BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – The implementation of the national government’s conditional cash transfer under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps to help alleviate the living conditions of the country’s poorest of the poor is being set back by the fact that some beneficiaries do not belong to marginalized families.
This was disclosed by Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan Tuesday after the city government, through the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), uncovered nearly 100 out of the 500 beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer who are not considered poorest of the poor because they own several taxi units, and vast tracks of agricultural lands outside the city, among others.
Worst, Domogan claimed that the regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) wants local chief executives to sign the report identifying the beneficiaries of the program even without involving the CSWDO in the process of identifying the beneficiaries as well as validating the same.
According to Domogan, the true essence of the program is not serving its purpose because of the refusal of the DSWD to closely coordinate with the local government in order to accurately identify the real beneficiaries of the program to satisfy its purpose of helping alleviate the living condition of the poor families.
If there are recipients of the conditional cash transfer who do not deserve to be in the DSWD’s list in the city, Domogan said that the same is true in other places, which totally defeats the purpose of the program to alleviate the living condition of the poor in the countryside.
While admitting that there is no coordination between the program implementers and the CSWDO in the identification of the beneficiaries as well as the validation and monitoring of the progress of the same, Betty Fangasan, city social welfare officer, said those being surveyed regarding their status in life should be partly blamed because they do not fill out the appropriate information in their survey forms.
More often than not, she claimed that well to do persons usually falsify the data in the forms making it appear that they are poorest of the poor, but the same must be subjected to appropriate background investigation and validation with the local social welfare office to ascertain the truthfulness of their declarations before their names will be included in the final list of beneficiaries of the program.
Domogan stressed that he will not sign the list of beneficiaries being asked from him by the DSWD regional office until such time that the agency will include the city social welfare and development office in the identification of the recipients of the conditional cash transfer.
If the DSWD central office will not revise its rules and regulations governing the implementation of the program, Domogan warned the R21 billion earmarked by the government for the purpose will go to the wrong hands, thereby rendering the program useless and a waste of public funds. –DEXTER A. SEE, Manila Bulletin