The anti-poverty strategy Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) may be discontinued should the next administration decides to scrap it, a move that would be detrimental to poverty-stricken Filipino families.
This was warned by Senator Sonny Angara as he urged his colleagues to make the 4Ps program a law by enacting his proposed Senate Bill 310, now pending with the Senate Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development committee.
SB 310 is entitled “Institutionalizing the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) to Reduce Poverty and Promote Human Capital Development.”
Angara’s proposal, if passed into law, will institutionalize the program and mandate its continued implementation unlike now where it is just a mere policy program that can easily be stopped by any administration in the future.
The Senate ways and means committee chairman backed-up his bill, which he filed in 2016, with studies showing that the 4Ps, an intervention which gives conditional cash transfer (CCT) to the poorest of the poor, reduced the total poverty and food poverty among CCT beneficiaries by up to 6.7 percentage points.
At the national level, estimates had shown that the program reduced both total poverty and food poverty by up to 1.4 percentage points in 2013.
As of August 2015, there are about 4.4 million active household-beneficiaries, which include some 10.2 million schoolchildren aged 0 to 18.
“The program may be subject to discontinuance by future administrations, despite its promising results in reducing poverty and promoting human capital development,” Angara said, pointing out the need “to institutionalize the 4Ps through legislation to sustain its success, particularly in addressing the needs of the poor.”
Aside from the CCT, the bill also provides loan assistance for those who will be able to complete the entrepreneurship and/or livelihood training programs.