As they continue to improve their programs and services, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recently approved stiffer policies in the implementation of the country’s conditional cash transfer program known as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

One of which is the newly released Memorandum Circular 38 or the Guidelines on the Commission of Prohibited Acts by Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Beneficiaries during State of Calamity or National Emergency that provides for stiffer policies against erring beneficiaries.

This came about as a result of the reports received by the program implementers that there were beneficiaries who misused the grants under the Social Amelioration Program particularly for illegal activities.

It can be recalled that the Department declared a public health emergency last March 2020 which put the compliance of program conditionalities of 4Ps on force majeure and allowed program beneficiaries to received cash assistance as stipulated in the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

“We continuously improve the implementation of our program by ensuring that our beneficiaries adhere to the guidelines set in our Implementing Rules and Regulations. These policies certainly protect our beneficiaries so they would not resort to activities that would worsen their level of well-being,” OIC-Regional Director of DSWD-9, Fatima S. Caminan said.

Caminan added that the circular hopes to guide the beneficiaries and help them understand that the benefits that they receive are financed through government funds. As such, they are reminded that cash assistance must be put to a good use and should not be spent outside of what it is intended for, more so for illegal activities. These policies encourage the program beneficiaries to be more responsible and prudent in the use of the benefits afforded to them.

If a member of the household beneficiary will be found out engaging in any prohibited act as stated in the circular, release of cash grants shall be automatically suspended and erring member together with the rest of the household would need to undergo case management. Reinstatement of household shall be based on the recommendation of the case worker assigned.

4Ps which was enacted into law in April of 2019, is the government’s major poverty alleviation program that invests in health, nutrition, and education of the poor eligible households. These alongside with the psychosocial and psycho-educational component provided through the Family Development Session leading the beneficiaries to an improved and sustained well-being.

Among the program conditionalities include enrolment and attendance of children aged 4-18 in school; deworming of at least twice a year for children aged 6-14; pre and post-natal check-ups for women; preventive check-ups to children aged 5 and below and attendance to monthly Family Development Session.

Currently, the program is being implemented nationwide covering more than 4.3 million households of which 287,165 are active households that received SAP in Zamboanga Peninsula as of previous period.