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DSWD reinstates 700K families as 4Ps recipients

THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has assured lawmakers that the more than 760,000 families delisted from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) will be reinstated and get paid retroactively to cover the period that they were removed from the list.

More than 1.1 million 4Ps beneficiaries were earlier assessed as non-poor under the Listahanan 3 of the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) that was done before the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Following an appeal by those affected by the assessment and by lawmakers, the DSWD reassessed the conditions of the families, leading to the retention of 760,000 families.
The House has asked the DSWD to retain the membership to the program of the 760,000 families. Among those who filed resolution seeking their retention were Reps. Paul Daza of Northern Samar, Wilbert Lee (PL, Agri), Teodorico Haresco, Jr. of Aklan, Arlene Brosas (PL, Gabriela), France Castro (PL, ACT), and Raoul Danniel Manuel (PL, Kabataan).

Rep. Michael Romero (PL, 1Pacman), chair of the House Committee on Poverty Alleviation, said that while 3.2 million households have consistently received their cash grants, the 760,000 delisted families were denied the same benefits after being evaluated by the DSWD as “non-poor,” among other reasons.

Panel members are, however, convinced that the delisted families have not yet crossed the line of indigent status and must remain as 4Ps recipients, especially now during the Christmas season.

“This legislative effort is a Christmas gift we intend to give our kababayans. We hope the DSWD makes it even more perfect by expediting distribution,” Romero said.

The DSWD stopped payment of the conditional cash transfer benefit of the affected families as early as the start of 2023. Last month, it said it would start distributing the unpaid benefits of the 760,000 families, which would cover the months January to September this year.

Former DSWD secretary Erwin Tulfo had previously ordered a review and cleanup of the 4Ps list of beneficiaries who are no longer eligible for the program, resulting in the initial list of 1.1 million potential graduating families.