The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recently reported that 521 families in Catanduanes graduated from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) last year.
They were no longer entitled to the conditional cash transfers because the families either had no more children 18 years old and below or that had already enough income to survive on their own, the DSWD stated in a press conference in Virac the other week.
According to DSWD Regional Director Leo Quintilla Jr., the department conducts regular assessments of 4Ps members using the so-called Administrative Social Welfare Development Indicators, with the evaluators going up to the family’s house and monitoring how many times the family eats in a day, among others.
When the scores reach Level 3, the DSWD said, this means that the family income is already above the poverty threshold and they will graduate from 4Ps.
On the other hand, there are also beneficiaries who had been removed from the list due to violations of the conditionalities, it added.
These beneficiaries were initially warned for the first offence, with the second resulting in the suspension of the cash grant.
Since 2017, 86 households under 4Ps were suspended, the DSWD bared, but only four committed the same offense for the third time and thus were delisted.
There are several reasons why an indigent family exits the program, it added, foremost among them attrition or when the family no longer has a qualified child.
The second is when the family itself waives inclusion in the 4Ps as it is already earning enough or has a sustainable livelihood.
The third go out due to penalties as a result of non-compliance with the program’s conditions, including those caught engaging in vices like gambling, mortgaging their ATM cards, or using the cash grants for other purposes instead of using the same to feed and send their children to school.
The DSWD regional office said that they have staff in all 11 towns who are monitoring the beneficiaries of the program together with parent leaders and barangay officials and conducting family development sessions to remind the beneficiary families of the do’s and don’t’s of the program.
We have been receiving reports from barangays on 4Ps family members engaging in gambling but some are hesitant to give the names of the violators, the DSWD stated, as it assured the confidentiality of the informants.
Among the over 16,200 households in Catanduanes who are in the 4Ps, four have been delisted due to misbehavior, 227 waived their inclusion, 35 were released due to disqualification, and 46 no longer found eligible due to higher income, in addition to the 521 which graduated because they no longer have children 18 years old and below.
Those who waived are 24 from Bagamanoc, four in Baras, three in Bato, 37 in Caramoran, 19 in Gigmoto, 12 in Pandan, nine in Panganiban, 19 in San Andres, seven in San Miguel, 11 in Viga and 82 in Virac.
On the other hand, the four which were delisted came from Bagamanoc (2) and Caramoran (2).