DSWD survey: Beneficiaries spend P200 on food daily
MANILA, Philippines — How are the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) budgeting their money for food?
In October this year, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) conducted a random “Hunger survey" among 4Ps beneficiaries across 17 selected barangays in Manila, Quezon City, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Caloocan, Malabon, Marikina, Navotas, Pasig, Valenzuela, and Pateros.
221 beneficiaries, mostly mothers, were interviewed.
The DSWD's 4Ps provides monthly cash grants of P1,400 for 3 qualified children per family, under the condition that parents send their children to school and regular health check-ups. Pregnant women are also required to undergo check-ups, while parents are made to attend Family Development Sessions.
The survey focused on the following questions:
- How much of the family’s daily budget goes to food
- Is their food budget enough to cover 3 meals a day
- How do families make do with their food budget
- What is their source of food budget
- What kind of food do they eat
Around 72% of respondents answered that they spend at least P200 on daily meals. Based on this, the DSWD said that the 4Ps program is "on track in achieving its goal of empowering poor families including the improvement of their nutritional status."
Majority of the respondents, however, said that their food budget only partly covers 3 meals per day. (WATCH: Tatlong Araw)
The survey revealed that most families limit their spending on viands to make their food budget fit. Some borrow from sari-sari stores or cafeterias, while others admitted to eating irregularly.
More than half of the respondents get their food budget from regular jobs, while others claimed to depend on either loans or on the 4Ps cash grant.
149 out of the 221 respondents said that their family’s diet is diverse enough, consisting of meat, vegetables, and fish. The rest were either living off vegetables, canned goods, or rice alone due to budget constraints. (READ: Plenty of food, little nutrition)
The DSWD lauded the efforts of parents in trying to augment their budget. Some would take on sideline jobs for extra income, such as babysitting, sewing, and selling goods.
'Not a dole-out'
The DSWD observed that many of the families do not rely solely on 4Ps for survival.
A beneficiary family of 6 would have an estimated budget of P234 per family member, according to the DSWD. The department noted that this is "hardly enough to take care of all their needs, hence, the beneficiaries look for other sources of income."
“The beneficiaries cannot only depend on the cash grant to take care of all their needs, that is why there are skills training and livelihood programs offered to them so they can move from survival to self-sufficiency,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said in a press statement.
Soliman added that the survey results "disprove public perception that the program is a dole-out and leads to dependency."
Critics, however, believe otherwise.
In the larger picture, the latest National Nutrition Survey revealed that many Filipinos — regardless of being beneficiaries of government assistance programs or not — still suffer from undernutrition. — Rappler.com
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