Marcos wants 4Ps, cash aids to keep up with inflation

President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr.
President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr.Photo from Bongbong Marcos Facebook page

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has directed the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to ensure that the cash assistance being provided to beneficiaries will keep up with the country’s inflation.

In a press briefing, DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian said that during a sectoral meeting in Malacañang on Tuesday, February 20, 2024, Marcos instructed them to work with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and the National Economic Development Authority to find the best index to ensure that the grants, particularly the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), and social protection of the agency are adjusted to the inflation rate.

He said Marcos wanted to ensure that social protection programs are not just implemented timely but also responsive to the challenges brought by inflation.

Instead of having a new set of cash grants, Marcos ordered them to come up with a set formula for the grants so that it can be adjusted based on the current prices and rate of inflation.

“Isa sa mga inatasan niyang pag-aralan namin is paano huwag mag-diminish or mabawasan iyong halaga ng mga financial assistance or grants na ibinibigay natin sa ating mahihirap na kababayan,” Gatchalian said.

(One of the things he asked us to study is how not to diminish or reduce the value of the financial assistance or grants that we give to our poor countrymen.)

“Alam naman natin na ginagawa ng economic team lahat para mapababa ang inflation pero habang ginagawa iyon, kailangan kaakibat iyong pagprotekta sa value ng… peso value ng mga grants na ibinibigay natin katulad sa 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) at sa iba pang mga programa na nakatuon sa pagbigay ng social protection sa pinakamahihirap nating mga kababayan,” he added.

(We know that the economic team is doing everything to lower inflation but while doing that, it must be accompanied by protecting the value of... the peso value of the grants that we give like the 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) and other programs that are committed to providing social protection to the poorest of our countrymen.)

The 4Ps program was created under Republic Act 11310, which mandates fixed amount of cash grants to poor families.

Gatchalian said the country’s inflation rate for the bottom 30 percent income households, who were the most affected by effects of inflation, was recorded at 6.7 percent in 2023.

As of February 2024, the DSWD secretary said 65 percent of the over 700,000 beneficiaries who have graduated from the program are already self-sufficient.

Marcos also ordered the PSA and other concerned government agencies to immediately conduct a census through the Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) to update the list of 4Ps beneficiaries and make the government anti-poverty and social protection initiatives more responsive and effective.

In response, PSA Director Undersecretary Nestor Mapa said they will come up with the updated list within the year. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)


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