4Ps Success Story: Program Empowers Family in Misamis Occidental

As the flagship poverty alleviation program of the Philippine government, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, which is moe popularly known as “4Ps,” provides different types of interventions. These include financial assistance through conditional cash transfers (CCT), as well as capability building in the form of Family Development Sessions (FDS) and other activities.

Together, these interventions can transform the lives of 4Ps beneficiaries. Indeed, the program is not just a big help to individuals, but to entire families. Among them is the Bermil family, who come from Sinacaban town in Misamis Occidental Province. Let’s get to know more about them in this inspiring 4Ps success story!

4Ps Success Story Family Misamis Occidental
Elsie and Dante Bermil, 4Ps beneficiaries, wrap “suman malagkit” (steamed rice cakes) in banana leaves before delivering it to their retail outlets.
Image Credit: fo10.dswd.gov.ph

Life Before Joining the 4Ps

The story of the Bermil family was previously featured in a post by Field Office 10 – Northern Mindanao of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

About 13 years ago, the Bermil family — parents Elsie and Dante, children Dave, Dove, and Destiny — struggled to make ends meet. As farm tenants and sellers of local delicacies, their income was minimal and unstable. It was difficult for them to meet day-to-day expenses.

Despite their situation, the family was determined to find additional sources of income and improve their financial status.

From Lessons to Outcomes

Eventually, the Bermil family became a beneficiary of the 4Ps program. They began to attend monthly Family Develop Sessions (FDS) and applied lessons and insights regarding family roles, children’s rights, parenting, financial literacy, disaster preparedness, and more.

The mother, Elsie, also joined the DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). By doing so, she was able to borrow seed capital and expand her kakanin (steamed rice cake) business. These days, her food products are among the most popular in Sinacaban town!

In addition, the family ventured into swine raising, which provided them with an additional source of income.

Improved Financial Status

Today, the financial status of the Bermil family has greatly improved. Aside from becoming an SLP participant, Elsie has gained skills in bread and pastry making, further boosting her capacity in doing business.

Meanwhile, her husband, Dante, who used to work under the “Trabahong Lansangan” program of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), is now a foreman for a private construction firm.

Together, Elsie and Dante are able to provide a stable income for their family — thanks to the financial assistance and valuable skills that they gained through the 4Ps program.

Value of Education

As for their three children — Dave, Dove, and Destiny are diligent in their studies. Dave, the eldest, has completed his college education. Today, he is working and helping to support the family financially.

Dove, the second child, is taking up a degree in Accountancy at Mindanao State University General Santos. The youngest, Destiny, is in Grade 8 and a consistent honor student.

Without a doubt, these children have a bright future ahead of them!

4Ps Success Story Family Misamis Occidental
The Bermil family’s “suman malagkit” (steamed rice cakes) is among the most popular delicacies in their hometown of Sinacaban, Misamis Oriental.
Image Credit: fo10.dswd.gov.ph

Contributing to the Community

The 4Ps program puts emphasis on community participation, and the Bermil family has certainly been doing their part. Together with other member-beneficiaries, they participate in community assemblies, clean-up drives, and other activities.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Elsie served as a Barangay Health Worker (BHW). She helped monitor the health conditions of people who were coming into town. She identified and reported people’s symptoms, thus contributing to the overall health of their community.

Moreover, Elsie is a parent leader in Poblacion; she sets a good example by being a positive role model within the 4Ps community.

Life-Changing Impact

Since joining the program 13 years ago, the Bermil family has definitely come a long way. A more stable income, children who study hard, community participation — all of these are indicators of a family that has been empowered and transformed!

“The 4Ps program indeed has a big impact on our family because the programs help improve our living conditions,” Elsie shared.

Today, the Bermil family continues to pray for and encourage their children to succeed. They also remain committed to making positive contributions to their community.

About the 4Ps Program

As you may recall, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program — more popularly known as “4Ps” — is a government program that targets “the poorest of the poor.” Its beneficiaries are low-income, impoverished Filipino families, particularly those with children ages 0 to 18 years old.

The program provides a package of benefits, including: educational assistance, health assistance, rice subsidy, health insurance, and prioritization in government projects. Let’s take a closer look at each one:

Educational Assistance. For every month of the school year (10 months), beneficiaries receive PHP 300 a for each day-care and elementary student, PHP 500 per month for each junior high school student, and PHP 700 a month for each senior high school student.

Health Assistance. Every month, the family receives a financial grant worth PHP 750 for health-related expenses.

Rice Subsidy. This benefit amounts to PHP 600.

Health Insurance. 4Ps beneficiaries automatically get insurance coverage under the government’s PhilHealth program.

Priority in Projects. 4Ps beneficiaries are given priority in projects and programs like the DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) and other government initiatives.

Educational, health, and other financial grants are disbursed to 4Ps beneficiaries through LandBank ATM cards. In case the bank is not available in an area, other methods such as rural bank transactions or Gcash are considered. (NOTE: Check out this list of LandBank servicing branches where beneficiaries can receive their payouts).

Final Thoughts

Since its inception, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps has helped numerous families and transformed their lives. Many of their children are now successful in their careers and contributing not just to their families, but to their hometowns or communities.

We hope that you have been inspired by the story of the Bermil family! Meanwhile, here’s another story that you should read: how the 4Ps program was able to help a solo parent and her family!