By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The institutionalization of the government’s flagship poverty reduction program known as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is considered a realization of the longtime clamor of beneficiaries to make the program regular and permanent, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
DSWD lauded the signing into law of Republic Act 11310 institutionalizing 4Ps, which is an investment in human capital that seeks to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty by focusing on education and health of the beneficiaries.
It provides conditional cash transfer to poor households around the country and is being implemented by DSWD, in partnership with other government agencies, such as the Department of Health, Department of Education, and Commission on Higher Education.
DSWD pointed out that beneficiaries have continuously expressed apprehensions that the benefits they are receiving from 4Ps might be stopped if the program will not be institutionalized.
It added that the beneficiaries played a significant role in achieving this feat by lobbying for the institutionalization of the program.
The Department also cited that with RA 11310, the continuity and sustainability of the program can be assured.
The law makes the program more robust by prioritizing farmers and fisherfolks, strengthening livelihood and employment opportunities for beneficiaries, ensuring civil society organizations’ seats in the advising councils, and providing automatic coverage to Philhealth.
Furthermore, DSWD said the law will further boost its goal of helping poor families achieve a better quality of life, thereby, contributing to the reduction of poverty incidence to 14 percent by 2022, as set by the present administration.
Since its inception in 2008, DSWD emphasized that 4Ps has achieved several milestones in the areas of poverty reduction, health, and education.
Currently, the program covers 41,552 barangays in all 145 cities and 1,483 municipalities in 80 provinces nationwide with 4.18 million active households.