ZAMBOANGA—Janelle J. Cañete, before becoming a member of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), once had to walk for kilometres in an empty stomach to reach her school in Talon-Talon, Zamboanga City. Today, she will proudly walk on the aisle at her graduation rite with a heart full of fulfilment, gratefulness, and hope. She will receive a Latin Honor as a Cum Laude graduate at the Western Mindanao State University.

Stories like this are not new to most 4Ps beneficiaries. As a matter of fact, many of them share the same struggles and the same desire to finish schooling as a means to escape the vicious cycle of poverty that cripple many Filipino families of their opportunities to a decent life.

The same as Cañete, a few other graduates from various schools across Region 9 who are under the 4Ps program of the DSWD will also graduate with distinction in this year’s commencement exercises.

“We congratulate our 4Ps beneficiaries who successfully finished their college degree, especially that many of you have finished with flying colors. This is a manifestation that, indeed, our beneficiaries are hardworking and dedicated and the DSWD is glad to be part of your journey,” DSWD-9 Regional Director Atty. Sittie Raifah M. Pamaloy-Hassan said.

Hassan, who assumed office at the regional office last 2021, have already met a few of the 4Ps graduates who are now doing well in their chosen careers during the 4Ps graduation ceremonies that were conducted last year.

As of recent period, 488,126 children are monitored by the program in grade school, junior high school, and senior high school. The program provides grants for children until senior high school or until a child reaches the age of 18, whichever comes first. Php300 per month is given per child for elementary pupils, Php500/month for junior high school, and Php700/month for senior high school; the program can only provide grants for maximum of 3 children per family.

From 2013 to 2020, a total of 2,283 children under the 4Ps program were noted to have graduated from college in Zamboanga Peninsula.