DSWD-Davao reveals some ‘graduating’ 4Ps beneficiaries slid back into poverty

DSWD-Davao reveals some ‘graduating’ 4Ps beneficiaries slid back into poverty
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AN OFFICIAL from the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Davao Region (DSWD-Davao) bared that some of the beneficiaries nearing their seven-year stay in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) have slid back to the poverty threshold in 2020 and 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Michelle Franca, 4Ps focal of DSWD, revealed in a radio interview, on Friday morning, December 29, 2023, that due to the loss of livelihood, many families have slid back to being poor.

All of the Filipinos who were considered poor or near poor were included in the Listahan III, a survey that was conducted in 2019. However, after the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic, many families who are near poor have slid back to being poor. 

With this, the DSWD released a memorandum that those who were considered non-poor based on the Listahan III have to undergo a reassessment. 

For months DSWD social workers have conducted reassessments on the families using the Social Welfare and Development Indicator Tool (SWDIT) and it revealed that some of them have already slid to being poor. 

As of November 2022, the second batch of beneficiaries which is around 5,000 families have been reactivated back to 4Ps based on the results of the SWDIT. These beneficiaries have already been tagged as non-poor in the Listahanan III in 2019. However, when reassessed it showed that they slid back to being poor thus their reactivation to the 4Ps program. 

The beneficiaries will be given a cash grant until they graduate from the program. 

However, not all families were found to be eligible for reactivation. Franca said that once the family becomes self-sufficient, they will no longer be qualified for reactivation.
“Ang atoang priority aning reassessment nato kay ang level one lang. Ang level one mao na siya tung survival. Mao ni sila ang katong mga pamilya nga walang-wala gyud. Next ang level two, kaning ang sustenance, kaning mabuhi lang para sa isa ka adlaw then ugma wala na pud, mangita na pud ug pagkaon (Our priority for this reassessment is the level one, which is those who are very poor. These families are those who have nothing. Next is level two which is the sustenance. Families included in sustenance are those who live by having a full complete meal for a day and will look for their food once again the following day),” Franca said.    

However, Franca stressed that the 4Ps are not a means of livelihood to sustain a family, rather it is an assistance to help them with their finances. 

“Ang uban man gud nagtuo nga ang 4Ps para pahumanon og eskwela gyud ang ilang mga anak, para gyud mapakaon ilang mga anak but it’s not the pinaka-main goal gyud niya kung dili pag-abag lang para makahunat mo (Some people believe that the 4Ps is a way to send their children to school, to feed their children, but it’s not the main goal of 4Ps. Its main goal is to assist them out of poverty),” Franca said. 

The main beneficiaries of the 4Ps are the children and its goal is to break the chain of poverty so that the children would not experience the same hardships as their parents. 

Franca also stressed that nobody is allowed to enlist or delist a member of the 4Ps. Even the officials of the Local Government Unit (LGU) do not have the right and capacity to delist a member of the program. It is only the DSWD that has the power to enlist and delist the beneficiaries of the 4Ps. 

Shen added that if the beneficiaries experience difficulties with their benefits, they must consult the status of their membership with the department because there might be requirements that they have missed.

The Republic Act Number 11310 otherwise known as the “Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) Act” is a human capital investment program and the country’s plan for reducing poverty. It offers impoverished households conditional cash transfers for a maximum of seven years in an effort to enhance their children’s health, nutrition, and educational opportunities. RGP

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