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Metro’s poor to get P6.74B in cash doleouts in 2015, 2016

Pedetrians walk past houses in a shantytown in Manila on July 5, 2013. AFP

Pedetrians walk past houses in a shantytown in Manila on July 5, 2013. AFP

Metro Manila, home to at least 232,811 poorest of the poor families, will get P3.32 billion in Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) funds in 2016, bringing to P6.74 billion the National Capital Region’s allocations under the government’s flagship poverty alleviation program during the 2015-2016 period.

The amount, however, put the NCR’s two-year budget only in the 12th position among 17 regions nationwide, which received a total allocation of P125.05 billion, said a 4Ps report furnished the Philippine Daily Inquirer by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the lead agency implementing the program.

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The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) got the biggest slice of the 4Ps budget pie with an allocation of P6.02 billion and P5.84 billion in 2015 and 2016, respectively, or a total of P11.86 billion.

Next was Bicol with P10.34 billion, followed by the Zamboanga Peninsula, P8.85 billion; Western Visayas, P8.68 billion; Southern Tagalog, P8.66 billion; Central Luzon, P8.3 billion; Northern Mindanao, P7.74 billion; Eastern Visayas, P7.65 billion; Central Visayas and Davao region, both with P7.41 billion; Soccsksargen, P7.08 billion; Mimaropa, P5.62 billion; Ilocos, P5.54 billion; Caraga, P5.16 billion; Cagayan Valley, P3.04 billion; and the Cordillera Administrative Region, P1.87 billion.

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Between 2011 and 2016, the program budget amounted to P294.62 billion.

DSWD records also showed that over 4.4 million indigent households nationwide had benefited from the 4Ps, which also helps the government fulfill its commitments under the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs of eradicating poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality, reducing child mortality and improving maternal health care.

The program has nearly 1.8 million family beneficiaries in Luzon, 898,099 in the Visayas and almost 1.7 million in Mindanao, including 409,637 households in the ARMM.

Meanwhile, the DSWD is conducting the second round of its National Housing Targeting System for Poverty Reduction, or “Listahanan” which aims to determine which poor families should be added to the 4Ps.

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman told the INQUIRER the agency’s database updating would be completed shortly.

She explained a new round of profiling wouldhave to be done, noting recent typhoons, floods and other natural disasters had left an undisclosed number of families in various parts of the country poor, homeless and jobless.

In a statement, Soliman said the Listahanan “will help us determine who and where the poorest of the poor are,” adding “after the second round of assessment, we should be able determine who should be included in our programs, particularly the 4Ps.”

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President Aquino has repeatedly cited the 4Ps, saying the government had earmarked more funds into the program as an “investment for the future of the country’s youth.”

Under the 4Ps, two types of cash grants are given to household beneficiaries: A health grant of P500 per family per month, or a total of P6,000 every year; and an education grant of P300 per child each month and where a household may register a maximum of three children.

In order to get these cash subsidies, children beneficiaries must be enrolled in school and maintain an attendance of at least 85 percent of class days every month. On the other hand, children aged 5 and below must get regular preventive health checkups and vaccines while those aged 6 to 14 must receive deworming pills twice a year.

Pregnant women beneficiaries must avail of pre- and post-natal care while parents are required to attend family development sessions, which include topics on responsible parenting, health and nutrition.

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TAGS: 4Ps, cash doleout, conditional cash transfer program, Corazon "Dinky" Soliman, Department of Social Welfare and Development, indigent families, indigents, Metro Manila, news, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Poor families, Poverty Alleviation, pvoerty
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