By Roi Lomotan
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is targeting around 6, 666 poor households in Negros Oriental to be covered by the government’s conditional cash transfer program.
DSWD Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) Provincial South Cluster Supervisor Reggie Locsin announced this in a Kapihan Forum last week in this town.
Locsin clarified that the department is not expanding the coverage of 4Ps and the figure she mentioned are slots for replacement for those households that have been deactivated or delisted in the program.
The DSWD representative explained why these households were delisted from the program.
When their kids who were beneficiaries of 4Ps finished their school, or are over 18 years of age which is the age ceiling for a Pantawid beneficiary, they wont be in anymore, she explained.
On the other hand, there were also households who voluntarily waived their inclusion to the program because of improved economic conditions.
Originally, the actual slots was 6, 393 but the local DSWD has added more 273 slots as buffer.
However, she said the 6, 666 slots are not yet sub-divided among every Local Government Unit (LGU) in the province.
“Kani siya wala pa siya na-segregate per LGU kay on-going pa matching ani nila for possible duplication. Daghan kaayo tag kaso sa una nga nag-duplicate ang mga household. Mao nay usa sa gilantaw mao wala pa gipakanaog (ang programa). Posible ang registration nato ani magsugod by next month (The slots are not yet distributed per LGU because the process of matching for possible duplication is still on-going. I think that is the reason why registration is not yet rolled out. Hopefully this will start next month),” Locsin said.
Locsin also noted that those households who were registered under the Listahanan Program of DSWD in 2015 will be given priority in the enrolment in 4Ps.
In relation to this, Locsin also clarified issues related to the inclusion and exclusion in 4Ps during the Kapihan forum.
This concern has been identified by the Negros Oriental Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NOTF ELCAC) as one of the top issues associated with the insurgency problem in the province.
Locsin elaborated that in 2008 a unit of DSWD conducted the Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS PR) which aims to identify the “poorest of the poor” families and gather their information in a database which will be used as reference for appropriate poverty alleviation interventions.
The families who were validated and included in the list of the poor from the Listahanan became the primary beneficiaries of 4Ps.
Locsin disclosed that until now they still get complaints questioning the inclusion of some families in the 4Ps but she also pointed out that during the enumeration period there were also families who were not interviewed by their validators because they refuse to be interviewed while some parents are out for work when the validators came to their area.
In 2015, another round of Listahanan was conducted nationwide. This will serve as basis for the expanded coverage of 4Ps beneficiaries.
It was also noted in the forum that the expansion temporarilly was put on hold upon President Rodrigo Duterte’s assumption into office. This is the reason why DSWD has not added more beneficiaries of the program.
For the meantime, the plan is to replace the delisted or deactivated 4Ps beneficiaries.
However, Locsin said families who are interested to be part of 4Ps should worry because there is a new directive to hold third round of Listahanan enumeration this year which would start possibly in October.
For now, Locsin is making an appeal to the public to report to them if they notice families who are possible candidates for 4Ps inclusion or exclusion.
“Amo ra pod ning gipanawagan kung kinsa man tong nakit-an ninyo na inyong kasilinganan na miyembro sa Pantawid Niya dili siya ayangan na to be member of the Pantawid tage lang mi ug ngalan kay amo ra pod ning ipaagi sa insakto na proseso (I would like to appeal to everyone if you know household which you think should no longer be included in the 4Ps give us their name so we can verify. There is an exact process on this) ,” Locsin concluded.