MAKILALA, North Cotabato, May 10 – Residents in and around this town have formed their own civic association to help each other in times of crisis.

The association, Makilala Pantawid Beneficiaries, specifically aims to help its members by providing emergency fund assistance to cover hospital bills and burial expenses.

Benilda Cortez, provincial link for Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in North Cotabato, said Wednesday that the field implementers and parent leaders organized the association of their clients in 2016.

“They civic group became a representing body of the Pantawid beneficiaries to the Local Government not only in availing of the programs and services but also in participation community activities,” Cortez said.

To become a member, a household member must pay an annual fee of Php 155.00 for a Php 500.00 emergency assistance.

“It’s only a small amount but for many, it helped them a lot especially in expenses incurred during hospital stay. The membership is renewed annually,” Cortez explained.

Around 1,800 households were already provided with such assistance.

“They have their own officers and a treasurer. Their operation is monitored by the local government as well the office of Social Welfare and Development,” Cortez said.

Aside from hospitalization fund, members can also avail of the funeral and burial assistance and can borrow
small amount of money with only minimal interest.

In Region 12, the CCT program that requires recipients to send children to public schools and mothers to regularly visit public health centers currently covers over 250,000 beneficiaries. (End)