Converting 4Ps to rice is myopic

Converting 4Ps to rice is myopic

Feb 16, 2024, 3:23 AM
Rose De La Cruz

Rose De La Cruz


A proposal – obviously broached to President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. which he readily liked – of converting the cash grants given every two months under the 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program) into rice is foolish (at the very least) and myopic.

The 4Ps grants, which cover the school and medical needs of three schoolchildren (until Senior High School) per family plus the mother, are intended not just for food but for their daily subsistence that includes schooling (ergo mobility, too) and keeping themselves healthy.

The monthly grant for elementary kids is P300; for high school P500 and for SHS, P700 plus the mother of P700 per month. But these are released every two months.

An addition of P600 per month or P1,200 during the payout every two months was given by former President Duterte. All told, the payout every two months is P6,000.

In exchange, the schoolchildren must have an 85 percent attendance in school and the mother must attend a monthly FDS (Family Development Session) – where they are taught about the myths of certain diseases, family code and the rights of children, and so many other stuff.

Yearly, the students must present their IDs (so the Department of Social Welfare and Development can validate with their advisers on their progress at school) or LRNs (learner reference number from the Department of Education).

Before school opens, the 4Ps recipient must help out in cleaning the schools or other community duties, for which they must submit proof of attendance and actual participation.

Sadly, though, such cash grants have not been received by countless 4Ps beneficiaries, who under the current dispensation had to wait endlessly after the validation of the list by former DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo and is still ongoing under current DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian.

Nothing has been received for the entire 2023 and the first two months of 2024 by the 4Ps beneficiaries.

There are reports, emanating from DSWD, that so many grantees have gotten their payouts but for the majority, nada.

Does this mean that DSWD has preferred 4Ps grantees to give grants to?

It is said that by September 2024, the DSWD would replace those that have “graduated” from the program with another 200,000 fresh grantees.

I wonder, are they fixing the list again?!

Considering all the above stipulations of the program, it is foolish to just replace the cash grant into rice grants (since there is yet no specific volume of rice to be given to the beneficiaries monthly) and the cost (or volume of rice) to approximate the delayed grant payouts.

Also, the students and mother recipients must be spending not just transportation to comply with their commitments under the grant program but also other expenses like medicines should they get sick or other contingencies. Obviously, they can’t pay the fares and other living expenses in rice form.

Besides, this will also duplicate the TUPAD grants (in rice) being given by the Department of Labor and Employment to certified indigent senior citizens and PWDs and breadwinners who lost their jobs.

Considering further, the tight rice supply situation– aggravated by the ongoing drought– why should the Department of Agriculture (DA) or the National Food Authority (NFA), for that matter, even agree to such a proposal (which I suspect they even broached during the Tuesday meeting with the President in the palace) when their buffer for calamities and emergencies is only a few days.

Methinks that one agency or a few officials are willfully trying to endear themselves to the President with such myopic ideas and in the end making the Chief Executive look so dumb.

#WeTakeAStand #OpinYon #4Ps

Photo credit : Visayan Daily Star

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