Providing 4Ps beneficiaries with physical rice bags is 'impractical,' according to the DSWD.
What innovative approaches can be adopted to enhance the effectiveness of social welfare programs like the 4Ps?

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has reaffirmed its position that providing cash assistance to beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is more feasible and efficient than delivering actual rice bags valued at PHP600 per month. This decision comes after thorough discussions with the Department of Agriculture (DA), highlighting the logistical challenges and the lack of legal provision for rice procurement as significant hurdles to the proposed shift from cash to rice distribution.

DSWD Assistant Secretary Romel Lopez, in a statement during the DSWD Weekend Report, pointed out the impracticalities of the rice distribution proposal, emphasizing the logistical complexities and the inconvenience it could pose to the beneficiaries. The idea of converting the PHP600 rice subsidy into physical rice, suggested by DA officials to ease market price pressures, lacks a legal basis in the General Appropriations Act, thereby limiting its feasibility.

The 4Ps program, serving as a lifeline for 4.4 million households nationwide, offers a PHP600 monthly rice subsidy along with education and health grants to its qualified members. These grants are contingent upon the beneficiaries' adherence to certain conditions, such as ensuring their children's education, regular health check-ups, and participation in Family Development Sessions.

Given the logistical challenges and the absence of a legal framework for rice purchases, DSWD continues to advocate for cash grants as a direct and adaptable form of assistance to 4Ps beneficiaries, allowing them to meet their diverse needs more effectively.

 

Ms. Angel Faith Danganan serves as the President of Central Luzon Balita and has worked as a broadcast journalist with the news group for less than a decade. Originally from Capas, Tarlac, she actively participates in numerous civic groups and public service initiatives. She took up her Broadcast communication studies at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) Manila.

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