BENEFICIARIES of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) who were apprehended due to illegal gambling and illegal substance abuse by allegedly using the financial aid given to them will possibly be removed from the 4Ps list.
According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office-Northern Mindanao Director Mari-Flor A. Dollaga, the financial aid from the national government should not be used in gambling and illegal drug trade activities but to purchase ones basic needs, especially during this time of crisis brought about by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Director Dollaga appealed to the beneficiaries of the government's various cash aid programs to spend the money only for essential needs.
Under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Act or the Republic Act (RA) 11310, cases of wrongful acts committed by the beneficiaries will go through the Grievance Redress System (GRS) for resolution and action.
Erring 4Ps beneficiaries who undergo GRS include those who pawn their cash cards, are engaged in illegal gambling and illegal drug trade using the financial assistance, and parents who fail to support their children.
The conditional cash transfer program aims to provide financial aid to poor households that meet certain qualifications. This will be for the improvement of their health, education and over-all well being.
Under this program, they are to comply with certain conditions in order to be considered beneficiaries. These include the following: children 3 to 18 years old must be enrolled in kindergarten, elementary, and high school, and attend classes at least 85 percent of the time each month; children 0-5 years old must receive regular preventive health check-ups, growth monitoring, and vaccines; pregnant women get pre and post-natal care (must be attended by skilled/professional health workers); children in elementary must receive de-worming pills twice a year; and attendance of the grantee/parent/guardian to the monthly family development session
Under the law, the government will provide conditional cash transfers to qualified poor households for a maximum period of 7 years. The National Advisory Council, however, may recommend a longer period under exceptional circumstances.
Various police units in the region have recorded erring 4Ps and SAP beneficiaries for violating quarantine protocols and certain laws.
On April 28, the Cagayan de Oro Police Office (Cocpo) arrested Danilo Razalo, 44, and Criselo Baguinat, 40 for allegedly participating in a shabu pot session.
The police stated that Razalo is a 4Ps beneficiary, while Baguinat was a recipient of SAP aid. Charges related to the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act will be filed against them.
On April 24, police also apprehended Claver Lomongo, 39, and Archer Bacala, 40, for violation of the liquor ban. Both are SAP beneficiaries and will face the appropriate charges.
In Bukidnon province, the Talakag municipal police also arrested on April 27 two 4Ps beneficiaries for violating the liquor ban. (PR)