Press Release
July 2, 2016

Drilon bats for institutionalization, expansion of 4Ps

Amidst fears that the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) may be discontinued, Senate President Franklin M. Drilon filed the proposed "Philippine Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Act," which seeks to institutionalize and expand the reach of the anti-poverty program.

"Under Senate Bill No. 12, we expect at least a million and half Filipino families will join the present 4.4 million poor families who are being given economic assistance by the government through the CCT so that they can rise out of poverty and get better access to educational and health services," Drilon said.

Drilon pointed out that at least 1.5 million families formally classified under the DSWD's National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) as "near-poor," or whose income are only slightly above the poverty threshold, will benefit from his bill, if it is passed into law.

"SBN 12 will also ensure steady funding for the CCT, as it will now regularly receive the necessary funds under the General Appropriation Act," Drilon assured.

The program has around P63 billion budget this year, he noted.

Drilon explained that proposed measure will institutionalize the CCT as a permanent program of the national government, with the Department of Social Welfare and Development "as the central planning, coordinating, implementing and monitoring body of the program."

"To ensure the effective implementation of the program, the DSWD shall closely coordinate with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Health (DOH), as regards the household-beneficiaries' availment of education and health services," he said.

Drilon explained that the propose measure is in line with government's obligation to free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services, promote full employment, a rising standard of living, and an improved quality of life for all.

Drilon noted the success of the 4Ps as an anti-poverty program, as studies show that the program closed about one-fourth of the poor's income gap, enabling them to move closer to the minimum income level.

"The 4Ps has become the third largest Conditional Cash Transfer program globally, next only to Brazil (8.8 million households) and Mexico (6.5 million households)," he said.

He said that the 4Ps has improved mothers' access to maternal health by promoting pre-and post-natal care and deliveries in health facilities; improved children's health and access to health care services, and ensured better access to education by keeping thousands of poor children in school - particularly those who are most vulnerable to drop out.

"In 2015 alone, the program was able to bridge 333,673 children to finish high school," he noted.

Lastly, Drilon said that the 4Ps has also become a platform for poor Filipinos to avail of vital social protection programs such as Philhealth, employment and economic opportunities and entry into higher education through the Students' Grant-in-Aid Program by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and other agencies.

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