Issue of June 2, 2019
     
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10,000 Pantawid students in Cordillera drop out of school
by Hanna C. Lacsmana

More than 10,000 children in the Cordillera who belong to families that are beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program have dropped out of school based on the monitoring of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

DSWD-Cordillera Pantawid program coordinator Fatima Florendo said 10,657 children under the Pantawid program have been monitored to have stopped going to classes starting from the middle of the school year up to February this year for various reasons.

Florendo said most of these children dropped out due to peer pressure, lack or loss of interest in school, while the others were either sickly or have illness.

Ifugao has the most number of dropouts with 2,200, followed by Benguet with 2,170; Abra with 1,716; Kalinga with 1,583; Apayao with 1,437; Mountain Province with 821; and Baguio City with 730.

Florendo said they are coordinating with the Department of Education in devising strategies to manage such cases.

After monitoring the school children, she said case managers in the municipalities have started visiting each child in their home to talk to them and their parents to discuss why they stopped and to encourage them to go back to school.

“Under the Pantawid program, the focus is keeping the children (of recipients) in school and staying healthy,” Florendo said.

Pantawid household beneficiaries receive two types of cash grants: a P500 health grant per household every month, or a total of P6,000 every year; and P300 education grant per child every month for 10 months, or a total of P3,000 every year. A household may register a maximum of three children for the program.

A household with three children may receive P1,400 every month, or a total of P15,000 every year for five years.

Among other conditions, children-beneficiaries three to 18 years old must enroll in school and maintain an attendance of at least 85 percent of class days every month.


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