DSWD eyes increased cash grant to 4Ps beneficiaries

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 22) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development is ready to increase the cash grant under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) should there be funding allotted to it, a lawmaker said during the House of Representatives plenary session for the proposed 2024 national budget.

"The agency can submit the resolution of the council approving the increase and the ball now is in the hands of Congress," Quezon City Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong, sponsor of the DSWD's budget, said Friday. "Sana magkaroon ng special provision ang Kongreso na malagay siya sa unprogrammed funds."

[Translation: We hope that Congress will allow a special provision that the funds increase for the 4Ps will be put under the unprogrammed funds.]

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has said unprogrammed appropriations will only be funded if the collected government revenue exceeds targets. Upon DBM's approval, the funds may be used for infrastructure projects and social programs.

Limkaichong made the statement after Agri party-list Representative Wilbert Lee urged the agency to increase the cash grant.

Citing the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, Lee said the maximum amount of ₱31,200 that a 4Ps household can receive in a year in 2019 has been devalued to ₱14,535 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and price increases of basic commodities.

"Yung ₱300 pesos noong 2019, kailangan na po nila ng ₱366 ngayon," Lee said. "Nabawasan ng kalahati ang value nung total cash grant na pwedeng makuha ng beneficiary."

[Translation: For the ₱300 in 2019, they now need ₱366. The value of the total cash grant that can be obtained by the beneficiary has been reduced by half.]

Earlier in the budget deliberation, Limkaichong said 94% of confirmed beneficiaries of the 4Ps will be able to receive the cash transfer by the end of the year as distribution will begin in October.

She also said 70% of previous beneficiaries will be maintained. However, the reassessment of 1.4 million families is still ongoing until the end of September.

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