The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Thursday said it would comply with the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) Act, which calls for rice cash subsidy rather than the actual distribution of rice.
Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communications Romel Lopez issued the statement in reaction to the National Food Authority’s (NFA) recommendation for the agency to procure and distribute rice instead of the P600 worth of monthly rice allowance for 4Ps beneficiaries.
Lopez said that the current mode of cash grants to buy rice among the 4Ps households is in accordance with the IRR of Republic Act 11310, the law that institutionalized the 4Ps program.
Lopez clarified that utilizing beneficiaries’ cash card instead of rice subsidy is a more practical and efficient approach.
“We aim to provide our beneficiaries with purchasing power and freedom of choice,” added Lopez.
Aside from the rice subsidy, 4Ps members receive monthly health and education cash grants.
Lopez assured the public, especially the beneficiaries, that the DSWD is ready to distribute sacks of rice to the 4Ps beneficiaries instead of the cash subsidy once the National Advisory Council (NAC) of 4Ps approves a resolution calling for actual rice distribution in lieu of the cash grant.
The NAC is composed of members from different government agencies, which include the DSWD, the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), among others.
Earlier, Lopez said the more than 760,000 4Ps households initially assessed as non-poor based on the results of the Listahanan 3 are still eligible to receive the grants after the re-assessment conducted by the agency.
The Social Welfare and Development Indicator is being used by the Department as a case management tool to determine the progress of the households by measuring their level of well-being in terms of economic sufficiency and social adequacy.
Over 330,000 re-assessed members are tagged non-poor and are now at the level of self-sufficiency.