Proposed 4Ps budget up by nearly P8B

The proposed budget for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) for 2023 has been increased by P7.9 billion to P115.6 billion.

(Mari Gimenez/ Unsplash)

This was learned Monday, Aug. 22 following the Department of Budget and Management's (DBM) submission of the 2023 National Expenditure Program (NEP) to the House of Representatives leadership.

The sought allocation for 4Ps--the government’s flagship poverty alleviation program--under the previous 2022 NEP was P107.7 billion.

Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Undersecretary Tina Canda, who attended the ceremonial turnover of Malacañang's proposed budget to the House members, explained how the agency came up with the amount.

"Yung sa 4Ps kasi meron yang target talaga on an annual basis (The 4Ps has a target on an annual basis). At this point kasi it’s around mga four million beneficiaries and meron tayong ina-apply na compliance rate (we apply a compliance rate)," she said.

"So kahit nagco-confirm pa lang ang DSWD hindi natin pwedeng babaan yung suporta para sa 4Ps without endangering yung dapat makatanggap sana (So even if the DSWD is still confirming the number of beneficiaries, we cannot lower the support for 4Ps without endangering those who are eligible to receive aid)," Canda said, when asked why there's already a 4Ps budget proposal despite the still-fluid number of beneficiaries.

The DBM official said that the increase in population also needs to be taken into account.

"So 97 percent ang compliance nila (Their compliance is 97 percent), previously we are providing for 90 percent kaya tumataas yung ibinibigay pa rin natin despite the fact na nagco-confirm ang DSWD dun sa kanilang tinatawag na listahanan (that's why we're increasing our allocation despite the fact that the DSWD is still confirming their list)," she said.

The P115.6-billion budget does not cover the P500 increase in social pension of indigent senior citizens, Canda said.

"Hindi (It's not included), the lapsed into law after the budget has already been completed so we did not provide . That’s around P24.5 billion so we would like to defer to the wisdom of congress on this.

"Although we will be providing them with the utilization rate of various departments so at least they will know where it can be sourced," Canda said, referring to the upcoming budget deliberations in the House.