GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/17 Oct) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 12 has delisted 6,134 more households this year from the beneficiary list of the national government’s conditional cash transfer program due to inclusion errors, fraud and other eligibility problems.
Bai Zorahayda Taha, DSWD Region 12 director, said such move is part of the agency’s renewed efforts to clean up the anti-poverty program of unqualified beneficiaries and further improve its implementation mechanisms.
She said they also want to ensure that the program, which is also known as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps, would only benefit the region’s “poorest of the poor” and qualified marginalized households.
Region 12 or the Soccsksargen Region covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
DWSD-12’s coverage area for the 4Ps includes Marawi City, which is part of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
From January to September this year, Taha said North Cotabato posted the most number of delisted beneficiaries with 1,591 followed by Sultan Kudarat with 1,579 and South Cotabato with 1,038.
Also delisted were 401 households in Cotabato City, 324 in Marawi City, 274 in this city and 240 in Sarangani province, she said. The official said among the reasons for the removal of the beneficiaries were fraud, waiving of the grievance redress system or GRS process, income ineligibility, having no children aged 0 to 14 years old based on the latest compliance verification system or CVS results and transfer to non-poorest of the poor area through household status.
Taha said they have “graduated” 240 households due to double entries, having no children aged 0 to 14 as certified by the regional project monitoring office, transfer or movement to non-poor area and improvement of household income status or condition.
The DSWD central office ordered last year a nationwide review and verification of the 4Ps beneficiary list due to the confirmed inclusion of unqualified beneficiaries into the program.
The review and verification process is a component of the GRS, which was adopted by the agency to address concerns and complaints regarding its overall implementation.
In Region 12, program implementers noted that a number of unqualified beneficiaries such as teachers, barangay officials and other government workers, among others, had been “erroneously included” in the program.
Most of the inclusion errors reportedly happened during the encoding of the results of the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction or NHTS-PR survey, which was used in the selection of the beneficiaries.
4Ps is a poverty reduction and social development strategy of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to “poorest of the poor” households to improve their health, nutrition and education, particularly of children aged 0-14 years.
The program provides beneficiaries cash grants of P500 a month for health and nutrition expenses and P300 a month per child for educational expenses. A household with three qualified children could get P1,400 monthly. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)