The Department of Social Welfare and Development – Eastern Visayas held its first graduation ceremony of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) last June 4, 2021, in Tanauan, Leyte.

The said regional event saw 200 household beneficiaries graduate from 4Ps and were awarded “Sertipiko ng Pagkilala” and were transitioned to the after-care programs and services of the local government unit of Tanauan headed by Municipal Mayor Pelagio Tecson, Jr.

OIC Regional Director Grace Subong presented the 200 households for graduation and turned over the case folders, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), and Specific Implementation Agreement (SIA) of the Pantawid Pamilya to the LGU of Tanauan.

DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista graced the event and served as the graduation’s keynote speaker. He congratulated the graduates and thanked all the individuals, private groups, partner government agencies, civil society organizations, and Pantawid Pamilya staff that have contributed greatly to this accomplishment.

The Ibañez Family of Barangay San Roque delivered the graduate’s address and was hailed as the “Modelong Pamilya”. The family has been a program beneficiary for 10 years. Joselito Ibañez, the household head proudly shared that they can now stand on their own because their children are now professionals. One of his sons is a policeman, his daughter a licensed teacher, and another son is an IT graduate who finished Cum Laude.

Mayor Tecson expressed his commitment to ensuring that a continuous sustainability plan is available to all 200 graduate households.

Meanwhile, DSWD through Secretary Bautista, Dir. Subong, Pantawid Pamilya National Program Manager Gemma Gabuya, and Division Chief Paula Unay also awarded plaques of recognition and tokens of appreciation to all the members of the Regional Advisory Council such as DA, DOLE, DTI, TESDA, DepEd, and DOH as represented by their agencies’ regional directors and representatives. Save the Children Philippines and private companies such as Pepsi-Cola Philippines, Smart Communications, and Metro Stores Retail Groups, Incorporated were also awarded for their active role in providing employment opportunities to the graduates.

In his speech, Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla expressed his support for all the DSWD programs and services in the province. He also congratulated the 200 households who exited the program for it means they have surpassed poverty.

Francis Ann B. Petilla, the President of the League of Mayors – Leyte Chapter closed the program by commending Tanauan LGU, DSWD, partners/stakeholders, and all the graduates for this milestone and encouraged everyone to never stop working despite life’s challenges.

This year’s graduation has for its theme “Pagkilala sa Pamilyang Nagtapos bilang Miyembro-Benepisyaryo ng Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.”

4Ps is a poverty reduction strategy of the national government with DSWD as the lead agency. Household beneficiaries are entitled to receive cash subsidies provided that the conditions on health, nutrition, and education are followed. This will foster necessary behavior for parents to adequately perform the duties and responsibilities, particularly in investing in their children’s future. #