VERA FILES FACT CHECK: DSWD exec flip-flops on 4Ps

Once staunchly opposed, Social Welfare Undersecretary Luzviminda Ilagan now believes the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is a "concrete" solution to poverty.

STATEMENT

In the Jan. 23 launch of two studies on undernutrition in the Philippines, Ilagan said:

“DSWD has concrete projects, programs to address this problem. The 4Ps, as mentioned earlier, is one effort to address the concerns of indigent mothers. It’s a conditional cash transfer and among the conditions are for the mothers to report to the health center so that they can be examined in the community health centers. The children are also required to attend school so that they can participate in the feeding programs that are provided by the government.”

Source: Scaling Up Commitments to Nutrition, Jan. 23, House of Representatives, Quezon City, listen from 4:30 to 5:18

Under 4Ps, the Department of Social Welfare and Development provides cash grants to poor families who must meet certain criteria, like enrolling their children to school or getting maternity checkups.

Started in 2007 by the Arroyo administration, the 4Ps program was continued by former President Benigno Aquino III and adopted by the Duterte government.

FLIP-FLOP

Ilagan was a staunch critic of 4Ps during her three terms as Gabriela partylist representative from 2007 to 2016.

In 2013, she co-authored House Resolution 332, which described the “logic” behind conditional cash transfers (CCT) as “a fallacy” and sought to investigate 4Ps:

“The CCT program’s apparent logic that its beneficiary families will be permanently lifted out of poverty once they get an additional P15,000 a year, enroll their children in school, and avail of basic services for these five years is a fallacy.”

Source: Congress.gov.ph. House Resolution 332

The measure also called 4Ps an “expensive” but “short-term” anti-poverty program with fleeting impacts:

“The CCT is an expensive, temporary short-term relief and welfare measure that contributes to cover up the Philippine economy’s deep problems amid regressive policies, instead of actually helping solve poverty and that any anti-poverty impact of the program is the immediate income relief but this is fleeting in nature.”

In 2015, Ilagan said the “conditionalities” of the program, which came in “meager sums,” should instead be spent directly on health, education and jobs:

“It would benefit poor families more if funds were channelled directly to health and education and more importantly towards job creation, instead of imposing conditionalities for meager sums. The CCT funds should be rechanneled to basic services.”

Source: Gabrielawomensparty.net. Gabriela solon: ADB study another proof of CCT failure. June 30, 2015

Several news reports show that as early as 2012, Ilagan had already called for the scrapping of the 4Ps budget:

“The undeniable fact remains that more Filipinos are poor. The Aquino government should cut if not totally forego spending for the CCT. Let us stop wasting billions in taxpayers’ money for a failed anti-poverty program.”

Sources: Philstar.com. Soliman downplays findings of SWS on hunger, Feb. 1, 2012; Gmanetwork.com. CCT program ng pamahalaan, bigo raw dahil marami pa rin ang nagugutom, Jan. 31, 2012; Tribune.net.ph. Noynoy blamed for making RP vulnerable to recession, Feb. 1, 2012.


Sources:

Gmanetwork.com. CCT program ng pamahalaan, bigo raw dahil marami pa rin ang nagugutom. Jan. 31, 2012

Philstar.com. Soliman downplays findings of SWS on hunger. Feb. 1, 2012

Tribune.net.ph. Noynoy blamed for making RP vulnerable to recession. Feb. 1, 2012

House Resolution 332. Resolution Directing The Committee On Poverty Alleviation To Conduct An Inquiry, In Aid Of Legislation, On The Implementation Of The Conditional Cash Transfer Program As A Centerpiece Poverty Alleviation Program Of The Aquino Administration, And To Seek More Sustainable Programs That Raise The Standard Of Living And Quality Of Life Of Poor Families.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program

Gabrielawomensparty.net. Gabriela solon: ADB study another proof of CCT failure. June 30, 2015


(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative.)


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