To take care of a bedridden husband and to support three children, 46 year-old Amelita Vidal, a person with disability, had to forget her own handicap to earn a living.
Every morning, despite her difficulty to walk, Amelita and her eldest daughter roam around Barangay Daliao in Toril, Davao City, where they live, to buy recyclable plastics and scrap pieces of iron. They sell these to the nearby junk shop and earn P250 during lucky days. After lunch, Amelita sells cigarettes and candies along the sidewalk. In between, she goes home to check on his husband who is a stroke-victim.
Despite this daily grind in her life, Amelita still keeps a positive outlook and continues to hope that one day her family’s condition will also improve.
Amelita was right, after all. She found a renewed sense of hope upon learning that her family was included as beneficiary of the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
“Dako kaayo ang akong pasalamat kay dako kaayo ang matabang sa MCCT sa amoang pamilya. Kini pa gyud and unang higayon nga nahiapil mi og programa gikan sa gobyerno (MCCT is a huge help to our family. This is the first time that I became a beneficiary of a government program),” Amelita said.
MCCT for families in need of special protection
The MCCT is a prototype of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, the country’s Conditional Cash Transfer program.
“The MCCT assists families with special needs to overcome their present difficult situation through the provision of 300 pesos educational cash grant per month per child and 500 pesos health cash grant for the family. We can also eventually mainstream them into the regular Pantawid Pamilya program,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said.
The MCCT was implemented in 2012 targeting families in need of special protection such as those with children with disabilities, child-laborers, street/homeless families, indigenous peoples, migrants, and displaced families due to man-made and natural disasters.
Families with three children 0 to 14 years old are qualified for the program.
Like in Pantawid Pamilya, beneficiaries of MCCT will receive cash grants provided they comply with the following conditionalities such as weekly attendance to Family Development Sessions (FDS) for the first two months and once a month attendance to FDS for the succeeding months. The children must attend an alternative mode of learning or formal schools, and visit health centers.
Likewise, the family must reside in a permanent home after six months of social preparation.
Nationwide, there are 94,489 families registered in the MCCT as of June 2013. ###