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UNIVERSITY OF THE pmLIPPINES

Master of Arts in Women and Development Studies

Rowena Aygue Laguilles


The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps):
Towards Women's Empowerment or Further Entrapment?
Voices of Beneficiaries in Legazpi City

Thes'Adviser:

College

}~J1~ll~~o, Ph.D.

ofSoci:lu~ork anl Community Development


University of the Philippines Diliman

ThesisReader:
Nathalie Lourdes A. Verceles
College of Social Work and Community Development
University of the Philippines Dillman

Date of Submission
April 10, 2012

Permission is given for the following people to have access to this thesis:
A vailable to the generalpublic
No
Available only after consultation with author/thesis adviser
A vailable only to those bound by confidentiality agreement
Student's signature:
Signature of thesis adviser:

Yes

No

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COLLEGE OF SOCIAL WORK AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT


University of the Philippines
Dillman, Quezon City 1101 Philippines

ACCEPTANCE SHEET

This thesis, entitled "The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps): Towards
Women's Empowerment or Further Entrapment? (Voices of Beneficiaries in Legazpi
City)" submitted by Rowena A. Laguilles in partial fulfillment ofthe requirements for the
degree of Master of Arts in Women and Development Studies, is hereby accepted.

~~.(~.:wALO' Ph.D.
Thesis Adviser

Accepted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in
Women and DevelopmentStudies.

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~ f) ;?.. UL.J-.!2
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V' ~

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.

ROSALINDA PINEDA- FRENEO, Ph.D.


Dean
Collegeof Social Work and Community Development
Universityof the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City

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COLLEGE OF SOCl.U WORK A.ND COMMTJNITY DEVELOPMENT
University oftbe Philippines
Dillman, Quezon City 1101 Philippines

ENDORSEMENT
DR. ROSALINDA PINEDA-OFRENEO
Dean
Collegeof SocialWork and Community Development
University of the Philippines Diliman
Quezon City, Philippines

Dear Dean Ofreneo,


I am pleased to endorse for your approval the thesis of
ROWENA AYQUE
LAGUILLES entitled "The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps): Towards Women's
Empowerment or Further Entrapment? (Voices of Beneficiaries in Legazpi City)."
Ms. Laguilles' thesis, through its examination of the official documents related to the
government's Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and more significantly through
the experiences and testimonies of mother beneficiaries of the program, shows the failure
of the 4Ps to take into account the gender-specific poverty situation of the mothers.
Consequently, while the mothers welcome the limited financial assistance extended by the
4Ps, the program does not radically alter their impoverished situation. And far from
empowering women, the program conditionalities and the responsibilities demanded from
the mother-beneficiaries, without any explicit expectations from the fathers, reinforce the
traditional gender roles in the household.
This thesis provides empirical data and a feminist analysis of the viability and
effectiveness, or the lack of it, of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program as it affects poor
Filipino women.

i~~~{~~
Thesis Adviser
April 2, 2012

Ph.D.

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COLLEGE OF SOCIAL WORK AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT


University of the Philippines
Dillman, Quezon City 1101 Philippines

APPROVAL SHEET
We recommend the approval of the thesis of ROWENA A. LAGUILLES entitled "The

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps): Towards Women's Empowerment or


Further Entrapment? (Voices of Beneficiaries in Legazpi City)" for the degree of Master
of Arts in Women and Development Studies.

Truly yours,

Nathalie Lourdes A. Vereeles


Reader/ Critic

Curriculum Vitae
Name: Rowena Ayque Laguilles

Permanent Address: 107 Marquez St., Brgy. 14, Legazpi City, Albay
Degree and Date Conferred: M.A. in Women and Development Studies, April 2012
Date of Birth: January 7, 1984
Place of Birth: Daraga, Albay
Secondary Education: Sto. Nifio Institute of Science and Technology, Quezon City
Collegiate Institutions Attended:
University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. Master of Arts in Women and
Development Studies, April 2012
University of the Philippines, Dillman, Quezon City. Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics,
April 2005

Professional Positions Held:


Freelance Writer/Researcher at the EHB BPO, Inc. in Legazpi City since March 2005
Instructor at the STT College in Legazpi City from June 2005 to March 2006

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Acknowledgment
This thesis would not have been possible without the participation ofmother
beneficiariesfrom Legazpi City who let me in their lives and trusted me enough to take an
initial step in letting their voices be heard. Thank you also to Joy who walked with me

through the field site, rain or shine.


My sincerest thanks are due to my adviser Ma'am Judy, and the members of my thesis

panel Ma'am Natsy, Ma'am Marivic and Ma'am Jojo for sharing their brilliance and guiding
me through the thesis-writing. I thank my thesis adviser Ma'am Ju.dy most of all for making

me feel I could do this.


Thank you to my WD professors - Ma'am Inday, Ma'am Dazzle, Ma'am Guy, Ma'am
Titanne and again Ma'am Judy and Ma'am Natsy - most of all for showing how academic
excellence should always be married to fighting against women's oppression in its many
dimensions.

Thank you to my WD sisters for the support many times over in class and beyond.
Thank you to my family and friends for the moral support, Special thanks to Ate Lyn
and Ate Lal for helping me out with many ofthe technical aspects ofthesis writing despite
their busy lives as homemakers and academicians; and Ate Nel and Nathan for letting me
stay in their home as I jou.rneyed my way through my graduate studies and finished. my
thesis.
Thank you to Mama and Papa, for always believing in me.

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Dedication

Para ini kay Mama saka kay Papa.

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Abstract
The main objective ofthis study is to analyze the significance ofthe Pantawid
PamilyangPilipino Program, the Conditional Cash Transfer program ofthe Philippines, as a
development program in the lives of its mother beneficiaries who are situated in a gender-

specific poverty context through a privileging ofthe mother beneficiaries' own voices. In
particular, this study looks into 1) how the program contextualizesmother beneficiaries; 2)
the gender-specific poverty context of mother beneficiaries; and 3) the views and experiences
ofmother beneficiaries und.er the program.
To achieve the aim ofthe study, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is first
separately analyzed as a developmentpolicy for which an examinationofPantawid
Pamilyang Pilipino Program documents and related policy documents is conducted. Then, in
determiningthe local context of mother beneficiaries'lives, 10 mother beneficiaries are
engaged in separate in-depth interviews. Finally, the mother beneficiaries' views on and.
experienceswith the program are sought through two focus group discussions, each with six
participants. The present study focuses on indicators identified by previous literature on the
ConditionalCash Transfer programs and based on the Gender and Development framework.
This study has found that consistent with previous studies' findings on Conditional
Cash Transfer programs, the Pantawid. Pamilyang Pilipino Program keeps mother
beneficiariesin their impoverished situationsas it treats them only as women defmed by their
traditional role as mothers. While the program offers reliefto mother beneficiaries through
the additional although limited cash for meeting household expenses, it does nothing to

improvetheir material condition as the program neglects the factors that cause this, which
are the inaccessibilityof goods and. services and the absence of stable income-earning

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occupations. This relief also comes at a price, as it reinforces women's subordinate position
within the household. It recreates the dynamics of their subordinate social position as it tasks
women to receiving, budgeting, and spending the family resources without consideration for
their own personal needs; obliges women to stretch their own resources in order to do all that
is required of them for the sake oftheir family's daily survival; and it further pushes them to
restricting themselves and their involvements to the household. On top of these, the
technical problems women experience within the program create in them feelings of
helplessness, fear, and. resignation to neglect, which further disempower them.

In place ofthe Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, the views and experiences of
mother beneficiaries surface a demand for a more comprehensive approach to addressing
poverty and ensuring development. One, access to goods and services must be secured. This
demands that the prices of basic commodities be affordable and that adequate social and
utility services must be in place. Two, there must be opportunities for them to improve and
make full use oftheir capabilities. This would include jobs, fmancial assistance and technical
support for small entrepreneurs, and education and training services for women as well as
men. Three, there needs to be active sensitization of men in the community regarding gender
issues, which could be achieved through barangay-Ievel gender sensitivity trainings. Four,
there needs to be support, financial and otherwise, for the women to organize themselves that
will enable them to further identify, analyze, and seek solutions to the gender needs and
interests that they have. A genuine women's organization will also make consultations with
policy makers possible and effective. Finally, a comprehensive national policy that would
enable women living in poverty to experience motherhood as a choice rather than a forced
occupation, such as the pend-ing Reproductive Health Bill, must be implemented.

Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1: Background ofthe Study

1.1.

Introduction

1.1.1.

Women and Poverty: The Philippine Context

1.1.2.

An Overview of the 4Ps

4
6
15

1.2.

Statementof'the Problem

1-8.

1.3.

Research Objectives

19

1.4.

Research Questions

19

1.5.

Scope and- Limitation

2..().

CHAPTER 2: Review ofRelated Literature and Conceptual Framework


2.1

Review ofRelated Literature

22
22

2.1.1.

CCTs As Mere ReliefMeasure Rather Than- Poverty R-eduction Program

22

2.1.2.

Instrumentalizing Mothers: Maternalism in CCTs

24

2.1.3.

CCTs and Women: Gender Issues Surfaced

26

2.2.

Conceptual Framework

32

2.3.

Definition of Concepts

36

CHAPTER 3: Research Methodology

39

3.1.

Data Gathering Methods

-40.

3.2.

Research Sample

41

2
3.3.

Participants of the Research

43

3.4.

Ethical Considerations

45

.CHAPTER 4: Presentation of Data


4.1.

The Contextualization of Women Living in Poverty by the 4Ps

47
47

4.1.1.

Poverty Is a Household Phenomenon

47

4,.1.2.

Women, Are Secondary and Subservient to the Needs o-f the Househo-ld

49

4.1.3.

Women Are Involved So Long As They Are Beneficial to the Program

52

4.2.

The Everyday Lived Realities of Mother Beneficiaries

54

4.2.1.

Material Situation

56

4.2.2.

Household Dynamics

68

4.2.3.

Personal Autonomy

71

4.3-.

Mother Beneficiaries' Views and Experiences in the 4Ps

75

4.3.1.

Lowered Expectations

76

4.3.2.

.Anything for the Family

77

4.3.3.

Better than Nothing

8-1

4.3.4.

The Family Needs the Extra Money

85

4.3.5.

Looking for Sustainability, Comprehensiveness and Accomplishment

86

CHAPl'ER 5: Analysis-ofFindings5.1.

A Palliative to Women's Practical Gender Needs

9092

3
5.2.

Capitalizing on Women's Subordinate Position

94

5.2.1.

Promoting Gender Inequality

94

5.2.2.

Women are Mothers Only

97

CHAPTER 6: Conclusions and Recommendations

103

References

107

Appendices.;

11-6

A. Transcript of In-Depth Interviews

116

B. Transcript of Focus Group Discussions

161