Bill institutionalizing 4Ps hurdles House

MANILAThe House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on third and final reading a measure institutionalizing the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) to reduce poverty and promote human capital development.

The lower chamber passed House Bill 7773, or the proposed "Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Act" with 196 affirmative votes, 6 negative votes, and zero abstention.

The 4Ps is the national poverty reduction strategy that provides conditional cash transfer to poor households for a maximum of five years to improve their health, nutrition, and education.

The bill provides each qualified household beneficiary a conditional cash transfer equivalent to PHP2,200 per month for health and education expenses of a maximum of three children, totaling PHP26,400 per year.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) shall be mandated to choose qualified household beneficiaries using a standardized targeting system and revalidate the targeting of beneficiaries every three years.

The DSWD is also mandated to provide beneficiaries with direct and secured access to cash grants through any number of authorized government depository banks (AGDBs).

For localities not adequately served by and ADGB, the DSWD may contract the services of rural banks, thrift banks, cooperative banks, and institutions engaged in money remittances.

The 4Ps bill provides a set of conditions that beneficiaries must comply with. These include the following requirements:

Children zero to five years old must receive regular preventive health check-ups and vaccinations;

Children one to eighteen years old must avail of de-worming pills at least twice a year;

Children three to four years old must attend day care or pre-school classes at least 85 percent of the time;

Children five to eighteen years old must attend elementary or secondary classes at least 85 percent of the time;

Pregnant women must avail of pre- and post-natal care and give birth with assistance of a skilled or trained health care professional in a health facility;

At least one responsible person must attend family development sessions conducted by the DSWD, at least once a month; and

At least one responsible person must join and complete at least two government recognized or accredited non-governmental organization-sponsored skills training programs or must be engaged in livelihood activities.

The bill shall provide a case management system to be used deal with beneficiaries' non-compliance with set conditions. Persistent non-compliance may lead to suspension or cancellation of the benefits of the 4Ps program. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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