By Hannah Torregoza
Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Wednesday lauded the signing into law of the measure that institutionalizes the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps as one of the government’s regular anti-poverty programs for eligible poor Filipino families.
President Rodrigo Duterte reportedly signed the measure into law last April 17, as Republic Act No. 11310.
The law primarily institutionalizes the conditional cash grants to the poorest of the poor to improve their health, nutrition, and ensure the education of their children aged 0 to 18.
De Lima, chair of the Senate committee on social justice, welfare and rural development, also thanked the leaders and groups who exerted their efforts and lent their voices to advocate for 4Ps and push for its immediate enactment into law.
As principal sponsor and author of the 4Ps measure in the Senate, she said the enactment of the measure is “a big step forward in the continuing journey towards attaining social justice for the most vulnerable sectors of the society.”
“Lubos tayong nagpapasalamat sa pagiging ganap nang batas ng isinusulong nating pagpapatibay at pagpapalawak sa serbisyong hatid ng 4Ps (We are very thankful that this measure we are pushing has finally become a law),” she said.
“Tagumpay po ito, lalo na ng mga mahihirap nating kababayan na mabibigyan na ng higit na pagkakataong maiangat ang antas ng kanilang pamumuhay, (This is a victory, especially by our poor fellowmen who would soon be able to improve their quality of life),” she said.
She said the law would now help beneficiaries of the 4Ps program to invest in the education of their children, health and the future of their youth.
The Senate approved the measure on third and final reading last February with 18 votes, zero negative vote, and no abstention. Its counterpart measure, House Bill No. 7773, was also approved at the House of Representatives last August 2018.
The law provides conditional cash transfer to poor households for a maximum period of seven years to improve their health, nutrition, and access to education.
Under the law, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) shall conduct and revalidate qualified beneficiaries using a standard targeting system every three years.
Automatically included in the standardized targeting include farmers, fisherfolks, and those in the informal sector and in disadvantaged areas.
The law also effectively creates the congressional oversight committee on the 4Ps that would be tasked to set the overall framework, review the implementation of the law and to determine any gap or weakness and recommend necessary remedial legislation if necessary.