Fight vs poverty needs whole gov’t, says lawmaker | Inquirer News

Fight vs poverty needs whole gov’t, says lawmaker

/ 05:34 AM October 15, 2022

As originally conceived in 2008, the government’s conditional cash transfer program, called Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), was “never meant to stand alone” and was always part of a bigger economic plan, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda said on Friday.

First implemented under the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the 4Ps program was originally meant to encourage the very poor to send their kids to school and avail of free health services and it was regarded as a success in that regard.

In 2019, the 4Ps program was institutionalized under Republic Act No. 11310, or the 4Ps law, but Salceda said the program was always meant to be “part of a broader plan to revitalize urban and rural communities.”


Salceda pointed out in a statement that poverty reduction “clearly requires a whole-of-government approach” and the 4Ps and similar projects are “not sufficient conditions” to reduce poverty without accompanying investments in rural development and urban poor communities.


Convergence plan

The economist turned lawmaker said there should be a “convergence plan” between the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) major programs and other government agencies “toward lifting 4Ps beneficiaries out of poverty.”

“I don’t think it’s the responsibility of the DSWD alone to meet the recommendations of the Commission on Audit (COA) report when it clearly requires a whole-of-government approach,” Salceda said.

Salceda pointed out that the 4Ps and other individual and household level aid interventions, “while essential, are not sufficient conditions for lifting millions out of poverty.”

He made the remarks after the COA, in a 62-page performance audit report on the DSWD’s 4Ps, found that 90 percent of 4.2 million active 4Ps beneficiary households, or 3.82 million households, are still below the poverty threshold.The audit body reported that the 4Ps received a total of P780.71 billion in funding from 2008 to 2021, which went to cash grants for poor families.

Salceda added: “Money alone is not enough. While it creates virtuous cycles in local economies, and while it provides a basic social safety net that allows poor households to take more rewarding risks, money is not enough.” INQ

READ: 90% of 4Ps families still poor, says COA report

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TAGS: 4Ps, poor, Poverty, Salceda

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