MALATE, Manila City – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) MIMAROPA conducted unconventional graduation ceremonies for the exiting beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in the region.

Due to the current situation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the different Pantawid Pamilya Municipal Operations Offices (MOOs) in Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, and Romblon have explored different forms of graduation ceremonies organized for the said beneficiaries.

In Oriental Mindoro, instead of conducting in an auditorium or a basketball court, the Pantawid Pamilya MOO staff mounted a mini-stage inside a delivery truck and roamed around the different barangays within the municipality. The truck carried grocery items and supplies donated by the program partners.

Dahil po sa ipinagbawal ang mass gathering kaya nakapag-isip [kami] ng mga kakaibang graduation ceremony”, said Rama Villacastin, Social Welfare Officer of Pantawid Pamilya Provincial Operations Office (POO) in Oriental Mindoro.

On the other hand, in the province of Palawan, the Pantawid Pamilya MOO staff arranged a graduation by the beach, house-to-house, and an island hopping-like ceremony.

According to Faith Crispino, Social Welfare Officer of Pantawid Pamilya POO in Palawan, they have decided to conduct these kinds of ceremonies to adhere to the local IATF regulations that prohibit mass gatherings but at the same time will be able to acknowledge efforts of the beneficiaries in breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty within their household.

Crispino also added that they also do not want the beneficiaries to spend money on the transportation going to the venue of the event which usually takes place in the city proper.

Based on the Pantawid Pamilya Law (RA 1130), a beneficiary shall exit and graduate from the program once no more child is available for monitoring or state of well-being is already at level 3 or self-sufficient in terms of social and economic aspects.

The graduation ceremonies were mounted to acknowledge the efforts of more than 5,000 beneficiaries who will exit from the program as well as to officially hand over the case folders of the said beneficiaries to the local government unit who will now continue the efforts in improving their well-being. ###

Graduation Ceremonies:

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