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From 4Ps Beneficiary to Licensed Engineer: Shemiah Pineda’s Inspiring Journey

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Overcoming Adversities and Achieving Dreams Through Determination and Support

Shemiah M. Pineda, a 23-year-old 4Ps Beneficiary from San Jose, Occidental Mindoro resident, has emerged as a shining example of resilience and determination. Having recently passed the 2023 Civil Engineer Licensure Examinations (CELE), she has not only achieved her long-cherished dream of becoming a civil engineer but has also become a beacon of hope for others facing similar challenges.

Raised by her mother, Prescy, after their father left them when they were young, Shemiah and her two siblings found themselves in a difficult situation. However, their lives took a positive turn when they became beneficiaries of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in 2013.

Through the 4Ps stipend, Shemiah’s mother was able to provide for their daily expenses. She worked tirelessly in Manila to support her children’s education and cared for their grandparents’ medical needs. The 4Ps were crucial in alleviating their financial burdens and ensuring a brighter future.

Shemiah’s accomplishments did not stop there. In addition to passing the licensure examinations, she was recognized as the 2013 Pantawid Pamilya National Exemplary Child winner. This honor opened up numerous opportunities for her, including becoming the voice of the youth and child representative for their barangay and municipality of San Jose.

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Expressing her gratitude to the DSWD for their support, Shemiah said, “I achieved many things because of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. Thank you so much. Your 2013 National Exemplary Child is now an engineer.” Her journey is a testament to the transformative power of determination and a helping hand.

When asked about her message to other 4Ps-monitored children, Shemiah responded with optimism and encouragement. “Don’t give up until we reach our goals,” she exclaimed. “No dream is impossible as long as you keep going. Each step counts, and every effort counts. So long as we make way for what we want to happen, nothing is impossible.”

The DSWD 4-B (Mimaropa) and the 4Ps program, led by Undersecretary Vilma Cabrera, take immense pride in Shemiah’s achievements. They express their hope that she will continue to make a positive impact on her family and community, serving as an inspiration for others to overcome their circumstances and pursue their dreams.

Shemiah’s success story is not an isolated case. Another 4Ps beneficiary, Engineer Alexis Castillo Alegado of Paoay, Ilocos Norte, has also been making headlines for topping the 2023 CELE with a remarkable score of 92.10 percent. These achievements highlight the immense potential and talent that can be nurtured when individuals are given the support and resources they need.

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The 4Ps program, a flagship initiative of the Philippine government for poverty reduction and social development, has been instrumental in improving the lives of countless families across the country. By providing cash grants to extremely poor households, particularly those with children aged 0-14, the program invests in human capital and aims to break the inter-generational cycle of poverty.

As of December 31, 2022, the program has benefited 3,798,151 active household beneficiaries in 41,676 barangays nationwide. In January, the DSWD announced that it had released over PHP9 billion in financial assistance to 4Ps beneficiaries.

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty: Understanding the 4Ps Program in the Philippines

In the fight against poverty, the Philippine government has implemented the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), a flagship initiative aimed at uplifting the lives of the most vulnerable families in the country. This comprehensive social welfare program provides cash grants to extremely poor households, focusing on improving health, nutrition, and education for children aged 0-14. Let’s delve deeper into the 4Ps program and understand its significance in breaking the inter-generational cycle of poverty.


The primary goal of the 4Ps Beneficiary program is to alleviate poverty by investing in human capital. It recognizes that families struggling with extreme poverty often lack access to adequate healthcare, proper nutrition, and quality education. By providing targeted financial assistance, the program aims to empower beneficiaries and equip them with the necessary resources to overcome their circumstances.


The 4Ps program consists of four significant components, represented by the four “P’s”:

a. Pantawid:

The program provides conditional cash transfers to eligible households. These cash grants are given regularly and are intended to supplement the beneficiaries’ income, helping them meet their basic needs.

b. Pamilya:

The program strengthens family ties and promotes responsible parenthood. Beneficiaries are encouraged to actively participate in family development sessions, where they learn essential life skills, parenting techniques, and values formation.

c. Pilipino:

The program recognizes the value of education in breaking the cycle of poverty. Cash grants are tied to the children’s school attendance, ensuring that they receive a quality education and have the opportunity to improve their prospects.

d. Programa:

The 4Ps program operates within a comprehensive framework that involves rigorous monitoring, evaluation, and coordination. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) oversees the program’s implementation, ensuring transparency, accountability, and efficient delivery of services.


The 4Ps program has profoundly impacted millions of Filipino families. It has improved access to healthcare services, increased school enrollment and attendance rates, reduced child labor, and enhanced nutrition outcomes. By investing in human capital and empowering beneficiaries, the program creates opportunities for upward social mobility, breaking the inter-generational cycle of poverty.

Final Thoughts

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is a significant step towards addressing poverty in the Philippines. By providing financial assistance and promoting education, health, and responsible parenthood, the program empowers vulnerable households and equips them with the tools to improve their lives. As the 4Ps program continues to expand and evolve, it offers hope for a brighter future where every Filipino family can thrive and contribute to the nation’s development.

Read more: Debunking 6 Common Misconceptions About Teachers in the Philippines


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