THE National Economic and Development Authority plans to increase the amount of cash subsidies received by the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), the government’s social safety net program.
Economic and Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia told reporters they prefer higher cash subsidies given to 4Ps beneficiaries instead of the monthly rice allocation.
“If I were to decide, bakit (why) rice subsidy, why not outright cash, para (so) they have the freedom to do whatever they want to do with the cash?” Pernia asked.
The Conditional Cash Transfer program, known as 4Ps, headed by the Social and Welfare department, provides grants to poor families if they send their children to school, visit health centers and attend family development sessions.
CCTs are an investment in human development that pays off when healthier and better educated young people grow up to get better jobs and break out of the poverty trap.
Earlier, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno was quoted as saying a rice subsidy would be given to the families on top of the cash allocations they currently receive.
Thus, according to Diokno, this resulted into the increase of DSWD’s budget by 17.1 percent for the 2017 proposed national budget.
“We gave them rice subsidy of 20 kilos per month for the whole year...so this is about P24 billion because there are actually millions [of] beneficiaries,” Diokno said in a broadcast interview.
With the additional budget, the DSWD’s budget for the 4Ps will reach around P90 billion, as the P65 billion allotment by the Aquino administration will be retained for cash benefits.
The target implementation of the rice subsidy, according to Pernia, will be next year.