How Social Science Shapes Lives

Government policies should ideally be based on scientific studies conducted on real life social issues and problems. Given the limited resources, conducting a study before implementing a policy or a project will minimize or even prevent wastage. A scientific study will reveal the necessity of the project, the number of beneficiaries expected to gain from the project, and may even provide possiby more cost-effective alternatives. In addressing poverty for instance, the government came up with Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Progam or 4Ps. This was formerly known as the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program started under the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The program aims to break the cycle of poverty by providing immediate monetary assistance to the poorest of the poor in the short term and investing in human capital, like nutrition and education, in the long term. The program should not be construed as a mere dole-out since it is designed to induce socially responsible behavior from its beneficiaries through the conditions that it sets in the contracts. Conditions are set among its beneficiaries before financial assistance is given. Eligible households are given 500 pesos a month for health and nutrition while 300 pesos per month per child is given as educational assistance. A household can enroll a maximum of 3 children under the educational assistance program.

Some of the conditions to the 4Ps are mentioned in the World Bank website:

Other applications of the social sciences in the conduct of the people’s daily life include

    • Framing of legislative policies in relation to political and social issues of class, gender, and power
    • Recommendations on changes on environmental use with respect to geography studies on climate change
    • Preservation of cultural diversity and respect for traditions in this period of globalization
    • Exchange of culture and ideas in the macrolevel and breakdown of families in the microlevel as a result of economic migration by Filipino workers
    • Infrastructural changes resulting from population studies