Region 12 gets P676-M in conditional cash transfer

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/22 August) — The government has poured P676 million for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in Southwestern Mindanao since 2008.

An anti-poverty and social development strategy of the national government implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), 4Ps provides conditional cash grants to extremely poor households to improve their health, nutrition and education, particularly of children aged 0 to 14 years.

Gemma N. Rivera, DSWD-12 assistant director, said the total target beneficiaries in the region reached 138,637, of which 74,572 have already received cash assistance.

“Some 500 beneficiaries have been delisted from the list because they are not really poor,” she said Saturday at the sidelines of a regional DSWD orientation program for the media.

The disqualified beneficiaries were barangay officials or their relatives who can afford to own home appliances, lingering reports said.

Rivera said the 4Ps project will run for five years or until 2013.

Of the amount disbursed, South Cotabato received the biggest at P222.4 million; Sarangani, P181.2 million, Sultan Kudarat, P157.7 million; and North Cotabato, P93.6 million, data showed.

Cotabato City has also received P21 million from the 4Ps project, it added.

The 4Ps project covers 32 municipalities across Region 12, also called the Soccsksargen region.

Rivera said they expect to release the cash to beneficiaries who have not yet received the assistance before the end of the year, amounting to P42 million.

World boxing champion and Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” D. Pacquiao has endorsed the 4Ps project nationwide, with his slogan “Kakampi sa Pagpuksa sa Kahirapan.”

All the seven towns in Sarangani are covered by the 4Ps program.

Sarangani ranked 18th in the list of poorest provinces of the country. (Bong Sarmiento/MindaNews)