More efficient payment scheme awaits 4Ps beneficiaries

MANILA Instead of waiting in long lines to receive over-the-counter (OTC) payments, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries will now own cash cards for easier and more efficient transactions.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Wednesday said it targets to complete the more efficient delivery of payments by December 2019.

We will also explore new financial technologies and infrastructures for the efficient payment systems, DSWD Undersecretary Camilo Gudmalin said in an interview.

To ensure financial inclusion of the poor, the DSWD also envisages converting existing cash cards accounts to transaction accounts.

Apart from the payment process, the social welfare department has also looked into upgrading its compliance verification process via working with the Department of Education to link the information systems to fully automate the compliance verification system.

Through this, the long period of receiving the grant will be cut short.

We will just maintain the learner reference number of students and link up with DepEd to digitally pull up their enrolment and attendance data, Gudmalin added.

These and more improvements are expected after President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act 11310 which aims to institutionalize 4P's, the government's national poverty reduction strategy that provides conditional cash transfer to poor households for a maximum of seven years.

The State shall promote a just and dynamic social order thereby uplifting its citizens and marginalized sectors from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services, promote full employment, a rising standard of living, and improved quality of life for all, the law reads.

The law mandates the DSWD to use a standardized targeting system to identify, select and revalidate qualified 4Ps beneficiaries every three years.

Eligible for the program includes farmers, fisherfolk, homeless families, indigenous peoples, and those in the informal settler sector and those in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas including those in areas without electricity.

Under the law, the government will give a monthly cash grant of not lower than PHP300 per child enrolled in daycare and elementary programs for 10 months of the year; PHP500 per child enrolled in junior high school, and PHP700 per child enrolled in senior high school.

A health and nutrition grant not lower than PHP750 per month for a maximum of 12 months per year shall also be extended by the government to the 4Ps beneficiaries. It will be a fixed amount and does not depend on the number of family members.

The families eligible for cash grants must be classified as poor and near poor, have members aged zero to 18 years old or members pregnant at the time of registration, and willing to comply with the 4Ps conditions. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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