4Ps falls short in ending poverty

The government’s leading poverty intervention program, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4P, has helped many Filipinos make both ends meet but it is not enough to lift millions out of poverty, according to a legislator.

Economist-legislator Joey Salceda highlighted the issue following the Commission on Audit performance audit on the program which stated that out of some 4.2 million active 4Ps beneficiaries who have been on the program for seven to 13 years, 90 percent or a total of 3,820,012 households, are still below the poverty threshold.

“Money alone is not enough. While it creates virtuous cycles in local economies, and while it provides a basic social safety net that allows poor households to take more rewarding risks, money is not enough. Money on an individual and household level is not enough,” Salceda, House Ways and Means chairperson, said.

The DSWD’s programs to protect families from the worst social and economic conditions, according to the Albay solon, were never meant to stand alone, yet it should always be part of a broader plan to revitalize urban and rural communities.

Rural dev’t needed

Salceda underscored a need for investments in rural development and poor urban communities since the aim is to create better conditions for farming, working and entrepreneurship.

The veteran lawmaker proposed a convergence between DSWD’s major programs and other government agencies toward lifting 4Ps beneficiaries out of poverty should be in place.

He even pointed out that it is not the responsibility of the DSWD alone to meet the recommendations of the CoA when it requires a whole government approach.

According to the 62-page performance audit report of the CoA on 4Ps, the breakdown of the 4.2 million active beneficiaries is as follows: 223,764 4Ps households have remained active recipients since 2008; 333,959 since 2009; 235,048 since 2010; 1,041,575 since 2011; 1,350,853 since 2012; 153,136 since 2013; 481,677 since 2014; 58,850 since 2015; 34,741 since 2016; 20,309 since 2017; 4,217 since 2018; 132,046 since 2019; 93,102 since 2020; and 99,162 since 2021.

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