Around 1.3 million Filipino households will be removed from the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) after “graduating” from extreme poverty, according to Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Erwin Tulfo.
During the third Cabinet meeting of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday (July 19), Tulfo reported that DSWD plans to delist more than 25% of the 4.4 million beneficiaries of the poverty reduction program, which provides cash to the poorest of the poor families.
The delisting will free up P15 billion for other qualified persons according to Malacañang.
Tulfo told reporters that the DSWD received a “marching order” from Marcos to review the program after receiving reports of unqualified beneficiaries.
“It was his marching order to clean the 4Ps list because of the complaints he received and also what he reads on social media. The President is also active on social media,” Tulfo said in mixed Filipino and English.
The official also said that the department is also currently investigating 600,000 more households to determine whether they were still qualified to benefit from the program.
“If you are poor, you continue to stay as 4Ps (beneficiary). If you are non-poor, we have to take you out,” he said, citing that the DSWD defines poor as those whose incomes are not enough to feed their families.
He said families are no longer qualified under the program if their children have already graduated, have found work, or are engaged in business.
“They can survive day-to-day and then their children, they may have graduated [from school] so they are no longer qualified,” the DSWD chief said.
Tulfo added that the President looked surprised when he heard the plan, which was initially his order.
Qualified beneficiaries of the program include farmers, fishermen, homeless families, indigenous peoples, those from the informal sector, and those living in isolated and disadvantaged areas, especially those without electricity.
Pola Rubio is a news writer and photojournalist covering Philippine politics and events. She regularly follows worldwide and local happenings. She advocates for animal welfare and press freedom. Follow her on Twitter @polarubyo for regular news and cat postings.
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