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Cops told: Monitor 4Ps beneficiaries engaged in illegal activities

June 19, 2023 Alfred P. Dalizon 441 views

CopsPOLICE have been told to further step up their monitoring of beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program who are using their monetary assistance from the government to indulge in vices including drugs, gambling and drinking so that they can be stricken off from the 4Ps list immediately.

This as the Laguna Police Provincial Office headed by Colonel Randy Glenn G. Silvio recommended the removal of 25 local residents from the list of the 4Ps for using the government money to buy and use illegal drugs.

As of press time, the official said at least eight 4Ps beneficiaries in the province have been stricken off the government list after they were caught in anti-narcotics operations.

The PNP leadership headed by General Benjamin C. Acorda Jr. has instructed all other concerned territorial units to do the same thing to ensure that government money will be spent only on their intended purpose.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) early this year released a memorandum calling for the removal from the 4Ps program of low-income beneficiaries engaging in illegal activities as officials reminded the public that the cash assistance must be put to good use and should not be spent outside of its intended purpose, more so illegal activities like drugs.

The move is in line with Memorandum Circular 38 or the Guidelines on the Commission of Prohibited Acts by Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Beneficiaries during state of calamity or national emergency of the DSWD.

The DSWD released the memorandum which provides stiffer policies against erring 4Ps beneficiaries amid continuing reports that some recipients of the government financial assistance are using the money they receive to either buy drugs or liquor and engage in gambling like ‘sabong’ and card games.

The government has been trying to imbibe to the 4Ps beneficiaries a real ‘sense of responsibility’ when it comes to using the cash assistance to augment their basic day-to-day needs.

Although the assistance is really not enough to cover all the needs of the 4Ps beneficiaries, the money they receive would be of big help to them in purchasing food and other essentials.

The DSWD has ruled that the household cash grants will be automatically suspended if a household member is found to have engaged in prohibited acts which include gambling, use of grants for alcoholic beverages, use of any prohibited drugs, intentional claiming of same grants twice, violation of any existing national and local laws, violation of any rules implemented by the national and local governments to address the contingency, and other vices and prohibited conducts of similar nature.

The rules were released with the idea of encouraging the 4Ps beneficiaries to be responsible and prudent in spending the grants given to them.

Under the 4PS programs, the beneficiaries will receive their regular full grants for a particular period with compliance with program conditions which include sending and keeping school-aged children in school, pre and post-natal care of mothers, regular and preventive check-ups of children aged five and below, deworming of children aged six to 14; and attendance in the monthly family development sessions.

The 4Ps which is a major poverty alleviation program of the government became law in April 2019.

In Laguna, Silvio said four of the delisted 4Ps beneficiaries are from Liliw, three are from Alaminos municipality and one from Kalayaan. Liliw and Kalayaan are 3rd-class municipalities in the province while Liliw is a 4th-class municipality.

Silvio said he recommended the removal of the suspects from the list of beneficiaries of the government anti-poverty reduction program based on the DSWD Memorandum Circular No. 038, series of 2020.

Under the law, the monthly education grant is P300 per child enrolled in day-care and elementary school for a maximum of 10 months a year, and P500 per child enrolled in junior high school and P700 per child enrolled in senior high school.

A compliant beneficiary also receives a P750 monthly health grant and P600 monthly rice subsidy.

Silvio said the arrested suspects have been using the cash grant for their illegal drug and gambling activities instead of promoting the welfare of their families.

He added that he has written a formal request to the different Municipal Social Welfare and Development Offices in Laguna to remove from their list their beneficiaries who are involved in illegal drug activities and other criminal offenses or habitual violator of city and municipal ordinances.

“We have discovered during questioning of some of the arrested suspects that they most often use the money they receive from 4Ps to buy shabu instead of using it to help their family,” Silvio said.

He added that they are also recommending the removal of 4Ps recipients who will be caught involved in illegal gambling and other criminal activities as well as violation of different national and local ordinances all aimed at keeping peace and order on the streets.

“What is saddening here is that we have reports that some 4Ps beneficiaries are using their government stipend to buy liquor or engage in illegal gambling,” the Laguna police director said.