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DSWD to pay delisted 4Ps families ‘retroactive’ cash gifts

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development has acceded to the request of a committee in the House of Representatives to reinstate the delisted beneficiaries in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and also pay their suspended cash gifts retroactively.

The House committee on poverty alleviation headed by Rep. Mikee Romero only took two meetings to get the DSWD to “unanimously agree” to immediately release the funds to the “delisted” 700,000 family-beneficiaries and to the rest of the 3.2 million current 4Ps beneficiaries.

“Christmas is not the time to discriminate. This is the season when our poor kababayans need financial assistance the most. This is our Christmas gift to them, which is part of our legislative efforts to ensure that qualified beneficiaries would receive their cash grants,” he said.

“This cash gift is for their continued health care and the continued education of their children as well. We have to keep them in school, away from the threat of the drug menace,” the 1Pacman party-list congressman added.

The DSWD stopped payment of the conditional cash transfer benefit as early as the start of 2023.

“We intend to fully utilize the budget of 4Ps for 2023 and help our beneficiaries, since they badly need financial assistance for their basic needs, especially during this time when inflation had soared in recent months,” Romero, a lawmaker-economist, pointed out.

The DSWD likewise assured the congressmen the “unpaid cash grants” will be released.

The Romero panel also took the opportunity to call on the social welfare department to provide the cash grants of more than 300,000 household-beneficiaries who are about to graduate from the 4Ps program by yearend.

At a recent hearing, the DSWD confirmed that 3.2 million 4Ps beneficiary-families have received cash grants, but that 700,000 families have been “delisted” after an evaluation showed they can now be categorized as “non-poor,” or those whose lives have improved significantly.

Reps. Wilbert Lee (Agri party-list), Teddy Haresco (Aklan), Arlene Brosas (women’s group Gabriela), France Castro (ACT Teachers party-list) and Raoul Manuel (Kabataan) filed resolutions questioning the delisting, while Rep. Paul Daza (Samar) delivered a privilege speech on the issue.

The Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Pamilya ng Pantawid, a nationwide organization of 4Ps parent-leaders and beneficiaries, expressed their wholehearted gratitude to Romero, the authors and panel members for being very responsive to the needs and concerns of the poor.

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