DSWD now spot checks cash cards ‘to stop pawning’
MANILA — State social workers are conducting on-the-spot checks of the cash cards of beneficiaries of the government’s conditional cash transfer program due to numerous reports that some beneficiaries are pawning their cash cards.
Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said they have received “many” reports of pawning of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) cash cards in Metro Manila.
“We do not tolerate such behavior. The Department (of Social Welfare and Development) is doing its best to help our beneficiaries understand the repercussions,” Taguiwalo said.
“There are so many impoverished Filipinos who want to be members of the Pantawid program but did not get enlisted. We hope the current members will maximize the benefits of the program and not risk losing their membership,” she added.
The 4Ps cash cards work like bank automated teller machine cards so beneficiaries can withdraw their monthly cash grants from government banks.
The DSWD said those caught pawning their cash cards or misusing their cash grants would be given warnings and sanctions on the first up to the fourth offense.
Afterwards ff they get caught again, they would be delisted from the program.
The DSWD said 15 out of 61 4Ps households recently checked in Caloocan and Valenzuela cities were found guilty of pawning their Pantawid cash cards.
Since the start of the year up to March 10, a total of 7,798 households in Metro Manila have been delisted from the Pantawid program for violating the program’s conditions.
Nationwide, some 243,420 4Ps households have been delisted.
The DSWD says 196,104 out of the 227,373 4Ps households in Metro Manila receive their cash grants through cash cards.
Some 4.4 million poor Filipino households are enrolled under the Pantawid program. They receive cash assistance every month so long as school age children attend school and undergo regular health check-up and the pregnant family members undergo prenatal and postnatal care. Parents are also required to attend monthly family seminars.
Taguiwalo had said they would no longer take in more 4Ps members as the DSWD has decided to focus on services for the poor such as livelihood assistance and emergency financial assistance without any conditions. SFM/rga
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