By Jennifer P. Rendon
The Department of Social Welfare and Development 6 (DSWD-6) said that 3,493 beneficiaries will be delisted from the agency’s “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program” or 4Ps.
The number is a small chunk of the 900,000 “undeserving” 4Ps beneficiaries that would be removed from the government’s cash assistance program.
Belen Gebusion, DSWD-6’s 4Ps division chief and regional program coordinator, said Monday that the 3,493 households will be delisted because they are no longer eligible for monitoring, as of June 23, 2022.
She explained that the agency is regularly checking the beneficiaries’ eligibility through the 4Ps’ information system.
By regularly, the system would detect monthly if there are beneficiaries who are no longer qualified to receive benefits under 4Ps.
“Let’s say, there are already children who are more than 18 years old or are already in college. The system could detect it,” she said.
But Gebusion pointed that they could not immediately remove them from the list as validation must be done first by their field personnel.
“We have to check if there are no succeeding pregnancies or if there are grandchildren who are eligible for the program. Basi may newborn or apo nga ma-include sa beneficiaries,” she said.
The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is a human development measure of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to the poorest of the poor, to improve the health, nutrition, and the education of children aged 0-18.
It is patterned after the conditional cash transfer (CCT) schemes in Latin American and African countries, which have lifted millions of people around the world from poverty.
Another reason for delisting is misdemeanor of beneficiaries which include violations of the program conditions like using the cash grant not according to its purpose.
Usual misdemeanors are beneficiaries getting involved in drinking liquor, gambling, or pawning their cash cards.
Still, they are not immediately delisted unless they commit the violation on three instances.
“We still issue first and second warning. They would be placed on counseling. We have to exhaust every means because we are always looking at the best interest of the child,” Gebusion said.
In Western Visayas, she said that not one from 3,493 beneficiaries will be delisted because of misdemeanors.
“The removal from the program is because there are no eligible children for monitoring,” she said.
Iloilo, to include Iloilo City, has the most number of to-be-delisted beneficiaries at 1,081 while Negros Occidental, to include Bacolod City, has 1,081.
On the other hand, 669 households stand to lose their 4Ps benefits in Capiz; 493 in Antique; 151 in Guimaras; and only 13 in Aklan.
Gebusion explained that the DSWD will still do a transition activity, as part of its exit role.
“We would still monitor to ascertain if they could sustain. We don’t want that once they get out of the program, they would get back to their old state. We don’t want that to happen considering that these beneficiaries are vulnerable households,” she said.
This is where the Kilos-Unlad stepped in.
Kilos – Unlad Social Case Management Strategy – is a process to guide the shepherding 4Ps households to achieve improved well-being towards stepping–up (from survival to subsistence to self– sufficiency) and out of poverty (graduation or exit) within a 7-year operational period of Program’s transition.
Over the weekend, it can be noted that DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo said that around 900,000
“undeserving” beneficiaries will be removed from the 4Ps.
This came following the instruction of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to remove unqualified beneficiaries from the program.
There are around 4.4 million 4Ps beneficiaries nationwide out of the 15 million Filipinos who are deemed to be living below the poverty line.