The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) welcomes the findings and recommendations of the Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS) on the need to adjust the cash grants received by the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and to improve on the cash delivery mechanisms.

Starting in 2020, program beneficiaries have enjoyed higher cash grants as mandated by Republic Act 11310 or the 4Ps Act.   For health, household-beneficiaries now receive P750 per month from P500. Education grant for children in senior high school is at P700 from P500, while the education grant for children in junior high school and elementary school remains at P500 and P300, respectively, for ten months This is in addition to the rice subsidy amounting to P600 per month.

The DSWD said that the increase in the cash grants only happened after more than a decade, but with the program being institutionalized through the law and with the provision to allow the program’s Advisory Council to determine the amount of cash grants as stipulated in Section 7 of the 4Ps Act, the adjustment in cash grant is not far-fetched.

The Department added that the recommendation to increase the cash grant may also be timely as the country faces a health crisis due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the 4Ps National Project Management Office (NPMO) recognizes the challenges in the cash grant delivery mechanisms. The NPMO said that the concern on the delivery mechanism is not only in converting pay-outs via Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards but also accessibility of ATMs and electronic payment (e-payment) systems across the country. The 4Ps NPMO said that improvement in the payment delivery mechanisms is one of its top priorities for this year to allow the beneficiaries to enjoy their cash benefits with the timely receipt of their grants.

4Ps is the poverty reduction strategy of the national government with DSWD as the lead agency. Household-beneficiaries are entitled to receive cash subsidies provided that the conditions on health, nutrition, and education are followed. This will foster necessary behaviour for parents to adequately perform the duties and responsibilities, particularly in investing in their children’s future.

4Ps was launched in 2007 covering 300,000 in its pilot run. It has massively scaled up, reaching 4.4 million households in 2013. Currently, the program has 4.3 million registered active households across 41,676 barangays around the country.  ###