By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has requested the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to release this month the funding for the cash grants of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries for the months of February and March this year.
4Ps National Program Manager Director Gemma B. Gabuya said they already made such request to benefit the 4Ps beneficiaries who are affected by the enhanced community quarantine.
“Ngayong April din ang request namin sa DBM, advanced din yan, at waived din ang conditionalities,” she told the Manila Bulletin in a text message, when asked about the DSWD’s target schedule on providing the 4Ps grants for the months of February and March to the beneficiaries.
(Our request to the DBM is this April, that’s advanced and the conditionalities are waived.)
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.
The 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.
On March 24, 2020, more than 840,000 beneficiaries of 4Ps with cash cards, including homeless street families, and indigenous peoples, received their cash grants.
These include the more than 140,000 beneficiaries of the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) and more than 700,000 beneficiaries of the Regular Conditional Cash Transfer (RCCT) from the National Capital Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Regions I, II, and III
The DSWD earlier said the beneficiaries with Europay, Mastercard, and Visa (EMV) cash cards were due to receive their grants on March 24, 26, 28, and April 4.
According to the DSWD, more than 3.6 million beneficiaries are holders of cash cards.
As of January 31, 2020, there are more than 4.2 million “active” 4Ps beneficiaries.
The DSWD also assured the public that it “continues to look into different modes of providing social services without prejudice to public health and safety.”