The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) believes that beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), despite belonging to the poorest of the poor families, may reach and finish a college degree with the support of government-funded student financial aid programs.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED), for one, encourages the beneficiaries of the 4Ps to avail programs and services that provide grants and assistance to support the educational needs of students for tertiary education.

Programs that can be availed include scholarships, grant-in-aid, and student loan programs under the CHED. The UniFast (Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education), an attached agency of CHED that unifies and harmonizes government-funded student financial assistance programs said that these programs aim to assist families with low-income, including the 4Ps families, to able them to send their children to college.

According to report of 4Ps-DSWD, one major factor why 4Ps children-beneficiaries are not able to get a degree is because of lack of financial support to sustain a college education.

“The 4Ps program only provides educational grants to beneficiaries until they finish Senior High School or until they reach 19 years old, whichever comes first. So, there is really a need to sustain the families’ milestone to self-sufficiency from our partner agencies like the CHED,” said DSWD-9 Regional Director Riduan P. Hadjimuddin.

Considered as the country’s flagship anti-poverty program, the mandate of the 4Ps is to ensure the health and nutrition of children 0-18 years old and that these children are in school with at least 85% attendance rate.

Currently, there is a total of 35,933 4Ps children who are expected to graduate from Senior High School for academic year 2023-2024.

For those opting to enroll in CHED-recognized public and private higher education institutions, 4Ps beneficiaries may avail themselves of the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES), receiving a subsidy of at least P20,000 per academic year to cover partial school fees and education-related expenses.

Another program called Tulong Dunong Program (TDP) is an option for 4Ps beneficiaries, providing a maximum grant of P15,000 for one academic year. Eligibility for TDP grants is contingent on not receiving any CHED and UniFast education support programs.

Interested beneficiaries may directly coordinate with CHED-UniFast and the nearest LCUs and SUCs in their locality to learn more about the available programs.