4ps now ‘permanent’

Rodrigo Duterte

Law institutionalizing cash  doleouts for poor Filipinos takes effect on June 7

AN opposition lawmaker yesterday said that future Philippine presidents can no longer abandon the conditional cash doleouts for poor families under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

“With the law institutionalizing the 4Ps in place, the human capital development and anti-poverty program is now insulated from executive whim and assured of sustained funding,” said House Deputy Minority Leader and Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr.

The Act Institutionalizing the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program that President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte has signed into law becomes effective on June 7 after it was published in the Official Gazette on May 22.

“Had Congress not passed this new law, any future president could easily suspend, defer or even discard the program altogether for any reason whatsoever, including possible lack of funding,” said Campos.

Congress has set aside a total of P89.8 billion this year for the 4Ps, according to Campos, an ex-officio member of the House appropriations committee.

Campos said the money is allocated as follows: P82 billion in cash incentives, including rice subsidy, to 4.4 million qualified poverty-stricken household-beneficiaries; P4.5 billion for personnel services; P1.6 billion for cost of service; P509 million for bank service fees; P432 million for monitoring and evaluation/spot checks; P393 million in administrative expenses; and P111 million for trainings.

The 4Ps covers the following household-beneficiaries, as determined by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD): Families registered in the Pantawid Pamilya Information System; victims of natural and man-made disasters rendered homeless and with no means of livelihood; indigenous peoples in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas; homeless street families; and transitioning families under the 4Ps whose well-being have improved, but who may still be at high risk of falling back into survival as they insecurely live with little or no buffer against potential economic shocks.

Household-beneficiaries will continue to receive the cash benefits for up to seven years as long as they comply with the following requirements: pregnant women must avail themselves of pre-natal services, give birth in a facility attended by a skilled health professional, and receive post-partum and post-natal care for her newborn; children zero to five years old must receive preventive health and nutrition services, including check-ups and vaccination; children one to 14 years old must receive deworming pills at least once a year; children five to 18 years old must attend elementary or secondary classes at least 85 percent of their time; and at least one responsible person must attend family development sessions conducted by the DSWD once a month.