

"Ang programang ito ay hindi lamang tungkol sa perang kanilang natatanggap, kundi sa mga aral na nakukuha nila sa pamamagitan ng FDS O Family Development Sessions."

In the end, John thanked the Filipino taxpayer.

John wrote, "Kaya sa mga taxpayers po jan, salamat po sa mga tax niyo. Hindi po yun nasayang.

"At ngayon, dahil sa inyo, isa na rin po akong taxpayer.

"God Bless everyone. God Bless Philippines."

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In 2019, DSWD employee and former 4Ps beneficiary John Roland Lodado (left frame) personally prepared the togas of his sister Janine and his mother Rosa (both in the middle, right frame) for their graduation with degrees in Elementary Education. John and father Arnold are proud of their achievements.
PHOTO/S: Courtesy of John Roland Mestiola Lodado
  • This article was created by . Edits have been made by the PEP.ph editors.
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