- CHERYL G. CRUZ
Twenty households in Bacolod City, who are member-beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), had their cash grants suspended for one period due to card pawning, as of last month.
DSWD Negros Occidental Provincial Operations Office Link 1 Emile Octavio said Nov. 7 that under Republic Act 11310, or the 4Ps law, beneficiaries are prohibited from pawning their cash cards, and repeated offenses could result in delisting.
The DSWD explained that, as per the policy of the Pantawid Pamilya National Advisory Council, beneficiaries complained of or caught pawning their cash cards will receive a warning during the first offense, suspension of grants for one period, equivalent to two months, for second offense, and third offense, termination from the 4Ps program, and any appeal will no longer be entertained after the approval of NAC.
Pawning of cards is considered misbehavior or misdemeanor since beneficiaries should ensure that the cash grants are spent for their children’s schooling and good health.
There was no updated data on the number of 4Ps beneficiaries in Bacolod, or grantees suspended or delisted due to various reasons under Section 34 of the law.
But Octavio said the POO Link 1, which she headed and covers 14 local government units in Negros Occidental, including the highly-urbanized Bacolod City, released P558.32 million in cash grants to 131,923 household (HH) beneficiaries in the February to March period; and P581.39 million to 133,179 HH grantees for April to May.
There are 132,237 HH beneficiaries of the Pantawid Program in Negros Occidental, as of Oct. 2022, Octavio said in a media briefing Nov. 7, also attended by DSWD regional information officer, Atty. May Rago Castillo, who gave updates on the cash, food, and nonfood assistance released by the department to victims of typhoons Paeng and Odette, as well as to residents of Himamaylan affected by recent armed clashes.
The DSWD6 also earlier reported that 200 4Ps household beneficiaries in Bago City, Negros Occidental, graduated from the program late last month, after they were assessed to be non-poor based on the Listahanan 3 results.
Regional director Atty. Carmelo Nochete graced the ceremony with the City of Bago recognized by the DSWD as one of the supportive LGUs in the successful implementation of the program.
Nochete stressed in a statement that 4Ps is not a charity or a dole-out but a social justice being implemented by the government to help the poor and those who need help.
Exiting households will be replaced by new poor households to avail of similar benefits, but only for seven years as per RA 11310, from the 12 years before the program was institutionalized./CGC