Press Release
August 13, 2018

Sen. Bam: Natatanggap ba ng mahihirap ang tulong pinansiyal ng gobyerno?

A senator urged the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to investigate whether the poorest of the poor families are benefiting from the government's Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

Sen. Bam Aquino made the call after the Commission on Audit (COA) reported that around P1.3 billion were left unclaimed by 1.9 million individual beneficiaries in 2017.

In its audit report, the COA stressed that the lapse of time that beneficiaries failed to claim their grants showed that they were not in severe need of the subsidy, which cast doubt on the eligibility of the listed beneficiaries.

"Sa totoo lang, imoral iyong may pondo pero hindi naibabahagi sa mga kababayan nating naghihirap," said Sen. Bam, who plans to file a resolution to ensure that the poorest of the poor benefit from the 4Ps program.

Sen. Bam suggested that the DSWD should review the list of beneficiaries under the 4Ps program to make sure that they belong to the poorest of the poor or are really in need of government assistance.

"Hindi tama na nakatengga lang ang pondo para sa tulong habang nalulunod na ang marami sa taas-presyo," Sen. Bam stressed. "Sayang naman ang pondo na maaaring pakinabangan ng iba pa nating mahihirap na kabababayan.

Also, Sen. Bam renewed his call to the government to fully implement the social mitigating measures under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

As of now, the government has yet to complete the roll out of the unconditional cash transfer (UCT) program for poor Filipino families and the Pantawid Pasada Program, which aims to help jeepney operators and drivers cope with the increase in oil prices.

"Ngayong lalong tumataas ang inflation rate, higit na kailangan ng ating mahihirap na kababayan ang tulong mula pamahalaan. Huwag na natin silang pag-antayin pa," stressed Sen. Bam, one of four senators who voted against the ratification of the TRAIN Law.

In an effort to lower prices of goods, Sen. Bam has filed Senate Bill No. 1798 or the "Bawas Presyo Bill" to roll back and suspend the excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law when average inflation surpasses the annual inflation target over a three-month period.

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