PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure institutionalizing the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) as the government's regular poverty reduction initiative.
Duterte signed Republic Act (RA) 11310 or the 4Ps Act, in a bid to "promote a just and dynamic social order thereby uplifting its citizens and marginalized sectors from poverty."
The 4Ps, deemed as a national poverty reduction strategy and a human capital investment program, provides conditional cash transfer (CCT) to poor households for a maximum of seven years to improve their health, nutrition and access to education.
"Towards this end, the State shall establish programs that invest and harness our country's human capital and improvement of delivery of basic services to the poor, particularly education, health and nutrition, which is an intervention anticipated to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty," the law, signed by Duterte on April 17, reads.
Under RA 11310, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is tasked to select qualified beneficiaries using a standard targeting system and revalidate existing recipients every three years.
Considered eligible for the anti-poverty program are farmers, fisherfolk, homeless families, indigenous peoples, and those who are in the informal settler sector and in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.
All qualified beneficiaries will be automatically covered in the National Health Insurance Program.
Every three years after the effectivity of RA 11310, the Philippine Institute for Development Studies is mandated to conduct an impact assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of the 4Ps, the veracity of the list of beneficiaries, and the program implementation.
All 4Ps beneficiaries will also be given priority in the availment of modalities nad interventions under DSWD's Sustainable Livelihood Program or other appropriate or similar programs offered by other government agencies or accredited private institutions.
A joint congressional oversight committee is also created to set the overall framework to review the law's implementation, determine inherent weaknesses in the law, and recommend necessary remedial legislation or executive measures.
The funds that will be used for the implementation of the law will be charged against those authorized in the current and subsequent General Approrpaitions Act.
Palace released a copy of RA 11310 on Wednesday, May 22. (SunStar Philippines)