Team PNoy senatorial candidate Edgardo “Sonny” Angara today announced a proposed law that would institutionalize the more than P40 billion-a-year Conditional Cash Transfer, known in the Philippines as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), as one of his major poverty alleviation measures.
Angara said the 4Ps has been a major tool of the government in alleviating the plight of the poor and its effectiveness would be further enhanced by legislation. Angara, a veteran congressman from Aurora, was the author of many laws on social and educational legislation and economic reforms.
The 4Ps is a five- year human development program that invests in the health and education of poor households, particularly of children aged 0-14. Patterned after the CCT scheme implemented in other developing countries, the 4Ps provides cash grants to beneficiaries as long as they comply with the set of conditions required by the program.
The program, which is being implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, will end this year with a total of 3,843,502 beneficiaries in 79 provinces in all 17 regions nationwide as of January 9, 2013.
The World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the Australian Agency in International Development, all development partners of the DSWD, said in a recent report on the 4Ps that the subsidies received by the poor beneficiaries have been worthy investments . This year’s budget for 4Ps amounted to P44 billion.
Angara said that while his draft law would retain much of the current 4Ps features , other micro-finance initiatives at the grassroots level would be integrated into the progam to further boost the fund and enhance its effectiveness .
“What is envision under the draft CCT law is a strong partnership between the DSWD and local government units so that the needs of the impoverished grassroots could be truly and fully addressed,” Angara said.
Angara said that institution and capability building at the LGU level was important, thus the education and training of LGU leaders would be complementary to the institutionalization of the 4Ps.
He said the focus on education under the 4Ps was consistent with his educational agenda. He authored the Free Kindergarten Law and has filed several bills that seek to modernize Philippine education.#
PNoy to pour P300M to upgrade Region 1 Medical Center
By Venus H. Sarmiento, PIA 1, Pangasinan
DAGUPAN CITY, March 15 (PIA) — President Benigno S. Aquino III said government will infuse P300 million to construct the main building of the province’s medical center here.
Garbed in his signature yellow shirt, the President flew to this city Friday morning and opened the newly-built P23.9 million-emergency room complex of the Region 1 Medical Center. A marker was also unveiled as a tribute to the state-of-the-art medical facility.
The President said government is prioritizing the facility’s upgrading to provide more rooms for the sick and generate jobs for Pangasinenses noting that at least 166 nurses will be assigned to the center under the RN Heals program.
The P300 million additional fund will ensure that the medical facility can provide all the services that a modern hospital should offer.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa inyo sa patuloy na pakikibalikat ninyo sa agenda ng pag-unlad, (I thank the people of Pangasinan for supporting the government’s development agenda),” the President said.
He said the national government has provided P15 million to complete the rehabilitation of the ER complex under the 2013 Health Facilities Enhancement Program.
The construction of the structure was initially funded from the hospital’s income of P3.98 million; another P5 million from the General Appropriations Act 2010 was later given until the structure was completed.
Built in 1925, the R1MC is the oldest state-run hospital in northern Luzon, according to its website.
It was originally known as the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital with a 50-bed capacity. It was later renamed as Gov. Teofilo Sison Memorial Provincial Hospital in memory of the former governor who donated the building site.
The powerful July 1990 earthquake left the facility badly damaged prompting the government to undertake reconstruction and rehabilitation.
It was then upgraded into a 300-bed capacity medical center and started to officially operate as such in 1997 with the new name of Region 1 Medical Center.
The center also accommodates patients from Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and Zambales.
The ER facility was upgraded with modern diagnostic and therapeutic facilities, complemented with trained and experienced staff. It can accommodate 50 patients at a time.
The P23-million project boasts of a sectionalized clinical department, animal bite center, toxicology room, isolation room for highly infectious diseases, satellite laboratory, satellite radiology sections, two operating rooms, one delivery room, resuscitation and counseling rooms, ambulance bay, spacious lobby, modern equipment and instruments and a Health Emergency Management Staff (HEMS) Operations Center with office and multi-function room.
After the inauguration, the President motored to the CSI Stadia where local leaders and community folks were waiting for a consultation. #(MCA/VHS/PIA-1, Pangasinan)