Pangan: A relief for the poorest of the poor

TRUE to his promise before the elections, moral crusader and broadcaster Erwin Tulfo carried out his tasks as Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. He gave his assurance that his department will promptly start distribution of the P500 targeted cash transfer (TCT) aid to the country's poorest families to alleviate the effects of escalating prices of oil and basic commodities.

If Tulfo will go on as chief of DSWD, he will impart his "fighting" character to weed out unscrupulous individuals preying on the already very poor beneficiaries. He promised to cleanse the list of the 4Ps beneficiaries so that only the deserving among the poor will get the benefit.

He has a giant task to help about 12.4 million Filipino beneficiaries under the TCT program. More to follow and be included in the list as incidents of hunger and poverty increase among the ranks of the poor everyday.

The breakdown of beneficiaries of the program is as follows: four million families from the 4Ps; six million non-4 Ps who were former beneficiaries of the Unconditional Cash Transfer program and 2.4 families on the DSWD "listahan" or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction, the database established by the DSWD to identify the country's poorest families.

The program will be implemented by DSWD for six months as reported. I'd say the national government should sustain the program as long as soaring prices of oil and basic commodities persist. This way, we can help the poorest of the poor in their daily subsistence.

Secretary Tulfo advised the beneficiaries to put their grants to good use by buying food and other needed necessities. He also warned them that using it for illegal activities such as gambling may result in the forfeiture of their grants.


Meanwhile, the government's think tank men should explore ways to lessen the ranks of poverty and find gainful employment and livelihood to pluck the poor from their present situation.

This way, more citizens can contribute to nation-building instead of being dependent on dole-outs for sustained periods.


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