Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo allayed the fears of the more than 1.3 million household-beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) who have been identified to have improved well-being that they will continue to receive their regular cash grants until such time that the Department has developed a program that would ensure their smooth transition to self-sufficiency.
The DSWD, through its Listahanan 2, found out that that more than 1.3 million out of the 4.4 million 4Ps beneficiaries have transitioned to non-poor status.
The DSWD will still have to validate this figure by meeting with the families. Further assessment will be undertaken to ensure that appropriate interventions will be developed to sustain their improved status.
"Walang dapat ipangamba ang mga pamilyang ito dahil kasama pa rin sila sa mga benepisyaryo ng 4Ps at hindi sila matatanggal sa programa. Tatangapin pa rin nila ang kanilang kaukulang cash grants (These families should not worry because they continue to remain as beneficiaries of the program. They will not be delisted and they will continue to receive their cash grants)," Sec. Taguiwalo assured.
Sec. Taguiwalo explained that by allowing these families to continue to remain in the program is one way of securing the initial gains of the program. It also ensures that the families will not revert to poverty in the event of economic shocks or disasters.
The Secretary added that the cash grants that they are receiving will be on top of their income from their livelihood projects that they have started as one of the interventions under 4Ps.
Sec. Taguiwalo, however, said that these families will be exempted from the rice subsidy of 20-kilos a month.
The 4Ps is a human development program that invests in the health and education of poor families, primarily those with children aged 0-18. It provides monthly cash grants to beneficiaries who comply with the conditions of sending their children to school, bringing them to health centers, and attending the Family Development Sessions (FDS).
As of August 31, 2016, there are 4,397,171 active household beneficiaries nationwide, or 95.16 percent of this year's target of 4,620,630 households. By the end of December 2016, the DSWD hopes to serve at least 4.4 million active household beneficiaries or at least 95.22 percent of the target.
Based on the results of Listahanan 2, about 1, 315, 447 Pantawid Pamilya households have improved their level of well-being, and shall now be classified as Transitioning Households.
"These transitioning households remain vulnerable with little or no buffer against economic shocks, and because of this, they will continue to be provided with appropriate social protection programs," said Sec. Taguiwalo.
For 2017, the DSWD proposes to continue to serve 4,400,000 households with a budget of Php78.6 billion, an increase of 25.5 percent from the 2016 level.
The 4.4 million households will include the following:
1. 3,084, 523 Pantawid Pamilya who are still poor and will continue to be provided with education and health grants subject to their compliance to program conditions and 20 kilos of rice per month for 12 months and appropriate social protection programs.
2. 1, 315, 477 transitioning Pantawid Pamilya households who are still vulnerable and will continue to be provided with livelihood assistance, education grants, health services through the Department of Health (DOH) and PhilHealth, but will no longer be provided the 20 kilos of rice monthly.
4Ps not the only pro-poor program of the DSWD
The 4Ps program is not the only program of the DSWD for the poor. One of the thrusts of Sec. Taguiwalo's administration is to help empower Filipinos by providing them the means to make a living. A DSWD program for this is the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).
SLP is a community-based capacity building program that seeks to improve the program participant's socio-economic status. The program increases the economic opportunities of the families through the different modalities that it offers such as skills training, seed capital fund, pre-employment assistance fund, and cash for building livelihood assets.
The Sustainable Livelihood Program will prioritize transitioning Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries to ensure that they will continue to improve their economic well-being.
From January 2011 to July 2016, SLP has served a total of 1,342,114 families. Of this total, 85 percent or 1,146,450 households are Pantawid Pamilya families.
In 2015, 119 percent or 452,102 Pantawid Pamilya families were served against the targeted 378,822 families with 94 percent obligation rate. As of July 2016, about 31 percent or 116,365 families have already been served by the program with 21 percent obligation rate.
For 2017, the program proposes an increase in target to cover the 3,156 families from the NHA 18 resettlement sites. The budget however will decrease by 3.8 percent from P9.4 billion in 2016 to P9.2 billion in 2017 due to the decrease in the BUB budget from P674,642,000 in CY 2016 to P181,407,000 in CY 2017.
Source: Philippine Information Agency