Feasibility Trial of the Masayang Pamilya para sa Batang Pilipino Program Chat (MaPaChat) Revised Programme

  Valenzuela City, National Capital Region, Philippines
  February to July 2023
Award Recipient(s) Bernice Vania L. Mamauag, (Research Director, Parenting for Lifelong Health Philippines, and Assistant Professor, University of the Philippines Visayas)
Partners Jennel C. Reyes (Program Director, Parenting for Lifelong Health Philippines) and Dr. Liane Peña Alampay (Professor, Ateneo de Manila University)


In 2021, PLH adapted the PLH Kids and Teens programmes into a digital parenting support group. In the Philippines, the adapted programme was called Masayang Pamilya para sa Batang Pilipino Chat Program (MaPaChat) and was delivered via Viber in a feasibility trial with a small number of caregivers (N = 40). MaPaChat underwent a round of revisions and translations in 2022 based on feedback from caregivers, facilitators, and programme supervisors.

We will be testing the revised MaPaChat Programme in keeping with literature that recommends the systematic documentation and testing of revisions of technology-based programmes. This is important in the context of MaPaChat because its delivery and supervision will, for the first time, be carried out by trained community-based service providers. Using a pre-post design, our primary aim is to evaluate at immediate post-test the effects of MaPaChat Revised Programme on the physical and emotional abuse, positive and playful parenting, and parenting stress.


This trial informs efforts to continue to scale the Masayang Pamilya para sa Batang Pilipino Program (Happy Families for the Filipino Child Program). Due to low implementation costs, MaPaChat appears to be the version of MaPa that is most scalable and sustainable. Moreover, the results will potentially strengthen Valenzuela City’s decision to integrate MaPa into the programmes of their City Social Welfare and Development Office. This, in turn, will serve as model on the delivery of evidence-based, contextually relevant interventions for other local government units in the Philippines.

How does this tie in with the GPI's overall goals?

Valenzuela City was declared as the first Pathfinding City in the world in 2018 because of the local government’s commitment to implement evidence-based programmes to end violence against children (VAC). The facilitators who delivered MaPaChat in Valenzuela City in 2021 are now supervising the new set of trained community-based facilitators. This fortifies the human resources of the city for broader and more sustainable delivery of evidence-based, accessible, and playful parenting assistance to caregivers to end VAC and family violence in the years to come. Hence, this project is in line with GPI’s goals and values of providing support to all parents and caregivers, everywhere, in ways that are scalable and sustainable in the local context.

What comes next?

This feasibility study will inform PLH Philippines’ planned trial of the Masayang Pamilya Teens Programme (MaPaTeens) which will be delivered in hybrid format that includes in-person and digital sessions for Filipino adolescents and their caregivers. Funded by UNICEF Philippines and the Ateneo de Manila University’s University Research and Creative Work Grant, the planned trials will be carried out in two regions in the Philippines.