The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) plans to expand this year the continuing implementation of the national government’s anti-poverty initiatives to 16 more municipalities and two cities in Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao.
Bai Zorahayda Taha, DSWD Region 12 director, said they are now finalizing a comprehensive survey of the “poorest of the poor” households within the 18 target localities as part of the implementation of the national government’s “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program” (4Ps) program.
“The impact of the project has been so far overwhelming so we’re expanding it further to at least 15 towns in North Cotabato, one in Sultan Kudarat province and in the cities of Cotabato and General Santos,” she said.
The program, which was personally endorsed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, was initially implemented in the region last year to help poor families cope with the impact of the global financial crisis.
Last year, Taha said they spent at least P60.3 million for the implementation of the initial phase of the program, which was also designed to provide families in the region with means to augment their income.
She said the 4Ps program initially covered the municipalities of Malapatan and Maasim in Sarangani Province, Lake Sebu and T’boli in South Cotabato and Senator Ninoy Aquino in Sultan Kudarat.
Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Cotabato and Kidapawan.