2.3 M 4Ps beneficiaries to get cash grants by September

Published by rudy Date posted on May 28, 2011

Manila, Philippines – The 2.3 million beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) will receive cash grants from the government as early as September this year.

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Soliman said about 81 percent or 1.9 million out of the target beneficiaries are already registered as of April this year.

“The DSWD has been ahead of its target in the registration of beneficiaries and will need additional funds by the end of 2011 in order to provide the required grants to the total 2.3 million targeted households,” she said.

Soliman said the remaining 428,795 households are expected to be registered by June.

Initially, the completion of listing of target beneficiaries was projected for December of this year, she added.

An additional P2.3-billion funding for this year is needed to provide cash grants and cover the operating costs of the program, Soliman said.

Earlier, Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile said the DSWD must account for the P21 billion in 4Ps fund before the government grants Soliman’s request for an additional P2.3 billion.

The approved program budget for 4Ps this year is P21 billion.

However, Soliman said the actual amount needed to implement the program is P23.5 billion.

A P2.1 billion additional funding for cash grants and P146 million for operating costs are needed, she added.

Soliman said the additional funding covers salaries for additional staff in the provinces and municipalities, additional bank fees, program monitoring for new expansion areas, and implementation of the DSWD Convergence Strategy.

“After only four months, the department has proven to critics that it has the capacity to implement the P21-billion fund for the conditional cash program, negating those who have said that the fund will not be fully utilized,” she said.

The DSWD is now coordinating with the Department of Budget and Management for the additional funding, Soliman said.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the request for additional funding will be subject to the President’s approval.

It will only be needed towards the latter part of the year, he added.

Soliman said the 4Ps aims to cut the intergenerational cycle of poverty by ensuring that 3-14 year-old children go to day care centers and schools with 85 percent minimum attendance, and pregnant women and 0-14 years old children get basic health services.

“By investing in the human capital of the poor, it is hoped that they are assured of a better future and will be equipped with necessary skills to contribute to their community and to the growth of the country as a whole,” she said. –Helen Flores (The Philippine Star)

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