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PIA Press Release
Friday, January 27, 2012


P1-B cash grant for Soccsksargen, some ARMM areas

by Dani Doguiles

KORONADAL CITY, January 27 (PIA) -- The national government has spent P1,075,479,100 for conditional cash transfer to poorest of the poor families in the Soccsksargen Region (Region 12) and portions of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Department of Social Welfare and Development 12 Regional Director Zorahayda Taha said, this amount was used as cash grants for 148,660 household-beneficiaries of the Philippine government’s premiere anti-poverty initiative, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

This funds were directly given to the beneficiaries, she said.

“To date, we are covering 44 towns and six cities. Just recently, we expanded our coverage to 15 more in Region 12. The government is concern with the condition of our poor and fortunate people,” Taha said.

Localities included in the recent expansion include Kidapawan City and the towns of Kabacan, Libungan, Makilala, Midsayap, and M’langin North Cotabato; Tacurong City and Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat Province; Koronadal City, Norala, Polomolok, Surallah, Tampakan, Tantangan,and Tupi in South Cotabato.

DSWD 12 aims to enlist at least 96,695 households from these expansion areas, Taha said.

Through the conditional cash transfers program, the national government provides subsidies to the poorest of the poor households in the country identified through the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR).

These cash grants are subject to conditions, including requiring children to go to school regularly, mothers to visit their local health facilities, and attendance to meetings of community organizations.

Under the CCT program each household-beneficiary received a monthly allowance of P500 for basic food needs. Additional P300 is also given for every child (up to 14 years old) who goes to school; a maximum of three children can get the allowance.

In his visit to the Philippines late last year, World Bank Group president Robert B. Zoellick has backed proposals to expand the government’s food subsidy program for the lowest-income Filipino households, saying that economic growth should benefit the poor.

He described the government’s CCT as a prudent safety net for poor families, especially in these tough economic times. Around 40 other countries supported by the World Bank implement a conditional subsidy program for the poor.

Just recently, Director Taha announced that DSWD-12 has delisted 11,367 household –beneficiaries from 4Ps in line with their efforts to cleanse the list of beneficiaries with unqualified grant recipients.

Among those removed were government employees, teachers, barangay officials, even overseas Filipino workers who were included in the list because of errors in the encoding of NHTS-PR. (PIA)

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