To stop politicians from using the government’s anti-poverty program in their election campaign, the Social Welfare department launched yesterday its 4Ps “Bawal ang Epal” drive in Carcar Gym Complex.
DSWD Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman said that the campaign was launched because they have been receiving reports that politicians and groups were using the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) to threaten beneficiaries and to gather votes.
The 4Ps program is the government’s program aimed at reducing poverty in the country. It involves giving beneficiaries a monthly cash aid of P500 for health and P300 for the education of every child from 0 to14 years old.
“Naa’y nagsumbong namo nga naay muingon sa mga tawo, ‘kung dili nimo botohon ning kandidato mawala ka sa pantawid or kung imong botohon maapil ka sa pantawid (We heard reports that people are threatened by telling the people to vote for them or else they will be remove from the program),”Soliman told over 600 beneficiaries present in Carcar yesterday.
She, however, did not mention the names and location of the politicians or groups who had threatened the people.
right to delist
She said that no one had the right to delist a beneficiary from the program and only the DSWD Regional and National Offices were authorized to do so.
She said only those who fail to comply with the conditions of the program would also be taken off the list.
“Walay laing makakuha sa inyong ngalan sa pantawid, kundi kamo ra gyud or kami (DSWD),”she said.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will strictly monitor that politicians will not be using the program in their campaigns, said DILG Usec. Francisco “Bimbo”Fernandez.
“If there are cases like this, the people must report immediately,” Fernandez said.
He said that they would be the ones who would investigate and give sanctions on those who would violate the law.
It was the first launching of the Anti-Epal campaign yesterday at Carcar City.
“We chose Cebu because we have a very significant number of beneficiaries here. We always want to communicate especially that there is a crucial politics here, that they (politicians) can not use this program for partisan politics,” Soliman said.
More than 600 4Ps beneficiaries in Carcar received their cash grants yesterday.
Epefania de los Santos, 51, a widow, was very happy that her family was included in the program since 2011.
De Los Santos, a mother of eight children, said she became a beneficiary last Dec. 8, 2011.
At present, there are more than 3 million poor households benefitting from the program.