Pols using 4Ps tagged as ‘epals’ | Inquirer News

Pols using 4Ps tagged as ‘epals’

By: - Correspondent / @joeygabietaINQ
/ 12:20 AM August 14, 2015

TACLOBAN CITY—A ranking national social welfare official is urging politicians not to use the antipoverty measure Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, or 4Ps, of the government in their campaign for elections next year.

“This is a program of the national government and not by certain politicians,” said Javier Jimenez, assistant social welfare secretary, at a press conference here on Monday.

“While we are grateful to Congress for supporting the program, what’s involved here is public money,” said Jimenez.


Jimenez said politicians using the 4Ps program could be considered “epal” or irritating attention-grabbers.


‘Moral suasion’

He admitted, though, that Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) officials could not do anything because they did not have prosecution powers. “What we can do is just to ask them and apply moral suasion to them,” said Jimenez.

He did not identify any politician who uses the 4Ps program to campaign.

One of the most known politicians to ride on the 4Ps program, however, is Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, the official candidate for President of the Aquino administration. In radio and TV ads, Roxas is seen calling for the people’s support for the continuation of the gains of the so-called “daang matuwid (straight path)” that included benefits given the poor through the 4Ps program.

Jimenez said he had received reports that some politicians had been threatening beneficiaries of 4Ps, a program started by now detained former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and adopted by the Aquino administration, with removal from the program if the beneficiaries did not vote for the politicians next year.

Jimenez did not identify who the politicians are but made an appeal for the 4Ps program to be spared.


He said the reports about harassment by politicians of beneficiaries came from beneficiaries in the provinces of Zambales, Dagupan and Pampanga.

The reports, which also reached the DSWD office in Manila, said politicians had been bragging about having the power to remove or add beneficiaries from or to the list of 4Ps beneficiaries.

Poorest of the poor

The 4Ps program releases stipends to families classified as the poorest of the poor in exchange for the continued elementary and high school education and regular health checkups of their children.

The politicians, said Jimenez, claim that funds being given to beneficiaries come from the politicians’ pockets.

Jimenez said this is the reason he has been going around the country to inform beneficiaries that no politician has the power to remove or add beneficiaries to 4Ps.

Beneficiaries, he said, could be removed from 4Ps only for violation of guidelines set by the DSWD and failure to meet conditions for grant of the stipends.

These include prenatal care for pregnant women by professionals and attendance in responsible parenthood seminars.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

He said at least 4.4 million families had been qualified as 4Ps beneficiaries. More than 700,000 of these are in Eastern Visayas, he said.

TAGS: 4Ps, Epal, News, Regions

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.