DSWD, LandBank to join hands to enhance 4Ps

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/8 Oct) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Region 12 and the government-owned and controlled Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) have agreed to strengthen their coordination mechanisms in a bid to enhance the payout system for beneficiaries of the government’s conditional cash transfer program in the area.

Gemma Rivera, DSWD 12 assistant regional director, said the agreement was reached in a recent meeting between officials of the DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps regional finance unit and LandBank held in nearby Koronadal City.

She said they specifically agreed to strengthen the payout system for 4Ps by implementing measures that would efficiently and effectively deliver as well as liquidate the cash grants of the beneficiaries.

“Our coordination with Landbank is crucial because we need to properly dispose the cash grants to those who deserve it,” said Rivera, who is also deputy program manager for 4Ps in Region 12.

“Let us remember that for every single centavo that is wasted, for every mistake made in the process and for every duty that is neglected, a particular child is deprived of his/her right for education and good health,” she cited in a statement.

Also known as the Soccsksargen Region, Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

Luz Escara, branch manager of LandBank in Koronadal, said they committed to regularly communicate with the DSWD-12 regarding the issues, concerns and problems that they would encounter in the processing of the grants for the 4Ps beneficiaries.

“I noticed that as we work together, we’re beginning to perfect the processes. This is a good indication of our relationship with DSWD,” she said.

Escara said they have responded to the DSWD’s earlier call for the bank to observe the proper protocol in handling the payout for the beneficiaries.

“We have also provided missionary Automated Teller Machines in the municipalities of Glan, Maasim and Kiamba in Sarangani as support to the program,” she said.

“LandBank personnel are ready to work overtime without receiving additional pay. This is our way of showing our untiring support for this initiative,” Escara added.

Rivera lauded the commitments made by LandBank as they augur well with the ongoing expansion of the modified 4Ps in the region.

“The program is currently expanding to cater to families of children under difficult circumstances,” she said.

She said they would also launch soon the expansion of the program’s coverage area and to beneficiaries that were covered by its set 6. Rivera said the program has so far released a total of P1.9 billion in cash grants to 194,902 active household-beneficiaries in Region 12.

The releases were part of the P44 billion cash grants disbursed by the national government to 3.1 million 4Ps beneficiaries in 79 provinces nationwide as of last July 31. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)