The beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) will get an additional P200 monthly subsidy to help ease the burden of expected increased of prices of basic goods and services due to the implementation of the government’s new tax reform scheme.
Ma. Evelyn Macapobre, regional director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Visayas (DSWD-7), said in a phone interview that the P200 subsidy would be released to the beneficiaries within the year.
“Sila man ang pinakapobre ug sila pud ang grabeng maigo sa pagsaka unya sa mga palitonon (They are the poorest of the poor and they are the most affected by the increase of the prices of basic goods),” she said.
She said that there are 285,686 members recorded in the Listahan (formerly known as the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction) or 4Ps in the region, and they expect to get a budget for this year of at least P688 billion for Pantawid.
Shiela Jalandoni, 35, a street vendor selling bottled water near the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, said that she welcomed the additional subsidy.
Jalandoni, who is one of the 4Ps beneficiaries in the region, said all in all she had been receiving P1,700 every month since she became a beneficiary three years ago.
This covers the educational grant of P300 each for her seven-year-old and nine-year-old children; P500 for her two-year-old child to cover regular checkups and vaccines and P600 for their rice consumption.
With the additional P200, she would now receive P1,900 every month.
Maria Teresa Pugoy, 32, another sidewalk vendor who also sells her goods near the church, said she was also grateful for the Pantawid program.
“Mapasalamaton ko sa Pantawid kay dako kaayo ni og ikatabang namo (I am thankful for the Pantawid because it will help us a lot),” Pugoy said.
Pugoy has five children whose ages range from one to 15 years old.
She also receives a monthly subsidy of P1,700 because only three of her children are covered by the program.
“Nakatabang gyud ni namo labi na sa pagpaeskwela sa akong mga anak (This really helped us especially for my children’s education),” said Pugoy, who sells candles while her husband works as a barker to jeepneys.
Kerwin Macopia, DSWD-7 information officer, said that they, however, had not yet received the order from Central Office when to start the distribution of the additional subsidy.