BANGA, South Cotabato — Residents covered by the country’s anti-poverty program convened in this town Monday to celebrate family day   that highlighted the importance of family unity and togetherness.

Thousands have attended the event held at the municipal gymnasium here, according to Juliet Clavel, regional program coordinator of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

“In the context of social development, families should remain at the center whether in the conceptualization or implementation of policies and programs,” Clavel said.

Clavel said the challenge for every family in the region is to turn unattractive moments of family conflict into happy times.

“No amount of success could compensate our failure in our own families,” she cited.

Bai Zorahayda T. Taha, DSWD 12 regional director, said that activity aimed to strengthened “family unity and relationships, especially for those families who went through difficult times because of the series of disasters.”

“And it is important that there is adequate assistance provided for families, especially the poor, to strengthen them. That is why our government government, together with the local government units, are helping each other in the delivery of services,” Taha said.

Under its conditions, the program, also known as Conditional Cash Transfer,  allocates grants P500 to P1, 400 for each beneficiary household, depending on the number of eligible children. Each family is allowed a maximum of three children to receive the monthly benefits.

It calls children aged 3 to 18 to stay in school and maintain class attendance of at least 85 percent each month. Pregnant women are also required to avail pre- and post-natal care, and delivery must be assisted by skilled health personnel, while parents are mandatory to take “family development sessions” to enable them to become better parents. (End)