MORONG, Bataan: Former Bases Conversion Development Authority chairman Felicito Payumo is urging the government to include all forest dwellers in its Pantawid Pamilya, a conditional cash transfer (CCT) program for poor families, but with specific assignment of helping guard the forests.
“The forest inhabitants are among the poorest of the poor in the country and they should be included in 4Ps but with the obligation to guard the forests or lose their monthly cash support,” said Payumo, who was also Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority chairman.
Under the 4Ps, the Department of Social Welfare and Development will give P1,300 a month per family broken down as follows: P500 for health, P300 for education of enrolled children from 3 to 14 years old and P500 for enrolled high school students from 15 to18 years old.
Parents are required to attend family development sessions, pregnant women must avail of pre- and post-natal care while children should get regular health check-ups and attend classes.
Payumo, chairman of Nueva Caceres University in Dinalupihan, Bataan, said the conditions should include proper care for the environment like requiring urban dwellers to clean esteros in their localities, coastal dwellers to look after their area and so on.
In the case of forest dwellers, Payumo said they should be required to look after the forests because government could not depend only on forest rangers whose numbers are not enough.
“Those enjoying the forests angunangsisigawsa degradation nito and should serve as watchdogs,” the former congressman of Bataan said.
Payumo was guest on an environmental summit where he discussed the protection of the Bataan National Park which he described as the life support system of the Subic Bay Freeport and Bataan.