Deception and a brazen, shameless lie.
This is my verdict on the TV and radio advertisement of Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Manuel Roxas III which clearly threatens poor Filipinos that if he is not elected President, the monthly cash subsidy that they are receiving under the 4Ps project of the government will be stopped.
What is the truth?
The 4Ps or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program
is the government’s “anti-poverty centerpiece” or flagship anti-poverty program.
It is defined as “a poverty reduction and social development strategy of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to extremely poor households to improve their health, nutrition and education particularly of children aged 0-14.” Under certain conditionality like an 85% attendance rate per month of school children and regular attendance of mothers to “family development sessions” among others, poor families receive conditional cash grants worth P500.00 a month for health and nutrition expenses and P300 per child per month for educational expenses covering a maximum of three children per household.”
Monthly cash subsidies are given to poor families on the condition that “parents regularly bring their children to preventive health check-ups and enroll them in school. Pregnant beneficiaries are required to seek pre- and post-natal care, and should be attended by a health professional when giving birth.”
The 4Ps is also called Conditional Cash Transfer and patterned after the anti-povety programs of Mexico and Brazil.
Launched during the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, it was originally called Ahon Pamilyang Pilipino before it was renamed 4Ps in 2008.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which supervises the project, pilot-tested the CCT in 2007 in municipalities of Sibagat and Esperanza in Agusan del Sur; the municipalities of Lopez Jaena and Bonifacio in Misamis Occidental, the Caraga Region; and the cities of Pasay and Caloocan.
“As of June 2013, the program has nearly 3.93 million registered households. Operations run in all 17 regions, covering 79 provinces, including 1,484 municipalities and 143 major cities, according to the DSWD,” wikipedia reported.
In the 2016 budget, P64-B has been allocated for 4Ps.
So what are the basic things people should know about 4Ps?
1. It is not a program initiated by President Aquino. The 4Ps was started by President Arroyo.
2. Cash grants under the 4Ps program are not free. It is made up of US$405 million loan from the World Bank (WB) and US$400 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
3. The 4Ps will continue even if Roxas loses the Presidency, as expected, simply because it is funded by a foreign loan.
4. The 4Ps is now being used as a political tool by the administration and DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman who in the past has declared that no politician should be associated with the program has now become an accomplice in a grand scheme to deceive the poor and get their votes under duress.
Now, whether the 4Ps is really liberating millions of Filipinos from poverty or not, is another topic that I will discuss in a future post.
The future post will also focus on the thoughts and ideas of Presidential frontrunner Rody Duterte and his vice presidential running mate, Alan Peter Cayetano, on the 4Ps.
In the meantime, we have clearly established the truth that this administration is exploiting and blackmailing the poor and peddling a big fat lie just to work for the candidacy of Roxas.