The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) warned that derailment of peace negotiations in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will directly affect the children.
DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman said derailment would impede the gains that the government has achieved in the ARMM.
“In times of conflict, communities are displaced, schools and health services are discontinued, and food becomes inadequate because our programs and service through supplementary feeding will not be able to enter and will be disrupted therefore children will be the one that will directly suffer,” Soliman said.
She recalled that prior to the peace agreement, the DSWD had been providing service in the ARMM as a poverty alleviation strategy through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
According to Soliman, the biggest number of beneficiaries of 4Ps was in ARMM Region where 416,637 families have benefited from the 4Ps.
Of this number, at least 1,158,021 children were given the chance to go to school and be healthy so that they can finish high school.
“In Mamasapano alone, there are almost 3,000 families benefiting under the 4Ps program since 2009,” the DSWD chief added.
She said other services are being provided such as the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) that provide income opportunities and Social Pension Program for the indigent senior citizens, construction of day care centers, Modified Shelter Assistance Project, Emergency Shelter Assistance, Supplementary Feeding, and Cash-For-Work.
“Continued armed conflict would [reverse]the investments on the education and health of beneficiaries of 4Ps,” Soliman said.