DSWD renews cash doles to 761,140 ‘poor’ families
MANILA, Philippines — House minority lawmakers on Sunday welcomed the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) decision to renew cash doles for some 760,000 families previously categorized by the DSWD as “nonpoor” and thus stricken from the list of beneficiaries.
Speaking for the 23-member minority bloc in the House of Representatives, Minority Leader and 4Ps party-list Rep. Marcelino Libanan lauded the DSWD for its review of the delisting of over 1.1 million poor households from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
A reassessment of the families previously categorized as “nonpoor” and removed from the DSWD’s Listahan 3 resulted in the renewal of the cash payout, including withheld subsidies, for 761,140 “reassessed” households.
“We are grateful to Social Welfare Secretary Rex Gatchalian for allowing the 761,140 reassessed household beneficiaries to retroactively enjoy their much-needed cash grants starting Nov. 30,” Libanan said.
Apart from the resumption of cash doles for the 760,000 4Ps program beneficiaries, they would also retroactively receive withheld subsidies from January to September and be eligible for rice subsidies.
Libanan pointed out that the House minority had previously met with Gatchalian and requested the resumption of the cash doles as soon as the review of the conditions of the 1.1 million households identified as “nonpoor” was completed.
“Right now, many poor families are getting distressed by soaring food prices. They have very little means to survive and keeping them under the 4Ps will provide them meaningful relief,” the minority leader said.
Libanan noted that as a result of the reassessment of 1,158,249 families removed from the DSWD’s 4Ps program, 761,140 households were found to be either at “subsistence” or “survival” levels while the rest were categorized as “self-sufficient” and could already graduate from the program.
Rice subsidies, too
At least P112.8 billion has been set aside in 2024 for the 4Ps education and health grants as well as rice subsidies for 4.4 million households, he said.
4Ps is the government’s flagship poverty alleviation program that focuses on human capital development by extending cash assistance to eligible poor households, subject to their compliance with education and health requirements.
Under the program, beneficiaries will receive the cash allowances for up to seven years on the following conditions:
- pregnant women should avail of prenatal services, give birth in a facility attended by a skilled health professional, and receive postpartum and postnatal care for their newborn
- children 0 to 5 years old should receive preventive health and nutrition services, including checkups and vaccinations
- children 1 to 14 years old should avail of deworming pills at least once a year
- children 5 to 18 years old should attend elementary or secondary classes at least 85 percent of their time
- at least one responsible person should attend family development sessions conducted by the DSWD once a month.