DSWD releases guidelines on rice subsidy for 4Ps members
Posted: 2017-Mar-16 17.00.08 UTC+0800
Updated: 2017-Mar-17 01.51.32 UTC+0800
Updated: 2017-Mar-17 01.51.32 UTC+0800
QUEZON CITY — Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has released the guidelines on the provision of rice subsidy to Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program households.
This is part of the order of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte who gave particular attention to the 4Ps program during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) in the context of strengthening the government's delivery of social services.
As Pres. Duterte himself said, "The beneficiaries of 4Ps shall be made to become independent and self-reliant after they graduated from the program. We aim to present them with other forms of assistance so they can stand on their own two feet. I have decided to direct the DSWD to provide rice subsidies to the poorest families."
The rice subsidy is also included in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2017.
The rice subsidy will be given to registered, active, and compliant Pantawid Pamilya household beneficiaries on a bi-monthly period. In compliance with the General Appropriations Act of 2017, it will be given in the form of cash and treated as an additional cash grant. The rice subsidy will be on a per household basis, and it will be given on top of cash grants to beneficiaries every period. For newly registered households, the subsidies will be provided on top of their initial cash grants.
Sec. Taguiwalo explained that the total rice subsidy amount for each family will be P7,200 per year, or P600 a month. It will be given to compliant households using the same schedule followed by the program in the processing and releasing of education and health grants.
Sec. Taguiwalo explained that any change in the amount and continuation/discontinuation of the provision of rice subsidies is subject to the succeeding annual appropriations.
"We should also like it known that any payment-related concerns on the availment of the rice subsidy arising from circumstances outside our direct control will follow the established grievance redress procedure. After we have validated complaints, the affected beneficiaries will be entitled to retroactive payment," she said.
However, Sec. Taguiwalo also said that if a household has already been paid with regular cash grants and consequently with the rice subsidy for complying with, for instance, the health conditionality, but they dispute their noncompliance with the program's education conditionality, the education grants will be paid retroactively after the completion of the grievance resolution process," she said.
For transparency and as a safeguard against any risk of fund misuse, the DSWD will incorporate the utilization of rice subsidy in its regular monitoring and reporting of cash distribution through payment status reports, certification of unpaid households, and consolidated list of unpaid beneficiaries report through the regular CCT payrolls and the retro-regular CCT payrolls.
"We have already begun to release the rice subsidies to 4Ps members. We trust that the beneficiaries of the fund will use the money to buy rice for their families because this is the main purpose of the subsidy. However, we are certain that in the coming weeks and months, we will be receiving reports that some beneficiaries use the subsidy for other purposes. Our social workers and the rest of the Department will implement appropriate measures to inform beneficiaries about the purpose of the cash grant," she said.
Sec. Taguiwalo said that a topic on the rice subsidy will be included in the Family Development Sessions reiterating the proper use of the subsidy and enjoining purchase of locally planted rice.
"I have also ordered that reports on the number of households receiving the rice subsidy be submitted to my office by our Field Offices and the Pantawid Pamilya National Program Management Office (NPMO). Also, we will be monitoring reported cases of misuse of the rice subsidy—sanctions will be imposed when necessary following the established grievance procedure that allows for progressive disciplining. We want to underscore the importance of this subsidy and the responsibility of the beneficiaries to use it wisely. Millions of other impoverished Filipinos who are not covered by 4Ps also need to be given rice subsidies, but sadly we cannot provide for them now. We hope in the future that our anti-poverty programs and food subsidies will be more inclusive and cover more poor Filipinos," she said. (PIA)