The DSWD Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program’s petition No. 0457-19 that seeks to be exempted from the election ban following the communications sent by the Office of the COMELEC Secretary has been granted by the Commission En Banc.

It can be recalled that the COMELEC forwarded a communication that prohibits government agencies to release and disburse public funds effective March 29 to May 12, 2019.

The petition filed by the DSWD is for COMELEC to (a) acknowledge the routine and normal expenses of the department; and (b) authorize the DSWD to continue its ongoing and undertake possible disaster relief, early recovery and rehabilitation efforts.

Pantawid Pamilya is considered as among the routine and normal expenses of the department hence it may proceed with its top-ups or loading of cash grants as scheduled.

For Region 9, grants will be deposited in the cash cards of the beneficiaries on April 12. This covers Period 6 or December 2018 to January 2019 period with the total amount of PHP 242,517,700.00 or 67,465 beneficiary households.

Furthermore, the distribution of EMV-enabled cards to beneficiaries and re-carding of their cash cards shall also be continued as part of the regular activities of the program.

Last April 6, beneficiaries from District 2, 3, and 4 in Zamboanga City gathered in front of LandBank Main Branch to have their cash cards replaced by EMV-enabled cards.

Beneficiaries flocked in front of LBP Zamboanga for re-carding of their cash cards.

As of to date, there is a total of 307,834 Pantawid Pamilya households in the entire Region IX. 50,575 of which are from Zamboanga City, 9,568 from Isabela City, Basilan, 56,541 from Zamboanga Sibugay, 88,824 households from Zamboanga del Sur, and 102,326 Pantawid households in Zamboanga del Norte.

Pantawid Pamilya is a social protection program of the national government that invests in the health and education of poor households primarily of children aged 0-18 and pregnant women. Program beneficiaries receive cash grants as they comply with the program conditions applicable to their households. The conditions are: pregnant women must avail pre and post-natal care and be attended during childbirth by a trained health professional; parents must attend Family Development Sessions (FDS); 0-5 years old children must receive regular preventive health check-ups and vaccines; 6-14 years old children must receive deworming pills twice a year; and children beneficiaries (0-18 years old) must enroll in school and maintain a class attendance of at least 85% per month. As of May 2018, there are 4.39 million active households in the program nationwide.