Release of cash grants in NorthCot’s poorest towns set in July

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/27 June) – The release of the second wave of cash grants to at least 16,000 beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer (CCT) or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) from at least six towns in North Cotabato has been set anytime next month, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Precel Jimena, provincial coordinator of 4Ps in North Cotabato, admitted it took the DSWD central office at least three months before it could release another wave of cash grants for 4Ps beneficiaries from the poor towns in the province.

Jimena’s statement was a response to various complaints as regards delay in the release of the cash grants.

Some of the beneficiaries had asked municipal links of 4Ps in Makilala town and in Kidapawan City as to why there were no funds deposited in their accounts accessed via automated teller machines (ATMs).

The ATM cards were released June 13, they said.

Jimena explained that beneficiaries of the CCT from the towns of Makilala, M’lang, Kabacan, Libungan, Midsayap, and Kidapawan City belong to set number 5 of the 4Ps.

This group, Jimena stressed, was the last batch of beneficiaries from North Cotabato.

“We download cash grants one set of beneficiaries at a time. Since they belong to Set 5, understandably, they would be the last to receive the funds,” she said.

Of the beneficiaries under Set 5, Midsayap town has the highest with 6,910; Makilala has 2,519; Kidapawan City, 2,500; and the towns of Kabacan and Libungan have at least 5,000.

The 4Ps is a poverty reduction strategy implemented by the DSWD that provides cash grants to poor households to improve their health, nutrition, and education.

Data from the DSWD showed that as of 2011, the beneficiaries from North Cotabato totaled 45,712 households.

It covers the towns of Pikit with 10,712 beneficiaries; Carmen, 5,371; Matalam, 4,285; Alamada, 3,766; Pigcawayan, 3,508; Arakan, 3,313; Aleosan, 2,911; Magpet, 2,834; Banisilan, 2,724; Tulunan, 2,712; and Antipas, 948. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)