Imee Marcos' budget realigning led to millions not receiving 4Ps — Bongalon

Imee Marcos’ budget realigning led to millions not receiving 4Ps — Bongalon

'Deadma,' Imee replies
/ 04:19 PM February 20, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — An Ako Bicol party-list lawmaker has accused Senator Imee Marcos of being behind budget realignments in 2023, which led to 4.3 million poor Filipinos not getting aid through the government’s conditional cash transfer program.

In a statement on Tuesday, Rep. Raul Angelo Bongalon said that this amounts to almost 900,000 households who did not get assistance through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) because Marcos supposedly redirected P13 billion to another social amelioration program.

“If we do the math, P13 billion divided by P15,000 per household per year, means 867,000 families or 4.3 million poor individuals got zero cash assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) 4Ps program last year, thanks to Sen. Imee,”  Bongalon said.


“As vice chair of the Committee on Appropriations, I learned that it was Sen. Marcos – as head of the Senate finance sub-committee in charge of DSWD’s budget – who slashed P13 billion from the 4Ps budget. This left the most vulnerable sectors without financial aid last year, possibly until the Department of Social Welfare and Development receives its 2024 budget,” he added.

FEATURED STORIES has contacted Senator Marcos for her side of the story, but she only said ‘dedma’ — a Filipino slang for ignoring something.

Bongalon said that Marcos’ complaints about Ayuda para sa Kapos ang Kita Program (AKAP) were ironic since she herself made realignments.

“Sen. Imee takes issue with AKAP or Ayuda para sa Kapos ang Kita Program of the House of Representatives, which will provide cash grants to our ‘near poor’ kababayans,” he said.

“It’s ironic that she even wants a Senate inquiry into AKAP when she should be the one investigated for depriving the ‘poorest of the poor’ of P13 billion last year,” he added.

Questions about AKAP were raised by Senator Marcos, who said in a Senate hearing last Tuesday that the said program was unknown to senators, especially to her since she sponsored the 2024 budget of the DSWD when it was still being deliberated.

Marcos also speculated that the AKAP funds were used to entice people into signing in favor of the people’s initiative (PI) campaign to amend the Constitution, which some senators believe was being orchestrated by House leaders.


READ: DSWD’s AKAP to help workers, not linked to Cha-cha, says solon

Several House officials have already called out Senator Marcos for her claims, with Bongalon’s fellow Ako Bicol party-list lawmaker Rep. Elizaldy Co saying that the senator is tarnishing the pure intentions of AKAP.

READ: Rep. Tulfo: AKAP is for neglected middle-class workers, not for bribery

It was Co, chairperson of the House committee on appropriations, who first announced the new program last December after the bicameral conference committee approved the final version of the budget.

READ: Workers earning no more than P23,000 monthly to get P5,000 aid – House

Bongalon however did not answer Senator Marcos’ previous allegations that AKAP was created by diverting billions of funds originally intended for the pensions of retired military and uniformed personnel, along with other government workers.

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According to her, the pensions suffered a reduction of more than P10 billion in the 2024 national budget due to the whopping inserted allocation for AKAP.

TAGS: Imee Marcos, Raul Angelo Bongalon

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