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Lawmakers seek inquiry on delisting of 4Ps beneficiaries

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
Lawmakers seek inquiry on delisting of 4Ps beneficiaries
A resident in Barangay 342, Manila receive their cash aid on August 18, 2021.
Philstar.com / Irish Lising

MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers part of the minority bloc in the House of Representatives are seeking an inquiry on the government’s delisting of beneficiaries from its conditional cash transfer program popularly known as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

“It is incredulous to accept the claim that more families have crossed the poverty line and are considered non-poor, especially with the nonstop price hikes, depressed wages and massive joblessness,” the three-member Makabayan bloc said in House Resolution No. 200 filed Tuesday but released to media the following day.

Reps. Arlene Brosas (Gabriela party-list), France Castro (ACT Teachers party-list) and Raoul Manuel (Kabataan party-list) dubbed the delisting of 4Ps beneficiaries “instawid” or instant tawid, which they deemed to be “highly questionable.”

The Department of Social Welfare and Development, under the leadership of Secretary Erwin Tulfo, has removed 1.3 million from the list of 4Ps beneficiaries as the government no longer considers them to be “poor.”

But Rep. Jonathan Abalos (4Ps party-list) questioned how the government managed to remove 1.3 million beneficiaries in three months, when only around 600,000 families were taken off in the past three years.

“Paano tayo makakapag-delist ng 1.3 million households in a matter of three months? Gusto po sana namin malaman kung ano iyong mga mekanismo at ano ang prosesong ginamit upang matuklasan po ito,” Abalos said in a news briefing with fellow minority bloc lawmakers.

(How were we able to delist 1.3 million households in a matter of three months? We want to know what mechanisms and processes were used for this.)

In the same briefing, Brosas said the government’s delisting does not consider the full picture of the poorest households who receive cash incentives for sending their children to school and bringing them to health centers.

“Paano kung tumigil sa pag-aaral dahil walang kita? Considered agad na delisted na iyon? Ganoong yung mangyayari ‘di ba? So kasama ba iyon sa tinitingnan ng 4Ps? Maraming made-delist noon,” she said.

(What if they stopped sending their children to school because they don’t have money? Are they considered delisted immediately? That’s what’s going to happen, right? So is that part of what is being considered for 4Ps? A lot of people will be delisted from there.)

“We cannot accept the claim na (that) more families have crossed the poverty line,” she said. “May mga situation lang na hindi talaga nila magawan ng paraan. (There are just situations that they cannot find solutions to.)”

For Makabayan, the House social services and poverty alleviation panels should conduct the inquiry, while Abalos is calling on Congress to convene its 4Ps oversight committee.

4PS

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

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