In his bid to uplift citizens and marginalized sectors from poverty, President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law institutionalizing the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
Duterte signed Republic Act No. 1130 on April 17. The Palace, however, only released the documents to reporters on Wednesday.
The newly signed law described 4PS as the government’s national poverty reduction strategy and human capital program, seeking to provide “conditional cash transfer to poor households for a maximum period of seven years, to improve the health, nutrition and education aspect of their lives.”
“On a nationwide basis, the DSWD [Department of Social Welfare and Development] shall select qualified household-beneficiaries of the 4Ps using a standardized targeting system. It shall conduct a regular revalidation of beneficiary targeting every three years,” the RA read.
Under the law, eligible beneficiaries are farmers, fisherfolks, homeless families, indigenous peoples, informal settlers, those in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas, and “those in areas without electricity.”
However, in order to be eligible for the cash grants, households or families must meet the following criteria: Classified as poor and near-poor based by the Philippine Statistics Authority, have members who are pregnant, or zero to 18 years old at the time of registration, and willing to comply with the condition specified by the law.
As for the conditional cash transfer to beneficiaries, the National Advisory Council shall determine the amount of conditional cash transfer to beneficiaries with the following schemes:
“Conditional cash transfer grant per child enrolled in daycare and elementary programs shall not be lower than P300 per month for a maximum of 10 months per year,” it said.
Meanwhile, children enrolled in junior high school will receive P500 per month for a maximum of 10 months per year. Those enrolled in senior high school, on the other hand, will receive P700 per month for a maximum of 12 months.
Also, livelihood programs and employment assistance can be availed by eligible beneficiaries at the DSWD.
However, persons who will be found of falsifying their information in the registry for conditional cash transfer may be imprisoned for a month or up to a year, and may be fined with not less than P10,000 but not more than P100,000.
The 4Ps is the flagship anti-poverty program of former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III. It was continued by Duterte.
The law takes effect 15 days following its publication in the Official Gazette or in two newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines.
The said law was passed by the Senate of the Philippines as Senate Bill No. 2117 on Feb. 4, and was adopted by the House of Representatives as an amendment to House Bill No. 7773 on Feb. 7, 2019.