By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) with cash cards will receive their cash grants for the months of December 2019 to January 2020 starting next week, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Saturday (March 21).
DSWD Spokesperson Irene Dumlao said more than 3.6 million beneficiaries who are holders of cash cards will receive their 4Ps grants next week.
“Starting next week, mag-uumpisa na po ang pag-deposit sa kanilang cash cards,” she said in a radio interview. (Starting next week, deposits will be made to their cash cards.)
“Ngayon po nakikipag-ugnayan tayo sa Land Bank of the Philippines para maging maayos po ang kanilang pag-withdraw ng kanilang cash grants,” she added.
(We are coordinating with the Land Bank of the Philippines so that they can withdraw their cash grants with ease.)
In a statement, the DSWD earlier announced that beneficiaries who are holders of Europay, Mastercard, and Visa (EMV) cash cards may withdraw their cash grants on March 24, 26, 28, and April 4.
Dumlao appealed to 4Ps beneficiaries to coordinate with their city links and parent leaders to ensure that the policy on social distancing and mass gathering will be observed when they withdraw their cash grants next week.
“Nakikiusap po tayo sa beneficiaries na kung maaring makipag-ugnayan sa city units at sa kanilang parent leaders para di dagsain ang automated teller machines,” she said.
(We are appealing to the beneficiaries to coordinate with the city units and their parents leaders so that the automated teller machines [ATMs] will not be swamped.)
The DSWD earlier said cash grants credited through the EMV card may be withdrawn from any LBP-ATMs or any ATM subject to minimal charges.
“Beneficiaries may also use their EMV cards in establishments that receive payment through point-of-sale or POS,” it added.
The department said alternative means are being explored for the distribution of cash grants to beneficiaries who are not holders of EMV cash cards.
The DSWD announced earlier that it has “waived” the conditionalities for the 4Ps beneficiaries for a two-month period from February to March this year.
It said the beneficiaries can expect full cash grants from February to March without complying with the program conditionalities after a resolution on force majeure was signed.
DSWD explained that Rule VIII, Section 15 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act (RA) No. 11310 or the 4Ps Act authorizes the DSWD Secretary to suspend the monitoring of the compliance of beneficiaries with program conditionalities under “force majeure” circumstances.
“This means that beneficiaries will be receiving their full grants for the said period sans compliance to program conditions,” the DSWD said.
Under the 4Ps program, beneficiaries receive a monthly rice subsidy amounting to P600, apart from P500 health assistance they receive each month.
Beneficiaries with enrolled elementary students receive P300 cash assistance, while P500 cash assistance is extended to those who have a child enrolled in high school.
Cash grants are granted to the beneficiaries who comply with the following program conditionalities: children 3 to 18 years old must be enrolled in kindergarten, elementary, and high school, and attend classes at least 85 percent of the time each month; children 0-5 years old must receive regular preventive health check-ups, growth monitoring, and vaccines; pregnant women must get pre- and post-natal care (must be attended by skilled/professional health workers); children in elementary must receive de-worming pills twice a year; and the grantee/parent/guardian must attend the monthly Family Development Session.
The department also assured the public that it “continues to look into different modes of providing social services without prejudice to public health and safety.”
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