TINGOG party-list is seeking a “timely, targeted, and transitional” scheme for the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), saying this is the best way to improve the lives of the beneficiaries.
Philip Jude Acidre, the second nominee of Tingog, said that one of their legislative agenda is to institutionalize the 4Ps of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to ensure that the cycle of intergenerational poverty will be totally stopped.
“How can the CCT be effective when it is delayed? It should be given to the beneficiaries every month and not every quarter,” said Acidre.
He said that government should maximize the postal offices across the country to deliver the check or the cash every month to free the beneficiaries from spending long queues at the banks.
Acidre added that CCT should be given to those who need it most, at the same time increase the amount of the cash transfer.
“We’re giving too little amount and we try to spread it too wide to accommodate everyone. In the end, what we got is a small and delayed amount of money for the already poor beneficiaries. But in Latin
American countries like Brazil and Mexico, where this conditional cash transfer program came from, the beneficiaries received their cash every month and the amount is equivalent to a minimum wage,” Acidre said.
According to Acidre, the government should invest more on 4Ps and work double time to end the economic woes of the beneficiaries.
“Poverty is exponential. If we cannot resolve it fast, the children and even the children’s future families will suffer the most. They will become poorer than their parents if we will not come up with a better intervention. This is the reason why we are committed for the institutionalizing of 4Ps so it will become a stronger anti-poverty program of the government,” said Acidre.
Meanwhile, Acidre said that the public should not forget that the cash transfer is “conditional” in its term and should mean transitionary.
“One cannot be a 4Ps beneficiary forever. Ideally, one should also ‘graduate’ as 4Ps beneficiary. Thus, there has to be a transition plan. We need strong community support on this. There has to be a market along the way to accommodate those who finish in this program.
If 4Ps beneficiaries will be able to send their children to school, finish their studies, and get a better job, then it would be now easy for them to move into the middle class,” said the Tingog nominee.
“If we invest more, then more children will be able to avail better social services like health, education, and job opportunities,” Acidre added.
As of November 2018, a total of 4,876,123 poor families have benefitted from the government’s 4Ps since its start in 2008.(RPP)