Biometric system used to authenticate beneficiaries-A A +A
Saturday, September 8, 2012
MATAG-OB, Leyte — The use of biometrics in Eastern Visayas formally started Saturday to authenticate beneficiaries of the government’s cash grant program.
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman said the biometrics system piloted in this town is seen to avoid any unnecessary arrangements made by the beneficiaries with other persons.
“After the implementation in Leyte, the biometrics technology will also be used in the province of Maguindanao, where there is high prevalence of fraud in claiming the amount intended for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries,” Soliman said.
DSWD field assessment conducted showed that some beneficiaries have entrusted their automated teller machine (ATM) cards to loan sharks to serve as collateral for loans and the loan sharks have been withdrawing the cash grants.
Under the new biometrics system, the ATM cards distributed to beneficiaries will no longer be used as they will be required to personally claim or withdraw the cash aid.
“This will save money on the beneficiaries since they will no longer go to the cities where there are banks to withdraw money. This will also save on the part of the government since the government will no longer have to pay the banks for the distribution of cash cards,” Soliman said.
The biometrics was piloted in Leyte after the Provincial Government through its Income Creating Opportunities Program on Information Technology (ICOT-P) programmed the system.
Governor Jericho Petilla said the biometrics system is seen to be an effective tool to avoid scams in claiming the cash grant.
“What is good with this project is that one of its programmers, a trainee of ICOT-P is himself a 4Ps beneficiary,” Petilla said.
During Satuday’s launching, about 807 household beneficiaries from 18 barangays of Matag-ob personally claimed their cash grants using the biometrics system.
As of August, 259,104 households from the region are covered by 4Ps and covers 91 percent of the villages in the region.
The 4Ps is the Aquino administration’s five-year main poverty mitigation measure that gives cash grants to poor households, provided that the mothers avail of pre- and post-natal care checkups and their children are immunized and attend 85 percent of their classes.
Beneficiaries can receive a monthly stipend of up to P1,400, or P500 per mother and P300 each up to three children. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)