House OKs 4Ps Act on final reading
The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) bill is now a step closer to becoming a law after the House of Representatives approved it on its third and final reading on Wednesday.
Voting 196-6-0, the lower chamber approved House Bill 7773 which seeks to institutionalize the 4Ps, an Aquino administration-initiated program to reduce poverty and promote human capital development.
The bill aims to prioritize investments on human capital, provide resources and improve delivery of services—particularly education, health, and nutrition—to the poor, ending the cycle of inter-generational poverty.
The program will be implemented until it has covered 60 percent of the total number of extremely poor households in the country, as may be determined by the Philippine Statistics Authority.
Moreover, qualified households will be selected by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on a nationwide basis through a standardized targeting system. The DSWD is also mandated to conduct a revalidation of targeting of beneficiaries every three years, according to the bill.
Each qualified household-beneficiary shall be entitled to a lump-sum conditional cash transfer (CCT) equivalent to P2,200 each month for expenses on health, nutrition, and education.
In sum, a household-beneficiary may receive up to P26,400 in a year, for a maximum of five years.
The measure also allows for loan assistance if the beneficiary has successfully completed the required skills training.
Further, the DSWD will provide beneficiaries with direct and secured access to cash grants through authorized government depository banks (AGDB). If the locality is not adequately served by an AGDB, the DSWD may contract the services of rural banks, thrift banks, and other similar institutions duly accredited by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
The 4Ps Act also provides the following conditionalities:
- Children up to five years must receive regular preventive health check-ups and vaccinations, minors up to 18 years old must avail of de-worming pills at least twice a year, and pregnant women must avail of pre- and post-natal care and give birth with the assistance of a skilled or trained health care professional in a health facility.
- Children three to four years of age must attend day care or pre-school classes at least 85 percent of the time, while children from 5 to 18 years old must attend elementary or secondary classes at least 85 percent of the time.
- At least one responsible person from the family must attend family development sessions conducted by the DSWD at least once a month. At least one responsible person must also join and complete at least two government- recognized or accredited non-government organization (NGO)-sponsored skills training programs or must be engaged in livelihood activities.
Should beneficiaries fail to comply with set conditions, they would be dealt with through a case management system provided under HB 7773. /je
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