Image source: Photo taken from Congressman Wilbert Lee’s official Facebook Page

AGRI Party-list Rep. Wilbert T. Lee has called for a significant change to the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) by suggesting that the cash assistance increase be determined through annual reviews, taking into account the country’s inflation rate. During a recent technical working group (TWG) hearing of the House Committee on Poverty Alleviation, Rep. Lee proposed amendments to the 4Ps law to ensure that the program remains responsive to the evolving needs of its beneficiaries.

Image source: Photo taken from Congressman Wilbert Lee’s official Facebook Page

Explaining the rationale behind his proposal, Rep. Lee emphasized that inflationary pressures could potentially burden Filipino families over time. With the cost of living continually fluctuating, he believes that yearly reviews of the 4Ps by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) would be essential to accurately assess the level of cash assistance required by eligible recipients.

Currently, Section 10 of Republic Act (RA) No. 11310, which established the 4Ps in 2019, mandates that every six years, the PIDS provides recommendations to the National Advisory Council regarding potential adjustments to cash grants based on the consumer price index published by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). Rep. Lee’s proposal seeks to accelerate this review process to a yearly basis, enabling the House of Representatives to incorporate appropriate funding for the 4Ps into the annual budget deliberations of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Image source: Photo taken from Congressman Wilbert Lee’s official Facebook Page

The 4Ps program currently offers conditional cash transfer grants to support the education of underprivileged children. It provides at least ₱300 per month per child for a maximum of 10 months per year for those enrolled in daycare and elementary programs, ₱500 per month per child for up to 10 months per year for junior high school students, and ₱700 per month per child for up to 10 months per year for senior high school students.

The 4Ps has emerged as the government’s flagship poverty alleviation program, making a significant impact on the lives of countless Filipino families. By providing financial support and incentives to promote education, the program aims to break the cycle of poverty and uplift communities across the nation.

Image source: Photo taken from Congressman Wilbert Lee’s official Facebook Page

Ten Benefits of the 4Ps Program by the Government

Image source: businessmirror.com.ph

Enhanced Health and Nutrition: Beneficiaries of the 4Ps receive regular health check-ups and nutrition support, contributing to better overall health outcomes, especially among children and pregnant women.

Poverty Reduction: By targeting the most vulnerable sectors of society, the 4Ps helps reduce poverty levels and uplift the living conditions of disadvantaged families.

Empowerment of Women: The program empowers women as it provides cash grants primarily to female beneficiaries, promoting gender equality and women’s economic participation.

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty: By investing in education and health, the 4Ps seeks to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty, creating a brighter future for generations to come.

Community Development: The 4Ps fosters community development by boosting local economies through increased spending on essential goods and services.

Increased School Attendance: With financial support, families are more motivated to send their children to school regularly, leading to improved attendance and educational outcomes.

Enhancing Social Capital: The 4Ps program encourages community engagement and social cohesion as beneficiaries participate in local development activities.

Reduced Child Labor: By supporting families financially, the 4Ps reduces the need for child labor, ensuring children can focus on their education and overall well-being.

Enhanced Human Capital: Investing in the education and health of the population builds human capital, contributing to a skilled and healthier workforce, which is crucial for the country’s economic growth and development.

Image source: Photo taken from Congressman Wilbert Lee’s official Facebook Page

As the government continues to evolve and refine the 4Ps program, Rep. Lee’s proposal to implement more frequent, inflation-based cash aid hikes could potentially strengthen the impact of the program and uplift more lives out of poverty. By prioritizing the well-being and development of its citizens, the nation takes significant strides toward building a more equitable and prosperous future for all Filipinos.