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DSWD pushes anew for adjustments in 4Ps grants as inflation soars

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The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) continues to work with the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in trying to find the best index to use for the automatic adjustment of cash grants for the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), an agency official said on Thursday (May 9).

“I would like to reiterate what DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian said that adjusting the cash grants of 4Ps beneficiaries is not just timely but that it also preserves the value of the grants,” Asst. Secretary for Disaster Response Management Group (DRMG) Irene Dumlao said.

Asst. Secretary Dumlao, who is also the DSWD spokesperson, explained that working with NEDA and PSA is important in order for the DSWD to come up with the right amount to make sure the 4Ps grants will be able to cushion the spikes caused by inflation.

The inflation rate has inched to 3.8 percent in April from 3.7 percent in March.

Early this year, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr directed the DSWD, NEDA and PSA to study the current cash assistance given to indigents and recipients of the 4Ps to make these more responsive to economic shocks.

“Part of the directive of the President is for the DSWD, NEDA and PSA to come up with a proposal to ensure that the cash grants are responsive to present socio-economic conditions and automatically adjusted even without legislation,” the DSWD spokesperson said.

The 4Ps is the national poverty reduction strategy and human capital investment program of the Philippine government and currently caters to 4.4 million household-beneficiaries nationwide.

Under the program, beneficiaries receive their cash grants if they comply with the conditions of sending their children to school, bringing them to health centers for check-up, and attending the monthly Family Development Sessions (FDS).

Based on the provisions of Republic Act 11310 or the 4Ps Act, cash grants given to qualified families for a maximum of 10 months a year include P300 a month for each child enrolled in daycare or elementary school; P500 a month for each child enrolled in junior high school and P700 a month for each child enrolled in senior high school.

Each beneficiary household also gets P750 a month in health and nutrition grants and a P650 monthly rice assistance.

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