4Ps’ cash grants, rice subsidy to continue during quarantine

LEGAZPI CITY — Despite the enhanced community quarantine imposed in Luzon, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries will continue to receive grants and rice subsidy through their cash cards, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional office here said.

Julius Embile, DSWD 4Ps focal person, in an interview on Tuesday, said some 343,896 household-beneficiaries in Bicol will be credited with the cash grant starting this week until the first week of April.

“Beneficiaries with Europay, Mastercard, and Visa (EMV) cash cards may withdraw their grants on March 24, 26, 28, and April 4. Cash grants credited through the EMV card may be withdrawn from any Land Bank of the Philippines Automated Teller Machines (LBP-ATMs) or any ATM subject to minimal charges,” he said.

Embile added that beneficiaries may also use their EMV cards in establishments that receive payment through point-of-sale or POS.

Asked about those without ATM cards, Embile said “we are exploring alternative means to distribute cash grants to beneficiaries who have yet to receive their EMV cash cards. 4Ps City and Municipal Links will cascade the announcement of release once finalized,” he said.

Embile also said 4Ps activities that require mass gathering are suspended.

"4Ps activities that are temporarily suspended are the conduct of the monthly Family Development Sessions and the assessment of household beneficiaries using the Social Welfare and Development Indicators, and over-the-counter payouts,” he added.

The department has also waived the program conditionalities for the months of February and March following the signing of the resolution on force majeure.

Under Rule VIII Section 15 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act (RA) 11310 or the 4Ps Act, the Secretary of DSWD may suspend the monitoring of compliance of beneficiaries to program conditionalities under “force majeure” circumstances.

This means that beneficiaries will be receiving their full grants for the period even without compliance with program conditions.

In a separate interview, Marygizelle Mesa, DSWD regional spokesperson, said they have readied at least 10,713 family food packs for residents of Bicol.

“The family food packs will be distributed by the LGUs (local government units) to the families affected by the quarantine due to the coronavirus disease,” she said.

Mesa said each food pack contains six kilos of rice, four cans of corned beef, four cans of sardines and six packs of energy drink or coffee, and is good for two days' consumption of a family with five members. (PNA)