GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 30 July) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has released around P2 billion in cash grants in the first six months of the year to beneficiaries in Region 12 of the government’s flagship conditional cash transfer program.
Restituto Macuto, DSWD Region 12 director, said on Thursday the grants were directly disbursed to 194,960 poorest of the poor households in the region that are covered by the initiative, which is also known Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps.
He said these were released in regular payouts every two months through the cash cards of the recipients.
Macuto assured that the beneficiaries are properly validated by their personnel and the grants were given based on their compliance with the program’s conditions.
These include keeping school-aged children in schools; regular pre-and post-natal care for mothers; regular and preventive checkups for children aged five years old and below; deworming for children aged 14-years-old and below; and attendance in the monthly family development sessions.
For the enrolled children, he said they should post an 85-percent attendance record and mothers should have completed their scheduled checkups in the health centers.
“They only get the full grants if they complete these conditions,” Macuto said in a press conference.
Last year, the national government increased the monthly grants of the 4Ps beneficiaries, with the full implementation of Republic Act 11310, which strengthened and institutionalized the program.
Children in the elementary level are entitled to grants of P300 a month, P500 for those in high school, and P700 for the college level.
The household beneficiaries also receive P750 for the health incentive and P600 monthly rice subsidy.
Macuto said they provide support interventions to the beneficiaries to improve their livelihood status and enable them to eventually become self-sufficient.
He said they enroll the qualified households in the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) to provide them with viable livelihood opportunities.
“4Ps beneficiaries cannot stay in the program forever. The law only allows them to be in the program for seven years so we’re providing them all the necessary interventions to transform them into productive citizens during the period,” he said.
SLP is a community-based capacity-building program that provides startup seed capital for the livelihood projects of qualified poor families.
The 4Ps and SLP, which are among the agency’s flagship initiatives, focus on helping alleviate the standard of living of poor individuals in the country.
The DSWD central office had approved a budget of P122.2 million this year for the livelihood and support other related needs of qualified families in the region under the SLP. (MindaNews)