Senators said Thursday they would be checking if there is a need to include an additional budget for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) cash aid program in the proposed 2021 national budget.
This was after the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said that the number of poor Filipino families could increase to 20 million next year.
“We will be looking at these programs as we hear the departments of DSWD, National Anti-Poverty Commission, Department of Labor and Employment, and other agencies that can help alleviate poverty in the country,” Sonny Angara, senate committee on finance chairperson, said in a message to GMA News Online.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III also said the upper chamber members would first “study and review.”
During the budget hearing in the House of Representatives yesterday, DSWD said it aims to register 16 million poor households under its National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction. The number, however, could still go as high as 20 million due to the economic impact of the pandemic.
Senators to check if additional 4Ps budget needed for 2021
According to the National Expenditure Program for the next fiscal year, P113.8 billion of the DSWD’s proposed P169 billion budget would go for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
4Ps is “conditional cash transfer that requires beneficiaries to comply with human development goals such as sending children to school, getting regular health check-ups, and attending family development sessions, among others.”
In June, the Philippine government acquired a $450 million (about P22.5 billion) loan from Asian Development Bank (ADB) for 4Ps, which would provide continuous cash aids for needy families in the county.
“This budget-support loan will not only help bridge our funding gap for our COVID-19 response but will also strengthen our social protection program as we restart our economy and help people get back on their feet amid the pandemic,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said.
“This budget-support loan under the Esap is part of the Philippine government’s external financing program for 2020, with $450 million of the fund proposed for accelerated disbursement by next month,” the DOF said.