Poe vows to continue cash dole-out to the poor under 4Ps
DIGOS CITY, Davao del Sur, Philippines – Senator Grace Poe has vowed to continue the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) if she wins the election.
Poe told reporters here on Monday, that contrary to the “black propaganda” by an opponent, she would not scrap the 4Ps program. While she did not categorically say who this opponent was, she was obviously referring to Liberal Party standard bearer, Mar Roxas.
Several TV ads by Roxas showed 4Ps beneficiaries recounting how the program had helped them change their lives and improve the economic standing of their families. At the end of each TV ad, Roxas asked what would become of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino beneficiaries if government would not continue the Daang Matuwid (straight path).
“You can be assured, contrary to the black propaganda, that we will continue (4Ps),” Poe said.
She said as a government with a heart, her presidency would make sure to provide help to those in need.
“We will not only continue it, we will strengthen it. We need to expand the coverage of the Conditional Cash Transfer program but we will make sure the beneficiaries will also get livelihood they can draw additional income from,” Poe said.
Aside from helping poor Filipinos by expanding the 4Ps program, she said she would make sure the children of poor families would have meals so they would not have skip school.
“If you can remember when we were kids, the government had the nutribun program. We will create a similar program to ensure that our children take their lunch. It is a fact that many children go to school without taking any meal and they go to class starving,” Poe said.
She said a Poe government would expand all existing social programs, not only the 4Ps, but would make sure that the effects of the benefits from government would be significant.
The CCT or 4Ps was patterned after a similar program in Latin American countries.
It was first adopted in the Philippines by the administration of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The Arroyo government’s rationale for adopting the CCT was to give poor families a cash allowance so they would not wallow in hunger, but to qualify for the program, they had to agree to keep their children in school, among others.
The Arroyo government said when these children grow up, they could help “break the inter-generational cycle of poverty” because they would be educated and would get better jobs.
By the end of its second year of implementation, the Arroyo government said 700,000 families had been made beneficiaries of the program and the drop-out rate had significantly dropped.
Under the Aquino administration, the 4Ps was expanded to all 17 regions in the country and had 4,353,597 “active household-beneficiaries” as of the end of August 2015, according to the government’s Official Gazette.
From January to August 2015, the national government disbursed a total of P27.15 billion in cash grants to these beneficiaries. SFM
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