TO SERVE AS TEACHERS. Parent-leaders (PL) of Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) undergo a series of training to equip them with skills in handling the family development sessions (FDS). The West Visayas State University (WVSU)–Lambunao campus under its 'WVSU-Helps for 4Ps' project develops the 'PL na, Teacher Pa' module where parent-leaders are trained to become teachers to handle their FDS. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Jaime G. Latoza)
ILOILO CITY – They are not just parent-leaders (PL) but they will also serve as teachers handling and facilitating family development sessions (FDS) for members of the government’s Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps).
This was the idea behind the “PL na, Teacher Pa” module conceptualized by the West Visayas State University (WVSU) – Lambunao campus under its “WVSU-Helps for 4Ps” project.
“Helps for 4Ps is an engagement of WVSU with the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) in response specifically to the conduct of family development sessions,” said Dr. Jaime G. Latoza, head of the Planning and Development Office, in an interview on Thursday.
Latoza, also the program leader of the WVSU-Helps, said the university through its extension and training office has been involved in the delivery of the FDS.
However, they noticed that one of the challenges was that the town has only seven municipal links (ML) and three local government unit links who handle the FDS for the more than 3,000 members enrolled with the 4Ps in Lambunao’s 73 barangays. There are also a limited number of civil society organizations (CSOs) that get involved in the FDS.
“We come up with an idea to have a training to enhance the capability of parent leaders because we see the potential in them and found it useful in the delivery of family development sessions,” Latoza added.
As of March this year, the WVSU-Helps for 4Ps trained 120 parent leaders and 20 CSOs. They had their first FDS with 4Ps members in April.
They will be closely monitored by the MLs and WVSU research and extension office for seven months, after which they will be considered graduates.
“This is the first in Western Visayas and in the Philippines. I was told that DSWD is actually targeting to develop a module to train parent leaders to facilitate the FDS this year. They still have no mechanism to do that,” Latoza said.
Along with the “PL na, Teacher pa” module, the WVSU has developed topics for the FDS that the parents have crafted based on their needs assessment.
“The topics were approved by the region (DSWD). This is what is unique in Lambunao because the topics that we are using are prepared by the parent leaders,” Latoza said.
He said the topics focus on elections, disaster preparedness, education, community involvement, climate change, facing life’s challenges and tips on strengthening families.
“The effect is good because the approach is not highly technical, it is more community-based such that parents understand each other. There is no gap between the facilitator and the community,” he said.
Latoza hopes that the initiative will be sustained and the parent-leaders on their own can already handle the sessions themselves.
He said the next plan is to have the parent leaders handle the FDS of other barangays and not just limit their exposure in barangays where they reside.
The initiative is very timely especially that the 4Ps has been institutionalized, Latoza said.
“It is important that we deliver the FDS well because it is one important tool of the 4Ps to achieve its objectives. If we strengthen families, then 4Ps will have a good result,” he said.
FDS is one of the requirements for 4Ps members to continue receiving their grant.
The other requirements should be for school-age children to be in school and availment of health services in the government’s health facility. (PNA)