4Ps, social pension program for indigent among DSWD's recurring problems – Lacson

Published October 18, 2021, 7:03 PM

by Mario Casayuran

During a budget hearing, Senator Panfilo M. Lacson on Monday, Oct. 18 listed recurring problems of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Topping the list is the 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) program, a national poverty reduction strategy of the government). It was given a total of P447 billion in the ‘’past five to six years,’’ Lacson said.

Second is the Social Pension for Indigent, Senior Citizen that was given P115 billion, followed by Protective Services for Individuals and Families which had a budget of P52 billion and P35 billion for Sustainable Livelihood Program.

On Supplemental Feeding, Lacson said a UNICEF report stated that one out of three Filipino children are stunted. The report, according to Lacson, found that the stunted Filipino children from age two to four are ‘’too short for their age, too thin for their height.’’

This program had been given a total of P23 billion the last several years.

At present, the DSWD said, it has served 1.7 million in ‘’child development, which also includes five-year-olds that the Department of Education’’ could not serve because they live in far-away places or depressed areas.

It also pointed out that it serves two- to four-year-olds 1.7 million to 1.8 million annually.

Lacson pointed out that the stunting rate in the Philippines is 36 percent or one out of three children.

If there is a feeding program, why is the numbers not decreasing? he asked.

Lacson then urged DSWD officials to ‘’recalibrate’’ their program to realize their objective.

Senator Imee Marcos, chairwoman of the Senate finance sub-committee ‘’I’’ that analyzed the DSWD proposed budget, noted that the Department of Health (DOH) also has its micro-nutrient program but such vitamins expire.

She also said the Department of Education (DepEd) also has its feeding program.

` Despite these, Marcos wondered aloud why the stunting data have not improved.

Marcos cited a World Bank report that it has rendered the Philippine problem as an economic development issue, not a health issue.

Since the Philippines has a stunting rate of 10 percent, this level compares it with Africa, she added.