The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province of Zamboanga Sibugay recently approved an ordinance that prohibits any person and/or business establishment to require and/or accept cash cards of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) as collaterals for financial loans.

The ordinance stipulates the prohibited acts as specified in the National Advisory Council (NAC) Resolution No. 20 of the 4Ps program to include the use of 4Ps cash card and other program documents as collateral/s for loans, requiring or accepting 4Ps cash cards in obtaining any form of financial accommodation, and other similar transactions involving 4Ps cash cards.

It also cites the corresponding penalties to be imposed on individuals and business entities that will engage or violate such ordinance.

For private individuals and government official/employees the following penalties are enacted.

For the 1st offense, a violator will be fined with Two Thousand Pesos (Php 2,000.00) charge for every 4Ps cash card/program document; for the 2nd offense, a fine of Three Thousand Pesos (Php 3,000.00) for every 4Ps cash card/program document; and for the 3rd offense, a fine of Five Thousand Pesos (Php 5,000.00) for every 4Ps cash card/program document or imprisonment of not exceeding One (1) year or both fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.

Any group or lending business establishment is also prohibited from requiring or accepting 4Ps documents as collaterals for loans from their clients.

A fine of Two Thousand Five Hundred Pesos (Php 2,500.00) for every 4Ps cash card/program document will be charged to a violator for his 1st offense; Three Thousand Five Hundred Pesos (Php 3,500.00) fine for every 4Ps cash card/program document for his 2nd offense; and Five Thousand Pesos (Php 5,000.00) for every 4Ps cash card/program document and/or revocation/cancellation of the business permit shall be imposed for his 3rd offense.

Prior to the approval of the ordinance, the 4Ps Provincial Operations Office of Zamboanga Sibugay Province headed by the Provincial Link Evalinda Jimeno had several meetings with the author of the ordinance, Hon. Marie Yvonne V. Palma and co-authors Hon. Ma. Bella C. Javier and Hon. Jonathan C. Yambao where they discussed issues involving the alarming reports of cash card pawning.

As a result, the ordinance was enacted on March 09, 2021 and approved by the Provincial Governor, Hon. Wilter Yap Palma last March 24, 2021.

There are 1,656 reported cases of cash card pawning in Zamboanga Sibugay of which 34 accounts have already suspended and others are still being validated.###